PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Take a look around Cary and Kim Westmark's home, and you'll quickly find pictures of a lot of family vacations.

"Well, it's a time for us to get together, relax and enjoy each other and experience new things," Cary told 3 On Your Side as he looked through pictures.

And for 2020, the Westmark family booked a vacation to the Bahamas, where seven of them planned on renting a beautiful house right on the beach. But then, COVID-19 hit, and in July, the Bahamas closed entry to all incoming flights.

American Airlines

So, Cary called American Airlines to see what would happen to the seven airline tickets he had already purchased.

According to Cary, American Airlines told him option one was he could get a 100% refund or option 2.

"Option 2 was I could leave the tickets on the books if you will with the airline, and when the Bahamas opened back up, we can just reschedule a new date for the new flights," Cary said.

Cary chose option two and allowed American Airlines to keep more than $5,500 that he spent on seven airline tickets for his family.

Well, the Bahamas are back open, and that awesome beach house is still available to rent. But Cary says that when he called American Airlines to rebook all seven tickets, American wanted to charge him an additional $1,400 on top of the $5,500 he'd already spent because they claim he "voluntarily canceled" the previous trip.

"I would say to the (American) supervisor that this wasn't a voluntary change. And she would say to me, I understand that, but I have to charge you for the change because it was voluntary. And I'm like; you didn't hear what I just said. It wasn't voluntary," said Cary.

Angry and out of patience, Cary got a hold 3 On Your Side. "I contacted you guys because I watch you guys, and I see you help people who feel like they're helpless."

At 3 On Your Side's request, American Airlines is looking into the issue to see if they reached the right decision for Cary and his family and why.

In the meantime, Cary believes it's a no brainer and shouldn't be penalized $1,400 for something that wasn't his fault. "Well, it's definitely not fair. It definitely wasn't voluntary," he said.

I'll be checking in with American Airlines frequently, and when they reach a decision, I'll let you know in a follow-up report.

Gary Harper's 3 On Your Side reports air weeknights on 3TV News at 9.

 
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