This is how a man got a $200 airline cancellation fee waived


If you’ve ever had to cancel a non-refundable trip at the last minute — usually you’re stuck.

But Alex Hamberger of Buffalo, New York, decided to make a dramatic, witty appeal to American Airlines to get his $200 change fee refunded.

This all started when he got sick and canceled a trip to see his niece, WIVB-TV reported.

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American Airlines waives $200 change fee

Hamberger shared the letter he wrote to American Airlines, which included a doctor’s note and even pictures! Here is just a portion of the letter, courtesy of WIVB-TV:  

Dear Most Kind and Benevolent American Airlines Customer Service Staff Member,

I write to you with the hopes that you may take mercy on me and afford a little sympathy for this flyer who was taken quite ill and had to postpone his trip to see his beloved niece.

I visited the doctor that evening and he was sufficiently concerned with my symptoms that he suggested I cancel my planned trip to Kansas City the following day. “WHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY,” I wondered silently to myself. It seemed like a little cold, but alas, he concluded travel was unreasonable and issued me the enclosed note. Always a rule follower, I abided by his advice.

I know you must deal with testy and ornery travelers all the time, and I assure you I am not one of those. If I’m not able to recoup this cost, I’m most understanding. I thank you for all you do to make the travel dreams of flyers such as myself a reality.

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A few weeks later, American Airlines responded and waived the $200 charge!

“To have such a nice response from someone at the company, just brightened my whole day,” Hamberger told WIVB-TV. “Even the days since then, since I’ve been thinking about it and talking about it with different people.”

If you’re thinking that you might want to try something like this one day, read Hamberger’s full letter here.

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