My Biggest Blunder of 2020

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

 

We all make mistakes when it comes to points, miles and travel. In general, it involves passing on a great sign-up bonus, not jumping on a short-lived deal or forgetting something for a trip. This year held no shortage of blunders for me. For example, I put an entire money order with receipt in my laundry. In case you find yourself in the same situation, I learned and wrote about how to replace a money order. I also single handedly delayed an entire 767 Delta flight which I wrote about here. All normal things, right? Well, these missteps were all leading up to losing my passport in epic fashion.

 

How it Happened

I ordered a new backpack after reading about a deal in the Travel on Point(s) Facebook Group. I figured it was time and maybe I would try a new backpack style for my trips. It was ordered on Amazon, and I had it two days later. It came with a nice pocket to hold a passport and credit cards and had the RFID Blocking Pockets to help prevent electronic identity theft. I put my passport in it to see how it fit, which was great. But then, I noticed a broken zipper hook. I figured I could simply return it to Amazon for a new one–no problem.

The Return

A couple days later, I shook out my bag to make sure I did not forget anything in it. I took it to UPS, shipped it off for return and quickly received a new bag from Amazon. By now, you've probably figured out where this story is going.

 

The Discovery

I had been part of planning an epic award booking to Mexico. Derrick and I had each booked a night in a three bedroom penthouse at The Thompson in Cabo. We also had a couple nights planned at the Waldorf Astoria, which gets amazing reviews.

Leading up to the trip, I decided to apply for global entry as well. I figured I could do my interview coming back into the country if I did get approved. I went to grab my passport from where I normally keep it. Nothing. Remembering my new bag, I went there only to realize that I returned the first bag and this was a new one. My heart sank. I was sick to my stomach.

What I missed out on

Dealing with Amazon

It seemed like an easy fix. I had the tracking information, and the bag had not arrived at the Las Vegas return warehouse. I began a chat and told them the package was arriving tonight. Finally, I explained I needed the bag back. I figured they could simply pull it and send it back.

I was told that cannot be done, but they could check the bag for me. In fact, they have a form and official request for this type of thing. It's the accidental return form. Obviously, this is not an unusual occurrence. They put in a request and told me to follow up the next day. They forgot to tell me everything that was about to happen.

The Follow Up

I spent the next week chatting with several reps, who all offered different answers. First, I was told to stop following up. Second, they instructed me it could take up to four weeks. Finally, I was told I may never get the passport back. Apparently this form allows Amazon up to four weeks to locate and check the item. They refused to simply send the bag back.

I was shocked they could not call the warehouse. After weeks of waiting, I noticed they had processed my return. But, I had heard nothing, so I reached out. They claimed it was not in the bag. What  happened? One rep I spoke with had the most logical theory: it was likely thrown away. I assume they go through the bags and toss out everything.

Final Thoughts

We all make mistakes. This trip involved others and an epic booking. Had it not been 2020 and COVID, I could have zipped down to a passport office and done an expedited one. I checked every possible location in the U.S. and none were allowing expedited same day passports. I cannot even describe how upset or sick to my stomach I was. It ate at me for weeks. Well, I now have a passport appointment with new photos and forms filled out. Let's hope for a smooth process to get my new passport.

Do you have any travel related blunders? Ever return something to Amazon on accident? Come over to our Facebook group and let us know your thoughts. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram too!

 

Travel on Point(s) has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Travel on Point(s) and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

Affiliates