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If Air France’s strikes aren’t enough already, they have one more against them from me. A couple weeks ago I was about to embark on a trip to northern Europe with two of my kids when we had to call it off. I was able to easily cancel their tickets, but since mine was booked with Merrill Lynch points through their travel portal, I knew it would take a bit more finagling to figure things out. The Delta rep I spoke with said she couldn’t do anything.

The most I could do was hurriedly fill out a refund request form at Air France’s website before hurriedly packing up and heading home. I was hoping I would get some sort of credit. Never having really had to cancel a plane ticket (I’ve canceled lots within the 24-hour hold window) meant I am pretty unfamiliar with ticket rules and policies. All I could do was hope.

I didn’t call to speak with Delta

Given that we were literally supposed to fly out that day, it was silly for me to expect an immediate response. I figured I’d hear back within a few days. Well…the week went by, and I never heard anything. Then another. Finally, I get a notification from my Delta app to check in for my KLM flight home. Confusing? Yes. I figured the whole thing would have been canceled???

So I called the Air France number, slogged through the phone menu, and then got a Delta agent. Because that totally makes sense. I guess if the whole airline is striking, someone has to pick up the slack for them.

After an initial discussion regarding my plight, a hold, some more discussion, and another longer hold, the agent finally came back and said, yes, my ticket could be cancelled and all the funds were usable toward the purchase of another within a year of when I initially purchased it (yay!). I asked about the previous cancellation request, and after another hold, the agent said she couldn’t find any record of it. Whatever. Now I don’t really care anymore.

In the end I wondered what the first agent was seeing when she said she couldn’t cancel the ticket since it was booked through a travel agent. Technically, the UR-booked tickets for my kids had been, too, but I knew they were somehow also held by Delta, since we were given all Delta flight numbers instead of Air France or KLM numbers. I didn’t know what the deal was with my own ticket.

Late to the game

A few days later I unexpectedly got an email from Air France saying they had received my service request and that they couldn’t do anything.

a screenshot of a email

Except wait…it came from Delta. But then it is signed by Rich at Air France! I’m so confused.

No matter who you are, you’d better regret the delay. We’re at day 18. Can you even intervene at all? We’re just a little bit past departure now.


While I will freely admit that I really didn’t know what I was doing on this one (or who was really responsible for my ticket at less than T-24), the outcome was at least reasonable and better than I had hoped. I’m not sure what Merrill Lynch would have done, but my hunch the whole time was that it would have been a bunch of nothing for a nonrefundable ticket.

Moral of the story: don’t rely on Air France to do anything in a timely manner. Pick up the phone and cal Delta. ‘Cause even if you call Air France, you’ll still get Delta.

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