A couple weeks ago I wrote about how I’m struggling with what to do about an upcoming Aeromexico ticket. I bought a business class round-trip from San Francisco to São Paulo for ~$800, paying entirely with Chase Ultimate Rewards. This was purchased pre-pandemic. Never did I expect this trip to be affected. But here we are.

After multiple major schedule changes, I tried to request a refund from Chase Travel. However, Aeromexico’s policy is to only offer vouchers. I have little use for an $800 Aeromexico voucher, so I kept pushing for other options. I figured rescheduling the trip would be possible, but Chase requires the difference in fare. When you booked a crazy cheap business class fare, this difference is substantial.

But then after finding one rebooking option that *might* work, the Chase Travel agent presented me with the weirdest line of reasoning I’ve ever heard.

Booking vs. Rebooking…There is a Difference?

The only one-stop option in the next couple months from SFO to São Paulo is obviously via Mexico City with Aeromexico. It has a crazy long layover, but I figured I’d use it to explore the CDMX for most of a day. I asked the agent if it would be possible to book me on these flights.

After searching for a minute, she replied, “only two-stop options are available.” Huh? I’m looking at the flight on Google Flights. I can click through to Expedia. How does she not see the SFO-MEX nonstop?

She then said that while I could book a new ticket on the nonstop flight, since this is a change, I have to fly the quoted trip via GDL and MEX. She reiterated that this is because it is a change. Yeah. I know that part. What’s not computing is how that has anything to do with being able to book a specific segment or not.

She must have sensed the utter no comprendo. There was more apologizing and more re-explanation I’ve literally never heard of a situation like this.

So…you’re telling me that Aeromexico changed my outbound flight, changed my inbound flight, won’t offer me a refund, and won’t allow me to change the flights more than a few days without paying a difference in fare, aaaaaand they won’t let me book the only nonstop flight from SFO to MEX?!?!?!?

Absurd. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I cannot understand this policy. I just can’t. Why would a flight be available for a new ticket, but not for a ticket change? Who is restricting access? Aeromexico? Don’t they want people to book tickets right now?!

I just. can’t. even.

Aw, crap. My millennial is showing.

Final Thoughts

The next 15 minutes on the phone was fruitless. There is pretty much no reasonable option from either Aeromexico or Chase Travel. It’s either pay the difference in fare to change to new dates or take a voucher. Neither is super appealing, but unless I can find another business class ticket for no more than ~$300 more (ha), it’s gonna be a voucher. Major bummer since I’d happily push the trip out a few months.

Going forward, I’ll do my best to avoid Aeromexico. I know they are in dire financial straits and looking for cash, but they are not doing well by their customers. Had I paid for this ticket with cash I would be requesting a chargeback. This is the one downside of using Ultimate Rewards points. Chase has me over a barrel as well. It wasn’t my intent to exchange a bunch of UR for an Aeromexico voucher. But that is what it looks like I get.

Featured image under CC-BY-2.0 license, courtesy of BriYYZ.