Booking travel can be pricey — that’s why so many consumers have turned to third-party travel apps like Hopper to find the best deals for cheap airfare. But as the pandemic canceled many vacation plans — NBC 5 Responds has received several complaints from viewers who have had trouble getting their money back over confusion for who is responsible for the refund: the airline or travel app?
“I’m an avid traveler, mostly domestic. It’s nothing for me to book a trip and just go places,” said Jennifer Orona of Fort Worth.
Orona works in education which allows her the extra time to travel and take several trips a year. She gets two weeks at Christmas. one week at Thanksgiving, one week at spring break and usually three to four weeks in the summer.
And when Orona books a trip, she likes using the travel app Hopper.
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“I always tell people if you’re looking to travel use this website, they’re great,” she said.
In February, Orona booked a trip to Germany to visit her daughter and son-in-law. The trip was supposed to take off June 25 and return July 7, but as the pandemic began to shut down parts of the country, British Airways canceled the trip in April.
“I received an email saying that the flight was no longer accessible because of the pandemic. And I thought it’s not a big deal at that point, maybe I’ll just rebook,” Orona said.
Orona said she tried to contact both the airline and Hopper to see what her options were. Because the airline canceled the trip, she was eligible for a refund.
“I went to the Hopper website and there’s a Q&A session where it says if you have a question about rebooking, click here. So you click there and it says you must go to the airline to try to rebook,” Orona said.
After she hit a dead-end, she turned to NBC 5 Responds for help.
“I feel like I’ve exhausted every avenue on my end to try and get my money back or rebook,” Orona said.
NBC 5 Repsonds contacted Hopper and within a few hours a spokesperson emailed back to explain that Orona: “…had not previously opened a support request in the Hopper app. We regret if they had difficulty initiating this process, but all customer support inquiries must begin with the customer starting a conversation in the app… I’m pleased to share that the customer was able to receive a full refund for their cancelled flight.”
“After [NBC 5 Responds] reached out to Hopper they contacted me and they’re issuing a refund in the amount of $721.51. Without your help this was all money down the drain,” Orona said.
Since Hopper is a travel app, Orona said it was hard to figure out how to contact customer service as there was no phone number or email listed.
Hopper provided NBC 5 with more detailed instructions for how customers can cancel and redeem a refund through Hopper.
This information is also available on Hopper's Help Center for any customers who wish to cancel their flight in the app.
Canceling your flight in the app
If you need to request a cancellation for your flight with Hopper, simply tap on the booking you're inquiring about, and then select "Cancel My Trip" to submit a cancellation request. If you are having trouble finding this option in the app, make sure you have updated your app to the latest version. After reading through the terms, simply swipe from left to right to unlock and submit your cancellation request. Confirm that you have read the cancellation policy and swipe right on the yellow bar at the bottom to finalize the cancellation. You'll receive a confirmation email as soon as the cancellation has been processed. If a refund is eligible from the airline, we will issue this, otherwise, Hopper will provide the next best option. NBC 5 Responds is committed to researching your concerns and recovering your money. Our goal is to get your answers and, if possible, solutions and resolution. Call us at 844-5RESPND (844-573-7763) or fill out our Customer Complaint form.