Haiti medical trip canceled. Airline help.

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Feb 20, 2019
My medical team was to go to Haiti 3/8-3/16 for a Women's Care week. We purchased non-refundable airfare on American Airlines on 11/29/2018. I did not purchase travel insurance as I thought I had coverage via my credit card.
The recent terrible chaos in Haiti has placed the nation on a level 4 "Do Not travel" list by the State Department. There is an order to "shelter in place" . Our trip is cancelled for many reasons in addition to our safety. We cannot put added demands on already scarce resources.
American Airlines will not refund our tickets despite the level 4 warning. We can cancel with a $200 fee and use the remaining balance by the ticketing date of 11/29. Unfortunately this is not going to allow us to get back to Haiti. We cannot travel before July due to other medical teams going to our clinic, and July to December is hurricane season, a time that the clinic doesn't have teams come. We will go next spring but the credits will have expired. So I am in a conundrum. On my team are several people that this trip was a financial stretch for. . They will not use the credits before the expiry. I really thought the AA MasterCard that I purchased with had travel protection,. Otherwise, I would have used a different card, or purchased travel insurance. It is an oversight/misread that my team will end up paying for. ( I may try to figure out how to give them the money back myself.)

In a perfect world, we would be refunded for these tickets that we cannot use. But I would love the opportunity to use the flight credits for next spring. Is there any way to extend the life of these credits ....? We can purchase next spring's tickets before the November deadline, but will not be able to go before then?

Any insight/input is greatly appreciated. Please don't beat me up for my oversight as I am already doing that.


Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
@Cleo Another option is to wait.... As of now, AA has issued a travel alert for Haiti but only one that allows you to delay your travel. Looking at AA's other alerts, that seems to be their MO. No refunds just delayed travel.

I also checked and it looks like they're continuing to fly (no cancelled flights today). Beyond that, civil unrest isn't covered by a lot of policies (including AA's) which may actually help you...

You might try appealing for the extension that way ... ie This is a circumstance not covered by most trip insurance policies including the one you sell through your website.

It might work...

Other one is to wait and hope they cancel the flight (doubtful) so you qualify for a refund.

Good Luck