An American Airlines agent switched my ticket to a different airport and forgot to tell me

When Kriengsak Athikomvittaya traveled from Japan to Bangkok, Thailand, he was not expecting his trip to cost an additional $280 for a cab ride between airports in Tokyo. The American Airlines agent who changed his ticket didn’t mention that his new flight was at a different airport than the one he’d originally booked.

Athikomvittaya’s story is a warning to air passengers to check their reservations multiple times before heading to the airport. Otherwise, they may find themselves paying more out-of-pocket than they expected – because they’re in the wrong places at the wrong times. And, like Athikomvittaya, they’ll have little, if any, recourse, should that happen.

Athikomvittaya had booked a ticket from Haneda Airport in Tokyo through American Airlines on its code-share partner Japan Airlines. He later determined that he needed to change his flight to one that departed a day earlier. He called American Airlines to rebook the flight. The agent to whom Athikomvittaya spoke rebooked him on a flight departing from Narita Airport, instead of Haneda Airport. But she didn’t tell him of the change. Athikomvittaya requested an email confirmation of his new booking but didn’t receive one.

When he arrived at Haneda Airport, he discovered that his new flight was scheduled to fly out of Narita Airport. Japan Airlines arranged transportation for Athikomvittaya to the bus terminal, where he learned that he did not have enough time to take a bus to Narita before his new flight was scheduled to take off. Japan Airlines then helped Athikomvittaya find a taxi to Narita, which cost him 29,810 yen ($280).

“If the AA representative [had] told me about the airport change or sent me an email confirmation, I would not have had to go to Haneda and take the taxi from Haneda to Narita which cost me a lot of money and emotional stress,” says Athikomvittaya.

When Athikomvittaya arrived at Narita Airport, he called American Airlines to notify the airline of its agent’s error and to ask for compensation of his cab fare. He was asked to email American’s customer relations department, which he did.

But the customer relations department denied Athikomvittaya’s claim. The agent responding to Athikomvittaya misunderstood the nature of his request for compensation:

Thank you for contacting us. We are sorry there was a misunderstanding about the type of ticket you were holding and the associated fare rules when you spoke with our reservations personnel about changing your ticket.

Although our reservations specialists are directed to ask pertinent questions, when you have a paper ticket, it’s not always possible to determine if an additional fare collection will be necessary without looking at the actual ticket. Therefore, we depend on the expertise of our airport agents to make the final decision.

It doesn’t make it any less frustrating to endure added expenses, after making a change to your itinerary, only to find out that your new flight is departing from a different airport. Rest assured, the details you have provided will be instrumental in helping us improve our service. We use a sophisticated database that allows your specific comments to inform individual discussions with our people as well as identify overall areas that need more attention.

When your itinerary was changed, it no longer met the restrictions which were necessary for the original fare. On that basis, the additional fare collected was correct. I must respectfully deny your request for any type of compensation.

Athikomvittaya posted in our forum about his case. Our forum members advised Athikomvittaya to use our contact information for American Airlines to write concise, polite letters to higher-ranking executives of the airline about his case, starting with the lowest-ranking executive and allowing each a reasonable amount of time to respond before escalating his complaint to the next-higher-ranking executive on our list.

But when the only response his letters received from American Airlines was a letter that reiterated the airline’s denial of his claim, he turned to our advocates for help.

Although American Airlines’ International General Rules do not address situations like Athikomvittaya’s, where the airlines’ failure to communicate a change in the airport of departure for a voluntary change in flights results in a passenger’s incurring incidental expenses, our advocates reached out to American Airlines on Athikomvittaya’s behalf.

American’s executives did not respond to Athikomvittaya’s letters, so he filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The BBB responded that it could not help Athikomvittaya recover his cab fare.

Unfortunately, after Athikomvittaya complained to the DOT, our advocates were no longer able to assist him. We can only warn our readers to check their flight reservations closely and repeatedly before leaving for the right airport. Otherwise, their cases, like themselves, may not leave the ground.

Should airlines be legally responsible for passengers’ incidental expenses resulting from communication failures that are the airlines’ fault?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Underwritten by

Underwritten by Sodexo North America

Sodexo North America Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 80 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Learn more at

Underwritten by Travelex Insurance Services

Travelex Insurance Services is a leading travel insurance provider in the United States with over 55 years combined industry expertise of helping people dream, explore and travel with confidence. We offer comprehensive travel insurance plans with optional upgrades allowing travelers to customize the plans to fit their needs. Compare plans, get a quote and buy online at

Underwritten by AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s leading flight delays compensation company, helping passengers apply for compensation following a delayed or canceled flight or when boarding has been denied. It is AirHelp’s mission to fight for passenger rights by holding airlines accountable for flights disruptions that are out of passengers’ control. AirHelp has already helped 5 million people, taking the stress out of applying for compensation and making it as hassle-free as possible for travelers around the world.

Underwritten by Allianz Travel Insurance

The Allianz Travel Insurance company has built its reputation on partnering with agents all around the world to provide comprehensive travel insurance for their clients. Contact Allianz Travel Insurance for a comprehensive list of coverage.

Underwritten by Chubb

Chubb is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company, and recognized as the premier provider of insurance for successful individuals and families in the U.S. and selected international markets, offering coverage for high-value automobile, homeowners, recreational marine/aviation, valuables and umbrella liability coverage. As an underwriting company, Chubb assesses, assumes and manages risk with insight and discipline, and combines the precision of craftsmanship with decades of experience to conceive, craft and deliver the best insurance coverage and services to individuals, families and business of all size.

Underwritten by Enterprise

A family-owned, world-class portfolio of brands. A global network that spans across more than 85 countries. Some 97,000 dedicated team members sharing common values. And more than 1.9 million vehicles taking our customers wherever they need to go.

Underwritten by Fareportal

Fareportal’s portfolio of brands, which include  CheapOair and  OneTravel, are dedicated to helping customers enjoy their trip. Whether you want to call, click, or use one of our travel apps, one thing is clear: We make it easy to take it easy.

Underwritten by

An independent provider of low cost CDW/LDW insurance for use with rental cars. Up to $100,000 cover with no deductible. Policies available on a per day, per trip or per year basis. Also works with overseas rentals. Try  Insuremyrentalcar.comnow.

Underwritten by InsureMyTrip

It’s simple. InsureMyTrip finds you the right travel insurance plan, every time. InsureMyTrip is the authority on travel insurance. Rated A+ for travel insurance by the Better Business Bureau. All travelers that purchase a policy through  InsureMyTrip have access to Anytime Advocates® for claims assistance.

Underwritten by Mediacom Communications

The nation’s fifth-largest cable operator, serving the smaller cities and towns in the Midwest and Southern regions of the United States. We are a high-performance broadband, entertainment, and communications company that brings the power of modern technology and quality customer experience to life inside the connected home by combining ultra-fast gigabit speeds with personalized local and over-the-top entertainment choices that fit your lifestyle. Details at

Underwritten by SCOTTeVEST

An innovative apparel brand for people who want easy access to everything they need. For those who live for every second, SCOTTeVEST lets you maximize your life. Ditch the carry-on bag and pick up a  SCOTTeVEST.

Underwritten by Virtuoso

The leading global network for luxury and experiential travel. This invitation-only organization comprises over 1,000 travel agency locations with 17,500 advisors in over 45 countries, and holds preferred relationships with 1,700 of the world’s finest travel companies. Virtuoso advisors collaborate with their clients to create personalized itineraries featuring exclusive perks, while also providing advice, access, advocacy, and accountability. For more information, visit

Underwritten by VisitorsCoverage

As a company that is constantly striving to simplify travel insurance, VisitorsCoverage, is on a mission to help travelers make the better decisions about purchasing travel insurance, quickly. VisitorsCoverage has helped millions of travelers globally to buy the suitable travel insurance and explore the world with confidence. Get insurance for your next trip at  VisitorsCoverage. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Underwritten by MedjetAssist

Medjet is the premier global air-medical transport, travel security and crisis response membership program for travelers. With a MedjetAssist membership, if you become hospitalized more than 150 miles from home, we will get you from that unfamiliar hospital all the way home to the hospital you trust. All you ever pay is your membership fee. MedjetHorizon members add 24/7 personal security and crisis response benefits. readers enjoy discounted rates. Travel safer with  MedjetAssist.

Underwritten by Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.

Underwritten by Sungard Availability Services

Leveraging more than 35 years of experience, Sungard AS designs, builds and runs critical IT services that help businesses manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. A leading provider of critical production and recovery services, Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe, delivering resilient IT systems, infrastructure and recovery services tailored to achieving desired business outcomes.

Underwritten by makes it fast and easy to compare and buy travel insurance online from top rated providers. Our unbiased comparison engine allows travelers to read reviews, compare pricing and benefits and buy the right policy with a price guarantee, every time. Compare and buy travel insurance now at

Underwritten by Squaremouth

Squaremouth helps travelers easily and instantly compare travel insurance policies from all major providers. Only companies that meet the strict requirements of Squaremouth’s Zero Complaint Guarantee are available on the website. Compare policies on to save over 70 percent on your next purchase.

Underwritten by Travel Leaders Group

Travel Leaders Group is transforming travel through its progressive approach toward each unique travel experience. Travel Leaders Group assists millions of travelers through its leisure, business and network travel operations under a variety of diversified divisions and brands including All Aboard Travel, Andrew Harper Travel, Colletts Travel, Corporate Travel Services, CruCon Cruise Outlet, Cruise Specialists, Nexion, Protravel International,, Travel Leaders Corporate, Travel Leaders Network and Tzell Travel Group, and its merger with ALTOUR. With more than 7,000 agency locations and 52,000 travel advisors, Travel Leaders Group ranks as one of the industry’s largest retail travel agency companies.

Underwritten by Travelers United

If you’ve been mistreated by the airlines, Travelers United is your voice in Washington. Join the #1 travel advocacy organization working with Congress to improve and protect travelers. Plus, get $400 of annual benefits you can use for travel for only $29/year. Add your voice to ours. Make travel better.  Join today.