My bag was pilfered on 9/22 . Delta won't pay for glasses and asthma inhalers.

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Mar 14, 2018
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#41
I reread your original post and there are a few things that are unclear. It may be that Delta is not actually disputing what you think they are.

First, note that the law requires airlines to compensate you for the original purchase price of your assistive devices--not the replacement cost.

1) Delta has paid you $198 which is the amount you paid for one inhaler. It sounds like they are disputing that you were carrying 3 inhalers--not that these are assistive devices. If you can show that you were, they should owe you another $395. They are not required to pay you the $842 cash price for 3 new inhalers.

2) You say they are paying you 80% of the "value" of the eyeglasses. How are you determining value? Again, even if they concede the glasses are an assistive device, they only need to compensate you for your original purchase price--not the replacement value.

The fact that Delta has offered what they have leads me to wonder if they have actually conceded that these are assistive devices and this dispute is about the compensation due. If so, you may be pursuing the wrong path for this dispute. Do you have receipts that show 1) You had 3 inhalers and 2) the purchase price of your glasses is more than they are offering?
 
Oct 31, 2019
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#42
I have a feeling you are still working with Delta's baggage team and not their CRO. For example, the code requires that a CRO respond to a complaint with a "a written statement including a summary of the facts and the reasons" if they deny your complaint. In addition, they must inform you of your "right to pursue DOT enforcement action." Have they have done this?

The DOT has established some pretty detailed processes for how to file complaints, how the carrier must respond, and how you can escalate. I suggest you read the following: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/part-382/subpart-K

You can also file a formal complaint with the DOT which will be reviewed by their assistant general counsel. There are a lot of detailed requirements to do this (eg paper size, margins, page numbers...) so review the requirements carefully. This is all laid out here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/part-302/subpart-D
Thank you so much, this is the most helpful information that I have received from anyone. I have homework. Thank you!
 
Apr 3, 2016
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#43
And in the weird world of insurance, if you do get reimbursed for the inhalers and do not use It to buy new ones (ie by then you can get them through your insurance), You might technically have to give the money back to the insurance company. They are the ones who paid the money to begin with. If you buy new inhalers with the money, then you are all set. If you get money for them and do not buy new ones with it, that could be consider unjust enrichment by the insurance company
 
Oct 31, 2019
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#44
I reread your original post and there are a few things that are unclear. It may be that Delta is not actually disputing what you think they are.

First, note that the law requires airlines to compensate you for the original purchase price of your assistive devices--not the replacement cost.

1) Delta has paid you $198 which is the amount you paid for one inhaler. It sounds like they are disputing that you were carrying 3 inhalers--not that these are assistive devices. If you can show that you were, they should owe you another $395. They are not required to pay you the $842 cash price for 3 new inhalers.

2) You say they are paying you 80% of the "value" of the eyeglasses. How are you determining value? Again, even if they concede the glasses are an assistive device, they only need to compensate you for your original purchase price--not the replacement value.

The fact that Delta has offered what they have leads me to wonder if they have actually conceded that these are assistive devices and this dispute is about the compensation due. If so, you may be pursuing the wrong path for this dispute. Do you have receipts that show 1) You had 3 inhalers and 2) the purchase price of your glasses is more than they are offering?
As for the glasses, I submitted actual receipts of what I paid, a receipt from my ophthalmologist, which Delta rejected initially, I then got the actual credit card bill and forwarded that. Delta then paid 80% of what was paid to the eye doctor for the glasses and verified by the credit card bill, stating that they were depreciating the glasses due to wear and tear. (I got my eyeglasses at the ophthalmologist's office due to my complicated prescription and difficulties I have had in the past getting the proper prescription, the glasses were not inexpensive.) When I received the email stating Delta would only reimburse me 80% of the cost of the I supplied the Delta rep with the DOT information that you stated above. The Delta claims rep told me that "Glasses are not considered assistive devices" in writing in an email.

As for the Inhalers. This is complicated. I get three inhalers every 3 months by mail order. I pay a 10.00 copay and my insurance pays 593.11. So if you add that up it comes to 201.03 per inhaler. I sent Delta my receipt of what I paid and what my insurance paid. Delta initially only would agree to pay me 10.00. My insurance does not pay to replace lost or stolen medication. I told Delta that paying me 10.00 for the inhalers would not replace the inhalers or the cost initially paid. Delta then told me if I gave them my pharmacy information they would pay the pharmacy directly and have the inhalers sent to me. Fine with me. I sent them my pharmacy information, I sent them a letter from my doctor stating that I was out of my inhalers and my insurance would not pay for them until December (complete with screenshot from the insurance company verifying this) My doctor also said in the letter I was out of medication (inhaler) and I needed to take my medication daily (Delta requested this letter). I paid my doctor for a visit so a prescription could be sent to the pharmacy per Delta's request I also told Delta if they wanted to go this route it would cost 842.00 After I sent them all kinds of protected medical information they send me an email saying they will reimburse me 198.00 for one inhaler and the check will come in two weeks. Great. I was already in urgent care on 10/16 for an asthma exacerbation. I will be there a lot. Why have me send them all kinds of information and pharmacy information and then not follow through? My provider is livid that she went through all this effort and then they didn't follow through on what they said they would do. If they would have initially agreed to pay what the inhalers cost, I could have worked out something to get my inhalers by now. I initially asked them to pay what the inhalers cost. They refused. If they want to pay the insurance cost my insurance and I pay together, fine. Yes, they need to reimburse me for 3 inhalers. If you count backward 3 months, if I can't get my inhalers until 12/4 the inhalers were filled sometime early September. I left on my trip on September 13. Delta did state in an email that they would have the pharmacy send the medication to me and they would pay for it. I think they thought they could get by with a 10.00 copay.

I had other prescription medication that was in the suitcase and was pilfered. Each prescription was under 60.00 and Delta paid that without question. The cost of the medication is less than my copay so I just pay cash for those so I was able to get those replaced.
 
Apr 3, 2016
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#45
I wonder if the airline is looking when the prescriptions were last filled and prorating (one month left so pay one of the 3). That might explain their offer. Best of luck getting your meds.
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#46
I wonder if the airline is looking when the prescriptions were last filled and prorating (one month left so pay one of the 3). That might explain their offer. Best of luck getting your meds.
Could be. I suppose they could also be saying that the only things that qualify as assistive devices are the ones that the disabled individual actually needs for the travel. As a ludicrous example, if you were transporting 6 wheelchairs, you'd be hard pressed to say all 6 were assistive devices. In this case they could argue that the disabled individual requires one inhaler on their person (in the cabin) and a spare in their luggage (so they would only pay for one).

But this is all speculation. Delta is required to explain in writing the rational for their payment. There is way too much verbal back and forth here.
 
Apr 23, 2018
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#47
It seems to me that, if hearing aids are assistive devices, prescription eyeglasses also should be classified such. I think a case could be made to the airline that impaired eyesight is just as important as impaired hearing and that eyeglasses should therefore be reimbursed to the same extent as hearing aids.

Also, someone earlier in this post said that they place passports, other travel documents, credit cards, and cash in a personal item stored under the seat. I would strongly recommend that at least the passport and a credit card should remain on your physical person. You won't be able to take your personal item (bag) with you in case of emergency evacuation.
 
Oct 31, 2019
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#48
It seems to me that, if hearing aids are assistive devices, prescription eyeglasses also should be classified such. I think a case could be made to the airline that impaired eyesight is just as important as impaired hearing and that eyeglasses should therefore be reimbursed to the same extent as hearing aids.

Also, someone earlier in this post said that they place passports, other travel documents, credit cards, and cash in a personal item stored under the seat. I would strongly recommend that at least the passport and a credit card should remain on your physical person. You won't be able to take your personal item (bag) with you in case of emergency evacuation.
I have contacted my State Senator to find out who at the DOT can tell me if prescription eyeglasses are an assistive device or not. I will l let you know when I get that question answered. I have really bad vision without glasses so there has to be some sort of definition. I am very paranoid about traveling with spare glasses and I have spare glasses when I drive because without them I would be in big trouble. Same with asthma medication.

You are right about passports, credit cards, and cash and for me my rescue asthma inhaler. I am going back to having them on my person in a pouch around my neck. I was just thinking about how much trouble I would be in if I had lost my passport. My passport expires in 2 days and I am filling out my renewal information. After this experience, I am making a file for my passport and copying the numbers and passport because it is a lot of work to replace it.
 

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#49
I have contacted my State Senator to find out who at the DOT can tell me if prescription eyeglasses are an assistive device or not. I will l let you know when I get that question answered. I have really bad vision without glasses so there has to be some sort of definition. I am very paranoid about traveling with spare glasses and I have spare glasses when I drive because without them I would be in big trouble. Same with asthma medication.

You are right about passports, credit cards, and cash and for me my rescue asthma inhaler. I am going back to having them on my person in a pouch around my neck. I was just thinking about how much trouble I would be in if I had lost my passport. My passport expires in 2 days and I am filling out my renewal information. After this experience, I am making a file for my passport and copying the numbers and passport because it is a lot of work to replace it.
Just take a picture of it and keep it in your phone . We also make a copy and put it in our luggage just in case we lose it.
 
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Jan 28, 2019
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#50
I have contacted my State Senator to find out who at the DOT can tell me if prescription eyeglasses are an assistive device or not. I will l let you know when I get that question answered. I have really bad vision without glasses so there has to be some sort of definition. I am very paranoid about traveling with spare glasses and I have spare glasses when I drive because without them I would be in big trouble. Same with asthma medication.

You are right about passports, credit cards, and cash and for me my rescue asthma inhaler. I am going back to having them on my person in a pouch around my neck. I was just thinking about how much trouble I would be in if I had lost my passport. My passport expires in 2 days and I am filling out my renewal information. After this experience, I am making a file for my passport and copying the numbers and passport because it is a lot of work to replace it.
We use vests or jackets with lots of pockets for passports, prescription inhalers, glasses, travel documents, and wallets. There are commercial clothing items available. Fishing vest work well. Also, we have simply sewn pockets into existing comfortable vests with velcro closure as part of the deal.
 
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