Dear ABC News Fixer: Double Billed From Boston to Budapest

PHOTO: A Lufthansa Airbus A 340-600Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images
A Lufthansa Airbus A 340-600 plane is shown in this file photo.

Dear ABC News Fixer: On March 4, I purchased two return tickets, for my wife and myself, on Lufthansa from Boston to Budapest via Frankfurt to travel on May 20 and return May 26.

Around that time, I was investigating alternative tickets via Munich for the same days. However, I decided on the Frankfurt route and purchased those tickets.

Nevertheless, Lufthansa, which had never issued me tickets for the Munich route, charged my credit card for both routes.

American Express promised to try to resolve the case but could not. I complained to Lufthansa, but never heard back from them, except for their response to American Express. I paid my credit card bill, not wanting to hurt my credit report, but I would like a refund.

- Zoltan Mathe, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

Dear Zoltan: Well, this was a mystery. You told the ABC News Fixer you went online to Lufthansa's site on March 2 to look for tickets to Budapest to attend your 60th college reunion. First, you looked at a route through Munich and got as far as typing in your credit card info, but you said you never clicked to purchase it and never got an email confirmation. Two days later, you chose a more convenient route via Frankfurt on the same dates, and you did click to purchase it and did get a confirmation.

Your first clue that something was amiss was your credit card statement, showing you'd bought both sets of tickets. You said you complained right away to both Lufthansa and American Express but couldn't get a refund. (You showed us Lufthansa's response to AmEx and AmEx's subsequent denial of your refund request.) So we checked with Lufthansa, and their ticketing people did a little digging of their own. They say their system shows that two purchases were made, for both routes – and they say their system shows an email confirmation was sent to you for the Munich route purchase. Their customer service folks had no record of a complaint, and said they would have refunded the double-booked tickets immediately if they had known about the problem.

Whatever happened – whether it was computer gremlins or some other sort of miscommunication – the good news is that Lufthansa agreed to refund the cost of the Munich route tickets. They understand that you didn't want double trips, and they want you to be a happy customer. You recently received that refund, for $2,649.30, on your credit card.

A tip for the rest of us: You told us you checked your spam/junk folder and didn't find the confirmation there either. We've seen other instances in which a consumer misses an important email about an order because it's hiding there. It's a good idea to check spam folders regularly, especially after making an online transaction.

- The ABC News Fixer

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