AA award flight cancelled due to schedule change

 
Old Jan 15, 14, 11:51 am
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
To some people, apparently the only advice is to bend over and take it. I wouldn't be surprised if they work in the airline/travel industry.

Other people like to get creative. Many times the creative folks win. Personally, when someone tells me something can't be done, I work harder to accomplish it. Often works.
^This. If AA cancelled my original flight and replaced it with a BA flight but did not put me on it,all other things equal, which is what happened here, I would be on the BA and I would not be paying any surcharges. It's not the OP's problem they changed the schedule and/or operator and in this particular instance has made a very public reason as to why they did it. The easy answer is to just have AA refund the ticket, but a lot of times that isn't an option for people (reward space on alternate carriers is gone, prices have gone up, etc). Being asked to be put on their JV partner, which AA/BA/IB make such a public to-do about anyways, without any further costs or surcharges is a reasonable request in this instance.

Just over X-mas I had seven people travelling to Italy and one person was on a J award. These tickets were booked on February 10th of 2013 and at the time, AA's JFK-FCO nonstop was still scheduled to run in December. Sometime over the summer AA decided to end the nonstop in October and re-booked us on Iberia through MAD. The times on Iberia didn't work for us, but BA through LHR did. Suffice it to say, we were rebooked on BA LHR-FCO and I did not have to pay the surcharge for the one award ticket for the BA hop to FCO (although they did try). It's all about the delivery and handling of the agents on the phone.

Last edited by umaa83; Jan 15, 14 at 11:59 am
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Old Jan 15, 14, 3:31 pm
  #32  
 
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Of course, AA should always be given the option of reinstating the flight .
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Old Jan 17, 14, 12:45 pm
  #33  
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Just a final update. After speaking to a supervisor and then a manager who called me back I got nowhere. Basically, they just repeated that the taxes had to be paid and only if the change was made within a few days would the fees be waived. I just gave up and booked the Delta flight and had them reinstated my points.
Will definitely be filing a DOT complaint but I'm sure that won't lead anywhere.
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Old Jan 17, 14, 1:10 pm
  #34  
 
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I encourage you to file a formal DOT complaint, with service on AA's counsel. This offers many benefits: You get to see AA's response (which otherwise might just go to DOT, which may not share it with you); AA must respond publicly and on-the-record, assisting others similarly situated. DOT's web site makes it much easier to file an informal complaint. I'd be happy to help you file a formal complaint if you like -- just send an email or PM.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 1:21 pm
  #35  
 
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So i'm running into a very similar problem - booked my parents on award tickets to LHR (daytime flight via ORD) - for the end of May.

A couple of weeks ago AA cancels the first flight of the day to ORD and hence the only remaining way to get to LHR during the day is to go direct on AA*/BA flight - managed to get an agent to make that change as the only alternatives were >6 hours from the original ticket.

Just got a call from them today, saying the only way they can accommodate me is to charge me an extra $500 in "taxes" or fly with horrible layovers and overnight flights with hotels at "my own expense", or if I refused those two options they would simply refund my miles.

After arguing with them for quite some time and eventually speaking to a condescending supervisor was told my choices were refund miles, pay the "taxes", "ok we'll call them a fuel charge" to fly on BA or take a horrible connection.

I refused all of the offered options, and asked to speak to someone who could waive the additional charges - they said they'd call me back at some point.

Anyone got any bright ideas about my rights here?
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Old Feb 26, 14, 1:27 pm
  #36  
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I think that AA has actually given you your rights quite succinctly

You can either

take the other flights which they are offering for no charge
voluntarily change to BA and pay the BA surcharge
accept the refund
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Old Feb 26, 14, 1:28 pm
  #37  
 
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Dazza, I would be happy to try to assist you as to your rights and as to making the appropriate regulator aware of your experience and AA's practices in this regard. Please send me an email or PM. I'm also happy to talk to others who are similarly situated.

To Dave's comment: AA breached federal law when its agents mischaracterized the charge as "tax." I also believe -- and stand prepared to argue before DOT, if needed -- that AA's prior representations to DOT disallow the additional charges in this circumstance.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 1:33 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
To Dave's comment: AA breached federal law when its agents mischaracterized the charge as "tax." I also believe -- and stand prepared to argue before DOT, if needed -- that AA's prior representations to DOT disallow the additional charges in this circumstance.
It reads to me that AA has clarified that these are surcharges and has not actually collected any money from the passenger yet under the guise of taxes

If AA rebooked the passenger involuntarily onto BA, I would agree that there is no grounds to charge the extra charges, however AA has offered an AA routing for no charge and is stating that it will not offer BA without the supplement which would be a voluntary change initiated by the passenger.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 1:58 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
It reads to me that AA has clarified that these are surcharges and has not actually collected any money from the passenger yet under the guise of taxes

If AA rebooked the passenger involuntarily onto BA, I would agree that there is no grounds to charge the extra charges, however AA has offered an AA routing for no charge and is stating that it will not offer BA without the supplement which would be a voluntary change initiated by the passenger.
Actually I argued with them when they attempted to categorize them as taxes, to which the supervisor condescendingly agreed to call them "fuel charges if it will make you happy"

One of the underlying problems here as I see it, is that they already rebooked my folks on the BA flight at my request, and then 2 weeks later told me to phone them, so they could demand another $500. The itin is no longer viewable in my bookings so I can't actually print it out.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 2:02 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by dazza189 View Post

One of the underlying problems here as I see it, is that they already rebooked my folks on the BA flight at my request, and then 2 weeks later told me to phone them, so they could demand another $500. The itin is no longer viewable in my bookings so I can't actually print it out.
Had they actually reissued the ticket before contacting you? If yes, then I would def agree that the airline has no grounds to charge retrospectively

Do you have the booking reference and are you able to view it by reference?
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Old Feb 26, 14, 2:19 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Had they actually reissued the ticket before contacting you? If yes, then I would def agree that the airline has no grounds to charge retrospectively

Do you have the booking reference and are you able to view it by reference?
I was able to find it for the last two weeks - it was confirmed in X class with a BA flight number - but now I just get an error message saying they can't find it. (I really wish i'd printed out a screenshot, but just assumed it was all ok at the point it had been reissued.)
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Old Feb 26, 14, 2:26 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by dazza189 View Post
Actually I argued with them when they attempted to categorize them as taxes, to which the supervisor condescendingly agreed to call them "fuel charges if it will make you happy"
They are not even that. They are "surcharges".
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Old Feb 26, 14, 3:09 pm
  #43  
 
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I strongly urge those in these types of situations to publically tweet about the issue. "AA canceled my flight, replaced it with a BA flight and refuses to put me on it without increased charges for me. Help please." or something similar. Then from there on, you can direct message the twitter team. The twitter team seems to be able to make things happen that even managers on the telephone cannot.

After JFK-HND was canceled I had one heck of a time trying to get to Japan over New Year's. AA's call center basically said "find whatever is open now in October, or take a refund." After using Twitter, they finally put me on PHL-ORD-NRT even though award space was not available at that time. Twitter set it all up with a PNR. When I called in to pay the taxes with my credit card, the agent then argued with me to charge me a phone reservation fee. Well, the agent completely agreed with me, went to her supervisor, and still was denied. I direct messaged with twitter while on the phone, and voila, they didn't charge me the phone fee. All of this due to AA canceling a flight, so in the end they did the right thing, but without twitter, it would have been a lost cause.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 3:13 pm
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by airb330 View Post
I strongly urge those in these types of situations to publically tweet about the issue. "AA canceled my flight, replaced it with a BA flight and refuses to put me on it without increased charges for me. Help please." or something similar. Then from there on, you can direct message the twitter team. The twitter team seems to be able to make things happen that even managers on the telephone cannot.

After JFK-HND was canceled I had one heck of a time trying to get to Japan over New Year's. AA's call center basically said "find whatever is open now in October, or take a refund." After using Twitter, they finally put me on PHL-ORD-NRT even though award space was not available at that time. Twitter set it all up with a PNR. When I called in to pay the taxes with my credit card, the agent then argued with me to charge me a phone reservation fee. Well, the agent completely agreed with me, went to her supervisor, and still was denied. I direct messaged with twitter while on the phone, and voila, they didn't charge me the phone fee. All of this due to AA canceling a flight, so in the end they did the right thing, but without twitter, it would have been a lost cause.
Airbnb, that is a great experience. I would be happy to assist you in filing a formal complaint with DOT so that DOT can issue a ruling preventing AA from using these tactics again. Send email or PM if you're interested.
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Old Feb 26, 14, 5:21 pm
  #45  
 
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Just a follow with some more info after the duty manager called me this evening - He started off by insisting they were taxes, before relenting and saying they had to collect all taxes and carrier imposed surcharges for partners. They reserved the right to make schedule changes and the fact it was so far in advance gave them a different set of rules than if it were for tomorrow (say).

He also said the rules for award tickets and revenue tickets were different and award can only be protected on AA metal, whereas they were more prepared to deal with revenue protection on other airlines. If I wanted to stay on the BA flight, they would have to redeposit my miles (and taxes) and then book an award ticket on BA with the appropriate taxes and surcharges applied. He would even graciously waive the normal charge for that service.

So at the end of it he wouldn't budge. He also said my PNR is in limbo until they reach a satisfactory outcome for me or words to that effect. Which includes the original options I listed above.
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