Customer service plan

  • Customer service plan

    American Airlines and American Eagle are in business to provide safe, dependable and friendly air transportation to our customers, along with numerous related services. We are dedicated to making every flight you take with us something special. Your safety, comfort and convenience are our most important concerns. American Airlines and American Eagle initially submitted their joint Customer Service Plan to the Department of Transportation (DOT) in 1999 and updated it in 2010 and 2011.

    American Airlines and its regional airline partner American Eagle serve almost 250 cities around the world, from Abilene to Zurich, and operate more than 3400 daily flights. Our combined fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. In addition to our extensive domestic service, we serve numerous destinations in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, and Latin America. The American frequent flyer program, AAdvantage®, is the oldest and largest in the world.

    We are in business to provide safe, dependable, and friendly air transportation to our customers, along with numerous related services, in the hopes that you will fly us again and again. We work very hard to make your entire experience with us, from making a reservation to deplaning at your final destination, a positive one. Although we are successful in this effort most of the time, there are times when things do not go as smoothly as we, and you, would like. Operating a network of more than 3400 flights and servicing hundreds of thousands of passengers each day is challenging and complex. Inevitably, some of our flights are affected by adverse circumstances, some of which are within our control and some of which are not.

    This Customer service plan addresses a number of the service goals we have defined for ourselves. Every customer is important to American Airlines and American Eagle, and we are dedicated to making every flight you take with us something special. Your safety, comfort, and convenience are our most important concerns.

  • Lowest fare availability

    Customers calling our reservations office or visiting our airline ticket offices or ticket counters will be offered the lowest available fare, exclusive of Internet only fares, when specific dates and times are provided. If you do not provide specific information about your travel requirements, we will provide you with a range of fares for your general needs. In the event the lowest available fare is not quoted, American's liability is limited to the difference between the fare quoted and the lowest available fare for which the customer was eligible at that time. If lower AA fares are available online or elsewhere, we will advise this is the case.

    Helpful suggestions:

    In the U.S., please contact American Airlines or American Eagle at 800-433-7300 for further information. If assistance is needed in Spanish, you may dial 800-633-3711. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you may contact American Airlines or American Eagle at 800-543-1586. International reservations are handled through local offices, and those numbers can be found in local telephone directories.

  • Delays, cancellations and diversion events

    American Airlines and American Eagle will provide customers at the airport and onboard an affected aircraft with timely and frequent updates regarding known delays, cancellations, and diversions within 30 minutes of becoming aware of the flight irregularity, and will strive to provide the best available information concerning the duration of delays and, to the extent available, the flight's anticipated departure time.

    It is American Airlines and American Eagle's policy to contact you in advance, whenever reasonable, at the phone number(s) provided in the reservation record. If you booked your reservations with a travel agency, Reservations representatives attempt to contact the agency when no customer phone contact exists. In addition, we provide phone, email and text updates for those customers who sign up for flight status notification via aa.com.

    When cancellations and major delays are experienced, we will attempt to reroute you on our next flight with available seats. If the delay or cancellation was caused by events within our control and we do not get you to your final destination on the expected arrival day, we will provide reasonable overnight accommodations, subject to availability. If a flight is adversely affected by events beyond our control, you are responsible for your own overnight accommodations, meals and incidental expenses. American Airlines or American Eagle personnel may be able to help you obtain accommodations in these circumstances.

    It is sometimes necessary for flights to divert, or land at a location other than the flight's intended destination. Medical emergencies and severe weather conditions are examples of situations when a flight could land in another city. If we believe there is a reasonable possibility that a flight will be diverted, that information will be provided to you before departure, when available. For example, the Orange County/John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, California, has a curfew for inbound flights of 11 p.m. due to noise restrictions. If we are aware that headwinds will be particularly strong enroute and will impact the flight's arrival time, perhaps making the flight arrive too late to land at Orange County, an announcement will be made that it is possible that the flight will land at Los Angeles International Airport instead. In the event a diversion decision occurs after the aircraft has departed, the in-flight crew will inform you.

    In extreme circumstances, it is possible that a flight will cancel while on the ground in the city to which it was diverted. When this happens, we will attempt to reroute you on the next American Airlines or American Eagle flight with available seats, or in some circumstances on another airline or some other alternative means of transportation. If we are unable to reroute you, reasonable overnight accommodations will be provided by American Airlines or American Eagle, subject to availability.

    Essential customer needs during extraordinary delays

    Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our customers, and we are focused on having all our flights arrive and deplane on schedule. On very rare occasions, there may be extraordinary events that result in very lengthy onboard delays. These are situations in which an aircraft is delayed on the ground (other than on an active runway or taxiway) but does not have access to a terminal gate for more than two hours. We have developed detailed contingency plans at every domestic airport to address these situations. In such events, we will make every reasonable effort to ensure your essential needs, such as snack food, water, restroom facilities, and basic medical assistance, are met. Every American Airlines and American Eagle U.S. airport team has an operational contingency plan in place to address these needs, which includes coordination with the local airport authorities and other airlines serving the airport when appropriate. Each plan designates a local control person to coordinate activities of the local team and communicate with our central operations team at headquarters.

    Helpful suggestions

    Whenever possible give us a cell phone number when you make a reservations or check in and sign up for Flight Status Notification on aa.com.

    Assistance when your flight has been delayed or cancelled

    We expect, as you do, that American Airlines and American Eagle will operate flights on time. On occasion, the weather or other challenges can make it difficult, if not impossible to stay on schedule. When a delay or cancellation does occur, our goal is to get you to your destination safely, and as quickly as possible.

    For more information related to the services we provide to mitigate the effects of cancellations and misconnections, please click on the following link:

  • Baggage delivery

    American Airlines and American Eagle have devoted extensive resources and efforts to ensure our customers and their bags travel on the same flight. In the event your checked bags do not arrive on your flight, reasonable efforts will be made to ensure that the bag is returned to you within 24 hours for flights within the U.S. Since we cannot guarantee the delivery of baggage carried by another airline, our goal to return bags within 24 hours applies only when we are the carrier taking you to your final destination. When checked baggage is delayed, an American Airlines/American Eagle Baggage Service Representative will compensate reasonable interim expenses to purchase items necessary for immediate use. Returning your bags may take longer on international flights due to flight duration, frequency of flights, or Customs & Immigration procedures at the destination airport. American Airlines and American Eagle attempt to contact customers whose unclaimed checked baggage contains contact information. If American determines that your baggage is lost, you will be reimbursed for any checked baggage charges.

    If you are unable to locate a bag upon arrival, you should notify a baggage service agent prior to leaving the airport. At that time, the bag delivery procedure will be explained, and you will be provided with a brochure explaining the baggage recovery process. You will also be given a local or toll-free phone number that can be used for follow-up. For all U.S. locations, the number is 800-535-5225. This call center is available 24 hours a day to assist you. You will also receive periodic updates regarding the status of your baggage. For international locations, hours of operation may be limited, but a local phone number is provided so you can obtain baggage information. You may also view the status of your baggage online.

    Once a delayed or misrouted bag is located, a delivery company will return the bag to your local address at our expense. There are some circumstances that may inhibit our ability to return your bags within 24 hours:

    A record of your delayed baggage report is available and includes the contact information and delivery address you provided when you filed your report. Should you need to change this information and you filed your report within the U.S., you may contact us a 1-800-535-5225. If you filed your report outside of the U.S., please contact the local number on the delayed baggage receipt.

    Helpful suggestions:

    Although statistics suggest it is highly likely your luggage will arrive with you, there is a possibility it might inadvertently be misrouted. For this reason, it is important to place your name, address, and telephone number(s) on the outside and inside of your bag. This will also make your bag easier to identify when claiming it at your destination. You should also carry certain items onboard with you. These could include, but are not limited to, travel documents, medication, jewelry, cash, keys, business documents, electronics, or other items of particularly high personal value.

  • Baggage liability

    Domestic travel is defined as travel in which the itinerary remains within the U.S., including Puerto Rico and/or the U.S. Virgin Islands. American Airlines and American Eagle will reimburse up to $3,300 (the amount will increase to $3,400 for travel beginning on June 6, 2013) per ticketed domestic customer for lost or damaged checked baggage, subject to claim verification. The specific procedures for making lost or damaged baggage claims will be provided to you at the time a claim is filed. We will not pay for normal wear and tear on checked baggage or for loss or damage to belongings you carry on board in the passenger cabin. Certain items (e.g., cash, jewelry, cameras) are excluded from liability for lost or damaged checked baggage. A complete list of the limitations and exclusions is in our conditions of carriage and is also available upon request.

    International travel is defined as travel in which the itinerary contains one or more segments of travel outside of the U.S., including Puerto Rico and/or the U.S. Virgin Islands. For travel governed by the Warsaw Convention, we will reimburse up to $9.07 per pound, up to a maximum weight of 70 pounds per checked bag (a maximum of $634.90 per checked bag). For travel governed by the Montreal Convention, we will reimburse up to 1,131 SDR's per ticketed customer. These limits may be lower for additional pieces to certain international destinations or when using connecting carriers.

    Federal regulations require that checked baggage remain unlocked. Improperly packed items (e.g., boxes) or those considered fragile (e.g., paintings) may not be covered under American Airlines or American Eagle's baggage liability provisions. If the value of the contents of a checked bag exceeds our standard coverage you may purchase additional baggage insurance. This insurance, known as excess value coverage, may be purchased at the ticket counter when checking in. Excess value insurance does not cover damage. Not all high value items are covered by this insurance, so you should verify with the agent that your specific belongings are included.

  • Guaranteed fares and 24-hour hold policy

    When you make a reservation seven or more days prior to departure by telephone with American Airlines Reservations or via aa.com for American Airlines flights (including American Airlines flights operated by codeshare partners), the reservation can be held and the fare quoted will be guaranteed for 24 hours or until 11:59 p.m. Central Time the following day, whichever allows you more time to purchase your ticket.

    Once payment is received, normal refund policies apply to the ticket. If you elect to make changes to the itinerary, the ticket price may change.

    For additional information, in the U.S., please contact American Airlines or American Eagle at 800-433-7300 for further information. If assistance is needed in Spanish, you may dial 800-633-3711. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you may contact American Airlines or American Eagle at 800-543-1586. International reservations are handled through local offices, and those numbers can be found in local telephone directories.

  • Refunds

    American Airlines and American Eagle will strive to process eligible refunds in the time frames set out below, upon receipt of all required information. Some optional products and services tickets are not refundable.

    For all eligible paper and electronic tickets and optional products and services purchased within the U.S. with a credit card or cash, refunds will be provided within 7 business days of receipt of the required refund information. (The credit card refund may take up to two billing cycles before appearing on a credit card statement, so you should contact your credit card company directly to verify receipt of the credit.) Tickets and optional products and services purchased with a check will be refunded within 20 business days of receipt of the required information.

    Refunds for electronic tickets can be obtained by contacting our Reservations department or through the Refund section on our website at aa.com. In addition, refunds on tickets (paper and electronic) less than $3,000 can be obtained at any of our U.S. airport ticket offices or city ticket offices. All other refund requests should be sent to:

    American Airlines
    Attention: Passenger Refunds
    4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd.
    Phoenix, AZ 85034

    Fax: 800-892-3447
    International fax: 480-693-2759

    Certain refund requests cannot be accommodated in the time frames discussed above. For example, refunds for lost tickets must be held for 90 days to ensure that they are not found and used. Tickets with adjustments (for example, a customer buys a First Class ticket but actually travels in the main or coach cabin) require that we verify the itinerary and class of service flown, and this can take up to 45 days. Tickets purchased through a wholesaler that include non air portions cannot be processed as they are handled by the tour provider. Tickets that were purchased outside the U.S. require special handling because we must ensure that currency conversion rates are calculated correctly.

    Refunds for credit card purchases will be made only to the credit card account. Service charges are collected for some refunds (e.g., lost tickets).

    Helpful suggestions:

    To ensure a prompt refund, you must submit all required documentation and information, including:

  • Accommodation of customers with special needs

    Unaccompanied minor service

    American Airlines and American Eagle's unaccompanied minor service allows children in certain circumstances to travel alone on our flights.

    Guidelines for our unaccompanied minor service:

    When taking your child's reservation, we will request telephone numbers for parents or guardians. At check-in, you will also be asked to provide names, addresses, and home and business phone numbers for you and the party meeting your child. This information is used in identifying the party meeting your child upon arrival, and it will assist us in contacting you if necessary. We recommend checking in early at the airport to ensure that you have adequate time to complete the required paperwork and pre-board your child.

    The welfare of unaccompanied minors is a matter we take very seriously. In advance or upon check-in, if there is a possibility that your child's flight might be delayed or misconnect for any reason, we may change your child's flight schedule, including the departure date.

    An airport representative will assist your child at the connecting city, escort your child to his or her next flight, and deliver your child to the person meeting him or her at the destination airport. We do not accept reservations for an unaccompanied child if it would mean his or her connecting flight would be the last flight of the day.

    Additional details on our unaccompanied minor service are available from Reservations.

    Helpful suggestions:

    Customers with disabilities

    American Airlines and American Eagle endeavor to provide passengers with disabilities dignified, professional, and courteous service at all times. We have a team of employees who regularly consult with disability advisory groups on how we can improve airline accessibility and the quality of our service.

    Reservations special assistance coordinators

    American Airlines and American Eagle Reservations Offices maintain a staff of Special Assistance Coordinators (SACs) whose function is to make pre-travel arrangements for our customers with disabilities. They have been specifically trained to work with customers who have self-identified as having a disability and are requesting special assistance. In addition, they have been trained as Complaint Resolution Officials to effectively resolve any disability complaints.

    The Reservations representative who responds to the customer's initial call passes pertinent information to a SAC. They will then personally contact the customer to arrange their special needs and provide a toll-free number for follow up questions. This information is communicated to Airport and Flight Services personnel to ensure all American personnel are notified and prepared to fulfill the customer's request.

    Pre-reserved seats

    American Airlines and American Eagle block a limited number of seats on each aircraft to accommodate customers who identify themselves as having a qualified disability. Adjacent seats are provided, under certain circumstances, for customers with disabilities who must travel with a companion for assistance.

    Carry-on assistive devices

    Canes, crutches and walkers capable of being collapsed small enough to fit into approved overhead and under seat stowage areas do not count toward your carry-on baggage item limit. They must be small enough to be stowed in such a manner as not to protrude into any seating row floor space or main aisle. Items such as seat cushions, detachable control boxes, armrests or footrests may also be carried on board with you.

    Electronic medical assistive devices such as CPAP machines, respirators, ventilators that use non-spillable batteries may be accepted in the cabin on an individual basis provided they meet certain safety testing standards.

    Wheelchairs

    American Airlines and American Eagle accept motorized and non-motorized assistive devices for transport. When necessary, we will disassemble and reassemble wheelchairs or assistive devices for customers when they travel. American Airlines and American Eagle provide storage for one passenger's collapsible, manual wheelchair in the cabin of each aircraft. This service is available on a first-come, first-served basis and has priority over carryon baggage belonging to other customers who board at the same city, provided the customer follows the pre-boarding procedure. In-cabin stowage space for assistive devices cannot be pre-reserved, but American Airlines and American Eagle accept carryon wheelchairs, provided they collapse to fit in an overhead bin or under a seat.

    Non-collapsible wheelchairs/scooters are accepted as checked baggage. These items can be checked at the main ticket counter or the departure gate. American Airlines and American Eagle offer a special wheelchair service that allows you to check your wheelchair at the departure gate and claim it at your arrival gate free of charge. Although you can arrange to claim your chair at the connecting city, we recommend that the chair be checked through to the final destination. The additional time required to claim and recheck your chair at the connecting city may compromise your ability to make your connection. American Airlines and American Eagle have wheelchairs and our representatives provide wheelchair service at connecting airports. Please let us know you will need this assistance when making your reservation.

    Assistive devices approved for cabin transport do not count toward the combined number of checked and carryon baggage a passenger is allowed free of charge, nor do they count toward the limit on carryon items you may bring on board.

    Boarding assistance

    If you have special needs, upon request, pre-boarding assistance will be provided to you, allowing you the opportunity to be seated prior to general boarding. A special aisle chair is available to assist you if you are unable to walk, and all of our jet aircraft are equipped with specially designed seats that feature moveable aisle armrests to help make seating easier.

    Medical oxygen

    Customers requiring inflight medical oxygen may use only FAA-approved portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) during all phases of the flight. A 48-hour advance notice is required to complete medical paperwork and to ensure that an adequate supply of fully-charged batteries is available to power the device. Please contact Reservations at 1-800-433-7300 to arrange for assistance.

    FAA approved POC:

    *SeQual Eclipse (models 1000, 1000A, and 1000B), and SeQual Eclipse SAROS may not be used on Republic Airlines. These models are too large to fit under the seat for use on board the aircraft. These models may be transported in the cabin as assistive devices and stowed in the overhead compartments, but these models cannot be used on board the aircraft.

    **Approved for use on American mainline aircraft; however, only approved on a case-by-case basis on Envoy aircraft.

    Complaint resolution officials for customers with special needs

    We have employees at airports who are trained as Complaint Resolution Officials (CROs) and are available during operating hours. A Corporate Complaint Resolution Official is also available to assist CROs 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

  • Flights with oversales

    American Airlines and American Eagle, like most airlines, overbook flights. We do this because historical information shows that some people do not cancel their reservations when they change their travel plans. Overbooking is done in the best interest of both customers and the airline. Without the revenue produced by filling seats that would otherwise go empty, every airline would have to compensate by raising fares. And just as important, selling our seats in this manner allows us to say "yes" rather than "no" a lot more often when customers call for a seat on the flight of their choice. Just because a flight is overbooked, it does not necessarily mean that customers with reservations will not be accommodated on their flight. The overwhelming majority of overbooked flights depart with all customers who have reservations and are present for departure.

    If at departure time more customers with confirmed reservations are present than there are seats available, gate agents will first ask for volunteers who are willing to give up their seats in exchange for compensation and a confirmed seat on a later flight. On extremely rare occasions, a customer may be denied boarding on an involuntary basis, if a sufficient number of volunteers are not obtained. In such events, we will usually deny boarding based upon check-in time, but we may also consider factors such as severe hardships, fare paid, and status within the AAdvantage program. With few exceptions, persons denied boarding involuntarily are entitled to compensation under federal law.

    Additional information concerning our overbooking policies can be found in our conditions of carriage. Upon request, reservations representatives or airport agents will advise you if your flight is overbooked at the time your reservation is made or during airport check-in. Keep in mind that most overbooked flights do in fact have sufficient seats to accommodate all customers who are present for departure.

  • Customer loyalty program - AAdvantage

    The AAdvantage program, the first frequent traveler program in the industry, began in 1981. Anyone wishing to enroll in the AAdvantage program can do so instantly at any American Airlines or American Eagle ticket counter, online at the aa.com website, or by calling 800-433-7300.

    AAdvantage members earn mileage credits by flying on American Airlines, American Eagle and oneworld® carriers, as well as on other airline participants. Members also earn mileage credits when using affiliated credit/debit cards or by purchasing products/services from participating car rental and hotel companies, retailers and a wide variety of service providers. In fact, over half of all miles earned are for products and services other than flying.

    Members can earn miles at more than 1,000 participating companies, which include over 30 hotel chains representing more than 60 brands, more than 20 airlines, eight car rental companies, 12 financial companies and over 350 brand name retailers. In addition, members can earn miles when making purchases with one of more than 100 affinity card products in over 40 countries.

    Your AAdvantage miles do not expire if you have at least one qualifying transaction within the previous 18 months. All types of mileage-earning and redeeming transactions are included - anything from a mileage-earning flight on American Airlines or American Eagle to purchases using the Citi® / AAdvantage® card.

    AAdvantage benefits are numerous and varied. You can claim an AAnytime® award, for any seat on any flight, with no blackout dates. If you have a more flexible plan, you can claim MileSAAver® awards. These awards are subject to capacity controls (a seat inventory control process used by airlines) and travel embargo dates, but they can be claimed with fewer miles than AAnytime awards. All awards can be issued in any name you designate, subject to the rules prohibiting the sale or barter of awards. In addition, you can donate your miles to the Miles for Kids in Need® program, which provides transportation for seriously ill children.

    American Airlines reserves the right to change AAdvantage program rules, regulations, travel awards and special offers at any time without notice and to end the AAdvantage program with six months notice. Any such changes may affect your ability to use the mileage awards or credits that you have accumulated. Members may not be able to obtain all offered awards at all times or use awards for all destinations or on all flights. Unless specified, AAdvantage miles earned through promotions/offers do not count toward elite-status qualification or Million MilerSM status. AAdvantage travel awards, mileage accrual and special offers are subject to government regulations. American Airlines is not responsible for products or services offered by other participating companies.

    Beginning in 2000, an annual report of award redemption will be published, both at the aa.com website and in the AAdvantage newsletter.

    The number of awards claimed in 2014 in each AAdvantage mileage redemption category:*

    *With the implementation of One-Way Flex Awards, AAdvantage awards are now reported as one-way awards.

  • Other travel policies

    Aircraft assignment

    American Airlines and American Eagle Reservations representatives will advise you when it will be necessary for you to move from one aircraft to another during your travel, including when the flight number remains the same.

    Travel itinerary policy

    American Airlines and American Eagle tickets are priced and sold based on the itinerary, and not as individual flight segments. If you foresee or must make a change to the itinerary while en route, you must contact American Airlines or American Eagle to determine how this may affect the ticket and remaining travel plans. For example, if you do not show up for one segment of your itinerary, we may cancel your reservations on all remaining flight segments.

    Seat assignment

    American Airlines and American Eagle make every attempt to honor pre-assigned seats, we are not always able to do so, and therefore do not guarantee pre-reserved seats.

    Aircraft configuration

    American Airlines and American Eagle Reservations representatives are able to provide you with a wide variety of information related to the American Airlines and American Eagle fleets. Aircraft configuration, seat size, and seat pitch are just a few examples of information that can be obtained from our Reservations representatives. This information is also available at the aa.com website.

    Itinerary changes

    American Airlines and American Eagle commit that we will advise you of any changes to your itinerary in a timely manner and will contact you via contact information which you provided in your reservations for any changes to flight schedules after booking.

    Service with domestic codeshare partners

    American Airlines and American Eagle will make their Customer Service Plan readily available to all of our domestic Codeshare partners and, to the extent possible, make every reasonable effort to ensure our partners offer comparable levels of service.

    Handling of customer issues

    Our goal is to be a service and product leader in the airline industry. When customer service issues arise, we try to resolve them at the first point of contact. As a result, we have devoted resources to the front line and rely on our personnel to solve most problems during daily activity.

    Additionally, our Customer Relations department is dedicated to addressing unresolved customer comments and concerns. The Customer Relations department will respond to our customers' written complaints within 60 days. Every complaint will be personally read and a response will be sent to the customer.

    Customer Relations information, along with information derived from customer focus groups, discussions, and other customer research surveys, is trended and shared throughout American Airlines and American Eagle. Customer Relations and other departments have the responsibility to address and initiate appropriate corrective action and make recommendations to changes in policy based on customer feedback. Customer information is viewed as the most valuable tool available to enhance the products and services we offer.

    Should you prefer to use U.S. Mail, the address is:

    U.S. Mail/Overnight Mail American Airlines Customer Relations
    4000 E. Sky Harbor Blvd.
    Phoenix, AZ 85034

    Fax: 480-693-2300

    Complaints and comments about airline service may also be submitted to the office of the Aviation Consumer Protection Division at:

    Aviation Consumer Protection Division, C-75
    U.S. Department of Transportation
    1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E.
    Washington, D.C. 20590

    Helpful suggestions:

    We take the customer service goals in this plan very seriously. We know that you expect nothing less. However, the Customer Service Plan does not create contractual or legal rights. Rather, our contractual rights and obligations are set out in our conditions of carriage and applicable tariffs, both of which provide additional details on the matters discussed and must be consulted to fully understand your rights and our obligations. For example, we are not responsible for any special, incidental, or consequential damages for delays, cancellations, lost baggage, late refunds, or instances in which we do not meet our service goals.