3 one-way coach tickets overcharged by $7,400

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Aug 24, 2019
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#1
On June 21, 2019, I purchased 3 one way coach tickets from PVR to SEA on 2019-06-23 for my wife and two sons. The price shown in the transaction web page was $139/ticket + taxes and fees. The total came out to just over $500. I can't give an exact amount because I never received an email receipt. I'm in tech and I checked my Junk mail folder to be certain. The next time I saw I saw a cost associated with this flight was when I received my credit card statement - after the flight was complete. AA charged me over $2600/ticket - close to $8000 for 3 tickets. At this rate, I would be happy to pay double what we were originally charged. This amount is 15 times more than what we paid. Quite frankly, it is incomprehensible. I'm not exactly in a tax bracket where I would ever pay this amount for 3 one way coach tickets.

I copied the Record Locator # and emailed it to my wife so that she could print her tickets at the airport. It never occurred to me to take a screen shot of the transaction because I always receive an email receipt within minutes or hours at the most and I've never had this issue before. We were on vacation, my wife was sick, and the fact that I didn't receive an email receipt was not of immediate concern because we had the Record Locator #.

Had I received an email receipt, I would have done what any reasonable person would do by canceling the reservation within the allowed 24 hours and re-booked a reasonable fair. I would have certainly contacted the airlines before we flew had I received a receipt with such an enormous price difference.

This amounts to a digital bait and switch. I'm bummed because my wife and I have a combined 60+ years as loyal AAdvantage customers and the customer service considerations have been abysmal. I am left wondering what incorrect amount might catch some reasonable employee's attention at AA.

I have even searched that route on the same day of the week over the summer to make sure I'm not way off base and the most expensive one way coach fare I have been able to find is $550. The most expensive first class one way ticket was $1,100.

I submitted a refund request with AA through their online form and received a first level support response that essentially told me that the system is never wrong and I got what I paid for. I also contested the charges with my credit card company, hoping they would advocate on my behalf (CitiCard AAdvantage) but I received a similar response from them.

I just submitted a 2nd request with AA asking for a timestamped copy of the email receipt. I don't believe that it exists. Even if they are able or willing to produce it, the fact remains that I never received it, robbing me of the opportunity to make a change. This is an enormous amount of money at stake.

I have records of all of my communications with AA and Citibank.
 
Feb 17, 2018
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#3
You can't ever depend on the email receipt, as it is possible it may never arrive, either because you mistyped the email address, it was sent to your spam folder or your ISP may even have blocked it. Your actual receipt is provided on screen at the time you make the booking. You should always save it or print it. You can also go back online with your booking confirmation number and obtain a copy of the invoice once you realized you didn't receive the email.

The 24-hour rule wouldn't apply since the purchase was within 7 days of departure.

Without it the receipt, you have no proof as to what you agree to, while the airline will have your footprint trail on the website that would show what you agreed to and that a receipt was provided at the time of booking.

All you can really do is use the contact information this site provides and do some "artful begging" for some goodwill consideration.
 
Aug 30, 2015
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#5
Looking at AA, short notice Sunday departures for that route can run up 2K per person main cabin.

View attachment 2830
You've looked one day ahead, if you look two days ahead they are about $300. I wonder if the original reservation was made close to midnight, they were given a cached fare, and it became one day in advance. In any case, there are generally chances to see the revised fare, so it is difficult to see what happened here, and it is vital to take screen shots. Hopefully AA can perform a goodwill gesture, but I assume the flights were taken by now.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#7
If you were in Mexico (or possibly the US as well) when you made the purchase it is very possible that you were redirected to a web page that looked like AA but was not. These web sites are all spoofing real web pages. The fact that you did not get an email from AA is a big red flag.

Also, your tickets could not have been canceled because the 24 hr rule does not apply if the flights are less than 7 days in the future.
 
Aug 24, 2019
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#11
If you were in Mexico (or possibly the US as well) when you made the purchase it is very possible that you were redirected to a web page that looked like AA but was not. These web sites are all spoofing real web pages. The fact that you did not get an email from AA is a big red flag.

Also, your tickets could not have been canceled because the 24 hr rule does not apply if the flights are less than 7 days in the future.
Even if I could not have cancelled the flight, had I received an email receipt, I would have certainly had the opportunity to contact AA before the flight took place to point out the problem and start working on it. The fact that my family already flew has been the sticking point with AA.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#15
So I just tried to do a Google Flight search and it gave me the price in pesos. It sounds like they’d might have been a conversion error somehow as the rate I see is less than $300 per tkt. Have you called your cc company to ensure they didn’t err and not convert the pesos properly? Or perhaps AA didn’t charge it in pesos but US instead.

We have company contacts at AA that you need to escalate this through. Start at Customer Service and escalate weekly per this post :

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/
 

Attachments

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Dec 26, 2018
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#16
The originally stated price of $139 USD/ticket would correspond to 2769 MXN/ticket (at the current conversion rate), which seems to match very closely to the price erroneously charged in USD. As noted above, the simplest explanation seems to be a currency conversion error which might be the fault of the credit card, not AA. Not sure how you prove that without a record of the price actually quoted in USD - unless there is some way to retroactively look up fares...? Should AA be able to confirm the actual cost of the seats as booked?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,308
17,762
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#17
The originally stated price of $139 USD/ticket would correspond to 2769 MXN/ticket (at the current conversion rate), which seems to match very closely to the price erroneously charged in USD. As noted above, the simplest explanation seems to be a currency conversion error which might be the fault of the credit card, not AA. Not sure how you prove that without a record of the price actually quoted in USD - unless there is some way to retroactively look up fares...? Should AA be able to confirm the actual cost of the seats as booked?
I can’t possibly fathom even a last minute walk up economy seat at those prices.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#18
Did the google flights search land you on the AA page from Mexico -- like Neil, when I tried a search I was sent to AA Mexico page with fares quoted in Mexican Pesos.

Did the price stay in US dollars throughout the booking process? What fare class was booked?
 
Aug 24, 2019
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#19
What time of day on June 21 did you book these and were you doing the booking while in Mexico?
I don't recall the exact time I booked but it was during the day. Most likely early to mid-afternoon. I booked the tickets in Mexico.
 
Aug 24, 2019
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#20
The originally stated price of $139 USD/ticket would correspond to 2769 MXN/ticket (at the current conversion rate), which seems to match very closely to the price erroneously charged in USD. As noted above, the simplest explanation seems to be a currency conversion error which might be the fault of the credit card, not AA. Not sure how you prove that without a record of the price actually quoted in USD - unless there is some way to retroactively look up fares...? Should AA be able to confirm the actual cost of the seats as booked?
This possibility ran through my mind as a possibility but I have a feeling that it is just a coincidence. The prices were stated in US Dollars when I made the purchase.