Iceland Air

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May 12, 2018
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#1
My wife, son and I were to be leaving for Scotland via Iceland Air on 5/18/18 to celebrate our son's college graduation.

I have been diagnosed with stage four kidney cancer,. which has also moved to my lung and brain, and will begin immunotherapy during what was to be our trip so obviously we have to cancel.

I called Iceland Air and was told that because we did not buy trip insurance we get only about $200 (taxes or fees) back via a "gift card" of the $2,600+ cost of our airfare. I refuse to accept this, but don't know I can do about it.

I even have a letter from my oncologist explaining this.

The woman I talked to on the phone at Iceland Air (Telma) continued to tell me how sorry she was, but nothing could be done. I then made several requests for call escalation before she finally relented to Esther. Esther pulled the same story and I gave the same response. She finally said I would hear from them the next day. That was four days ago and it has become apparent she told me this to get me off the phone.

I also have used their online contact form to ask for some help. The automatic response said I would hear back within something like 48 hours. That was also four days ago and I've heard nothing.

In my message I explained everything and asked what happened to human compassion.

Any suggestions?

Thank you.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,439
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis- however you his is exactly what Travel insurance is for- unexpected emergencies that could happen preventing you from traveling.

They will usually give you a credit to use within a year less a cancellation fee if you didn’t buy travel insurance. Did they offer that?

Since you didn’t buy insurance, try calling your credit card that you used and see if they offer any coverage that might help.

If not, try using our company contacts and appealing to the Executives.

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/icelandair/

Before writing, please read the information we have on the company contacts page about how to write- one st a time starting at the bottom. Hopefully one of the Executives might show some compassion.

I’m sorry this happened, let us know how you make out.

In the future a rule to remember- if you can’t afford to lose everything you’ve paid for d for a vacation if something like this happens- you need to buy travel insurance.
 
May 12, 2018
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#3
I know all about travel insurance and don't recall if it was offered as my wife booked the trip. I have to assume it was since they saw I didn't buy it.

I'm just somewhat stunned at the cold response I received from the airline.

I will try the credit card company and appreciate the suggestion.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,867
6,784
113
San Francisco
#4
I am so very empathetic to your situation and so sorry you're going through this awful time. You've hit the exact concept that many of us struggle with ... whatever happened to compassion? The least they could do is explain the credit towards a future flight. Unless your tix were the "use or lose" type at a rock-bottom price, you should at least be able to salvage most of the value. The fairly rapid transformation of the airlines' view of their passengers into a flat-out quest for more revenue over the last few years is shocking to most people when they first encounter it.

Neil has given you his usual excellent guidance and hopefully you can salvage some of the tix value. The customer service people are bound by their procedures manuals, but the executives sometimes can do the right thing for their customers. Good luck with Icelandair and please let us know the outcome. Take good care of yourself and we will hope for a good result to your cancer treatment.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
I am so sorry about the diagnosis, how horrible.

Icelandair offers a Cancellation Protection which is around $30 per person on an itinerary I just priced out. The Protection allows for a refund for serious illness.

Some of the European airlines are very strict about this, because they expect people to insure. Icelandair offers the protection at a fairly modest fee, and they clearly state in the terms and conditions that no refunds will be made for medical without the protection.

Documentation in the form of a Medical Certificate signed by a doctor will be required. Medical Certificate, without purchasing Cancellation Protection Fee, does not entitle repayment.

So it appears that they are holding strict on the telephone. Many of the Northern countries are very rule oriented, especially when they offer a modestly priced product which would have covered this -- they look at not buying the coverage as penny wise - pound foolish.

I think you should follow Neil's advice -- first try your credit card, that may be the easiest route, and should be done as soon as possible. If there is no protection then write a very polite letter to the airline, but you have to admit that the Cancellation Protection was not purchased, and ask for an exception/

I do hope that you receive some good news from the credit card so you can focus your energies on your treatment.
 
May 12, 2018
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#6
I am so sorry about the diagnosis, how horrible.

Icelandair offers a Cancellation Protection which is around $30 per person on an itinerary I just priced out. The Protection allows for a refund for serious illness.

Some of the European airlines are very strict about this, because they expect people to insure. Icelandair offers the protection at a fairly modest fee, and they clearly state in the terms and conditions that no refunds will be made for medical without the protection.

Documentation in the form of a Medical Certificate signed by a doctor will be required. Medical Certificate, without purchasing Cancellation Protection Fee, does not entitle repayment.

So it appears that they are holding strict on the telephone. Many of the Northern countries are very rule oriented, especially when they offer a modestly priced product which would have covered this -- they look at not buying the coverage as penny wise - pound foolish.

I think you should follow Neil's advice -- first try your credit card, that may be the easiest route, and should be done as soon as possible. If there is no protection then write a very polite letter to the airline, but you have to admit that the Cancellation Protection was not purchased, and ask for an exception/

I do hope that you receive some good news from the credit card so you can focus your energies on your treatment.

Thank you as well - I realized going in that the chances of this working were small, but i had to try. A friend gave me this site as a place for advice.

With medical costs, I had to try. My med alone is $14.000 a month so my air cost would cover about a third of the month!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,439
13,077
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
We never say never! We have seen a well written letter get on the desk of the right person and refunds made so don’t give up.

Use our company contacts and go up one at a time as we recommend on the Customer Contact page. I am hopeful that one of the Executives will help.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
2,501
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#8
Dpthum, I do understand -- not only was the diagnosis a brutal thing to hear but then the costs are even more staggering.

If there is no insurance on the credit card, then do write the polite letter, asking for an exception. One thing to keep in mind is that Europeans find our health care system bizarre, and they do not understand the issue of extremely high medication costs. I am not trying to be political, just stating a fact that for most Europeans, they do not understand how there is system where (for most people) there is a for profit insurance company is the middle man that makes decisions on what is covered and for what cost. Maybe a short line about the overall costs facing you in addition to the terrible diagnosis may help, but it is a balance not to over do it.

I do believe that Neil is correct, only an Executive would be able to help you and you should stop dealing with the normal customer service people over the telephone.
 
Oct 10, 2016
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Huntley, IL
#9
I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis- however you his is exactly what Travel insurance is for- unexpected emergencies that could happen preventing you from traveling.

They will usually give you a credit to use within a year less a cancellation fee if you didn’t buy travel insurance. Did they offer that?

Since you didn’t buy insurance, try calling your credit card that you used and see if they offer any coverage that might help.

If not, try using our company contacts and appealing to the Executives.

http://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/icelandair/

Before writing, please read the information we have on the company contacts page about how to write- one st a time starting at the bottom. Hopefully one of the Executives might show some compassion.

I’m sorry this happened, let us know how you make out.

In the future a rule to remember- if you can’t afford to lose everything you’ve paid for d for a vacation if something like this happens- you need to buy travel insurance.
We never say never! We have seen a well written letter get on the desk of the right person and refunds made so don’t give up.

Use our company contacts and go up one at a time as we recommend on the Customer Contact page. I am hopeful that one of the Executives will help.
I agree with Neil, that if you write a polite letter to the Executives of Icelandair you have a chance of finding someone with enough compassion to refund your fare. If you don't get a response the first time, go up the chain. Do not give up. Perisitance and perservence and politeness usually will bring about the desired results.
 
May 12, 2018
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#10
I agree with Neil, that if you write a polite letter to the Executives of Icelandair you have a chance of finding someone with enough compassion to refund your fare. If you don't get a response the first time, go up the chain. Do not give up. Perisitance and perservence and politeness usually will bring about the desired results.
Thank you - I've started the process and hope it works. I sincerely appreciate the help.
 
Likes: Neil Maley