The Amodeos family of Southbridge, Massachusetts, planned to spend a week in Hawaii last May.
"We were looking forward to a lot of beach time," said Lee Amodeo. "But the pandemic took hold, and it was pretty obvious this thing wasn't going to happen."
Amodeo says his wife had booked the trip through the travel app Hopper.
After Hawaii's governor announced a 14-day quarantine restriction, he says they received an April email from Hopper notifying them that Hawaiian Airlines had canceled their flights. They put in for a refund, and Hopper said it was working with the airline and hoped to be back in touch within 90 business days.
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Amodeo says they never got an update and spent months trying to get reimbursed.
"It would be an email, and waiting for a response, and an email, waiting for a response, and then finally, 'Don't call us, we'll call you,'" he said. "I don't know if they were just overwhelmed, but we hadn't heard anything for a good period of time."
Amodeo says that's when his wife decided to contact NBC10 Boston Responds.
"She said, 'You know, I'm calling NBC, I'm going to contact Leslie Gaydos and get her investigative team involved," Amodeo recalled.
NBC10 Boston contacted Hopper and heard from them the next day. The company said it was in touch with the Amodeos and offered them a total refund of $1,115.60.
The company tells us in addition to the airfares, "Hopper issued a refund for the ancillaries purchased at the time of booking, which included insurance, refundable ticket plan, missed connection plan and Hopper tip. Those fees were originally non-refundable however, as a courtesy, Hopper refunded the full amount."
"I no sooner checked the bank account and the money was in the account," Amodeo said. "The experience with NBC was absolutely wonderful, I was happy to have it over with, absolutely. Would not want to go through that again."
It is wise to compare prices and read the fine print carefully before booking through a third-party travel site. If you need to make changes to your reservation, the fee may be less expensive if you booked directly with the hotel or airline. And, if the airline cancels your flight, you likely get refunded faster if you booked directly.
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