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Had a medical emergency... Missed my flight... What to do?

Had a medical emergency... Missed my flight... What to do?

Old May 28, 16, 5:55 pm
  #1  
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Had a medical emergency... Missed my flight... What to do?

Hi there,

I have never been in this situation before, but I had to go to the hospital due to a suspected blood clot in Dallas, and ultimately, I had to miss my flight from DFW to GRU in Business class.

Are there policies in place to ensure that I could get a re-book for a later date? I could not find anything online...

Thanks!

Edit. I bought a ticket back to Canada to my family and did not call AA yet.
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Old May 28, 16, 6:02 pm
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Hope you're feeling better. Unfortunately, by the letter of the rules, if you didn't cancel the ticket before departure then you forfeit the whole thing. Understandably, canceling the ticket wasn't the first thing on your mind, so you might ask AA whether the residual value of the ticket (total cost minus a change fee) could nonetheless be applied to a new booking. If all this fails, you might make a claim against your credit card's travel insurance policy (if it has one; many higher-end cards do), since this type of situation is covered under many plans.
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Old May 28, 16, 6:21 pm
  #3  
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Ah.. I figured as much. I will give them a shout and see what they say. Thanks.
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Old May 28, 16, 8:11 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by thelister View Post
Ah.. I figured as much. I will give them a shout and see what they say. Thanks.
I'm sorry you had this experience, but glad you're apparently doing well.

First, there's a problem with not being able to cancel.

Next, the detailed fare rules (did you read or perhaps clip and paste them?) would detail illness, cancelation, etc.

Finally, AA sometimes applies some grace, though this is often granted at the airport and allowing one to fly the next available flight. This doesn't really apply from the sound of it, but AA can be lenient.

Call with the details.
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Old May 28, 16, 8:35 pm
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Originally Posted by rjw242 View Post
Hope you're feeling better. Unfortunately, by the letter of the rules, if you didn't cancel the ticket before departure then you forfeit the whole thing. Understandably, canceling the ticket wasn't the first thing on your mind, so you might ask AA whether the residual value of the ticket (total cost minus a change fee) could nonetheless be applied to a new booking. If all this fails, you might make a claim against your credit card's travel insurance policy (if it has one; many higher-end cards do), since this type of situation is covered under many plans.
Not all business class tickets are so restricted; if the OP held a refundable ticket, then generally no need to cancel prior to departure. In that case, then AA rebooks the OP or refunds the ticket.
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Old May 28, 16, 9:30 pm
  #6  
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Easiest is to simply claim this against your travel insurance. Let the insurance sort it out. But, if you want:

First, time is your enemy here. The longer you wait, the less likely you are to see any discretion exercised by AA in case there is a need for discretion to be exercised. So, as a starting point, don't wait. Call immediately.

Second, depending on the rules for your specific fare, it is possible that you may be refunded the full value of your ticket or it is possible that by not cancelling prior to departure, you forfeited the full value of your ticket. The only way to know whether you fall at either extreme or somewhere inbetween is to look at the fare rules for your ticket.

Third, even if you blew it, AA might have some sympathy for your situation. AA may require documentation, hard to tell.
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Old May 28, 16, 9:42 pm
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Call them asap.

I had a family emergency two months ago and could not make my flight to HKG. I bought a non refundable ticket and told my story to AA. I was prepared to forfeit my entire airfare cost, but surprisingly they refunded me the entire thing with no change fee. I was very surprised considering I bought a non refundable ticket. So I was able to attend to my family emergency and was reimbursed 100%. Always best to call and explain the situation. You never know what can happen!
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Old May 28, 16, 9:59 pm
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That's why it is important to book all your airfare on a card that offers travel insurance. The Hilton Reserve Visa and the Ritz Carlton Visa are two of them. But even in those cases I believe you have to take it up with the airline first and obtain a negative response for the insurance to kick in.
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Old May 29, 16, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by TheSinister View Post
I had a family emergency two months ago and could not make my flight to HKG. I bought a non refundable ticket and told my story to AA. I was prepared to forfeit my entire airfare cost, but surprisingly they refunded me the entire thing with no change fee. I was very surprised considering I bought a non refundable ticket. So I was able to attend to my family emergency and was reimbursed 100%.
I had a similar experience last year. A very elderly family member had a medical emergency the day before scheduled return and ended up in the hospital for 2 weeks. After I provided AA the relevant info--ticket number, letter authorizing me to act on relative's behalf, and a signed physician letter on letterhead attesting that travel on the original date was medically impossible--they granted a credit for the full value of the return flight.
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Old May 31, 16, 8:20 am
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AA has been very good to me about this.

I've had this happen to me twice, hospitalized both times in Bangkok. On one of them, I missed the flight while I was hospitalized. On the other, I was released from hospital early Saturday evening, scheduled to fly out at the crack of dawn on Sunday.

Each case took one phone call, no problem. They asked me to FAX them the hospital discharge paperwork on the first one, and rescheduled me without charge. On the second one, they just rescheduled me on the spot. I think there was a change fee involved on the second one, which didn't bother me.
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Old May 31, 16, 7:55 pm
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Sounds like--maybe--the medical emergency was en route from Canada-DFW-GRU. Not sure if canceling the second segment is even particularly relevant as travel had already begun. I think you'd have to expect that AA will be understanding in this situation, and work with them to figure out exactly what the resolution should be.

If OP was originating in DFW (and just the family lives in Canada), then most of the other advice probably suffices.
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Old Jun 2, 16, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by thelister View Post
Hi there,

I have never been in this situation before, but I had to go to the hospital due to a suspected blood clot in Dallas, and ultimately, I had to miss my flight from DFW to GRU in Business class.

Are there policies in place to ensure that I could get a re-book for a later date? I could not find anything online...

Thanks!

Edit. I bought a ticket back to Canada to my family and did not call AA yet.
Had the exact same situation in Denver. Suspected lung embolism. After I missed the flight, I called AA when I could. I got a full refund.

I offered to send in the hospital records, but they insisted it wasn't needed.
Not sure if it matters in these instances, I was EXP at the time and am a 3MM. I mention I was EXP as I did not requalify for EXP that year, and they did not "fix" that. It was a long year of upgrade coupons.

Safe travels!
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Old Jun 2, 16, 9:28 am
  #13  
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Lady JDiver became extremely ill when we were scheduled to BGI for a cruise. AA cancelled our trip and returned the full cost of both tickets to the original FOP. We were both EP iirc.

Last edited by JDiver; Aug 16, 16 at 7:52 am
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Old Jun 2, 16, 9:48 pm
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Isn't there a mythical "green light" next to high value AA accounts?

I think I have one because AA makes these kind of exceptions for me all the time. I find them to be very reaonable, and if not I HUCA.

OP please post back the outcome.
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Old Aug 16, 16, 6:17 am
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Originally Posted by oysterhead43 View Post
Isn't there a mythical "green light" next to high value AA accounts?

I think I have one because AA makes these kind of exceptions for me all the time. I find them to be very reaonable, and if not I HUCA.

OP please post back the outcome.
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Sorry for the delayed reply. I was able to reschedule the flight for no charge at for a different time. Chose not to cancel it. AA was very polite.
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