Turn to Tara helps family get refund after being bumped from flight
One Long Island family just became a cautionary tale about booking a vacation and using low-cost airlines - and thanks to Turn To Tara, they secured a full refund.
After two years without a vacation, Breanna Gifford said she could barely wait to board a Florida-bound flight over spring break with her husband, her 6-year-old and her 3-year-old twins.
Instead of booking with a traditional airline, the budget-conscious Cold Spring Harbor mom hoped to save a few dollars flying with a no-frills carrier.
"The flights obviously were super expensive, and so we were like let's book on Frontier Airlines," said Gifford.
Over $2,000 and two months later, the Gifford family was in South Florida soaking up the sunshine and enjoying Instagram-worthy memories - until they had to fly back home to New York.
"The guy says to us like, 'Sorry. This flight is oversold.' How can you tell me we don't have a seat on the plane? And he's like, 'Because we oversell flights and if you don't pay for the seat, you're not guaranteed a seat,'" says Gifford.
After waiting six hours, the Gifford family got bumped and wound up shelling out $6,000 the next day to take a flight home on another airline.
"We were there with our kids- they were losing their minds," she says.
Gifford said the airline promised her a full refund but quickly changed its story a few weeks after the trip.
"And then he started giving me a runaround. So, then I sort of lost my mind last week when I realized he wasn't responding to me," she says.
That's when she decided to Turn to Tara.
"Because I've seen you before and I was like, "I feel like she's going to be able to help." I was like, 'I think it's the only way that I'm going to [get] help here,'" says Gifford.
The Turn to Tara team not only stepped in to help secure the Gifford family a full refund but found out what your rights are if you get bumped from your next flight.
Records the team obtained from the U.S. Department of Transportation for last month reveal that Frontier Airlines had the highest number of bumped passengers in the entire country - leaving a staggering 887 travelers stranded nationwide.
Other well-known budget carriers rounded out the top 10 offenders.
Frontier Airlines refused to answer Tara Rosenblum's questions about its track record, but it did say that the Gifford family would be fully reimbursed, which is what ultimately happened just a few days later.
So, what should you know if your denied boarding on your next flight?
-If you have a confirmed reservation and arrived at the gate on time, you are eligible for compensation.
-You're also owed credit - typically 200% of a one-way fare - if the airline can't get you to your destination within an hour of your flight's original arrival time.
When passengers are not entitled to a refund:
- Safety issues wouldn't be entitled to a refund, including weight and balance issues on the plane.
-If your charter flight or plane is carrying less than 30 travelers, you also won't qualify or if you are taking off from an overseas airport.
If you're experiencing issues with budget carriers in the tri-state, Tara Rosenblum wants to hear from you.