Q: This spring, I traveled with a friend from La Paz, Mexico, to Copper Canyon, Mexico. We split the costs, but I paid for her to return on TAR Aerolineas to La Paz from Chihuahua, Mexico, while I returned to the U.S. on American Airlines.
My friend received an email that TAR was canceling that route and was offered the choice of a credit for double the amount for a different ticket on its airline or a refund and 25 percent of the purchase price, plus a voucher for 1,500 Mexican pesos toward one of its future flights.
I chose the refund and asked that it be credited to the debit card I used to purchase the flight. TAR answered that it had to be refunded to a Mexican bank account. I did not have that information with me.
When I returned home, I sent TAR all my bank information and a note that it cost me 2,999 Mexican pesos for a new reservation, plus an additional night at the hotel for my friend. I requested that the 2,999 pesos be deposited. This never happened. I emailed TAR again with all the information and again, nothing — not even a response to any of my emails. Can you help? — Michael Fried, Marlton, New Jersey
A: Normally, when an airline cancels a route, it will offer a full refund. You’re on your own after that. TAR was generous to offer to double your flight credit or a refund plus a discount, plus a credit. That wouldn’t fly in the States.
Instead, you appear to be asking TAR to pay for a new flight and a hotel reservation. Airlines rarely compensate customers in that way, unless you have a prior written agreement — and even then, I’ve seen them try to weasel out of it.
I think you simply misunderstood the offer. Even if that was the case, TAR should have taken the time to clearly reiterate its offer instead of ignoring you.
I contacted TAR on your behalf. Within a few hours, you had a promise of a ticket refund as well as the 25 percent discount. But after a week, no refund had materialized in your account, so I reached out to the airline again. This time it sent the money, as promised.