Old Feb 6, 2012, 1:31 AM
LoriB LoriB is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
Angry Another bait and switch, Flt 660 & 667

I reserved 5 non-stop round trip tickets from JFK to St. Maarten in November for travel in July. I was required to pay in full within 24 hours to lock in these tickets. But it's ok for American to e-mail me 2 months later to notify me of "changes to my itinerary." Turns out, these are not minor changes. No longer will our flights be non-stop. Our total travel time has been changed from 4 hours to 8 1/2 hours. Instead of departing JFK at 7:35 AM, we will have to leave at 5:45 AM. Instead of arriving back at JFK at 6 PM, we will not arrive until midnight. Customer service says that by purchasing these tickets, I only am required to receive round trip transportation between JFK and St. Maarten on those dates. Even though AA partners with Jet Blue, they refuse to rebook us on Jet Blue on those dates on their non-stop flight for the same fare. To change to another airline at this time for non-stop flights will cost me about $300 more per ticket. That's $1500 MORE than I originally paid. This is a bait and switch. I will NEVER fly American again and I will make sure I tell every one I know. The non-stop flight that was eliminated has been in existence for over 25 years and was always booked to capacity on the Saturday flights. It's not like they eliminated a flight that was flying with empty seats. Why should I have to fly through Miami? And to add insult to injury, customer service was RUDE to me. Like I should be grateful for these changes!!!
Old Feb 7, 2012, 2:26 AM
AADFW AADFW is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 117
Default Not so fast next time...

Unfortunately, you will find that American's policy with respect to schedule changes isn't all that different from other major US carriers. Here's the specific language from their Conditions of Carriage, which is the contract you enter into with American when you purchase one of their tickets:

"American will endeavor to carry you and your baggage with reasonable dispatch, but times shown in timetables or elsewhere are not guaranteed and form no part of this contract. American may, without notice, substitute alternate carriers or aircraft and, if necessary, may alter or omit stopping places shown on the ticket. Schedules are subject to change without notice. American is not responsible for or liable for failure to make connections, or to operate any flight according to schedule, or for a change to the schedule of any flight. Under no circumstances shall American be liable for any special, incidental or consequential damages arising from the foregoing."

So, like it or not, this is what you agreed to when you purchased your ticket. The lesson to be learned here is that schedules do change, and that there is definitely a point of diminishing benefit to the consumer when it comes to advance purchase. You'll almost never come out on top buying an airline ticket six or seven months ahead of time. If you book 21 to 42 days out, the chances of a schedule change will be greatly diminished -- and you'll probably pay considerably less, too.

Last edited by AADFW; Feb 7, 2012 at 2:30 AM.
Old Feb 7, 2012, 2:47 AM
AADFW AADFW is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 117
Default One more thought...

Have you considered sending a thoughtful, typewritten letter to American Airlines' Ft. Worth headquarters asking for a full refund on the basis of these schedule changes? Of course they don't have to honor such a request, but you just might have better luck doing this than by calling Central Reservations. Just a suggestion.
Old Feb 7, 2012, 11:17 PM
LoriB LoriB is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 2
Default already got refund

I already got the full refund but it cost me $275 more, per ticket, to get non-stop flights now. I booked on Jet Blue, a partner of American. I still feel that I should be given the difference in the cost of these tickets since they are partner airlines. And if I had reserved with Jet Blue back in November, my tickets would have cost less than they did now. Just poor business practice.
Old Aug 1, 2012, 8:56 PM
degnanjh degnanjh is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 2
Default American Airlines Strikes Again

I recently had a similar incident with American Airlines. When I complained to the Advantage Desk, I was told (believe me this is no exaduration) "Look, I don't really care about your stupid problem." I responded "This is probably why your airline is having so many problems and losing money." She responded " Don't you understand - I don't care - we are too big and too important - the government will come in and rescue us if we have a real problem."

The AA answer is ALL the airlines do this, its in the fine print, we can do what we want and we don't care.

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