American Airlines

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Mar 13, 2016
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#1
Last fall I booked a round-trip flight from PHL to RSW (3/4/16 and 3/13/16). I booked through American Express with American Airlines. On February 29th I was diagnoses with a 95% occluded right carotid artery. The only course of corrective action for this potentially dangerous situation is surgery. Long story short: After seeing numerous physicians and having numerous diagnostic tests, surgery was scheduled for 3/4/16 (the day of my flight.)

Once the necessary surgery was scheduled I contacted American Express (by phone and before scheduled flight) to begin the process of a full refund. The agent at American Express was very helpful and gave me the steps I needed to take to accomplish a refund. I fulfilled all of the requirements, including having the vascular surgeon FAX supporting documentation to American Express; and, yet, I received an email (from Orbitz) stating that American Airlines declined my request. I called American Express and asked for an explanation and was told that American Airlines does not provide refunds for medical issues! Seriously? This was not elective surgery and was beyond my control.

Could anyone give me information on how to proceed with this process? Thank you.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#2
Unfortunately, this is why they offer travel insurance. Their reasoning is if they gave refunds for issues that are covered by insurance, nobody would buy the insurance!

What they can and have done, if you ask, is waive the change fee so you can use the ticket price towards another ticket within 1 year of date of purchase. You might ask American Express to see if they can work that out for you.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
966
1,212
93
#3
What does Orbitz have to do with it? Are you saying you made the reservation on AA on the Orbitz website and paid with your American Express card? Then the company you have to deal with is Orbitz, and they are not known for helping people.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,180
1,963
113
#4
Did you purchase a non-refundable ticket? If so, then all the airline will do for you is allow you to use the purchase price minus a change fee for a future ticket within one year of the purchase date (NOT the original travel date). You can request an exception to the fare rules by emailing the airline asking for the change fee to be waived. At the top of the forum page there are Company Contacts for American Airlines. Contact them one at a time starting at the bottom with your request written in a polite and brief manner. American Airlines is not accountable for your scheduled surgery so to expect them to refund a non-refundable ticket is over-reaching in my opinion.
 
Likes: AAGK

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
966
1,212
93
#6
I read the link and am still confused as to whom the OP bought her airline ticket from - Orbitz or American Express? It's like there are TWO third-party OTAs here.
 
Likes: Realitoes

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,624
13,726
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
This is what travel insurance is for. Or a refundable ticket.

Thousands of passengers have this same issue everybody that don't want to pay a few extra dollars to buy insurance. The airlines would go broke if they refunded everyone.

What they should do is give you a credit to use for a year from the date you bought the tickets less your cancellation fee.?Contact the airline and ask if they have a credit.

Too many people learn about the importance of travel insurance just like this- they think they don't need it until something happens like this.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,297
7,124
113
San Francisco
#8
Are you serious? If this is true, I'll not ever book any travel with AmEx!

Sylvia, you need to work with the entity that you booked through. That is usually the company that charges your credit card initially. I'm sorry your trip was ruined, and even sorrier that nobody explained the refund/change fee/cancellation policies of today's airline. I hope that you can arrange to use the value of your tix for a future trip. Please contact your travel provider in writing to request that American's change fee be waived when you book a new trip.
 
Likes: AAGK
Oct 14, 2015
217
64
28
48
#9
Last fall I booked a round-trip flight from PHL to RSW (3/4/16 and 3/13/16). I booked through American Express with American Airlines. On February 29th I was diagnoses with a 95% occluded right carotid artery. The only course of corrective action for this potentially dangerous situation is surgery. Long story short: After seeing numerous physicians and having numerous diagnostic tests, surgery was scheduled for 3/4/16 (the day of my flight.)

Once the necessary surgery was scheduled I contacted American Express (by phone and before scheduled flight) to begin the process of a full refund. The agent at American Express was very helpful and gave me the steps I needed to take to accomplish a refund. I fulfilled all of the requirements, including having the vascular surgeon FAX supporting documentation to American Express; and, yet, I received an email (from Orbitz) stating that American Airlines declined my request. I called American Express and asked for an explanation and was told that American Airlines does not provide refunds for medical issues! Seriously? This was not elective surgery and was beyond my control.

Could anyone give me information on how to proceed with this process? Thank you.
sorry but why should you get a refund ? Surgery is irrelevant, besides anyone can get a letter from a doctor saying your dead/unable to travel/on the moon that day.
 
Mar 13, 2016
4
0
1
70
#10
What does Orbitz have to do with it? Are you saying you made the reservation on AA on the Orbitz website and paid with your American Express card? Then the company you have to deal with is Orbitz, and they are not known for helping people.

I'm not sure what Orbitz has to do with this reservation. I went on the American Express site and booked the ticket through them for American Airlines. The email response I received came from Orbitz
 
Mar 13, 2016
4
0
1
70
#11
Unfortunately, this is why they offer travel insurance. Their reasoning is if they gave refunds for issues that are covered by insurance, nobody would buy the insurance!

What they can and have done, if you ask, is waive the change fee so you can use the ticket price towards another ticket within 1 year of date of purchase. You might ask American Express to see if they can work that out for you.

After the fact, I realize that I should have purchased travel insurance -- I have travelled quite a bit and never (unless it was a long trip) have I purchased insurance -- I am in good health. Another ticket from AA is not really what I'm looking for, but it may have to do. Thanks
 
Mar 13, 2016
4
0
1
70
#12
Did you purchase a non-refundable ticket? If so, then all the airline will do for you is allow you to use the purchase price minus a change fee for a future ticket within one year of the purchase date (NOT the original travel date). You can request an exception to the fare rules by emailing the airline asking for the change fee to be waived. At the top of the forum page there are Company Contacts for American Airlines. Contact them one at a time starting at the bottom with your request written in a polite and brief manner. American Airlines is not accountable for your scheduled surgery so to expect them to refund a non-refundable ticket is over-reaching in my opinion.

Thanks. I'm coming to the realization that I have lost my money. Lesson learned. I will email all of the Customer Service Exes at AA, but I'm not sure it will do any good other than to register a compliant.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,180
1,963
113
#13
After the fact, I realize that I should have purchased travel insurance -- I have travelled quite a bit and never (unless it was a long trip) have I purchased insurance -- I am in good health. Another ticket from AA is not really what I'm looking for, but it may have to do. Thanks
Sylvia,

As posters have mentioned on other threads, your health condition has little to do with the reason for purchasing travel insurance. There are many situations that would warrant coverage such as an injury from a car accident, the death of a family member, the destruction of where you live, etc. Not to mention, incidences that can happen while traveling that could potentially cost you thousands of dollars such as medical evacuation due to an accident. My husband and I are both healthy but we purchase trip insurance for each vacation as well as have a MedJetAssist policy. If my mother-in-law had such a policy a few years ago, she would not have had to pay over $25,000 to fly her on an air ambulance from Mexico to Texas....and she got off easy compared to many other stories floating around the internet. The first time that I signed us up for travel insurance we actually had to file a claim, when my father-in-law passed away. We ended up delaying our trip by a week in order to organize the funeral service and attend a memorial.

Good luck with your appeal to AA, but I would definitely ask before you file a complaint. Your email may come across the desk of a sympathetic ear and you could be surprised by a favorable response.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,624
13,726
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
After the fact, I realize that I should have purchased travel insurance -- I have travelled quite a bit and never (unless it was a long trip) have I purchased insurance -- I am in good health. Another ticket from AA is not really what I'm looking for, but it may have to do. Thanks
Travel insurance has nothing to do with the health you are in when you buy - it is what can happen to you AFTER you buy you need to consider. As you found out, just because you were healthy when you bought your ticket doesn't guarantee you are going to be healthy before you travel.

For the life of me, I do not understand this. We have had clients fall and break an ankle, have a car accident on the way to their airport, have a death in the family, have a traveling companion become seriously ill, lose a job, and have a fire destroy their home - and in every case, they got their money back because they were wise enough to buy insurance for these unforeseen circumstances. And all of them were healthy when they booked their travel - one has nothing to do with the other.

Going forward, unless you can afford to lose everything you have paid for your trip if a covered unforeseen circumstance occurs such as yours - you need to consider travel insurance. Besides the fact that when you travel outside the U.S., you usually need medical insurance because most U.S. health insurance doesn't cover you outside the U.S.

There would be hardly any need for these forums if everyone bought travel insurance because most of the issues here would have been covered.
 
Likes: Patina
#15
Thousands of passengers have this same issue everybody that don't want to pay a few extra dollars to buy insurance



Earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) on eligible-fare tickets to qualify for Executive Platinum, Platinum or Gold status when you fly:

  • American Airlines or American Eagle

  • oneworld member airlines

  • Alaska Airlines (including Horizon Air)

  • Codeshare flights with an American Airlines flight number
Plus, Full-fare Economy, Business Class and First Class tickets on American-marketed flights will earn EQMs at a higher rate – getting you to elite status faster.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#16
Are you serious? If this is true, I'll not ever book any travel with AmEx!

Sylvia, you need to work with the entity that you booked through. That is usually the company that charges your credit card initially. I'm sorry your trip was ruined, and even sorrier that nobody explained the refund/change fee/cancellation policies of today's airline. I hope that you can arrange to use the value of your tix for a future trip. Please contact your travel provider in writing to request that American's change fee be waived when you book a new trip.
Don't use them. They booked my Hawaii trip. Massive disaster!
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,896
113
New York
#17
Thousands of passengers have this same issue everybody that don't want to pay a few extra dollars to buy insurance



Earn Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) on eligible-fare tickets to qualify for Executive Platinum, Platinum or Gold status when you fly:

  • American Airlines or American Eagle

  • oneworld member airlines

  • Alaska Airlines (including Horizon Air)

  • Codeshare flights with an American Airlines flight number
Plus, Full-fare Economy, Business Class and First Class tickets on American-marketed flights will earn EQMs at a higher rate – getting you to elite status faster.
This is an old post, I'm afraid no one will read your message. I'm not sure what the message is but please start a new thread for any consumer issues so we can help you. Resurrecting older threads just buries the info. Thanks:)!