Death in the Family-Change Names

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May 22, 2018
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#1
My wife and I had planned a trip where we were going to treat my parents to a trip to Rome in November and things were booking up so we paid for the trip in April on Expedia and we got the travel insurance. My father just passed away in May. As a “let’s just see what our options are” call we contacted Expedia and Delta. We just wanted to change my father’s name to my sisters and have her take his place. The Delta rep stated that there were no transfers and then told my wife that “we shouldn’t have booked so early”. We don’t want to get a refund as we want to keep the trip. I have yet to contact a supervisor at Delta and we are waiting on Expedia’s response but do you know if we are barking up a futile tree with Delta or if we have any chance of getting the change. I would think they would be more interested in keeping the money and trip and just make the change then giving me a complete refund. I am just looking for some advice on how to handle this unexpected event.
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
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Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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#3
Neil's got you covered with his response. Names on flights can't be changed. You must cancel and rebook. And since the trip was through Expedia, they are the ones that have to handle it. There will be a change fee and then likely an increase on airfare. Although if you have travel insurance or insurance through the credit card you paid with then you might be able to recover some costs.
 
Likes: Ginny123
May 22, 2018
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#4
Thank you for the advice. It seems like a flawed policy though as if I have to pay more and possibly not keep the same flight I’ll just cancel the entire trip which seems dumb on Delta’s part as a name change would be an easy procedure. I may try and contact upper management on the comment by the rep as well as my issue.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#5
If you don’t have Travel insurance you might be out all the money you have paid if you cancel the entire trip. You have insurance- call the insurance company. The only issue you might have is if Dad wasn’t healthy enough to travel the day you bought the insurance.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
Three cheers for buying travel insurance. Call them, not Delta or Expedia. They will guide you on the steps to refund your father's tix. Yes, you may pay more for your sister's new tix. Cancelling the whole trip is about the last choice ... I'm puzzled as to what you mean. I don't think insurance would reimburse you for changing your mind and not travelling at all. Come back if you need us after talking with the insurance claims people.
 
Likes: ADM
Mar 14, 2018
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#7
If you don’t have Travel insurance you might be out all the money you have paid if you cancel the entire trip. You need to find out what the cancellation policy is first. Unless you bought refundable tickets you all Air is nonrefundable
once purchased.
Delta's web site appears to say they will refund non-refundable tickets in the event of "the death of the passenger, immediate family member, or traveling companion."

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/support/faqs/preparing-for-your-trip/refunds-faqs.html
 

Neil Maley

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#8
Delta's web site appears to say they will refund non-refundable tickets in the event of "the death of the passenger, immediate family member, or traveling companion."

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/support/faqs/preparing-for-your-trip/refunds-faqs.html
Not always. If you lose carefully at many letters- all airlines do not automatically refund for death. So be careful if you don’t all go- although it would be nice family time together after a tragic loss you experienced. But insurance should reimburse you.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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#9
If you don’t have Travel insurance you might be out all the money you have paid if you cancel the entire trip. You need to find out what the cancellation policy is first. Unless you bought refundable tickets you all Air is nonrefundable
once purchased.
"My wife and I had planned a trip where we were going to treat my parents to a trip to Rome in November and things were booking up so we paid for the trip in April on Expedia and we got the travel insurance. "
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Dec 27, 2014
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#10
"My wife and I had planned a trip where we were going to treat my parents to a trip to Rome in November and things were booking up so we paid for the trip in April on Expedia and we got the travel insurance. "
Its a simple process- they need to cancel only Dads airline ticket, file a claim for Dads ticket, buy a new ticket for the sister. It is simple and the cost of the ticket for one person isn’t going to be that much more in May than it was in April. If hotels are booked for 4 people there is no reason that make any changes on the hotel- they don’t care about names.

It would be a nice trip for the 4 of them- it’s not that big of a deal unless there was a pre-existing condition that Dad had and he wasn’t well enough to travel the day the insurance and trip werr purchased .
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#11
Delta's web site appears to say they will refund non-refundable tickets in the event of "the death of the passenger, immediate family member, or traveling companion."

https://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/support/faqs/preparing-for-your-trip/refunds-faqs.html
There have insurance- they don’t need to rely on this.

Cdm- just cancel Dads ticket, buy a new ticket for sis and go. File a claim for Dads ticket and the insurance company should reimburse you for Dads ticket - as long as Dad was healthy enough to travel the day you bought the trip and insurance.

It is an easy process - you have insurance and that’s what it’s for.
 
May 22, 2018
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#12
Thank you all for the responses but the insurance option wasn't the best route as a new ticket would have been about $1,000.00 more. Instead I sent a polite email to the general manager of customer service at Delta who forwarded it on to her Executive Assistant who emailed me back as well as called. After confirming my mother still wanted to go, Delta did the name change no problem and was very gracious in their response. Policy is policy but there is some gray area in there it seems.
 
Feb 3, 2017
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#17
I have had three terrific responses and resolutions with Delta customer service in just the past 7 months - twice using the contacts here (and not asking for the moon but for modest compensation, attaching screenshots of the issues, brief and polite request, thanking them in advance for any consideration they might give my request, etc) - and once on the phone when my we learned my dad likely would not live more than a few days - they changed my ticket to a same day ticket, did not charge me anything for changing it and refunded $100 back to my credit card as a "bereavement" gesture without my asking. I never knew airlines would even offer that gesture any longer.

Has Delta always had this sort of customer service? I never flew them before Nov 2017 and have numerous times since and again this weekend - I'm sure they have issues but I have been really surprised (which is kind of sad because none of us should be surprised by good customer service but...that's flying today)
 
Apr 10, 2017
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#18
I have normally had good experiences with Delta. I had an issue (understatement!) with a flight this past weekend and I emailed the first executive contact on Tuesday. I sent a concise polite email outlining the ordeal. I got a phone call within a few hours and acceptable compensation was given immediately. Like LeeM I wasn't at all greedy in my request and I was happy to have this resolved quickly. In the past I have had bad experiences getting resolution with AA but that was before I discovered this site and its company contacts. Once I knew about those a subsequent issue with AA was settled much more easily. I did have to escalate to the second contact as the first one refused to honor my request. The second one did so without hesitation.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,406
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San Francisco
#19
I have had three terrific responses and resolutions with Delta customer service in just the past 7 months - twice using the contacts here (and not asking for the moon but for modest compensation, attaching screenshots of the issues, brief and polite request, thanking them in advance for any consideration they might give my request, etc) - and once on the phone when my we learned my dad likely would not live more than a few days - they changed my ticket to a same day ticket, did not charge me anything for changing it and refunded $100 back to my credit card as a "bereavement" gesture without my asking. I never knew airlines would even offer that gesture any longer.

Has Delta always had this sort of customer service? I never flew them before Nov 2017 and have numerous times since and again this weekend - I'm sure they have issues but I have been really surprised (which is kind of sad because none of us should be surprised by good customer service but...that's flying today)
I've gathered over the years that Delta has really good customer service ... as compared to the rest of the airlines that is. I'm giving up my United status next year and have a couple of Delta flights coming up, so I'm glad to hear your positive experiences. How they handled your dad's terminal illness is really gracious, I'm quite stunned.
 
Oct 10, 2016
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#20
My wife and I had planned a trip where we were going to treat my parents to a trip to Rome in November and things were booking up so we paid for the trip in April on Expedia and we got the travel insurance. My father just passed away in May. As a “let’s just see what our options are” call we contacted Expedia and Delta. We just wanted to change my father’s name to my sisters and have her take his place. The Delta rep stated that there were no transfers and then told my wife that “we shouldn’t have booked so early”. We don’t want to get a refund as we want to keep the trip. I have yet to contact a supervisor at Delta and we are waiting on Expedia’s response but do you know if we are barking up a futile tree with Delta or if we have any chance of getting the change. I would think they would be more interested in keeping the money and trip and just make the change then giving me a complete refund. I am just looking for some advice on how to handle this unexpected event.
I know that sometimes one can save money by using third-party booking sites, but more times than not it causes more trouble than it is worth, especially when a situation arises, such as yours.
 
Likes: Neil Maley