Troubleshooters: Airline customers irate in Irma's wake

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Irate airline customers have reached out to the Action News Troubleshooters for help. They want their money back after a recent hurricane destroyed their destination.

Carol and Kurt Von Collin booked a trip to St. Martin for their 40th wedding anniversary.

But, Hurricane Irma ripped apart Princess Juliana International Airport, and commercial flights aren't expected to begin for weeks.

"It took us a lot to save for this. This was the trip of a lifetime," Kurt said.

Their package includes American Airlines tickets to depart Philadelphia on October 1.

"We were actually notified by the hotel just a few days after the hurricane hit," said Carol.

The Sonesta Hotel in St. Martin says reservations at least through the end of 2017 are canceled, and the couple's full refund from the hotel has already posted to their account.

But there's a different story with American Airlines. The couple said they've been told they have one year to use their $1,000 worth of plane tickets, and if they change their destination, a $200 fee will apply per reservation.

"I'm angry, I'm angry," Carol said. "This is an unfortunate situation that they are capitalizing on. I feel taken advantage of."

Action News Troubleshooter Nydia Han contacted American Airlines, and now the Von Collins are getting their money back.

A spokesperson said "They are all set. Tickets canceled and refunded."

But what if you are in a similar situation?

While at last check, the American Airlines website still said your change fee may be waived if you don't change your origin or destination city, the company said:

"We are allowing people to change destinations without a change fee, and apply the full value to a new ticket. They will see the credit on their credit card statement in the next day or two."

So if American Airlines tells you something different, or if you don't see that credit on your statement. Please let us know by going to or call 1-866-978-4232 from 11a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

You can also tweet Nydia or go to her Facebook page.

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