Bob Oakes looked forward to visiting his brother in New York. It had been three years since the Spring Valley man had a chance to visit.
Oakes, a retired Navy sailor, booked a roundtrip ticket on Southwest Airlines.
A few weeks later Oakes learned doctors needed to reschedule his wife’s cataract surgery date. The new date hit smack dab in the middle of Oakes’ trip to New York.
“They gave us a call and said the date had been changed. We said, ok, because, well, there really was nothing we could do,” Oakes told NBC 7 Responds.
He contacted Southwest and changed the ticket. The good news: the new flight was cheaper and Southwest was willing to pay the difference, but only in Southwest credits.
“I got to thinking we have the credit but I only go like once every three years, I’m not going to be able to use it. I’d like to get the refund,” said Oakes.
Oakes contacted Southwest to explain that he had to cancel for medical reasons and should be given a refund instead of a credit. He called the customer helplines repeatedly and mailed a letter explaining the situation.
“I couldn't get through,” said Oakes. “So, then I sent them a letter. I waited a month with no reply,”
That’s when Oakes decided to contact NBC 7 Responds for help.
And we contacted Southwest in hopes of reaching some type of resolution.
Oakes said he received a call the next day saying they would refund the entire amount.
In a statement to NBC 7 Responds, a spokesperson for Southwest said the airlines "worked to rectify the situation."
“You definitely helped a whole lot because without you we would have gotten absolutely nothing.”