Cancellation or schedule change?

Old Nov 5, 20, 6:15 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 12
Cancellation or schedule change?

Purchased flights on April 9. Saw on the AA app that our flights are canceled but AA rebooked us on flights with departure and arrival a little less than four hours later. They are different flight numbers and our booked flights are no longer on the schedule. The new flights are packed.

AA claims this is a "schedule change" rather than canceled flights and refuses to refund.

The conditions of carriage provide that AA will refund when "we cancel your flight.". They also provide that "When your flight is canceled...we'll rebook you on the next flight with available seats. If you decide not to fly because your flight was... canceled, we'll refund the remaining ticket value and any optional fees."

Am I missing something? It would seem that I am entitled to a refund.
galawdawg is offline  
Old Nov 5, 20, 6:55 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Posts: 2,416
DOT has chosen not to define "significant delays" or "cancellations" and leaves it up to the airlines -- https://onemileatatime.com/dot-flight-refund-questions/ . The airlines basically limit the term "cancellations" to apply to those resulting from irregular operations such as mechanical issues or weather and consider flights eliminated due to schedule reductions separately under schedule changes. UA does a better job of noting this in their CoC than DL or AA. Unfortunately, AA changed the threshold for refunds to 4+ hour changes on April 8th. It's currently 2 hours for both UA and DL.

Last edited by xliioper; Nov 5, 20 at 7:54 pm
xliioper is offline  
Old Nov 5, 20, 8:28 pm
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 41,426
If the flight number has changed and original flight number is not that of an operating flight, then the flight has been cancelledFrom AA's condition of carriage

Originally Posted by AA
(10) Change in schedule means:
(a) The cancellation of a scheduled flight where no AA flight of comparable routing is available within 4 hours of the original time of departure;
(b) A change in the scheduled departure time of an AA flight which exceeds 4 hours
It is indeed a change of schedule, but this is due to the cancellation of a scheduled flight
Often1 likes this.

Last edited by Dave Noble; Nov 5, 20 at 8:40 pm
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Nov 6, 20, 12:38 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Silver, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 7,403
I was able to get a refund 2-3 months ago when my original flights were cancelled and there were other flight alternatives at the same 4 hour window.
I simply filled out the form on prefunds.aa.com and with no excuse, I got the cancellation confirmation in 1-2 business days and the money back in 5-10 business days.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Nov 6, 20, 3:10 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
I was able to get a refund 2-3 months ago when my original flights were cancelled and there were other flight alternatives at the same 4 hour window.
I simply filled out the form on prefunds.aa.com and with no excuse, I got the cancellation confirmation in 1-2 business days and the money back in 5-10 business days.
Do you recall if your flights were booked prior to the April 8 change of the conditions of carriage (which lengthened the schedule change threshold to four hours for a refund)?

Thanks all for your feedback.
galawdawg is offline  
Old Nov 6, 20, 3:44 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Silver, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 7,403
Originally Posted by galawdawg View Post
Do you recall if your flights were booked prior to the April 8 change of the conditions of carriage (which lengthened the schedule change threshold to four hours for a refund)?

Thanks all for your feedback.
It was booked in May for travel in October.
Flights were cancelled in the late-August major schedule change.

By the way, prefunds.aa.com showed the flights as “Eligible for Review” when I was rebooked on other flights.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Nov 6, 20, 10:38 am
  #7  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 48,830
The schedule change is a red herring. The ticketed flight was cancelled in that it is not operating. Under both AA's own COC and the DOT rule, a refund is due.

Just make certain that you screenshot and otherwise document everything in connection with the refund. If AA refuses the refund and you initiate a chargeback, this will be one where documentation backup is critical so that AA can't simply dispute by saying that the passenger is incorrect.
Often1 is offline  
Old Nov 18, 20, 5:39 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 12
Thanks all for the feedback. It took some back and forth with AA but the refund was finally approved and posted today.
galawdawg is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: