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Thread: Insel refund refusal despite their schedule change

  1. #1
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    Default Insel refund refusal despite their schedule change

    In March made a reservation for a 6:35 PM flight at the end of June from Curacao to Bonaire,which gave plenty of time for a connection from my incoming international flight to Curacao. I just received notice from Insel that the flight departure time was moved 2 hours 15 minutes earlier to 4:20 PM, which is inadequate to make the connection. I called Insel to cancel and get a refund, but the agent claimed that the ticket is non-refundable, and the agent refused to refund the charge made with my credit card, even though it is due to a schedule change made by Insel. I am now working with my credit card company to get the refund. Last year Insel cancelled a paid reservation I had from Miami to Curacao (when they halted international flights) and refunded the charge right away when I called them.

    Please beware when doing business with Insel regarding possible schedule changes and flight cancellations and their current policy of no refunds.

  2. #2
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    Is the 5pm Dividivi Air departure from Curacao to Bonaire too early as well? Dividivi has been the only reliable air service between BON and CUR for many years.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response. The 5 PM would be very tight, especially if any delay; however, I now have a reservation on the 18:30 (6:30 PM) Divi Divi flight, which is essentially the same time as the cancelled Insel flight. My only concern is baggage and restrictions. I'm OK to pay for any added weight; more worried about getting it on the same flight with us.

  4. #4
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    Dividivi's last flight 7 days a week is 5pm according to the schedule on their website as of earlier today. That is Curacao to Bonaire.

  5. #5
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    wwguy is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Sorry to hear this. I can appreciate your frustration.

    I'm no fan of Insel and I refuse to fly them for the long list of reasons that's been discussed here and elsewhere in recent years. That said, as a longtime frequent business and recreational traveler I think your anger at them in this case is unjustified for several reasons:

    First, it appears that you booked your international and intra-island tickets separately with different airlines. If so, neither airline has any responsibility or obligation to accommodate changes or refunds based on schedule changes or cancellations made by other airlines.

    Secondly, all airline tickets include Conditions of Carriage (CoC) which defines the terms of the contractual agreement you and the airline enter into when you purchase a ticket. Like most other airlines Insel's CoC is clear that "Schedules are subject to change without notice. InselAir is not responsible for or liable for failure to make connections or to operate any flight according to schedule or for a change to the schedule of any flight. Under no circumstances shall InselAir be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages arising from the foregoing."

    Also like most other airlines, Insel does have a policy in place for accommodating schedule changes that exceed a certain time threshold. Specifically "If, after you purchase your Ticket, and within 48 hours the date of travel, InselAir changes the scheduled departure time by more than six hours and this is unacceptable to you and InselAir is unable to book you on an alternative flight, you may be entitled to a travel credit voucher, accommodation, or, upon application, a refund in accordance with Article 10.2." Common sense dictates that separate flights booked on separate tickets with separate carriers should have an initial connection window that exceeds this 6 hour window.

    Thirdly, it appears that you chose to purchase less expensive non-refundable "Economy" tickets. Insel's more expensive "Flexible" tickets permit free date/time/route changes and full refund less a $50 handling fee.

    While the specific details vary from airline to airline, and sometimes between domestic and international itineraries, the general practices are common in commercial aviation. Delta and United have similar policies which would have yielded similar results in a similar situation.

    I expect you'll get a similar reply from your credit card company after they look into this, but it's possible that Insel might yield to avoid the hassle. My primary reason for pointing all this out here is to help you understand why this is happening and to hopefully help you and others avoid risk of this happening again by making different decisions when booking on multiple carriers. I'm not trying to defend Insel's well-deserved poor reputation or rub salt in your current wound. I hope you're able to sort this out to your satisfaction.

  6. #6
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    In follow-up to my earlier notice about Insel trying to put us on a flight more than 2 hours earlier than the one that I booked for June 27 and then refusing to refund my fare when told that the earlier flight was not acceptable, I immediately disputed the charge with my credit card company (VISA) by phone, who initially sent me a statement that indicated my account would be temporarily credited with the amount (it appeared my next statement) and noted that if the airline did not respond adequately after 2 statements, the credit would stand. I just received notice from VISA that the credit would be final.

    Meanwhile, I had booked seats on Divi Divi at 6:30 PM June 27 (Yes there was such a flight; last one in summer beforesunset), which was right on time. In fact, the earlier Insel flight that Insel had tried to put us on was also cancelled.

    I had thoroughlyexplained the situation to VISA and also noted that the previous year, when Inselcancelled my flight from Miami to Curacao, Insel refunded the fare right away. Disputing your charge with your credit card provider is definitely worth a shot, if Insel cancels yourpaid, booked flight and tries to replace it with another unacceptable one. And Divi Divi is a great alternative if you are able to fit its schedule (daylight hours).
    Last edited by Tom T; 07-13-2018 at 06:10 PM. Reason: typos

  7. #7
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    It's a shame DiviDivi does not consider the AA flights into Cur when making their own schedule. The late AA flight arrives to late for a flight to Bon mandating an inconvenient overnight stay.

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