Getting a refund, credit, or a flight via another airline

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Nov 16, 2017
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#1
I'm now about to write to the first executive, (after getting another "no" from customer services) but I thought about sharing my story here to read some advice first. I'll try to keep it as short as possible.

I'm an Argentinian citizen. I booked a ticket at American Airlines to travel from Denmark back to Argentina. The original flight was supposed to make a connection in the US. Since I was traveling back home, I thought I was not gonna have any inconvenience, but to my surprise, I got refused a transit visa to land in the US (I still can't understand exactly why...)
I called the airline and I asked for a refund, but they replied that it is my responsibility to have all the documents required, which I understand. I made a mistake there by assuming I was gonna get the visa and so I don't qualify for a refund. The day before the flight departure I called and I canceled it, in that opportunity the person that I spoke to offered me to change it to a different flight operated by one of the associated airlines so I didn't have to make that stop in the US. The prices where slightly higher and I was gonna have to pay a 200USD fee. He said that the ticket was valid for a year so there was no need to decide in that moment when to travel, that option was there. At that moment I was still convinced that I was gonna get a full refund somehow, so paying more didn't sound appealing. I decided to keep trying to get a refund and in the worst case, I was always gonna be able to call back, pay the fee, and rebook the ticket.
Now I have called back (several times) and I'm no longer getting the same response: they are saying either that I simply can't change to another airline, or that I can but at least a portion of it has to be operated by AA (not useful for me), or I can actually change the whole itinerary but paying the highest fair which is 4 times the original price. The responses change depending on who is on the other end, and when I ask when I can actually find and read the restrictions they give me vague answers... I can't find it on their website either.
At this point, everything seems lost. I know that I am not entitled to a refund by any means, but at least I would like to be able to actually fly, even paying the 200USD fee. Or at least to have that credit somehow, maybe as miles that then I can exchange at other airlines... I don't know what to do.

Thanks in advance,
David
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,843
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
You will be given a credit good for one year from the DATE YOU BOUGHT THE TICKET on
American Airlines if you booked the ticket on the AA website. It can only be used for booking
a code share airline the ticket can be purchased on the AA website. Otherwise you pay whatever today's flight is for the ticket you looked at that was only a few dollars higher when they first made the offer.

Unfortunately, stalling and making assumptions cost you. Prices almost always go up as the dates get closer.
 

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
921
1,163
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#3
All over the world, transit visa requirements have become more and more stringent due to political hostilities. I would never have thought to need a transit visa when traveling to Europe or Scandinavia before, but these days you bet I would check with the consulates of whatever country I'm flying through/into. It's only going to get worse as long as the US's diplomatic relations keep going down the toilet.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,005
6,868
113
San Francisco
#4
David, it's an unfortunate fact that an airline agent will tell you anything to get you to move on, whether in person or on the phone. Neil has outlined the rules that govern most non-ref tix, and you can rebook your tix. It will take diligence to find fares that aren't through the roof but you'll not just lose all your money.
 
#5
We're traveling to Barcelona at the end of December. Will I need a visa from Catalonia or will I be traveling to Spain? I'm serious. We're keeping an eye on the situation daily. The State Department, despite its naysayers, is still the go-to resource for travel preparation.
 
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Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
13,843
13,274
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
We're traveling to Barcelona at the end of December. Will I need a visa from Catalonia or will I be traveling to Spain? I'm serious. We're keeping an eye on the situation daily. The State Department, despite its naysayers, is still the go-to resource for travel preparation.
As of right now you don't need any visas. You are visiting Spain.
 

johnbaker

Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
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1,453
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#7
@George M Bluntly honest answer is that if there's any chance you might need Catalonian visa, you won't want to travel there. Everything I've read indicates that Spain isn't going to let them breakaway. Traveling to the middle of a civil war would not be a fun thing to do...
 
#8
@George M Bluntly honest answer is that if there's any chance you might need Catalonian visa, you won't want to travel there. Everything I've read indicates that Spain isn't going to let them breakaway. Traveling to the middle of a civil war would not be a fun thing to do...
Ernest Hemingway and a bunch of other writers, artists, etc., got involved in the last Spanish Civil War but you're right, it probably would be less fun today. At least, as Chevy Chase used to say on Saturday Night Live, "Francisco Franco is still dead!"
 
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