Travel waiver: AA flight change due to weather

Old Jan 17, 19, 7:47 pm
  #1  
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Travel waiver: AA flight change due to weather

Going to DTW this weekend, departing Saturday 1/19, returning 1/20. Got a weather alert and complimentary flight change, but must travel by 1/23... which is a Wednesday. What's the logic behind this? I can't make a weekend trip anymore because of this, so I have to scrap my ticket altogether. I am not even allowed to keep the same flights and just move it to next weekend. I checked on Delta and it also has the 1/23 date. Why 1/23?
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:00 pm
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If you haven’t accepted the change you can try to make a case for a voucher by calling American even though officially they try to push the change option.

While an outright cancellation is more clear-cut and a refund is not due purely by virtue of a weather advisory being issued (unless your first segment is significantly delayed or cancelled), a trip that can’t be completed at later date could still be exchanged for a fee-free voucher.

Even without a cancellation in advance, a refund related to a weather event travel advisory wasn't an issue personally back in the pure Saber days but that sounds like it was more an exception to official policy.
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Last edited by enpremiere; Jan 18, 19 at 9:13 am Reason: Clarification/correction
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:19 pm
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Generally you can't get a full refund unless and until at least one of your flights is cancelled, which probably won't happen until Saturday if at all. They may proactively cancel some flights tomorrow.

What you see is how these travel waivers generally work, and they are often less useful than they first appear. I had a trip last year in which the outbound fell on a waiver day, but the return was just outside the waiver eligible period. The only way to reschedule the three day trip was to turn it into a same day round trip, as they wouldn't let me also adjust the return to a couple of days later. Moreover, the agent just played dumb and saw nothing illogical in the situation. In the end, I hung on to what I had and a cancellation early on the day of travel let me cancel for a refund. My trip was also to DTW around this time last year.

That said, in the past I was able to call and get an agent who had no problem rescheduling for the following weekend. That was at least a couple of years ago, however, and I think agents now may not be able to do that even if they wanted to. You can always call and ask,
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Old Jan 18, 19, 5:43 am
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The problem with the travel alerts is you can't change any of the airports, until the flight cancels or forces a misconnect. Happens a lot with DTW, you are flying through most of the time ORD, CLT, or DFW for a connection. When ORD goes down like it does every winter, you can't move to go through the other two until the actual flight cancels. A little common sense that if they want you to proactively book around ORD would to be able to actually book around ORD for the connection.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 7:27 am
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AAs online/app free flight change when there is a weather waiver sucks.

Same rules as SDFC unless one of your flights get canned. By that time good luck finding a seat.

Best thing to do is give reservations a ring if you want to change your connection or dates.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:06 am
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I'm supposed to be flying ORD-LAX tonight at 8:30pm - yeah, good luck with that... Unfortunately my wife and I are on award tickets through BA Avios so when I called (tried two times at different times in the evening yesteday) they told me there is literally nothing they can switch me to since pretty much everything was zero'd out across the board, and even for the few options I might have had, they would need to have saver award availability to book me on those flights, and there was nothing.

The only thing they told me I could do was show up at the airport tonight and hope the flight gets out, and then if/when the flight eventually cx's I will then have lots more options to switch to for tomorrow or Sunday. I am by no means an AA expert, but my somewhat-limited research online and here on FT seems to indicate that my award ticket gives me pretty much zero flexibility, is that accurate? I even said I'd be willing to leave much earlier and connect literally anywhere if necessary: DFW, PHX, NYC, PHL, wherever, and could fly into any LA-area airport, but they said I have zero options and am just going to have to roll the dice. Since the flight still shows on time for now, there isn't anything that can be done. I kinda wish they would just cx it now so I could avoid going to the airport at all.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:30 am
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Originally Posted by Nirvana91 View Post
I'm supposed to be flying ORD-LAX tonight at 8:30pm - yeah, good luck with that... Unfortunately my wife and I are on award tickets through BA Avios so when I called (tried two times at different times in the evening yesteday) they told me there is literally nothing they can switch me to since pretty much everything was zero'd out across the board, and even for the few options I might have had, they would need to have saver award availability to book me on those flights, and there was nothing.

The only thing they told me I could do was show up at the airport tonight and hope the flight gets out, and then if/when the flight eventually cx's I will then have lots more options to switch to for tomorrow or Sunday. I am by no means an AA expert, but my somewhat-limited research online and here on FT seems to indicate that my award ticket gives me pretty much zero flexibility, is that accurate? I even said I'd be willing to leave much earlier and connect literally anywhere if necessary: DFW, PHX, NYC, PHL, wherever, and could fly into any LA-area airport, but they said I have zero options and am just going to have to roll the dice. Since the flight still shows on time for now, there isn't anything that can be done. I kinda wish they would just cx it now so I could avoid going to the airport at all.
For day of departure irrops situations, on award tickets you definitely do not need award space available in order to be rebooked on other options. Unfortunately since you booked with BA Avios that might be muddying the water a little bit. I would definitely try a few HUCA's today.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 9:02 am
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OP's flight has been neither cancelled nor delayed. Thus, AA need not provide a fee-free change waiver at all. It is simply an effort to reduce the burden of rebooking lots of people at the last minute.

As a rule, OP is not due a refund, but it is worth a request. If AA does intend to fly AA again in the near-ish future, a credit (without fee) might be more saleable.

It goes without saying that if the flight is cancelled or substantially delayed that OP is entitled to a fee free refund to his original form of payment.

The one thing I would not do is accept a proposed reroute which does not work as it is the worst option.
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Old Jan 18, 19, 4:11 pm
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The OP might just get their delay/cancellation!

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Old Jan 18, 19, 4:18 pm
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Yes, I got my cancellation just before we were going to leave for the airport, so I guess that's good. Interestingly, the weather doesn't seem to be as bad as predicted and is coming later in the evening than expected. So far of all the ORD-LAX flights the 8:30pm AA flight is the only one cancelled of all carriers. So I'll be a little annoyed if all the other flights end up getting out, but hey at least we didn't go to the airport. We were moved to the 9:05am tomorrow and I'm guessing that will end up cx'd just to add insult to injury. But hey, first world problems, we'll roll with the punches and chalk this up to choosing to live in a city with bad winter weather...
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Old Jan 18, 19, 8:30 pm
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So - I changed my ticket a couple of hours ago.

Agent was able to get me seat assignments and said "we're keeping the same record locator."

Said I would get a confirming email in an hour so or, It's been 2 and a half hours, no email, and now it looks like aa.com is down/super slow.

At what point should I be concerned/call again? She did explicitly say the system was very slow.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by autdi View Post
The problem with the travel alerts is you can't change any of the airports, until the flight cancels or forces a misconnect. Happens a lot with DTW, you are flying through most of the time ORD, CLT, or DFW for a connection. When ORD goes down like it does every winter, you can't move to go through the other two until the actual flight cancels. A little common sense that if they want you to proactively book around ORD would to be able to actually book around ORD for the connection.
Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
AA’s online/app free flight change when there is a weather waiver sucks.

Same rules as SDFC unless one of your flights get canned. By that time good luck finding a seat.

Best thing to do is give reservations a ring if you want to change your connection or dates.
None of this is technically true. Weather waivers generally allow any change as long as the origin and destination cities are the same and the cabin is the same. Where aa.com sucks (and the app just bounces you to aa.com for a weather waiver change) is that you're given a bunch of alternatives with the change fee waived but you have to pay any fare difference. If the fare is lower, as it was for me a couple of months ago, you can proceed with the change. But in the more likely event of a fare increase, you need to call to avoid the charge.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by smithrh View Post
So - I changed my ticket a couple of hours ago.

Agent was able to get me seat assignments and said "we're keeping the same record locator."

Said I would get a confirming email in an hour so or, It's been 2 and a half hours, no email, and now it looks like aa.com is down/super slow.

At what point should I be concerned/call again? She did explicitly say the system was very slow.
The tickets will have to be reissued. Until you have an email with the new ticket numbers (17 digits beginning with 001-) you do not have positive space confirmed.

I realize that the phone lines will be slow, but as a Plat you will come ahead of the masses. I would call.
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Old Jan 19, 19, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The tickets will have to be reissued. Until you have an email with the new ticket numbers (17 digits beginning with 001-) you do not have positive space confirmed.

I realize that the phone lines will be slow, but as a Plat you will come ahead of the masses. I would call.
You have the space. That's the reservation. You just can't check in and travel until you have a matching ticket. Two hours or more is not unreasonable for a reissue at AA. Other airlines seem to do it instantly but that's a whole other topic. Calling won't necessarily help. The agent may simply say it's in the queue and it will get processed. Also, keep refreshing the reservation in the app. When the "PENDING" message disappears you should be good to go. The email is not 100% reliable. When is the new flight?
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Old Jan 19, 19, 4:36 pm
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Try DMing via Twitter. I’ve gotten good responses in getting stuff to ticket during IRROPs situations when I couldn’t get through on the phone.
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