American Airlines Refund Policy: A Detailed Overview

Navigating American Airlines' refund policies can be tricky. Read this detailed overview of their policies.

Navigating the refund policies of American Airlines can be challenging. This article provides a detailed overview of the airline’s ticket refund policies, including specific situations such as death in the family and the impact of COVID-19.

General Refund Policy

American Airlines offers a 24-hour refund policy for tickets purchased at least two days before departure. If you cancel within 24 hours of booking, you will receive a full refund to your original form of payment[1]. Refund requests must be submitted while your ticket is valid, which is within one year from the original ticket date[1]. Refunds for credit card purchases are processed within seven business days, while cash and check purchases are processed within 20 days after receiving a complete refund request[1].

Refundable vs. Nonrefundable Tickets

A refundable American Airlines ticket allows you to receive a full refund anytime before departure, regardless of the ticket type[2]. Nonrefundable tickets are only eligible for a refund within 24 hours of purchase and if the departure is more than two days in the future[2]. If you have a nonrefundable ticket and need to change or cancel your flight, you can apply the unused value of your ticket towards a future trip, subject to certain conditions[1].

Refund for Death in Family

American Airlines will waive change fees or provide a refund to the original form of payment in the event of death or critical illness of an immediate family member or travel companion[3]. To qualify for a refund, you may be required to provide a death certificate[4].

Refund Policy During COVID-19

If your flight is canceled by American Airlines or rescheduled by more than four hours, you are entitled to a full refund[5]. The airline no longer charges change or cancellation fees for domestic U.S. flights, short-haul international flights, or select long-haul international flights[6].

How to Request a Refund

To request a refund with American Airlines, follow these steps[7]:

  1. Head to the American Airlines Refund Center.
  2. Under the “Request a Refund” tab, enter the passenger’s last name and ticket number, then click “Submit.”

If you bought your ticket from a travel agent or another website, contact them directly for refund assistance[1].

Refundable Ticket vs. Trip Insurance

When deciding between purchasing a refundable ticket or trip insurance, consider the specific coverage offered by each option. A refundable ticket allows for more flexibility in case of cancellation, while trip insurance may provide additional benefits such as coverage for medical expenses, lost luggage, or trip interruption.

American Airlines Miles Ticket Refund

Flight credits, including those earned through American Airlines’ AAdvantage program, can be used for non-award trips[8]. Trip credits are not transferable or refundable, but the credit holder can use the trip credit to book a flight for others[9].

Price Drop Refund

American Airlines does not have a specific policy regarding refunds for ticket price drops. However, if you have a refundable ticket, you can cancel and rebook at the lower price, subject to the terms and conditions of your ticket.

Determining If Your Ticket is Refundable

To find out if your American Airlines ticket is refundable, check the fare rules and restrictions associated with your ticket. Refundable tickets are usually labeled as “Flexible” or “Refundable” during the booking process. You can also contact American Airlines’ customer service for assistance in determining the refundability of your ticket.

In conclusion, understanding American Airlines’ refund policies can help you make informed decisions when booking flights and dealing with unexpected changes in your travel plans. Always review the terms and conditions of your ticket and consider purchasing refundable tickets or trip insurance for added flexibility and protection.


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