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Contacting Amex Travel (including CTS, PTS, IAP) for Covid-19 changes or refunds.

Contacting Amex Travel (including CTS, PTS, IAP) for Covid-19 changes or refunds.

Old Mar 10, 20, 2:30 am
  #1  
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Contacting Amex Travel (including CTS, PTS, IAP) for Covid-19 changes or refunds.

I used the IAP for the first time for an upcoming SFO/TLV trip. Decent savings. DL ticket / AF flights. Given the current state of quarantine affairs upon TLV arrival, and given the DL waivers, I tried to rebook. I packed lots of patience for this endeavor.

Monday AM, I called and waited on hold for about 30 minutes. No biggie. They offered a callback service but I was going to be busy for a while. So, I hung up.
Monday, mid afternoon, I called, and callback wasn't offered, so I was optimistic that the hold times were shorter. Sitting at my desk, working, I waited 2.5 hours for the agent to answer. After a half hour, she determined that the DL waiver didn't apply (and indeed my particular waiver disappeared from the DL website for a short while), and after a total of 3 hours, I ended up where I started, except instead of me making dinner, someone else had to get some take out to bring home.
Momday night, I decided to call again. I got a nice agent, but she had to get a DL agent to help her - so I thought. She said her hold times with DL were pretty short, so I was optimistic. After about 90+ minutes of hold, someone else answered, someone who had no idea who I was or why I was calling. Very competent agent, but it took her some time to find my particular waiver rules, and what not, and then found same class availability on flights about a month out. And then, there were ticketing issues. The system isn't recognizing the change fee waiver. She keeps placing me on hold and won't let me "go" and she'll call back. I'm on the 3rd hold. Apparently everything is rebooked, but not reissued. I'm now 3 +hours into this call.

I wish I could have just canceled this trip, but that wasn't an option. In fact, the IAP fare went down, but they won't refund the difference on the change (which is ok).

So sorry I called tonight. First agent seemed like she was working on it, so I didn't want to hang up. Instead she just sent my call to another queue where I waited 90 minutes. Second agent seems like she knows her stuff, but what a time for system glitches and needing the help desk. I'm familiar enough with GDSs to know that one letter, dot, "pillow" sign, or something else can make things all wonky and not function, but ... to not be able to work on it without me on the phone?

Legit hold time during a crisis is one thing. I'm up to a total of 6.5+ hours on the phone with AX today.

And the main reason for this post is to keep me awake during this nonsense.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 9:31 am
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Did you originally book online or via phone? It's a very different set of agents depending on that. Online bookings deal with Expedia I think. Obviously it costs $39 to book via phone (and for any changes too), but I suspect you would have been more than happy to fork over that money after this experience.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 10:05 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Did you originally book online or via phone? It's a very different set of agents depending on that. Online bookings deal with Expedia I think. Obviously it costs $39 to book via phone (and for any changes too), but I suspect you would have been more than happy to fork over that money after this experience.
You are not kidding. Who knew. Shortly after posting, the phone "went dead" (i.e., the hold music just ended - even the hold music musicians had to take a break) and I wasn't sure if something happened with the call. I finally hung up at 2am, and while drifting in and out of a sleep, she called me at 2:30 to let me know the ticket had reissued.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 1:35 pm
  #4  
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Welcome to Expedia dba AmexTravel. Yes, it's a nightmare.

There's a thread. Unfortunately the thread title was changed. The original title ("Debacle") was both more accurate and more descriptive. Amex Travel (USA) inaccurate or incomplete ticketing reports [Consolidated]
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Old Mar 10, 20, 10:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
You are not kidding. Who knew. Shortly after posting, the phone "went dead" (i.e., the hold music just ended - even the hold music musicians had to take a break) and I wasn't sure if something happened with the call. I finally hung up at 2am, and while drifting in and out of a sleep, she called me at 2:30 to let me know the ticket had reissued.
I'm impressed they called you back! I've had to deal with schedule changes with an Orbitz (also an Expedia company) and it was a royal PITA. Of course, I didn't learn my lesson, when I was looking for flights late at night a month ago, I saw a price I was really impressed with so I rolled the dice and booked immediately - not because of the $39, but over not waiting to wait until morning. That was before the Coronavirus was on the scene
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Old Mar 11, 20, 10:45 am
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Has anyone been able to get in touch with AMEX Travel in recent days?

I booked two flights through AMEX travel, two and from Italy, scheduled next week. I am assuming these flights have been, or will be cancelled. However I have not received communication from Amex to that effect. I have tried to call multiple times - each time, I have been on hold until the call was disconnected on the other end. Have they been responsive recently?
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Old Mar 11, 20, 12:25 pm
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Talked to them a bunch last week, no issues.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 12:36 pm
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No problem getting through. But, find email works. Return calls within minutes.
Changed itinerary from Italian Lake Region (Lombardy) to Provence and Cote D'Azur.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 3:16 pm
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It may depend on which "side of the house" you're calling. I find that the "real" American Express Platinum Travel agents -- the ones at the number where you have to pay $39 for each booking and each change -- answer the phone quickly and that most are reasonably competent. But I've had terrible experience with customer service agents at the number you have to call to change or cancel bookings made with American Express Travel online. It's much harder to get an agent on the phone, even during non-peak times, and when you finally get to talk to an agent it is often with someone who is inexperienced, not very knowledgeable, and/or not particularly interested in helping. I have a Cathay Pacific booking I made online at Amex and which is now cancellable without penalty according to Cathay's posted advisories. But I have to cancel through the travel agency through which I booked. I've tried calling twice today. First you get a series of recorded menus and announcements that urge you to call back another time because they're very busy, and/or to let them call you back "when it's you're turn, in more than one hour." I opted to remain on hold, and both times I got music -- once for about 15 minutes, once for about 45 -- and then suddenly the music stops, which makes me think I am about to talk to an agent. But instead I hear several minutes of silence, then someone seems to be coming on the line and hanging up the phone manually. (On the first call I heard what sounded like someone's voice for a second or two before I was disconnected. On the second call, just now, I heard what sounded like someone breathing, again only for a second or so, then a click and the call was disconnected.) I really need to cancel this reservation soon while I can still make an alternative reservation at a reasonable price. So I guess I'll call a third time and select the "call back when it's your turn in over an hour" option. But I'm not optimistic.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by Assimilated Cajun View Post
It may depend on which "side of the house" you're calling. I find that the "real" American Express Platinum Travel agents -- the ones at the number where you have to pay $39 for each booking and each change -- answer the phone quickly and that most are reasonably competent. But I've had terrible experience with customer service agents at the number you have to call to change or cancel bookings made with American Express Travel online. It's much harder to get an agent on the phone, even during non-peak times, and when you finally get to talk to an agent it is often with someone who is inexperienced, not very knowledgeable, and/or not particularly interested in helping. I have a Cathay Pacific booking I made online at Amex and which is now cancellable without penalty according to Cathay's posted advisories. But I have to cancel through the travel agency through which I booked. I've tried calling twice today. First you get a series of recorded menus and announcements that urge you to call back another time because they're very busy, and/or to let them call you back "when it's you're turn, in more than one hour." I opted to remain on hold, and both times I got music -- once for about 15 minutes, once for about 45 -- and then suddenly the music stops, which makes me think I am about to talk to an agent. But instead I hear several minutes of silence, then someone seems to be coming on the line and hanging up the phone manually. (On the first call I heard what sounded like someone's voice for a second or two before I was disconnected. On the second call, just now, I heard what sounded like someone breathing, again only for a second or so, then a click and the call was disconnected.) I really need to cancel this reservation soon while I can still make an alternative reservation at a reasonable price. So I guess I'll call a third time and select the "call back when it's your turn in over an hour" option. But I'm not optimistic.
This is my issue - I need to reach someone regarding flights booked online to and from Italy, which I presume have been cancelled. I am surprised Amex Travel hasn't notified me of the cancellations already
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Old Mar 11, 20, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
I booked two flights through AMEX travel, two and from Italy, scheduled next week. I am assuming these flights have been, or will be cancelled. However I have not received communication from Amex to that effect. I have tried to call multiple times - each time, I have been on hold until the call was disconnected on the other end. Have they been responsive recently?
I had to cancel three hotel reservations -- two in Italy. Two I could cancel online, but the third was rejected online, prompting me to call the Plat Travel line. It bounced me to regular travel for some reason, and once the agent saw I was Plat, she had to transfer me. Whole thing took about 15 minutes. A bit annoying, but I understand that they must be deluged in calls right now.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 6:55 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
I had to cancel three hotel reservations -- two in Italy. Two I could cancel online, but the third was rejected online, prompting me to call the Plat Travel line. It bounced me to regular travel for some reason, and once the agent saw I was Plat, she had to transfer me. Whole thing took about 15 minutes. A bit annoying, but I understand that they must be deluged in calls right now.
Hmm. I'm pretty sure the number I've been calling -- the one that's listed on my reservations -- is not "the Plat Travel line". After reading your message above, I tried calling the number on the back of my Platinum card and saying "Travel" in response to the menu's request for a description of what I wanted. Then it directed me to a travel menu that gave me further sets of options. When I told it that I was calling about an existing air reservation that I had booked online, it directed me back to the same menu that I'd reached on my previous calls to the number on my reservations. Then I spent another 40 minutes on hold and finally gave up. (I'm still waiting for the promised return call "in over an hour -- you will not lose your place in the queue" from several hours ago.) So I'm not sure why your call was answered after only 15 minutes. Maybe you were just lucky, or maybe hotel reservations get directed to a different department than air reservations. But thanks for the hint, even if it did not work for me.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 6:59 pm
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I was able to get through after caking the “regular Amex Travel” line and having me transferred over to the online support. I was helped by a kid that sounded like he was was barely out of high school, but he was eventually able to get one of my itineraries cancelled and refunded due to Alitalia’s schedule change

In general it seems better to call in to book travel with Amex nowadays
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Old Mar 11, 20, 7:50 pm
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I had a flight to London booked with IAP (web) on Delta for April 4. But given the Coronavirus situation, we wouldn't be traveling. Has anyone had luck getting the tickets refunded?
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Old Mar 11, 20, 8:33 pm
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Actually to be fair, the Expedia agents called me back too after I hung up because they were taking too long for something that should have been easy (getting the PNR for a codeshare flight on an itinerary). I was able to get it via online chat with the operating carrier faster than the Expedia agent. But then they called me back after they eventually got it (probably by calling the airlines).
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