American Airlines Strips Most Passenger Protections with Latest Changes
American Airlines is making some big changes. The carrier has modified its “Conditions of Carriage”, taking away even more protections from its passengers.
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.
The 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.”
Passengers in the United States already have few protections when it comes to air travel. Even when airlines don’t follow the rules, it’s difficult to get any help.
Now American Airlines is stripping even more protections from its passengers. The airline now says that if something goes wrong, you’re on your own.
If you’re delayed for less than 4 hours, then there’s nothing you can do. Delayed for more than 4 hours? American Airlines can just refund you the price of the ticket and then you have to book last minute flights, if any are available.
It gets worse if a delay causes you to miss a connection. American Airlines will not rebook you on a different carrier, but can instead just pay you the remaining value of your ticket and again you’re left to scramble and figure out on your own how to get to your destination.
Check out the full details on the tweet 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