Omaha mother on quest for refunds of international airline tickets after cancellation

Published: Dec. 14, 2021 at 10:37 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - For two years an Omaha mother and daughter have been trying to visit family half a world away. First COVID put the trip on hold then the airline sprung a surprise.

Born in Norway, Wenche Sterling wanted to take her daughter there and reconnect with family after 14 years.

“I’d love to see them, I would love for the kids to reconnect and get to know each other a little better,” said Sterling.

Through Expedia, Wenche bought two round trip airline tickets to Oslo and back for about $2,500.

“And we bought travel insurance so we’d be on the safe side if something happens and that should guarantee us especially since the airline canceled our flight,” said Sterling.

But after receiving the flight cancellation notice in April, she says getting a refund has been a real trip.

“You keep calling asking the same questions and they give you the same answers and nothing is actually happening,” said Sterling.

Leaving Wenche without a $2,500 refund for nine months and counting. Traveling to Norway is no quick trip with several connections and airlines involved.

6 News contacted the principal carrier for these tickets Scandinavian Airlines and received a promise of a refund.

An airline spokesperson states the pandemic caused an unforeseen amount of refund requests on canceled flights and SAS is finally getting back to normal. She says the airline apologizes for the long refund time.

SAS has finalized payments to Wenche Sterling and the money will be transferred within about seven banking days.

“It took me I don’t know 14 or 15 phone calls and almost a year of trying to get the money back and it took you 24 hours so that’s pretty amazing,” said Sterling.

Wenche says she’ll start the processing of booking flights to Norway again once the refund from Scandinavian Airlines lands in her bank account.

The spokesperson for Scandinavian Airlines says a few refunds have taken longer because the transactions were more complex. Usually, those involve third parties like online travel services.

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