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Where to get proof for a trip delay or cancellation coverage claim

by on Fri May 8, 2015 • 11 Comments

If you used a credit card with trip delay or trip cancellation coverage like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi Prestige, or United MileagePlus Explorer, you could be covered if you encounter a long flight delay or end up having to cancel part of your travel arrangements.

For example, some cards offer $500 to reimburse hotel expenses or meals during long delays. Or they may cover any nonrefundable travel purchases that you can’t use because your flight’s delay makes it impossible to use them.

The catch is you need some sort of proof you had a flight delay when you file a claim.

And simply taking a screen shot of your flight status screen might not cut it.

But there are some policies in place that will let you get the proof you need…

American Airlines is the easiest.

They have an online form you can fill out to request a verification letter can be sent. Just have your flight date, and personal information, and they’ll look up the records to back you up.

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United is a little more informal.

You can email United on with your confirmation number, names of passengers, and the email or mailing address where you want the letter sent. It takes about 5 to 10 days to process.

Southwest asks that you call customer relations to get proof. You can reach them on (214) 932-0333 and press option 3. An agent will take your request for an email that documents your delay, but be prepared for long hold times on their customer relations number. Dialing reservations won’t be of any help, as only the customer relations hotline can generate the letter.

Delta, JetBlue, Alaska, and Virgin America don’t have any online policy either.

Just call their main reservations lines and request a letter, and they’ll generate one on airline letterhead.

An alternative is to deal with it right on the spot.

Sometimes airlines can generate a ‘Military Excuse‘ printout that details a delay. It’s meant to be cover for your supervisor if you’re late, and you don’t need to be in the military to request one. So if you’re willing to wait in line at the gate or customer service counter at the airport, it can save you having to call in later for proof.

Just make sure the agent notes the delay was longer than the threshold required by your card’s coverage, which can be 12 hours or more to be eligible for reimbursement.


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11 thoughts on Where to get proof for a trip delay or cancellation coverage claim

  1. Daniel

    Hi, for chase sapphire reserve, do parents count? The benefits claim currently only includes the cardholder, dependents under 22 or spouse/domestic partner. I got delayed while flying with my parents. Could they fall under the category of domestic partners? How would the claims dept even verify the relationship? (We all have the same last names so that helps)


      @Daniel – As far as we can see they do not cover parents. Best to call the number on the back of your card to check your specific situation.

  2. Susan Ford

    UPDATE: The page on American Airlines no longer exists, I have spent all afternoon trying to get a verification or written proof that I canceled my flight to submit to my travel insurance. I am giving up after 5 hours. No one at customer service is able to do this. I have been advised to write a letter to American! What year is this?


      @Susan Ford – The link above still goes to a page where you can specifically select ‘Trip insurance verification.’ It’s not instant – it goes to AA cust. service, but what response did you get when you filled out that form?

  3. Jeanette Hemingsen

    I’m having trouble viewing your website to get proof of my cancelled flight on March 23rd 2016 to Denver please help

  4. mike preach

    I need to know the reason UA 5451 from SBP to SFO on April 21, 2015 was cancelled by Air Traffic Control. This information is required by the insurance company that we purchased insurance from for our land/cruise package in Florida. We were due there the next morning in Florida to pick up our vouchers and were unable to get there.

    Please let us know if it was mechanical or weather that caused the cancellation in SBP.


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