A stress-free award refund: TPG reader success story

Apr 12, 2020

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community. This week, Gower emailed me to share how he had managed to easily refund an award flight amid unusually long coronavirus wait times.
“I’ve been following all your advice and wanted to share my experience with Delta. I had a Delta SkyMiles award flight from London (LHR) to Boston (BOS) that was booked ages ago for travel later this month to run the Boston Marathon. I needed to cancel it because the marathon was no longer taking place at that time because of the coronavirus.
I originally tried to call Delta (that is hard at the best of times from the U.K.) a week or so ago, but it was simply impossible to get through. Completely understandable, given the circumstances. So I left it, then later checked out the latest guidance it was giving online, and all the updates I saw on TPG. I called the airline a few days later and got through. The agent recommend the U.S. number for international flight reservations (‭+1 (800) 241-4141‬). I got through pretty quickly, after declining the option of a call back and just stayed on hold for a couple of minutes.
I explained I had a SkyMiles award booking, the dates I was due to travel and that I wanted a full refund of points back to my SkyMiles account, and the substantial fees all refunded (since the fees are all tax, I assume the airline will not lose out and this shouldn’t hit their cash flow).
Anyway, the agent was amazing, confirmed my request and within 30 seconds my Delta app showed the 160,000 points back in my SkyMiles account. He said the fees would take a couple of weeks as the airline had a huge backlog.”
In the current coronavirus climate, there are many flights being cancelled. If you are considering cancelling an award booking for travel in the coming weeks, we generally recommend you wait before doing so, as you will be required to pay a small cancellation fee in order to get your points and miles back. Unfortunately, you can expect long wait times if you need to call an airline as so many other travellers are doing the same. If you have luck like Gower with an international contact number, you may be able to bypass the queue.
If you have a travel success (or failure) story even if you’re stuck at home, we would love to hear about it!
Featured image by Gettys Images

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