Sick and can’t fly on American Airlines

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Feb 6, 2019
Hi Eliot. My daughter Cassidy(21)booked a flight on American Airlines and was due to fly out today 2/6/2019 around 1pm from ny to az. , returning 2/11/2019. About 3 days ago she developed medical symptoms related to her thyroid condition. Her doctor ordered blood work and are waiting for the results so he can determine the next course of action. Needless to say she can’t make the trip. I called AA yesterday 2/5/10 at around 6 pm and they said because the tickets are basic/ economy with no flight insurance there was nothing they could do. I was told to try emailing customer relations and state my case to them. I cancelled the flight and stated to Carol the agent how wrong I thought this was especially since companies like Southwest offer refunds and credits no questions asked. This is a medical situation. I even offered proof from Cassidy’s doctor. Lastly the tickets were purchased through Capitolone bank credit card third party something and didn’t offer trip insurance. This wasn’t like a bad cold and I don’t want to go. It is a legitimate medical condition and she couldn’t. Would they rather she gets on the plane and god forbid something happens. Can u offer any advice. Respectfully. Timothy Brown
Nov 27, 2017
First of all, I'm really sorry about your daughter's sickness. I have family who have thyroid issues, so I absolutely understand the severity of it. With that said, your daughter most likely booked the cheapest tickets that she could, which was through AA or a third party, which is why she is not entitled to a refund. You are asking for them to break their own rules by offering your daughter an exception. If your daughter had wanted the option or protection to make changes, then she should have booked Southwest. My guess was that the ticket were more expensive.

Since she booked through a third party, she needs to ask that website where she booked for a good will gesture. You should not be talking to AA directly as the third party site acted as her agent. Please let her know that she needs to ask for an exception to the rule. Bring up other airlines or how the rules is unfair will not help her case. The terms and conditions when she booked were clearly stated and she chose those rates.

Good luck and a speedy recover to your daughter.
Sep 19, 2015
I am sorry about your daughter.

Southwest does not refund non refundable tickets no questions asked. They allow cancellation with no cancellation fee and give travel credit— certainly very customer friendly.

Was The flight was booked with an OTA (online travel agency) — if one needs to deal with them.

Basic Economy is a use it or lose it ticket —

Stating how wrong the policy is compared to SW is not helpful — if one does not like basic economy or AA do not fly them.

Asking for an exception means being polite and not critical — the airline did not cause the problem nor force one to buy Basic Economy.

So the credit card used has no insurance?
Likes: krisseye

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Did she buy Travel insurance? That’s why they sell it. Check the credit card used to buy the tickets and see if they offer travel insurance that will cover the tickets. If not- use it as a lesson learned about insurance.

You can ask them if you cancel if they will offer a credit less a cancellation fee.
Likes: jsmithw
Jun 27, 2017
Timothy ... First and foremost, I hope your daughter is on the mend and will be able to make her trip soon. But please note that Southwest does not Southwest offer refunds no questions asked, unless you purchase a fully refundable fare. They are the only major airline that allows you to change or cancel a reservation anytime before flight time and get a credit for the full amount of your fare, applicable to future travel within a year of the original reservation date. SW's prices may be more expensive from NYC to AZ, but they also don't charge for the first 2 checked bags - which would be $60 each way on most other airlines.

AA basic economy is often the least expensive airfare, but it is NON-REFUNDABLE. Encourage your daughter to purchase her tickets in the future directly from the airline of her choice and not through an Online Travel Agency (OTA) like Expedia, ifly or She didn't purchase trip insurance which is always a good idea because life brings so many unexpected turns and most all airlines have strict rules about changes of any kind. They don't typically make exceptions.

Like others have said have your daughter contact Capital One first to see if they may credit her account; if not have her contact the company where she purchased her tickets - preferably by email to keep a paper trail. A nice polite email listing key points and devoid of ANY emotion, criticism or personal feelings. Keep us posted!
Likes: jsn55