Canceling flight for an event that is not my fault (not medical)

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May 23, 2017
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#1
I was supposed to go down to Fort Benning, GA to visit my boyfriend and attend his graduation from Airborne school and the base changed the date VERY last minute. I bought my round trip flight through Expedia (American Airlines $143-arrival, Spirit Airlines $123-departure). I purchased trip insurance ($20), but it only covers if I/my travel partner gets sick or for some medical reason cannot travel. This graduation change does not fall on my shoulders and I am a college student who cannot afford to lose the entire $314. I spoke to all three companies and I can cancel with American and still get credit for another flight, but will have to pay a $200 reissue fee. I lose close to $100 with Spirit and would have to use the remaining credit by July of this year. Is there a claim I can file that would cover the date change?
 
Last edited:
Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Assuming you purchased non-refundable fares, the short answer is no. However, you can appeal to them for an exception. American may very well issue a refund, but Spirit has historically been resistant to refunds. Your boyfriend's military service works in your favor I think.

You can also check the trip insurance coverage on your credit card.

To appeal your case electronically (important) use the Company Contacts link near the top of this page. I recommend you start with the Customer Service links.

The information you provide should include pertinent documentation, be concise (summarize), and respectful (non-threatening). Make your requests specific and reasonable, and thank them for their time and consideration. Acknowledge that you are requesting an exception to their policy.

Wait 2 weeks for a reply before moving on to the higher level contacts. And when reaching to executives, I like to begin with an apology for taking their time "because I know you are busy with other, very important matters. I have reached out to customer service, but they were unsuccessful in fulfilling my request."

Best wishes for success in your appeal, and keep us posted ...
 
Last edited:
Sep 1, 2015
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KSNA
#3
FYI, AA policies and corporate culture are military-friendly. Although the $200 change fee applies in your situation, be sure to bring up the Airborne graduation without making too big a deal about it in your emails. It might sway a decision-maker at AA. If you have an email or webpage capture showing the date of the graduation was rescheduled, mention that you can provide proof. Don't sent the actual documents unless they ask for them...the idea is to be concise. Also emails with attachments sometimes get lost in the customer service systems.

Two tips for future use- we highly recommend against using online travel agents (OTA's). They rarely save money, and there can be all sorts of problems when things go amok before or during travel. We also recommend purchasing round-trip flights with only one airline and on a single ticket....in your case it would have been AA's $200 change fee and Spirit would be moot.
 
Jan 6, 2015
2,847
2,731
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#4
FYI, AA policies and corporate culture are military-friendly. Although the $200 change fee applies in your situation, be sure to bring up the Airborne graduation without making too big a deal about it in your emails. It might sway a decision-maker at AA. If you have an email or webpage capture showing the date of the graduation was changed, mention that you can provide proof. Don't sent the actual documents unless they ask for them...the idea is to be concise. Also emails with attachments sometimes get lost in the customer service systems.

Two tips for future use- we highly recommend against using online travel agents (OTA's). They rarely save money, and there can be all sorts of problems when things go amok before or during travel. We also recommend purchasing round-trip flights with only one airline and on a single ticket....in your case it would have been AA's $200 change fee and Spirit would be moot.
I want to second everything that @kenish said ...
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#5
Its a long shot but check with your credit card used to purchase the tickets to see if they will cover the change fees through trip insurance that may be a benefit offered by the company (assuming you will be attending the graduation on the new date).
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
#6
Emelia, this is a situation that comes up constantly. I am so sorry you got caught in this date change. I am very hopeful that American would waive the change fee when you rebook because of the military connection. I wouldn't expect anything from Spirit ... BUT formulate your letter to each of them, lean on the military angle, make your letter as short as possible (the person reading your letter gets 18 of these a day) and ask for their kind consideration. We like to call it 'artful begging'. It would be very helpful if you are ready to rebook the trip and state that you can provide 'proof' that the graduation day was changed. I think you have a very good chance with American, and Spirit might surprise us. Good luck, and please let us know the outcome.
 
Likes: Patina