Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

AA Ticket Refund and Related (master thread)

Old Sep 22, 2017, 4:26 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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).

Print Wikipost

AA Ticket Refund and Related (master thread)

Old Dec 12, 2023, 8:16 pm
  #466  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Programs: UA 1K, AA Lifetime Platinum, DL Platinum, Honors Diamond, Bonvoy Titanium, Hertz Platinum
Posts: 7,969
Originally Posted by Antarius
The likelihood of SCL-DFW in Y being 500 dollars less than SCL-MIA-DFW in J, while possible, is statistically close to zero on the day that the OP booked.

AA is well know for using walk up, full fare Y as their comparison, in which case both routes are probably close, but like the previous statement, the number of people booking walk up, full fare Y is statistically close to zero.
Oh, I agree. I meant to suggest that the direct vs connecting issue may be one of several factors. I think it may be as simple as they calculate the refund as (what you paid) - (what you flew if it was purchased at the time of the change). That calculation is going to be affected by the direct vs connecting issue, in addition to the advance purchase vs walkup fare issue.

Another factor may be how the change was processed. Although the change was triggered by the anticipated SCL-MIA delay, it's possible that it was implemented as a voluntary change as opposed to involuntary due to flight irregularity. If you showed up the at the airport and just wanted to switch to the direct flight for no particular reason, and agreed to the lower cabin, and didn't for whatever reason take advantage of any SDC rules that might apply, what I describe above is exactly how the refund would be calculated.
ZenFlyer likes this.
Steve M is offline  
Old Dec 13, 2023, 7:04 am
  #467  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Programs: AA
Posts: 14,727
Was this a one way or part of a round trip? If a round trip was it the outbound or the return? When changing a booking before a trip begins, they use current pricing and not historical pricing so if it was not the return of a round trip, then the booking would be like booking a new flight without any advance discounts. This could be a reason for a price discrepancy. Still I would question it too.
wrp96 is online now  
Old Dec 13, 2023, 9:29 am
  #468  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: OKC
Programs: IHG Spire, National Exec, AA Plat
Posts: 2,274
You have to push and keep pushing and not take no for an answer. I've dealt with this before and had to email the exec contacts to get results - which AA later tried to deny after promising them!!

My most recent example was a trip that was $1700 in J, about 700 in Y, and a delay that was their fault caused an overnight stay as well as 2x stops vs a direct flight the next day to get home, and all in Y because their agents did not code me as a non-voluntary downgrade.

Fight the good fight!
ijgordon and GNRMatt like this.
bchandler02 is offline  
Old Dec 13, 2023, 3:35 pm
  #469  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 387
Originally Posted by GNRMatt
Do you know the price difference on the day you booked your flight?
No, sorry. I do not.
FrogProf is offline  
Old Dec 13, 2023, 3:40 pm
  #470  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 387
Thumbs up

Originally Posted by javabytes
$3,400 RT? Were you booked in J in the other direction and did you remain there? If so your $500 refund is for one direction, which if you assume the same fare difference in both directions, puts the round trip Coach fare closer to $2,400, not $2,900.

Unless you have record of the prices the day you booked the flight, it'll be hard to prove much.
Bingo! Good catch! I was comparing R/T business with 1-way coach. If I were to assume the business class fare was $1700 each way, then a $500 refund means the 1-way coach ticket costs approximately $1200. IMO, that's still way too much, but it's not completely out of line. It also explains why the loyalty points are what they are.

Thanks. Mystery solved.
FrogProf is offline  
Old Dec 14, 2023, 4:00 am
  #471  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: London, UK and Occitanie, France
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 517
Originally Posted by FrogProf

1) Do I have any recourse on them charging me what I would guess is the "walk up" fare for the flight home?


Thanks for any help!
I'm having a similar problem and wondered what folks recommend to pursue it.

I was booked in business on a LHR-ORD flight that was overbooked and then went IRROP. Initially they downgraded me, then found me a J seat at the gate, then held us in a pen at LHR for a couple hours, then set us all free back to the lounge as the delay was going to be a further couple of hours. An agent in the lounge put me on another AA flight which was scheduled to depart about 3 hours after the initial flight was scheduled to depart - but only thing available was in Y. It departed more or less on time, I arrived in ORD just shy of three hours delayed.

It took ages for AA to get back to me and, after escalating it, they finally gave me a refund of just shy of $300, which they claimed was "the difference between the economy fare and the fare paid." This is patently fallacious - they're clearly comparing a walk-up Y to an advance purchase business fare. After I refused to accept it and reminded them that as a oneworld emerald I fly in business on AA transatlantic multiple times per year and asked for it to be escalated, they offered me 10k miles for my trouble.

The agent who rebooked me said he put notes in the record that it was an invol downgrade due to IRROPS and they should compensate me appropriately - but clearly they are not of a mind to do it. How/when/where can I complain or escalate it? Any advice would be welcome - I'm familiar with where and how to escalate BA claims but not AA ones!

Edit - and now they've emailed asking me to rate their customer service... absolutely vile, in fact, AA!!

Last edited by Expatbear; Dec 14, 2023 at 4:07 am Reason: adding info
Expatbear is offline  
Old Jan 16, 2024, 5:56 pm
  #472  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 56
Not sure what's going on here:

I bought a one-way flight in First for a month from now (SFO-CLT-PHL, if it matters) yesterday with cash.

Today, I checked Google Flights again and UA price for SFO-PHL nonstop had dropped significantly. I wanted to book it instead.

I went to cancel my AA ticket. It was 26 hours after purchase. I booked it on my work charge card, so I wasn't going to cancel for a credit - only a refund. After clicking cancel, I was told I could get a refund if I cancelled within 13 hours. So I did and booked the UA flight instead.

Now I see that I have an entry in my Travel Credit page, although it says I cannot use it because a refund has been "requested," and I should hear from AA within 7 business days.

What's going on here? Just a formality and I will get my refund, or something else because I cancelled beyond the 24-hour window? (And what was the clock showing me 13 more hours to cancel for a refund when I was reviewing that option around Hour 26 or so?)
whitesock is offline  
Old Jan 17, 2024, 10:19 pm
  #473  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by whitesock
Not sure what's going on here:

I bought a one-way flight in First for a month from now (SFO-CLT-PHL, if it matters) yesterday with cash.

Today, I checked Google Flights again and UA price for SFO-PHL nonstop had dropped significantly. I wanted to book it instead.

I went to cancel my AA ticket. It was 26 hours after purchase. I booked it on my work charge card, so I wasn't going to cancel for a credit - only a refund. After clicking cancel, I was told I could get a refund if I cancelled within 13 hours. So I did and booked the UA flight instead.

Now I see that I have an entry in my Travel Credit page, although it says I cannot use it because a refund has been "requested," and I should hear from AA within 7 business days.

What's going on here? Just a formality and I will get my refund, or something else because I cancelled beyond the 24-hour window? (And what was the clock showing me 13 more hours to cancel for a refund when I was reviewing that option around Hour 26 or so?)
And to close this out, I received an email confirming my refund about 21 hours after I had cancelled and requested it. So I'm not sure whether (or why) AA allows a 40-hour window to cancel for a cash refund, maybe when booking F or something. But I'm glad I got a little extra time beyond 24 hours here.
whitesock is offline  
Old Feb 29, 2024, 5:56 pm
  #474  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 694
I have a fully refundable ticket in Economy one direction and first for the other - the price has dropped such that the economy has dropped significantly but the leg in First has gone way up, so it doesn't make sense for me to cancel the ticket completely, getting a refund to my card, and rebook.

Instead, I'd like to do a change where I select just the economy leg and it'll reprice showing a credit to all passengers of several hundred dollars. I want to make sure this goes back to me on my card, and not a travel credit, but see no way to confirm this online before hitting "continue" on the trip summary page. Will this difference go back to my card or will it become a travel credit? Is there an easier way to do this?

It seems I also can't select my original flight that I'm on and have to do two changes - once to another flight that day for the same price, confirm that, and then change to the flight I actually want (which at that point will be a $0 change)
slariz is offline  
Old Mar 8, 2024, 9:38 am
  #475  
 
Join Date: Feb 2024
Posts: 2
Turning flight credit to trip credit

This is my first post, so hope I am posting in correct thread, etc. I have a $600 flight credit that I want to turn into a trip credit. I tried to book a $100 (cancellable) flight, expecting to get the $500 difference as a trip credit. But the website says the $500 will go back to the original credit card! That doesn't work for me as it was a travel agency that booked the flight. If it can go back to the original form of payment, i.e. the credit card, why was it ever issued as a flight credit and not just refunded to begin with? What am I missing here?? Thank you all
Louc123 is offline  
Old Mar 8, 2024, 12:10 pm
  #476  
PHL
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: PHL, NYC
Programs: AA PLT, DL SLV, UA SLV, MR LTT, HH DIA
Posts: 10,060
Originally Posted by Louc123
This is my first post, so hope I am posting in correct thread, etc. I have a $600 flight credit that I want to turn into a trip credit. I tried to book a $100 (cancellable) flight, expecting to get the $500 difference as a trip credit. But the website says the $500 will go back to the original credit card! That doesn't work for me as it was a travel agency that booked the flight. If it can go back to the original form of payment, i.e. the credit card, why was it ever issued as a flight credit and not just refunded to begin with? What am I missing here?? Thank you all
Did you check your email and AA account to see if you did not actually get a trip credit back? You'd have to call otherwise to inquire what happened in your case.
PHL is offline  
Old Mar 8, 2024, 1:59 pm
  #477  
 
Join Date: Feb 2024
Posts: 2
Thanks for your reply. When I saw that the refund was going to the credit card I did not complete the transaction. I subsequently called AA and found out that I can have it go to a trip credit if I call them instead of booking it online. Why it didn't go back to the credit card originally is still a mystery
Louc123 is offline  
Old Mar 23, 2024, 5:28 pm
  #478  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,353
Refund process for refundable tickets

I just want to make sure my understanding is correct. I booked separate refundable tickets for 2 of us (I carefully checked and saved the fare rules), and today went to cancel online. Unlike when I've done this recently on UA and DL, there was no option to cancel and directly refund to the credit card -- the only option resulted in a credit, and I had to separately go to the refund request form, enter all the ticket and contact info, and it will take "up to 7 days" for a response. Is this the normal flow, and I should expect them to automatically approve the refund because the ticket was clearly refundable, or am I missing something about the way I should have canceled it?

I need to cancel these now, because I booked a lower fare with the 2 of us combined on one PNR, and I don't want any duplicate/conflicting reservation detection to kick in. And the reservations line seems to be an 8+ hour wait, at least for a callback. I just want to make sure I'm not going to get a response that I already accepted the credit and too late to change.
jmastron is offline  
Old Mar 24, 2024, 6:30 am
  #479  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 12,443
Originally Posted by jmastron
I just want to make sure my understanding is correct. I booked separate refundable tickets for 2 of us (I carefully checked and saved the fare rules), and today went to cancel online. Unlike when I've done this recently on UA and DL, there was no option to cancel and directly refund to the credit card -- the only option resulted in a credit, and I had to separately go to the refund request form, enter all the ticket and contact info, and it will take "up to 7 days" for a response. Is this the normal flow, and I should expect them to automatically approve the refund because the ticket was clearly refundable, or am I missing something about the way I should have canceled it?

I need to cancel these now, because I booked a lower fare with the 2 of us combined on one PNR, and I don't want any duplicate/conflicting reservation detection to kick in. And the reservations line seems to be an 8+ hour wait, at least for a callback. I just want to make sure I'm not going to get a response that I already accepted the credit and too late to change.
That is correct AFAIK. When you input the details at the prefunds.aa.com site isn't one of the refund reasons you can select "Refundable Fare" or something like that?

Also as long as both of your tickets are fully ticketed (not on hold) then there's no risk of AA cancelling one or the other for being duplicates, so don't worry about that.
JJeffrey is online now  
Old Mar 24, 2024, 11:02 am
  #480  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,353
Originally Posted by jmastron
I just want to make sure my understanding is correct. I booked separate refundable tickets for 2 of us (I carefully checked and saved the fare rules), and today went to cancel online. Unlike when I've done this recently on UA and DL, there was no option to cancel and directly refund to the credit card -- the only option resulted in a credit, and I had to separately go to the refund request form, enter all the ticket and contact info, and it will take "up to 7 days" for a response. Is this the normal flow, and I should expect them to automatically approve the refund because the ticket was clearly refundable, or am I missing something about the way I should have canceled it?

I need to cancel these now, because I booked a lower fare with the 2 of us combined on one PNR, and I don't want any duplicate/conflicting reservation detection to kick in. And the reservations line seems to be an 8+ hour wait, at least for a callback. I just want to make sure I'm not going to get a response that I already accepted the credit and too late to change.
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
That is correct AFAIK. When you input the details at the prefunds.aa.com site isn't one of the refund reasons you can select "Refundable Fare" or something like that?

Also as long as both of your tickets are fully ticketed (not on hold) then there's no risk of AA cancelling one or the other for being duplicates, so don't worry about that.
Thanks. To follow up in case it's helpful for others searching, I woke up to 2 emails with subject "Your refund is complete" and comfirmation of the amount and part of the credit card number. So it must be pretty routine. Haven't seen the refund pending at the CC yet, but I assume it will and will only follow that up here if it doesn't.

I'm not remembering the refund screen now -- I didn't think it had a reason dropdown at all (maybe because it was inherently refundable, so doesn't need a "plea"?), but I might just be forgetting. The process seems a bit, um, intentionally misleading, with the cancel steps making it seem like the credit is the only option, no mention that you may be eligible for a refund or how to ask for it. And on the refunds page, having to re-enter ticket numbers fresh (which were fortunately in the confirmation email, as otherwise might not have been findable once canceled?) and contact info made it seem like that might be too late or a hassle. DL defaults to a "credit" on the cancel screen but at least has a radio button on the same screen to get the CC refund instead, and I recall UA's being similar. But is what it is, and that's why forums like this are helpful to know what to expect!

On the other hand, it's interesting and good to know that AA doesn't have aggressive conflict detection (yet). Last time I rebooked a UA flight, I was immediately locked out of modifying either the old or new reservation, got a duplicate warning a half hour later, and within hours the new one was auto-canceled. I was then able to go in and cancel the original and rebook. Supposedly it's not that quick for most (they're able to book new and then cancel old).
jmastron is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.