Possibility of refund after voucher?

Old Apr 5, 20, 10:25 am
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Possibility of refund after voucher?

Before the US Gov direction to airlines to give refunds, AA told me only a voucher was possible when they cancelled my reservation. Now that the flight has been cancelled, can I call back in with the PNR and request they convert my voucher into a refund? Not a huge deal since i'll end up using an AA voucher anyway, but just curious. Thx.
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Old Apr 5, 20, 11:13 am
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Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Everyone affected should read the DOT Warning Letter. It does not change what has been existing law for a long time (back to 2011 in its present form), e.g. that a carrier must, on request, refund a ticket when it cancels or substantially delays a flight. What is new is that DOT has given carriers which were only offering vouchers the opportunity to avoid enforcement actions if, having denied a refund, they reach out to the passenger and offer a refund.

https://www.transportation.gov/sites...3%202020_0.pdf

If your flight was cancelled, you asked for a refund and were denied a refund and then issued a credit, you should reach out to AA, pointing this out and asking that in light of its prior denial of a refund, it now issue a refund (and revoke the voucher). In the event that you do not have your refund in 7 days, initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank) and also file a complaint with DOT,.

I would not accept a voucher unless it came with a substantial premium above a refund. It all depends on where you live and where you fly. Who knows who will fly what routes and on what schedule. Cash can be used for anything. AA vouchers are for AA tickets. What if DL or UA becomes the dominant carrier in your market?
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Old Apr 5, 20, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Before the US Gov direction to airlines to give refunds, AA told me only a voucher was possible when they cancelled my reservation. Now that the flight has been cancelled, can I call back in with the PNR and request they convert my voucher into a refund? Not a huge deal since i'll end up using an AA voucher anyway, but just curious. Thx.
It sounds like you voluntarily cancelled your reservation, was given a voucher and now the flight schedule changed or was cancelled after. If that’s you case, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
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Old Apr 5, 20, 7:02 pm
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It isn't clear from the OP. He says, "when they [AA] cancelled my reservation."

I guess the question to OP is: who cancelled the reservation (ticket)? If AA cancelled, then #2 above is correct. If OP asked AA to cancel the reservation (ticket), then indeed he is not entitled to a refund.

Perhaps OP could clarify.
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Old Apr 5, 20, 10:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
It isn't clear from the OP. He says, "when they [AA] cancelled my reservation."

I guess the question to OP is: who cancelled the reservation (ticket)? If AA cancelled, then #2 above is correct. If OP asked AA to cancel the reservation (ticket), then indeed he is not entitled to a refund.

Perhaps OP could clarify.
Or rather, who canceled *first*. If you canceled your reservation before AA canceled your flight, then you are out of luck even though your plane didn't fly.
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Old Apr 6, 20, 7:12 am
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A slight change to OP's situation

Related to OP's post, but slightly different. What if I have a voucher from a canceled flight under the COVID policy, and I use that voucher to book a new ticket. If AA cancels the new flight (that I paid for with the voucher) would I be able to get a refund back to my credit card since it is a "canceled" flight? I'm guessing there's something that says that the airlines just have to refund back to the original purchase method versus saying the airline must "give a cash refund."
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Old Apr 6, 20, 8:19 am
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The something is in #2 above. Read the Warning Letter posted at the link.

It simply requires a refund. If you pay with a credit card, a refund would be to a credit card. If you pay with a voucher, it is a voucher. If you pay with miles, it is miles. Anything else is not a refund, although nothing precludes it if you are willing to accept it.
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Old Apr 6, 20, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by dblumenhoff View Post
Or rather, who canceled *first*. If you canceled your reservation before AA canceled your flight, then you are out of luck even though your plane didn't fly.
I agree OP should clarify. Based on data points reported and my first hand experience as well, AA have been allowing refunds on airline-initiated-cancellation or schedule changes in excess of 60 minutes as per policy.

So if OP’s itin was cancelled due to airline-initiated cancellation as oppose to OP cancelling first and then AA cancelled flight subsequently, refund should have been an option in the first place unless OP got a misinformed agent.
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Old Apr 6, 20, 2:37 pm
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Time to get refund voucher

Its been well over three weeks for three refunds I requested as vouchers and when calling AA they keep saying its still showing in the system as queued up for processing. How long does that take them nowadays to process? I understand there are a lot of requests, but my other refund from 3 weeks ago made it through when others didnt?
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Old Apr 6, 20, 2:46 pm
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Originally Posted by dblumenhoff View Post
Or rather, who canceled *first*. If you canceled your reservation before AA canceled your flight, then you are out of luck even though your plane didn't fly.
Yes. This is nothing new. The only thing new is that the scope of tickets eligible for a penalty-free credit has expanded under the special Covid-19 policy.

This is exactly why one should not cancel until close in. It is more important now because there are so many more cancellations than usual, but it has always been the case that waiting is better because cancellations & schedule changes mean refunds rather than funny money.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 8:43 am
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It's no surprise that AA is mentioned often, because they are the most resistant to cash refunds. The advice "to ensure that they comply is to use the term “original form of payment” in your request. E.g. “American has canceled my flight, and I’d like to have the ticket refunded to the original form of payment.”
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Old Apr 7, 20, 9:05 am
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We still do not have an answer to the simple question of whether AA cancelled the flight(s) or whether OP cancelled them.

If the former, this is a surprising thread because according to many, AA is doing an efficient and fast jobs of granting and then processing refunds. If the latter, it goes without saying that neither the COC nor DOT rule require a refund and whether a refund is due is a matter for the fare rules of the specific ticket.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
It's no surprise that AA is mentioned often, because they are the most resistant to cash refunds. The advice "to ensure that they comply is to use the term “original form of payment” in your request. E.g. “American has canceled my flight, and I’d like to have the ticket refunded to the original form of payment.”
Please see threads in UA, B6, AF/KL, LX, and AC forums. AA is actually refunding as appropriate.

Last edited by seawolf; Apr 7, 20 at 1:03 pm Reason: Typo with LX
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Old Apr 7, 20, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
It's no surprise that AA is mentioned often, because they are the most resistant to cash refunds. The advice "to ensure that they comply is to use the term “original form of payment” in your request. E.g. “American has canceled my flight, and I’d like to have the ticket refunded to the original form of payment.”
AA handles refunds well and is not "most resistant" to cash refunds. If one's flight is eligible for a refund, AA refunds it.
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Old Apr 7, 20, 12:10 pm
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Originally Posted by dblumenhoff View Post
Or rather, who canceled *first*. If you canceled your reservation before AA canceled your flight, then you are out of luck even though your plane didn't fly.
I believe that the OP might have canceled first as the event he was scheduled to attend was canceled and he opted for a voucher. See the discussion last month starting at this post:
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/32222145-post428.html
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