Commenter Adam asked where I made various customer service and refund requests of United and American I mentioned in previous poasts. I did it all via their respective websites. And in all cases I kept it respectful and civil, even when expressing unhappiness. I mostly just stuck to the facts (including the fact that I am unhappy).
Refund department is separate from customer care, and has the power to kick you cash if you can provide some sort of reason and specifics, e.g. flight time moved too much, missed connection, wifi sucks, etc. I mean, your reason may or may not be solid, but you can always ask, and they can say no. But they might say yes. I think I might in the future ask for some kind of refund on any substantial delay due to missed connection, because some of those yielded the greatest refund amounts.
United refunds: https://united.com/refunds
American refunds: https://aa.com/refunds
Other airlines’ refund pages are no doubt findable on their web sites or via Google.
The customer care department is separate, and they have the power to kick you miles or flight credit. They’re who you want to go to if you have a specific comment or complaint (though I’m increasingly trying to think about using the refund department instead where I can, since I’d rather have actual cash). Complaints can be anything ranging from poor service to seat power not working to dirty bathroom to broken window shade to general dissatisfaction with a bunch of flights being delayed. In other words, whatever is bugging you. I mean, I don’t go looking for things to complain about, but I have the perspective that I paid for my flight, and so things should be right; and if they’re not, I’m going to let the airline know about it, and if they wish to compensate me, I’ll take it, and if not, at least I let them know, and hopefully they’ll address it.
I also use customer care to send compliments, both because I think employees deserve it if they do an excellent job, and also because I don’t want to have the appearance of professional complainer.
On fee refund requests on United, you have to select e-Ticket refund, and then there’s an option for fee refund within.
And other airlines no doubt have their Customer Care pages too. Look for Contact Us on their web page and go from there.