My cancelled Airfrance ticket was refundable, but it took over 3 mths. and many phone calls to get SOME of it. They refused to send ANYTHING in writing! Now, they have retained almost twice the cancellation fee. Fortunately, honest person(s) at one of their offices told me (at the risk of being fired I now have reason to believe) what the US dollar figure should be, and how it is determined (200 EUR to USD at conversion rate on date of ticket issue--firm, always). When I phoned that office yesterday (09/12/08) to report the "error" of almost twice that being withheld, the person did not disagree that it was wrong, but was most displeased that i knew it was. She repeatedly asked what I knew, how i knew, and if I rec'd. anything in writing (of course not!), She would not confirm what I already knew. She would put a note in the file. Uhuh, that one is 3.5 mths of nothing. While I was always willing to pay the correct cancellation fee, and to allow AF to make the correction, I am no longer, for I believe there are companies without ethics and honest business practices, operating with the attitude that if you don't know, anything goes.
Here is the the positive I learned and want to share:
Pay with a major credit card that has a disputed charge service. Within 3 mths of the event (confirm this with company), they can reverse the transaction if it is warranted by the record you provide. Pending is a request to charge back the entire withheld amt. so AF has time to reflect/adjust/disclose/contact me for a change. Regardless of the result, I will send the record of all this to:
Christopher@Elliott.org, whose column as Travel Trouble Shooter appears in Miami Herald. he attempts to resolve issues. At the very least I want the world to know!!!
P.S. I dealt by phone with Airfrance offices in Montreal and in Miami--equally evasive and ineffectual.