Cancellation & Refund?

Old May 14, 20, 9:53 am
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Cancellation & Refund?

Hi,

We have flights booked with American Airlines for July to LAX via routes GLA-LHR-JFK-LAX.
Been hanging off to see how things progress before deciding on travels, but looks unlikely as time goes on. So hanging off for a possible cancellation to obtain a refund without going down the voucher/rebooking route if we can help it.

This morning I checked our booking, and noticed the was a notification on our AA booking. Schedules on the flights had changed on 2 of the flights (GLA-LHR and JFK-LAX).
It appears the scheduled times are earlier, however the flight numbers and aircraft types have clearly changed on both of these 2 flights.
i.e.
Original Outbound Flights
GLA-LHR 07:00AM - 08:35AM (AA6431)
LHR-JFK 11:20AM- 02:05PM (AA6934)
JFK-LAX 09:00PM - 12:13AM (AA300)

Changed Outbound Flights
GLA-LHR 08:00AM - 09:30AM (AA6673)
JFK-LAX 06:00PM - 09:12PM (AA302)

Can I confirm if this constitutes as a "Cancellation" on our original book?
If so, does this is mean that we a eligible for a full refund on our entire outbound/inbound booking as per the legal rulings - EU Regulations 261/2004; such that the airline must either grant us the option of a full refund or alternative scheduled flight times?

Arguably the flights time are not detrimental, but due to the change in flights (i.e. cancellation) I assume we are now eligible for a full refund?
Any advice would be appreciated?
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Old May 14, 20, 10:08 am
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Wow, leave an hour later and arrive 3 hours sooner.
In any case, since the flight was canceled
EU 261 doesn't say the passengers have to be negatively affected, only that a flight has been canceled.

EU261 says:
If a flight is cancelled, passengers are automatically entitled to their choice of
  1. re-routing to the same destination at the earliest opportunity (under comparable conditions);
  2. later rerouting, at the passenger's convenience, to the same destination under comparable conditions (subject to seat availability); or
  3. a refund of the ticket as well as a return flight to the point of first departure, when relevant
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Old May 14, 20, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Wow, leave an hour later and arrive 3 hours sooner.
In any case, since the flight was canceled
EU 261 doesn't say the passengers have to be negatively affected, only that a flight has been canceled.

EU261 says:
If a flight is cancelled, passengers are automatically entitled to their choice of
  1. re-routing to the same destination at the earliest opportunity (under comparable conditions);
  2. later rerouting, at the passenger's convenience, to the same destination under comparable conditions (subject to seat availability); or
  3. a refund of the ticket as well as a return flight to the point of first departure, when relevant
Yeah in normal circumstances, anyone would be happy to stick with those revised times.....Hence I was not sure one could argue about getting a refund or not?
But if the legal ruling is simply based on the criteria of the flight(s) being cancelled, then it would safe to know that we'd be eligible for requesting a refund on the ticket which is good to know.
Otherwise, it would be voucher as we'd be unable to book out for say the next summer at this stage.

Is there any timeline we need to raise such refund on such change? Only noticed by accident today, and no email to inform us of this change?
I'm hoping refunds will be straight forward?
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Old May 14, 20, 10:40 am
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Originally Posted by yeungones View Post
Yeah in normal circumstances, anyone would be happy to stick with those revised times.....Hence I was not sure one could argue about getting a refund or not?
But if the legal ruling is simply based on the criteria of the flight(s) being cancelled, then it would safe to know that we'd be eligible for requesting a refund on the ticket which is good to know.
Otherwise, it would be voucher as we'd be unable to book out for say the next summer at this stage.

Is there any timeline we need to raise such refund on such change? Only noticed by accident today, and no email to inform us of this change?
I'm hoping refunds will be straight forward?
The law doesn't discuss whether or not you should be happy with the new times. It says is YOUR choice whether to accept the rebooking or to get a refund.
"(l) "cancellation" means the non-operation of a flight which was previously planned and on which at least one place was reserved."

As you have not been notified of the change, then whatever timeline there would be has not even started yet. The refund should be straight forward, although probably slower than it used to be
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Old May 14, 20, 10:54 am
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Definitely no notification on email on such update.
Only accidently came across then when viewing the AA online booking this morning.
There was a link highlighting an update on the flight schedules which is how we knew about it. Clicking the link shows the changes, but now the link is no longer available.
Not sure if its a one time notification, and clicking the link triggers a recorded timeline.

We'll need to decide in the next week or so...and probably just phone AA up to start the process? Thanks!
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Old May 15, 20, 5:34 am
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btw: in terms of EC261/2004, which is still in effect in the UK; it is BA, who need to pay the full cash refund to you, as they are the operating carrier for GLA-LHR.

The good thing is -> BA is much better to catch than AA and its easier to acquire a judgment and enforce that judgment;
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Old May 15, 20, 6:12 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
btw: in terms of EC261/2004, which is still in effect in the UK; it is BA, who need to pay the full cash refund to you, as they are the operating carrier for GLA-LHR.

The good thing is -> BA is much better to catch than AA and its easier to acquire a judgment and enforce that judgment;
The tickets were purchased via AA.
But BA are utilised in parts of the journey as they are an alliance with AA i.e. GLA-LHR, LHR-JFK and LHR-GLA
So would be speaking to AA to purse full refund in this situation.

Would be interested to hear if anyone in such situation, and their experiences i.e. UK purchased AA tickets where a cancellation has happened and has requested refund.
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Old May 15, 20, 7:13 am
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So would be speaking to AA to purse full refund in this situation.
Yes, sure. Speak first with AA.
However, if AA is refusing a full cash refund (which they will) -> then you can enforce the refund through MCOL/British small claims court against BA.
According to EC261/2004 the operating carrier (responsible for the cancellation) is liable for the refund -> not the ticketing carrier.
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Old May 15, 20, 7:41 am
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Originally Posted by warakorn View Post
Yes, sure. Speak first with AA.
However, if AA is refusing a full cash refund (which they will) -> then you can enforce the refund through MCOL/British small claims court against BA.
According to EC261/2004 the operating carrier (responsible for the cancellation) is liable for the refund -> not the ticketing carrier.
The tickets are spilt across both BA and AA flights; where the tickets for the trip was purchases via AA.
We bought the on an AMEX credit card back in Jan 2020. So suspect they could be the next point of call under Section 75 if AA refuse?

Can I ask why you say that AA will end up refusing? Are you seeing others in this position getting rejected?
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Old May 15, 20, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by yeungones View Post
The tickets are spilt across both BA and AA flights; where the tickets for the trip was purchases via AA.
We bought the on an AMEX credit card back in Jan 2020. So suspect they could be the next point of call under Section 75 if AA refuse?

Can I ask why you say that AA will end up refusing? Are you seeing others in this position getting rejected?
An AA agent might be thinking only of the AA policy regarding cancellations and not EU261. Why not just call AA and ask for the refund, rather than the "what ifs"?
If they say no then you can proceed to the next part.
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Old May 15, 20, 9:20 am
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Given that these changes/cancellations occurred well outside of the prescribed 14 day window prior to departure, wouldnt it such that EU regs don't apply?
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Old May 15, 20, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by milesandmoremiles View Post
Given that these changes/cancellations occurred well outside of the prescribed 14 day window prior to departure, wouldnt it such that EU regs don't apply?
The 14 days only applies to additional compensation is my understanding - you are still entitled to a refund under EU261 if your flight is cancelled before the 14 days.
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Old May 15, 20, 10:03 am
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I would be very surprised if you encounter any push back from AA. You are due a refund both under EC 261/2004 and US DOT rules.

AA's system is fairly automated and you will likely be able to both cancel and request a refund online. If not, this should be handled with a call (current hold times are fairly short and the US number is 24/7). While AA may try to get you to accept a credit rather than a refund, simply decline that and make it clear that you want a refund. Most are finding that refunds for unused tickets such as this are processed in 3-5 days and you will see the credit to your credit card as soon thereafter as your bank processes such items.

Should, for some reason AA either decline or not initiate the refund within 7 days, you may initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank) and file a DOT complaint. The advantage of the DOT process is that DOT will forward the complaint to AA with the requirement that AA respond to you with a copy to DOT. As you are legally entitled to a refund, the only response AA can issue is to advise that it has issued a refund.

Most are finding that the AA process is simple and automated. At worst, there is a bit of foot-dragging, but AA seems to have taken heed of the two warnings issued by DOT regarding its 2011 refund rules.

The 14-day notice issue is irrelevant to reimbursements (refund).
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Last edited by Often1; May 15, 20 at 10:32 am
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Old May 15, 20, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I would be very surprised if you encounter any push back from AA. You are due a refund both under EC 261/2004 and US DOT rules.

AA's system is fairly automated and you will likely be able to both cancel and request a refund online. If not, this should be handled with a call (current hold times are fairly short and the US number is 24/7). While AA may try to get you to accept a credit rather than a refund, simply decline that and make it clear that you want a refund. Most are finding that refunds for unused tickets such as this are processed in 3-5 days and you will see the credit to your credit card as soon thereafter as your bank processes such items.

Should, for some reason AA either decline or not initiate the refund within 7 days, you may initiate a chargeback with your credit card issuer (bank) and file a DOT complaint. The advantage of the DOT process is that DOT will forward the complaint to AA with the requirement that AA respond to you with a copy to DOT. As you are legally entitled to a refund, the only response AA can issue is to advise that it has issued a refund.

Most are finding that the AA process is simple and automated. At worst, there is a bit of foot-dragging, but AA seems to have taken heed of the two warnings issued by DOT regarding its 2011 refund rules.

The 14-day notice issue is irrelevant to reimbursements (refund).
As the cancellation on our flight has now occurred. Can I ask if there is any timescale limitation on us requesting a refund? i.e. can we potentially wait till the last 3 weeks before departure to decide if that's what we want to do etc.
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Old May 16, 20, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by yeungones View Post
As the cancellation on our flight has now occurred. Can I ask if there is any timescale limitation on us requesting a refund? i.e. can we potentially wait till the last 3 weeks before departure to decide if that's what we want to do etc.
No timeline to request refund. However you can't ask to be rebooked, and then ask for refund unless the rebooked itinerary changes and qualifies for refund.
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