medical excuse for cancelling flight and standard American Airlines reply.

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Aug 12, 2019
2
6
3
53
#1
I had to cancel my flight to Aspen, Co. due to ear infections. My ENT said I shouldn't fly until they cleared up. After numerous tries to get help from American Airlines, I finally found someone who said I could use my 679.00 ticket a year from now and there may or may not be a 200.00 change fee. I had purchased the ticket on May 20, 2019 and my flight was for July 29, 2019. Then I found out that the only way they would allow me a year to use my ticket is if I fly no later than May 20. That is useless to me because my friend with whom I will stay will only be in Aspen in July and August when the big Festival of the Arts is going on. I don't see any way around this other than I lose my money.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,697
18,353
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Did you buy insurance? That’s what you need for a medical issue that prevents you from flying, as that is what insurance if for.

If you didn’t, check with the credit card you used to purchase the tickets- they may offer travel insurance to cover.

We have a thread about refunds for nonrefundable tickets:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/refunds-for-non-refundable-tickets.3304/

Tickets are never transferable but the airlines will often extend them six months or so if you can’t fly before the expiration.
 
Jan 6, 2015
3,203
3,467
113
#3
Have you subsequently asked you ENT if there is any way you can fly? He/she may have a cheap solution to protect your ears during flight?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,655
8,951
113
San Francisco
#6
I had to cancel my flight to Aspen, Co. due to ear infections. My ENT said I shouldn't fly until they cleared up. After numerous tries to get help from American Airlines, I finally found someone who said I could use my 679.00 ticket a year from now and there may or may not be a 200.00 change fee. I had purchased the ticket on May 20, 2019 and my flight was for July 29, 2019. Then I found out that the only way they would allow me a year to use my ticket is if I fly no later than May 20. That is useless to me because my friend with whom I will stay will only be in Aspen in July and August when the big Festival of the Arts is going on. I don't see any way around this other than I lose my money.
What a disappointment. It is really ugly that an airline credit runs from the original purchase date, but that's how it's been for quite some time. I hope you can have another chat with your doc to see if there's any way you can keep this July date. And maybe your credit card would have some travel insurance? Barring that, there's a slight possibility that AA would extend the credit ... very slight but it's worth a try. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes.
 
Apr 19, 2017
53
97
18
72
#7
Eveerybody who has to delay a vacation gets burned by that one year from purchase restriction, which is there to ensure that most passengers in your situation just forfeit the ticket rather than travel at the wrong time of next year. Write your Congressman to get legislation passed to have flight credit ru for at least three years.

Meanwhile, keep in mind that if you do visit Aspen in May you should be able to get reasonable hotel accommodations. Ski season is over, and it's too early for the summer tourists. When you plan a date, watch for special events, like a film festival, that might soak up all the hotel rooms.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
5,148
7,157
113
49
#8
Eveerybody who has to delay a vacation gets burned by that one year from purchase restriction, which is there to ensure that most passengers in your situation just forfeit the ticket rather than travel at the wrong time of next year. Write your Congressman to get legislation passed to have flight credit ru for at least three years.”

Given the anti regulation philosophy that prevails today I suspect that no such legislation would even be introduced.

Insurance usually costs less than the flight change fee.

One should check credit card benefits before buying a ticket as some are reducing the benefit.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,697
18,353
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
The airlines have tied our representatives up with all their lobbying. The FAA Reauthorization Act was passed in 2018 but still hadn’t been had much done and pieces that should have germ added were removed. Among other things, it requires the FAA to establish minimum seat size, which hadn’t been done. They did not add families sitting together, nor did they require airlines to disclose all fees upfront before a booking is finalized such as seating costs.

People wanted airline deregulation in 1978 and I
would imagine you’ll never see this again.
 
Jan 6, 2015
3,203
3,467
113
#11
The departure airport does not really matter. What matters is that you have a solid backup plan. Low cost airlines in particular have sporadic schedules which often result in missed connections when flights are delayed/canceled.

So when you choose a flight or flights, be sure you have at least 2 flights after that on the same airline which will get you to your destination on time (my recommendation) . . .
 
Likes: krisseye
Mar 23, 2015
314
527
93
54
#12
That is a bummer. It's too bad that you didn't wait to see how you felt after a couple days of antibiotics. Typically an ear infection clears up pretty quickly with meds and you may have actually felt well enough to fly and been able to enjoy beautiful Aspen without having to go through this heartburn with the airlines. A nice, well crafted email to them may get the *right* person to give you either an extension or a waiver of the change fee. Good Luck!
 
Likes: VoR61
Dec 2, 2017
5
5
3
80
#13
This is why I only fly Southwest Airlines when I fly domestic. I have NEVER had a problem with them, even though I am now in a wheelchair. Don’t know if they fly to Aspen, but I would make whatever arrangements I need to so I could fly SWA. As usual, the “major?” airlines are only out to make money, in any way they can; SCREW the passengers.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,697
18,353
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#14
This is why I only fly Southwest Airlines when I fly domestic. I have NEVER had a problem with them, even though I am now in a wheelchair. Don’t know if they fly to Aspen, but I would make whatever arrangements I need to so I could fly SWA. As usual, the “major?” airlines are only out to make money, in any way they can; SCREW the passengers.
AA isn’t “screwing” the OP- the OP didn’t buy travel insurance and needed to cancel his trip. That’s not AA’s problem and exactly why they sell insurance.

AA offered a credit good for a year from the purchase date for a nonrefundable ticket. They don’t have to do that either but did as a courtesy.
 
Sep 19, 2015
5,148
7,157
113
49
#15
This is why I only fly Southwest Airlines when I fly domestic. I have NEVER had a problem with them, even though I am now in a wheelchair. Don’t know if they fly to Aspen, but I would make whatever arrangements I need to so I could fly SWA. As usual, the “major?” airlines are only out to make money, in any way they can; SCREW the passengers.
And Southwest is not out to make money? Why don't you look at the issues with the maintenance and fines from the FAA. Or how Southwest diasgreed with the engine manufacturer over the inspections needed to look at the fan blades in certain engines -- and then later one of those blades came loose, broke a window and a passenger died after being partially sucked out the window. SW thought the cost of the testing of each blade was too high.

Southwest does not scan barcodes on luggage because it would cost too much -- so there is no real-time update on where luggage is -- contrast that with Delta.

Oh and Southwest has a time limit on credits also.

Each airline has their positives and negatives -- but all of them are out to make money.
 
Dec 2, 2017
5
5
3
80
#16
And Southwest is not out to make money? Why don't you look at the issues with the maintenance and fines from the FAA. Or how Southwest diasgreed with the engine manufacturer over the inspections needed to look at the fan blades in certain engines -- and then later one of those blades came loose, broke a window and a passenger died after being partially sucked out the window. SW thought the cost of the testing of each blade was too high.

Southwest does not scan barcodes on luggage because it would cost too much -- so there is no real-time update on where luggage is -- contrast that with Delta.

Oh and Southwest has a time limit on credits also.

Each airline has their positives and negatives -- but all of them are out to make money.
Christina H:
Of course SWA wants to make money, however, they are more considerate of their passengers than other airlines, from everything I’ve read on this website and heard from others. Regarding flight insurance, I would definitely check with my CC company before I make my reservation to see what they cover, which I have done. That’s why I don’t get insurance just for air travel. I do get insurance when I’m doing a full vacation (including hotel and tours, etc). And of course, I definitely do insurance when I do international travel. I used to be a travel consultant and always strongly recommended insurance to my clients.
Very much enjoy reading this site; frequently learn something new.
 
Sep 19, 2015
5,148
7,157
113
49
#17
Helene Southwest tends to be more customer friendly but all airlines are strict with the use the credit.
People have actually been able to get help from AA by using the contacts here so I do not want someone not to try by thinking it is impossible.

There are a lot of bad policies at airlines — but people have to realize what the product is that they are buying.

You are doing what is right — checking for credit card insurance and or buying a separate policy. One of my cards is dropping all travel insurance benefits so one should check regularly.

I am pleased to hear that you have been treated well a wheelchair user— that is the way it should be but not always the reality.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,697
18,353
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#18
Christina H:
Of course SWA wants to make money, however, they are more considerate of their passengers than other airlines, from everything I’ve read on this website and heard from others. Regarding flight insurance, I would definitely check with my CC company before I make my reservation to see what they cover, which I have done. That’s why I don’t get insurance just for air travel. I do get insurance when I’m doing a full vacation (including hotel and tours, etc). And of course, I definitely do insurance when I do international travel. I used to be a travel consultant and always strongly recommended insurance to my clients.
Very much enjoy reading this site; frequently learn something new.

Just an FYI- there was an article in one of our trade papers yesterday about how AA and Southwest are having unprecedented involuntary bumping of passengers due to the Max groundings. Southwest's involuntarily denials more than doubled to 2,525 in the first half of 2019.

So as customer friendly as SW is, if you are flying them, they and AA have been the most affected by the Max groundings.
 
Likes: VoR61
Dec 2, 2017
5
5
3
80
#19
Helene Southwest tends to be more customer friendly but all airlines are strict with the use the credit.
People have actually been able to get help from AA by using the contacts here so I do not want someone not to try by thinking it is impossible.

There are a lot of bad policies at airlines — but people have to realize what the product is that they are buying.

You are doing what is right — checking for credit card insurance and or buying a separate policy. One of my cards is dropping all travel insurance benefits so one should check regularly.

I am pleased to hear that you have been treated well a wheelchair user— that is the way it should be but not always the reality.
Just an FYI- there was an article in one of our trade papers yesterday about how AA and Southwest are having unprecedented involuntary bumping of passengers due to the Max groundings. Southwest's involuntarily denials more than doubled to 2,525 in the first half of 2019.

So as customer friendly as SW is, if you are flying them, they and AA have been the most affected by the Max groundings.

Neil,
Correct me if I’m wrong, but It is my understanding that SWA has more of the Max planes than most other airlines, therefore, they are likely to be the most impacted. Actually, let’s put the responsibility where it belongs, on the plane’s manufacturer and their apparent unconcern for the safety of their product and the people who use them. Even under the same circumstances, I will still fly SWA over any other domestic airline.
 
Aug 12, 2019
2
6
3
53
#20
As it turned out, a customer service person did extend the date for me, and will be sending me an eVoucher good for a year from next August. I am very grateful. I did remind them that my ticket was purchased with a credit card that offered flight insurance, which I didn't know at first. But that didn't guarantee they would change the date for me, from May to August. So once I get that voucher I will be very pleased.
Thank you all for suggesting things after reading my thread.
m.jean