Go Back   > > >
    Hide Wikipost
Old Sep 22, 17, 3:41 pm   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: AA Ticket Refund and Related (master thread)
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
Wiki Link
AA Ticket Refunds and Policies

As of 1 Apr 2016, 24 hour free cancellation, except bookings purchased within seven days of travel, is standard. Tickets purchased within seven days of travel are exempt from 24 hour cancellation policies, per USDOT.

NOTE: Hold can be used when offered. (As of 3 Nov 2016, AA randomly offers free 24 hour hold to those booking travel over seven days out, and some still report being offered up to 7 days hold for $15.99.)

Current refunds policy:

Quote:
"You have 24 hours to cancel your trip for a full refund if you booked at least 7 days prior to departure. Link to AA Refunds FAQ."
Getting a reservation refunded is a two-step process. First cancel the reservation on aa.com or by calling Reservations, then second request the refund at http://prefunds.aa.com.

For bookings made online, AA may continue to sometimes offer hold for unspecified interim going forward, but 24 hours hold via telephone booking may no longer be granted by agents (though occasional ones might anyway).
update July 2016

Quote:
AA follows USDOT requirements to the letter:
● 24 hour cancellation with refund and no penalty, though

● No free 24-hour cancellations for purchases made within seven days of flying
(except on refundable fares)

● 24 hour hold will be offered for some random (at least to passengers) online bookings for some tickets for an undetermined interim period of time

● Extended hold for pay will still be offered online on many bookings (not within seven days)

● The five day holds for awards remains unaffected, but be aware all awards by non-elites also incur a $75 close in processing fee for 21 days or fewer from booking to flying.

● Awards that are cancelled incur a $150 redeposit fee (and $25 per other awards from the same account), except for Concierge Key and Executive Platinum members.
Fully refundable tickets that are cancelled: fare, fees and taxes will be returned to the original form of payment (FOP).

Nonrefundable tickets that are cancelled voluntarily: AA will generally issue a voucher for the fare, taxes and fees less the change fee described in the detailed fare rules. The voucher may be used for AA flights and other limited purposes. See Transportation Voucher / vouchers / "MCO" FAQ and master thread.

Full refunds, even for nonrefundable tickets, may often be made for the full fare, fees and taxes:

"We do not refund nonrefundable American Airlines tickets except when the ticket is cancelled within 24 hours of purchase, when we make a schedule change that results in a change of 61 minutes or more, upon the death of a passenger or passenger's travelling companion or because of military orders. Supporting documentation is required."

Some equipment changes, such as purchasing international First and being changed to a flight without First class, or a domestic F or Business seat is eliminated by substituting a single class Economy cabin, may also allow a full refund.

Don't forget to look at other venues for tickets, such as OTAs, if purchasing within the 7 day window and you would like some hedging protection. Expedia offers 24 hour cancellation on AA itineraries within the 7 day window and many AA itineraries can be held via Expedia Trip Lock (which charges a small fee to hold a fare for 48 hours).

Print Wikipost

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 3, 16, 1:09 pm   #1
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 337
AA Ticket Refund and Related (master thread)

so i booked a flight on AA.com a few months ago. however a few hours after booking the flight i decided to cancel as i found a more direct routing. so i logged in online and cancelled the flight. no problem as it was only about 4 hours after booking it. it cancelled the flight with no issues. now, about 2 months later, i'm reviewing my credit card statements and realized that i never received a refund for that flight! i called AA, and they said you have to request a refund! are they serious? so cancelling a flight within the 24 hr cancellation window isn't enough, but then you have to go to prefunds.aa.com and request a refund. so i did that about 8 days ago, and it still shows up as "pending review". now first off, how can this possibly be legal? shouldnt they automatically refund it once you cancel the ticket? and then how long does it usually take to get the refund? thanks
omaralt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 1:18 pm   #2
  
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Park, Metropolis
Programs: AAEXP 3MM, AZ Alata +, Hilton/Marriott/SPG/Club Carlson GLD, IHG PLT, BW Diamond
Posts: 3,635
You do realize that you will loose some $ due to canceling. Seeing that you booked the flight a few months ago, AA did not have the 24HR cancelation rule. They had a 24hr HOLD notification.
arollins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 1:45 pm   #3
  
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Honoré, Saint Marie
Programs: BAEC Black; AA Lifetime Gold; JMC Red
Posts: 1,169
I'm sorry to hear of your frustration.

Different airlines operate different policies but I know that some require flights cancelled within the 24 hour period after purchase to be cancelled on the phone for a full and immediate refund. Not sure how AA does it.

Usually, when you are cancelling, you are not cancelling the ticket as a whole, you are cancelling your booking on certain flights. For some tickets it is possible to not have any flights (because your plans have changed and you have cancelled them) and then you have up to one year, to find and fly replacement flights (with appropriate change fees and fare differences paid by you, of course.)

How is it legal? I suspect it's all in the fine print (usually terms and conditions, and fare rules) that one agrees to when one purchases the ticket (but very few read, and even fewer understand.)

It appears that airlines are usually a littler slower to return money than to take it - they like to keep that working capital. Actually that applies to almost all businesses.

I imagine you will get your money back in full (assuming the ticket was fully refundable and/or you have met other full refund requirements!)

rb211.
RB211 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 1:53 pm   #4
  
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: BOS, NYC, SFO
Programs: AA EXP, UA Gold, SPG Platinum
Posts: 3,788
If you cancelled it on aa.com, it very clearly states you must contact the refunds department (or fill out the refund form) to get a refund for the cancelled reservation.
DWFI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 1:55 pm   #5
Suspended
  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Atherton, CA
Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP; Owner, Green Bay Packers
Posts: 21,695
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by DWFI View Post
If you cancelled it on aa.com, it very clearly states you must contact the refunds department (or fill out the refund form) to get a refund for the cancelled reservation.
Sneaky way to steal from the unwary. That really should be illegal.
Doc Savage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 1:56 pm   #6
  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA EP, UA Gold-MM, UA 1K (former), GS (former),SPG LT Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,947
Quote:
Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
I'm sorry to hear of your frustration.

Different airlines operate different policies but I know that some require flights cancelled within the 24 hour period after purchase to be cancelled on the phone for a full and immediate refund. Not sure how AA does it.

Usually, when you are cancelling, you are not cancelling the ticket as a whole, you are cancelling your booking on certain flights. For some tickets it is possible to not have any flights (because your plans have changed and you have cancelled them) and then you have up to one year, to find and fly replacement flights (with appropriate change fees and fare differences paid by you, of course.)

How is it legal? I suspect it's all in the fine print (usually terms and conditions, and fare rules) that one agrees to when one purchases the ticket (but very few read, and even fewer understand.)

It appears that airlines are usually a littler slower to return money than to take it - they like to keep that working capital. Actually that applies to almost all businesses.

I imagine you will get your money back in full (assuming the ticket was fully refundable and/or you have met other full refund requirements!)

rb211.
Sorry but you aren't familiar with AA policy and this is not the best advice.

AA used to have a 24hr HOLD policy thus giving you the ability to determine within that time if you wanted to purchase the ticket or not.

Just recently (but most likely after the OP purchased his ticket) they switched to a 24hr REFUND policy.

Specifically your last statement is the most troubling as I highly doubt the OP bought a fully refundable ticket (in the US it is rare to buy a refundable ticket but not unheard of). Most likely what will actually happen is the OP will get a credit/refund less a service charge (probably $200).
neo_781 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 2:19 pm   #7
  
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: US
Programs: AAdvantage
Posts: 1,730
Quote:
Originally Posted by omaralt View Post
now first off, how can this possibly be legal
For tickets purchased at least 7 days prior to departure, the DOT requires airlines to offer a free 24-hour hold or a full refund within 24 hours of purchase. Up until last month, AA chose to comply with this requirement by offering a free 24-hour hold and was therefore not required to offer a refund within 24 hours of purchase.

In part because of customer confusion, AA has now changed to the more common 24-hour refund policy, which is actually less convenient for those of us who enjoyed being able to place a ticket on hold without any money coming out of our pockets.
ThreeJulietTango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 2:30 pm   #8
FSU
  
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Chicago Area
Posts: 350
You can follow this thread http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...-but-read.html
on how they are handling refunds. Look at my post #291 for my experience.

Also as the previous poster has mentioned, you most likely wont get a refund based on AA's previous policy concerning holds.
FSU is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 5:12 pm   #9
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 337
Thanks for all the replies guys. All airlines have a 24 hr free cancellation (I believe it may be US law) and this was confirmed by the AA rep. My issue is that once you cancel you have to call/request online a refund. IMO this shouldn't be allowed. They are obviously hoping that most people don't realize this and will not request a refund. Very sleazy practice

Edit: here is the link to the 24 hr cancellation law

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/notice-24hour-reservation
omaralt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 5:26 pm   #10
tyr
  
Join Date: Nov 2013
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 36
From the pdf you posted

"This notice provides guidance to U.S. and foreign air carriers regarding compliance with the customer service rule that requires carriers to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours without payment or allow a reservation to be cancelled within 24 hours without penalty (the “24- hour reservation requirement”)."

Until recently AA were offering the 24 hour hold option and not ability to cancel without penalty within 24 hours. Both methods are in compliance with the regulation.
tyr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 5:30 pm   #11
  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA EP, UA Gold-MM, UA 1K (former), GS (former),SPG LT Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,947
Quote:
Originally Posted by omaralt View Post
Thanks for all the replies guys. All airlines have a 24 hr free cancellation (I believe it may be US law) and this was confirmed by the AA rep.
this is incorrect ... please read the posts above. AA only changed to the 24HR REFUND policy last month.
neo_781 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 5:31 pm   #12
  
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Long Beach, CA
Programs: AA EXP, HH Gold, ClubCarlson Silver, IHG PlatAmb
Posts: 2,306
It would appear from the document that "...compliance with the
customer service rule that requires carriers to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours
without payment or allow a reservation to be cancelled within 24 hours without penalty"

Given the "or," I would imagine that AA's point is they are obligated to offer one or the other. When they were still doing the 24-hour reservation (without requiring payment) process, I always understood it to mean that I was not allowed any refund if I chose to actually ticket the reservation within 24 hours. As an example, I could hold a reservation for up to 24 hours and let it expire without any cost/penalty to me. Alternatively, if I chose to ticket it immediately, I was waiving my 24-hour hold option, but was also not availing myself of a non-existent (at the time) 24-hour refund policy.

Is that the rule? Or everyone else's understanding of AA's policy at the time?
OskiBear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 5:33 pm   #13
Original Poster
  
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 337
Thanks for the info; I had no idea. However I still believe they should refund me whatever is left without having to necessarily request it. The ticket was $500. Say there was a $200 cancellation fee; I should be automatically refunded $300.
omaralt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 5:43 pm   #14
  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA EP, UA Gold-MM, UA 1K (former), GS (former),SPG LT Platinum, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond
Posts: 1,947
Quote:
Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
It would appear from the document that "...compliance with the
customer service rule that requires carriers to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours
without payment or allow a reservation to be cancelled within 24 hours without penalty"

Given the "or," I would imagine that AA's point is they are obligated to offer one or the other. When they were still doing the 24-hour reservation (without requiring payment) process, I always understood it to mean that I was not allowed any refund if I chose to actually ticket the reservation within 24 hours. As an example, I could hold a reservation for up to 24 hours and let it expire without any cost/penalty to me. Alternatively, if I chose to ticket it immediately, I was waiving my 24-hour hold option, but was also not availing myself of a non-existent (at the time) 24-hour refund policy.

Is that the rule? Or everyone else's understanding of AA's policy at the time?
Yes you are correct. When they offered the hold and you ticketed it (at any point - before or after the 24hrs) you gave up your DOT right as AA fulfilled their obligation by offering the hold time. (Now of course there always were some exceptions that they would refund within 24hrs but that was courtesy and not official policy).
neo_781 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3, 16, 5:46 pm   #15
  
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, UA Gold, Marriott LT PLT, SPG PLT, Hyatt Diamond, HH Diamond, Harrahs PLT, Starbucks GLD
Posts: 6,971
Quote:
Originally Posted by omaralt View Post
Thanks for the info; I had no idea. However I still believe they should refund me whatever is left without having to necessarily request it. The ticket was $500. Say there was a $200 cancellation fee; I should be automatically refunded $300.
That's not how a nonrefundable ticket works. You have the leftover credit (less change fee) to use on a future ticket within 1 year of the original purchase date.
aamilesslave is offline   Reply With Quote
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Thread Tools
Search Thread
Go to Top
Forum Jump
Contact Us - FlyerTalk - Archive - Top