March 4th, 2020, I was supposed to go to San Diego. Paranoid about COVID, I called AA to say that I wanted to cancel my flight. At that time, no one was worried about COVID and there was not an official government directive on the virus. As such, AA initially said it would not refund the ticket nor would it provide a voucher. After plenty of yelling, I was finally given the ‘courtesy’ of receiving a travel credit towards a future flight. The next step was to call the conference and ask for a refund. Initially, they also said no and promised that the conference would be safe. The person said, “Don’t worry, there will be plenty of hand sanitizer.” I insisted on a refund and was finally given one.
Fast forward a year later, my predictions, despite the angry comments along the way, about this terrible virus have sadly come true (see Travel Or Stay Inside? TPOL’s Thoughts on Coronavirus & Do I Stay Or Do I Go? Thoughts on the Second Covid Wave). As the anniversary of my canceled flight approached, I continued to ask AA for a refund for my ticket because I have no immediate travel plans. They would always decline stating that the ticket was non-refundable and that my voucher was valid through February 2022.
The issue is that when I viewed my voucher, it continued to say that it would expire on March 4, 2021. As the expiration date approached, I contacted American Airlines and they stopped responding.
To the shock of none, when I tried to access my voucher today, I received this:
If I call AA, they instruct me to email customer service. It seems like there is no alternative but to go back and not find justice in small courts. Perhaps this is an oversight. Or, more likely, AA did not appreciate that I called them crooks and thieves for not returning my money, opting to give me a voucher that I have no interest in using. Meanwhile, they are enjoying the bailout courtesy of American taxpayers. Contrast this to my experience with Delta which automatically extended my vouchers through December 31, 2022!