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Possible refund due to AA placing wrong dates on the ticket?

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by Akuzimo, Oct 21, 2017.

  1. Akuzimo

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    Good afternoon, I'm writing for some information on a situation I'm having. I'm going to just outright post the customer service complaint that I have been waiting to send to them but they haven't gotten back to me yet. It's been over a week. That being said, if I need to send it up to someone there I can easily modify it.


    Originally this started when a ticket was ordered under my friends AAdvantage account. I purchased the ticket for her.. This ticket was set to leave Sacramento, CA from SMF on 10/7/2017 and Arrive in Richmond, VA with a layover in Forth Worth, Dallas. The flight was scheduled to arrive in Richmond International Airport at about 10:22. This is fine and went according to plan.

    However the problems arose when my friend arrived at the airport on 10/10/2017, the day that we thought we chose to return from Richmond, VA to Sacramento, CA at SMF with a layover through Forth Worth again. This flight was supposed to leave at 6:59PM. When she went to get her boarding pass they informed her that this ticket didn't exist. When the ticket was put in the date for the return trip was set for 11/10/2017. That is NOVEMBER, a full month in advance. Obviously this wasn't the day we chose. Okay, fine, so we'll call up AA and talk about this insurance we paid for the ticket. The INSURANCE That is supposed to help us in a situation like this when something doesn't go according to plan on the tickets. That cost us about $22 by the way.

    Anyhow, when I reached out to AA, they informed me that there "isn't enough value on the ticket" to trigger the insurance. Are you serious about that? We paid for the insurance in order to help with ANY EVENTUALITIES THAT MAY COME UP WITH THE TICKET. That's how it's supposed to work. It works with cars that way; it works for houses that way, it works for people that way and businesses I don't see why this is somehow any different. I digress, moving on.

    Okay, so the insurance apparently isn't working. Cool, that means I HAVE TO PURCHASE ANOTHER TICKET, because I'm made of money you know. So We price check, turns out that if we try to transfer the date on our flight for the return trip at 6:02AM ON TOP OF THE $200 TRANSFER FEE FOR THE TICKET. That would make the ticket what, about $775 for a return trip to Sacramento? I don't have a thousand dollars laying around that I can just throw at tickets. The attendants at the Richmond International Airport told us there was nothing they could do about this. They didn't even bother trying to save the transfer fee on this ticket and just sticking me with the $575 dollar ticket, no. They made NO EFFORT AT ALL about trying to reconcile this. We were given a proverbial middle finger disguised as a "Sorry, nothing we can do". Uhh, yeah, you can but let's not get into why they chose not to. I was kind enough in person but now at this point I'm beginning to seriously lose my patience.

    So we talk it over together and me and my friend go to the American Airlines service desk and speak with the employees working. We discuss the issue, provide information and they look up the ticket. They see the return flight is on 11/10/2017 and we go through the process of just buying another ticket outright because it's $200 cheaper since AA won't waive the transfer fee. As we get the process down, the two employees working, the one on the computer servicing us was most likely in training as she was being coached by an older employee about how to do certain things. Needless to say we were attended by 4 employees at this time; the one on the computer, the one who was coaching the other, the original lady who said they couldn't do anything for us and a dark skinned gentleman who appeared to be a manager. I'm unsure if he was but he carried himself like one so I'm assuming here. Regardless, I unfortunately don't have any of their names. That being said, 4 people looked this request over.

    My friendand I clearly stated on NUMEROUS occasions that we want the return flight to Sacramento ON OCTOBER 11, 2017 FOR 6:02AM IN THE MORNING. OCTOBER 11, 2017. 10/11/2017. THE DAY AFTER THE FLIGHT WAS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN BEFORE THE TICKETS WERE SCHEDULED FOR THE WRONG DATE. All right, we got that across to the two original employees who were now still servicing our request. After she rung it up, I got a ping on my phone about my card being charged. Okay, cool. Charge was about 378.80. Oh, okay, that's about $200 cheaper than the original price of the ticket. Great! $200, maybe some kind of credit? I mean the transfer fee for tickets is $200 so maybe they took it off as a courtesy. My friend and I BOTH made sure to ask the person working who just rung this up for us if this ticket was FOR OCTOBER 11, 2017 AT 6:02AM IN THE MORNING. Every time we asked, we were assured that that was the case. The ticket was for 10/11/2017 at 6:02, we were given the receipt and that was that. The older employee that was coaching looked me in the eye and told me that the date was exactly the one we requested and even pointed at the screen to emphasize this. Great, we finish up the night and since no hotel was offered to my friend for this massive mishap, she stayed in the airport. All is well, I go back to Pennsylvania thinking all is well.

    4:00a in the morning comes around and I receive a call from my friend, the tickets are not there. The attendant at the desk at the time said the return date on this ticket is scheduled for 10/17/2017. THAT IS ONE FULL WEEK AFTER THE DATE WE REQUESTED. WE SAID 10/11/2017 AT 6:02AM AND NOT 10/17/2017 AT 6:02AM. The people who sold us this ticket assured us MULTIPLE TIMES THAT THIS TICKET WAS SCHEDULED FOR 10/11/2017 AT 6:02AM. They straight up lied to both of our faces about this. Okay, great, so now I have to deal with this stuff again. Now I'm back on the phone with AA. The person who I was on the phone with, after explaining the issue, stated that about us getting the ticket in person "You'd think that in person that wouldn't happen" she says, uhhh you think? It shouldn't have happened at all, that's the whole point of a customer service oriented business. To get these orders right. Their job at that desk is to facilitate the purchase of tickets and the boarding of passengers and getting dates and times right on these tickets is a VERY IMPORTANT part of that duty. In fact, it's 100% critical to the operation of the whole business. But that didn't happen here. No, the ticket was completely messed up by the person who put it in even after TWO PEOPLE WHO WORKED ON IT told us the date was correct on the ticket. Okay, transfer the thing then. Switch it to 10/11 instead of 10/17. I was informed the transfer fee would be waved and that I would just have to pay the difference which would bring the ticket from 378 to about 600, which is what the original price of the ticket was to begin with to buy it outright as we tried from the start. Okay, fine, whatever. Just do it so my friend can get home.

    A couple of minutes later I was told by the manager of the person on the phone that That can't be done because there needs to be at least 2 hours for the process to take place and since it was 4:30, the flight would've left at 6:02a and there wouldn't have been enough time. Are you serious right now? Their attendants messed up HER TICKET, the one I just paid $400 for and they can't fix it? How does that work? Once again, nothing was offered in terms of reconciliation on that. No refund on the ticket we bought, no hotel so that we can have another day or two to figure this out, nothing. Luckily, there was a flight out of Richmond going to Charlotte, NC that would fly out to Sacramento, CA at SMF for my friend at 11am that we can transfer her flight to. There's more than 2 hours here so it should work. Okay, we go for it. The $200 transfer fee is waved and I pay the difference which brings the ticket price up to about the amount it would've been originally so great. The charge went through, posted to my card, attendant told my friend that she was good and had to fill out the paper work and we're making progress now.

    Friend lands in Charlotte and is waiting for her layover. It's one, she's on the plane and then the plane doesn't take off at the scheduled time. Oh what's this? AMERICAN AIRLINES OVERSOLD THE FLIGHT. They are beginning to remove people from the plane because people with priority who, if they cared as much as they did to get priority, would've been there when they should have and got seated first, need to be seated. So people are being removed because the flight was oversold. AA oversold the flight. OVERSOLD THE FLIGHT. They sold tickets to people for a flight that they build their entire schedule around and then told them that they didn't have enough seats and people had to get off. Are you serious here? You think that little mishap with David Dao being dragged bloody off of a United Airlines flight might have opened up some alarms in the airline industry to get a competent system that would assign numbers to seats and reserve them for each ticket bought so that if it turns out a ticket is sold and there are no seats available you would, I don't know, be alerted at the ticket kiosk or the employee desk that THERE WAS NO SEATS AVAILABLE ON THAT FLIGHT for more tickets. Nah, forget that, let's just oversell the tickets. Luckily, my friend wasn't removed from this flight or the problems we have would've been personal at this point. But all quips aside, there was a very real possibility that she would've been removed because of her late purchase and then what? She had no money to eat and if she got removed from the flight then she's screwed. That's it, game over. At that point I think she was offered a hotel but we're beyond the point. There were far too many mishaps and failures on American Airlines’ part at this point to just take that. Still no refunds or anything would have been offered, I bet my left pinkie on that.

    My friend has been a loyal member of AA for a long time and bought a vast majority of her tickets through AA. She has never dealt with issues like this before and honestly the service she has received and the explanations I was given, as the purchaser of the tickets was unsatisfactory at the very best. For all of this hassle and nonsense that occurred, she was given nothing. Not even bonus points or a free flight on her AAdvantage account. Nothing.
    Synopsis:

    * Original ticket was scheduled for the wrong dates, possibly an error on my part
    * We purchased insurance on this flight to ensure that any eventualities that occurred would be covered
    * A problem DID come up with the flight being scheduled on a bad date one month later than we needed and the insurance failed us. It was absolutely useless and did nothing to help us in this situation. We weren’t even refunded the unused portion of this ticket to put toward another flight. Speaking of, they didn’t even put the value toward another flight. We still paid for it though!
    * We purchased another ticket out of Richmond to Sacramento for 10/11/17 at 6:02a in the morning; was not offered any refunds or discounts
    * Come boarding time, the ticket was scheduled for 10/17/17, NOT the date we requested
    * We had to transfer the flight to a later flight at 11a on 10/11/17, transfer fee was waived
    * I had to pay the difference in the ticket costs, which was $195, give or take; this should’ve been a courtesy for the foul up on AA’s part, but it wasn’t
    * Once my friend got into Charlotte and ready to take off, they started removing people from the plane because AA OVERSOLD the flight. My friend was offered a hotel if this happened but at this point it is beyond redemption
    * Luckily, she did not get removed from this flight but that does not smooth over all the other stuff we dealt with up to this point


    What can be done about this? Is it possible to get some sort of refund? A credit? Anything? In the grand scheme of everything my friend did get home, albeit much later than originally planned but that doesn't excuse the AA employees who put in the wrong date on the ticket. The garbage part about all of this is that it was done in person and unless they had some pretty powerful security cameras they wouldn't have heard our conversations. I suppose they could pull call logs but that would be a long shot. What are our options?

    I look forward to hearing from you

    - Keith
     
    #1
  2. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    What does the confirmation you initially received after you booked her ticket have on it as the date of return? If you bought the ticket on a computer and not over the phone, the only way the date could be wrong is because you chose it incorrectly. Can you post the email confirmation you received when you booked it here?

    She had 24 hours from the time you bought the ticket to call and get it corrected at no charge.

    She also should have caught the error when she went to go her online check in. If she would have noticed it she could have saved a lot of money getting it fixed at that time rather than when she went to leave to come home.

    And unfortunately, the rest of the problems are a result of booking the wrong date and not checking the confirmation that was sent to confirm it was correct.

    Insurance would not cover a mistake you made when booking. It covers if you have to cancel when you are sick, lose a job, etc. but not when you choose the wrong date.

    As a travel agent, if I make a mistake like this when I book a client- I eat the ticket and subsequent fees.
     
    #2
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  3. AMA

    AMA

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    Insurance would not cover an airline ticket that was "purchased" with points.
     
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  4. Realitoes

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    Travel insurance is usually a named event policy, which means it will provide coverage only for those events as noted in the policy. Did you read the insurance policy to see what was covered? I don't know of any normal travel insurance policy that will cover an error made by you during the booking process. As Neil stated, you need to review the confirmation, as it is much easier to fix a problem within the first 24 hours.

    Any residual value the ticket has, should be available for up to one year from date of purchase, minus any change fee (usually about $200.00). Keep in mind, that round trip tickets can be priced at a discounted fare, when compared to two one way tickets. What this means, if you used one segment of the round trip, it is possible there may be little or no value to the remaining segment.

    Not completely true. Insurance will provide some coverage for other events associated with the ticket, such Medical, Travel Delay, Missed Connection, Baggage, Baggage Delay, etc. Some will also pay any redeposit fee if the ticket is cancelled or trip is interrupted for a covered reason.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2017
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  5. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    Keith, it appears that the return date was entered incorrectly during the original purchase. Your letter is so long that I couldn't get through it. Could you make a list of the facts only, in chronological order, so that we may assist you? Leave out all the emotion, just a listing of the facts. At this point, I can't offer advice because I'm not sure exactly what happened. We'd like to help.
     
    #5
  6. Christina H

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    I am afraid that I was sort of lost in the post.


    Issue #1
    Wrong date was booked initially? No one looked at the confirmation -- ever? No one looked online to chose seats, anything like that? Who booked the ticket? That is where the error lies.

    Issue #2
    Second flight bought at airport, AA made a mistake -- but was there no itinerary ever given so to double check? Especially after the first mishap?

    Issue #3
    And then the flight was oversold? But the friend was not involuntarily denied boarding so.... what is the complaint? That airlines over book? That is known and part of the business model for good or bad. Some people volunteer for the compensation for overbooking and taking a later flight. One does not get compensation for the possibility of something bad happening, and the fact that the traveler had no money for food or hotel is irrelevant.

    I do not think travel insurance covers booking the wrong date or change fees for booking the wrong date -- but would cover lost luggage, hotel for canceled flight, etc.

    What is AAs fault -- issue #2. They waved the change fee. The OP ended up paying the same fare that had been originally quoted but the friend ended up on a flight that was later.

    What is the OP asking for in terms of compensation for issue #2?
     
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  7. Christina H

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    It is important for travelers to understand what insurance does and does not cover.

    The insurance was bought for a round trip ticket leaving on 10/7 and returning 11/10. The fact that 11/10 was not the intended date of return is beyond the care and coverage of the insurance. 11/10 was the date that was booked.

    The insurance would see trying to change the date to return to 10/10 from 11/10 as a voluntary change without a covered reasons as to why the change was being made. A voluntary change for a covered reason could be illness of traveler or companion.

    Insurance does not cover "any eventualities" -- it covers specific circumstances. If it covered everything I would not ever have to pay a change fee for extending a trip because I am enjoying myself and do not want to leave-- which happened this past summer. And I paid the fee.
     
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  8. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Basically, it doesn't cover your own booking error.
     
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  9. Akuzimo

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    I had a feeling I was pretty much going to eat this and that's what happens when you take things on blind faith. Yes, I know, triple check everything. Usually when I make a mistake it's expensive.

    I know I'm not going to get a refund on the ticket back to SMF, however I'm trying to aim for a partial refund, if anything, for the ticket that was entered in for the wrong date at 10/17 instead of 10/10. Basically, the original cost of 378 (or whatever it was) instead of 575.
     
    #9
  10. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    If the airline made the mistake (you had booked over the phone, and they could go back to the recording and see you said one date and the phone agent booked the incorrect one) yes you would have a case.

    But the computer books what you input and no one checked the confirmation. None of this was the airlines fault. You had 24 hours to correct it with no penalty.

    You can certainly write to the airline using our contacts and see what happens. You might find someone sympathetic who might give you some points or a partial credit. It just isn't likely. But we have also seen enough cases that we thought we certain no's that ended up getting something with a polite letter admitting their mistake. You have nothing to lose by trying.
     
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