Travel companies do the right thing when one man struck by tragedy

Dec 12, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Nearly every human life is touched by tragedy at some point. For TPG reader Matt Zion, that was the sudden loss of his fiancé, Robyn.

He wrote to tell us his heartbreaking story with the hopes it might someone else in their time of need.

On Nov. 6, the couple got the unfortunate news that Robyn had been diagnosed with cancer. Just two short weeks later on Nov. 23, Robyn passed away.

The couple shared a love for travel and got the chance to visit a number of great places together, “I had the opportunity to take her to Peru, Panama, Budapest, Munich, Vienna, Lake Como, Milan, Venice, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Utah, Vegas, Nashville… but I wanted to show her more.” said Zion. 

With so many trip under their belts, it’s no wonder that they were looking forward to multiple trips planned for the future.

For instance, the two had a trip planned to Amsterdam the day after Thanksgiving. After receiving the cancer diagnosis and beginning Robyn’s chemotherapy treament, Zion reached out to Delta and explained the situation as the trip was no longer feasible.

Initially they offered me a cancellation with change fee and we would have to travel within 10 months to use funds. I told them that would not work for us. At that point I assumed she would be with me for a long time, but did not know how long we would be battling. After a brief argument they did refund me the full amount and it took less than 48-hours to appear on my Chase Sapphire.”

That was just a week prior to her passing away. It wasn’t the only trip the couple had planned.

After Robyn passed, Zion not only had to grieve the tragic loss, but he was also left with numerous other itineraries for two. With the daunting task ahead, he reached out to American, Southwest, Orbitz, Marriott and Hilton about future reservations. To his relief, all of the companies were understanding and issued an instant refund in both cash and points.

Related:Comprehensive guide to airline bereavement fares

During the difficult process of grieving, the sympathy and condolences from major companies offered Zion some solace. Zion shared he was relieved not to have to jump through a bunch of hoops, “… that you’re mentally not prepared for after tragedy. Sometimes you can make a call and companies will show some humanity.”

It’s so nice to hear Zion’s positive feedback on some of the largest travel companies in the world. Hopefully his story will help someone else in a time of need. TPG offers our condolences to Zion.

Featured photo courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.