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- American Airlines Refund Policy
- Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Tickets
- American Airlines Refund Request: How to Get a Refund
- 1. Cancel your AA flight and ticket online
- 2. Go to prefunds.aa.com to start the refund process
- 3. Enter you name and ticket number
- 4. Confirm the information is correct
- 5. Enter your contact information
- 6. Select the refund reason & upload any required documentation
- 7. Click submit and save your confirmation number
- Refunds on Paper Tickets
- Where do you find your American Airlines Ticket Number?
- How to check your American Airlines Refund Status
- prefunds.aa.com vs. refunds.aa.com
- Refund Policies of Other Airlines
If you booked a flight on American Airlines and now need to get your ticket refunded, here’s how to get the refund process started and what qualifies for a refund.
American doesn’t have an “easy to find” summary of its refund policy, so we put together this guide of what you need to know. This includes the steps I went through when I recently completed a refund request and the amount of time it took to receive my refund. It was much easier than I expected!
American Airlines Refund Policy
If you cancel within 24 hours of booking your ticket and it’s at least two days before your departure, you don’t need to do anything to get a refund.
You aren’t charged for the ticket until after the “24 hour hold period” expires, so you are essentially just cancelling the ticket that had not yet been paid for. There’s really nothing to refund and this is a law mandated by the DOT to all airlines.
If your flight is cancelled and you don’t want to be re-booked on another flight, you are entitled to a full refund of the ticket price.
Airfare rules have changed since COVID, so check out American Airlines travel updates page to make sure you are up to speed with the latest developments and policies.
Refundable vs. Non-Refundable Tickets
Getting a refund on a fully refundable ticket is relatively easy, but it’s a lot tougher if you have a non-refundable ticket.
American Airlines won’t issue refunds on non-refundable tickets, except for the following situations:
- If the ticket is cancelled within 24 hours of purchase (the 24 hour rule),
- If American makes a schedule change that results in a delay longer than 4 hours,
- If the passenger or passenger’s traveling companion dies, or
- Because of military orders.
Supporting documentation is required in each of these scenarios.
While you can’t get a full refund on a non-refundable ticket, you can apply the unused value of your American Airlines ticket toward a future trip if:
- Your new trip begins no later than one year from the ticket’s original issue date.
- You canceled the original ticket before the departure of the first flight.
American Airlines Refund Request: How to Get a Refund
After reading the above information, if you believe you are eligible for a refund, just go to the American Airlines refund page and follow these steps:
- Cancel your flight/ticket on the aa.com website.
- Go to the American Airlines Refund Page
- Enter your name and ticket number.
- Confirm the ticket details.
- Enter your contact information.
- Upload any supporting documentation required.
- Click submit and save your confirmation number for future reference.
- Wait 2-6 weeks to hear back from American regarding your refund status.
Now that you have the steps at a high level, I will walk you through each step with a little more detail based on the refund process I just went through with American.
AA Ticket Refund Process – My Experience Getting a Refund
I recently booked a flight for my son from Phoenix to Nashville on American Airlines. I specifically chose American because they were the only airline that offered a direct flight to Nashville from PHX. However, within 2 weeks of booking the direct flight, they cancelled the direct route and put him on connecting flights on both the outbound and return.
Based on this schedule change, I no longer wanted that flight and filed for a refund. Here is how it worked:
1. Cancel your AA flight and ticket online
I wasn’t 100% sure how well this process would work, so I first called American to confirm I could get a refund on the ticket based on the schedule change. I was told that I could get one but that everything had to be done online. The agent informed me that I first had to cancel the flight on aa.com, then I would be eligible to go to prefunds.aa.com and go through the refund process.
I logged into the aa.com website and entered my son’s flight information so that I could cancel the flight and apply for a refund. I clicked the cancel trip button and the flight was cancelled.
I then received a confirmation message that the flight was cancelled.
2. Go to prefunds.aa.com to start the refund process
Now that my flight was cancelled I was now able to go to prefunds.aa.com and start the refund process.
3. Enter you name and ticket number
I entered the passenger name and ticket number in the “ticket lookup” tab and was brought to the refund eligibility page.
4. Confirm the information is correct
I confirmed the information was correct.
5. Enter your contact information
I entered my name, phone number and email address.
6. Select the refund reason & upload any required documentation
I just chose the schedule change reason and did not upload any documentation.
7. Click submit and save your confirmation number
Once I submitted the claim, I was given a confirmation number for reference. (Print this confirmation and save it until your refund is processed.)
That’s it. The process was very easy was worked much better than I expected. I cancelled my ticket and applied for a refund on August 19. A refund approval email came the next day with the refund credited to the credit card I used to make the initial purchase.
Refunds on Paper Tickets
Refund requests for paper tickets may be submitted on the aa.com website, however you’ll be required to mail in your original coupons to American Airlines at the address below before your request can be processed.
Attention: Passenger Refunds
4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85034
Where do you find your American Airlines Ticket Number?
In case you don’t know where your ticket number is, it’s 13 characters long and contains the airline code. The ticket number is the last 10 digits. Keep in mind there are separate ticket numbers for add-ons like seats, upgrades, and bags.
There are three places you can find your ticket number:
- Confirmation email and receipt from your original ticket purchase. Look toward the end of the email under the ‘Receipt’ section.
- Receipt or Boarding Pass from the Airport or City Ticket Office – look at the bottom in the middle of the ticket.
- Credit card statement
How to check your American Airlines Refund Status
- You can check the status of your refund on the American Airlines website here.
- Just enter your ticket number, first name and last name it will provide an update.
prefunds.aa.com vs. refunds.aa.com
This is a little odd, but the American Airlines site for refunds used to be www.refunds.aa.com and is now www.prefunds.aa.com. I can’t explain why the domain name changed from “refunds.aa.com” to “prefunds.aa.com”, but it did at some point in 2013. If you go to refunds.aa.com it is just a dead page, it will not redirect you to prefunds.aa.com. Weird….
Hopefully this will help you get your refund. Good luck!