American Airlines Refund

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Feb 23, 2017
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On November 10th 2016 I purchased tickets for my wife and I to visit her family for Christmas in Honduras. It was soon after that that we Discovered that my wife was pregnant. Due to the Zika concerns we thought it might be better to put off the trip. I called American and spoke to a representative who told me that yes i could get a full cash refund if i provided a medical note from the doctor. We consulted the doctor and he recommended that we not go. I called up American to cancel. I again asked if i would get a full refund, not credit and was told yes by a second American representative and at that point cancelled the ticket with the same rep.

I later called up about the refund and was told i would have to fill out the application online which i did. The response was that Zika was no longer covered as a medical reason to cancel a flight; although 2 American representative had told me it was covered on the phone befor i cancelled. They offered me American credits and waived the fees from the rescheduling but the credits are only good for 1 year from date of purchase. I sent a few emails explaining the incorrect information i was given but American stood behind their decision.

I was going to take them to small claims court but wanted to know if that would be worth it.

Can i subpoena American for their recorded phone calls, or could they just delete and say they didn't have any?

Can they push the case date back a year so i will end up loosing both the cash and the credits if i loose or be forced to use them ?

Is it economically worth if I am trying to recoup $1232?

Don't you think that a company should stand behind what there employees do? It was obvious a change in policy that was not dispersed to everyone so that incorect information was being given out to the consumer and now it is the consumer who suffers.

Any advice would be appreciated.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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@Help needed Did the information the employees gave you impact your decision? If you were going to cancel regardless of what they said, you'll have a harder time getting anything. If you still would have gone, you can try getting them to reinstate your reservation.

Think about a "baby moon" to somewhere in the US not effected by zika if you get caught in a use or lose. You'll both appreciate it after the baby comes.

Congrats!
 
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Nov 14, 2016
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I'm a bit confused and without hearing the context of the calls exactly I'm not sure I can provide much advice. The AA policy is that if you booked your AA ticket on or before March 31, 2016 to a destination in Latin America or the Caribbean and are pregnant, you can request a full refund. You must provide a doctor's note confirming your pregnancy.

Now other locations (like Miami FL) have come up subsequently and people have been able to cancel those flights. So if the conversation was "can I get a refund due to Zika"? then the answer was Yes. But if it's "can I get a refund due to Zika with tickets to XXX that were purchased on such-and-such date" then the answer may not be Yes.

So here are a few questions:

1. Did you book on or before 3/31/2016?
2. How much "later" did you call to find out about the refund after the initial cancellation?
2. How and when did you provide the required doctor's note to AA if you didn't do it through their website?

Once we know these questions then perhaps we can provide more specific advice.
 
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Carrie Livingston

Moderator
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Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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@Help needed I think what happened is you booked tickets to Honduras in Nov 2016 for travel Dec 2016 and then found out your wife was pregnant and wished to cancel flights. You cancelled the flights and have been given a credit to use and complete travel within a year of original booking date. I believe you are looking to extend that time period since it would be better to travel after the baby is born.

If I'm correct, if you write a letter starting with customer service making your request, it would likely be granted. If you get no response from customer service or not the desired response move to the next contact on the list. Wait a week between each contact and do NOT email all the contacts at one time. Don't start at the top because if you get a no there, there's nowhere else to go. If you make it to the last contact and don't get the desired response or no response, click on the "Help" tab at the top of the page and explain that you've posted your case to the forums and have the paper trail for your attempt to get resolution.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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Carrie's advice is spot on. I would remind you to be very polite and stick to the facts. We all know that airline agents will tell you anything to get you off the phone, and management knows this. But we don't bring it up because it's difficult to prove, and the airline doesn't want you to be right anyway. The airlines have been very successful just ignoring common courtesy and treating their passengers however they please. By ignoring most complaints and requests for compensation for two or three rounds, the airlines know that many customers just give up and go away. That's why our method of making things right is often successful.

Your job is to make the person reading your letter understand your problem immediately and to convince him that s/he wants to help you. You can keep the idea of a small claims suit on the back of the burner; a good letter will probably make this right. I like John's idea of a little trip before the baby arrives.
 
Dec 13, 2016
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Agreed take a trip in 2nd trimester. Really doubt American records very many calls and if they do, they wouldn't keep them for long as it wouldn't be in their best interest. Lastly small claims court probably won't be worth your time or money unless you or a lawyer friend will take your case pro bono. Take the trip and ask them (nicely) to upgrade you....might work.
 
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Feb 23, 2017
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@Help needed Did the information the employees gave you impact your decision? If you were going to cancel regardless of what they said, you'll have a harder time getting anything. If you still would have gone, you can try getting them to reinstate your reservation.

Think about a "baby moon" to somewhere in the US not effected by zika if you get caught in a use or lose. You'll both appreciate it after the baby comes.

Congrats!
Yes, had we not received notice that we would get a full refund my wife was quite determined to go visit her family and carry a large supply of bug spray
 
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Feb 23, 2017
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Carrie's advice is spot on. I would remind you to be very polite and stick to the facts. We all know that airline agents will tell you anything to get you off the phone, and management knows this. But we don't bring it up because it's difficult to prove, and the airline doesn't want you to be right anyway. The airlines have been very successful just ignoring common courtesy and treating their passengers however they please. By ignoring most complaints and requests for compensation for two or three rounds, the airlines know that many customers just give up and go away. That's why our method of making things right is often successful.

Your job is to make the person reading your letter understand your problem immediately and to convince him that s/he wants to help you. You can keep the idea of a small claims suit on the back of the burner; a good letter will probably make this right. I like John's idea of a little trip before the baby arrives.

Thank you for the advise. I had wanted the full cash refund as i was told by the two representatives i would receive but when I was told i would only receive a credit with fees waive. The credits would only last a year from when purchased on Nov 10th 2016. I did write a letter back requesting that the time limit be extended due to the circumstances; which was denied. I do like the advise and will try calling up the line and see what they can do. I will keep you posted.
 
Feb 23, 2017
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Well I have sent a few letters to customer service with the same response. I am told that this matter as already been looked at and that the change fees have been waived as a courtesy to me. Also I am not sure of who to contact next up the chain? I also believe that my letter writing skills are good; but being a fireman by profession I do not use written correspondences daily and may be lacking the right points or vocabulary. If anyone has any key words or issues that may help me and the wife just get our credits extended two months.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
You won't get a refund. Zika was well known about by the time you booked those flights. If they have given you a credit and waived the cancellation fees, you are as whole as you are going to be.

You should find a nice Zika free place to visit while the tickets are still valid, you should make plans. You only have a year from the date you booked to use the credit so just plan a new vacation and enjoy yourself.
 
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Feb 23, 2017
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I did not cancel do to Zika, I cancelled because I was told be two American Airlines Agents that I would receive a full refund. Now instead I am forced to take a vacation to somewhere else, at a time I do not want and required to take days off of work. The company American Airlines should stand behind it's customers if its employees make a mistake. That is just good business practice. The company should also update its employees to the current actions of the company when a change is made. This error on the side of the company is going to cost me $1,500.

I had purchased another ticket on American between the cancellation and befor the refund was rejected which I could have used part of my credit up. I asked if I could apply my credit after the fact and was denied once again. American has a pretty lousy customer service.
 
Feb 23, 2017
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Resolved

Although the airline would not refund the money to me, I called the credit card that I used to buy the tickets. They filed a dispute after 2 months I was refunded the $. Now we are rebooking a flight for this Christmas with our new daughter
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
Resolved

Although the airline would not refund the money to me, I called the credit card that I used to buy the tickets. They filed a dispute after 2 months I was refunded the $. Now we are rebooking a flight for this Christmas with our new daughter
This is WONDERFUL! I'm so happy that a) you have a new daughter and b) you're able to spend her first Christmas at a special place. Now you gotta buy one of those Christmas tree ornaments with her name and DOB, right? Two things about airline agents: 1) they'll tell you anything to get you off the phone and 2) they think you'll go away if they just keep saying NO. We find that those travellers who DON'T go away eventually get some relief. Good work!!! I am very happy for you.
 
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