Any Way Possible to Avoid the $150 Change Fee?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by garyst16, Sep 11, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    My wife and I were planning on a trip to OGG in October to celebrate her 50th birthday. I was able to secure a great fare of $435 each for R/T from LAX. Unfortunately, my wife was diagnosed with melanoma on her face. Thankfully, the surgery was successful and the surgeon was able to remove all of the cancer. Unfortunately, the surgery left her with nerve damage that resulted in the inability to close her eye completely. The surgeon has stated she should not be wearing contacts until her eye is able to close...she is pretty much blind without her glasses/contacts. Her reason for wanting to go to Hawaii was to snorkel...she loves seeing the tropical fish. With the nerve damage eliminating her use of contacts, snorkeling is out and she requested we cancel the trip which I will do this week.

    Does anyone know if there is any way to get around the $150 change fee? It will be hardly worth the expense with the low fare I paid for the tickets...any suggestions are welcomed!
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    A note from a doctor saying no travel can often get the fee waived.

    A prescription mask or inserts for a regular one can make the snorkeling a reasonable experience.

    Even if both of the above are no-go options you still have over $500 in airfare available after eating the $150 change fee per ticket. I certainly wouldn't just throw that away.
     
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  3. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    For your situation (trip isn't for a while) I would suggest getting a note from your doctor, but I did want to comment for anyone else out there, that I have been able to get the fee waived just by showing paperwork that I had recently been seen at the hospital.

    I got really sick on a trip to India and decided to come home early after 3 different doctors there couldn't figure out what was wrong with me. Just showing a pile of my hospital paperwork at check in got the fee waived and they really couldn't have cared less whether or not I was fit to fly. It wasn't the most pleasant 15 hour ride home, but I made it!

    Anyway, wishing your wife a speedy recovery and I hope you get to go on that trip to Maui very soon!
     
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  4. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Hulagrrl210 - Thanks for the info - we definitely have the paperwork to back up the reason for cancelling the trip. I will take your advice and see if it works - aloha!
     
  5. neuatomic
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    neuatomic Silver Member

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    +1 A bit OT, but there are makers of diving masks that do a fantastic job with prescriptions, including bifocal/trifocals! If you guys do a lot of snorkeling it may be worth the money.
     
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  6. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Thanks, neuatomic!
     
  7. neuatomic
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    neuatomic Silver Member

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    And congrats to both of you on the good news i.e. the health situation! Must have been a relief, though I can sympathize with the nerve damage. Can take awhile for those to regenerate - had a similar situation in my family and finally everything was back to normal.
     
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  8. garyst16
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    Thanks, neuatomic! Definitely a major relief. Missing out on an island adventure, and even walking away from the money is nothing compared to the outcome of the surgery - Cancer Free!!!
     
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  9. kw335
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    kw335 Silver Member

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    Or just go and celebrate the great outcome! I'm sure fun can be had even without having to snorkel or coming into contact with water :)
     
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  10. AmericanAirlines

    AmericanAirlines Official Representative

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    First of all - we're so sorry to hear about your wife! That must be tough to go through. We're glad to hear of a mostly positive outcome, though.

    As for waiving the change fee, that's handled on a case by case basis by our Resolution Desks. You'll need to call Reservations at 1-800-433-7300 and ask to speak with a Supervisor at the Resolution Desk. They'll be able to review your situation and provide assistance.
     
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  11. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    While many here have encouraged you to try to get AA to cancel the change fee, I am not optomistic that they would. Your medical reason is not a reason not to fly, it is just that the reason for the trip has disappeared. If AA allowed anyone who no longer needed or wanted to make the trip to cancel without penalty, it would open up a lot of cancellations.

    I agree with those who suggest getting prescription inserts to her snorkeling goggles. This is not new technology, has been around for quite a while and is very good. Also, there are a lot of other things to do on Maui on the land, no reason she should not go as long as she is careful about sun exposure. Good luck.
     
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  12. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    Thanks, AA! I will make that call!
     
  13. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    Impressed w/ AA monitoring and replying on the board.
     
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  14. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I agree, and also, welcome to MP! :)
     
  15. Espan

    Espan Silver Member

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    thanks
     
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  16. Espan

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    Will also add that last year, when my father fell fairly suddenly and terminally ill, AA was very responsive, fair and understanding in dealing w/ some travel plan changes I need to make. Had authoritative and true documentation from doctor/hospitals, and change fees were waved on two occasions.
     
  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Also, how'd you pay for the ticket? Many upper-tier credit cards (Amex, Visa Signature, etc.) include a limited travel insurance that may cover the $150/each change fee.
     
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  18. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    While the insurance these cards include might cover medically unable to fly, I really doubt that coverage includes "medically unable to snorkel upon arrival".
     
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  19. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Great point!
     
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