See more of the story

Q: Last year, I bought two round-trip flights from Amman, Jordan, to Tel Aviv, Israel, through The tickets on Royal Jordanian Airlines were refundable. In November, I called to cancel my tickets. A representative said I would get my money back — minus a cancellation fee of about $16 — in about two weeks.

Two weeks later, there was no sign of the money. I called Royal Jordanian Airlines, and they referred me back to I called back and reached out to someone on the "advanced" support team. A representative promised to call me back within 72 hours, but I never heard from anyone.

I called a month later and another representative gave me a different reference number to contact their customer service by phone. But it failed to get me access to Without the correct number, you can't even gain access to an agent.

The website showed my tickets as "canceled" with a refund due of $16. But I paid $589 for them. Can you help me get my money back?

A: You should have had your refund months ago. So, what's going on?

My first clue was the refund status from It suggested that you were only due a $16 refund — what appears to be a cancellation fee. I thought you had misread the terms of your ticket and that it was nonrefundable.

But then you showed me the ticket, and indeed, it was refundable.

I've seen this before. I call it "the crisis refund problem." When there's a big incident that triggers a wave of cancellations — 9/11, a pandemic or an armed conflict — an airline will get overwhelmed with cancellation and refund requests. These delays can be extended for months or even years. Your delays appear to have been caused by the conflict in the Middle East.

The Jordanian Civil Aviation Authority has consumer protection provisions that are similar to Europe's, but I could find no requirement stating that the airline needs to issue a refund within a certain amount of time. It's up to you to keep the pressure on the airline and its travel agent,

Even with a deluge of cancellations, Royal Jordanian should have been able to process your refund. And even if it didn't, you were doing business with, so it should have stepped up and returned your money.

My advocacy team contacted on your behalf. A representative got back to me and said that it had processed a refund. "The funds should appear in the customer's account within three to five business days," she added. And sure enough, they did.

Christopher Elliott is the founder of Elliott Advocacy, a nonprofit organization that helps consumers. Contact him at or