Here is one of those airline stories with a happy ending. Having been in spots before where a simple error caused a big headache, I can only imagine how bad this couple felt when this first happened. Thankfully, AA did (what I think) the right thing for them.
American Airlines Refunds Honeymoon Couple $4,000 and Their Miles
When I first read this story, I figured right away from the early sentences what had likely happened. This problem all started with AA’s fraud policy to catch people selling their miles. Only this time, part of the checklist for AA wasn’t completed and that caused this issue.
According to the news story here, the newlywed couple, the Knox couple, had booked part of their honeymoon trip to Australia from New York with American Airline miles. It was a gift from the groom’s mother. My guess is the last name on the account of the person who had the miles and the couple was different. This raises flags with AA since this is what happens with mileage brokers (which is against the terms of AAdvantage’s program).
Flagged by AA – But Never Pursued
When the couple showed up for their flight, they found out that AA had not actually allowed the ticket to go through. According to a later statement by AA, “The original reservation was flagged for potential fraud, which should have resulted in a phone call from American Airlines prior to departure. Unfortunately, we don’t have any record of reaching out in advance, which is our standard protocol.”
The agents at the airport said that they needed to speak to the account holder to confirm it. The groom’s mother was on a flight herself and out of reach so that didn’t work. In order to not miss out on their honeymoon plans, they went ahead and booked tickets on Qantas that cost them a little over $4,000.
American Airlines Refunded them the Full Amount
When the trip was over, they contacted AA for a refund and were only given vouchers of $300 each. ABC7 NY reached out to AA about this situation and AA ended up issuing a refund to the couple for the $4,000 as well as allowing them to keep the vouchers and getting the miles returned as well.
As with all airline cases you read about online, there are always some details that are missing somewhere. However, it is very hard to get airlines to pay up and their statement seems to indicate that they did make an error in not contacting the account holder by phone to verify the ticket bookings.
I am sure it is a relief for the Knox couple and I do think it was a generous move by AA to do what they did here. I am sure that has a lot to do with ABC7 NY and I think they deserve credit as well.
HT: ABC7 NY
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