Updated departure times = full refund?

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Jun 10, 2020
We have an upcoming trip scheduled for our family of 5 from ORD to MCO onJune 23rd. I just received an update to our trip from AA for the second time today changing our flight times. Our original flight was scheduled to depart at 8:55am and now is departing at 1:28pm. Our return flight was originally departing at 7:33pm which has been changed to 1:42pm. We did not buy insurance back in early January for this trip and we obviously won’t be able to enjoy a Disney World vacation as planned. I know some airlines have a “window” for what’s considered a reasonable change to flight to be eligible for a full refund. I have heard AA’s COVID policy is any change over 4 hours. Anyone receive a full refund for a basic economy ticket (ineligible for refund) with flight changes?

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
You can try calling and telling them the changes aren't acceptable and see if they will refund you - but those basic tickets can be a problem. Before that - have you checked other airlines to see what new flights would cost? They may be more expensive than what you have now and even if AA offers a refund, it might take quite awhile to receive it.

This shouldnt ruin your Disney vacation - there are many changes Disney is making at the parks that woyld most likely affect your trip more than changed flights, such as masks, waiting areas for rides, no park hopping, etc. I would see if you could perhaps cancel the last days ticket if you planned to be in the park the day you were flying home if you can't change the flights..

But do call and ask.
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Reactions: Patina
May 30, 2019
As I understand AA's 4-hour time change policy, it applies only to bookings made after 4/8/20. For bookings made prior to 4/8/20, the policy I think was only 1 hour. Either way, at least 1 of the segments was moved more than 4-hours, so AA's policy applies here.

(What I don't know is how the refund policy applies to Basic Economy. For that fare class, I know that I don't know if they only give vouchers.)

- When did you book?
- Did you book directly with AA or though a travel agency?
- Did you book the actual Basic Economy fare, e.g. the one where you cannot get a seat assignment in advance?
- Have you tried calling and requesting a refund?

If you have not requested a refund and you booked direct prior to 4/8 as round-trip tickets, here's what I believe you should do:
1) Call AA. Be willing to be put on hold a while.
2) Politely request a refund due to a "significant" schedule change.
3) Do not agree to a voucher over the phone. Do not get irate. Do not threaten. But do not agree to the schedule change.
4) If the above doesn't work, politely end the call, have a cup of chamomile tea, and repeat Step 1.
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