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Reader Gordon S. shared his experience using trip delay coverage from his Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. It didn’t work out the way he expected, and it seems walking through the reason why so that you can set your expectations correctly and know how to succeed with your own claims.
- He and his wife were flying American Airlines from Barcelona to New York JFK. They diverted to London Heathrow when all of the toilets stopped working. They “sat on the runway for two hours while they tried to fix the issue.” When that didn’t work, everyone was offloaded and re-booked. They spent the night in a hotel at London Heathrow.
- They submitted a trip delay claim. American covered the hotel and provided EU 261 compensation of 600 euros each, but they had “food, taxi, and toiletry expenses.”
- The claim was denied by the third party administrator of the benefit after “two months of emails, calls, radio silence, and then follow-up emails and calls” because they had already been compensated. They included in their claim that they had received 600 euros each already from American.
- No one from the third party provider nor Chase could explain to them why the 600 euros, which wasn’t an expense reimbursement, was being counted here — nor why it took two months of paperwork to get the denial when they were up front about what they had received from the start.
I’ve had several successful credit card trip delay benefit claims. I’ve also experienced frustration getting to point where they’re successful. I once received a payout from a Citi-related claim after the claim was denied — they never told me the check was coming, or that they finally agreed with me, the money just arrived after I pushed back on their rejection.
I’ve also found trip insurance purchased separately to be equally frustrating. They don’t make money paying out claims, so it’s important to follow the rules by the letter to get paid and to follow up, whether you’re buying coverage or receiving it from a credit card.
For instance here’s the benefit guide for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the relevant line from that benefit guide: “Trip Delay Reimbursement is supplemental to, and excess of any valid and collectible avenue or recovery which is available to you, the eligible Cardholder.”
This is very broad — any money resulting from the delay applies to your expenses first before their coverage kicks in, and I don’t think distinctions about whether EU261 coverage is meant to reimburse specific expenses is going to be relevant to this. (Here’s how to claim EU261 delay compensation.)
Chase and their third party claims administrator ought to be able to point to their terms when denying a claim, and explain how they came to their position (as well as what a customer should do if they disagree).