When Mary Weisman first contacted What's Your Problem? in late 2012, she had a simple request.
All she needed was a letter.
Her teenage daughter, Lainie, had been scheduled to attend a student leadership conference at Fordham University, but bad weather canceled her July 18 flight to New York.
The Cary family had already paid close to $3,000 for the conference, money they thought they'd get back through a travel insurance policy. The insurance company had other ideas.
Weisman said her claim was rejected because she hadn't included a letter from the airline stating the flight had been canceled.
Easy enough, she thought.
Weisman first contacted Travelocity, the Internet site through which she purchased the ticket, but was told she had to call the airline directly.
And so it went for months, with no one willing to write a simple letter on her behalf stating the obvious — that the flight had been canceled.
Without the letter she couldn't file the insurance claim, and without the insurance claim, she was out thousands of dollars.
The Problem Solver called United Airlines in late December, and the Chicago-based airline quickly produced the cancellation letter. A grateful Weisman immediately forwarded the letter to the insurance company.
The column about her quest for reimbursement ran Jan. 3, but her journey did not end there.
In a Facebook message sent late last week, Weisman said the insurance company originally sent her a $500 check. She thought it was too little.
"I called the company and told them that their trip insurance policy was an insult," Weisman wrote.
The travel insurance company wouldn't budge, so she called the Chicago-based nonprofit agency that ran the conference, the National Student Leadership Conference.
"I asked if I could have some kind of resolution with them in the form of a refund or possibly allowing Lainie to go to a conference this summer," Weisman said.
She sent in all the paperwork, including the Jan. 3 What's Your Problem? column.
"Initially they said no, but I persisted — seriously, at this point I couldn't just let go," Weisman said.
On Thursday, a representative from the National Student Leadership Conference called to say it would allow Lainie to attend the same conference in New York this summer for free.
Needless to say, Weisman was pleased.
"It took a long time but it's just really cool," she said Monday.
She does, however, have one caveat.
When it's time for her daughter to attend the conference in New York, she will not fly.
"I will drive her there," Weisman wrote. "I'm so not sending her on an airplane again."