Delta Airlines: How best to Get Refund after accident Cancelled Trip

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Jun 15, 2017
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#1
I volunteered to help my sister (Amy) and her family get reimbursed for tickets from Loas to Cleveland and on the return flight from Detroit to Loas. They needed to cancel their summer trip back to the states since my sister had a biking accident and broke her hip and femur. The doctors told her she can not fly, so the whole family cancelled their expensive flights so they could be there to assist in her recovery. My sister works for "Save the Children" who paid for the flights, but now say they had no insurance on the tickets so they want her to pay them back. They booked flights that were more expensive then what she would have normally paid so at the moment they are in the “hole” for a lot of money.

Delta was the only one to offer something, which was able to rebook up until April of 2018 with full value of tickets, but of course it has change fees attached and not necessarily the airlines they would book with so they would love it if Delta would just reimburse them for their tickets. The same for Bangkok Air which they fly from Loas to connect to Delta.

Bangkok Airlines has not responded.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
To request and/or obtain a refund, you will first need a doctor's letter stating that the passenger is unable to fly until after April of 2018.

For Bangkok air, I was able to locate these USA contacts for you:

http://www.bangkokair.com/offices/representative/USA

In the case of Delta, you can appeal your case by using the Company Contacts link near the top of this page. I recommend you start with the Online comment/complaint form link if you have not already done so.

If you decide to appeal
- Communicate in writing wherever possible for a record of your statements/their responses
- Your chances for success will be greatly improved by sticking to the relevant facts
- Your odds quickly diminish with excessively long emails, arguing, insults, and/or threats
- Be polite and professional even if and especially when you feel you have been mistreated
- Always close by thanking them for their time and consideration

We also have some links that can help you request assistance from the airline:
http://forum.elliott.org/threads/refunds-for-non-refundable-tickets.3304
http://elliott.org/blog/airline-owe-cancels-flight

How long should I wait?
Wait 2 weeks for a reply before moving on to the higher level contacts. When contacting executives, I like to begin with an apology for taking their time "because I know you are busy with other, very important matters. I have reached out to customer service, but they were unsuccessful in fulfilling my request."
....
Please keep us posted on your progress ...
 
Last edited:

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#3
Coincidentally, I was in a bike accident that resulted in an artificial hip. Everyone is different of course, but I was cleared to do anything I wanted after 7 weeks of recovery. That might help set an expected timeline.

You posted that Delta offered rebooking up to April, 2018. Just to be clear, travel must be completed within 1 year of the purchase date of the original tickets. If the tickets were booked in April of this year she has a year to rebook and travel. A subtle but crucial difference....

Last comment, it's great you're helping your sister. From our general experience, airlines and other travel providers do not respond well (or at all) to 3rd parties. Your sister must contact the airlines herself, of course you can do the background work.
 
Jun 15, 2017
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Coincidentally, I was in a bike accident that resulted in an artificial hip. Everyone is different of course, but I was cleared to do anything I wanted after 7 weeks of recovery. That might help set an expected timeline.

You posted that Delta offered rebooking up to April, 2018. Just to be clear, travel must be completed within 1 year of the purchase date of the original tickets. If the tickets were booked in April of this year she has a year to rebook and travel. A subtle but crucial difference....

Last comment, it's great you're helping your sister. From our general experience, airlines and other travel providers do not respond well (or at all) to 3rd parties. Your sister must contact the airlines herself, of course you can do the background work.
Thank for your advice.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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So do we first ask for a refund and if they refuse then should we go back and ask for them to waive the fees?
For me, that would depend on what the doctor specifies. If your sister is prohibited from flying until after April of 2018, I would keep going up the chain for a refund. If not I would consider the voucher if they waive the change fee.

Of course, the decision is your sister's. Only she can determine her willingness to fly within that time frame using the same airlines.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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It is doubtful you will get a refund. It is more reasonable to expect a credit and a waiver of change fees. You realize this is an exception and need to achnowledge that exception and request a waiver of fees and an extension of the credit to the dates she expects to volunteer the following summer.

Because Save the Children purchased the tickets and they are a well known Charitable organization maybe they can start a written campaign with the Corp. Giving Dept for a "special" ruling on this entire situation.

If these tickets were purchased with a credit card, that card May gave travel insurance benefits.
I need to ask just to clarify, my understanding is you are working/volunteering overseas and don't have Travel Insurance? And the organization she works for expects Her to repay them? Hummm ;)
 
Jan 6, 2015
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It is doubtful you will get a refund. It is more reasonable to expect a credit and a waiver of change fees. You realize this is an exception and need to achnowledge that exception and request a waiver of fees.

If these tickets were purchased with a credit card, that card May gave travel insurance benefits.
I need to ask just to clarify, my understanding is you are working/volunteering overseas and don't have Travel Insurance? And the organization she works for expects Her to repay them? Hummm ;)
Reading the initial post, I believe the sister and her family work overseas, and it is their employer, "Save the Children", who paid for the tickets and has no insurance for them.
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#13
It is not the Volunteers fault they chose to book airfares for their staff and volunteers and not carry some sort of insurance for this very thing. They must have 100's (likely much more) of volunteers spread across the globe. They are an enormous world wide charity. Something is very wrong here.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#14
So in other words, people who donate money to save the children have to pay for plane tickets for an entire family of a volunteer? If these folks are all volunteers then why can't they go and the broken leg one stay home with one caretaker?

. The relevant agency needs to look at Save the Children immediately. Of course the volunteer needs to pay the charity back. It's called charity for a reason. You don't get the money/time/contribution back.
 
Apr 3, 2016
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#15
The person actually works for the organization. As with most business (both non-profit and for profit), the business probably pays for X number of trips to the person's home base over the term of the person's employment contract. Other non-profits pay for their employees' travel expenses (ie the Red Cross).
 
Aug 29, 2015
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#16
So in other words, people who donate money to save the children have to pay for plane tickets for an entire family of a volunteer? If these folks are all volunteers then why can't they go and the broken leg one stay home with one caretaker?

. The relevant agency needs to look at Save the Children immediately. Of course the volunteer needs to pay the charity back. It's called charity for a reason. You don't get the money/time/contribution back.
They have employees. Part of the compensation package likely includes a trip home for 2 to 4 weeks back home each year. The people on the ground are not volunteers, they are employees with degrees, often Master's Degrees. They have their families with them. The compensation package includes insurance and a trip home for the family.

It is a hard job. They are American Citizens who live apart from the families for years at a time. They have their families with them. They do make a difference, but often fight an uphill battle.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#17
The person actually works for the organization. As with most business (both non-profit and for profit), the business probably pays for X number of trips to the person's home base over the term of the person's employment contract. Other non-profits pay for their employees' travel expenses (ie the Red Cross).
Yes, home leave is a benefit for those working overseas. The organization may have a preferred rate, but since this is counted as personal travel (ie not for work purposes) the organization would not buy insurance.

The reason I think this is an issue of personal home leave is that a family was traveling so that does not sound like work.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#19
This is a most complex story. If the charity/employer buys tix for a worker and her family, why would they expect to be reimbursed by the worker if the worker can't make the trip? Why is the charity spending more for tix than the individual would? Why doesn't the charity carry blanket insurance for issues like this? It's wonderful that you are trying to help your sister ... but these kinds of unanswered questions are the main reason that we want to hear directly from the person involved, rather than a third party.