Cancelled cruise due to American Airlines mechanical issues

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Jul 10, 2019
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#1
My husband and I were scheduled to take a cruise out of San Juan on March 17 in the evening. We were to fly out on American Airlines on the 16th mid day allowing over 24 hours in San Juan for any delays. Unfortunately, the AA plane we were to fly out on had an engine malfunction. The necessary parts were to be flown in from Chicago which meant that we would miss our connecting flight out of Charlotte. AA searched for an alternate flight for us on Dleta and United, but nothing was available for several days into the next week. This was unacceptable for our itinerary with the cruise. The AA representative did tell us that the AA hub at Minneapolis is so small that when situations arise like this, there is very little that they can do. For the future, we will not be using AA if we need to make an important connection somewhere else.
We immediately called Norwegian Cruise Line and canceled the cruise and started the process of hopefully being reimbursed by Affinity travel insurance. Their response was that this was the fault of the airline and under their guidelines for reimbursement, we did not qualify! They directed us back to American Airlines for reimbursement.
The representative for AA agreed that this was the fault of the airlines and that we should request compensation for the cruise. Needless to say, AA did not reimburse us for any of the cruise. They did reimburse us for the missed flights and $170.00 (to use on a future flight with an expiration date attached)a piece as a "goodwill" gesture. We took our concern to a higher level within AA and did not get a response other than an apology for our bad luck. We were asking for full compensation for our cruise which was $1,800.00.
Please advise us on what the next step should be.
Thank you, Lynn
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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#2
My husband and I were scheduled to take a cruise out of San Juan on March 17 in the evening. We were to fly out on American Airlines on the 16th mid day allowing over 24 hours in San Juan for any delays. Unfortunately, the AA plane we were to fly out on had an engine malfunction. The necessary parts were to be flown in from Chicago which meant that we would miss our connecting flight out of Charlotte. AA searched for an alternate flight for us on Delta and United, but nothing was available for several days into the next week. This was unacceptable for our itinerary with the cruise. The AA representative did tell us that the AA hub at Minneapolis is so small that when situations arise like this, there is very little that they can do. For the future, we will not be using AA if we need to make an important connection somewhere else.
We immediately called Norwegian Cruise Line and canceled the cruise and started the process of hopefully being reimbursed by Affinity travel insurance. Their response was that this was the fault of the airline and under their guidelines for reimbursement, we did not qualify! They directed us back to American Airlines for reimbursement.
The representative for AA agreed that this was the fault of the airlines and that we should request compensation for the cruise. Needless to say, AA did not reimburse us for any of the cruise. They did reimburse us for the missed flights and $170.00 (to use on a future flight with an expiration date attached)a piece as a "goodwill" gesture. We took our concern to a higher level within AA and did not get a response other than an apology for our bad luck. We were asking for full compensation for our cruise which was $1,800.00.
Please advise us on what the next step should be.
Thank you, Lynn
Unfortunately, AA was only required to get you to your destination or refund your fare. They did the latter and have no liability for your cruise expenses. They have no liability for missed activities at your planned destination.

There is no "next step" as far as recovery of your cruise expenses.

If you plan to fly in the day before a cruise, schedule the first AM flight the day before. Also, Delta has a much greater likelihood of getting you from MSP to ATL (both Delta hubs) and on to San Juan. It is far safer to arrive two days prior to a planned cruise and use the time in San Juan, which is a very interesting city/area.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#3
From the point of view of your airline, your cruise is the kind of 'contingent liability' that is never compensated for (How much is a wedding worth? What's the value of the business deal you missed making?). Your cruise should have been covered by your cruise insurance. Next time, don't get fly-by-night cruise insurance.
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#4
If you plan to fly in the day before a cruise, schedule the first AM flight the day before. Also, Delta has a much greater likelihood of getting you from MSP to ATL (both Delta hubs) and on to San Juan. It is far safer to arrive two days prior to a planned cruise and use the time in San Juan, which is a very interesting city/area.
A second day would have helped, but basically LW did the right thing by scheduling a previous day arrival. There must have been some way that AA could have gotten LW from MSP to SJU given a full day. Interlining should be a legal requirement in cases like this.
 

Neil Maley

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#5
Weihlac is correct.

We have company contacts on top of our pages. You can try and write to AA but they don’t owe you anything for this.

When you fly through smaller airports, you really need to fly in a few days early. Especially using AA.

With your insurance, did you Insure the cruise AND the air? If you only insured the cruise, this is why your claim was denied. Both pieces must be insured.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#6
A second day would have helped, but basically LW did the right thing by scheduling a previous day arrival. There must have been some way that AA could have gotten LW from MSP to SJU given a full day. Interlining should be a legal requirement in cases like this.
"AA searched for an alternate flight for us on Delta and United, but nothing was available for several days into the next week. ". They tried that.
 

Neil Maley

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#8
@Lynn English I’d go back to your insurance policy. I’ve never heard of one that wouldn’t cover common carrier delays / cancellations. At a minimum you also need to find a new travel insurance company
If the air wasn’t included in the travel insurance they would decline the claim. In that case she was only insuring the cruise which went out on time and she was not canceling for a covered reason. The entire trip had to be insured.

If the OP can tell us who her insurance was through and send us a link to the policy we might be able to help to see if she can appeal the insurance claim.

Lynn at any time did you ask NCL is you could have met the ship in the first port?
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#9
With your insurance, did you Insure the cruise AND the air? If you only insured the cruise, this is why your claim was denied. Both pieces must be insured.
Wouldn't it be the cruise insurance that covers missing the cruise due to not being able to reach the port?
 
Apr 19, 2017
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#11
It depends on what the specific policy states and what is listed as a covered reason.
Yes, from the story it looks as though LW got a crappy cruise policy that doesn't cover this obvious case. Air insurance wouldn't cover missing the cruise because that's a contingency.

We have a cruise of our own planned in a couple of weeks. We insured the cruise but not the air, because we are traveling on refundable airfares.
 

Neil Maley

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#12
Yes, from the story it looks as though LW got a crappy cruise policy that doesn't cover this obvious case. Air insurance wouldn't cover missing the cruise because that's a contingency.

We have a cruise of our own planned in a couple of weeks. We insured the cruise but not the air, because we are traveling on refundable airfares.
You need to check your policy to make sure it will cover you if you can’t get there due to flights. She sure you fly at least a day or two before and get the first flight of the day.

I don’t think Lynne bought NCLS insurance because that would have even refunded in credits if the reason for the cancellation isn’t covered .
 
Nov 21, 2014
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#13
Another challenge with her flights was it was Spring Break and flights are very booked in mid March. Probably the reason AA couldn’t find any seats. How very disappointing!
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#14
FOR OUR OTHER READERS: This is such a sad story, Lynn seemed to have done it right ... fly in the day before and purchase travel insurance. You can avoid this kind of awful disappointment by thinking everything through as you plan your trip. What is Plan B if your flights are cancelled during spring break and you literally cannot get to your destination on time? Did you insure your flights as well as the cruise? I have comp insurance through my Chase card, but I use Travel Insurance in Omaha if I need more ... I prefer to talk to an agent and use their expertise when buying insurance.
 
Feb 21, 2018
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#15
My husband and I have often traveled out of the northeast in March...and twice there were significant snow events just a few days before we were due to fly to FLL to meet a cruise ship. Fortunately, we had no issues, but we've always had the following plan in place

-We always, ALWAYS plan to fly in the day before...and preferably a morning flight so there are other alternatives 'just in case'
-We watch the weather like hawks in the 5-7 days prior to our flights. If a snow event looks to disrupt our day-of travel, plans B and C are ready, both involving one-way car rentals:

-Plan B: consider changing the outbound flight to another airport further south. This doesn't always work for everyone, but we have a lot of options south of us - BWI and both Washington DC airports, or we'd look to Amtrak
-Plan C: drive all the way to Florida. We can get there in 16-18 hours. Not an easy trip, but plenty of time to relax on the ship once we're there.

I realize these options aren't always available everywhere, but it helps to have these types of 'drastic' alternatives when it comes to a cruise vacation.
 
Sep 27, 2017
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#16
Would anyone suggest the OP do the following?

1/ Check the credit card she paid with to see if any travel insurance exists on the card.

2/ Write the cruise company execs. While the cruise company is not at fault in any manner, this is such a disaster, perhaps a short-well written letter might at least score some kind of sympathy and a discount or credit for a future cruise. Any type of goodwill compensation would be more than what they have now. (I know she called the line, but a letter in front of someone with pull may score better than a phone conversation with someone from a call center). The cruise company does still have their money, after all.
 

Neil Maley

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#17
She can do both. The worst that can happen is they say no, the best is someone makes an exception to a rule. If she had NCL insurance though they have a CFAR policy that would have given her cruise credits for a future cruise.
 
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Carrie Livingston

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#18
She can do both. The worst that can happen is they say no, the best is someone makes an exception to a rule. If she had NCL insurance though they have a CFAR policy that would have given her cruise credits for a future cruise.
The NCL insurance may not be great but it's also not that expensive. I paid $159 for a 10 day cruise.
 

Neil Maley

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#19
The NCL insurance may not be great but it's also not that expensive. I paid $159 for a 10 day cruise.
You can usually do better with a third party and add insurance for the flight but I am curious about what type of insurance the OP had. We might be able to help if an appeal is in order if we could review the policy.
 

jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#20
Would anyone suggest the OP do the following?

1/ Check the credit card she paid with to see if any travel insurance exists on the card.

2/ Write the cruise company execs. While the cruise company is not at fault in any manner, this is such a disaster, perhaps a short-well written letter might at least score some kind of sympathy and a discount or credit for a future cruise. Any type of goodwill compensation would be more than what they have now. (I know she called the line, but a letter in front of someone with pull may score better than a phone conversation with someone from a call center). The cruise company does still have their money, after all.
You are so right, Riroon. I've be-bopped happily through life assuming that people want to help me when I get into trouble. ALWAYS ASK! It's effective so many times, you just never know. I mean, a discount toward a future cruise? OF COURSE! What cruise-line exec wouldn't think that's a great idea?
 
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