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Is Return Airfare Ever Reimbursed


RJake1

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Flew to Australia for cruise using FF points for flight. Medical emergency at home. Returned home without taking cruise. Had to depart Australia from a different city than originally booked due to scheduling issues.

 

Scenario One: Airline simply rebooked flight out of new city using the same FF points. No transfer fees. No additional cost at all.

 

Scenario Two: I bought a new ticket back at a cost of $1,000, then re-banked my original FF points.

 

What part if any of my return flight is reimbused under each scenario?

 

Thanks!

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Keep in mind that if you actually take a part of your trip, and don't incur any additional cost, you can't file a claim on it. So if you arrive in Australia and turn around to go home, (even though you didn't actually get to do anything fun), you can of course file a claim for the cruise, but since you used your transport, you can't file for the airline tickets, unless you incur additional unavoidable cost.

 

As far as your two scenarios go:

 

1) You incurred no additional airfare cost of any sort, so you can file no claim. (Although if you incurred transport cost to get from city to city, you could file a claim on that; I've done that before, and it was no problem.)

 

2) Hmmm... that's a bit of a puzzler. For starters, there is a 0% chance of claiming the re-bank fees, in case that is one thing you are wondering. (If they cover your return airfare, they aren't covering re-bank fees on top of it. You can't file two claims for the same segment of the trip.)

 

Could you claim your new tickets? Well, as an insurance claimant, you have a general duty to mitigate your damages to the maximum extent possible. (This is a general legal principle that applies to all contracts (and torts, for that matter.))

- If you book new return tix on the same airline you purchased your original tickets from, the insurance company would almost certainly refuse to pay since you could have re-used the original ticket.

- If you book tickets on a different airline, they require the surrender of the original tickets you didn't use. (Along those same lines, if you had paid cash for the original tickets, they would not pay for a new return flight and also let you use the airfare credit from the original at some future date.) The "surrender" clause is a bit old-fashioned since nobody ever uses paper tix anymore; what they will actually do instead is make you sign a paper where you promise not to use your airfare credit, miles, whatever, in return for them cutting a check for your new tix. I imagine they can get you to file a records release with the airline so they can check up on you to make sure...

 

I can see what you are getting at, but there's no "magic" way to get your return airfare back. They'll make you whole for additional return airfare cost, but you aren't getting the original return airfare back in your pocket, no matter how it was paid for. (cash, miles, airfare credit from an old trip, whatever...) Well, I suppose if you die, they'll pay your estate, but I don't think that is the answer you were looking for. :-)

 

SirWired

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I should have bought new tix, rebanked the points, and signed the waiver. I could then have wrestled with the ethical issue of using the points at some future time. That way, I would have no cost to get home and still have the points.

 

Having said that, the fine print of the policy states that they would reimburse for airfare to return home minus any credit for unused tickets. If they used the honor system and said don't use those points again, thats one thing, but I suppose they could also deny payment on the theory that the unused FF points represent available credit that could have been used for the flight home.

 

I wish I had tried it. I would be no worse off than I am now. No points. No cash. And I have to pay outrageous airfare to retake the same trip this summer.

 

Who was it that said, "if you can solve a problem by throwing money at it, it ain't a problem." I wish I could find solace in that.

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You still trying to work out problems from this thread? http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1262895

 

or is this new?

If so, this poster sure has lots of medical emergencies.

 

If it is the same trip, OP, you said used your FF points to fly back. You had no loss, you purchased no tickets, you have no claim. What in the world do you want?

 

If you had purchased a ticket with money for this trip, you most likely could have used the return portion of your ticket. If it was a medical emergency, IME, most airlines would not have charged you a change fee, or the increase, if any, in the fare. Again, no loss.

 

I am not sure why you are having such a problem with this. I thought attorneys were supposed to be logical, though at times very "creative", thinkers. You honestly come off as sounding like you just want someone to pay you money for nothing.

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I should have bought new tix, rebanked the points, and signed the waiver. I could then have wrestled with the ethical issue of using the points at some future time. That way, I would have no cost to get home and still have the points.

 

Having said that, the fine print of the policy states that they would reimburse for airfare to return home minus any credit for unused tickets. If they used the honor system and said don't use those points again, thats one thing, but I suppose they could also deny payment on the theory that the unused FF points represent available credit that could have been used for the flight home.

 

I wish I had tried it. I would be no worse off than I am now. No points. No cash. And I have to pay outrageous airfare to retake the same trip this summer.

 

Who was it that said, "if you can solve a problem by throwing money at it, it ain't a problem." I wish I could find solace in that.

 

Since part of the claims process involves turning in unused tickets (or not touching an airfare credit), I'm pretty sure that re-banking the miles would closed that option off and you would have ended up with miles, but you'd be out the money you spent on the new plane tickets. (Plus you'd be out the hefty re-banking fees.)

 

Even if the only way they have of ensuring you don't touch your credit/miles is a signed contract... well, flagrantly violating a reasonable and clear signed contract is not a fuzzy ethical dilemma. You can be wistful for the money/miles it will cost you to replace your vacation, but don't be sorry you didn't do something unethical. The insurance company paid for your lost cruise without a quibble, didn't they? They held up their end of the bargain, why would you ever want to not hold up yours?

 

As I stated in the last thread you started on the subject (helpfully highlighted by klfrodo) you don't get cash (or miles, or anything) back for the parts of your trip that you use. You have no cash and no miles because you successfully made it to your destination and back just as you were supposed to. What exactly is there left for the insurance to cover?

 

I could understand putting up a fuss if you paid cash for your tickets, and then used miles to purchase the emergency tickets on a different airline because you had insufficient cash to purchase them outright. You probably wouldn't get reimbursed, by you would certainly have my sympathies... (not that that counts for anything.)

 

Yes, if you have to turn right around and go home before getting to enjoy your vacation, it's disappointing that you don't get to take a vacation that you just paid roundtrip airfare for; but how would they draw the line? Yeah, I could envision a policy that gives you 100% airfare reimbursement if you only spend one day where you want to be... but two days? three days? All but the last day? Where is the line? The insurance company has chosen to draw the line at unused trip arrangements, not merely ones that were unused at the time the emergency started.

 

You are looking for some sort of loophole that lets you save for later (or get paid for) the ticket that you instead spend getting home. There isn't one, and there isn't supposed to be. Let it go. Yes, it sucks, and sometimes life isn't fair. That's not what insurance is for.

 

SirWired

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Air credit/vouchers and unusued tickets are not FF miles/points. FF miles/points have no value, and as you already know from this and prior threads, cannot be insured as they have no value. To answer the question asked, which may not be the question intended, if a trip is interrupted for a covered reason (and which has not yet been shown to have happened) then purchasing a return one-way ticket home is usually covered by travel insurance under trip interruption. Using points is not.

 

Equating the two is something else entirely, as you already know and do not accept.

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I might be willing to concede that in the scenario described (1) that return airfare is not a compensable loss.

 

I will NEVER agree that FF points have no value. I think it would be very easy from a legal standpoint to assign value to them. One approach would be to look at the various hotel/airline websites and you will see that there is a cost to purchase points. That would be a starting point (and maybe the ultimate measure) to determine value.

 

(If FF points have no value, then why aren't the airlines just giving them away willy-nilly to any Tom, Dick, or Harry that wants them?).

 

Having said that, there must first be a covered loss before one even reaches the question of value.

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Ah, but the insurance company knows that FF points have value, which is exactly why, if you bought your own ticket (but kept your points) they would almost certainly not reimburse you. They even realize that FF points have cost, but only to the extent of the fees it costs to re-bank them. (Which some policies will pay in the event of a total cancellation, instead of an interruption.)

 

And neither scenario 1 no scenario 2 involve a reimbursable loss. Once you arrive at your original destination, you aren't getting money back for your airfare in either direction. You won't (net) pay anything over your original cost to get home, but you aren't getting a refund (in cash or points) either.

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...I will NEVER agree that FF points have no value....
Except that you do every time you purchase a travel insurance policy. Their insurable value is zero because their cost is zero. FF points are excluded by definition because you did not buy them with money (you were awarded them by buying other things on a credit card or staying in a specific hotel or flying on a particular airline). Unless you happen to belong to a program which allows point purchase AND you purchased 100% of the points used to obtain the tickets AND you do not have the option of re-depositing the points for future use. But travel insurance policies only cover pre-paid non-refundable COSTS. You would need a purchase receipt for your points, as well as proof that they cannot be re-deposited or re-used for another ticket.

 

You probably have already seen this, but if not here is a good explanation.

http://www.tripinsurancestore.com/3/frequent-flyer.shtml

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..And neither scenario 1 no scenario 2 involve a reimbursable loss. Once you arrive at your original destination, you aren't getting money back for your airfare in either direction. You won't (net) pay anything over your original cost to get home, but you aren't getting a refund (in cash or points) either.
As written this may be correct, except that scenario two specifically mentioned leaving the trip mid-way (not at the original final destination), prior to taking the cruise, and from an alternate airport.

 

IF (and we still don't know if this applies or not) the reason for such an interruption was for a covered reason, then the purchase of a new return ticket would be covered up to policy limits under the trip interruption provisions, generally 150% of total costs. (That 150% has to cover both return airfare and missed cruise/trip cost, so return airfare greater than 50% of the actual total insured costs would not be reimbursed.)

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I will NEVER agree that FF points have no value. I think it would be very easy from a legal standpoint to assign value to them. .

 

Unfortunately, what you or any one else feels about this, it makes absolutely no difference. The insurers can decide what they will and won't insure. If an insurer says they won't insure FF miles that's it, end or story, take your business elsewhere. They might even agree that FF miles are worth $1 each, or $10 each. But they can choose to not insure them for whatever reasons they might have, and they have every right to make that decision.

 

On the policies that include rental car CDW most won't insure Porsches and Yugos. Arbitrary? Probably, but they have their reasons. For the baggage loss benefit they exclude all sorts of items from coverage. It might not make sense but it doesn't have to make sense.

 

But arguing about these points after the fact, whether FF miles or Pprsches or losing a hearing aid, is pointless. Do your homework before you buy and find a policy that meets YOUR needs.

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All of this is a moot point. OP didn't have to purchase a return ticket; he was able to use his award ticket he "purchased" using FF miles. Doesn't matter what the tickets were "worth", he had no loss. I believe he is just upset he had to cut his trip short and now pay to go again this year.

 

That's life.

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