You’re probably here because you’re one of the many passengers who have been disappointed by the largest US airline and seek reparation in the form of an American Airline flight delay compensation.
Sure, unlike other airlines, we haven’t heard about them dragging a passenger off the plane by force. But we know for a fact that they are not beyond reproach, and your being here confirms that.
Rest assured that even though they are one of the largest air carriers in the world, American Airlines don’t go away with flight delays, cancellations, and overbooking. We don’t let them.
We’re here to help YOU turn your upsetting air travel experience with the American giant into a flight compensation, just like we’ve helped many before you. At ClaimCompass, we’re used to dealing with American Airlines and fighting for the little guy.
US regulations don’t always protect passengers as much as they should, but with our expertise in air passenger law, you can be sure that if American Airlines owes you money, we’re going to help you get it.
With this guide, you will:
You might be entitled to up to 600€ from the airline!
Because US regulations do not protect passengers in cases of flight delays and cancellations, most US passengers are convinced that they cannot claim compensation when their flight with American Airlines is disrupted.
That couldn’t be more wrong. ClaimCompass is here to help you make sure that your compensation claim is a success.
Simply fill out the details of your flight is our free Compensation Calculator and in less than 3 minutes, you’ll know if you’re entitled to compensation from the largest airline in North America.
Even when they know that they have a right to compensation, many passengers fail to secure what they’re owed by the airline. As if the trouble caused by a disrupted flight wasn’t enough already!
ClaimCompass makes claiming a flight compensation fast and easy. We take care of everything for you.
According to the US Department of Transportation (DOT), “airlines do not guarantee their schedules”. That’s why in the US, “airlines are not required to compensate passengers when flights are delayed or cancelled”.
This means that in the US, you won’t be compensated for a delayed domestic flight.
However, you CAN claim compensation for a flight delay under EU law when travelling with American Airlines. According to EC261, you are eligible to an American Airlines delayed flight compensation when your flight departed from the European Union (EU) and arrived in the US.
To be eligible to a flight delay compensation under European law, you must reach your final destination at least 3 hours late.
For example, if your flight from London to New York with American Airlines arrived 3 hours later than scheduled, you’re eligible to compensation.
When are you NOT eligible to compensation for a delayed American Airlines flight?
- Your flight was delayed by less than 3 hours
- Your flight departed from the US and arrived in the EU
- It was a domestic US flight
If you’re eligible for compensation from American Airlines, you will get:
As a rule of thumb, according to the EU regulation, the amount of the flight delay compensation varies according to the distance of the journey:
In practice, since the distance between Europe and the US is longer than 600€, you will be eligible for a delayed flight compensation of 600€.
Mind the exception to the rule, though: if the flight is delayed by more than 3 hours but less than 4 hours, American Airlines is allowed to reduce the compensation amount by 50%. You’d be entitled to “only” 300€.
As per EU regulations, passengers victim of flight delays longer than 5 hours at departure may ask for the refund of their flight ticket. The amount should either be paid in cash or credited in the passenger’s bank account or credit card.
Keep in mind that your passenger rights to a refund is different from your right to compensation: this means that you can get both. If your flight still hasn’t taken off 5 hours after the scheduled time of departure, you can claim a refund, and if you reach your destination more than 3 hours late, you could also claim a delayed flight compensation.
Just like for delays, the Department of Transportation doesn’t force airlines to pay compensations to their passengers when they cancel their flight. Passengers have to rely on the EU Regulation 261/2004 to get compensated for the cancellation of their flight.
To claim compensation for your cancelled flight with American Airlines, you must meet all the following conditions:
- You were informed of the flight cancellation less than 14 days in advance or were not informed, and
- The cancelled flight was supposed to depart from the EU and land in the US
(Note: there are a few exceptions - check out our post on cancelled flight compensation to know more).
Whether American Airlines offered you a rerouting will influence both your right to compensation and, when you are eligible, the amount of the flight cancellation compensation.
You are NOT eligible to compensation when:
- You cancelled your ticket yourself
- American Airlines warned you about the cancellation more than 14 days in advance
According to EU regulations, the compensation amount for a cancelled flight is based on:
- The length of the journey
- The length of the delay at your final destination (provided that American Airlines offered you a rerouting)
For flights longer than 3,500km like those from Europe to the US, you can get:
American Airlines’ customer service is, generally speaking, up to the standards of a large, international airline. As such, the American giant will often rebook you on a later flight when they have to cancel the one you booked.
Keep in mind that should the arrangements they automatically made for you do not suit your travel plans, you do not have to accept them! Feel free to request further changes or request a full refund for your flight cancellation.
In 2019, American Airlines has bumped more passengers than all other US airlines combined. It’s safe to assume that the American giant will continue selling more tickets than they have seats on the plane in 2020.
Fortunately, both US and EU regulations protect passengers from boarding denials caused by overbooking. If this happened to you, know that you are entitled to a denied boarding compensation. To be eligible, however, you must not volunteer to surrender your seat or accept any other kind of benefits.
The amount planned by US regulations is different from that of the EU law.
Under EU law, you are entitled to the same amount when bumped off an overbooked flight as you would be if the flight was cancelled:
According to US law, however, the amount of your compensation is determined by the ticket price:
In most cases, you can only claim with either the EU or the US regulations… except if you’re bumped off a flight from Europe to the US. In that case, check which law is the most favorable to you before claiming your overbooking compensation.
Keep in mind that you are NOT entitled to compensation for overbooking from American Airlines when:
- You accepted to surrender your seat when a gate agent asked for volunteers
- You accepted another form of compensation (miles, travel voucher, seat upgrade, etc.)
- You were denied boarding because you presented yourself too late for check-in or didn’t have the necessary travel documents
In the US, to contact American Airlines or their regional partner, American Eagle, dial 800-433-7300. By pressing 00 and saying “agent”, you will eventually be transferred to a live person.
Note that American Airlines doesn’t have a live chat, so this phone number is your only chance to speak with a real person from the company.
The Department of Transportation requires US airlines to “acknowledge consumer complaints within 30 days of receiving them and to send consumers written responses addressing these complaints within 60 days of receiving them.”
American Airlines is no exception. At ClaimCompass, we found that American Airlines is rather fast to reply to compensation claims, as they will generally process your flight delay compensation claim in 76 days on average, which, believe it or not, is faster than many airlines.
Did you know that American Airlines is the largest airline in the world? It’s the biggest US airlines, before Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.
They have the largest fleet of all carriers, with close to 1,000 aircrafts, operating the largest fleet of A321 and A319.
They serve the most routes (over 1,100) after Ryanair, flying to nearly 350 destinations spread over more than 50 countries. . It is also the airline that flies its passengers the farthest (128.5 billion RPM in 2018).
American Airlines is headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) in Texas, which is also one of its main hubs, along with New York (JFK), Chicago (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), Philadelphia (PHL), Washington DC (IAD), and Phoenix (PHX).
Their frequent flyer program, AAdvantage, is the largest in the world. Free to join, it lets travellers who often fly with American Airlines claim benefits such as miles, seat upgrades, and discounts on hotel and car rentals with their partners.
As part of their luggage allowance, American Airlines let their passengers bring one carry-on and one personal item in the cabin. Their respective dimensions must not exceed 56x36x23cm and 45x35x20cm. You can also travel with a free checked bag.
The tab below provides specific data regarding the airline's on-time performance. It includes the amount of flights operated by the airline each month, which portion of these flight arrived on time (i.e with less than 15 minutes delay), which portion consists of delayed flights, and the average delay of their flights in minutes. Source: Flightstats.com
Since the beginning of 2018, American Airlines’ on-time performance has worsen quarter after quarter, from only 18% of their flights arriving late in the first quarter to over 22% between July and September. Despite that, American Airlines’ on-time performance remains slightly below average, with a rating of 5.6 out of 10. It’s worth pointing out that American Airlines is not only the largest US airline, it’s also the largest one in the world, operating close to 200,000 flights every month. However, because it is not an EU airline, compensation claims to American Airlines under EC261 can only be made for disrupted flights departing from the EU.
At ClaimCompass, we have experience dealing with the airline. Many passengers have already asked us to help them get their flight compensation from American Airlines. As you can see below, American Airline is rather cooperative when it comes to processing compensation claims:
American Airlines is quick to issue a statement once the claim has been made - a couple of weeks on average. They are also faster than the average to pay their passengers’ compensation when it is due: it takes them less than 10 weeks. The US airline is respectful of the European Regulation. As such, few to no cases require the intervention of the court. However, in October 2018, American Airlines implemented a new policy asking their airport agents not to rebook their economy passengers on competing airlines. They did not provide any time limit indicating how long passengers would have to wait. This goes against the EU Regulation stating that the airline must provide passengers a replacement flight to their destination. In cases where there are no seats available on their next flights, they must provide tickets on flights operated by another airline.
Yes, you can get an American Airlines compensation for your delayed flight from the EU to the US.
Even though American Airlines is a non-EU air carrier, they are under the jurisdiction of EC261, the European regulation, when flying from Europe. As such, when their flights are delayed by at least 3 hours, they must pay compensation to their passengers (300€ for a delay between 3 and 4 hours, 600€ for a delay longer than 4 hours).
Yes, if you missed your connection because your first leg with American Airlines arrived late, you could be entitled to compensation.
There are, however, several restrictions. For example, your entire journey must be booked under the same reservation for you to be eligible: if you booked two separate tickets and missed your connection, you won’t be compensated.
Read more about it in our complete guide on missed connection compensation.
Because as one of the largest airlines in the world, operating over 5,000 flights every day, American Airlines flights are more likely to get delayed.
In 2019, about 19.67% of American Airlines’ flights were delayed by at least 15 minutes. This may seem like a high proportion of delayed flights, but it is actually below the industry average.
Start by making sure that you keep all your travel documents instead of throwing them away: you will need them to prove that you are eligible for a flight compensation.
Ask a gate agent what is the cause of the disruption and try to get a written statement. Keep in mind that they may not know the exact reason - don’t worry, we have ways to make sure that they were not lying when you submit your claim with us.
If you still haven’t taken off 2 hours after the original time of departure, you can request a meal and refreshment: this is part of your “right to care”. Should the delay or cancellation postpone your journey till the next day, the airline must also provide you with a hotel room and transportation between there and the airport.
Depending on the length of the delay, the airline may arrange a rebooking on the next flight. If those travel plans do not suit you, ask for a refund for the fare of the original flight and make your own travel arrangements instead.
Once you reach your destination, check how late the plane arrived compared to the initial flight schedule. If it’s more than 3 hours, submit a flight delay compensation claim.
As a rule of thumb, you’re not eligible for delayed or cancelled flight compensation when the EU regulation isn’t applicable or the disruption wasn’t within American Airlines’ control. When your flight with AA is delayed or cancelled, start by checking if you’re entitled to compensation by using our free Compensation Calculator.
If you’re not, this may be because the EU regulation is not applicable in your situation (for example, the flight didn’t leave from the European Union).
Another reason that could explain why you’re not eligible is that American Airlines cannot be held responsible for the delay or cancellation. This happens when the flight is disrupted by “extraordinary circumstances”. Also called “Acts of God”, they include for instance air traffic control restrictions, bad weather, security risks, or medical emergencies.
Since American Airlines cannot do anything against, say, adverse weather conditions such as a hurricane, you won’t be compensated if they have to cancel your flight as a result.
Regulations in the United States set up rules for American Airlines to follow when the aircraft is stuck on the runway.
During long tarmac delays of at least 2 hours, American Airlines must provide food, water, and access to the lavatories. They must also let passengers disembark if the delay reaches 3 hours for domestic flights, or 4 hours for international flights.
The American Airlines compensation is calculated based on the distance of the flight. Since all flights from Europe to the United States are longer than 3,500 km, the usual compensation amount is 600€.
The length of the delay also affects the compensation amount: if the delay is over 4 hours, you’re always entitled to 600€. But if it’s only between 3 and 4 hours, the compensation is reduced by 50%, to “only” 300€.
As you can see, under EC261, the flight delay compensation isn’t calculated according to your ticket price. The only situation where the price of your ticket determines the compensation amount is when claiming an overbooking compensation under US regulations.