AA Vacations - Insurance Terms Not Being Honored

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May 4, 2021
My family (2 adults, 2 tweens) had canceled flights for summer 2020 to Canada which was given back to us as trip credit totaling just over $3k.
We had a European cruise booked for August 2021. Flight prices were pretty cheap so in December 2020 we booked a flight/hotel package via American Airlines Vacations. Our flight credit paid for the flights and we paid for the hotel portion with a credit card. We also bought travel insurance which allowed for cancelation for any reason with refunds being done to the original form of payment. This is clearly specified in their terms multiple times - all refunds are to the original form of payment.

In early April our cruise was canceled. I called AA Vacations and canceled the package and they assured me our card would be refunded for the hotel and we would be reissued flight credit. A few weeks after that we were ready to book some travel for May 2021 and I could see the travel credits in our AAdvantage accounts online. I placed a hold on flights and called customer service to have the credits applied. They were very nice but said there was something odd about how the credits were applied and suggested I called AA Vacations back to have them reissued. She was also nice enough to extend the holds at no charge.

I then spent about 3 days playing phone tag with AA Vacations. When we finally got an answer we were told our refund was never fully processed because they didn’t have our street address. I asked why that was required and he said they would be mailing us paper vouchers for our airline credits. I was exceedingly clear we did not want paper vouchers and wanted our original flight credits back. He promised to have someone call me the following day to talk it through. The following day we did hear back but were told “We already mailed the paper vouchers this morning so we can’t do anything.“
We have emailed several different times to the customer service escalation group but keep being told it’s too late and we are stuck.

My concerns are these:
1. Apparently the paper vouchers need to be redeemed by snail mail at least 14 days before a flight or by purchasing a ticket at an airport counter. This is extremely inconvenient.
2. We need to spend the entire paper voucher amount in a single flight transaction. With international travel likely off the table for the remainder of the calendar year (they expire 12/31/21) I don’t see how we can spend $750 each on a single flight.
3. They are clearly not following their own terms of service for the insurance. When we bring this up we are told either the paper vouchers are “basically the same thing” or they completely ignore the question.
4. it’s been over a month and we still don’t have access to that money as the vouchers have not arrived. Our May trip is likely off the table as we are too close to the departure date. In any case, flights are now about $500 more than when we originally tried to purchase.

Any suggestions on next steps for us? Pre-pandemic we were very frequent AA fliers and I have never before been so frustrated with a consumer experience. I feel as though that money is essentially gone now and no one is even pretending to care.

Thank you.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
If a travel provider is giving you credit towards a future booking, I suggest you do not quibble about the form this credit will take. I hope that you follow up with AA Vacations and get those vouchers as soon as possible. While it may be "inconvenient" for you, it's important to follow their guidelines so you don't find yourself empty handed. The important thing here is that you study all the terms and conditions and clear this up according to their guidelines. If they're offering paper vouchers, it's useless to insist on another form of credit. Credits from a travel provider and insurance coverage are two distinctly separate things, that's a whole different ball game.
Jun 24, 2019
If you had travel insurance, that is, actual insurance, then that was not provided by AA Vacations or American Airlines. Neither of those companies are insurers. They might have sold you the right to cancel for any reason, i.e., a refundable ticket. It might be helpful for the volunteers on this site to see exactly what you purchased, which might give someone an idea that could help.

I live in Los Angeles, and I'm not interested in going to LAX, paying for short-term parking, and standing in line at a ticket counter, so I share your frustration on that score. But I've also had paper certificates from AA that AA also had in their system so that we could call and make reservations and ue the credits. Right now I have a paper certificate from AA for $125.00, but it is clear it can be applied by calling in and reserving.
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May 4, 2021
Some points of clarification....

We bought the PDP (Pre-Departure Protection) from AA directly. The specifics of that are we can cancel at basically any time and will be refunded to original form(s) of payment. This is clearly printed in about 10 different places on their website and in all our confirmation paperwork. They are not following their own rules.

We were explicitly told by multiple customer service reps that the paper vouchers were only redeemable at the airport or via snail mail.

I could be missing something, but I don't feel like we're asking for anything special or for a favor. We purchased their "insurance" plan which details the exact scenarios for cancelation. We are following them, they are not. We are just asking that they follow their own guidelines.

Vouchers have still not arrived. We ended up booking May travel with another airline. Still nothing from AA. :(

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
New York
I just reviewed the policy- I don’t see anything about being able to cancel and receive a full refund. It says less the cost of the insurance and any nonrefundable components. Did you purchase Basic Economy tickets, as they aren’t covered.

What exactly is the reason they are giving you for not paying? We might be able to help you format a rebuttal if we tell us all the details

What it does say is:

Days cancelled prior to departureBenefits
Prior to scheduled departure* Full refund less the cost of PDP and any non-refundable components to original form of payment**
After departure
**Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Resorts become non-refundable on the 30th day prior to travel, and at that point are not covered by PDP. Basic Economy Fares are not covered by PDP. In addition, non-refundable/advance purchase room categories and non-refundable activities, such as show tickets and theme park tickets, which are identified in the booking process, will remain non-refundable.

Jun 24, 2019
Thanks for the information.

There are three issues here:

1. You have not received the vouchers (or what you want, an electronic credit.)
2. Once you receive the vouchers or credit, you've been told it has to be used in one transaction.
3. The credits will only be issued in paper form.

I would follow the Elliott method of writing. The issue I have that others here may be able to assist with is that I'm not sure that American Airlines Vacations is actually a part of AA or is just a license of the name. (We used to book cruises through AA, the cruise desk was an entirely independent travel agency.) You can try writing to AA and see if that works; the contacts are listed elsewhere on this site. While you should raise all three issues, if it was me problems 1 and 2 are more important.

Feel free to post a draft reply; some of the volunteers here will offer suggestions.

And keep us posted.
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May 4, 2021
Thanks everyone for your advice on this. We had done the escalation step yesterday morning (emailing the first person in the contact list provided on this site) and we got an email about an hour ago saying they reviewed our case, understood our concern and will be issuing flight credits within 24-48 hours.

THANK YOU all so much for your help. The advice here was invaluable and I'm going to go do a donation now. :)