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American Airlines - Racism + Refusing to Refund

American Airlines - Racism + Refusing to Refund

Old Apr 4, 2020, 7:33 pm
  #1  
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Angry American Airlines - Racism + Refusing to Refund

Hi

I will be brief with this post, as I am quite frankly appalled by American Airlines behavior during the whole coronavirus

I have a flight from NY to Vegas round trip booked, and the flight has been canceled. AA insists on giving him a voucher which I have no plan to use as I won't be in America for the next few months. I told AA I need a full refund, they said according to policy, they can't. Hello? (Fed just ordered Airlines to issue refunds for canceled flights during coronavirus)

Not only that, upon learning my ethnicity, the receptionist suggest I go back to China? and when I complained about this, she starts laughing....

What kind of service is this?

I need a serious apology and compensation.

Just posting here to let you guys know, I am done with American Airlines!
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 8:20 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by tanteikun
Hi

I will be brief with this post, as I am quite frankly appalled by American Airlines behavior during the whole coronavirus

I have a flight from NY to Vegas round trip booked, and the flight has been canceled. AA insists on giving him a voucher which I have no plan to use as I won't be in America for the next few months. I told AA I need a full refund, they said according to policy, they can't. Hello? (Fed just ordered Airlines to issue refunds for canceled flights during coronavirus)

Not only that, upon learning my ethnicity, the receptionist suggest I go back to China? and when I complained about this, she starts laughing....

What kind of service is this?

I need a serious apology and compensation.

Just posting here to let you guys know, I am done with American Airlines!
Welcome to FlyerTalk.

Whilst there are good agents at AA, there are others as well. We use the acronym HUCA here - hang up, call again. If AA cancelled your flight, you are entitled to have your ticket refunded to your original form of payment. Full stop. Use that term when you call next. E.g. American has cancelled my flight, and Id like to have the ticket refunded to the original form of payment. See Requesting refund for a canceled flight.

Such a comment is totally unprofessional. You can, and in my opinion should, complain to AA. If you wish to, see Contacting American Airlines Customer Relations & Complaint, Issues (master thread).
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 8:25 pm
  #3  
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Realistically you're not going to get an apology from AA and telling them that you don't intend to purchase tickets for their flights in the future won't help.

If you purchased the ticket directly from AA and used a USA credit (not debit) card, documenting the cancellation of the flight by AA and your attempt to request a refund and then doing a chargeback on your credit card would probably be your best strategy.

Otherwise and in addition, you should file a DOT complaint.
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 8:30 pm
  #4  
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In any event, if you hold an AA ticket, issued by AA rather than a travel agent, call back and simply as for a refund. If for some reason you do not, just initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank). If you did use a travel agent, you will need to deal with the travel agent, but same basic process, e.g. ask and then initiate chargeback.

Don't mention your ethnicity and the agent with whom you speak won't know.
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 8:40 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1
In any event, if you hold an AA ticket, issued by AA rather than a travel agent, call back and simply as for a refund. If for some reason you do not, just initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank). If you did use a travel agent, you will need to deal with the travel agent, but same basic process, e.g. ask and then initiate chargeback.
This is sound advice.

Originally Posted by Often1
Don't mention your ethnicity and the agent with whom you speak won't know.
This is a head scratcher, not to mention inappropriately victim-blaming. The agent can obviously see your last name and hear your accent over the phone.
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 8:50 pm
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You should be able to do this online. Cancel your flight, then go to the AA refunds site and request a refund. You will need the ticket number. At some point in the process you'll be told your ticket is not refundable, but eventually you will be able to give a reason why you should get a refund even though the ticket is nonrefundable.

Don't worry about apologies or compensation, just about getting your money back. A great many AAgents don't know what the <bleep> they are talking about.

Last edited by JY1024; Apr 8, 2020 at 12:34 am Reason: Masked profanities prohibited by FT Rules
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 8:54 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355
This is sound advice.


This is a head scratcher, not to mention inappropriately victim-blaming. The agent can obviously see your last name and hear your accent over the phone.
OP specifically said that the "receptionist" learned his ethnicity, implying that she told him, perhaps in the context of a discussion of leaving the country.

It is neither victim-blaming nor is it inappropriate as it follows exactly what OP wrote and provides advice as to how to leave the entire issue out of the discussion.

Bear in mind that one does not need a reason to decline a credit. All one needs to do is request a refund and if the credit is pushed, simply say no. That goes for all passengers.
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
... advice as to how to leave the entire issue out of the discussion.
I see two issues. The first is the refund, on which you've provided guidance. The second is racism, where JDiver has provided a link to complain. As with JDiver, I would also urge OP to complain after getting a refund.
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 10:39 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by davie355
I see two issues. The first is the refund, on which you've provided guidance. The second is racism, where JDiver has provided a link to complain. As with JDiver, I would also urge OP to complain after getting a refund.
Note bolding!
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 11:20 pm
  #10  
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I am sure this happened as it was stated. But I am unable to grasp why someone would find that funny or worth laughing. The calls are also recorded. Maybe the agent misunderstood something.

On these issues I always find that there are two sides. I am not defending AA or the agent, but posting my response here as it is a big deal alleging on a public forum that an entire airline is being racist. Just throwing a little benefit of doubt.
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Old Apr 4, 2020, 11:57 pm
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Step 1, get your refund processed. Advice given before me is solid.

Step 2, at a minimum, file a complaint against them with the DOT regarding the racist comment. Include the time and date of the conversation, and the record locator you were working on getting refunded. They will be able to pull the records. Perhaps consider contacting the ACLU or private counsel for assistance in a harassment lawsuit or hate crime instead. If it's on a recorded call, seems like a slam dunk to me. Nobody should have to put up with that crap. I say "instead" so that AA doesn't have a chance to delete the call.
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Old Apr 5, 2020, 2:56 am
  #12  
 
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In order to get a refund, you will need to visit https://prefunds.aa.com/refunds/. Almost all knowledgeable telephone agents will tell you the same thing as well, as my understanding is that as a general rule AA doesn't process refunds over the phone, only canceling the reservation itself. The agent wasn't being thorough if he/she didn't direct you to utilize this option.

The go back to China thing is a head scratcher. I can't imagine anybody working for customer service in a major corporation would make such a comment. I'm Chinese-american as well, and it's been years since I've had blatant racism like that. My best guess is that the topic of where you call home came up (perhaps you are currently visiting the US from China?) and a poorly worded attempt to give advice to shelter-at-home was given.

At any rate, calls are recorded so if/when you choose to file your complaint, have the date and time of your call handy and they should be able to investigate further and take any action as necessary.
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Old Apr 5, 2020, 9:07 am
  #13  
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r/thathappened
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Old Apr 5, 2020, 9:29 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by standbyalldtime
In order to get a refund, you will need to visit https://prefunds.aa.com/refunds/. Almost all knowledgeable telephone agents will tell you the same thing as well, as my understanding is that as a general rule AA doesn't process refunds over the phone, only canceling the reservation itself. The agent wasn't being thorough if he/she didn't direct you to utilize this option.
Hmmm. I had a one-way ANU-MIA-DEN ticket for April 29th. AA canceled all ANU flights until May 7th. They never sent me any notification. When I look at the trip now, they alert that the schedule changed, and only the MIA-DEN segment remains. Clearly, that will not work for me. It was a non-refundable ticket, but since they canceled it, I should be entitled to a full refund. I think their claiming it is just a schedule change (despite deleting the originating flight) is an effort to avoid refunding the ticket. I am planning to call them soon; should I apply for the refund first?
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Old Apr 5, 2020, 10:20 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by tanteikun
Hi

I will be brief with this post, as I am quite frankly appalled by American Airlines behavior during the whole coronavirus

I have a flight from NY to Vegas round trip booked, and the flight has been canceled. AA insists on giving him a voucher which I have no plan to use as I won't be in America for the next few months. I told AA I need a full refund, they said according to policy, they can't. Hello? (Fed just ordered Airlines to issue refunds for canceled flights during coronavirus)

Not only that, upon learning my ethnicity, the receptionist suggest I go back to China? and when I complained about this, she starts laughing....

What kind of service is this?

I need a serious apology and compensation.

Just posting here to let you guys know, I am done with American Airlines!
From my experience with AA and from what I have read AA response to to this crisis has been excellent. I am sure there are exceptions, but I have been impressed. United is must worse.

Your post is a little confusing. First you say I and then you said him. Perhaps just a typo.

If your flight has been cancelled, you can get a full cash refund unless you already agreed to take a credit. As mentioned you can even do this on line. AA has a great website capability. This is nothing new and the policy and law have not changed.

if you flight has not been cancelled by the airline, but by you or your friend, you are not eligible for a cash refund because the ticket is non refundable. AA may wave the change fee, which they are doing at this time. It makes no differences where you will be between now and when the credit expires.

Are you sure AA cancelled the flight. If yes, you will be OK.

Good luck.

I am sorry that someone insulted you or your friend. I suggest you get the refund and then report the incident later. It should have not affect the outcome of your refund. Perhaps they can investigate the complaint when things settle down. Right now there are more pressing priorities.
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