Author Topic: When a bargain Swiss business fare ends up not being one - will CSR help?  (Read 560 times)

Offline ExGingi

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Last year a deal was posted for RT ZRH-TLV for 2 pax or more for sub $500.

Knowing that I usually go to TLV in February, I booked 3 seats via Priceline, but cancelled 2 of them within the free cancelation window (luckily, or maybe not, they didn't reprice the single ticket I kept). I figured I'd get JFK-ZRH using miles, as availability is usually decent, and indeed when Lifemiles.com had a sale on purchasing miles, as well as discounted mileage rates, I booked my RT from JFK-ZRH to complete my itinerary. I then contacted LX to link the reservations so everything should run smooth.

Unfortunately, as has happened to me in the past when I booked a bargain J fare in advance, due to hospitalization of a family member, I am forced to change my travel plans and go a week earlier. I tried contacting Swiss via Twitter to change the ticket, but they said it's an open agency ticket, and only travel agency can touch. Priceline is saying no changes or refunds permitted and no medical exceptions, call Swiss.

On my Lifemiles.com redemption, since I will be changing the destination, it seems like it will have to be a cancelation and new redemption at regular rates (and due to time and availability constraints it doesn't look like I might be able to save some with a HC, as those can take days to book).

My only hope now might be to get something back from CSR which was used to pay for the tickets. Does anyone have experience with coverage from CSR prior to original travel date? I.E. I know now that I won't be able to travel on original tickets, will CSR cover the cancelation fee with Lifemiles and the lost revenue ticket due to hospitalization of immediate family member? Or will I have to wait until after the original travel date and claim that I couldn't travel due to the circumstances? If that's the case, it might work for the revenue ticket, but the Lifemiles ticket needs to be canceled now so I can book something else.

Any tips would be appreciated.
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Offline shimino1

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Re: When a bargain Swiss business fare ends up not being one - will CSR help?
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 02:46:55 AM »
This is why you should always buy travel insurance the moment you buy your tickets!
Most people don't realize that airlines do not have to refund the ticket even if you or a family member are sick and were hospitalized.
The only case where airlines refund is by a death of a close relative.

Regardless of the official rules, many times an airline will refund for sickness, especially with proper documentation such as hospitalization records, etc but it can be an arduous process.

Offline shmooz

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Re: When a bargain Swiss business fare ends up not being one - will CSR help?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 05:47:54 AM »
The way in general travel insurance works is that to make a claim you have to first cancel, and show your cancelled ticket and submit a claim. If you have a documented health issue in family they should cover the revenue ticket. Some also the redeposit fee, not sure about csr.

Best to present the question to csr claim department.

I don't agree with above poster to always buy insurance, the credit cards insurance can be very good. Insurance can be needed to cover medical in other countries though.

Offline shaulyaakov

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Re: When a bargain Swiss business fare ends up not being one - will CSR help?
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2020, 08:00:30 AM »
First, call the claims line to ask about what documentation you need and in broad strokes if thi gs are covered. Then, as was pointed out, they'll need evidence of out of pocket expenses.

The claim is handled through a 3rd party. I had no issues with them when I claimed about $700 due to a 24 hour flight delay (hotel, meals, ubers, plus about $250 from target as we needed to rebuy everything as Southwest cancelled our flight after we checked our bags and they wouldn't give them back).

My point is, they didn't make us jump through hoops, but we needed to ensure all documentation was in order (proof of trip, proof of payment with card, proof of delay, proof of out of picked expenses, and in the case of my wife, proof of relationship to primary cardholder).

Offline ExGingi

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Re: When a bargain Swiss business fare ends up not being one - will CSR help?
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2020, 08:42:13 AM »
The big question here is whether this is a covered event.

Say for example one is scheduled to travel to TLV on Feb 25th for a week. But due to hospitalization of a family member in Israel ends up going Feb 10th and coming back Feb 20th. Technically the original trip can still happen, but due to the circumstances it will not be taken.

When Citi had travel protections I had a similar issue with a bargain RJ ticket in J. The medical issue ended up lasting longer back then, with the loved one still in the hospital on the originally scheduled date of travel, so I got full reimbursement based on that.
I've been waiting over 5 years with bated breath for someone to say that!
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Offline shmooz

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Re: When a bargain Swiss business fare ends up not being one - will CSR help?
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2020, 09:02:05 AM »
My guess is they can easily deny it, and probably will, consider yourself lucky if they cover it.