Your Credit Card: Help from an Unlikely Source in the Event of an Airline Bankruptcy

Written by Curtis Arnold
Posted On: April 14, 2008

With the cancellation of numerous American Airline flights and several other airlines filing bankruptcy, you might be feeling a little leery about purchasing airline tickets these days. And if you have already purchased tickets you may be worried about not being able to use the tickets and/or being out the money you paid for them. However, if you purchased those tickets with your credit card you may be in luck!

We contacted public relations representatives from Chase, Citi, Discover, and American Express to find out what assistance, if any, they offer their customers in this type of situation. We found out that airline tickets purchased from airlines that subsequently went bankrupt are eligible to be disputed via their normal dispute resolution process with two notable caveats:

    1. You will probably need to try rebooking your ticket through another airline first. Some airlines, as well as credit card issuers, are offering to assist with the rebooking process.

    2. Some credit card issuers will want to see the unused ticket.

According to Discover's public relations department:

debtonbackpic"We are providing information to facilitate re-booking of their tickets with other airlines. If they are unable to re-book their ticket, we are initiating disputes and issuing credits to the accounts."

Overall it seems like a fairly painless process to get your money refunded. All the issuers we talked to said that they would do everything possible to support their customers. Gotta love the free benefits that cards offer! 

About the author:
Curtis Arnold
Curtis Arnold, a nationally recognized consumer educator and advocate, has been educating consumers about credit cards since 1998. New! Curtis is the author of "How You Can Profit from Credit Cards: Using Credit to Improve Your Financial Life and Bottom Line" (FT Press, 2008). He is also the co-author of the upcoming Complete Idiot's Guide to Person-to-Person Lending (Alpha Books/Pengiun Group USA, April 2009), a contribitor to The Ultimate Allowance (InnerWealth Publishing, 2008) and is extensively featured in 42 RulesTM for Driving Success With Books (Super Star Press, January 2009).
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