U.S. based American Express customers can still dispute airline-related charges…at least for now. These chargebacks provide an essential extra layer of consumer protection.
That’s newsworthy for two reasons.
First, American Express has not been consistent around the world. French customers continue to experience roadblocks in trying to dispute charges from Air France/KLM. Many instances have been reported like this one, where Air France will charge your card, cancel your flight, then refuse to refund the money. This even though the European Union has been painstakingly clear that such conduct is forbidden.
Second, American Express USA has a new option when you call customer service to dispute a charge. I called American Express on an unrelated matter to dispute a charge the other day and my heart skipped a beat when I heart, “If this is a dispute for an airline ticket, say airline.”
After taking care of my issue, I called back and chose that option. A pre-recoded message tried to dissuade me from initiating a chargeback, noting that refunds are generally not offered on non-refundable tickets and that all refunds may be delayed during COVID-19.
Still, at the end of the recording the voice prompt asked me if I was finished or if I still wanted to speak with an agent. I did speak with an agent, just to confirm, and he verified that airline tickets can still be deputed by American Express customers. I was relieved to hear that.
If The Voucher Doesn’t Suit, You Must Dispute
Both U.S. and European lawmakers have reaffirmed that airlines must promptly (within seven days) refund your money if your flight is cancelled and you do not wish to accept a travel voucher or other forms of future flight credit.
While some airlines have been worse than others, it is important to know your rights. I’ve detailed the issue here, but in short, use your credit card chargeback protection to seek your refund if the airline is dragging its feet.
> Read More: Didn’t Receive Your Airline Refund? Time To Dispute.
In an ideal world, credit card disputes would never be needed. But since we do not live in an ideal world filled with honesty and integrity, sometimes consumers are left with no choice but to ask their credit card companies to step in when merchants take advantage of them. If you are an American Express cardholder, you can continue to initiate airline chargebacks…at least for now.