AA extra charge in error

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#1
Good Day All, I came across this forum after searching to see if there were others who has experienced overcharging etc by AA and was I surprised. So here is my story...and yes AA representative has replied and correspondence will be included. I am open to constructive criticism if I was in the wrong.

I recently booked 3 airline tickets on behalf of my sister-in-law and her family from JFK - LAS on America Airlines website. The total cost $912.30. The flight was never ticketed at time of booking so I the day of departure to confirm the flight and my card and request ticketing. AA customer service agent assured me that the card was processed (after asking twice for my card details) and the ticket was confirmed. However, later the evening I received a message from my bank, stating that my account was overdrawn and in the red for the FIRST time. Upon checking my account I saw an additional $75.00 was deducted by AA. I instantly called their customer service and after being placed on hold for quite some time was simply told the money will be returned. No explanations given as to why it was deducted in the first place. I promptly sent off an email to AA through my AA account laying out the facts in detailed and and requested a FULL REFUND including that of my overdraft fees. This was their first reply...

Thank you for the information you sent. We're glad you took the time to contact us, allowing us to respond to your concerns and clarify some of our policies. We understand your concern over the $75.00 service charge that applies to tickets issued through our reservations offices and airport locations. These types of service charges are common in many industries and are becoming increasingly so in the airline business. We've taken this action so that we can continue to offer full services and remain competitive. We offer a no service charge alternative on AA.com. If, however, you prefer to rely on the more specialized services offered by our reservations and airport personnel, then we hope you will continue to find value in purchasing your tickets in that manner.


We also appreciate the opportunity to respond to your request of a full refund. We want our customers to have positive experiences when traveling with us, and we are very sorry that this was not your experience. In evaluating your request, we carefully reviewed our policies and procedures as they relate to this matter. While I am sorry for the situation you encountered, we must respectfully decline since all flights were flown. I am sorry. While we aren't prepared to comply with your request on this occasion, I hope you will give us another chance to serve you better. It would be a privilege to welcome you aboard very soon.


So I promptly responded and let the agent knew that I NEVER booked through the airport or an agent but on their website. His response now contradicting his first response...

Thank you for the information you sent. We're glad you took the time to contact us, allowing us to respond to your concerns and clarify some of our policies. In my response I never stated you bought your ticket through our reservations office and aiport location, only that they there is a $75.00 charge for those services and your ticket reflects that charge. I have contacted our Refunds department and let them know this was charged in error and to issue a refund of the $75.00 ticketing charge. We apologize for the error and hope to welcome you and your family aboard soon.

Noow if my ticket reflects those charge, why didn't he investigate first before he responded the first time as the tickets were paid for in full charges et all from AA.com? I guess I am in the wrong for asking for my full refund of all payments made including my overdraft fees. What says you?
 
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travellerdan

Guest
#2
I say they made a mistake, charged you $75 they shouldn't have, admitted it, and are refunding the money. It would be absurd for you to ask for the whole ticket price to be refunded as you did take the flight.
Was there an overdraft charge at your bank? If there was I would write to customer service at AA with a short explanation and ask them to make up what that cost you. I would not expect them to agree but who knows? The other step to take is not let bank accounts that you let people charge to drop to low enough balances that a small error puts you in the red. Some places, such as hotels and car rental companies will place a hold you can't cover on some funds to protect a booking. Another option is to talk to your bank about options for overdraft protection. Maybe the best option is to get a credit card rather than use a debit card against a checking account as you protections are much better with a credit card.
 
#3
Yes there was an overdraft charge of $35. The bank is aware of the circumstances. I have already told AA what their actions costs me and they have said and I quote

Our Executive Office has received your email, and it is our privilege to respond on their behalf. We have reviewed the correspondence exchanged between you and our colleague, and we recognize that you are still unhappy about this situation. We work hard to find common ground and to resolve problems to our customers' satisfaction, and we are disappointed that we have been unsuccessful. However, our position in this matter remains unchanged. While we are glad to refund the erroneous reservations fee, we must respectfully decline your request for a reimbursement of your overdraft fee. We are sorry for any disappointment, but hope to have your understanding in this regard.
 
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travellerdan

Guest
#4
If you have iterated with AA at the executive level then you are done. Taking responsibility for consequent costs of a billing mistake would be unusual with any company. It might be the bank will relent. Best of luck.
 
Likes: Marcia
Mar 17, 2015
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#5
I would ask again for the extra $35 to be refunded. This was the error of AA and had they not made the charge in error, the account would not be overdrawn. In the future, I would do as others have suggested and either not let your account get so low that a small charge can send you into over draft. A credit card is a smart idea for travel, as opposed to a debit card. Just make sure to use it responsibly!

I do not think you ever should have received a full refund for all 3 tickets, this probably did not set the tone favorably to you, but you can always be super nice and ask for the $35. Or, go to your bank and ask for a one time waiver of the fee.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#6
Have you used our Company Contacts list on the website?
If you haven't directly appealed to the executives on our list I would urge you to write to the first one, wait a week for a response and move to the next if necessary.
You are not due a refund of your ticket price so please take that request out. When you make a request that is not reasonable the rest of your request isn't well received because the reader usually stops reading.
You are due the $75 fee and if you have not received that back yet, you need to tell them that. But I disagree with others who say you are on your own with the bank fee. I would continue to request just that. If they hadn't charged you that $75 in error you wouldn't have become overdrawn.
I would politely request reimbursement for that fee and send proof of the charge. The worst they can say is no and you might get a sympathetic exec who realizes that charge was their fault.
If you received the $75 already then just ask for the $35. But you used your ticket and are not due a refund of the ticket. I also agree with Tanya you might ask the bank for a refund of the fee because they should be able to see the error made by AA when they refunded the $75. It is a lot easier to appeal to the bank than AA.
 
Likes: Marcia
Aug 28, 2015
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#7
Your bank will refund the $35 charge when the refund posts. If they don't do it automatically, it is a 2 second phone call and they will immediately remove the fee so don't worry. You can even get the charge removed today without waiting for the airline to get their act together. It will take less than 5 minutes.
Don't bother asking the airline for the overdraft fee as you aren't entitled to it and won't receive it and it will distract them from processing the refund of $75 they agree you do deserve. Sounds like that was a mistaken $25/ticket charge.
 
Likes: Marcia
Jan 3, 2015
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#8
One thing I would STRONGLY suggest going forward is to get a credit card for these types of purchases. A debit card is NOT the friend of a consumer. A credit card provides you much more protection and there is never any danger of overdrafting on your account. This would be especially important for hotels and car rentals that can place a hold on money in your account above the actual cost.

As long as you pay your credit card bill in full every month, it won't cost you a penny more than if you paid with a debit card or cash (find one with no annual fee). And it will protect you from situations like this.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#9
^^^ What Promal said. Who have you written to? The company should absolutely reimburse you for the overdraft charge. It was their screw up which cost you $$$ and they should now fix it for you. If you screw up and the price of a ticket goes up, what do you think they do... They make you pay more. if you screw up and need to change flight days they charge you a fee to rebook.
 
#10
Thank you all for your continuous response, information, insights and suggestions. Really appreciate it. I do agree re full ticket price.

To those who asked, I escalated my complaint to executive as the first response I got from their customer service representative was false since it alluded to the fact that I either purchased the tickets via the airport or reservations agent when it fact it was purchased on aa.com hence no additional charges were to be made as per their own email.

I thereupon forwarded my original complaint and their representative response to Sean Bentel and K. Phillipov and that was the last response I received from them through their Executive representative.

I will however wait and see if the refund is process, and since my bank is aware of the issue, I will take copies of their emails with me as well for bank record in case my final plead is also decline for the overdraft fee.

Lesson learned, credit card next time!
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#11
One more thing to consider re credit card vs bank card; A credit card often offers you additional protections for rental cars and insurance coverage. Rental companies will either not allow you to rent with a bank card, or they will require an additional security deposit as well. You are also finding out what can happen if there is a screw up and more money is taken out than you think. At least with a credit card, they can place a dispute and you wouldn't be responsible for that amount until the dispute is resolved.
 
Jan 3, 2015
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#13
NEVER use a debit card. EVER.

That is all.

You should not even possess one. . . .

when a debit card number is compromised . . . whose money gets stolen first?

When a credit card number is stolen . . . . who money gets stolen first?

Moreover, credit cards have significant protections debit card do not legally -
We need a PSA (Public Service Annoucnement) for all of America. Debit cards do NOT serve any beneficial purpose for consumers (with the exception of using it to just get cash out of your bank's ATM). Using a debit card to make a purchase is something that should be avoided 100% of the time.
 
Jan 8, 2015
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#14
This is not great advice. Many, if not most debit cards these days have a Visa or Mastercard logo on them and with that logo comes certain protections that used to apply only to actual credit cards.

The trick is knowing what those additional protections are and using the debit card when appropriate. Of course one could probably just use the credit card for everything and pay your balace weekly or at every paycheck if need be.
 
Sep 1, 2015
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#15
I recently booked 3 airline tickets on behalf of my sister-in-law and her family from JFK - LAS on America Airlines website. The total cost $912.30. The flight was never ticketed at time of booking so I the day of departure to confirm the flight and my card and request ticketing. AA customer service agent assured me that the card was processed (after asking twice for my card details) and the ticket was confirmed.
The events are unclear (to me). I don't know how a reservation can be made on AA.com but not paid for until the departure day, unless the reservation is made the day before and put on 24-hour hold. However the $304.10 per person fare (roundtrip I assume) suggests the reservation was made on AA.com at least 7 days in advance. I'd expect the fare to be $425+ if reserved 1 day before travel.

The flight was never ticketed at time of booking so I the day of departure to confirm the flight and my card and request ticketing. AA customer service agent assured me that the card was processed (after asking twice for my card details) and the ticket was confirmed.
AA may be correct with the $25 per-ticket charge. You only had a *reservation* until you phoned to pay and get *ticketed*. They applied the standard $25 ticketing fee...clip from AA's website:
Tickets issued by Reservations $25 - domestic travel $35 - international travel

AA's first reply was probably correct, but they later extended a courtesy/favor by refunding the $75. Had you asked for the overdraft fee too (with proof such as a bank statement), they might have refunded that too, though pretty unlikely.

So I promptly responded and let the agent knew that I NEVER booked through the airport or an agent but on their website. His response now contradicting his first response...
As explained above you *booked* online but were *ticketed* by an agent. The $25 fee is a *ticketing* fee.

I guess I am in the wrong for asking for my full refund of all payments made including my overdraft fees. What says you?
It wasn't good to ask for a full refund...if a restaurant bill included a side salad you didn't order, would you expect the entire meal to be comp'd? Also, there's usually one shot at compensation, so the $75 and $35 overdraft should have been requested in the initial request.

The "refund" could be a voucher for future AA flights instead of cash back to your bank account. If it's a voucher, make sure you understand the expiration dates. It's often 12 months from the date the tickets were issued, not the date of travel. Also it may be 3 vouchers, one to each traveler instead of you. Monitor all of this proactively so the credits don't turn into a pumpkin!

Hope this helps, and just FYI, can you explain how payment was deferred until the day of travel?
 
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Likes: AAGK

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
15,624
14,189
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#16
Marcia, we always suggest writing to executives one at a time so you can pass on the information one gave you to the next and explain why you still think you are due compensation.

If it has been a week since Bentel and Philipov, you still have these to go up further. Write to Isom, give him a week, then go to the next one, etc. Until I hit the CEO and had a decline from him, I'd still be hopeful.

Secondary Contact
Robert Isom
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
4333 Amon Carter Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76155
(817) 963-1234
robert.isom@aa.com



Suzanne Rubin
President of American Airline Aadvantage Program and customer loyalty
4333 Amon Carter Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76155
(817) 963-1234
suzanne.rubin@aa.com

Chief Executive
Doug Parker
CEO
4333 Amon Carter Blvd
Fort Worth, TX 76155
(817) 963-1234
doug.parker@aa.com

AS far as using a debit card, they aren't useless. I use mine when shopping locally especially if I want cash back and am too lazy to go to the ATM.

But they should never be used for any type of travel. Even with the MC and Visa logos you have less protection using a debit card than a cc. And when traveling, many suppliers such as hotels and car rentals put a hold on your account for a certain amount and then put the actual charge through which can overdraw your account if the first hold hasn't fallen off by the time the actual charge goes through. Always better to use a credit card for additional protection and to avoid checks bouncing in your account.
 
Likes: Mike Z
#17
This is not great advice. Many, if not most debit cards these days have a Visa or Mastercard logo on them and with that logo comes certain protections that used to apply only to actual credit cards.

The trick is knowing what those additional protections are and using the debit card when appropriate. Of course one could probably just use the credit card for everything and pay your balace weekly or at every paycheck if need be.
Lets try this scenario. You pay your bills electronically. Mortgage, car payment, and credit card bills.

two days before your debits hit your debit card gets compromised. All of your money gets stolen. You find out when you get the over draft notices from your bank. Plus you have late fees and NSF charges on your mortgage, car payment and credit card bills. . . .

I'm not saying you don't get your money back from teh bank - but - you're going to need to make three phone calls and deal with three companies who will not really believe you and may or may not waive the late charges and fees - but you will still have to pay extra interest because no one is going to cover that.

Now, same scenario. You have an ATM card and not a debit card. Your credit card info gets stolen - you discover it when you get your bill. Your mortgage, credit card and car payment all processed successfully. . . .

Still want a debit card?
 
Nov 19, 2014
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#18
The events are unclear (to me). I don't know how a reservation can be made on AA.com but not paid for until the departure day, unless the reservation is made the day before and put on 24-hour hold. However the $304.10 per person fare (roundtrip I assume) suggests the reservation was made on AA.com at least 7 days in advance. I'd expect the fare to be $425+ if reserved 1 day before travel.



AA may be correct with the $25 per-ticket charge. You only had a *reservation* until you phoned to pay and get *ticketed*. They applied the standard $25 ticketing fee...clip from AA's website:
Tickets issued by Reservations $25 - domestic travel $35 - international travel

AA's first reply was probably correct, but they later extended a courtesy/favor by refunding the $75. Had you asked for the overdraft fee too (with proof such as a bank statement), they might have refunded that too, though pretty unlikely.


As explained above you *booked* online but were *ticketed* by an agent. The $25 fee is a *ticketing* fee.


It wasn't good to ask for a full refund...if a restaurant bill included a side salad you didn't order, would you expect the entire meal to be comp'd? Also, there's usually one shot at compensation, so the $75 and $35 overdraft should have been requested in the initial request.

The "refund" could be a voucher for future AA flights instead of cash back to your bank account. If it's a voucher, make sure you understand the expiration dates. It's often 12 months from the date the tickets were issued, not the date of travel. Also it may be 3 vouchers, one to each traveler instead of you. Monitor all of this proactively so the credits don't turn into a pumpkin!

Hope this helps, and just FYI, can you explain how payment was deferred until the day of travel?
I believe what happened is that the LW booked and paid for the reservation on AA's website. The reservation then would be sent to a ticketing queue to be ticketed by AA. I suspect the reservation "skipped the queue" as we say and it never got ticketed. Fortunately the space did not cancel(it usually does when tickets are not issued by a certain time) and AA did the right thing in honoring the original booked fare as it was their error in not issuing the tickets. They should not have charged the service fee, but from what I have been told by our AA sales rep, the airport agents don't really have a way to override the fee; it is automatically charged when they issue a ticket.
 
Oct 7, 2015
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#19
American has done their part by refunding the fee they charged in error. You should contact your bank with the information received from American and they should refund their fee.
 
Likes: jsn55

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#20
Lets try this scenario. You pay your bills electronically. Mortgage, car payment, and credit card bills.

two days before your debits hit your debit card gets compromised. All of your money gets stolen. You find out when you get the over draft notices from your bank. Plus you have late fees and NSF charges on your mortgage, car payment and credit card bills. . . .

I'm not saying you don't get your money back from teh bank - but - you're going to need to make three phone calls and deal with three companies who will not really believe you and may or may not waive the late charges and fees - but you will still have to pay extra interest because no one is going to cover that.

Now, same scenario. You have an ATM card and not a debit card. Your credit card info gets stolen - you discover it when you get your bill. Your mortgage, credit card and car payment all processed successfully. . . .

Still want a debit card?
Unfortunately it is a big hassle to get just an ATM card with no CC Logo on it... For some reason banks don't like to do it.