My American Airlines Flight Was Delayed – I Spent $260 on “Reasonable Expenses”, but Forgot to Request a Delay Verification Form to Be Reimbursed!

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My holiday travels were delayed a couple months ago thanks to some American Airlines technical difficulties.

I was holed up in Dallas overnight.  I used my Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for all my necessary purchases because I knew I’d be reimbursed for everything.

But after filing a claim with Chase, there was one missing document I needed:  A statement of delay from the airline.  Without it, I’d have to kiss goodbye the ~$260 I spent on a hotel room and food.  I hadn’t thought to request one of these in the moment!

Chase Trip Delay Insurance
This Is an Example of the Delay Verification Form I Should Have Requested from American Airlines.  Team Member Jason Requested One During His United Airlines Delay, and Shrewdly Asked That the Agent Write the Specific Cause for Delay

Acquiring an American Airlines Statement of Delay

Booking your travel with a card that comes with trip delay insurance can save you so much money.  Some of the best cards with this insurance are:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – I’ve had this card for years, and use it to book my travel
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card – Jason has this card, and used it to get his trip reimbursed
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® – This card comes with the best trip delay insurance

Here’s why you should put all of your travel on one of these cards:   If you experience a delay of 12+ hours (6+ hours in the case of the Chase Sapphire Reserve), or if you’re required to stay overnight, Chase will reimburse you for all your reasonable expenses.  That includes stuff like:

  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Toiletries
  • Transportation

As long as you pay for your airfare at least in part with one of these cards, you can be reimbursed.  However, you’ll also need:

  • Proof that the travel was charged to your card
  • A copy of your ticket
  • Copies of receipts for the claimed expenses
  • A statement from the common carrier (i.e. the airline) indicating the reasons

    the trip was delayed

  • Possibly other documentation deemed necessary to substantiate the claim

I forgot to pick up a statement from American Airlines as to why we were delayed.  Initially, I decided to just try and send them a screenshot of my TripIt account, and a string of text updates showing all my flight delays culminating in my overnight delay.  But it wasn’t good enough for Chase.

I then reached out to American Airlines for a proper statement.  It was very easy.

Step 1.   Click “Contact American” on the American Airlines Home Page

Navigate to the American Airlines home page and scroll to the bottom.  Under “Help“, click “Contact American“.

Select “Contact American”

Step 2.   Call or Email American Airlines

Near the bottom of the next page, you can choose how you want to contact American Airlines customer service.  I chose to email them.

Email American Airlines Customer Service

Step 3.   Choose the Topic of Your Email

You’ll now have to select the department you’re trying to reach, as well as the nature of your question.

Choose the Topic, Subject, and Reason for Your Message

Step 4.   Fill Out a Quick Form and Enter Your Message

You’ll need to enter travel details like your flight number, dates, and origin and destination.  Then just write a cordial message indicating that you need proof of delay from them.  That’s it!

Compose a Polite Message to the Airline

I was VERY pleased with the response I received from American Airlines.  They wrote me an email apologizing for my delay, and a perfect statement of delay that I promptly passed onto Chase.

Email Response from American Airlines for My Chase Trip Delay Claim

Bottom Line

If you experience a delay severe enough to cause credit card trip delay insurance to kick in (it’s not an oddity), remember to grab a trip delay form before leaving the airport. You’ll need it when you file your claim with Chase!  You can get it from the gate agent or customer service.

I’ve never forgotten to pick this up before, and I was a little nervous I wouldn’t receive one through email!  Fortunately, American Airlines presented me with an eloquent message corroborating my story.

Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience!  And if you want to learn more travel tricks of the trade, sign-up for our email newsletter:

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Joseph Hostetler is a full-time writer for Million Mile Secrets, covering miles and points tips and tricks, as well as helpful travel-related news and deals. He has also authored and edited for The Points Guy.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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