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Aircraft swap and agent refuse to cancel and refund

Aircraft swap and agent refuse to cancel and refund

Old Nov 19, 2019, 9:05 pm
  #1  
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Aircraft swap and agent refuse to cancel and refund

I received an email for one of my upcoming flights with AA that noted an aircraft swap. After reading that AA allows full refunds when there is an aircraft swap (that is not acceptable to the passenger) per their contract of carriage, I called AA to request a refund. For reference:

https://www.aa.com/i18n/Tariffs/AA1.html

(C)SCHEDULE CHANGE IN THE EVENT, AFTER TICKET ISSUANCE, SCHEDULE CHANGES ARE MADE BY AA THAT:
  • (I)AFFECT A PASSENGER'S DEPARTURE AND/OR ARRIVAL BY 2 OR MORE HOURS;
  • (II) RESULT IN THE ADDITION OF AN INTERMEDIATE STOP ON THE PASSENGER'S ITINERARY;
  • (III) RESULT IN A SUBSTITUTION OF EQUIPMENT NOT ACCEPTABLE TO THE PASSENGER; OR
  • (IV) IF A CANCELLATION OR A CHANGE IN EITHER AIR OR TOUR ITINERARY IS INITIATED EITHER BY AA OR ITS TOUR OPERATORS WHICH IS UNACCEPTABLE TO THE PASSENGER, THE PASSENGER WILL HAVE THE OPTION OF CANCELLING WITHOUT PENALTY, OR REROUTING ON DIFFERENT FLIGHTS TO/FROM THE SAME OR DIFFERENT DESTINATION.HOWEVER, THE PASSENGER MUST PAY ANY ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS RESULTING FROM THE REROUTING.

However, two people on the phone said they don't see this in their conditions of carriage and referred to this (https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-ser...f-carriage.jsp, which seems to have been updated this week), and suggested I contact Customer Relations. Customer Relations suggested I contact the call centre......

1. Does the above still apply, or does the recent change affect this provision?
2. Does "cancelling without penalty" equate to a full refund?

Ticket is from Canada to a US city with a connection (CAN-US1-US2destination), so it is international (although the aircraft swap was on the domestic portion (US1-US2) - not sure if this matters.

Thank you in advance.
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Old Nov 19, 2019, 9:50 pm
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Wow this would be a very negative change indeed.
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Old Nov 19, 2019, 9:53 pm
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Perhaps this change is in preparation for the return of the MAX in which AA has big investment?
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Old Nov 19, 2019, 10:06 pm
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That's a fair point. And that would be awful if someone intentionally avoided MAX and the aircraft is swapped to MAX.

As I made the purchase prior to their changing the terms (i.e., the contract was entered into based on the previous terms, before the terms were modified), I would have thought that I would be subject to the terms of the contract that were effective at the time of the purchase - unless there is a provision noting that the terms are subject to change without notice and I somehow agreed to accept the changes?
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Old Nov 19, 2019, 11:16 pm
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So I talked to another agent at the call centre, and this time the agent said they cannot process the request for cancellation and "the International General Rules are there for legal purposes but AA does not have to adhere to any of them because they are not AA's adopted policy". Is this right? According to him, these rules were never applicable in the first place because AA chose not to adopt them.

Or is this a case of every agent having their own discretion and making different comments?
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 12:06 am
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What was the change in question here? Shame if this provision has indeed been removed.
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 7:42 am
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Aircraft change
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 7:43 am
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Originally Posted by noobynoob
So I talked to another agent at the call centre, and this time the agent said they cannot process the request for cancellation and "the International General Rules are there for legal purposes but AA does not have to adhere to any of them because they are not AA's adopted policy". Is this right? According to him, these rules were never applicable in the first place because AA chose not to adopt them.

Or is this a case of every agent having their own discretion and making different comments?
Send them a twitter message with the link to the international rules. That team usually is great.

But if I am reading the rules right Canada is an exception and they dont apply.

Last edited by olouie; Nov 20, 2019 at 7:49 am
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 7:59 am
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I was able to get a refund due to aircraft swap on Sunday. I had ORD-PHL-AMS flight and ord - phl leg chafed from 737 to US321. No questions were asked. She proceeded it quickly. I really hope this policy has t changes
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by noobynoob
Aircraft change
From what to what?
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 9:05 am
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Originally Posted by noobynoob
...the agent said they cannot process the request for cancellation and "the International General Rules are there for legal purposes but AA does not have to adhere to any of them because they are not AA's adopted policy". Is this right? According to him, these rules were never applicable in the first place because AA chose not to adopt them.
That's an absurd and lawless statement, because there is no point in a policy adopted "for legal purposes" then violated or ignored.

If AA has quietly deleted the aircraft-change provisions preceding the Max return to service, that will be a great boost for Delta... and to a lesser extent UA and WN, which have already said they will permit customers to book away from the Max for some period of time.
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 9:09 am
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Originally Posted by gateH15
I was able to get a refund due to aircraft swap on Sunday. I had ORD-PHL-AMS flight and ord - phl leg chafed from 737 to US321. No questions were asked. She proceeded it quickly. I really hope this policy has t changes
Was this resolved through call centre (800-433-7300)? That's very helpful, thank you for sharing your experience. I don't know why they are being inconsistent (saying that they do not issue a refund based on aircraft swap)
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
From what to what?
Is this relevant? The condition states "not acceptable to the passenger" which is entirely subjective at the opinion of the passenger, so even if it is from, say 320 to 737, it should presumably qualify if it is not acceptable to the passenger (it is not what AA deems to be acceptable to the passenger).

For example, AA website says "Domestic live TV is available on all A320 and select A319, A321 and 737 aircraft with high-speed Wi-Fi", so if it changed from 320 to 319, 321 or 737, you have the risk of not having high-speed wifi. Or say oasis (321, 737) vs non-oasis.
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by noobynoob
Is this relevant? The condition states "not acceptable to the passenger" which is entirely subjective at the opinion of the passenger, so even if it is from, say 320 to 737, it should presumably qualify if it is not acceptable to the passenger (it is not what AA deems to be acceptable to the passenger).
Yes. And I'm curious what was swapped to try to better understand what the agents were thinking. What specifically was swapped?
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Old Nov 20, 2019, 9:30 am
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Angry

Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
Yes. And I'm curious what was swapped to try to better understand what the agents were thinking. What specifically was swapped?
It was mentioned in my post, and GateH15 noted the domestic leg change from 737 to 321 qualified so I don't think I could give the agent the benefit of a doubt in this case.

None of the agents said "this aircraft swap does not qualify"; it was a blanket statement saying "I do not think we issue a refund based on aircraft swap" and (after being directed to the rule) "I checked, and we do not issue refunds based on aircraft swap".

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