My Aeroméxico ticket was wrong, and I don’t want to pay the change fee

Gail Creath didn’t confirm her Aeroméxico ticket was booked for the correct date, and the flight left without her. Although the airline was willing to reinstate her ticket for a fee, she didn’t like that option — we don’t recommend what she did next.

Question: Toward the end of December 2016, we made a reservation by phone with Aeroméxico, flying from Chicago to Oaxaca, Mexico, through Mexico City. The date of the trip was February 1, 2017. We were to return to Mexico City on February 9, and to Chicago on February 12. It was confusing for us to do this online.

The first week in January I called Aeroméxico to say I never received an email confirmation as I had been told I would. They informed me we had missed our flight on January 1. I told them I couldn’t have made it for then as our grandchildren were here until January 3, and my husband was scheduled for eye surgery Jan. 4.

We have used the customerrelations@aeromexico email and have called their number. I asked about recorded reservations and was just now told I had to continually call back until I hit the one in 10 call centers where the agent who helped us worked.

Looking at your website I tried all three emails listed. None would go through. We would still like to go to Mexico without paying a $200 fee when we didn’t make a mistake. Can you help? — Gail Creath, Lake Forest, Ill.

Answer: I’m sorry to hear about the error on your tickets and your struggle to get the problem corrected by Aeroméxico.

Believing that booking online would be too complicated, you called Aeroméxico for help. After you made your airline reservation with the Aeroméxico reservations agent, the airline should have immediately sent you a confirmation. When you didn’t receive it, you should have immediately contacted Aeroméxico again.

Had you noticed the problem within 24 hours after booking your ticket, you could have canceled it and rebooked it correctly, without fees. After the 24-hour window, the tickets are subject to the fees that are imposed by Aeroméxico.

You told us that Aeroméxico didn’t send you the confirmation, and you didn’t call them until the flight on which you were booked had already departed. Although airlines are not usually willing to reinstate no-show tickets, Aeroméxico offered to do exactly that and charge you a change fee, in line with its stated fees.

You didn’t like that option, so you tried appealing to our Aeroméxico contacts, but no one responded. So you reached out to us.

Our advocate advised you that it was your responsibility to review your booking, and since you did not, the airline’s offer to rebook your tickets with its stated change fees was fair. She advised you to accept the offer. Although your attempts to appeal the customer service offer with senior staff at Aeroméxico had failed and our advocate said we wouldn’t be able to help, you still didn’t like the option.

So you did something that surprised us — you contacted Capital One and filed a chargeback.

Capital One reached out to Aeroméxico about the charge but didn’t hear back, so Capital One ruled in your favor. You then emailed our advocate to ensure we knew that the issue had been settled.

I wouldn’t be too sure.

I recently wrote another story about Milton Dortch, who filed a chargeback against Delta Air Lines. It also didn’t respond to his credit card company, and the company granted Dortch’s chargeback. He thought his issue was settled, too.

But it wasn’t — Delta sent a collection agency after Dortch.

Chargebacks are at the disposal of consumers for very specific reasons, as spelled out in the Dortch story, and not noticing that your travel date was incorrect isn’t one of them. By your own admission, Capital One’s decision was by default. I hope your case doesn’t end as Dortch’s did, with a collection agency settlement, but I also wouldn’t be shocked if it does.

As a reminder to all our readers, once you’ve made your airline reservations, check your confirmations immediately, and if you don’t receive one, call the airline and demand one. You have a limited amount of time to notify the airline of any errors. And before you file a chargeback on an error you should have found, be sure your know both your and the company’s rights — and that you’re prepared for any consequences.

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