Unable to get refund with Physician letter advising not to fly

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Apr 21, 2020
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I booked a family trip to Arizona flying to Phoenix on Frontier and returning on American. The trip was cancelled to to corona virus.
Since My wife and I are in our 60’s with medical issues our Physician advised us not to fly and sent us a letter stating this. Frontier airlines promptly refunded our money upon receipt of the letter.American was booked through Travelocity .American issued vouchers which I have no need for and will probably expire wasting my money. I sent the same medical documentation to American which stated we not fly for 90 days. This encompassed the flight period.American stated that since it was 90 days we could fly after that. This response is not only insulting it is just another road block to issuing a refund. I have attempted to contact the head of customer service with no response as well as the President and CEO of American. I received no response from them either.These 6 tickets are In my children’s and grand children’s names as well as ours and the vouchers don’t allow changes in names.This whole experience has been very frustrating and I would . .really like a refund of $. 1502American ‘s policy is capricious and they should have given a waiver to Travelocity to issue my refund.I hope you can help me get my money back.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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Unless you had a cancel for any reason policy, most insurance doesn’t cover this because you aren’t actually sick and being treated for a condition serious enough to warrant not traveling.

Did AA cancel your flights or did you cancel? You would be entitled to a refund if AA canceled, not if you canceled. Of AA wasn’t issuing cancellation waivers the day you canceled, you would also be charged a cancellation fee.

Too many people panicked and canceled instead of waiting for the airlines to cancel the flights. This article might help understand what is going on:

 
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Apr 21, 2020
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I wasn’t requesting a refund from an insurance policy . I was requesting it from the Airline. I did cancel because of medical advice and the flight was ultimately cancelled.American airlines is going to receive $5billion from the government. That is tax payer money. They need to be flexible and try and help their customers who are not one size fits all.They have not been at all helpful and how do I know if and when I will be able to fly again. There should have been no questions once Physician documentation was received.A full refund should have been authorized just as Frontier did no excuses.
 

Neil Maley

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If you canceled before the airline canceled your flight, you aren’t due a refund I’m afraid to say. But you should have a credit to use for a future trip.

From your description of why you canceled, you did not have an illness you were being treated for that you couldn’t take your trip- what you describe is fear of traveling and apparently whatever your doctor wrote up didn’t fall in the parameters of what travel insurance covers .
 
Apr 21, 2020
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I cancelled the ftontier flight and they issued a full refund. I have no use for future credits. The names on the 6 tickets can”t be changed and My 4 year old grand son is’nt about to fly any time soon. Since the virus has shut down the economy My son daughter in law and daughter won’t be tasking time off of work any time soon. The airline has quoted the same rules you are offering. Under these circumstances rules need to be flexible. Perhaps you can think of another way of helping me as the only acceptable solution is a full refund.$1502 is a lot of money to loose or see how to waste on vouchers
 
May 30, 2019
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What Frontier provided was a Goodwill gesture.

Unfortunately, AA has no obligation to refund your money because you cancelled your seat before AA cancelled the flight. (And it appears to me that AA cannot offer refunds these days because of the nature of their the government bailout. AA has to show it is doing what it can to preserve cash.)

Whether you are 6 or 60, their policy these days is to offer travel voucher for cancellations. Since you already sent emails/letters up & down the organization, I can't offer any useful suggestions other than to save the vouchers to use later.

I'm not defending AA, Gary -- I'm sitting on some vouchers myself -- only sharing my interpretation of your situation in the context of things.
 
Apr 21, 2020
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I was under the impression that Elliott advocates would contact American and advocate on my be half helping me to get a refund. As you know United is being sued for these same reasons and if the suit is granted class action status which in view of the numbers involved should be. American will be next in line. Perhaps as a gesture of consideration and good willAmerican should give my money back. It would go a long way toward good public relations and maybe save them millions if a law suit ensues. Seems like common sense to me.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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Gary, while I understand your frustration about not receiving a refund and seeing that the airlines are receiving money from the government, the airline industry has been hit extremely hard by this pandemic. The bailout will not even come close to making them whole, it may give them just enough of a lifeline to keep them from collapsing. Think of it this way, unemployment benefits do not come close to reimbursing daily living costs for those that are out of jobs, the $5B is the same. The airlines are hemorrhaging cash at the moment.....and will be for some time. Those that think that airlines are rolling in dough are sadly mistaken. They run on very lean margins at the best of times.

Here is some tough love: just because you want a refund, does not mean you deserve a refund. If you had waited for the airline to cancel your flight then you would be due a refund under DOT rules. You cancelled so you are only due a credit to use for a future flight. A doctor's note stating you should not fly based on your age and health conditions has never warranted a refund.

Count yourself lucky that Frontier actually refunded you. There are others who have tickets with that airline that have not been so fortunate.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
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Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
I was under the impression that Elliott advocates would contact American and advocate on my be half helping me to get a refund. As you know United is being sued for these same reasons and if the suit is granted class action status which in view of the numbers involved should be. American will be next in line. Perhaps as a gesture of consideration and good willAmerican should give my money back. It would go a long way toward good public relations and maybe save them millions if a law suit ensues. Seems like common sense to me.
We give you the tools to advocate for yourself. I would suggest that you use our company contacts and nicely ask for an exception to the rules. The worst they can say is no and the best is that your letter hits the desk of someone who will make an exception.

We can’t advocate every single case unless there is compelling evidence that the company was grossly negligent or made an error. Unfortunately, AA did nothing wrong. You canceled assuming a doctors letter would cover this but there are millions of other passengers who also were in the same boat as you- they may have had underlying health issues that put them in a high risk category and the airlines simply cannot refund everyone. Your reason for canceling isn’t covered by your insurance.

I wish you would have come here before you canceled because we would have advised you not to cancel and wait for the airline to cancel so you would have been eligible for a refund. As a travel adviser we have told every client who had trips booked to not panic and so far, every one who listened ended up with canceled flights and refunds.
 

Carrie Livingston

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Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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@Neil Maley he's already gone up the ladder to the CEO of American and was told no. @GarySilverman if you were directed to the forum from the help desk. they thought we might be able to provide some more insight. Unfortunately, a doctor's note has not been acceptable documentation to cancel a flight for some time. Frontier issued a full refund as a goodwill gesture. If American were to issue refunds to all their passengers, they would be bankrupt and cease to operate. And in the bankruptcy filing, you would be on the list of unsecured creditors.
 
Jun 27, 2017
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Mr. Silverman said his 6 tickets on American Airlines were booked through Travelocity. Even if he could get a full refund for all 6 tickets, would he not have to contact Travelocity?
 

Dwayne Coward

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Apr 13, 2016
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Mr. Silverman said his 6 tickets on American Airlines were booked through Travelocity. Even if he could get a full refund for all 6 tickets, would he not have to contact Travelocity?
That would depend on whether AA or Travelocity charged his credit card. If it was AA, then the airline can easily reverse the charge, but they rarely do this since the booking was not made directly with them. Normally the airlines require the booking agent to process the refund for accounting purposes. If Travelocity charged them, then they would have to provide a refund.