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ARCHIVE: 2017 Questions about, guide to, and listing of, compensation

Old Jan 19, 17, 11:38 am
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Last edit by: JDiver
2017 Questions about, guide to, and listing of, compensation (consolidated)

Welcome to the "2017 Guide to, and listing of, compensation" thread!

NOTE: If compensation is not generated automatically (occasionally, it will), you will want to contact American Airlines Customer Relations. See Contacting American Airlines Customer Relations & Complaint, Issues (master thread).

In keeping with tradition, we'd like to ask members to report their compensation in the following format:

  • Date
  • AAdvantage Status
  • Fare class
  • What happened
  • Compensation
  • Comments
Please, do NOT post names of non-management employees, in accordance with FlyerTalk TOS (q#69) "Respect the privacy of non-management travel service employees by not referring to them by name."

JGR01 has created a spreadsheet parsing posts in this thread from 2003-2007, available for download here

AA's official policy regarding compensation for delays, cancellations, and diversions is as follows (thanks to tom911 for posting):
DELAYS, CANCELLATIONS AND DIVERSIONS

American Airlines will provide customers at the airport and onboard an affected aircraft with timely and frequent updates regarding known delays, cancellations and diversions and will strive to provide the best available information concerning the duration of delays and to the extent available, the flight's anticipated departure time.

We are not responsible for any special, incidental or consequential damages if we do not meet this commitment.

When cancellations and major delays are experienced, you will be rerouted on our next flight with available seats. If the delay or cancellation was caused by events within our control and we do not get you to your final destination on the expected arrival day, we will provide reasonable overnight accommodations, subject to availability.

In extreme circumstances, it is possible that a flight will cancel while on the ground in the city to which it was diverted. When this happens you will be rerouted on the next American flight with available seats, or in some circumstances on another airline or some other alternative means of transportation. If we are unable to reroute you, reasonable overnight accommodations will be provided by American, subject to availability.

American will provide amenities for delayed passengers, necessary to maintain the safety and/or welfare of certain passengers such as customers with disabilities, unaccompanied children, the elderly or others to whom such amenities will be furnished consistent with special needs and/or circumstances.
The U. S. Department of Transportation's official policy regarding compensation for delays or cancellations is as follows (thanks to hillrider for posting):
Contrary to the belief of some, airlines are not required to compensate passengers for damages when flights are delayed or canceled. Compensation is required by law only when you are bumped from a flight that is oversold. Airlines almost always refuse to pay passengers for financial losses resulting from a delayed flight. If the purpose of your trip is to close a potentially lucrative business deal, to give a speech or lecture, to attend a family function, or to be present at any time-sensitive event, you might want to allow a little extra time and take an earlier flight. In other words, airline delays and cancellations are not unusual, and defensive planning is a good idea when time is your most important consideration.
Flights to/from/within Europe carry specific compensation rights, as outlined at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/passen.../en/index.html

Also see (FT) EC261 / EC 261/2004 complaints, compensation and AA (master thread)

(The other compensation threads are archived and closed, but can easily be accessed for reading here:

2016 Questions about, guide to, and listing of, compensation (consolidated)

2015 Questions about, guide to, listing of, compensation (consolidated - archived)

2014 Questions about, guide to, listing of, compensation (consolidated - archived)

2013 Questions about, guide to, and listing of compensation (archived)

Guide to, and listing of, compensation (2012 - archived)

Guide to, and listing of, compensation (2003 - 2011 archived)

AA Forum Moderator Team
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ARCHIVE: 2017 Questions about, guide to, and listing of, compensation

Old Jan 24, 17, 11:02 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Programs: DL PM, MR Titanium/LTP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 9,595
Date: January 2017
AA Status: None
Fare Class: N
What Happened: 3 hour MX delay on PVR - DFW that would have caused misconnect on DFW - RDU. Thankfully saw the cascading delays and proactively had us switched to the later PVR - DFW - RDU flights. Still ended up getting home after midnight (3 hours later than planned) which was not ideal since it was my girlfriend's birthday so we got in too late for cake and ice cream.

Compensation: 5k miles for each of us

Comments: Handled well overall. AA CSR had no problem switching us to flights once the delays started rolling in and was able to do it before we left for airport (and Hyatt gave us late check-out so not a big deal). Sent a short and sweet email to AA CSR Webform laying out the facts and they responded within an hour with the 5k response which is already in both our accounts.
Duke787 is offline  
Old Jan 25, 17, 11:29 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,269
Thumbs down Archaic AA process for handling paper vouchers

Date August 15th, 2016
AAdvantage Status None
Fare class Economy
What happened Cancelled flight due to mechanical problems. Flight was direct (2 hour duration, expected arrival 10PM). Best offer was to put my wife and me on a flight the next day with a layover (total travel time 6 hours, expected arrival 3:30 PM the next day). Claimed they couldn't put us on another airline to get us there sooner. Delta had direct flights (2 hour duration) leaving at 7AM, 8:30, 10:00, noon, etc. with availability on all of those flights.
Compensation Two paper vouchers for $50
Comments The point of my post is not to address the compensation, but rather the hassle of using the vouchers they gave us. My wife and I were planning a 4 night, 3 full day trip departing on a Sunday evening. Due to the cancellation of our flight, we were going to lose part of the three days, but I was determined not to lose the better part of a day, so I booked us on an early morning Delta flight rather than arrive in the late afternoon.

After our trip I called and wrote a polite letter to complain, and they sent us two $50 paper vouchers. But these vouchers can't be redeemed online or over the phone with an agent. The agent explained that I would have to mail them in to an address in Pensacola Florida, and they would be processed shortly before the day of travel. I tried last night to make reservations for an important trip in March, and I was told that if I hadn't been ticketed by the day before our trip I should call. That seemed completely nuts to me -- not ticketing until the voucher was processed and not processing it until right before the day of travel --but the agent said that is the process they have to follow for paper vouchers. She offered me the alternative of driving to the airport and going to a ticket counter instead of mailing the vouchers. Since I live near an airport, I actually did that, and everything went smoothly once I was there.

But I just can't believe how cumbersome and customer-unfriendly that process is. When I told my coworker about this, she said Delta does not work that way and that you can definitely redeem Delta vouchers online. Is American really such an extreme outlier on this issue?

In total, American provided poor service on the day of my original flight and compounded it by offered a form of compensation that was almost more trouble than it was worth. Poor service x 2, frustration x 2.
LWT3 is offline  
Old Jan 25, 17, 1:26 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: BDU
Programs: DL:MM, Marriott:LTT
Posts: 8,779
Asking for advice... hoping for a voucher as opposed to FF miles, as I don't fly AA that often.

Date January 23, 2017
AAdvantage Status EXP, Regular Member
Fare class Economy (S)
What happened PHL-ATL, lost engine midflight, diverted to CLT, Crew timed out, arrived 3:15 am (5+ hours late), had to walk from Concourse D to North Terminal through tunnels without power and messy, active construction.
Compensation Nothing yet, but have not requested
Comments Reading through thread my expectations are low. Usually fly other airlines that seem to have better compensation for smaller incidents. Looking for advice on what to expect and how to get a voucher versus FF miles, if possible.

UPDATE Just got an email from American. 4000 miles, which seems like in insult, were deposited into my account. This is a joke. I won't ask for anything else, and the miles will never be used, but it reinforces why I avoid flying USAir/American at all costs. Not only did they screw up the flight, as they have done on my last two flights with them, but now this. For anyone who doesn't know better, DL handles these types of situations so much better. When things go wrong, DL corrects the situation quickly and makes a meaningful apology. I feel very bad for anyone who is stuck flying this airline.

Last edited by CJKatl; Jan 25, 17 at 1:32 pm
CJKatl is offline  
Old Jan 25, 17, 1:28 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: DCA
Programs: AA Executive Platinum
Posts: 934
Originally Posted by LWT3 View Post
Date August 15th, 2016
AAdvantage Status None
Fare class Economy
What happened Cancelled flight due to mechanical problems. Flight was direct (2 hour duration, expected arrival 10PM). Best offer was to put my wife and me on a flight the next day with a layover (total travel time 6 hours, expected arrival 3:30 PM the next day). Claimed they couldn't put us on another airline to get us there sooner. Delta had direct flights (2 hour duration) leaving at 7AM, 8:30, 10:00, noon, etc. with availability on all of those flights.
Compensation Two paper vouchers for $50
Comments The point of my post is not to address the compensation, but rather the hassle of using the vouchers they gave us. My wife and I were planning a 4 night, 3 full day trip departing on a Sunday evening. Due to the cancellation of our flight, we were going to lose part of the three days, but I was determined not to lose the better part of a day, so I booked us on an early morning Delta flight rather than arrive in the late afternoon.

After our trip I called and wrote a polite letter to complain, and they sent us two $50 paper vouchers. But these vouchers can't be redeemed online or over the phone with an agent. The agent explained that I would have to mail them in to an address in Pensacola Florida, and they would be processed shortly before the day of travel. I tried last night to make reservations for an important trip in March, and I was told that if I hadn't been ticketed by the day before our trip I should call. That seemed completely nuts to me -- not ticketing until the voucher was processed and not processing it until right before the day of travel --but the agent said that is the process they have to follow for paper vouchers. She offered me the alternative of driving to the airport and going to a ticket counter instead of mailing the vouchers. Since I live near an airport, I actually did that, and everything went smoothly once I was there.

But I just can't believe how cumbersome and customer-unfriendly that process is. When I told my coworker about this, she said Delta does not work that way and that you can definitely redeem Delta vouchers online. Is American really such an extreme outlier on this issue?

In total, American provided poor service on the day of my original flight and compounded it by offered a form of compensation that was almost more trouble than it was worth. Poor service x 2, frustration x 2.
Yes, AA really is that far behind the times. Of course, I'm sure that's not because the cumbersomeness of redeeming a paper voucher makes it less likely than the voucher will be redeemed, thereby getting AA the goodwill without the cost.

Also, the AAgent who told you AA couldn't put you on another airline was telling you the truth, as least insofar as that other airline might have been DL. Not too long ago, AA and DL ended their interline service agreement, meaning the two airlines no longer cooperate on any matter relating to ticketing, baggage, etc. It's a PITA in situations like yours, and I know of no silver lining.
discoverCSG is offline  
Old Jan 25, 17, 2:49 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,269
Originally Posted by discoverCSG View Post
Yes, AA really is that far behind the times.

Not too long ago, AA and DL ended their interline service agreement, meaning the two airlines no longer cooperate on any matter relating to ticketing, baggage, etc. It's a PITA in situations like yours, and I know of no silver lining.
Thanks. Both points are good to know.
LWT3 is offline  
Old Jan 27, 17, 8:27 am
  #36  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 51,623
Date January 7, 2017
AAdvantage Status Gold + 3 with no status
Fare class
- Gold (me) in F (paid)
- 2 with no status in award F on one PNR
- 1 with no status in award F on a 2nd PNR.

What happened All PNRs were standalone SJU-CLT-MCI one-way.
SJU-CLT operated normally. CLT-MCI canceled due to missing crew. Rebooked following day, the 3 award seats in F and my paid seat in Y. Gate supervisor confirmed everyone on the flight was entitled to overnight accommodations paid by AA, but they had no hotel vouchers. Supervisor said "you can book your own, but contract rate is $74/nt. so don't go over that." I specifically asked "Can I do $150/nt with 4 pax on 3 PNRs in one room?" Gate supervisor confirmed yes - just note that in the reimbursement request. So I booked a nearby Residence Inn for around $150.

Compensation
- Through AA's normal ticket refund process, a small amount of cash refund for the CLT-MCI downgrade on my paid ticket. I've read here that downgrades are always smaller than you think because they just look at full-Y or something similar. Although this seems unfair, I know it's a battle not worth fighting.
- Through Customer Relations, $74 for the hotel, even though I fully explained that there were 4 people in the room in both my email and on the receipt.
- Also through Customer Relations, $600 in eVouchers, $150 per traveler (not sure if this means they must be ticketed in their names - been a while since I've used these on AA)

Comments
- I didn't even ask for the eVouchers. Obviously, that was a surprise and maybe I should just accept what's been given me and move on.
- I'm mildly annoyed about the hotel. It sounds like I would have been reimbursed for at least three (maybe four?) $74 rooms if I'd booked some crappy motel. I thought booking a single room for 3 PNRs / 4 pax was a win-win: cheaper for AA, and this was a brand-new RI that we really liked. Total cost about $37 per person. Half of their contract rate.

I'm leaning towards just moving on with my life since I *will* use the vouchers, but wondering if anyone else thinks it's a little unfair that AA just ignored part of the cash reimbursement that they themselves promised, and that are wholly reasonable and well within their typical standards.

UPDATE: I actually responded to their last email, asking about the hotel expense. They stated, rather curtly, that it is a hard and fast rule of $74 per room, and any voluntary decision on the part of passengers to stay more than 1 person per room was at our own expense. They did not address the fact that their own gate agent told a very direct and purposeful lie to me when I clearly and unambiguously asked her about being reimbursed for a room capable of sleeping 4 people that was approximately double their contract rate. On one hand, I relearned the lesson I should known before: the airline is your adversary, and it is not compelled to play fairly or tell the truth. And I learned one new lesson: stay at the gate until I have four hotel vouchers in hand (one per traveler), even if our intent is likely to only sleep in the "best" one or two rooms.

Last edited by pinniped; Feb 2, 17 at 10:53 am
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Old Feb 17, 17, 4:38 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 397
Date: December 2016

AAdvantage Status: Gold

Fare class: non-refundable economy

What happened: 6.5 hour ground delay at the start of a DCA-LAS trip, resulting in 12.5 hours sitting on a 737-900 after all was said and done (we did get to LAS). Trip started with a complete ground ops breakdown at DCA, including fueling problems, de-icing problems (two hours to de-ice two jets), ATC problems, and catering problems. We spent 3.75 hours on the tarmac before returning to a gate; 2.5 hours more at the gate -- with the door open -- so no rules issue there, but with the warning that anyone getting off wouldn't be permitted back on due to in-terminal chaos. So we couldn't get food. The plane wasn't catered other than a small number of snack boxes, and despite 2.5 hours of the pilot rather forcefully trying catering was able to bring only a single tray of pretzels and a single tray of cookies for a fully loaded flight. It was a hungry, thirsty, backside-unfriendly skies day.

Compensation: $300 ecert., within 90 minutes of submitting my web complaint.

Comments: The aircraft crew (pilot and FAs) were exemplary through the whole thing. DCA ground ops were the worst I've ever seen. Just chaos. I'd forgotten to submit a gripe about the incident when it happened, and AA never contacted me. Yesterday I had a bad day on United, and experienced a much more proactive airline relative to a schedule issue. That finally motivated me to submit this event to AA, to let them know they were lagging. Wasn't expecting this much comp. or to get it so quickly and without negotiation.
hoopics is offline  
Old Feb 20, 17, 12:34 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by travelfam7700 View Post
Jan 2017

Situation 1: Going from PDX-DFW-CUN
PDX-DFW flight was canceled due to weather, rerouted to LAX to CUN on an overnight flight, which is very difficult for us but we seemed to have no choice. My husband has a medical condition that requires regular sleep times. Arrived at destination 8 hours late, did not get to enjoy first night and meals at resort. Husband was very uncomfortable from the travel situation.

Situation 2: Going from CUN-PHX-PDX
Flight from CUN-PHX was delayed due to mechanical issues, they basically knew we wouldn't make our connection but no effort was made to rebook us on another flight. Missed the connection by minutes. Had to spend the night in Phoenix. They gave us a dinner voucher and paid for hotel. Next flight available to PDX arrived at 1 PM, 14 hours late. Had to spend extra money on dog sitting, parking at airport, and had to cancel an entire day of work the next day (I own a small business that depends on my presence).

Any chance of compensation for either situation? We don't collect AA points, we always have them add to our Alaska account. Not sure if that makes a difference. Thank you!
Just wanted to report we were very happy with the response from American Airlines. We used their online complaint form and received $400 total evouchers (200 each) the very next day.
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Old Feb 21, 17, 10:34 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 498
AAdvantage Status EXP
Fare class F
What happened MIA LAX 77W F seat inop (would not recline / move whatsoever), downgraded to J
Compensation (i) $500 voucher at the gate, (ii) after writing in, AA customer relations offered (additionally) either $500 voucher OR 25K AA miles, (iii) fare difference being calculated and refunded
Comments For (ii) would you accept this as reasonable, and if so would you take $500 or 25K miles?
baclubflyer is offline  
Old Feb 21, 17, 10:36 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 498
AAdvantage Status EXP
Fare class F
What happened LAX-HKG 77W F PTV did not operate properly, always restarting, flight map didn't work, eventually given a Samsung tablet but that also failed
Compensation Wrote to AA and offered to send them pictures for proof. They just replied giving 15K miles already deposited into account without chance for a reply.
Comments Is this reasonable compensation? Want to see if I should bother writing in...
baclubflyer is offline  
Old Feb 22, 17, 7:35 am
  #41  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU/KIAH
Programs: AA "mid tier" elite | Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 9,146
AAdvantage Status EXP
Fare class Discount Y (Upgraded to J with SWU)
What happened LHR-DFW (AA79) was delayed 3.5 hours due to MX issues.
Compensation Proactively received 5000 miles, hotel for the night and breakfast voucher
Comments Crew was amazing and handled the delay extremely well. AA EXP desk was also able to fly me back home instead of where I was going the next morning (as I missed the meeting I was flying for anyways)
Antarius is offline  
Old Feb 22, 17, 8:28 am
  #42  
uxb
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: JFK, DCA, BUR, YVR
Programs: AC (75K), AS (MVPG), BA, DL, HH (D), MR (T/LTP), UA (*S), UScAAre (EXP/1,82MM), WN
Posts: 5,089
Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
AAdvantage Status EXP
Fare class Discount Y (Upgraded to J with SWU)
What happened LHR-DFW (AA79) was delayed 3.5 hours due to MX issues.
Compensation Proactively received 5000 miles, hotel for the night and breakfast voucher
Comments Crew was amazing and handled the delay extremely well. AA EXP desk was also able to fly me back home instead of where I was going the next morning (as I missed the meeting I was flying for anyways)
Now write back and ask for EC261/04 comp, and you'll get cash. Cheers!
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Old Feb 22, 17, 8:30 am
  #43  
uxb
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: JFK, DCA, BUR, YVR
Programs: AC (75K), AS (MVPG), BA, DL, HH (D), MR (T/LTP), UA (*S), UScAAre (EXP/1,82MM), WN
Posts: 5,089
Originally Posted by baclubflyer View Post
AAdvantage Status EXP
Fare class F
What happened LAX-HKG 77W F PTV did not operate properly, always restarting, flight map didn't work, eventually given a Samsung tablet but that also failed
Compensation Wrote to AA and offered to send them pictures for proof. They just replied giving 15K miles already deposited into account without chance for a reply.
Comments Is this reasonable compensation? Want to see if I should bother writing in...
IMHO, this is acceptable comp.
uxb is offline  
Old Feb 22, 17, 8:31 am
  #44  
uxb
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: JFK, DCA, BUR, YVR
Programs: AC (75K), AS (MVPG), BA, DL, HH (D), MR (T/LTP), UA (*S), UScAAre (EXP/1,82MM), WN
Posts: 5,089
Originally Posted by baclubflyer View Post
AAdvantage Status EXP
Fare class F
What happened MIA LAX 77W F seat inop (would not recline / move whatsoever), downgraded to J
Compensation (i) $500 voucher at the gate, (ii) after writing in, AA customer relations offered (additionally) either $500 voucher OR 25K AA miles, (iii) fare difference being calculated and refunded
Comments For (ii) would you accept this as reasonable, and if so would you take $500 or 25K miles?
Are you based in the US? If so, take the miles. If not, take the cash. Cash is king, but that's my six pence on the matter. Good luck!
uxb is offline  
Old Feb 24, 17, 8:40 am
  #45  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 23
Date January 2 2017
AAdvantage Status None, but BA Gold
Fare class I
What happened JFK-CDG was cancelled due to a faulty plane once we'd all boarded. Off-loaded and after waiting around for a couple of hours, they replaced the original plane with a smaller one. So they asked for volunteers from all classes who'd be willing to travel the next day (only one flight a day, so 24 hours delay). We would miss our connection from CDG-LHR (on a separate ticket), so after a lot of cajoling they agreed to put us on the first JFK-LHR flight the next morning.
Compensation $1000 voucher each (3 of us)
Comments Took a long time to sort out; we were hanging around for several hours and people would tell us it was possible, then it wasn't. Eventually it got sorted, but they ended up telling us as they were 'doing us a favour' by putting us on a direct LHR flight as we would miss our separate connection (which is true). Because of this they refused to give us a hotel voucher for the night and any compensation. Sorted a hotel with points and then emailed them as soon as we were back. They replied within a couple of hours; said they couldn't refund the hotel as it was with points, but they would give us the vouchers.

Date January 3 2017
AAdvantage Status None, but BA Gold
Fare class I
What happened JFK-LHR, my seat didn't work properly. The touchscreen was dead, so had to put it up/down more manually with the buttons behind the seat.
Compensation 15,000 points
Comments No quibbles at all, and replied to my email within about 2 hours.

Date February 19 2017
AAdvantage Status None, but BA Gold
Fare class I
What happened SJU-CLT; faulty tray table which I had to prop up with my knee and washbag to keep stable enough to eat from. Also mentioned lack of in-flight entertainment due to gogo system not working from Puerto Rico.
Compensation 10,000 points
Comments Really quick reply and no quibbles.
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