The Kreush family thought they booked the trip of a lifetime.
"Last fall, we decided that we were going to do a little family trip to Poland. me, my daughter, we we're going to take my mother, she's always wanted to go but never been there." says Mike Kreush.
Hoping to have grandma experience her heritage by visiting her homeland for her birthday, wife Mia decided to search online. Like many of us, looking for the best deal on flights she found the online booking service, Flight Guru. a full service travel agency, specializing in discount tickets to Europe. The Kreush Family was all set for depature on June 4th, but Covid-19 would cause a delay.
"Everything kind of went sideways on that, the airline canceled the flight, and issued a cash refund to the travel agency, for these tickets."
But the family says Flight Guru would not refund them their money, $2,300 for three tickets, only offering an alternative.
"You'd have to have a credit that you have to be used by next October, but it can only be used for international travel. I don't know if I'm going to be able to travel internationally."
That's despite paying an extra $180 in trip protection.
"The insurance is like oh no, the Covid or fear of getting sick is not a valid excuse for using this insurance. It's like what was the point of the insurance if I can't really use it."
The U.S. Department of Transportation addressses questions regarding airline ticket refunds on their website. The D.O.T. issued an enforcement notice stating: "airlines have an obligation to provide a refund to a ticketed passenger when the carrier cancels or significantly changes the passenger's flight..."
"...Passengers who purchase a non-refundable ticket on a flight to, within, or from the United States… that is still being operated without a significant change, but would like to change or cancel their reservation, are generally not entitled to a refund or a travel voucher for future use on the airline."
I reached out to Flight Guru and heard back from a supervisor via e-mail saying, "Deeply discounted tickets may come with certain restrictions. Some may be non-refundable, others may allow a cash refund, while most will allow a refund in a form of a travel voucher that can be used towards future flights."
The family now wishes they would have gone in a different direction from the start.
"I would say, pay the little extra money and go through the airlines. There prices weren't that much more expensive the Flight Guru. I did look at both, so I would say go to the airlines, adds Mia Kreush.
Flight Guru did respond again to the Troubleshooters team. The representative says they will personally check on the pending case to see if there's anything else they can do in this situation.