Trip ruined due to a nightmare travel scenario? There may be credit for this

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Canceled trips. Delayed trips. Airport chaos… Are you getting the credits you deserve? Here’s how to make sure you recoup your losses.

This year we took those anniversary trips, honeymoons, summer getaways and countless other vacations that had been on hold for two years…Only airlines, airports and the travel industry as a whole are not were just not ready for that many people. to take off, especially after thousands of pilots, stewards and other essential airline staff took early retirement during COVID, and still-frequent outbreaks mean airlines have to juggle schedules at the last minute , almost every day. (London’s Heathrow Airport made headlines when it instituted a controversial passenger cap, limiting the number of passengers who can land each day to 100,000, a reduction of more than 50% in capacity from its previous high. This cap has now been extended to October 29.)

In other words, even though all of our trips are finally scheduled, there’s still a lot left undone. This means that even our very delayed trips can be delayed or canceled again – and unless we are prepared to defend ourselves, we can lose a lot of money in the process, warns Julia Menez, points and personal finance coach miles, travel expert and founder of Geobreeze travel podcast.

That’s why it’s important to know what resources are available to you and what to ask for before you fly. Here’s an overview of how to get your money back or get credit when the worst happens.

Get informed

Start by making sure you have all the tools and information you need to know how your credit card company or travel insurance provider can help you if something goes wrong along the way. This includes understanding surprising scenarios in which you may qualify for a refund or credit.

“When it comes to travel insurance, I have looked to the more modern insurtech providers that have popped up rather than the older ones. The reason is simple: their coverage options tend to be more comprehensive and meet today’s travel needs, like COVID-19 coverage, all with less hassle and no paperwork,” Menez says.

Menez says it’s possible to cover his entire trip if you have travel insurance. “fay travel insurance is an option – through the company’s app you can get covered, file claims, get reimbursed through the Wallet feature, and speak to their 24/7 support team (real humans). Of course, other policies may also offer this and other benefits, but this is the one Menez uses.

Your credit card can be your best friend

Choosing the right credit card can also make a big difference in the rewards, credits, and refunds you see. “No matter what part of your trip may have been disrupted, travelers should always remember to see if they can be reimbursed by credit card,” says Melanie Lieberman, Global Features editor at The dot guy. “Many travel rewards credit cards have built-in travel protections, so even if you’re struggling to get reimbursed by your airline or travel provider, you may be able to get your credit card reimbursed. .”

For example, many travelers know they can expect a refund for a canceled flight, but credit card travel protections can also cover you for major delays, including the meals you eat during that delay or extra toiletries you need to buy. so long as they delay is caused by a covered reason (think: bad weather), Lieberman says.

“Terms and conditions vary by event and credit card, but these built-in protections can be extremely useful when things go wrong on a trip. You can also always file a credit card dispute if you think you’re being unfairly charged for something,” says Lieberman.

Your credit card can also come into play when a missed flight also means you miss activities you’ve already paid for but can no longer attend. Yes, it’s awful when you want to see your favorite band or go to that festival but miss your flight — but all is not lost. “If you bought show tickets, a guided tour or prepaid for a wine tasting but can no longer attend because you become ill, contract COVID-19 or a tour operator goes bankrupt, you can be reimbursed up to 100% of non-refundable travel expenses, including tickets and activities,” says Menez. Check the fine print on your credit card agreement to make sure you know what you’re entitled to.

Missed connections?

In cases such as weather issues, the airline is generally not required to provide refunds or temporary compensation (meals, hotels, etc.),” says John Rose, Director of Risk and Safety at ALTOUR , a travel management company.

However, if your delay or cancellation is the fault of the airline, you should be compensated. “If it’s the airline’s fault, such as staffing or system issues, they will usually give out meal vouchers (for delays over four hours) and hotel rooms for one-hour delays. night. And on certain occasions, future travel vouchers. It is not common to receive cash refunds, but it is possible in certain circumstances for problems attributable to the airline,” explains Rose.

With the travel insurance Menez uses, she says she will typically receive $200 for common travel inconveniences and delays. This may include lost or delayed baggage and flight delays or canceled flights. “As for travel delays, you can be covered for up to $300/day in additional costs like food and hotel if your trip is delayed six hours or more,” Menez says.

Speaking of lost baggage, your ability to claim credits or refunds doesn’t depend on why your flight was delayed or canceled – whether it’s weather, mechanical error or something else. thing, if an airline has misplaced your baggage on a domestic flight in the United States. In the United States, you can claim up to $3,500, according to the Department of Transportation. “Remember that this is the maximum liability limit: the exact amount of compensation you can claim for your lost bag also depends on the contents of the bag and your ability to prove its value,” explains Pink.

Vacation rental issues

We’ve all heard of nightmarish travel scenarios where problems with a vacation rental ruin your trip. Luckily, on most vacation rental sites, “if the guest can prove they didn’t get what they paid for and agreed to at the time of booking, you can get a refund,” says Rose. Of course, the supplier you booked through is very important, as some rental sites are not very reputable, while others are strong brands with solid reputations. When in doubt, go with the big ones (like Airbnb or VRBO) to ensure you have recourse through customer service channels that will get back to you in a timely manner.

Just make sure in all situations that you carefully read the terms and conditions you sign. You might even discover an edge or advantage you didn’t know you had, allowing you to take advantage of minor inconveniences. For example, on many rental sites, if there is a problem with the keys to your vacation rental, “preventing you from accessing the property for 3 hours or more, you can be refunded $200”, explains Menez.

So what’s the moral of the story? Plan that much delayed summer vacation. You deserved it. Just check your travel insurance and credit card fine print before making reservations.

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