A refund for my downgraded airline seat?

Question: We bought two first-class airline tickets to Peru on TACA through Cheaptickets.com. But we soon found out they were economy-class seats.

We’ve asked the airline for a $1,100 refund — the price difference between first-class and economy-class tickets — but it won’t budge. Cheaptickets.com sent a $400 voucher that we don’t want.

We’ve disputed the ticket charges with American Express, but it has denied our claim. It’s obvious to us we didn’t receive what we paid for.

We’ve never sued anyone and I would rather not have to go there. Do you have any other suggestions? — Virginia Pozo, San Francisco

Answer: If you didn’t get a first-class seat, you shouldn’t have to pay for one.

TACA owes you a refund of the fare difference between the two classes. And your online travel agency, Cheaptickets.com, should help you. At the very least, you would expect American Express to take your side in a dispute.

So what happened?
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