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No charge, No ticket

Q. I purchased a ticket online on American Airlines' website. I received an email confirmation from American showing that the travel dates were correct but upon further examination after the fact noticed there was not a ticket number or record locator on it. The day before travel, I attempted to check in online but was informed that the reservation had been canceled. American said my credit card number had been rejected three times by American Express. They also said they sent me an email informing me of the rejection, but I never received it. I immediately called Amex and was told that there was no record of American attempting to charge my credit card. I had to buy a last minute fare that cost me well over $1000 more than what the original fare cost. Do I have any recourse and what should I have done differently.

A. I've never heard of something like this happening, and I doubt there's any legal recourse if you read the fine print terms of service on AA's website. It sounds like there was a computer glitch of some kind. It's possible that American did attempt to notify you of the credit card problem and it simply went into your spam folder. The only thing you could have done differently was to check your credit card statement online soon after purchasing your fare to make sure that the charge went through. I advise everyone who makes a reservation online to do this. In fact, it's a really good idea to check your recent credit card charges online every day to make sure there are no fraudulent charges posted to your account.

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