764
Topic Author
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 6:34 pm

Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:35 pm

Just found out about this the hard way:

Apparently Delta no longer waives cancellation or rebooking penalties in case of illness. There is a provision that allows for a refund if the passenger dies, but that's it. All major airlines used to allow you to cancel or rebook in case of a substantiated illness, mostly even an illness of a close relative. You were also able to rebook or cancel if a close relative died.

Now Delta refuses to refund any portion of the ticket. When I originally purchased the tickets, there was a website error that just displayed a white page instead of the rules, so I was unable to print them. And guess what - Delta is unable to provide passengers with a copy of the rules after the time of booking. They simply state that I have to fly or lose the ticket altogether. What an excellent customer service....
 
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pylon101
Posts: 430
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2008 5:36 pm

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:43 pm

No comment, really.
Delta is.. Delta - you can't expect more.
The worst part would be if other US carriers follow.
 
hiflyer
Posts: 1270
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2004 1:38 am

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:43 pm

It may be possible they felt too much abuse of the program or too hard to verify. I've had medical request waivers for headaches...sigh. Either way it is a shame but I suspect they are matching some other carriers who have already done it..
 
joeljack
Posts: 496
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2005 12:38 pm

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:52 pm

I was sick with H1N1 last fall and United wouldn't waive the fees either to change my flight to a few days later. Of course, I wasn't willing to pay the fee so I just few home sick. I feel sorry for those around me but as I was coughing quit a bit during the flight but it is what it is...I wasn't going to spend $150 + fare difference to change my ticket. This is how airlines work these days. I wasn't aware that any airlines still let you change for free if you're sick. If this was the case, I would just claim that I'm sick every time I want to change a flight.
 
N801NW
Posts: 558
Joined: Mon Jul 12, 2004 8:56 am

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:55 pm

The UA policy is the most generous. With proof, in some circumstances they will refund the change fee and keep the rest of the ticket as a voucher. Some other things, like jury duty or new/revised military orders, will let you completely refund the non-refundable ticket. DL mentions refunding the ticket to the estate of the deceased passenger. CO doesn't even have the death exemption in the CoC, and AA notes that personal emergencies don't qualify for special consideration.

I was looking at this stuff last weekend because I have a situation with UA, and I wondered how I'd fare on other carriers.
 
GT4EZY
Posts: 511
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:35 pm

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:58 pm

Quoting joeljack (Reply 3):
I wasn't aware that any airlines still let you change for free if you're sick. If this was the case, I would just claim that I'm sick every time I want to change a flight.

Absolutely and maybe that is partly the reason why the waiver has been withdrawn.
Proud to fly from Manchester!
 
LJ
Posts: 4116
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:59 pm

Quoting 764 (Thread starter):
Apparently Delta no longer waives cancellation or rebooking penalties in case of illness.

Don't you have travel insurance for these things?
 
avek00
Posts: 3157
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 3:59 pm

Travel insurance -- often available for a relatively small fee -- is invaluable for protecting against situations like these.
Live life to the fullest.
 
NWBOS
Posts: 122
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:01 pm

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 4:03 pm

The fact of the matter is you can still use the value of the ticket at a later time by paying a penalty. You are using a perishable product, and holding a seat that DL can sell to someone else. The bean counters associate a dollar amount to that lost revenue, and not charging penalties means DL (or any other carrier) doesn't recoup the lost revenue.

Unfortunately, fees for checking bags, buying tickets at a ticket counter, and premium seats are also horrible customer service but a necessary reality today. If all airlines were to go along with a unilateral price increase to make ticket prices cover all of these things which we now consider "extras," we'd be back to appropriate pricing and we could have the frills that used to be there. I don't like it any more than you do, but it's our reality.

Compare it to travel services like Hotwire and Priceline. You get a great price but with no changes permitted. Personally, I'd rather take my chances and go with the low price.

I am a ticket agent and see so much abuse with the international ticket "medical" waivers. Parents coming into the USA to visit their children, and their 3 week trip turns into a 6 month soujurn with a vague medical letter saying the person was there for "treatment." I honestly don't think we should give a medical waiver. If the person can afford medical care in the USA, they can afford to pay the date change penalty or a fare that allows a longer maxium stay. I've seen this abuse all the time.
 
764
Topic Author
Posts: 486
Joined: Tue Jul 31, 2001 6:34 pm

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 5:17 pm

Quoting LJ (Reply 6):
Don't you have travel insurance for these things?

The problem with travel insurance is that you first have to cancel the ticket and then file a claim and pray that they will approve it. My experience with insurances - particularly travel insurances - has not been good at all. So rather than taking that chance, I'll board the flight in spite of my fever and just potentially get everybody else - including the crew - sick. Anyway, I am getting more and more disappointed with Delta....
 
rcaq
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:14 pm

RE: Delta No Longer Allows Medical Cancellations

Wed May 05, 2010 5:40 pm

The "somewhat new DL policy" shown here comes as no surprise to me. It's common practice w/ some carriers in Europe - FR do offer addnl. insurance by third party companies. Just like many other airlines.

From what I've seen over the last yrs, there's a signficant number of ppl who just pretend to be ill & take this as a reason to forgo the fees. Seriously, from an econ. POV, the new DL policy doesn't sound too bad. As usual, more of one factor means less of the other - in this case, it's another customer service / convenience point less...

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