JetBlue owes me $71 for my Uber ride to the airport. Why won’t it pay?
When JetBlue cancels Amy Ohman’s flight to Boston, it agrees to pay for her Uber ride to the airport. Then the airline cancels her flight again. This time, it refuses to reimburse her. Is there a way to get JetBlue to refund her $71 fare?
My husband and I were scheduled to fly from Boston Logan Airport to Palm Beach, Fla., recently. We took an Uber to the airport and while we were in the car on the Mass Pike about halfway into our trip, we received an email from JetBlue canceling our flight and rebooking us the next day.
When we arrived at the airport, we went directly to the help desk. They confirmed our rebooking, apologized for the inconvenience and arranged transportation for us to get home and to return to the airport. So our out-of-pocket Uber cost for transportation to Logan airport became, in effect, our cost to return to the airport the next day.
The next day, JetBlue canceled our flight again, also while we were in our Uber on our way to the airport. We went to the help desk, where a representative told us that they could not rebook us on any other flights. We had to cancel our trip entirely. JetBlue paid for our ride back home.
But we are still out the cost of the original Uber that we took for our vacation to nowhere. JetBlue will not accept our receipt for the ride to the airport. Can you help me get our $71 fare refunded? — Amy Ohman, Boston
JetBlue is not liable for your transportation costs to and from the airport under its contract of carriage, the legal agreement between you and the airline. But since the airline acknowledged responsibility for the cancellation and covered both trips home, I think it should, for consistency’s sake, refund your original ride to the airport.
So why didn’t it?
I reviewed the paper trail between you and JetBlue. It looks like the airline agreed to refund your ticket and a voucher for your ride home. But it would not compensate you for the Uber ride, noting that, “We do not accept receipts with information that do not match the affected date on the claim.” But your dates did match.
Like most other companies, airlines don’t want to pay questionable claims. So it looks like JetBlue needed more documentation before reimbursing you. If it had only bothered to read your email, then you’d have your refund by now. I list the names, numbers and emails of JetBlue’s customer service managers on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott.org. I recommended that you reach out to them, and you did. You provided the airline with the information needed to process your claim, and it did. You received the requested refund.
Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to solve their problems and helps those who can’t. He’s the author of numerous books on consumer advocacy and writes weekly columns for King Features Syndicate, USA Today, Forbes and the Washington Post. He also publishes Elliott Confidential, a critically acclaimed newsletter about customer service. If you have a consumer problem you can’t solve, contact him directly through his advocacy website. You can also follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or sign up for his daily newsletter.