Here’s the story:
Passenger Andrea Hotaling, an AAdvantage Gold Member, wanted to buy round-trip tickets from Philadelphia to Italy with miles. But the AAdvantage Gold Service agent she spoke to told her that no seats were available for purchase with AAdvantage miles. So Hotaling paid cash.
Three days later, a relative of Hotaling booked the flight using miles. So Hotaling called the agent to ask why they weren’t able to find availability three days earlier.
The agent said that one award ticket was available. So Hotaling asked the agent to cancel the nonrefundable tickets she purchased and she used miles to buy the award ticket. She then e-mailed American Airlines to ask for a refund of $1140 for the canceled airfare.
But American Airlines refused to refund the nonrefundable ticket. They say, nonrefundable is nonrefundable and their contract of carriage clearly states that they don’t issue refunds for nonrefundable tickets except in specific circumstances which don’t include suddenly finding award availability. She’s also not eligible for travel credit for the ticket because she canceled the ticket completely.
Hotaling argues that “The American Airlines agent made the award ticket error and forced me to purchase the ticket.” Furthermore, she says, this wasn’t a case of a change in award availability, this was a mistake on the AAdvantage Gold Service Agent’s part.
Hotaling wrote to Elliott Advocacy, who argues that she doesn’t have much of a case:
At no time, either in verbal or written communication, did any AA personnel mention fluctuations in award ticket availability. During my original call to AAdvantage Gold Service, the agent told me no mileage awards were available from mid-September to the first week of November.
The AAdvantage Gold Service agent’s poor/mistaken/dubious service caused the problem. AA should take responsibility for this error.
But should American Airlines do something for this AAdvantage Gold Member? Let us know in the comments’ section.
[Image Source: American Airlines]