No notice from American Airlines for cancelled British Airways leg of award ticket

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Nov 13, 2019
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In May 2019, I booked a round trip award ticket for travel in October 2019 on American Airlines (AA) from Dallas to Russia , connecting in London with British Airways (BA) providing the legs from London to Moscow and then St. Petersburg to London for the return (with an overnight in London). The trip was confirmed at the time of booking, but in double checking the flights about a week prior to departure, I could did not see the St. Petersburg leg in my reservation. I called AA and learned that BA had cancelled this flight in May 2019 and apparently no longer offered service from St. Petersburg to London. I did not receive any notice of this change. AA did offer a return trip from St. Petersburg to Helsinki (overnight stay in Helsinki) and then connecting in Paris for the return to Dallas. This option would have involved traveling late into Helsinki and then very early the next day to fly to Paris and an uncomfortably short time for the connection for the Dallas flight home - all issues that I had tried to avoid with my original plans. Additionally, I believe that the overnight hotel in Helsinki would have been more expensive than the hotel I had booked in London. I opted to purchase a separate ticket on Brussels Air for $220 that got us to London about the same time as our original plans and we were able to fly to Dallas on the same AA flight as originally booked. I completely understand that airlines cancel and change flight schedules and had AA provided a timely notice of this change, I'm sure we could have arranged a satisfactory alternative months before the scheduled trip. However, there was no notice and I discovered the problem only a week prior to departure. I believe that AA should reimburse me for my $220 out of pocket cost to replace the cancelled leg. Alternatively, if a cash reimbursement cannot be done, I think that AA should refund at least 20,000 miles of the original 120,000 award (plus $340 in fees). I discussed the issue with AA Customer Service and they offered 5,000 miles and said that was fair. AA was not particularly concerned about the lack of notice.

I acknowledge that AA did offer a return flight option that would have gotten us home, but would have involved considerably more stress due to the early/late flights and relatively short connection time for the last flight plus changing hotel reservations from London to Helsinki. My issue is that there was no notice at all of the change in the original ticket and that I spent $220 to replicate the cancelled flight. I'm not looking for a goodwill gesture, but considering that I used 120,000 miles and one out of four flights was cancelled with no notice - I would like to be made whole for my expense or receive a more reasonable number of miles to compensate for the cancelled flight.

We used a travel agent for the river cruise portion of our trip, but I made the air arrangements. My travel agent suggested that AA should reimburse me for my out of pocket cost and also refund some miles as a goodwill gesture for their failure to notify me of the cancelled flight. As stated, I am only looking for reimbursement of my out of pocket cost or an appropriate number of miles. I believe that AA's offer of 5,000 miles was completely inadequate.

Are my expectations unreasonable?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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How annoying but good for you for checking. There may have been a technology failure — either them or spam filter. I take it 120,000 was for the round trip.

Was this an economy flight?

The reason they are offering 5,000 miles is that Russia is in the same category as Europe — so US to London is the same mileage as US to Russia— it is only 5,000 more miles to fly US to Japan than US to Europe/Russia (economy).

Saying 1/4 flights is not really accurate with mileage tickets as they are more zone than distance.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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To you and me, your expectations aren't unreasonable... but to AA, they are unreasonable.

It reminds me of the old adage used by car dealerships... "NO REASONABLE OFFERS REFUSED" *except yours because it is unreasonable.

The lack of notice, while annoying, isn't worthy of any compensation. You did your due diligence, and discovered the error before your flight, and was offered a solution that ultimately you rejected.

Cash compensation is unlikely, but a well written letter with a counteroffer of more miles may be accepted.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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Cash compensation is unlikely, but a well written letter with a counteroffer of more miles may be accepted.
There was some cash collected ($320) along with miles; usually this is described as paying the taxes at the airports. If so, should the original poster not get refunded the taxes from Pulkovo for the canceled flight?

Or does Russia not collect taxes at airports?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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There was some cash collected ($320) along with miles; usually this is described as paying the taxes at the airports. If so, should the original poster not get refunded the taxes from Pulkovo for the canceled flight?

Or does Russia not collect taxes at airports?
Most of the fees are likely to be passenger departure duty from the UK —

There may be some taxes from Russia but not $320. Asking for that full amount is unreasonable as it includes a lot of US taxes.