American Airlines Makes Negative Changes
American Airlines has modified its “Conditions of Carriage”. This is a contract between the carrier and the passenger that defines the rights, duties and liabilities of both parties parties. These are things that people don’t usually read in detail, but you should be aware of some important points such as the recent changes from American Airlines. They will negatively impact your travel experience when things go wrong and your flight is delayed of canceled.
All this comes as more people are traveling again, and the airline itself took in billions in grants and loans from taxpayers to survive the pandemic. These AA changes were first reported by JT Genter who detailed them on a thread on Twitter.
American Airlines Conditions of Carriage
Here are some of the main changes that are the most important for passengers:
- American Airlines says it is not responsible if a flight is delayed or canceled. “If we or our airline partner fails to operate or delays your arrival more than 4 hours, our sole obligation is to refund the remaining ticket value and any optional fees according to our involuntary refunds policy.”
- When a delay or cancellation causes a missed connection, American Airlines will “rebook you on the next American Airlines or American partner flight with available seats.” This is a big change from the previous wording that said any “next flight with available seats.” In practice, AA has been doing this for a long time now. So this just makes it official. It also noted that you need “written authorization from American Airlines,” to book your own arrangements. Otherwise you’ll be “responsible to pay for your hotel, meals and other expenses.”
- If you’re cleared for an upgrade, then American Airlines will “rebook you in your originally ticketed cabin or class with your original form of payment.” That makes sense when it’s a complimentary upgrade, but not on other cases.
Passengers in the United States already have few protections when it comes to air travel. Some of these changes to American Airlines’ Conditions of Carriage actually reflect common practice over the last few years.
Now American Airlines is putting some of these practices in writing, and stripping even more protections from its passengers. And all of this was done without any notice. The airline now says that if something goes wrong, you’re pretty much on your own.
Check out the full Twitter thread below:
This week, @americanair changed its Conditions of Carriage. These changes strip away rights travelers may expect when flying AA.
Here's a thread of the changes:
1. AA disclaims any liability when "we (or our partners) cancel a flight or route" pic.twitter.com/kcb8JdI6bV
— JT Genter (@JTGenter) September 5, 2021