American Airlines told Justin that they could not accept his American Airlines credit card due to a bug in their spiffy new booking system. Justin wanted to charge a trip to Disney World on the card, which unlike standard credit cards, is supposed to work exclusively for purchasing tickets with American Airlines.
Last May I traveled to Las Vegas to get married. In booking my travel trough American Airlines Vacations I used an American Airlines credit card as I would receive 6 months same as cash when using that form of payment. Now this was the card issued by Citibank for the airline, but was not an actual visa/mastercard. I had paid off the card after returning from our trip.
We already had plans for a trip in May of ’08 to go to Walt Disney World so given the experience that we had with American, we had planned on financing and booking our trip through their vacation department. I had every detail planned and proceeded to book online. Everything was in order and I went to pay. I couldn’t enter the credit card as payment because of the lack of an expiration date on the card. No big deal as I then remembered that I had the same problem when booking the Vegas trip, so I called the credit card issuer and they informed me how to remedy the problem. Alas, I was back to the excitement of booking a Disney World vacation for my family! Still didn’t work? Okay. I then decided that the best option would be to call directly and book. And here is it where it gets interesting.
I get in touch with an agent and proceed to go over the vacation that I had saved online from earlier. Everything was the same and sounded great. I gave the form of payment and was placed on hold. I was relieved and knew that everything was going to be o.k. Alas the agent gets back on the line and says “Sir, I am sorry but we don’t accept this card”. I ask ” You mean to tell me that American Airlines does not accept their own credit card”. I was then informed after being transferred to a supervisor and explaining that I had used the same card to book my previous vacation that they had recently switched to a new “system” and that the bug in the system would not let them accept the American Airlines credit card. I asked if this was just a “bug” if you will, then how long will it be before it is fixed? No one could provide an answer. Imagine that!
So after several e-mails to customer service, several phone calls to reservations and my own research I have yet to hear an answer or explanation beyond that. Granted I could have just said okay well then put it on another card. But that isn’t the point. We only have one other card for emergencies and light spending and rely on it for an emergency. I had paid this card off as fast as possible in anticipation of our next trip and now after everyone is exited (including my 5 year old daughter) about finally getting to go to Walt Disney World we are being denied our only means of paying for the travel portion of our trip.
My only hope is that this at the least gets some attention. I know people will say that we could simply finance by another means, but the fact is as we live comfortably, we just can’t afford to finance this vacation with our finances that were allocated for spending money and still afford to go. I just feel cheated by the Airline for not thinking or considering how many people this could effect that aren’t the frequent fliers or substantial customers.
The American Airlines credit card is essentially a 0% APR card for 6 months. If a payment is missed, or the balance is not paid in full after a half year, a 25.96% finance charge applies to the full balance.
Rather than use AA’s extremely limited card, it would be wiser to deposit the would-be credit payments into a free high-interest savings account. Assuming debt that can’t be immediately satisfied opens you and your family to a world of financial pain that could be avoided by saving before paying. Even those playing the 0% APR game need to be able to pay off their credit card bill in full every single month.
American Airlines Credit Card [AA.com]