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

Dec. 12, 2019
5 min read
Travel companies do the right thing when one man struck by tragedy
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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.

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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.

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