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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 116716
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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We had planned a family vacation to Puerto Rico And purchased

Customer Question

We had planned a family vacation to Puerto Rico And purchased the tickets through United airlines March 30th...this includes my two little ones (5&3) and my mother...due to Zika virus outbreak that has badly hit the island, of course we no longer want to go...I have contacted the airline and they tell me since my ticket was not purchased prior to February 29th, there is nothing they can do...even though news of the virus continues to worsen, they are not helping! I have not asked for a refund either, just a credit to use for another destination or to reroute our I even have a case or any recourse?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, until they issue an actual official government/state department warning or a warning issued AFTER you booked the flight, the airline is not legally obligated to give a credit or a refund on the flights. Had you booked the flight before the Zika warning was issued, then that change in status would make the airlines liable to either change the flight, giving you credit to fly elsewhere, or refunding your ticket.
So, I am afraid if you booked the trip after the warning was issued, they do not have to grant you a refund or credit and can charge you a change fee to change the reservation. You can ask for a supervisor though, since many airlines do try to make the customers happy and may allow you a reduced change fee to change the reservation to somewhere else.

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