Last January when Mr. Ralph learned the cancer had spread to his bones, he asked if we could just live on Maui for the rest of his years. Not six months here and six months there. Just Maui. You betcha!
We already had return tickets scheduled for Portland in May 2013. I called to cancel and get a refund, expecting a big financial hit. The customer service agent said if we thought we might rebook within 12 months, we would not have to pay the cancellation or change fee. Well, why not! We could come to Portland for a two week vacation or travel to a different island! Win/win.
Just this year I remembered his unused ticket. (I had already used mine.) I called to see about a refund. Many many minutes later, I was directed to use the website to ask about this because this agent said the refund would be less $150 cancellation fee. Really? I think a person dying of cancer should get a break ... especially because he died in MAY before the unused ticket was scheduled to fly.
I did email. Back and forth for ten times over five weeks (because you know they have to take their 3-5 business days to respond). After sending and RESENDING his death certificate twice. The last email said:
Thank you for responding.
We apologize for the delayed response.
The reservation has been documented for the refund. Kindly contact our Reservations at 1-800-367-5320 for processing.
Should you have other concern, please do not hesitate to respond to this email.
Today I finally had a quiet moment to make what I figured would be a 10-15 minute phone call to get the refund mailed to me. Forty-five minutes later I was directed to the website to send in a request for a refund. Because the Hawaiian Air VISA card that I used to charge the flight is no longer active because Ralph is dead!!!
But of course I have learned a valuable lesson. Now I will only book one way tickets to Paradise. Because death changes.