Travel Troubleshooter: Downgraded to coach

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DEAR TRAVEL TROUBLESHOOTER: I recently purchased a business class ticket on Aerolineas Argentinas to fly from New York to Buenos Aires. Due to a pilots strike on the day of my trip, I was rebooked on a United flight.

I was seated in a middle seat in economy class. Apparently, no higher cabin seats were available. I discussed my seating concern with the AA reps and the United agents to no avail. I purchased an extended legroom seat for an additional $147.

Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter ...
Christopher Elliott, the Travel Troubleshooter 

Because this flight arrived much later than my original flight, I paid an additional $100 for my previously arranged car service that transported me to the domestic airport in Buenos Aires.

Once there, Aerolineas Argentinas needed to rebook my domestic connection and did so on the last flight of the day, when earlier flights with seats were available. I spent an extra $35 for lounge access, as I needed to spend several hours in the airport.

I have tried to resolve this with American Express since I used my Amex card to make the purchase. I’ve taken the matter up with Aerolineas Argentinas and have also filed a complaint with the Department of Transportation.

I would like to receive reimbursement for the difference between the business class ticket I paid for and did not receive and the coach fare seat I was assigned, as well as my out-of-pocket expenses for the extra legroom seat, car service expenses and lounge fees. Can you help?

— Paula Miller, Lockport, New York

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