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Ticket cancelled for "no show" even when flying?

Ticket cancelled for "no show" even when flying?

Old Dec 22, 19, 5:49 pm
  #1  
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Ticket cancelled for "no show" even when flying?

Help me to understand this.... we rarely fly AA, so were at a loss when this happened. Our teenaged son was flying to Lima yesterday - SEA-LAX-DFW-LIM. He checked in at the airport, boarded his first leg,to LAX. He was in flight when I received notification that his entire round trip itinerary was cancelled due to him no- showing for his first flight. He arrived in LAX and went to the help desk, waited in line, spoke to an agent who simply took his boarding passes for DFW and LIM (one had been upgraded at check in to business class as an xmas present). Agent then reissued boarding passes to a later flight to DFW that arrived AFTER his LIM flight departed, and a LIM boarding pass for the next day, middle seat coach, and told him, "that's all I can do for you".

I tried to call AA and was on hold for 40 minutes before the call was disconnected. My son couldn't be late to LIM as he was meeting a school group travelling on to Juliaca. He ended up purchasing a brand- new ticket on his original itinerary, as the agent told him that was the only way he could complete his travel as planned. The agent was unable to explain why his original ticket was cancelled.

I am now having to purchase a new return ticket, since the entire RT itinerary was cancelled by AA. They say to save all receipts, that something will get refunded when "its all sorted out". Fares are, of course, much higher at this point. What should I do? Seems grossly mismanaged by American, but they don't offer other options.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:18 pm
  #2  
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Keep (print/save) as many documents as possible, including "evidence" regarding whether business class was full on the segment that was upgraded. If he can take photos of himself showing that he was on particular flights (with time and date) or photos of him at boarding gates with flight and time displays, that would be good too, but don't violate AA rules about photography. If you have evidence of fares available at various times, try to save that too, including information on fare class availability from EF (which is also useful to check fare rules whenever needed).

My guess is that you'll have a fight with AA to get them to refund your additional costs, so be prepared to complain to DOT and possibly your credit card when then time comes.

Is son seated in business class or coach on the segment that you upgraded? Are his seat assignments (which aren't guaranteed) worse than they were originally and did you pay extra for seats?

Is there any chance that your or his AA FF account has been frozen or terminated due to alleged credit card sign up bonus abuse? Anything that could be interpreted as the buying/selling/trading of miles and other AA benefits? Can you log into your and your son's FF accounts as usual and see itineraries, etc.? [There are two big and active threads here on FT, in the AA and Citi fora, about AA shutting down accounts in the last couple weeks and how to tell if your account is under review, etc.]

Assuming that nothing else is going on here, it's shameful that AA tried to downgrade and IDB your kid without compensation. Since seats were obviously still being sold by AA on the original itinerary, it's hard to see why the agent he spoke to at the airport couldn't simply restore his original flights and leave the original return flights valid as ticketed.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:24 pm
  #3  
 
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For starters, I would strongly suggest buying tickets only on AA, as no matter how ridiculous their behavior is, you will have an extremely difficult time getting reimbursed for travel on other carriers.

Many posts on this forum fail to include a crucial element that that mitigates the apparent bad behavior by AA (for example, mis-identifying the source of an upgrade) but yours on its face seems simple. Did your son check in and board on time? Was his boarding pass scanned at the gate? This latter thing is the only thing I can think of that would cause such a f***-up.

On the facts as presented, this is pretty egregious. The fact that your son arrived in LAX seems pretty conclusive proof that he did indeed fly the first leg (!). I know it will be annoying, but I would call, and call, and call some more, ask to speak to a supervisor, ask to have any additional fares repaid and the lost upgrade (I assume you gave some consideration for it, obviously not an SWU since you say you say you rarely fly AA but perhaps a miles+cash) reinstated for the return trip.

At the end of the day, you should probably get everything restored plus some miles as compensation. Unfortunately, there is really no actual place you can go and talk face to face with a person who has the authority to resolve this mess.

Do you have any inkling what cause their system to show your son as a no-show?
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Old Dec 22, 19, 6:27 pm
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Let's not get sidetracked on the IDB issue as that has a specific meaning under US law and does not apply here, expressly because there was space.

When you call AA, don't be surprised if you can't get it straightened out over the phone, but inasmuch as the LAX agent did reissue his ticket, it should not be much of a problem to restore or reissue his return (without paying).

As to recouping the cost of the ticket, do that in writing and only after speaking with your son and obtaining an exact timeline, including a careful review by him of anything odd that may have happened before he boarded at SEA.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 8:13 pm
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Save all boarding passes. That's the key part.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 8:27 pm
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This is pretty horrifying.

Get the names of every single person that you speak to. Keep a log of all phone calls, with times and content. Be detailed in recording what they tell you--repeat your understanding back to the agents.

Unfortunately, it's probably too late to get the most important documentation for your son's interactions at LAX. You should get him to write down a description of the person, if he doesn't know a name.

I agree with others--it's going to be hard to get AA to take responsibility for this. Since USAir took over, they've adopted the culture of "nothing is our fault and we don't owe you anything." Eventually, you may have to take this one to one of those public travel columnists to get proper compensation. That agent in LAX should have booked him in the first available seat on any airline that would get him there in time. It's clearly an egregious error on the part of the airline, but the more egregious, the more reluctant AA is to admit wrongdoing.

I do hope you'll post a followup.
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Old Dec 22, 19, 8:33 pm
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Be careful about the exact reason for the canceled ticket. It may have been for other causes than not showing up for a flight.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 1:21 am
  #8  
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"He ended up purchasing a brand- new ticket on his original itinerary, as the agent told him that was the only way he could complete his travel as planned."

That doesn't sound logical. If the itinerary was available, it would seem the agent could have put him on that rather that flgihts the next day.
Some part seems to be missing here.

I mean, why would the agent offer flights the next day, without charge, but needed him to pay if he wanted his original flight?

Last edited by mvoight; Dec 23, 19 at 2:05 am
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Old Dec 23, 19, 1:44 am
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Assuming there's nothing more to the SEA-LAX story (your son didn't sneak off onto another SEA-LAX flight (!) for some weird reason, and there aren't any irregularities with payment/accounts):

As distasteful as it is, buy all replacement travel on AA, ideally on the same flights originally booked and ideally with the same credit card. Wait until all travel is complete (so they can't cancel anything else), then submit the claim to AA for the total of any *new* tickets purchased, give them a week, then dispute the *new* tickets with the credit card company. I think you want to present it to the CC company simply: "We purchased ticket <old> on <date>, checked in and started the trip as ticketed. For some reason, AA incorrectly insisted on charging $XXX to continue flying the purchased ticket, which was paid under duress while stranded", or similar.

I wonder if the checkin upgrade wasn't handled properly in their system. Years ago on UA we had a fare drop reticketing the day before our outbound trip; somehow the first agent managed to check us in under the *old* tickets that were effectively refunded, so when we went to check in for the return they claimed we hadn't flow the outbound. Eventually they beileved us and got their central desk to reissue the return tickets, and luckily seats together were still available (we had an infant in paid seat so had to have at least 2 together). Either that or the agents didn't properly scan the BP and got the cross-check count wrong.

Did your son check a bag at SEA? That would be additional evidence that he had flown SEA-LAX ("look, I checked a bag with you in SEA at XX:XX and appeared at the desk in LAX at YY:YY, clearly I flew that segment").
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Old Dec 23, 19, 2:09 am
  #10  
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How is this AAirline still in business?
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Old Dec 23, 19, 5:07 am
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Following may have something to do with whole situations. I highly doubt "X'mas Present" is an official (proper) means of upgrade procedure for AA.

Originally Posted by QT31415 View Post
...one had been upgraded at check in to business class as an xmas present..
Where and how did check-in take place? Online, kiosk at the airport, or with an agent at the airport? When you som was upgraded did you specifically heard an agent saying it is a "X'mas present" or did you or your son assumed it is because it is a holiday season?

Or was miles or 500 miles certificates were used for an upgrade where upgrade was obtained via proper channel but an agent said in light hearted manner that it is a "X'mas present" because it is a holiday season?

If an upgrade was not obtained via proper means then it is possible that a reservation system (computer software which manages reservations) has caught that while OP's son was flying SEA-LAX.

OP, if you could explain little more in details in how this upgrade came about.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 5:42 am
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having reread the OP first post... this is odd.. I first thought maybe an award ticket, but OP does not say so....
There has to more to this, then the OP has stated, and its also strange (well not that strange)
the the Agent (so called agent, I have had the unfortunate experience with dealing with them) would not be more helpful.
lets hope the OP comes back with an update or more info
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Old Dec 23, 19, 6:32 am
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It is possible that the boarding scanner goes wrong. I have once fly the Uzbekistan airway, when they still doing the triangle route that include SIN and KUL, some how one group of passengers has one extra/duplicated boarding pass for one ,of their passenger. And some how one of the passenger accidentally use that boarding pass to scan and board the aircraft, while the scanner does not show duplicated boarding pass detected. As a result, the cabin and ground crews just keep recounting, rechecking our boarding pass for two hours, until they realize this issue.

The other possibility is does your son has the habit of using in-ear earphone or noise cancelling headphone? If so he could miss some announcement that calling him for verification purpose after the boarding. This could also be happened since in my office, a lots of colleague who are using earphone/headphone during work are unable to hear the door bell at all. Although they sit much closer to the door than me, but I am able to hear the bell sound even I'm wearing my headphone.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 6:55 am
  #14  
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In the past I've had the remainder of my flights cancelled because I made a connection (arriving late) that AA (it's systems) didn't think I would make. On the return I was able to get the ticket restored and at the AC my upgrade back (actually to F on a 3 class plane). This happened to me again and that time I proactively called AA and got the ticket restored on the phone. These things do happen occasionally and AA should be able to easily restore flight, however, seats and upgrades may be lost.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 8:34 am
  #15  
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There has to be more to this story. The son arrived at LAX, spent time with customer service, then called his father, who spent 40 minutes on the phone with AA, and then the son still had time to buy a seat on the original LAX-DFW-LIM flights?

Everything else aside, there’s no way the agent couldn’t have restored or rebooked the original itinerary if it was available for purchase.
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