Back in late November 2006, my husband and I paid for a cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary which included airfare with Delta. The cruise was scheduled with Norwegian Cruise Lines for September 2007. The AAA travel agent booked our air travel in January 2007 for this trip from Michigan to Honolulu.
In August 2007, my husband was sent on a long-term business assignment in California by his employer, leaving me alone and behind in Michigan, because I have a job and responsibilities here too. As soon as we found out that he would be out in California at cruise time, we once again contacted our travel agent regarding the air travel. It would be illogical for my husband to fly all the way back home to Michigan from California to catch a plane from Michigan to go all the way west, back over California, and into Honolulu. We thought it was more efficient for him to just fly from LAX to Honolulu as well as the return flight be changed to stopping in LAX and not Michigan so he could catch another flight back to California.
With our travel agent making these changes to our air travel, this netted us a $335.40 credit or "miscellaneous charge order" (MCO) for my husband's future travel on Delta. She mailed the MCO to me and told me we had one year with which we could use the MCO.
To bring you to date, my husband is still on assignment in California and is due to be there for all of 2008 as well. This will have him being away from me and home for 16+ months. Because of my job as well as his and the distance between us, we don't see each other very much. He came home for a few days at Christmas and that is the last time we saw each other. We decided to use some of our timeshare points to rent a condo (back in Hawaii) to have another little vacation since planned vacations are the only way we are able to see each other.
We were lucky enough to find one timeshare left in all of Kauai available in April - this coincided well with the number of timeshare points we had available as well as my schedule and his. So the other night when all things looked like a go, I called Delta to book my husband's air travel from LAX to Honolulu using the MCO's we had left from our September 2007 air travel change. The ticket agent told me that the MCO expired in January 2008 less than a month ago from the night I was calling. I told him that this couldn't be. The papers I had from my travel agent show that the MCO only became available to us in September 2007 when the change was made from Michigan to LAX because of my husband's work assignment. He said the MCO was only valid from one year from when the original tickets were booked (January 2007), not from when the change order was put through in September 2007.
I told him that although I see valid for one year on the itinerary invoice from my travel agent, that invoice was dated September 2007. Nowhere on this MCO does it say that it is valid from the original reservation date. It doesn't say any date at all just an ambiguous one year. And besides, the MCO or credit only became available to us in September, not January. We effectively lost 9 months on this credit right off the bat.
Once I heard this news, I only had 10 minutes left that evening to cancel my timeshare reservation without any penalty. So I immediately called my husband crying and asking what should I do? Do I cancel the timeshare and then we not see each other after another 4 months of being separated? Or do I leave the timeshare reservation in place with the hopes that somehow, this can all be worked out? He said to leave the reservation alone and we would hopefully find a resolution.
I don't think it is fair to us that the MCO's did not say when the one year clock started clicking on them, especially when the date on said document is September 2007, not January. How was I to know it was January? If I had known we only had 3 months with which to make a reservation using the MCO, I would have done so instead of trying to use it 4 months later and after it had expired. Come on - give me a little credit for being a relatively smart individual and for working with documents with an ambiguous one year date. And even if we have to go back to the original ticketing, then I was less than a month beyond the one year date. They shouldn't penalize us for something that wasn't clear on their MCO. It's not like I am asking 2 years after the MCO expired it only expired less than a month ago from when I called Delta in mid-February.
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