Skip to content
Money in the envelope

Your American Airlines Refund Is Taking Forever. What Can You Do Next?

Your American Airlines refund does not seem to be being handled as quickly as you had hoped.

If you’ve requested a refund for a cancelled flight and find yourself in a state of uncertainty, whether you’ve received an update or are still waiting for communication, one thing is clear: the European Union has established specific refund procedures that must be followed. According to these regulations, if your American Airlines flight originates from Europe, your refund needs to be processed within 7 days.

What actions can you take if the waiting period exceeds this limit?

American Airlines Refund Delays: Your Course of Action

In the event of flight cancellation, the airline is mandated to offer a refund.

In the European Union, if an airline cancels a flight, they are required to offer either a full refund or an alternative flight. It’s important to note that in some cases, you may be eligible for a refund only, while in other situations, you may also be able to claim compensation for flight cancellation. This law applies to all European airlines.

These refund policies also apply to certain non-European airlines’ flights. If American Airlines cancels your Europe-departing flight, you are entitled to receive an American Airlines refund or be offered an alternative flight. Depending on the situation, you may also be eligible for flight cancellation compensation.

As American Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to American Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

Step 1: Contact American Airlines

Your American Airlines flight leaving from Europe is cancelled.

And your American Airlines refund is delayed. So, what can you do?

Initiate contact with American Airlines’ customer service through their website.

They ought to respond to you within a week unless there is a big, unanticipated incident, such as a worldwide epidemic. Send follow-up messages if you haven’t heard back from them after a week. If required, repeat this approach after a few days to capture their attention.

Step 2: Use Social Media to Get in Touch with American Airlines

If your efforts to contact American Airlines are being ignored, switch to social media.

If several weeks have passed and your emails and messages are not being acknowledged, use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach out to American Airlines. Remind them of the 7-day refund processing period. Reference Regulation (EC) No 261/2004, Articles 5 and 8.

Step 3: Say No to Vouchers

For flights from Europe, you should expect your reimbursement directly into your bank account.

You’re under no obligation to take American Airlines vouchers.

If the journey starts outside the EU, you might have no option but to accept vouchers, as the EU regulations don’t apply to non-European flights, given that American Airlines is not an EU carrier.

Step 4: Approach the National Enforcement Body (NEB)

Every EU member state has its NEB.

Contact the NEB from the country of your flight’s departure. For example, if your flight departs from Germany, reach out to the Nationale Beschwerde- und Durchsetzungsstelle Fluggastrechte. For additional information, click here.

The fourth method produces the best outcomes. The respective NEB usually takes two months to reach a decision. After that, you will have to wait for American Airlines to implement the payment. To get the best result, maintain consistent communication with them on American Airlines’ social media pages and other channels.

As American Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to American Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

American Airlines airplane

American Airlines Refund: When Are You Entitled to a Refund?

Under EU regulations, you’re eligible for a total refund if American Airlines cancels your flight from Europe.

If a flight is cancelled, American Airlines is obligated to offer you a choice between an alternative flight (at no extra charge) or a full refund of your ticket fare. This applies regardless of the reason for the cancellation, including exceptional circumstances or last-minute flight cancellations. The cancellation reimbursement must be granted within one week.

Any delay in these refunds from the airline breaches EU regulations, and passengers have the right to seek further measures.

As American Airlines is a non-European airline, these EU regulations apply only to American Airlines flights departing from the EU and the UK.

What If You Decide to Cancel the Flight?

Can American Airlines refund you if you cancel your flight?

If you cancel, the method for a refund gets a little more complicated. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Flexible tickets. If you’ve opted for a flexible ticket, you are likely eligible for a refund, but always verify the airline’s terms and conditions to confirm.
  • Non-refundable tickets. In the case of non-refundable tickets, you typically won’t be able to get a full refund. However, airlines may agree to refund the taxes included in your ticket price.
  • Travel insurance. If you’ve purchased travel insurance that covers cancellations, you may be able to secure a refund from your insurance provider, depending on the cancellation reasons.
  • Cancellation within 24 hours of booking. Some airlines offer a complete refund if you cancel your flight within 24 hours of booking, given that the booking was made at least 7 days before the flight’s departure.
  • Unexpected circumstances. If you are forced to cancel due to unexpected circumstances, such as illness or a death in the family, the airline may offer a refund or credit for future travel; this depends on the airline’s policy.

Flight Cancellation Due to Extraordinary Circumstances: Can You Get a Refund?

It’s not uncommon for flights to be cancelled because of extraordinary circumstances.

Extraordinary circumstances are: severe weather conditions, strikes by airport personnel (but not strikes by the airline’s crew), or safety concerns. In these instances, the airline is usually not held accountable for the cancellation, and so compensation isn’t supplied.

Nevertheless, Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Union insists that passengers be given a choice — a complete refund or the option of an alternate route, regardless of the cancellation’s cause. Hence, even when flights are cancelled due to extraordinary circumstances, your right to a refund is preserved.

Remember, the refund should be processed within seven days. If you encounter any delay in refund processing, don’t hesitate to use the step-by-step guide outlined above.

What is your experience with American Airlines refunds? Have you ever received a refund from American Airlines? Share your experience in the comments!