This happened to a friend of mine (I framed the question differently to make it shorter). She told me about this and I'm wondering if she did the right thing given the situation.


My friend had an international flight which would be departing from a different city (not the one she lived in). She booked an airport shuttle to take her there. She had to board the airport shuttle at a common drop-off point, and planned to take a taxi to get to the drop-off. However, a friend we have in common, Kay, volunteered to drive her to the drop-off point, so she agreed.

On the day of the flight, Kay did not show up on time. My friend phoned her several times with no answer. She was about to call a taxi when Kay phoned her, saying she had overslept and misplaced her phone (she was calling from a different phone). Kay ended up arriving about 30 minutes late.

As a result, my friend missed her airport shuttle and had no other way to get to the airport. Kay volunteered to drive her, and asked her boyfriend to help as well because it was a long drive.

In the end, Kay drove my friend to the airport and then drove back to her home city (total 8 hours driving). My friend thanked her, but did not give her any monetary compensation. She says that she paid $45 for the airport shuttle, which is nonrefundable, and Kay "owes" her for making her lose that money.

I feel she should have reimbursed Kay, because Kay drove the round trip, rather than the one-way trip my friend paid for.

How should Kay be repaid without making her feel bad for her mistake? Should she be reimbursed for the cost of gas? What about the value of her and her boyfriend's time?

Additional notes that could affect your answer:

  • Kay is chronically late and can't keep appointments on time
  • Kay has financial troubles and only makes enough to support herself
  • Despite the initial delay, my friend did not miss her flight
  • I typed an elaborate answer to your question, but then realized after seeing the close votes that this is off-topic. So I deleted my answer. If you could reword your question to "How would one go about offering money while letting them know it is their fault" or something along the lines of interpersonal skills, I will undelete my answer. – Crazy Cucumber Jan 30 '19 at 17:10
  • @CrazyCucumber Ok I have tried rewording the q, but I'm not sure if it's still off topic. – souzan Jan 30 '19 at 18:01
  • Hi souzan! You can read more about what's on-topic in the help center - I think the main issue right now is that you're kind of asking us how much to pay, if at all. The first question about how to reimburse her would be ok, but I think more details about your concerns would be helpful. Right now, I'm not sure why paying her back would be problematic, are you worried Kay might react poorly for some reason, does your friend need advice on how to not sound ungrateful, something else? – Em C Jan 30 '19 at 23:14

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