American Airlines Doesn't Care If You Were Rushed To The ER With Appendicitis. You Are A No Show, And Will Receive No Refund.

“What is ya’lls experience with dealing with AA when the passenger has a case of appendicitis? My sister is going under the knife in London right now, and was admitted to the ER 6hrs before her scheduled flight back to Seattle. We’ve called AA and they say no chance of getting any sort of re-booking, rebate, coupon, or whatever because she was listed as a “No Show” for the flight. We called the airline before the flight to inform them of the situation.”

We’re not sure yet of what the recovery time will be, so we don’t know when she’ll need to fly back. Could be a week, could be more. Luckily she has her bf’s family there with whom she can stay during the recovery. I live in Munich, and my mother lives in Portland, Or where my sister will finally be returning to. Alaska Airlines is who she was flying with from Seattle to Portland and they said no problem with a reschedule for no fee which really makes American look like the bad guy.

The booking agency she used, Students Travel or something like that said they could draft some letters to send to AA, but that we shouldn’t expect any sort of a response for 6-8 months, and ‘no’ would be the likely response.

I know I should probably write up a formal letter of request, with some paperwork, and perform an executive e-mail bomb but I’m not sure how quickly I can get paperwork from the ER in London to me, in Munich.

Do you have any advice/recommendations?


Why couldn’t she just board the flight and deal with her condition in the U.S.?

The most frequent complication of appendicitis is perforation. Perforation of the appendix can lead to a periappendiceal abscess (a collection of infected pus) or diffuse peritonitis (infection of the entire lining of the abdomen and the pelvis). The major reason for appendiceal perforation is delay in diagnosis and treatment. In general, the longer the delay between diagnosis and surgery, the more likely is perforation. The risk of perforation 36 hours after the onset of symptoms is at least 15%. Therefore, once appendicitis is diagnosed, surgery should be done without unnecessary delay.

Oh, right. If she followed American Airlines’ expert medical advice, her appendix would have ruptured and turned her abdomen into a messy pool of pus-filled pain.

Sheesh. We hope your sister gets better soon! Absolutely launch the mighty executive email carpet bomb. Check the bottom of this post for a list of target addresses. You can also try a chargeback with your sister’s credit card company.

What other ideas do you Consumerists have? Can anyone get Richard Branson to swoop in and offer a lift on Virgin Atlantic? Share your wisdom in the comments.

Appendicitis and Appendectomy [MedicineNet]
RELATED: Even If You Have Colon Cancer, Spirit Air Doesn’t Give Refunds
(Photo: Getty Images)

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