Off topic: Outrage over lack of refunds

I labeled this off topic but it’s related to our debate on the wisdom of Airbnb’s refund policy.

I am one of those folks who has about $800 tied up in concert and touring Broadway performances. I haven’t gotten refunds and the performances are up in the air. Once performance, the touring Les Miserables is moved to next June 2021. I won’t be renewing my subscription for the Broadway in El Paso if they have it until there is a vaccine. I won’t be going to any crowded events. I typically spend $3000 a year on the kind of large gatherings that I won’t be attending. How many Americans share my philosophy on this. And even if we thought it was safe, how many will feel they don’t have the extra money now to spend.

Reopening the economy isn’t really in the hands of any president, governor or protestor. Too many people aren’t seeing the forest for the trees.

"Ticketmaster has sparked outrage this week for [reportedly updating its policy] to deny consumers refunds for postponed or rescheduled events.

Theater, sports and music fans voiced their outrage on Twitter."


I had to cancel some travel due to an event being cancelled. So I have a credit with alaska airlines, I would rather have that money in my bank account because it will likely expire before I am willing to get on a plane again. It’s only a couple hundred dollars but still. Hopefully they will not let it expire.

We have about half of that tied up in the same things- $400ish. I guess we’re lucky that we didn’t have a larger entertainment budget.

There is a bit of it that we’ll be able to write off as a tax deduction. One of the theatres is allowing a donation of the tickets back to them and so it will be a charitable deduction. We took that option. Whether or not we make it to the theatre any time soon, I know that it’s important that they survive and it will help them pay their artists and staff in the meantime. It’s possible that some of your tickets have a tax-deductible option or portion as well - depending on what venues they’re at (it’s worth checking on at least).

You can file it under “unpopular opinions” if you want, but I think people should take responsibility for the agreements that they make and I hold myself to that standard as well. Sure, it isn’t my fault that I can’t go but it also isn’t their fault that I can’t go. Ultimately, I’m satisfied with sticking to the no-refunds policy that is typical of live entertainment and that I agreed to when I bought the tickets. I’ve missed concerts for lesser reasons and I know that no-refunds is just part of the deal. It’s all an unfortunate situation but I don’t expect that exceptions be made to the original policies.

I think it’s odd that trip insurance and ticket insurance (and other insurances too) specifically exclude a pandemic in their coverage but that it’s somehow expected for others (who aren’t even in the insurance business) to cover a pandemic - even though the actual experts in insurance have effectively said, “oh no, that won’t work, it’s too much at once”.


Funny, I do too! It’s only $180 for me, not too bad. However, I had another more expensive trip with JetBlue but I had paid for the even more expensive option of a refundable ticket and had no trouble getting that back. My husband was glad that I had though I don’t usually tell him when I do that (he’s a buy the cheapest type).

I imagine that refundable tickets will become even more expensive now. It should be interesting to see the effects of these issues down the line. I can see the “pandemic insurance” explosion already. It will be a new type of gambling between those who think it won’t happen for another hundred years or so and those who think it’s the new normal.

Our home owners insurance company has already sent a large envelope of new and special offers - I haven’t looked through them but the timing is definitely interesting. The car insurance we have is based on not just how we drive but how much we drive (tracked automatically) so we only paid $58 this month as opposed to $93 the month before. I would guess things like this will become more popular as well. And perhaps Airbnb (and the like) will even come up with new and different cancellation policies, ultimately integrating a type of trip insurance. Who knows, but the effects should be interesting at least.

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Same with me. I have flight credits for two different airlines. I do suspect though that they will probably extend the expiration date.

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With the airline tickets, I got lucky by just waiting it out and not cancelling first. My wife and I bought tickets for my sister and my wife’s sister to visit us for my oldest son’s high school graduation in late May. The graduation was cancelled 4 weeks ago, but we didn’t cancel the airline tickets right away. We got e-mails from both Southwest Airlines and British Airways last week saying the flights were cancelled and the trips were re-booked on different flights. However, since they were not departing or arriving at anything close to the original times, we had the option to cancel for a full refund.

Argh, I do too and it’s driving me nuts. I think we have a totally of 4-5 shows (both in Austin and 1 in Houston). Some have been rescheduled for a future date in September but the others are still TBD. The frustrating part about it is that I’m due with our first at the end of July which means anything past that is unknown (in other circumstances, I wouldn’t have been anything beyond my due date). If airlines are supposed to refund if a flight is cancelled, it seems that ticketing agencies should do the same. I can’t imagine they can keep our money indefinitely? I’ve thought about contacting the credit card company to see if there’s anything they can do. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of reselling tickets.

Me too! I was waiting because our travel wasn’t until next weekend and Memorial Day weekend and after getting numerous “your flights have been changed” emails I finally called to cancel. Similarly, instead of direct flights to LA and Seattle, we were being routed through SLC for both and I think getting in a full 12-14 hours later and/or having to leave 8-9 hours earlier so they were able to just refund us.

Yeah, that was the case with the tickets I bought, too. We had paid higher fares for shorter travel times. My sister was supposed to take a 2hr 30min direct flight from Kansas City to Phoenix. But the changed flight had stops in Charlotte and Dallas with a total travel time of over 8 hours. My sister-in-law’s flight from Stuttgart to Phoenix originally had one stop in London with travel time of 12 hrs, but the changed flights had one more stop in Europe and one more in the US with a total travel time of over 19 hrs. I understand, though. The airlines have had to cancel a lot of flights just to stay afloat. I had a similar experience after 9/11.

I think we are all in the same boat. I have $400 of event tickets and $250 of airline credits that are at risk of never being used.

$150 of the event tickets is for a local theatre group. If those never get used the money went to support a good cause.

I hope to be able to use the other tickets event tickets (rescheduled to November) but time will tell.

I hope the airline stays in business so I have some kind of chance to using the tickets.

So many have lost more than tickets…

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LOL. About $300 of that is other folks tickets. I often buy and then they pay me back later but under the circumstances I’m not asking anyone to pay. But yeah, I spend a lot of my discretionary budget on such things. This coming year was actually a down year due to a lot of spending over the past year. So, lucky in a way.

I no longer have enough to itemize to qualify for charitable deductions.

Speaking for myself, not all the angry people mentioned in the article:

I give refunds to 90% of the guests who don’t stay because my “unpopular opinion” is that I shouldn’t charge for a service I didn’t render. Now others are not going to be rendering a service and I would like to not pay for the performance I didn’t see. The performers in the touring Broadway productions and living hand to mouth but Rage Against the Machine and Alicia Keys don’t need my charity. RATM actually had pledged to give the proceeds of the El Paso show to local pro immigrant groups and I’m 100% cool with that. But as it stands only Ticketmaster has the money and they have neither donated it nor refunded it. I’m also more or less cool with shows being rescheduled for months from now. However, a major point I was trying to make is that for many folks that extra money could be used to live in the meantime.

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Oh wow! Ya the call center person even laughed when she was helping me cancel [at how different the flights were].

Absolutely correct. And I still don’t think we’ve peaked.

I would like to repeat here that I’m not one who thinks things should reopen or is primarily outraged by lack of refunds. I am one who thinks Airbnb did the best thing they could in a bad situation and that we are going to have a bad recession regardless of when we do the thing people are calling “re-opening.”


You can actually deduct $300 in charitable contributions above the line in 2020 - it’s only for folks who don’t itemize. It’s part of the CARES tax provisions, so just good to know.

That is good to know. I’ve already met that deductible for this year. I also expect other changes in the tax law in the coming months. I changed my withholding in mid March so that it’s dramatically reduced but missed the cutoff for my March check. Between tax relief and dramatically lower income this year I don’t expect to owe much for 2020 and I don’t want to wait on a refund.

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Lol. What are you gonna do with the extra money? Stock market? Concerts? Travel ? :wink:

None to the stock market. None to concerts either until there is a vaccine/treatment/herd immunity, at least not for another year or so? So that leaves travel. My next plan is to knock ND off my list of “visit all 50 states.”

Thanks for asking.

Oh, and remodeling my house.

I think you know I was being facetious about those other things :wink:

That’s awesome!!! I know you’ve been planning for that for awhile. It’s a great time to nest! Have a good time with it :upside_down_face:

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