No refund for trip to California

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Apr 22, 2020
2
0
1
31
I joined these forums to try and get a refund for our flight to California earlier this month. However, after looking through some of the other threads here, it looks like I might as well abandon my efforts. I figured I'd go ahead and share my story anyway.

My wife and I were supposed to go to California for our babymoon 4/10-4/13. Because of COVID-19, we did not end up going. I did cancel our reservation, so I have the vouchers, but (surprisingly) our flights were never actually cancelled. I started by getting a doctor's note that said my wife was advised not to fly. I submitted that to the AA refunds site and that was denied. I then tried explaining that we wouldn't be flying for a while after the birth of our child, but they still wouldn't budge. After going up the chain all the way to the CEO, I've only been successful at getting confirmation that the vouchers will not expire until 12/2021. Hopefully we will find a way to use those vouchers before the end of next year, but I'm still worried that we will end up eating the cost of those flights.

It sucks, but apparently they are not interested in goodwill gestures right now.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,850
3,656
113
Maui Hawaii
I joined these forums to try and get a refund for our flight to California earlier this month. However, after looking through some of the other threads here, it looks like I might as well abandon my efforts. I figured I'd go ahead and share my story anyway.

My wife and I were supposed to go to California for our babymoon 4/10-4/13. Because of COVID-19, we did not end up going. I did cancel our reservation, so I have the vouchers, but (surprisingly) our flights were never actually cancelled. I started by getting a doctor's note that said my wife was advised not to fly. I submitted that to the AA refunds site and that was denied. I then tried explaining that we wouldn't be flying for a while after the birth of our child, but they still wouldn't budge. After going up the chain all the way to the CEO, I've only been successful at getting confirmation that the vouchers will not expire until 12/2021. Hopefully we will find a way to use those vouchers before the end of next year, but I'm still worried that we will end up eating the cost of those flights.

It sucks, but apparently they are not interested in goodwill gestures right now.
Where were you flying from to go to CA? While international flights have been canceled, domestic flights are still flying with few or no passengers, carrying US mail and air freight such as medical supplies and equipment.
If you canceled your tickets, regardless of whether or not the flight actually went on schedule or was canceled, you are due a voucher, not a refund. Generally, airlines will not accept a note from a doctor. If you had travel insurance you might have been able to get paid through that route if the issue was your or your wife's actual medical condition, as opposed to deciding not to fly due to the pandemic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Carrie Livingston

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
1,320
1,236
113
I agree with Neil, although it never hurts to ask. Thanks for at least trying, since, if you've been all the way to the CEO, there is nothing else we can suggest. I hope you are able to use the vouchers before they expire.
 
Apr 22, 2020
2
0
1
31
Where were you flying from to go to CA? While international flights have been canceled, domestic flights are still flying with few or no passengers, carrying US mail and air freight such as medical supplies and equipment.
If you canceled your tickets, regardless of whether or not the flight actually went on schedule or was canceled, you are due a voucher, not a refund. Generally, airlines will not accept a note from a doctor. If you had travel insurance you might have been able to get paid through that route if the issue was your or your wife's actual medical condition, as opposed to deciding not to fly due to the pandemic.
I was flying from DFW. I guess that makes sense that they may be flying with supplies rather than passengers.

This certainly isn't the forum to discuss what level of "financial trouble" the airlines may be in, but FWIW, the airlines should take some responsibility for the lack of cash they have on hand to deal with this crisis. After all, they haven't been using it to improve flight experiences, raise employee wages, or reduce prices. Instead, they spent that cash on stock buybacks to make their executives/stockholders money. But I digress :)
 
Jun 24, 2019
645
1,220
93
72
Look at it this way. I'm presuming you bought non-refundable tickets. Before the current crisis, if you cancelled, you would simply be out the cost of the tickets. Instead, American gave you vouchers good for more than a year. While that's not as good as getting the cash back, it's better to have a "glass half full" approach.

I'm not unsympathetic to your situation. I have nonrefundable tickets in early June from Rome to Paris. If the flight goes, I'm probably out of luck. If it is cancelled, I'll probably get vouchers good on Al Italia. If Al Italia survives. But in the meantime I'm safe, I'm at home, so I'm not going to sweat the hundreds of dollars I might be out of pocket. And when this current crisis hit, I was in Las Vegas, and I switched my flights on Southwest to come home earlier. I switched them one day before Southwest adopted a different policy on changes, so we had to pay more for the last minute tickets. We asked Southwest for an exception, and they declined. And I wrote back to the CSR who denied our request and said, "Thank you for considering my request and thank you getting us home safely."
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
1,320
1,236
113
This certainly isn't the forum to discuss what level of "financial trouble" the airlines may be in, but FWIW, the airlines should take some responsibility for the lack of cash they have on hand to deal with this crisis. After all, they haven't been using it to improve flight experiences, raise employee wages, or reduce prices. Instead, they spent that cash on stock buybacks to make their executives/stockholders money. But I digress :)
They are paying employees while bringing in a fraction of their forecasted revenue, when some of those employees are not productive. I hope the bailouts will keep them in business so we can continue to fly after this is all over. I personally don't see how they could have done anything differently. Just a few weeks ago people were complaining about all the money they were making from fees. Delta gave their staff bonuses to recognize 2019 profits. I don't believe airline executives start each day thinking how much money they can make. I think we need to give them a break, just as we want others to judge us favorably.

I feel really bad for your situation and I am sorry it worked out this, way, I am in the same situation myself with one trip I may not be able to take later in the year, and one canceled trip that I have vouchers for.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,912
3,507
113
To say that airlines should have been prepared with more cash on hand is akin to saying that all those that are unemployed should have been prepared with savings to wait out the crisis, not leaning on the government to support them. Very few, if any, were prepared for this kind of unprecedented disruption to life and business.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,067
23,017
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
This is something that has never happened in the history of travel. Everyone is doing the best they can. What we don't want to see is a failure of the airlines. We are seeing airlines already in trouble in other countries that aren't helping financially. If that happens - airline ticket prices may get so high not many of us will be able to fly like we do.

One take away from this is to buy Cancel for Any Reason insurance going forward.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,850
3,656
113
Maui Hawaii
This is something that has never happened in the history of travel. Everyone is doing the best they can. What we don't want to see if a failure of the airlines. We are seeing airlines already in trouble in other countries that aren't helping financially. If that happens - airline ticket prices may get so high not many of us will be able to fly like we do.

One take away from this is to buy Cancel for Any Reason insurance going forward.
Good point. The last time the world encountered a situation even remotely like the present, the Lusitania and the Titanic were state of the art and the first trans-Atlantic commercial flight was 20 years in the future (June '39). We have come a long way.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Christina H

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,850
3,656
113
Maui Hawaii
I was flying from DFW. I guess that makes sense that they may be flying with supplies rather than passengers.

This certainly isn't the forum to discuss what level of "financial trouble" the airlines may be in, but FWIW, the airlines should take some responsibility for the lack of cash they have on hand to deal with this crisis. After all, they haven't been using it to improve flight experiences, raise employee wages, or reduce prices. Instead, they spent that cash on stock buybacks to make their executives/stockholders money. But I digress :)
And the airlines are losing money on every flight that they currently run, with passenger loads of 10% or less.