My wife and I want to fly to Great Britain in October 2007. We wish to use a credit granted us for a flight in October 2006 which we canceled after we originally purchased a ticket on July 8, 2006. We are being told by Expedia.com that Virgin Atlantic will not allow them to grant this request even though Virgin Atlantic has a stated policy of “Force Majeure” (circumstances unusual and unforeseeable and beyond control) on its website, and Expedia.com representative stated they have an “extenuating circumstances” policy. To both Expedia.com and Virgin Atlantic I explained that I had sustained an injury that made me unable to fly in October 2006 and that I should qualify under these policies respectively. I was told by the Expedia.com representative, who talked to a Virgin Atlantic representative, that I must have declared the circumstance upon cancellation, and if I had done so that I would have been granted an extension that would have allowed me to use my credit for travel in October 2007. Since I was declaring the circumstance now in June 2007, Expedia.com told me that I was ineligible for an extension of time to use my credit. I explained that I received no notice that it was a requirement I must declare the circumstances upon cancellation. Virgin Atlantic does not have any notice on its website saying that in order to grant an extension circumstances must be declared upon cancellation. The Expedia.com representative could not answer me when I asked where on the Expedia.com website could I find the written notice telling me that circumstances must be declared upon cancellation. Expedia.com representative told me that I should have received terms and conditions on the tickets I purchased from them online. I told her that I had not. She then told me that the agent handling the cancellation should have informed me of this policy. I said that he had not. How would he know to ask or inform me of this specifically? What he did tell me was merely that the credit was “valid” until July 8, 2007 which was why I acted before July 8, 2007 to make my reservations again. He did not tell me that I must travel before July 8, 2007, and he did not inform me that I must declare any special circumstances to obtain an extension. The Expedia.com ticket says with regard to fare rules and restrictions: “We are sorry, we were not able to retrieve all the fare rules applicable to your itinerary... We have not received rules or restriction information for this flight.”
If I had been informed of these rules, or if I had access to them on the websites, or if they were explained in my ticket that would have constituted adequate notice. But I was not. Had it been communicated I would have declared my intent to travel in October 2007 and given the circumstances that supported my request.
This represents the results of 4 weeks of both phone calls and email communications to the airline. I'm out 1500 bucks and I can't wait to go to small claims court.