Some travelers may never see a refund from airline amid coronavirus pandemic

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Six weeks later and a Houstonian is still trying to get a refund from Southwest Airlines for a trip she had planned with her sister.

"We were going to Vegas to celebrate her 40th birthday," Dee Wilson said.

Her sister was able to get her money back from a different airline but Wilson, on the other hand, had no luck.

"I thought airlines were acting in good faith and returning monies to people," she said.

Southwest Airlines said in an email:

"If a customer... cancel(s) a flight 10 minutes before its scheduled departure, the funds used to pay for a nonrefundable ticket are normally valid one year from purchase... if a flight is canceled by southwest...[customers] may receive travel funds for future use or may request a refund."

Needless to say, Wilson may not get her money.

"That's nearly $400 I could be using at this particular time," Wilson said.

Leah Wink, owner of Journey on Travel, has been working nonstop to get her clients their money back.

She said the difference between planning on your own or with an agency is the hassle in between should something like this happen.

"There are certain airlines that do make it a little bit more difficult," said Wink. "Travel advisors really have your back. We are your advocates."

Many of her clients are calling and itching to travel wondering if it's safe or if inexpensive flights are worth it right now.

"I'm very optimistically cautious, and I do tell them, 'Just please know that airlines are changing daily. Their policies are changing daily,'" she said.

At the moment, she advises her clients to wait and see what happens, but if they choose to book anyway, she said fly at your own risk.

You may not get a refund or the flight may not be what you expected.

"Don't just assume that these flights are going to be empty anymore. They are really not, because the load is so limited," Wink said.

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