Reader question: Amex Travel problem – what can be done?

A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question about what to do when an Amex Travel agent rebooked them on a lower-class service than the one booked with the ticket?

Readers are encouraged to send us questions, comments, or opinions via email, Facebook, or Twitteror Instagram. We’ll try to cover them here a few times a week.

Email from reader:

My family has a trip coming up in December to Japan. Two days ago, I unfortunately received a notice that our flight had been cancelled. We were automatically rebooked on a flight the next day, but our cabin class was downgraded from premium economy to economy class because the aircraft change now does not offer premium economy seats. I booked our JAL flight through American Express Travel. I first tried to connect to the JAL, but their wait times are infinite and they can’t be reached. Then I reached out to Amextravel for help, but they messed up my rebooking.

First trip out

December 18 JL069 LAX-KIX non-stop in premium economy

This flight was canceled and booked the following day December 19th for the same nonstop service, however the equipment was replaced with an aircraft without premium economy seats.

I called Amextravel and asked to be in the premium economy cabin with the following flight:

Dec 18 JL015 LAX-HND with JL229 HND-KIX connection.

I asked several times to make sure we were back in premium economy and was assured that the cabin class would be the same. I was happy, everything seemed fine and I was told I would receive an email confirmation in a few hours.

Upon receiving confirmation of the flight change, I was furious to see that we were put on the correct flights, but in normal economy class. I called Amextravel to fix the issue but was told the initial agent incorrectly put us in economy and was unable to switch us back to premium economy. They told me I could pay the seat upgrade fee and I was furious.

My case has been escalated to a supervisor and my initial call to the first agent is under review. I was told it could take up to 10 days before I hear anything about the decision. Meanwhile, I wasted hours on hold trying to get in touch with a JAL agent.

Is there anything else I can do? I am very disappointed and sad.

A friend of mine had the same JAL route cancellation (LAX-KIX), and I’m not sure what the status of their ticket is.

Now the reader is having an issue that the Amex Travel agent did not properly rebook him on the same class of service (Premium Economy). It is possible that JAL may have instructed the reader to deal with the agent instead (standard procedure on tickets issued by the agency).

Amex Travel needs to work with JAL to rebook the reader on the correct class of service.

I had a similar thing with Expedia. They mistakenly requested a voucher from AA for a canceled flight instead of the refund I was eligible for. To give Expedia credit, they refunded the full fee, not AA (I could have figured out where the credit came from).

The reader must pay Amex Travel to rebook in the correct class of service. I am confident that these phone calls were recorded, and the supervisor can pull the call in question and listen to what happened.

I find it amusing that they first suggested the reader pay for the upgrade to be in the class of service they paid for, but that’s something you can expect from Amex Travel.

conclusion

It’s unfortunate, but I’d advise anyone not to book anything other than regular vanilla tickets through Amex Travel, as they aren’t a competent enough agency to handle ticket issues (a reader’s case was relatively minor).

I book quirky premium fare tickets through a travel agency and pay for this service. It’s easier to deal with someone you know personally than with an agent who’s only been in the business a couple of weeks ago.

A reader can always file a case against American Express and Amex Travel with the BBB and/or with the attorney general of the state in which they live or where American Express or Amex Travel is located.

It shouldn’t be that hard, and America Express tarnished its brand with Amex Travel.

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