Cancelled, but we'll put you on our next flight out. Whenever that might be.

Tracy Stewart, December 09, 2008
Fares from Washington DC:

    Q. My wife was booked an a Tuesday morning flight from Los Angeles to Calgary, where she was to meet me at a conference that evening. American Airlines cancelled her flight without so much as offering to book her on a later flight that day. Instead they booked her on a flight departing the following day, which didn't work for us. So my wife booked a $500 flight on Air Canada, leaving that day, and later used the second half of her original American ticket to return home.

    I asked American to reimburse us for the $500 Air Canada ticket, which they refused to do, saying they did try and book her on that next day flight.

    What recourse do I have here? Any suggestions?

    A. Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do in this case. American's cancellation policy is among the vaguest in the industry, which allows them a lot of wiggle room:

    When cancellations and major delays are experienced, you will be rerouted on our next flight with available seats.

    Other airlines will rebook you on another flight with another airline, but not American. Here's a little something from our blog addressing the very same situation. Maybe this will help you choose which airline gets your business from here on out.

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