Full refund with Tripmasters and Allianz

By Paula Prindle
This item appears on page 15 of the May 2019 issue.

My husband’s cousin, Diana, and I had scheduled a trip to Paris and Amsterdam with Tripmasters (Rockville, MD; 800/430-0484, www.tripmasters.com). We had purchased travel insurance through Allianz Global Assistance, which Tripmasters had recommended; we chose the Horizon Plan.

Our arrangements cost us each $1,123.57 plus $73.13 for the insurance. This covered airfare from Columbus, Ohio, to Paris on Delta Air Lines; four nights in a superior twin room at a 3-star hotel in Paris (with breakfast); an Air France flight to Amsterdam; three nights in a standard twin room at a 4-star hotel in Amsterdam, and our return Delta flight to Columbus, all taxes included, in summer!

We were to depart on Aug. 22, 2018, but on Aug. 9 Diana developed a serious eye infection. We waited as long as we could before canceling, hoping her eye would clear up, but on Aug. 19 I called both Tripmasters and Allianz to explain the situation and find out what I needed to do. (Diana eventually required surgery.)

The following day, Tripmasters emailed to explain what we’d be eligible to receive back from the hotels and airlines if we canceled and to get our written approval for them to proceed with the cancellation.

At that late date, we were surprised to hear that we would be getting anything back from the hotels and airlines, especially since we had chosen nonrefundable (cheaper) hotel reservations. It was explained to us that we were eligible to receive a small sum, which would be channeled through Tripmasters to our credit card accounts.

Two separate refunds would be credited, as it takes the airlines longer to process refunds. We would have received a larger sum from Delta, but there was a $300-per-person cancellation fee. Tripmasters, itself, levies no cancellation fee.

Allianz emailed me the same day, Aug. 20, and I filled in their online claim form, including a statement from Diana’s ophthalmologist.

Unbelievably, our credit cards were each credited $131.45 from the hotels (via Tripmasters) on Aug. 22, our scheduled departure day.

On Sept. 5, I received an email from Allianz saying they couldn’t proceed until they had more information. I called, and they said they just needed to know how much Tripmasters was going to refund us. I called Tripmasters to see what the delay was, and they said they’d get right on it.

Two days later, Allianz informed me they had processed the claim and we would receive a refund for everything except what Tripmasters was refunding.

On Sept. 14, our credit cards were credited $222.58 each (Delta’s refund via Tripmasters), and we each received a check for $769.54 from Allianz. We recouped every penny we had paid (minus the cost of the insurance, of course). It had taken 25 days from start to finish. Now, THAT’S service!

I was so impressed that I rebooked the trip with my husband, and, yes, we DID get the insurance.


Orient, OH