Help! A Check-in Agent’s Mistake Made Me Miss an Antarctic Cruise and I’m Out $17,000.

“While we empathize and understand that the insured’s travel was negatively impacted,” he wrote, “the plan does not cover errors made in determining travel documentation.”

I begged to differ, noting that your policy covers trip delays caused by common carriers “including, but not limited to, scheduled departure and return times and actual departure and return times.” That “not limited to” implies to me that events like being involuntarily bumped from a flight or, say, being told mistakenly by a rookie agent in Nashville that you can’t board a flight to Chile, also qualify as potential “hazards.”

I told this to Trip Mate, and they seemed to blink, if just slightly. “With any claim that is submitted,” Mr. Jordan wrote back, “we look at the situation holistically to see where we can apply benefits within the limits of the specific policy.” The policy does limit reimbursement for “trip delays” to $3,000, though.

What about Aurora? They were “deeply sorry to hear” you were unable to make it, said Cameron Ward, an Aurora spokesman. “Unfortunately, a multitude of travel incidents happen all the time. It’s for this reason we require all of our guests purchase travel insurance that provides complete coverage for any number of issues that may arise.”

Fair enough, but I think Aurora was in a good position to be generous (and score some good P.R. points). Finding a way to get you on a future cruise with a nice discount — perhaps under the condition you take one that was not expected to fill up — would cost them a lot less than $17,000. When I offered such a suggestion, they declined to comment.

Which brings me to how I’m feeling about customer service in the travel industry as we enter 2023. After careful review of this newspaper’s policy on the use of curse words, I, too, decline to comment.

If you need advice about a best-laid travel plan that went awry, send an email to TrippedU[email protected].


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