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A traveler’s problem booking a plane ticket through Chase’s online portal shows why you should always double-check your travel bookings for mistakes as soon as you make them.
According to The Points Guy, a reader attempted to book a ticket with American Airlines through the Chase portal, only to find that she was issued a Basic Economy ticket instead of the Main Cabin ticket she had used points to buy. The Main Cabin is a “nicer” seat—it includes seat selection, free snacks, a carry on and the possibility of an upgrade, while a Basic Economy ticket does not (technically, Basic is the lowest level of Main Cabin). And that means it’s more expensive.
To rectify the situation, she called up Chase Travel Rewards and the ticket was cancelled. She then rebooked, only to encounter the same exact issue. Chase then booked the ticket for her and she got the correct ticket. After The Points Guy contacted the airline, it was revealed that American Airlines’ system had downgraded a few passenger tickets accidentally in the same way, due to a system “error.” AA promised to reissue the passengers the proper tickets that they had paid for.
What this illustrates is that all travelers should be sure to double-check their itineraries as soon as they’re sent confirmation. As we’ve written before, you have 24 hours to cancel your booking (as long as it’s at least seven days before your departure) and get a refund, as stipulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Here’s a breakdown of how each major airline interprets that rule.
That means checking for simple things, like correct name spelling, date and airport, but also things like what cabin you’re booked in. TPG suggests signing up for FlightAlerts to keep track of any scheduling changes with your flights.
If you notice a mistake after the 24-hour window has closed, your next step is to call up the airline and politely ask if they can help you out. If you have a credit card for that airline or are an elite status holder, that could help your case, as would trip insurance if you purchased that. Otherwise, you may have to pay for a change—and depending on the airline (save Southwest) that can get pretty pricey. So be sure to double- and triple-check your reservation after you make it.