By Paula Ebben

FRAMINGHAM (CBS) — The Kilgallen family had an incredible time in Hawaii, “definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience and every moment was memorable.” Unfortunately, the most memorable part may have been the unexpected news they got at the ticket counter.

“We’re greeted with this beautiful smile and ‘aloha.’ And you can already sense that ‘Aloha Spirit’ and then they inform us that we only have four tickets,” explained Tara Kilgallen. The problem? The Kilgallens are a family of five.

framinghamfamily Call For Action Team Helps Family Get Full Refund For Airplane Ticket Mix Up

The Kilgallen family waits at the airport (Photo Courtesy: Kilgallen family)

Tara bought the Hawaiian Airlines tickets over the phone using credit card points and miles. She didn’t question when the representative put the ticket for her youngest son, Desmond, in Tara’s name. “They just simply canceled the second one the day after we had purchased the tickets. Unbeknownst to us.” Tara was told the airline assumed it was a duplicate, so it was canceled. With bags packed and Hawaii a 12-hour flight away, the family charged $1492 for a new ticket for Desmond. “You don’t have a choice in that moment. You have to just pay up,” Tara told us.

cfawoman Call For Action Team Helps Family Get Full Refund For Airplane Ticket Mix Up

Tara Kilgallen (WBZ-TV)

Then more bad news at the ticket counter in Honolulu on their way back home. “The roundtrip ticket we paid for in JFK for my son, to get to there and back, turns out it was just a one way. Our jaws just dropped. It was unbelievable that they would put us through this again.” It cost the Kilgallens another $446 to get Desmond home. So, a ticket Tara thought would be free by using a year’s worth of credit card points wound up costing the family $1,938.

Once back home, Tara spent hours on the phone and sending emails to Hawaiian Airlines to explain the mix-up. Eventually, she was given a partial refund of $1007. “They were saying ‘Okay, here, have some money. Go away.’ ”

hawaiianairlines Call For Action Team Helps Family Get Full Refund For Airplane Ticket Mix Up

Hawaiian Airlines (WBZ-TV)

Unsatisfied with a partial refund, Tara reached out to the I-Team’s Call 4 Action. “Somehow you were able to get a response that was more than ‘aloha, our case is closed.’ ”

A few days later the Kilgallens were refunded another $931. “We could not have gotten a full refund without the help of WBZ.” In an email to Tara, Hawaiian Airlines said they highly recommend passengers re-confirm their reservations. Something to think if you’re booking your next trip over the phone.

If you’re having trouble with a consumer issue let us know about it. Call 617-787-7070 or send us an email at 


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