Very sick. Fever.
I had a flight booked tomorrow from Miami to Boston - but there is not a chance in the world I can make that flight.
So I tried to cancel.
I logged in to American Airlines website. It didn't work.
It turns out that if you booked on an Australian website you need to log into the Australian website even when you are in America.
Logged into the Australian website and found my flight. Got up the ticket but there was no refund option.
So I googled American Airlines refunds. American Airlines has a separate website for refunds (I guess they are hoping that some people can't find it and they can deceive them out of a fare).
Alas I could not log in with my Australian booking number.
So I googled refunds, American Airlines Australia. There is a site and I could find my booking but there was no option to refund.
But they did link a phone number.
Got put through to a voice recognition phone centre that could not recognize me.
After about ten minutes I get an operator who can't do the refund - but they did eventually transfer me to an international operator who could do the refund. Slowly.
It was done.
I assure you that it is harder to get a refund from American Airlines than it is as a Herbalife distributor.
And the process is far more deceptive.
I am waiting until some hedge fund manager comes out with a billion dollar short on American Airlines. Meanwhile I am going to write to the Federal Trade Commission about American Airlines unfair behaviour.
Alas I will have to deal with this rather severe limitation on the FTC's power:
(n) Standard of proof; public policy considerations
The Commission shall have no authority under this section or section 57a of this title to declare unlawful an act or practice on the grounds that such act or practice is unfair unless the act or practice causes or is likely to cause substantial injury to consumers which is not reasonably avoidable by consumers themselves and not outweighed by countervailing benefits to consumers or to competition. In determining whether an act or practice is unfair, the Commission may consider established public policies as evidence to be considered with all other evidence. Such public policy considerations may not serve as a primary basis for such determination.
You see the practice of American Airlines - which makes it ridiculously difficult to claim a refund which you are entitled to seems unfair. I guess if it is "reasonable" then the Commission has no power to declare it unlawful on the grounds that it is unfair.
The process at Herbalife is much easier. It is reasonably easy to get a full refund and the refund includes postage. The section above somewhat it seems limits the FTC's power in the Herbalife case.