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Jul 26, 2018
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#1
I live in France, close to Geneva, Switzerland. My mother, aged 95 lives in Chicago. Despite her age, she still manages transatlantic flights once in a while. I bought her a ticket on IcelandAir via an online agency called OPODO for a July 4 -14 visit. In view of my mother's advanced age, I also purchased cancellation insurance (74.90€) JUST IN CASE...
My mother was unfortunately hospitalized 10 days before the trip, with severe breathing problems. As soon as this happened, I informed OPODO who inturn informed IcelandAir. She was in hospital for a week, and released but not allowed to leave the house, let alone travel.
I was put in contact with Europe Assistance, the company that covers Opodo cancellations and refunds. Over the past few weeks, I have spent several hours on the phone, provided countless copies of hospital documents, ticket payments, etc, only to be informed this morning that my mother is not covered by this insurance because she is not a European resident. Apparently, when I agreed to terms and conditions, one of the conditiond was European residency. The ticket - Chicago Geneva Chicago - was a Business class ticket. It originated in the Usa, the traveller would have returned to the Usa. The insurance was proposed when the ticket was purchased, on the same web page, but served no purpose.

So my close to 96 year old mother is out of pocket to the tune of 2000€. IS THERE ANY WAY TO SOLVE THIS RIDICULOUS SITUATION?

Thanks in advance

Elizabeth Lardy
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
I’m not sure you can do anything because of the terms. We have the same issue here in the US with insurance- insurance purchased here can only be sold to US residents, we can’t sell insurance to residents of other countries.

I wish I had better news. You always need to read the terms of what you are buying.

What I would suggest is calling the travel agency and asking if the airline will give you a credit for a future flight less a cancellation fee. They might issue a credit for another flight within a year from the date you booked Moms ticket and she could travel at a later date. And buy a trsvel
Policy from a company in the US. But you must ensure they don’t have an age restriction on the policy.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
Opodo is a European company, they do not market themselves as being a US company:

Opodo is the first truly Pan-European travel service created to address the needs of today's traveller. We offer access to over 530 airlines, over 1,100,000 hotels in 225 countries and territories more than 7,000 car rental locations worldwide. Opodo has travel websites in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland.”

They may not be legally allowed to sell insurance in the US. They are registered in the UK.

I am not sure how flexible Iceland air will be. If the flight had been booked directly with the airline they have cancellation protection that would cover this.

When I have been traveling the searches tend to default to companies that serve the IP address— so I would get the UK site for Swiss as an example when in London and I would change it.

Does the credit card used offer any travel insurance?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
When I try to book on Opodo even in the US it gives me prices in Euros not Dollars, a good sign that the company is not geared to US residents.

I do not think there is any chance with the insurance company, this is a pretty standard and rigid law. I cannot buy travel insurance, car insurance etc from an Australian company to cover me because I am not a resident.

Best you can do if no travel insurance from the credit card is write to the company and ask for a credit.

I hope your mother is better.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
6,678
6,668
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San Francisco
#5
Another sad example of using an online booking service. Book directly with the airline or hotel. In case of problems, you have a far better chance of rescue.