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Family waits a year for $5,000 airline refund after their loved one passed away

Ram and ramamani venkatesan photo 2.jpg
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jun 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 07:06:34-04

BALTIMORE — A family is fighting for an airline refund after their loved one fell ill before the scheduled flight and passed away a short time after.

Ramamani Venkatesan and her husband, Ramaiah Venkatesan, were planning to travel overseas, but a month before the trip, he suffered a stroke.

The family notified British Airways of his passing and requested a refund of more than $5,000. The airline agreed, but more than a year later, they still haven't received their money and when they try calling the airline, they can't get through.

“We followed all the required communications with the agent and airline and they confirmed that the refunds will be given. Even after one year and repeated emails, we did not recover any refunds,” said Venkatesan.

Venkatesan's brother-in-law, Ram Mouli, booked the trip through a third-party. Normally, travelers are required to obtain refunds through the third-party, and that's what British Airways instructed them to do.

“They say go to the agent, when we call the agent they say COVID, our service is not operating, please wait. So, this is like dragging on,” Mouli said.

However, the third-party recently told Mouli it can no longer view the reservation in British Airway's system because it's been more than a year.

Mouli then contacted WMAR-2 News Mallory Sofastaii.

A spokesperson with British Airways sent Sofastaii the statement below:

“Our teams have issued a refund to the customer and are contacting them to apologise for the inconvenience.”

WMAR-2 News couldn't find any rule or regulation requiring airlines to issue refunds in the event of a death, however, most airlines state they will in their policies.

Passengers, or family members of deceased travelers, should reach out to the airline as soon as possible and provide any requested documentation.

If your issue isn't resolved, you can also file a complaint with the Department of Transportation or contact Mallory at Mallory@wmar.com.