Good morning everyone. A long time ago (February 2020), I purchased 2 American Airlines award tickets to fly from LaGuardia, New York (LGA) to Dallas, Texas (DFW) to Orange County, California (SNA). Laura and I were going to be in NYC in early July and then fly to Orange County for Fourth of July weekend. I picked this route because I wanted to check out the American Express Centurion Lounges at LGA and DFW. I used 20,000 American Airlines miles per ticket (40k total), paid the taxes with my Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card, and paid for upgraded seat assignments with my American Express Gold Card and JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton Visa Infinite. Then the Coronavirus Pandemic hit and we cancelled our entire NYC trip.
This was my first time cancelling an American Airlines award ticket, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of refunds and redeposited miles. In this post, I will walk you through the timeline of events. I cancelled our American Airlines award tickets on May 7 and received the following Trip Cancellation email immediately. In the email, it said, “If you booked with AAdvantage miles, and your trip is eligible, we’ll automatically reinstate your miles within 48 hours.” Unfortunately, 48 hours came and went, but nothing happened…
On May 11, I called American Airlines to check on the status of the cancelled award ticket. The rep was very friendly and helpful in describing the process. He said I would receive refunds for the taxes paid ($5.60 x 2) and refunds for the various seat upgrades I purchased (totalling $141.95). He also said that every refund has an associated American Airlines ticket number, even for seat upgrade transactions. He then provided me with all 6 ticket numbers (2 for our original tickets + 4 for the seat upgrades). Here are the ticket numbers (last 4 numbers shown to identify each ticket number):
- GT: 001-#####-#0169 ($5.60)
- LT: 001-#####-#0170 ($5.60)
- GT: 001-#####-#3231 ($35.63)
- GT: 001-#####-#3232 ($28.90)
- LT: 001-#####-#3233 ($42.75)
- LT: 001-#####-#3375 ($34.67)
I asked about the 40,000 American Airlines miles I was still waiting for and he said he would process the award redeposit and I should see the AA miles back in my account within 1-2 days. The AA miles did post to my account on May 12, roughly 5 days after initially cancelling the award ticket.
Now it was a waiting game for those 6 refunds to post to my cards. 2 of the seat upgrade fee refunds posted to my American Express Gold Card on May 13 and a third refund posted on May 28. For those playing at home, here are the ticket numbers: 3231 ($35.63), 3232 ($28.90), & 3233 ($42.75).
Then on May 20, I received 2 refunds for the taxes/fees paid for the award tickets on my Chase Sapphire Reserve. Here are the ticket numbers: 0169 ($5.60) & 0170 ($5.60).
Last but not least, I received the fourth seat upgrade fee refund on my JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton on May 28. Here is the ticket number: 3375 ($34.67).
To summarize chronologically, here are the order of events:
- 05/07 – Cancelled AA award ticket online
- 05/11 – Called AA about missing miles and refunds
- 05/12 – 40,000 AA miles redeposited to my AA account
- 05/13 – 2 seat upgrade fee refunds posted to my AMEX Gold
- 05/20 – 2 AA taxes/fees refunds posted to my Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 05/28 – 2 seat upgrade fee refunds posted to my AMEX Gold & JPMorgan Chase Ritz Carlton
I’m really glad that all the miles and refunds posted, but I was surprised to see that the refunds came through randomly on different dates. Keeping track of the American Airlines ticket numbers is very important so you can make sure you received all your refunds. All 4 seat upgrades were purchased and originally reimbursed by airline incidentals fee credits, so now I need to wait and see if American Express and JPMorgan Chase take back the airline incidental fee credits. This is the beginning of a new waiting game. If you have any questions about the process, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!