Waiver of Change Fees – My Experience with American Airlines

Back to Forum
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

  • AsiaTraveller
    Participant

    I was originally booked on flight 170 from NRT to LAX for March 7, 2020.
    I live in Los Angeles and at the time was on vacation in Japan.
    Because of the coronavirus crisis and seeing Tokyo transformed into a city of fear with most everyone wearing masks and schools and major attractions closed, for my own protection and peace of mind I decided to see if I could leave early.
    I called AA ticketing on March 1, 2020 to change my flight from March 7 to March 5. I was told yes there was availability for March 7. but AA was NOT waiving change fees and to change the flight, I would have to pay a change fee of $373.
    I can “almost” understand that I would have to pay for any increase in the ticket price (which I didn’t like either but I didn’t complain about that) for a change being made on March 1 requesting a March 5 flight, but being subjected to a frankly, greedy, $373 change fee did not sit well with me. I have been a very good and loyal AA customer, for whatever little that is worth.
    Alas, a million + miles and “GOLD” status do not mean much in this day and age. AA’s reservationist as much as said so. Ironically, a recent AA mass mailing to all AA frequent flyers proudly trumpeted some limited relief on change and cancel fees, informing the reader, “Our entire leadership at the airline is focused on the coronavirus issue…” What a crock. I was in the middle of a worldwide health emergency, and yet AA determined that my situation was not eligible. I think a fair and truly compassionate AA policy would have allowed me to make the change without getting nailed. I have written AA Customer Relations and wonder what kind of response, if any, I will get. My sense is that I am barking at the moon.
    If and when I receive anything, I will post it here.


    K1ngston
    Participant

    I was originally booked on flight 170 from NRT to LAX for March 7, 2020.
    I live in Los Angeles and at the time was on vacation in Japan.
    Because of the coronavirus crisis and seeing Tokyo transformed into a city of fear with most everyone wearing masks and schools and major attractions closed, for my own protection and peace of mind I decided to see if I could leave early.
    I called AA ticketing on March 1, 2020 to change my flight from March 7 to March 5. I was told yes there was availability for March 7. but AA was NOT waiving change fees and to change the flight, I would have to pay a change fee of $373.
    I can “almost” understand that I would have to pay for any increase in the ticket price (which I didn’t like either but I didn’t complain about that) for a change being made on March 1 requesting a March 5 flight, but being subjected to a frankly, greedy, $373 change fee did not sit well with me. I have been a very good and loyal AA customer, for whatever little that is worth.
    Alas, a million + miles and “GOLD” status do not mean much in this day and age. AA’s reservationist as much as said so. Ironically, a recent AA mass mailing to all AA frequent flyers proudly trumpeted some limited relief on change and cancel fees, informing the reader, “Our entire leadership at the airline is focused on the coronavirus issue…” What a crock. I was in the middle of a worldwide health emergency, and yet AA determined that my situation was not eligible. I think a fair and truly compassionate AA policy would have allowed me to make the change without getting nailed. I have written AA Customer Relations and wonder what kind of response, if any, I will get. My sense is that I am barking at the moon.
    If and when I receive anything, I will post it here.

    Can I ask whether you were on a full fare ticket or restricted? I had this conversation with SQ just last week as I was supposed to be flying to Canberra today but has been postponed due to Governmental restrictions there. In this case SQ were more than helpful and changed the flights for me but this was because the ticket was fully flexible …

    Good luck and please keep us informed


    AsiaTraveller
    Participant

    I was on a restricted fare, which of course in ordinary circumstances would justify AA in requiring a change fee. My suggestion is that these were not ordinary circumstances, which AA concedes in its publicity campaign.


    MGen
    Participant

    Indeed this situation is quite annoying. Similar approach also from other Airlines like Emirates. All add up to the customer experience. I already cancel future booking with Emirates due to their Coronavirus policy.


    anyonebutba
    Participant

    to be fair I totally agree with AA, you buy a ticket with penalties then you must pay those penalties, unless there is govt advice against travel to/from your destination then no airline is obliged to waive change or cancellation fees! they may as a gesture of goodwill refund the change fee but they are by no means obliged too, want to change your ticket, then the flexible option is always available for you 🙂


    AsiaTraveller
    Participant

    I still believe they should have modified their policy in consideration of the extraordinary situation, but I am pleased to tell you that AA has issued me a refund for the additional charge for “Main Cabin Extra” seating. (It’s a separate topic, but I always gladly pay for bulkhead or exit row seats on those occasions I find myself stuck in Economy.) I consider this a reasonable concession, and I appreciated it.


    anyonebutba
    Participant

    Glad to hear you have some resolve to your situation, as for changing the policy, airline4s tend to lead in packs if one changes they usually all follow suit, nobody had the waivers out on the date you changed, although they all do now, Delta was the leader and they all followed. hope your back safely in the US by now 🙂

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Business Traveller April 2020 edition
Business Traveller April 2020 edition
Be up-to-date
Magazine Subscription
To see our latest subscription offers for Business Traveller editions worldwide, click on the Subscribe & Save link below
Polls