Point Me to the Miles

Navigating the Path to Great Travel

My Experience with Airline Reimbursements

ThePointsGuy shared his tips on how to avoid the dreaded airline fees, so that you are not as cranky.

(Hidden)l Airline Fees Can Make You Extremely Cranky

He even shared his own experience getting reimbursement from Delta, so I thought I would share my own reimbursement story, which I mentioned briefly in my Tampa report.

On the way to Tampa, my flight departing LAX was oversold, so I volunteered to take a lighter flight in exchange for compensation from Delta–also known as a “bump.”  And because they did not have space on a later flight until the following morning, they put me up in a hotel overnight, and included transportation vouchers.

These vouchers were to be used for a shuttle to and from the Torrance Marriott, about 15 minutes away from LAX.  After finally figuring out where to go, I waited and waited at the shuttle pick-up outside of the airport.  No shuttle.

Frustrated, I finally called the shuttle and asked when the next one arrived.  They demanded a confirmation number, and I told them I didn’t have one.  I asked to make a reservation, and they refused saying that another shuttle would be on its way.  After nearly an hour of standing around and with an early morning flight looming, I decided to take my chances with a taxi.

I waited until arriving at the hotel to use my voucher as payment, and my driver told me that frankly he didn’t think his company would accept it.  His mistake I suppose, as I later found out that Delta’s transportation vouchers are a GUARANTEED form of payment.

Wisely, I held onto the receipt and sent Delta an email requesting a refund.  A couple weeks later, they responded to my message and requested a receipt.  After sending them a copy, I received the following email:

Dear Mr. Bryce Burchfield,
RE: Case Number XXXXXXX
Thank you for sending the required documentation as requested. On behalf of Delta Air Lines, I appreciate the opportunity to respond to you.
It was disconcerting to learn the voucher we provided was not accepted. Please allow me to explain that advance arrangements are made with various businesses to honor our vouchers. In exchange, payment is guaranteed to the business. Occasionally, a new employee at one of the businesses will not be familiar with our vouchers or with the procedure to return them to our company for payment. It appears this may have been the case and, again, I apologize for your inconvenience.
As a gesture of goodwill for the taxi expense incurred, I will be requesting a check from our bank in the amount of $32.25 (this amount excludes the tip). Please allow up to 30 business days for the check to arrive in the mail.
I want to thank you, again, for submitting the receipt. We appreciate your support as a SkyMiles Gold Medallion member and welcome future opportunities to be of service.

About two weeks later, I received the following in the mail:

For once I was glad to have an airline paying me!

Even though it took over a month before I was reimbursed, I was very satisfied with the result in the end.  The lesson learned is that if you have circumstances which you believe just reimbursement from an airline–or even a hotel for that matter, most companies are fairly flexible about working with you.  In addition, I suppose another lesson is that never hurts to have elite status! 🙂


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