After flying back from the US thanks to claiming victory over American Airlines, this particular Arsehole decided that they’d gotten off way too easily:
- I had to get myself back to Melbourne after the SYD-LAX leg was terminated
- The Melbourne to Sydney leg of the journey was not reissued
- The Sydney to Melbourne leg was also not reissued
- I’d spent about 3 hours sorting the situation out
I thought I’d give AA the chance to make things right, so I wrote to them.
Due to an operational decision made by AA, my journey to Los Angeles needed to be rescheduled and the original MEL-SYD and SYD-MEL segments that were purchased were not included in the reissued fare. Please detail how AA will be addressing this issue through either an appropriate refund or awarding of AAdvantage miles.
Sincerely, an Arsehole
Amazingly, AA responded with a well-intentioned but ultimately inadequate offer of 10,000 AAdvantage miles. Although that’s better than nothing, it’s not quite what I had in mind.
Although I appreciate the gesture, 10,000 AAdvantage miles is not comparable to the value that was not delivered by the reduced itinerary provided. Considering the miles, EQMs and EQDs that I did not earn due to this change and the costs I incurred as a result, I would require that the amount be increased to 75,000 AAdvantage miles to consider the matter settled.
If this does not occur, I will instruct my card issuer to raise a chargeback against the transaction.
Sincerely, an Arsehole
AA responded with “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do” to that particular missive. Of course, that isn’t true and served as excellent evidence for the chargeback process.
The particular issuer of the card used to purchase the airfare unfortunately relies on systems that were designed in 1974 and seemingly have decided to outsource their chargeback handling to an adult daycare centre that provides vodka intravenously. The process went as follows:
- Arsehole sends description of issue to card issuer
- Card issuer sends a generic e-mail requesting more information.
- Arsehole provides extensive information, and includes the statement “Please provide specific questions if any additional information is required”.
- Card issuer states that they do not have enough information and close the dispute
- The entire process is repeated 3 more times (!!!)
After the third attempt, I decided that the only way I could ensure that I would get any satisfaction at all is by being an Arsehole to the bank involved. So that’s exactly what I did:
Dear Dodgy Bank Corporation,
I have now attempted to comply with your chargeback handling process 4 times and have been given no information as to why the process has been stopped on each occasion. This conduct is in violation of the Scheme rules and is an egregious drain on my time.
Should I not receive confirmation that my case has been escalated and is being handled by someone qualified to and capable of ensuring that the dispute is raised with American Airlines in the next 48 hours, I will be referring the case to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Should I receive additional generic, non-specific requests for more information, I shall take this as an indicator that my request has not been actioned.
Love, an Arsehole
Of course, the only response was a phone call asking me to state the specifics of my dispute. Upon telling the person to stop wasting my time and look at the voluminous correspondence that I’d already provided, they committed to getting back to me the following day. They didn’t.
At this point, I had more than enough material to make a solid case with the FOS. There’s a very convenient online form for this process, and more-often-than-not does not require speaking to any humans. After 5 days, the bank in question made an offer of $1,000.00 to settle the complaint.
10,000 AAdvantage points and $1,000.00 in cash – victory!