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NBC10 Boston Responds Recoups Anniversary Airfare

John and Barbara Valutkevich booked a cruise around Italy last summer to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

“We bought roundtrip tickets on Alitalia Boston to Rome,” said John Valutkevich.“We bought premium economy because, being the size that I am, I need a little bit of legroom.”

But when they arrived at the airport, there was a problem.

“The young lady behind the counter said I’m very sorry, we’ve had to substitute an aircraft because of maintenance issues and this new aircraft has no accommodations for premium economy,” said John, “And, by the way, business class is sold out, so we can offer you economy class tickets.”

According to John, the agent told him he would be reimbursed for a portion of the cost of the flights, and gave him an email address to contact the airline. He says he immediately sent a refund request and headed off to enjoy Italy.

But, he says he didn’t get a response, and after the trip, he spent months trying to get his money back.

“It was extremely frustrating,” said John, ”there was no direct phone number provided. There was no way to call anyone other than ending up with a dead end with voicemail. I kept emailing, and no response whatsoever.”

That’s when he contacted NBC 10 Boston Responds for help.

“If you calculated the price of what we had paid for the tickets there was about a fifteen hundred dollar difference in what we paid for versus what we actually had gotten,” said John, “They had taken our money and hadn’t provided what we had paid for.”

We contacted Alitalia to see if we could get the situation resolved, and the airline reached out to the couple to let them know the refund was being processed.

“Here we are months later,” said John, “nobody from Alitalia bothered to contact me, however when NBC 10 and Leslie Gaydos became involved, all of a sudden, 24 hours, here comes a response saying oh yes, we know who you are. I was very pleasantly surprised.”

Alitalia declined to comment for this story. John received a check for $1456.00.

“Very happy, very happy indeed,” said John. “It was a successful conclusion.”

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