No AA Advantage Award Etkts sent to British Airlines cost me $2995+

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Apr 23, 2020
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Scheduled trip: Feb. 29 thru Mar 19, 2020. We flew to Dubai (Feb 29). We sailed on a 7N cruise (Mar 2-9). We spent 3 more days in Dubai (Mar 10-12). We were to fly to Israel for an 8-day land tour Mar 12-19). On Mar 10th, we received an email from our tour company cancelling the land tour. Israel was closing their borders and any foreigners were to 14-day quarantine. The company refunded all of our money as well as the full refund of our Turkish air tickets. Since there was nothing else planned, we called AA to change our flymile award tickets from Mar 19 to Mar 12. Since AA does not fly in to Dubai, have gates or terminals in Dubai or offices, we were transferred to the UK Advantage Awards. The rep cancelled our Mar 19 flight, returned the fly miles and returned the $508 taxes to my Visa. She rebooked the award through British Air on Mar 12. She supposedly used the same fly miles over again but charged a larger amount of taxes in Sterling Pounds. On Mar 11, I received an email to check in you our new flight. When we tried to check-in, it said we needed to check-in at the airport. On Mar 12, we arrived at the BA airport counter. They showed our reservation, locator #, but told us AA had not sent the Etkts. We could not board the plane. Both myself and BA supervisors tried to get a hold of AA. Because of Pres. Trumps' Mar 11 closing down flights to Europe as of Mar 13, the world was tying up phone lines. We could not even buy a new ticket from BA home. All seats were sold out. They sent us to Emirates Air where we purchased 2 flights for $2995. We had to spend 19 hours, which we did in an airport hotel. All in, long distant hotel calls and food totaled $3250. When we got home, AA still could not be reached for days. We filed a claim. It came back that they were sorry and would try to improve. AA didn't tell me to buy a new ticket. My Visa card travel coverage said coronavirus. My Tripmate/World Nomads said nothing qualified. This is a shortened summary of the facts. This was a simple ticket exchange gone bad and exacerbated by the virus. Any cures? Any insurance angles? Could this be a small claims? Thanks Scott
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,912
3,507
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Eeek! You got the brunt of the chaotic beginnings of the global shut down. Honestly, I think the only thing you can do is get your miles back from AA and ask for a goodwill gesture toward a future flight. Your insurance policy may have covered it in the event that a tour gets cancelled (unless they say that cancellations due to pandemics aren't covered) but you would have needed to contact them prior to purchasing the flight to receive their instructions.

Regarding small claims....don't waste your time, even in the best of circumstances. Airlines have arbitration clauses that prohibit these types of claims.
 
Apr 23, 2020
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Eeek! You got the brunt of the chaotic beginnings of the global shut down. Honestly, I think the only thing you can do is get your miles back from AA and ask for a goodwill gesture toward a future flight. Your insurance policy may have covered it in the event that a tour gets cancelled (unless they say that cancellations due to pandemics aren't covered) but you would have needed to contact them prior to purchasing the flight to receive their instructions.

Regarding small claims....don't waste your time, even in the best of circumstances. Airlines have arbitration clauses that prohibit these types of claims.
All parties that cancelled, returned the monies. AA returned the flymiles and taxes, but their error cost me $3250. It's easy to say I'm sorry. AA offered no compensation at all. Thx Scott
 
Apr 23, 2020
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Did AA or did UK Advantage Awards do the ticket purchase?
My belief is the UK Advantage Awards. I'm not exactly sure what AA number I called at first. That call rep forwarded me to the UK Advantage Awards, because of the International flight. The lady rep had a British accent. She cancelled and ticketed the new flight/award.
 
Apr 23, 2020
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Did AA or did UK Advantage Awards do the ticket purchase?
I have her name. I also tried to get BA to investigate but they never got back to me. AA and BA are partners in world travel but their systems don't talk to each other and they both say they can't look at the "other guys".
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,093
23,045
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I would suggest starting with AA. We have company contacts on our website where you can get the AA's information. You can ask them for some reimbursement for their errors - it doesn't hurt to ask. This is how to write an effective letter and bring it up the executive chain at AA:
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,912
3,507
113
All parties that cancelled, returned the monies. AA returned the flymiles and taxes, but their error cost me $3250. It's easy to say I'm sorry. AA offered no compensation at all. Thx Scott
I understand your frustration. Unfortunately, not all companies will respond the same. I am not excusing their mistake but I also have some empathy for the situation including that of the airlines. As I mentioned, I would ask for a goodwill gesture.
 
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jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,762
10,570
113
San Francisco
I agree with my colleagues ... but I would not be asking for anything until life starts to return to normal. BA probably caused the error, but your miles are with AA. Cash refunds are tough to get, but AA might grant you some extra miles for your inconvenience. And, yes, that's what happened in their eyes ... you were inconvenienced. It must have been just awful to be caught in the middle of that mess.

Your first priority was to get home and I'm very glad you did, and had a hotel to wait for your flight comfortably. Compose a concise, polite, appreciative letter and ask for 50% of the miles you originally spent for the flight. Don't get into who said what and whose fault it was ... that doesn't matter now. A "mistake was made" and you're requesting some compensation for your inconvenience. Submit to AA customer service, then use our Company Contacts to escalate up the corporate ladder. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires.
 
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Apr 23, 2020
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I agree with my colleagues ... but I would not be asking for anything until life starts to return to normal. BA probably caused the error, but your miles are with AA. Cash refunds are tough to get, but AA might grant you some extra miles for your inconvenience. And, yes, that's what happened in their eyes ... you were inconvenienced. It must have been just awful to be caught in the middle of that mess.

Your first priority was to get home and I'm very glad you did, and had a hotel to wait for your flight comfortably. Compose a concise, polite, appreciative letter and ask for 50% of the miles you originally spent for the flight. Don't get into who said what and whose fault it was ... that doesn't matter now. A "mistake was made" and you're requesting some compensation for your inconvenience. Submit to AA customer service, then use our Company Contacts to escalate up the corporate ladder. Good luck, and please let us know what transpires.
Sounds like a great plan. I will use all of this helpful information and give it a shot. Thx
 
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Reactions: jsn55
Apr 23, 2020
7
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61
I would suggest starting with AA. We have company contacts on our website where you can get the AA's information. You can ask them for some reimbursement for their errors - it doesn't hurt to ask. This is how to write an effective letter and bring it up the executive chain at AA:
I would suggest starting with AA. We have company contacts on our website where you can get the AA's information. You can ask them for some reimbursement for their errors - it doesn't hurt to ask. This is how to write an effective letter and bring it up the executive chain at AA:
Thanks. I will put all of these ideas to use.
 
Apr 23, 2020
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As suggested, I condensed my issue in to a one-page letter. I addressed it to the Director of American Airlines Customer Relations. Originally asking for a cash refund of $3250, I lost to this airline error, got me nowhere with AA or my Tripmate Insurance policy. My letter, to the Director, requested half of the 80k flymiles it cost for both of us to fly from Dubai to Dallas. Within two days, I got an email stating a 15,000 bonus mile addition to each of our accounts. (30k total). It's not cash, but it will cover a trip, next April, from Santiago, Chile, to Dallas for the two of us. I'm OK with that. I want to thank everyone for their input and especially Elliott Advocacy. Scott