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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 Feb 4, 2023, 2:20 am
  #436  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 563
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.
Interesting.... so pushing this aside, on a main cabin flexible fare, what is the latest you can cancel it for a full refund?
mediamonkey is offline  
Old Feb 6, 2023, 12:29 pm
  #437  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: AA PLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,407
Does AA no longer allow for refunds in the case of equipment changes? We had a paid F ticket DFW-LAX that was initially on a 777 so lie-flat seats. Then changed to a 321neo which is obviously a significant downgrade in actual experience. However when I call AA they're telling me that since it's not a "mainline to regional" downgrade and that since both planes are mainline, that it is not eligible for a refund. Is that correct? I swear AA has allowed for refunds in similar situations in the past. Maybe pre-Dougie past I guess. Or do they only allow this for international flights?
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Old Mar 7, 2023, 12:37 am
  #438  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 310
Searched a bunch in the thread but didn't find a good recent answer. For tickets cancelled within 24 hours of booking via an agent, does AA still require that you request for a refund separately after cancellation? I made a booking over a week ago, only to cancel within an hour with an agent on the phone. She assured me that I'd get refunded back to my original payment method. I also received an email from AA stating "If canceled within 24 hours of initial ticket purchase, and at least 2 days before departure, we'll process your refund automatically".

Fast forward to today, I still don't see a refund, but what's more weird is that my reservation says the status is "Flight Credit". I called AA and was told that I'd need to manually request refunds at prefunds.aa.com if the cancellation was done by an agent, even if the email says otherwise. Is that true? Also, the cancellation needs to be done within the 24 hours window, but the refund request doesn't need to be for it to be refunded back to my CC, right? TIA!

Last edited by kevinwangjk; Mar 7, 2023 at 12:58 am
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Old Mar 13, 2023, 10:25 pm
  #439  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Programs: UA 1MM, AA Plat, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Glob, IHG ♢ Amb, Hilton ♢, Hertz Pres
Posts: 6,026
If I book an AAward (using my miles) for someone else, and then we need to cancel/redeposit the same rules apply correct? I'll get my miles and taxes back, correct?

Since the record locator won't be in My Trips, how would I cancel (or would the other person be required to call and cancel)? Or perhaps I can just enter the record locator and their last name and cancel online (on their behalf)?
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Old May 18, 2023, 12:01 am
  #440  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Programs: Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 27
AA Flight credit takes 7-10 business days?

I tried to cancel my K-fare flight and was given the following message BEFORE I canceled: "You can cancel for all passengers within 26 hours 35 minutes for a refund." I clicked the "Cancel for a refund." On the confirmation screen, I received the following message, "Your trip was canceled. Your refund has been initiated to the original form of payment."

I was surprised that my flight was eligible for a refund to the original form of payment as it was 26 hours after I had booked. It didn't matter because I wanted to rebook a different flight anyways. Later, the flight showed up in my wallet as a credit, so I tried to use it for another flight and got an error. After back and forth with AA, I was told that flight credits are not available for immediate use and instead I'd have to wait 7-10 business days for approvals. Is this standard practice? I need to fly in five days, so it seems really silly that they won't confirm my refund nor will they allow me to use my flight credit.
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Old May 21, 2023, 2:00 am
  #441  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DEL
Programs: Mucci du Miel d'Or
Posts: 2,380
Do AA offer a travel credit when a non-refundable ticket is cancelled? I normally travel BA and they don't. If it matters, it would be an transatlantic business class ticket. Many thanks.
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Old Jul 17, 2023, 9:58 am
  #442  
 
Join Date: Feb 2023
Posts: 9
Looking for some guidance from the experts here: AA flight DFW to Madrid was delayed for 8hrs due to a mechanical and then ultimately cancelled and rescheduled (new flight #) for the following day. Obviously on a vacation this caused an expensive trickle down effect. I requested a refund (4 tickets) for that leg of the trip and AA rejected that request and instead gave me 20k bonus miles on each passengers account. I was told since my ticket was fully used and therefore there is no remaining value to credit. I've followed up 3 times expressing my belief that this is unacceptable by me and my desire for my request to be elevated on their end. No response. As a PPro flyer and a AA Mastercard user (a LOT) do you feel I'm entitled to anything more and if so what next steps should I talk. Thank you in advance for your comments.

Last edited by Mtvitale; Jul 17, 2023 at 2:46 pm Reason: typo
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Old Jul 26, 2023, 12:06 pm
  #443  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: stl
Programs: AA LT Plat/8.1mm now with 1350 miles left in my account and proud of it.. SPG LT Titanium.
Posts: 3,091
I just had a trip cancel where I bought refundable tickets on Delta for the outbound and AA on the return. When you cancel on Delta the screen after you cancel gives you the option of receiving a travel credit or a credit to the original form of payment. I choose original form of payment and the next screen confirmed it was being processed and I then received a confirming email.

The AA ticket only allows you the option to cancel and receive a travel credit. Then you have to go to the refund page and enter your information and it tells you it will be manually reviewed and i'm a bit foggy on the language but the jest of it is that it will take two weeks to process. This seems to me like a way for AA to hopefully hold on to your money for those who do not understand their cumbersome and archaic system. You would think that AA would want the type of customer who actually pays up for a refundable ticket and make it easy for them.

I know people have disdain for the term "free agent" but in my case I have been buying more and more Delta and paying up to sit in comfort plus which I get for free at AA.
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Old Jul 27, 2023, 3:46 am
  #444  
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Living the dream in Antigua and the nightmare in Florida
Programs: AA PLAT 2MM, *A Gold, WN detractor
Posts: 50,092
Last week we flew MCO-PHL-LIS in paid J. We missed the connection because of weather in MCO (missed the PHL-LIS flight by 5 minutes ). We were re-booked the next day, but only in PE, as J was already full. I know that we are entitled to a fare difference refund (confirmed by AAgent), but how will that difference be calculated? I would hope they would use the fare difference on the day that I booked the ticket, as the walk-up PE fare was almost as much as we paid in March for the J fare.

Also, we met another couple that had missed the same connection, and they were given a hotel voucher. I didn't ask for that since the delay was weather. Should I ask for compensation for the hotel room now?
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Old Aug 9, 2023, 4:53 am
  #445  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: LCY/DXB/MCY
Programs: BA Silver / SQ Sol PPS / KE & EK Nobody!
Posts: 387
Looking to pick the brains of some of the Wizards on this sub-forum...

My family have recently left the US after finishing a job in NC. Over the 3 years they were there, they've now amassed $4.5k USD across six individual flight credits.

There is zero chance we will be returning to the US either as a transit point or final destination for the next 18 months at least, and we would therefore like to 'get our money back' so to speak.

I've done this exercise with QF and BA, whereby you book a refundable ticket using the vouchers and then process the refund, but it appears to be more complicated with AA.

I've gone to book a phantom refundable fare but once on the payment screen, I am only being given the option to use a 'travel credit', which appear different to flight credits?

Can anyone advise if there is a tried and tested way to unlock cash stored in AA flight credits?

Many thanks!
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Old Aug 9, 2023, 7:31 am
  #446  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: AA Executive Platinum/Million Miler, Marriott Titanium Elite-Lifetime, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,294
QF

Originally Posted by Cathay1101
I've done this exercise with QF and BA, whereby you book a refundable ticket using the vouchers and then process the refund, but it appears to be more complicated with AA.

I've gone to book a phantom refundable fare but once on the payment screen, I am only being given the option to use a 'travel credit', which appear different to flight credits?

Can anyone advise if there is a tried and tested way to unlock cash stored in AA flight credits?
You can't book a refundable ticket with non-refundable tickets/credits and then expect to get a refund of cash if you cancel the refundable ticket. This might work if you book a ticket that is then cancelled or severely delayed due to IRROPS or a schedule change, but that's obviously not guaranteed to work. I'm actually surprised this worked on QF and BA, given it would render the non-refundable restrictions effectively moot.
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Old Aug 9, 2023, 8:48 am
  #447  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: LCY/DXB/MCY
Programs: BA Silver / SQ Sol PPS / KE & EK Nobody!
Posts: 387
Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
You can't book a refundable ticket with non-refundable tickets/credits and then expect to get a refund of cash if you cancel the refundable ticket. This might work if you book a ticket that is then cancelled or severely delayed due to IRROPS or a schedule change, but that's obviously not guaranteed to work. I'm actually surprised this worked on QF and BA, given it would render the non-refundable restrictions effectively moot.
Thanks for the idea.

I managed with both QF and BA earlier in the year - albeit by calling up and speaking with agents. Having supplemented the credits with CC payments, I was then able to ask for the refunds to be issued to my payment card. Worked both times without issue. Uninformed agents? Potentially. But then again, both airlines got to enjoy s as liquidity during the fairly financially dry years of the pandemic, so I don't feel particularly aggrieved about finding a way to get it back out of them...

In any event, someone please pipe up if you can think of anything better than booking something with a decent chance of cancellation/IRROPS and crossing fingers, or if they believe the above method may prevail. (Perhaps one has to call up to book with multiple credits?)
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Old Aug 11, 2023, 4:22 am
  #448  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: MEL
Programs: QF Bronze, UA GM
Posts: 147
Originally Posted by strbrynkrm
I tried to cancel my K-fare flight and was given the following message BEFORE I canceled: "You can cancel for all passengers within 26 hours 35 minutes for a refund." I clicked the "Cancel for a refund." On the confirmation screen, I received the following message, "Your trip was canceled. Your refund has been initiated to the original form of payment."

I was surprised that my flight was eligible for a refund to the original form of payment as it was 26 hours after I had booked. It didn't matter because I wanted to rebook a different flight anyways. Later, the flight showed up in my wallet as a credit, so I tried to use it for another flight and got an error. After back and forth with AA, I was told that flight credits are not available for immediate use and instead I'd have to wait 7-10 business days for approvals. Is this standard practice? I need to fly in five days, so it seems really silly that they won't confirm my refund nor will they allow me to use my flight credit.
A belated reply, but it seems so.

I had re-booked a ticket using trip credit, but then decided I wanted to use the rest of the trip credit I had on upgrading to F as I'd have little other use for it and the buy-up for the fare would have only cost an additional $250 of real money over what I'd already paid. Went to change but there was no way to apply the trip credit I could see so I thought 'hey, I'll cancel, rebook and apply the trip credit. That'll be straightforward, given the last trip credit came instantly. How hard can it be?' Well, it seems it's very difficult for AA to handle such cancellations as it's apparently going to be several days to be returned.

So a warning: don't cancel flights booked using trip credit/flight credit within the 24 hour refund window if you can help it (unless they're non-refundable), as it triggers the refund process which is not well-suited to flight credits. I'll give them a week, before I send an email to the refunds department...
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Old Sep 10, 2023, 12:40 pm
  #449  
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Posts: 50,092
Going back to the involuntary downgrade we experienced PHL-LIS, after we completed the trip I submitted the refund request. I was checking the status today (10 days later) and I noticed something very strange. The ticket number I see in the confirmation of my request is completely different from the actual ticket number I have in my ticketing confirmation. I tried to resubmit the request, but I get an immediate response that the refund request is in progress (using the actual ticket number). Has anyone experienced this? I suppose I should wait a little longer to see what happens.
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Old Sep 13, 2023, 10:51 am
  #450  
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Living the dream in Antigua and the nightmare in Florida
Programs: AA PLAT 2MM, *A Gold, WN detractor
Posts: 50,092
And it just keeps getting more frustrating. I called AA to request that the refund be directed to the new card number. The AAgent told me that I had to call Barclays (Aviator card) to get the refund applied to the new card number. I called Barclays, and they said that they can't do anything to transfer the refund to the new card number - that I needed to provide the new card number to AA.. I called back to AA, and they eventually said it should go to the new card. I'll be checking every day, but I suspect this will be in the ethos. The total refund amount is not trivial - $1412.00.
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