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One Good Way to Screw Up Christmas, by Jake Redman.

Jake Redman October 1, 2014

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Alternate title: “Santa keeps his lumps of coal right next to the Delta Amex Companion Certificates.”

Santa Flips us OffDelta’s 24 hour “risk free” cancellation period sounds (and is) great if you want to hold on to a fare for a day. That’s what I attempted with a ticket for my wife and I for a trip over this coming Christmas holiday. The problem is that I used the companion certificate that I get with my American Express Platinum card every year. Turns out that if you want to cancel, even just to make slight changes, your certificate is also cancelled…even during the “no risk” cancellation period!

In our case, the Ms. needed to another day to clear her holiday schedule, so with the push of a button (“Cancel”) I also pushed Christmas with the family further from reach.

Delta’s wording in their companion cert rules couldn’t be more clear: “If the primary ticket or the Companion ticket is cancelled, both tickets will be cancelled and the Companion ticket will not be reissued.” But the 24 hour “risk free” period also seems to imply, well…no risk.

Delta’s 24 Hour “Risk Free” policy: http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/ticket-changes-refunds/risk-free-cancellation.html

Companion Certificate Info: http://www.delta.com/content/www/en_US/traveling-with-us/planning-a-trip/booking-information/online-booking/companion-certificates.html

So let this be a cautionary tale. One day you’re a hero for finding the perfect deal on flights to see Grandma, the next, just a dunce of a travel blogger that failed to read the fine print.

To make this more dramatic, here’s our review of the seats I had picked out:


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Jake Redman

Jake Redman

Modhop Host & Founder Jake Redman brings years of global exploration and travel tips to the podcast and our videos at Modhop. Jake is also a Producer and Host for SiriusXM.

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