Mexicana Refund Process Fails Passengers. What To Do Now

Written By: jeff

Posted On: August 30th, 2010

mexicana refund process and information, mexicana bankruptcy and suspension of flights

Mexicana's Refund Page

Well, the level of activity on this site related to my posts (Mexicana Bankruptcy Lost in Translation and Mexicana Suspends and Cancels All Flights, Scramble For Refund Begins) tells me that people all over the world are scrambling and unhappy with the way Mexicana is handling its refund process.  I’ve been troubleshooting my own case and I will continue to post about my progress and pass along any other tips to help other passengers.

What is clear to me is that Mexicana hastily through up a website intake system to handle refund requests.  In theory, they should be getting kudos for that.  It went up timely and the form was easy enough to complete.  However, it is clear that no one though through the whole process end to end. Because if they would have, they would have included a simple confirmation email to the process to let us know that

  1. The request was received, and
  2. What the next steps are for receiving the refund, and
  3. Who are the points of contact for further information

By not including steps 2 and 3, I conclude that this happened so fast that Mexicana doesn’t know. Or, if they know, to minimize their financial liability to customers, they aren’t telling.  My bottom line is that we should all hope for the best but expect the worst. The speed alone with which Mexicana went from being in bankruptcy to ceasing operations tells me that this isn’t going to end well. At a minimum it’s going to get worse before it gets better for all of us.

What To Do Now

Based on my experience and what I’ve seen from others’ experience, here are my recommendations.

  1. Apply for the refund online if you haven’t already by clicking here. I’m going to assume that the payback process (assuming one exitsts) will be first come-first serve.  The first weekend has already passed since operations ceased. What are you waiting for?
  2. Call your credit card company immediately.  I just got off the phone with my bank. For the first time, I felt like there might be hope for me.  My ticket, Bogota-San Antonio-Bogota, cost $568USD.  And, I’d like it back if I can get it.  I was passed to a specialist who put an immediate hold on the transaction and put it into dispute. To complete the dispute in my favor, let me repeat, in MY favor, they asked that I fax the disputess the following information.
  • The flight date
  • The charge amount
  • What I did to work with Mexicana (in other words tell them that I completed the online refund request)
  • The date I interacted with Mexicana

Your credit card company may have different requirements, so get on the phone now and find out what they are.

Finally, if you paid in cash or with your debit card, you probably have fewer options. I heard from one reader today that he used his bank card which doesn’t have the same protections that a credit card does.  I am truly sorry for him.  Of course, none of us would be in this situation if we had purchased flight insurance, something I never do.  I may have to rethink that.

Good luck to you all. I will keep you posted. Let me know below what is happening in your situation and what you are being told by the airline and your credit card companies.

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41 Responses to “Mexicana Refund Process Fails Passengers. What To Do Now”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Jung, Jeff Jung. Jeff Jung said: NEW: #Mexicana Refund Process Fails Passengers. What to Do Now #airlines #travel http://budurl.com/sxmj [...]

  2. Michaelo says:

    Buying flight insurance does not always help. We bought tickets for our sons to fly from Chicago to PV this Thanksgiving on the cheaptickets.com website. As part of that transaction, we purchased for $50, travel insurance through AccessAmerica. When I called AccessAmerica, their rep laughed (yes, laughed) at me and told me that their policy does not cover the financial default of this carrier. The list of carriers they do cover is too short to be of any benefit to anyone.

    We will be looking for Credit Card COmpany protection.

  3. L Adams says:

    Actually, the refund process does indeed work. Via their website I applied for a refund of 2xLondon/Mexico/Guatemala and Cancun/Mexico/London tickets costing nearly US$3,000 (it was meant to be a trip of a lifetime). Although I only applied for the refund just over a week ago, I found that Mexicana had refunded the full amount on 27th Aug. This might have been processed quickly as I kept on at them to acknowledge my request – for, as mentioned above, I wasn’t sure if the request had even been received. I therefore sent additional e-mails to refunds@mexicana.com, offline@mexicana.com.mx, customerservicemx@mexicana.com.mx – each e-mail getting three or four e-mails from me on the subject. I also applied for a refund from American Express, who would have also been pursuing Mexicana. Maybe they simply wanted to get me off their back – but they processed the refund in record time. Luckily I hadn’t gone firm on the land package – so we cancelled that as well and have now used that deposit on a trip to Egypt – so that will now be our trip of a lifetime instead!

  4. jeff says:

    @L. That is great news to hear! Thank you for sharing with all of us. I will definitely be watching my statement closely to see how mine plays out. My point is that the fact that we are having to pursue multiple channels to get this resolved means that it isn’t very customer friendly. But, good to know that with a lot of persistence, you can get your money back! Have a great time in Egypt. Don’t miss Luxor!

  5. Maria says:

    L Adams,
    thanks for sharing your experience; guess it gave all of us hope. I have a question, what was the date of your ticket? I had tickets for oct 5, and they’re telling me my tickets are not eligible for a refund because the departure date is after sep. 15, something that they never told me before. I already got tickets with AA, and also submitted my request for a refund… but I’m afraid I might not get any money back.

  6. L Adams says:

    Hi Maria,
    My tickets were dated 20 Nov outward and 4 Dec return, so I too wasn’t holding out much hope of getting a refund and Amex said that as Mexicana were officially “still trading”, then they couldn’t refund me as they weren’t bankrupt. In other words a Catch 22 situation. Whenever I called Mexicana, they said the flights were still confirmed, to which I said that if they are definitely confirmed then I have the right to cancel (luckily I had refundable tickets). So basically if your flights are confirmed just cancel them and get a refund, or if they say flights are cancelled and they can’t rebook then you are entitled to a refund anyway. I just called their bluff and they gave in. I think you just need to bug them until they get fed up with you. My advice – don’t give up and make a nuisance of yourself!

  7. Lindsay says:

    Hey All,

    I’m scheduled to leave in less than two weeks with Mexicana. I have filed a refund request through their website and through Priceline where we bought our tickets. Our next move is to call our credit card company and email all of those contacts previously listed. I also have been trying to call Mexicana but can’t get them to answer the phone. Has anyone else had this problem or have an alternate number to call other than the ones listed on the website? If we can’t get this money back we’ll have to cancel our trip and airline prices are obviously going up as our trip is so soon. I feel trapped and a little hopeless. Hopefully we hear soon. I’ll keep badgering them and being annoying until we do! Thanks!

  8. Adriana says:

    I’ve never heard a company that is going through the bankruptcy process issue refunds, as they don’t have money to return? We the passengers will be the last get get paid out, if there is any money left after the employees, creditors etc get paid. They are not authorizing ANY refunds. Your best chances is go through your credit card. Chase did it for me in 24 hours. Good luck, and don’t believe everything you read.

  9. L Adams says:

    Hi Adriana – well, I definitely have the refund directly from Mexicana (i.e. NOT as a credit from the credit card company) – it sitting there as a credit in my Amex account

  10. Petrina says:

    My travel agent called me today to tell me what happened. She indicated that we would not get our money back. Apparently she had called Mexicana and they told her that they were bankrupt and that was that. No mention of refunds. So I was surprised to find the Mexicana website offering refunds. However the form says that my travel agent has to request the refund. I don’t hold much hope. The thing is that the original flights cost about $1400 Australian dollars and the flights I had to purchase today to replace them cost $1788. I’m a loser either way. Of course the travel agent could rub it in my face because I bought different insurance to the one they were offering which would have covered bankruptsy. :(

  11. Jennifer says:

    I have tickets for the beginning of Oct. and paid with a credit card. I filled out the refund form and then called my credit card company – MasterCard. They told me that #1. You have to fill out the refund form, (the person I spoke to said that the airline has been crediting people back their money) and #2. If Mexicana hasn’t responded (with a credit) within 30 days the credit card company will give you the money back. It is a service you’ve paid for with credit but haven’t received… the credit card company has no choice but to refund the money. That’s what I understood from the conversation I had. Good luck everyone!

  12. Sam says:

    I had the same experience – applied for the refund online and did not receive any confirmation. I would have felt more comfortable if I would have gotten an email saying “we have received your request”. So, I followed other people’s advice. Called Chase Bank’s claims department. Within an HOUR I’d received my $493 back, labeled “credit for debit dispute”. Dang. So, my advice – call your credit card or bank! Good luck all.

  13. Lindsay says:

    Yes, we called our credit card company (also Chase) and they indicated they would give us a refund but only after our departure date so they could verify we didn’t recieve anything in return for our purchase. We were supposed to fly out September 14th so on September 15th we will get our money back…hopefully. That’s what we’re told anyway. So yes! Call your credit card company!!

  14. shelley says:

    I actually do purchase the insurance and did this time as well. My response from them is they have no record of my policy #. I have to follow up by phone, but it doesn’t seem to help so far to have purchased it.

  15. Q Martin says:

    We purchased 6 tickets from Montreal to Cancun departing Feb 26th. We have filled out the forms and called our credit card company. (Visa) We were told that Mexicana hasn’t gone bankrupt yet. They have only filed for protection and are working to resume flights. So they can not do anything for us. If they do resume flights by that time they will honor our tickets and we will not get a refund. But what go is honoring the flight if they have already forced me to cancel my hotel (so I don’t lose that money too) Personaly I feel like I am being held hostage by Mexicana. I just want my money back so I can book another vacation for my family. Is anybody else in the same boat as we are? And if so.. What are you doing to get your refund?

  16. Rob says:

    I have spoken with a Mexicana rep. twice and get the same story. If my money is refunded before they “hopefully” start flying again then I get my money. But if they do return to the air then we will fly on our original departure dates in Jan.
    In the meantime I would love the money back so I can rebook to GDL with another carrier but I don’t want to take the chance of having 2 sets on non-refundable tickets.
    My credit card company (CitiBank) says that until the original departure date comes and goes I cannot file a dispute since Mexicana may still provide the service that has been paid for but if they fail then my request will be granted.
    Rock meet hardplace….hardplace, rock.

  17. Brenda says:

    Yes same here, we have 2 flights, one on Dec 31 and the other on Jan 31. We are told that we have to check to see ( 7 days before hand) if the flights are going. If they do not then Mexicana has 30 days to give a refund (according to our credit card company) and then we are to get in touch with them( our credit company) and they should handle it. Personally I hope that they do get up and running. I have always had a pleasant flight with mexicana and the flights that we have purchased are perfect. If they do not then we will have to rent a car ( if there is no other flights) because taking the bus would end up dropping us off in the wee hours of the morning in a strange place. That’s to dangerous. We do have a place booked but at 300 a night that’s a little expensive to spend the night in a bus. lol Anyway here’s to hoping everything works out for everyone.

  18. D. B. says:

    Careful with “credit for debit dispute” from credit card companies, this basically means that the bank has started a dispute process on your behalf with the company for services not render (comany did not provide the services you paid them for) but it does not mean that you have won that dispute just yet. They will provide with what they call a “temporary credit” so that you are not paying interest (if you keep a balance on you card) for something that you are not getting the services for. The dispute process could take up to a year to be solved and if for some reason the bank losses that dispute the credit will be debited from your credit card. Not to be negative but I thought people should be aware of disputes process. I’m as well in the same boat with tickets pruchase for December 17th and no resolution as I pay them cash (not very smart move).

  19. M.H. says:

    what a pickle! thank you for starting this thread! also in the same boat, and when i went to fill out mexicana’s refund request form, i had no “e ticket” number- scoured my reservation confirmation email, and the info i printed from the mexicana website (back when it was up and running) and couldn’t find it anywhere. in my frenzy, i happen to stumble upon a website “checkmytrip.com” that allows you to put in a confirmation number from ANY airline and it will pull up the booking info- which LUCKILY included my e-ticket number!! for anyone who was having the same problem, go here: https://www.checkmytrip.com/plnext/XCMTXITN/CleanUpSessionPui.action?SITE=XCMTXITN&LANGUAGE=GB.

    Capital One, my credit card company, says they’ve processed several of these disputes and won every single one- i feel like there’s hope! call your credit card company! and L Adams is absolutely right, email the living crap out of them and they’ll eventually want you off their backs. good luck!

  20. Rob says:

    i too didn’t have an e-ticket number however the Mexicana rep. was able to provide them to me very easily using our booking reference…call the second phone number on their site….the first number always went to a recorded message….the second one went right through to an agent day or night

  21. rick says:

    well all i had was my confirm code.went to check my trip.com entered my code and all my info came up.called mexicana and spoke to a representative,i gave her my confirm code and she said she could not find it in there system.i then gave my e ticket # that i got from check my trip.com and she was able to see my itinerary.i told her that i had filed for a refund and what was the status on it.she said it is in the process and that i can expect a full refund on or before december 15th.i filed for the refund on august 31st.so much for the 25 to 30 days i’ll keep looking at my credit card on line to see if this happens.thanks for the heads up on check my trip.com,helped out alot.sure could use the money before the 15th as i have rebooked the 3rd to the 12th of december.origanally was going for thanksgiving week but the tickets are triple the price at 1200 a piece.the second # worked for me as well.first time in a month of trying i got to speak to a real live person.

  22. Daniel says:

    Hi L Adams,

    I was pleased to hear that you received your refund and thank you for the websites. I am beginning to contact them for my refund. I sent in my request just after the refund site went up and haven’t heard a word. Cheers, Daniel

  23. Sarabel says:

    Please GOD help all of us in these difficult times no one can afford to loose any money for this we pray.

  24. Pat says:

    To L. Adams… I was happy to read your post, but am not able to send my emails. I use att.net, and cannot get them to send my messages… I also tried to use outlook express, and had the problem. Can you tell me how you were able to get yours to go through please… Thanx, Pat

  25. SALVADOR says:


  26. Lynn says:

    Excellent comments. It appeard for those of us that use VISA – are being given the run around. And yes, Mexicana did declare “Technical Bankruptcy” per their media post on August 28, 2010. The fight with my card company continues.

  27. You may want to threaten them with a chargeback. It might work.

  28. Ezequiel says:

    Just got the refund! A fax to VISA made the trick!

  29. CS says:

    M.H., you are a saint for posting this link: https://www.checkmytrip.com/plnext/XCMTXITN/CleanUpSessionPui.action?SITE=XCMTXITN&LANGUAGE=GB
    I tried calling both of the phone numbers posted on the mexicana site and neither worked. I had no idea where to go from there until i used the link you suggested and it worked like a charm.
    Many, many thanks to you!!! :)

  30. Sylvia says:

    I am in the same situation, I have 2 tickets for January. I call and they told me the same thing that they my fly again so they couldn’t refund my money yet. I tried called again and told them that I needed to know for sure if a was going to be able to use them or not. Then the lady told me that I should be booking with another airline to be sure. But I don’t want to end up with doble tickets. This situation is ridiculous they already ruined my vacations. I don’t think they’re going to be selling too many tickets if they start flying again, when they don’t have no respect for their customers. We should all get our money back regardless.

  31. Liz says:

    Thanks for all these comments — I’m so glad I’m not alone in dealing with the Mexicana ordeal.

    I had a trip for FIVE PEOPLE booked entirely with Mexicana, scheduled to depart on October 8, 2010. I never received any notification from the airline about the bankruptcy and therefore was stunned to learn on the day of my flight, when I called to confirm, that I had no flight. In total, I had spent almost $4,000 on the Mexicana tickets for this trip. I was lucky enough to be able to quickly re-book on other airlines and avoid losing the money I had paid for a hotel in Mexico — but at a pretty steep price since these were last-minute ticket purchases. I was travelling with kids and could not take a chance on flying stand-by.

    I spoke with Mexicana at that time by phone and was directed to the Web site for requesting ticket refunds. But now, over a month later, I still have no indication of whether I’ll get the refund, how much, or when. I assumed at the start that it was too late to go through my credit card company, since all the tickets had been purchased five or more months earlier.

    But thanks to the comments on this site, I just called my credit card companies (one ticket was on one card, and the others were on another card). One of them issued an immediate credit for the full cost of the ticket and said they will follow up with Mexicana. The other was unable to process the request over the weekend, but sounded receptive and asked that I call back on Monday.

    Note that the date of my ticket purchase was an initial concern with the company that issued the immediate credit, but after “discussion with manager” they indicated that the date of the flight itself is used in place of the date of purchase in the case of an airline ticket.

    I’m quite relieved and I hope others in the same situation can benefit from this information. It is possible Mexicana would have eventually issued the full refund, but I’m certainly happier to have the refund now and be done wondering.

  32. Rob says:

    The union that represents Mexicana’s pilots reached an agreement with the new investor PC Capital.

    Quick summary:
    1. Complete pay of employee liquidations (circa 300M USD) with company’s stock (5 per cent)
    2. Lay off almost 80 per cent of the workforce, more than 500 pilots
    3. New collective contract with 40 per cent less income and increase in working hours from 80 to 90 per month.

    It appears the flight attendants union will also reach an agreement. Who knows about the ground staff union….

    The new MXA plans to start operations December 8 with up to 30 planes. (down from 110)

    The negotiations do not include CBE nor MXI both of which appears will go down.

    Link (Spanish only)

    As always the case in México, it is really hard to obtain reliable information:
    As of now, officially we know:

    * ASPA (Pilots’ Union) has accepted the proposal from PC Capital
    * ASSA (Flight Attendants’ Union) also accepted the proposal. Out of 1050 workers only 375 will be re-hired.
    * MXA will restart operations
    * CBE and MXI were both called for a concurso mercantil, creditors’ meeting in english (FACT) and will probably get the axe (SPECULATION)

    Unofficially, I cannot stress more the word UNOFFICIAL:

    * Operations set to start as soon as December 8. Some other sources indicate this will be until January 2011.
    * Equipment to be used are A-320 family types although the B-717 was mentioned. Operations will start with around 15 aircraft and will grow until reaching 30. For the A320’s I guess MXA will be using some of the airplanes they own, the older early 90’s models with the F- registration.
    * Proposed routes:



    MEX-LAX x3
    GDL-LAX x1
    MEX-SFO x1
    MEX-MIA x1
    MEX-JFK x2
    MEX-ORD x2
    MEX-GDL-ORD x1
    MEX-DEN x1
    MEX-LAS x2

    C and SA
    MEX-GUA x2
    MEX-SAL x1
    MEX-SJO x1
    MEX-BOG x1
    MEX-HAV x1
    MEX-CUN-HAV x1

    No LR routes, hence no wide-bodies.

  33. Rob says:

    All this information was quoted from the aviation site airliners.net

  34. jeff says:

    Rob, great update. Thank you for sharing! And thanks to you all for sharing and helping each other out.

  35. Debra says:

    I keep seeing people talking about calling a Mexicana rep, but I have been unable to find any contact numbers. What numbers are you calling?

  36. simon dootson says:

    my travel agent in london applied for a refund in August for our london – sao paulo tickets. Our tickets are supposed to be Atol protected! It’s now been 14 weeks and we still haven’t received our refund. I’m not sure if the travel agency are being dishonest and holding our refund back or they just haven’t received the refund themselves. They are being very unhelpful. I have just sent an email to offline@mexicana.com.mx asking if they have processed the refund to the travel agent yet. I am getting quite anxious. Lets see what happens.

  37. Sylvia says:

    Hi everyone, I just want to let you know that I did received my refund on 11-23-10. I bought my tickets online with my credit card and YES I DID GET MY MONEY BACK! thank God! I was so worried. I hope everyone gets their money back too.

  38. Griselda says:

    I am totally mad because i had purchase my tickets around the end of and had to find out myself on the news about mexicana bankruptcy then i called them.to find out why they never advise me and didn’t say anything .then in oct12 i did the refund form and still haven’t receive my refund back.Im still waiting.Has anyone find out any recent news??

  39. GRiselda says:


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