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Hong Kong Shutdown / Travel Alert, Change, Delay, Refund

Hong Kong Shutdown / Travel Alert, Change, Delay, Refund

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Old Aug 12, 19, 3:18 pm   -   Wikipost
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American Airlines has issued a travel waiver valid through August 15. See here: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:31 am
  #1  
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Hong Kong Shutdown / Travel Alert, Change, Delay, Refund

Hi! Scheduled to fly AA tomorrow to a destination in Asia with a layover in HK. Airport was "shutdown" earlier due to the protests. I called Exec Platnium help desk about potentially changing the initial departure, so I could avoid HK.

When I called the first representative was very helpful, but let me know that I would be looking at 40+ hr long re-route. I called back later to request standby on the flights the first rep gave me, and this new representative said they could see nothing indicating any problem and they could not list me standby (the person literally told it was "fake news" that the airport was shut down)

On my own, I took a look at other options / airlines outside of One World. Found a one-way premium economy ticket to my destination on EVA (with a connection in Taipei) for under $1000 that had a $150 cancellation fee. Was considering purchasing this ticket as "insurance" in case HK airports are closed again when I arrive to the airport. It would be worth the $150 to make sure I can get to my destination relatively close to on time.

However, I would want keep my original return ticket home with AA. My question is, *IF* HK airport is closed and my AA flight is canceled. Could/would it be possible to request just a one-way / partial refund from AA, book my own flight to Asia and keep my original return ticket home? It gets a bit messy as the connection in Hong Kong is a codeshare with Cathay Pacific.

Curious if anyone ever heard of / done that before? The AA rerouting looks quite miserable with 3+ connections or overnights.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!

Last edited by sky_throwaway; Aug 12, 19 at 10:52 am Reason: Added info
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:38 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by sky_throwaway View Post
Hi! Scheduled to fly AA tomorrow to a destination in Asia with a layover in HK. Airport was "shutdown" earlier due to the protests. I called Exec Platnium help desk about potentially changing the initial departure, so I could avoid HK.

When I called the first representative was very helpful, but let me know that I would be looking at 40+ hr long re-route. I called back later to request standby on the flights the first rep gave me, and this new representative said they could see nothing indicating any problem and they could not list me standby (the person literally told it was "fake news" that the airport was shut down)

On my own, I took a look at other options / airlines outside of One World. Found a one-way premium economy ticket to my destination on EVA for under $1000 that had a $150 cancellation fee. Was considering purchasing this ticket as "insurance" in case HK airports are closed again when I arrive to the airport. It would be worth the $150 to make sure I can get to my destination relatively close to on time.

However, I would want keep my original return ticket home with AA. My question is, *IF* HK airport is closed and my AA flight is canceled. Could/would it be possible to request just a one-way / partial refund from AA, book my own flight to Asia and keep my original return ticket home? It gets a bit messy as the connection in Hong Kong is a codeshare with Cathay Pacific.

Curious if anyone ever heard of / done that before? The AA rerouting looks quite miserable with 3+ connections or overnights.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
If the flight is cancelled, AA will offer you a replacement, and I would expect they would have no issue with refunding just that segment.
I haven't done that recently. I had VDBd and gotten refunds years ago when Friday night SJC-SNA flights were oversold, and I kept the return flights
AA would pay me the VDB compensation and refund the outbound, then I would buy a reasonable fare for the Southwest flight, which was still cheap even at last minute,,,,,,,,,,,,,, back then.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:48 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by sky_throwaway View Post
Hi! Scheduled to fly AA tomorrow to a destination in Asia with a layover in HK. Airport was "shutdown" earlier due to the protests. I called Exec Platnium help desk about potentially changing the initial departure, so I could avoid HK.

When I called the first representative was very helpful, but let me know that I would be looking at 40+ hr long re-route. I called back later to request standby on the flights the first rep gave me, and this new representative said they could see nothing indicating any problem and they could not list me standby (the person literally told it was "fake news" that the airport was shut down)

On my own, I took a look at other options / airlines outside of One World. Found a one-way premium economy ticket to my destination on EVA (with a layover in Taipei) for under $1000 that had a $150 cancellation fee. Was considering purchasing this ticket as "insurance" in case HK airports are closed again when I arrive to the airport. It would be worth the $150 to make sure I can get to my destination relatively close to on time.

However, I would want keep my original return ticket home with AA. My question is, *IF* HK airport is closed and my AA flight is canceled. Could/would it be possible to request just a one-way / partial refund from AA, book my own flight to Asia and keep my original return ticket home? It gets a bit messy as the connection in Hong Kong is a codeshare with Cathay Pacific.

Curious if anyone ever heard of / done that before? The AA rerouting looks quite miserable with 3+ connections or overnights.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
When you say "layover" do you mean stopover (over 24 hours) or just a connection?
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Old Aug 12, 19, 10:51 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
When you say "layover" do you mean stopover (over 24 hours) or just a connection?
Apologies. A connection
(although on my flight back home, it is a 21 hr "connection")
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Old Aug 12, 19, 11:08 am
  #5  
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The airport was closed down at 5 pm Monday local time when it was invaded by “ democracy” protesters over the stalled China authority bill. (China passed, then stalled a bill that would allow mainland government to detain Hong Kong residents and try them in China under Chinese law. Information only, not for discussion in this forum.)

The airport is to reopen 6 am Tuesday (local time).

As far as the airport is concerned, crowds have now thinned out in the evening hours and the airport authorities have set 6am Tuesday (6pm Monday ET) for a resumption of flight operations. Make no mistake, this was a government decision to close the airport, not any concerted action by the airlines.

No airline serving Hong Kong to/from the United States and Canada have issued flight/travel waivers for the days ahead. However, I did speak this morning to a JoeSentMe member who says she successfully convinced United to reschedule her Newark-Hong Kong flight to next week without change fee or price change. She was originally scheduled to fly on Wednesday. So if you're due to travel to Hong Kong in the days ahead and want to change, call your airline and argue your case. I would not expect a cancellation or refund would be allowed, but a date change is surely possible.

The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Hong Kong. Issued on Wednesday (August 7), the Level 2 advisory does not explicitly warn against Hong Kong travel, but it is notable: https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...-advisory.html Canadian officials updated its Hong Kong statement at 7:34am ET today and urges a "high degree of caution," but also does not explicitly warn against travel: https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/hong-kong

— Joe Brancatelli
As AA has no Hong Kong travel advisory or policy at this time, I’d expect HUCA to be the rule of the day for reaccommodation, and refunds to be difficult at best. It might be easier to get reaccommodation on other AA flights or JL, given the AA joint business agreement. This is all speculative.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 11:14 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
As AA has no Hong Kong travel advisory or policy at this time.
There's been one up for a few hours https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp covering 8/12 to 8/15
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Old Aug 12, 19, 12:23 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
If the flight is cancelled, AA will offer you a replacement, and I would expect they would have no issue with refunding just that segment.
I tend to agree, the key of course is that the flight is actually cancelled. Then you can call and confirm that your return is protected (though it should happen automatically) and request a refund for the outbound. They may tell you to wait until after you fly your return to contact them for the refund, though.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I tend to agree, the key of course is that the flight is actually cancelled. Then you can call and confirm that your return is protected (though it should happen automatically) and request a refund for the outbound. They may tell you to wait until after you fly your return to contact them for the refund, though.
Check with AA. I had a similar problem on Delta. Delta cancelled my outbound flight. I wanted to keep the return, but they would not allow it without charging me the fare difference (and the difference was substantial — over 3x the price of round-trip). Was effectively forced to fly Delta — ended up at my destination but was substantially delayed.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 12:53 pm
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Once the flight is cancelled, you can request a refund for the outbound and ask them to preserve the return. Alternatively, since your final destination is not HKG, you can ask them to place you on other carriers to get you to your final destination. Again, the flight has to be cancelled first.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by wrp96 View Post
There's been one up for a few hours https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/travel-alerts.jsp covering 8/12 to 8/15
This is a HUGE help as that was not up earlier...Thanks for sending that
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Old Aug 12, 19, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by sky_throwaway View Post
This is a HUGE help as that was not up earlier...Thanks for sending that
Hoping it will be helpful for you and that you have a safe trip.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by dc10forlife View Post


Check with AA. I had a similar problem on Delta. Delta cancelled my outbound flight. I wanted to keep the return, but they would not allow it without charging me the fare difference (and the difference was substantial — over 3x the price of round-trip). Was effectively forced to fly Delta — ended up at my destination but was substantially delayed.
I'm sure the Dept. of Transportation would have loved to hear about that, I don't know in what world that type of post-purchase fare increase would have stood up to any type of scrutiny.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I'm sure the Dept. of Transportation would have loved to hear about that, I don't know in what world that type of post-purchase fare increase would have stood up to any type of scrutiny.
That sounds like an unacceptable solution by Delta.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I'm sure the Dept. of Transportation would have loved to hear about that, I don't know in what world that type of post-purchase fare increase would have stood up to any type of scrutiny.
Per DOT rules, Delta and AA conditions of carriage on cancelled flights

You have choice of
1) cancel and refund of all unused segment
2) transportation on alternative flights, possibly on an alternate carrier, possibly in a downgraded cabin

I don't see a choice of
1) cancel just one segment, keep the other segments open

What probably happened was: carrier allowed user to cancel the full ticket (without cancellation fees), and booked OP on a one-way ticket (which was more expensive)


If you manage to cancel outbound and keep inbound, you got a lucky phone agent?

Last edited by paperwastage; Aug 13, 19 at 7:48 am
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Old Aug 13, 19, 8:41 am
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New plot twist....American feels confident that they can GET to Hong Kong. However Cathay Pacific (my connecting airline) is encouraging folks to change their plans. Flights canceled for a second day.
AA phone reps have stated they will only rebook us on American codeshare flights (not partner airlines) which leaves little in the way of options for Asia.

Curious at what point, American will allow us to re-route via JAL, Qantas etc
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