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AA Ticket Refund and Related (master thread)

Old Sep 22, 2017, 4:26 pm
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Last edit by: Prospero
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:

"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

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).

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AA Ticket Refund and Related (master thread)

Old Jun 13, 2022, 9:39 pm
  #421  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
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Originally Posted by sxpsxpsxp
My experience with refunds for award tickets and fees have been that refunds are automatic and virtually instantaneous, at least as far as the miles are concerned. The taxes are refunded within a few days. This is for tickets booked with AA miles on AA metal.
I put a QR award on hold last night before canceling an existing QR award. I needed the miles to purchase the on-hold reservation. The new award was a few more miles while the fees & taxes were the same.

Once canceled, the miles were available immediately to purchase the new award. During payment, it showed fees & taxes offset with the fees & taxes due from the cancelled award. Just the mileage difference was all that was required. I received an email within 45 minutes that the new award was ticketed.

Is it just me, or does that sound too efficient for AA?

James
Flying for Fun is offline  
Old Jun 14, 2022, 7:30 am
  #422  
 
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Originally Posted by sxpsxpsxp
My experience with refunds for award tickets and fees have been that refunds are automatic and virtually instantaneous, at least as far as the miles are concerned. The taxes are refunded within a few days. This is for tickets booked with AA miles on AA metal.
Originally Posted by MissJ
Wow, I'm really glad I read this thread. I cancelled a trip (booked with miles) last week and haven't seen the fees or the miles refunded. I filled out the form and hope to get them both back soon. Not really excited about having to call and be on hold for who knows how long if not. It's been years since I cancelled anything with AA, Delta always just does this automatically - as you mentioned.
Miles are supposed to be reinstated without having to request it. That said, it doesnt always happen that way. If I correctly understand the cancellation message that you get, it may not be automatic if you cancel within 2 days of the flight, or some short-in period they mention. But thats not consistent either. I cancelled 3 trips recently - one within a day, not checked in, the miles redeposited immediately. The other two were checked in and cancelled day of. No automatic miles reinstatement. Unclear whether being checked in has anything to do with it, if I remember correctly, I had another a few weeks back where the miles came back without having to ask.

When that happens, I just tweet AA, mention miles didnt come back as expected and can they kindly assist, which they do. Saves the hassle of filling out the form and its pretty quick too.
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Old Jun 14, 2022, 1:38 pm
  #423  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
It sounds like the funds are still on the ticket. That's why they email the ticket numbers.
Thanks to both; I have 2 ticket numbers (part of my flight changed before I cancelled) and I assume AA can work it out.
ckendall is offline  
Old Jun 14, 2022, 3:40 pm
  #424  
 
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Originally Posted by GrjApp
Miles are supposed to be reinstated without having to request it. That said, it doesnt always happen that way. If I correctly understand the cancellation message that you get, it may not be automatic if you cancel within 2 days of the flight, or some short-in period they mention. But thats not consistent either. I cancelled 3 trips recently - one within a day, not checked in, the miles redeposited immediately. The other two were checked in and cancelled day of. No automatic miles reinstatement. Unclear whether being checked in has anything to do with it, if I remember correctly, I had another a few weeks back where the miles came back without having to ask.

When that happens, I just tweet AA, mention miles didnt come back as expected and can they kindly assist, which they do. Saves the hassle of filling out the form and its pretty quick too.
Originally Posted by sxpsxpsxp
My experience with refunds for award tickets and fees have been that refunds are automatic and virtually instantaneous, at least as far as the miles are concerned. The taxes are refunded within a few days. This is for tickets booked with AA miles on AA metal.
Ugh. Flight is two months out so definitely not checked in. Booked on AA, AA metal. Cancelled on Friday and still nothing. I did fill out the form but I'll give it a little more time. I do at least see "Refund Requested" on the cancelled ticket now so maybe I will see some action soon.

Thanks for the info, everyone.
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Old Jun 17, 2022, 11:31 am
  #425  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
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Refund only if sked change is 4+ hours?

See that AAs policy is to only allow a refund if their advance schedule change is 240 minutes or more? Wow, thats unreasonable.
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Old Jun 18, 2022, 10:56 am
  #426  
 
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Originally Posted by SFO_FT
See that AAs policy is to only allow a refund if their advance schedule change is 240 minutes or more? Wow, thats unreasonable.
I also just came up against this unreasonable policy. I had a schedule change of two hours on a domestic ticket so needed to cancel. I assumed, based on the wiki above, that this would allow a refund. I got a reply from the refund team that the policy is 4+ hour on domestic tickets. Thats super unreasonable IMO
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Old Jun 18, 2022, 12:10 pm
  #427  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
Because some people want to leave the value on the ticket and specifically do not want a refund. The are situations where this makes sense.
Curious as to what situations those might be? Money is fungible so when would it make sense to leave money on a ticket instead of a refund? The only scenarios I can think of are external to the airline, such as where ticket cost fulfilled a credit card offer or some other payment related situation where you dont want a refund as it would cause other problems (credit card account closed, etc.). Were you thinking of something like that or something having to do with the airline and the ticket itself?
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Old Jun 18, 2022, 1:20 pm
  #428  
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Originally Posted by HofstraJet
Curious as to what situations those might be? Money is fungible so when would it make sense to leave money on a ticket instead of a refund? The only scenarios I can think of are external to the airline, such as where ticket cost fulfilled a credit card offer or some other payment related situation where you dont want a refund as it would cause other problems (credit card account closed, etc.). Were you thinking of something like that or something having to do with the airline and the ticket itself?
The most obvious example is if you have a SWU attached to the ticket. Possibly a discount code too (I don't know if those survive a reservation cancellation)

And as you point out, there are lots of situations where a refund to the original form of payment is inconvenient or problematic. Maybe you got a statement credit from your credit card issuer and don't want it clawed back, maybe you need the purchase for a sign-up bonus, maybe you don't have the card any more (though they will eventually mail you a check), maybe you paid with a prepaid debit card and don't have the account number any more.

Last edited by VegasGambler; Jun 18, 2022 at 5:46 pm
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Old Jun 18, 2022, 3:50 pm
  #429  
 
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Originally Posted by HofstraJet
Curious as to what situations those might be? Money is fungible so when would it make sense to leave money on a ticket instead of a refund?
Originally Posted by VegasGambler
And as you point out, there are lots of situations where a refund to the original form of payment is inconvenient or problematic.
In the category of "problematic", I've had clients hold onto tickets for exchange instead of a requesting a refund where tickets were originally charged to a former spouse/significant other's card. Could probably add former employers to the list, but no one has yet owned up to that.
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Old Jun 29, 2022, 12:01 pm
  #430  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Back in May, I booked a one-way reservation through the Chase portal (extra UR miles) on AA 7/21 MIA-BGR.

I recently found out that I need to change the flight to AA 7/20 MIA-BDL. I canceled my reservation through Chase and now have a travel credit through Chase. It does not show in my AA Wallet.

Since the fare is cheaper, I figured I'd book first class instead of main cabin, which my original reservation was for, and still come out ahead. I've always used AA travel credits like cash (also says so right up there in the wiki). However, Chase is telling me I can't change the fare class. Neither the website "book with credit" tool nor a Chase travel agent will let me do it.

Does this sound right? Has anyone been able to do something like this?
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Old Oct 7, 2022, 9:31 am
  #431  
 
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I have two separate PNRs to refund because I have covid and cannot travel, and cannot bring my child along either. Childs PNR is standard economy; mine is basic economy.

Can I at least get the full value of the ticket back to AA vouchers or trip/flight credit or whatever its called now, if I cant get it refunded to the credit card used for purchase?

prefunds.aa.com doesnt seem to show what exactly Id get back from the basic economy ticket it just says its ineligible and would need to be canceled first
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 5:52 am
  #432  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Couldn't see this in the FAQ's. If I book a Main Cabin Flexible fares, what is the latest I can cancel for a full refund? Looking at booking two different flight options based on a connection and then cancelling the one that doesn't work on the day - if that's possible?
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 10:58 am
  #433  
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Originally Posted by mediamonkey
Couldn't see this in the FAQ's. If I book a Main Cabin Flexible fares, what is the latest I can cancel for a full refund? Looking at booking two different flight options based on a connection and then cancelling the one that doesn't work on the day - if that's possible?
Not sure if you are referring to cancel on day of departure. If so, you run the chance of AA preemptively cancelling one or both reservation well in advance of trip.
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 12:21 pm
  #434  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Originally Posted by seawolf
Not sure if you are referring to cancel on day of departure. If so, you run the chance of AA preemptively cancelling one or both reservation well in advance of trip.
sorry not quite sure what you mean by this. Do you mean AA might cancel one or both because they see I have two bookings that it would be impossible to fly both?
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Old Feb 3, 2023, 1:48 pm
  #435  
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Originally Posted by mediamonkey
sorry not quite sure what you mean by this. Do you mean AA might cancel one or both because they see I have two bookings that it would be impossible to fly both?
Exactly.
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