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You mentioned there were 4 people traveling- if anything, she could call American and super nicely ask them to cut her a break on half (400/800). She may get lucky. I just wouldn't push it beyond that.
Sorry to hear the story. You're somewhat blaming AA; be aware the same fees are charged by DL, UA, etc. The sole exception is Southwest.
Your sister sounds inexperienced at booking air (no problem and that's why she used Disney). Is it possible Disney said on the phone, "The ticket can't be cancelled, but changes are allowed if you pay applicable fare difference and fees"? Fast forward days or weeks, and perhaps your sister forgot the last few words or didn't understand in the first place. I'm sure she's very honest but that's the sort of important detail that gets missed or forgotten with verbal transactions.
Also you're right, AA can't and won't do anything. Your sister is *not* AA's customer, she is Disney's and the travel provider will correctly refer her back to the agent.
The beginning of the original trip fell at the end of the Food and Wine Festival and they were booking 2 separate moderate rooms at the same resort. They don't have 2 moderate rooms at the same resort for the original dates
There are two phrases that come to mind:
ignorance of the law is no excuse.
Having come to age in the 60's, these lessons were part of my education, taught by my parents.
Most of the problems presented to this forum try to obfuscate these two important rules of commerce.
Been a lot of chatter lately about rogue websites ... if you do a hotel search, you decide on the Hilton, you click on a link and you're taken to a website that looks just like Hilton's, but it's some scammy third-party booking site. You make a res, when you get there your res doesn't exist. And now the scammers have all your personal information! I've read this about all facets of travel. People have got to learn to be careful with DIY travel planning.