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Last month, I wrote about how I got us 16 extra hours in Rome… FOR FREE!

rome

Due to an involuntary schedule change by American Airlines, I was able to call in and (eventually) find an agent that would open up award space on a more direct route.  So instead of leaving Rome Wednesday night and having to have an overnight connection in London before flying London-Chicago on Thursday morning, I was able to get the direct Rome-New York flight on Thursday morning, giving us 16 extra hours in Rome!

But wait… there’s more!

Another thing that changed is that by not flying through London, I am not subject to the UK Air Passenger Duty

(SEE ALSO: 4 ways to not pay UK Air Passenger Duty (APD))

My APD wasn’t as bad as it could have been, since I was just connecting, rather than originating in London.  But still it was about $100 / person that I wasn’t really excited in paying.  I’ll actually be in London earlier in the trip, and there I’m avoiding the UK Air Passenger Duty by using a Reward Flight Saver flight, which gives you a flight out of London at a fixed cost of $27.50 for all taxes, fuel surcharges and other fees.

(SEE ALSO: Questions on British Airways Reward Flight Saver flights?)

Calling American to get my $200 back

Originally I paid $164.80 per ticket (in addition to 50,000 miles for a one-way business class flight from Europe to North America).  After the change to the direct flight from Rome, you can see that my total taxes and fees dropped by OVER $100!

american-refund-taxes-rome

I was under the impression that when the flights were changed, any difference in the fees and taxes would be automatically credited back to my credit card.  After all, if it had been the reverse, they certainly wouldn’t have let me book the flights until I PAID the extra $100, right?

But for some reason, I did not see the refund, so I called in.  It took a little bit of time, but eventually I found an agent that knew what I was talking about, and she refunded my $200 back on to my card.

A slight…. complication

Complicating matters is that originally I had put my taxes and fees on my Barclay Arrival card.  The Arrival card is (was?) useful for things like this, to get 2 cents per dollar spent back towards travel purchases.  But when Barclay gutted their Arrival program, I canceled my card.

(SEE ALSO: Why you no longer want to apply for the Barclay Arrival card)

(SEE ALSO: Barclay Arrival Plus once again open for signups – negative changes confirmed)

I asked if I could credit it to a different card, but the agent said no, and wasn’t particularly impressed when I told her that card was closed.

Sure enough, I logged into my Barclay account this week and saw:
barclay-american-refund
 My credits are there, and now I just have to figure out how to get them!  I sent an email to Barclay, and I assume they’ll write me a check or something.  Anyone have experience with that?

Is this correct?  Should I have had to call to get my credits after a fare change? Or did something go wrong?

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