CAVE CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Mark Scaggs had been looking forward to a dream vacation to Bali with his wife Donna. "You know, we like scuba diving and we like snorkeling and it's a change of pace," Mark told 3 On Your Side.
So, back in 2019 the couple decided to take the trip of a lifetime. They booked two roundtrip tickets to a little island off of Bali, using United Airlines. "Yeah, it's one of those things that you see on TV," he said. "A once-in-a-lifetime vacation channel or something like that."
The couple paid $9,797 for the airfare. But when March 2020 arrived, COVID-19 shut down everything and the couple called United Airlines to rebook their vacation for August. "The general consensus was it was going to warm up and COVID-19 would go away so we said let's go at the end of summer just to be one the safe side. So we booked it for August."
But August 2020 came, and the country was still in the middle of the pandemic. So, Mark and Donna rescheduled their $10,000 United tickets for September of this year. However, their upcoming trip was recently cancelled. Not by them but by United Airlines. "And it just said that your trip has been cancelled. We have an email that basically says we have no other way to get you there and your flight is cancelled," Mark said.
Turns out, United Airlines terminated its routes to Bali, meaning they just don't fly there any more.
Mark and Donna say they were disappointed, but thought at least they'd get their $10,000 refunded. "The United Airlines agent went through the entire itinerary and said we can now get a credit on our credit card. She brought up the credit card number." Rick said. "You thought you were getting your money back?" 3 On Your Side's Gary Harper asked. "Yes, she said we were," he replied.
But that refund never came. Why? Well, when Mark and Donna rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions, United Airlines had converted their tickets into vouchers for future travel, and United says it does not give refunds for vouchers.
So, the couple contacted 3 On Your Side to hopefully get their 10 grand back. "Hopefully you can work your magic and get somebody there with some logic to say these people paid. You cancelled; you owe them the money back."
3 On Your Side has contacted United Airlines, which says they are looking into the issue.
When the airline makes a decision on whether to return the $10,000, I'll let you know in a follow-up report.