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On a recent trip to Santiago, Chile, my connecting flight from Dallas to Santiago was canceled. People were freaking out and it was complete pandemonium at the gate. Since I always book through Ultimate Rewards and pay for my trips with Chase Sapphire Reserve®, I knew there was nothing to worry about (other than missing my first 24 hours in Chile!).

Travel to Chile

Chase Sapphire Reserve travel perks

Before American Airlines officially announced the flight was canceled, there were a ton of flight changes.

chase sapphire reserve trip delay
It started with the flight being delayed three times before the cancelation was announced.

I knew it the bad news would continue, but I kept calm. Plus, because this trip had the travel goodness of Chase Sapphire Reserve all over it, I knew it’d be okay eventually.

On a travel day like this one, I took full advantage of the Chase Sapphire Reserve perks that come with being a cardholder.

How Chase Sapphire Reserve Saved the Day

I was covered with Chase Sapphire Reserve because my flight qualified for:

  • A delay that was more than 12 hours and/or
  • An overnight stay

I also qualified for Chase to cover reasonable expenses I may have incurred due to the cancelation. Examples of these expenses include:

  • Hotel room
  • Meals
  • Toiletries
  • A change of clothes

I saved all itemized receipts and used my American Airlines cancelation notification email as proof when I turned in the reimbursement paperwork online.

Chase Sapphire Reserve trip delay
The plane that wasn’t going anywhere.

What I Itemized

After the flight cancelation was announced, American Airlines said they would not return checked luggage to passengers. Since my bag was checked, I decided to make a stop at the local drugstore to grab a toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo and conditioner.

This required extra cab rides to the drugstore and hotel, so I also itemized this expense. I was also hungry, so I picked up a late dinner and some snacks for the next morning.

I was reimbursed for:

  • Toiletries
  • Uber ride to the pharmacy and back to my hotel
  • Dinner at a local restaurant

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Trip Delay Reimbursement Process

The easiest way to initiate a claim is to call the number on the back of your card (1-800-436-7970). You can also complete this online. I filled out a short form and included my personal and flight information.

In a nutshell, these were the steps I took so I could get reimbursed:

  1. I kept all of my receipts and took photos of them.
  2. Went to Chase’s reimbursement portal
  3. I uploaded my receipts.
  4. Wait. (According to the site, I would get notified regarding next steps in about 7 days.)

If you choose to call, an agent will transfer you to a benefits representative who can walk you through the steps. According to Chase’s website, the claim will take about six to eight weeks to process.

American Airlines Hotel Voucher vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve Trip Delay Reimbursement

Chase Sapphire Reserve Trip Delay

After the flight was canceled, American Airlines immediately issued hotel and taxi vouchers. The hotel covered one night’s stay and the taxi vouchers covered a ride to and from the airport and hotel. They also included a meal voucher worth $12 (redeemable at any restaurant or food establishment in the Dallas Airport).

I knew I could’ve received the hotel and taxi reimbursements from Chase Sapphire Reserve®, but decided it was easier to use the vouchers from American Airlines.

The only reason I used the vouchers from American Airlines was because I happened to be one of the first people in line at the counter when they announced the flight was canceled and began issuing vouchers. If I had been last in the massive line, I would’ve gone straight to the hotel and used the Chase Sapphire Reserve trip delay assistance.

Signs of a Solid Travel Credit Card

Having options is important to me when I travel, especially when there is panic and confusion at the gate. It was clear my fellow travelers had no idea what they were supposed to do or where they were supposed to go — don’t be one of these people!

Booking your trips with one of the best travel credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, gives you peace of mind. If you know what you’re supposed to do, you’ll stress less if things go terribly wrong.

Keep in mind that not every travel credit card offers the same kind of perks as the Chase Sapphire Reserve. For instance, the Chase Sapphire Preferred perks are also numerous but they don’t come with as many. You can see how the Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Chase Sapphire Preferred compare.

Based on how much traveling you do, be sure to compare and shop around to see what is covered in the event of a trip delay. For further information, check out our post on credit cards that offer trip delay insurance.

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2 Comments On "Flight Canceled: Chase Sapphire Reserve Trip Delay Saved Me"
  1. Rich De Mink|

    Can you redeem points earned toward flights on Southwest Airlines?

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Yes, you can transfer points to Southwest instantly at a 1:1 ratio.

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