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Confirmed and charged flight, denied boarding, COPA

Confirmed and charged flight, denied boarding, COPA

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Old Aug 1, 19, 4:05 pm
  #31  
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I wonder whether a work around would have been to book the passenger and OP (credit card holder) together on the same PNR, check in, go to gate, and then OP decides not to fly. Of course this could be expensive, but if OP is purchasing a last minute ticket, it might be fully refundable without fees.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 4:15 pm
  #32  
 
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Everything past the purchase would probably be unnecessary in the above example, since it was the purchase itself that was flagged.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 9:57 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by cnsoccer View Post
I have just come back from the airport after 4 hours of trying to get my father on an emergency flight we booked this morning to see his 94 yo mother before a complicated surgery and am confused about my options. Earlier when we booked, we were asked to go to a copa office or email Copa a credit card statement and a copy of drivers license matching the name on the credit card statement because it was flagged by the fraud department. A few hours after sending the supporting documents, the charge hit the credit card so we thought nothing of it.

Fast forward to tonight, the flight is at 130am so we arrive around 930pm to make sure everything is ok. The initial CSR rep said the ticket was not paid. After showing the bank charges on the account, a supervisor comes out and says its out of her hands because the fraud department is closed and he cant fly out since the charge is flagged. I immediatley called 1800 FLYCOPA and was told to simply bring the credit card and its owner to the counter. 3 hours later im picking up the suitcase that had already been tagged and sent to the plane and the phone rep still says the counter can fix it and the counter says they cant do anything without fraud approving it, which they cant reach until the morning. Of course I could choose to rebook the flight paying $500 more than my original price and deal with the double charges with my credit card company later. Furthermore, the flight he is confirmed for is no longer available so on top of paying more he would get there 4 hours later, too late to see my grandmother before she goes in. Our other option is to "try again tomorrow".

Do we have any recourse in this situation? I feel the situation is extremely bizarre and had they told him before, the flight wouldnt be possible we could have rebooked elsewhere. My father was denied boarding from his confirmed flight which he was checking in for 4 hours before flight time and the best they could come up with is, "Just call in the morning and MAYBE he won't have to pay any extra to fly tomorrow."

Any suggestions?
Buy another ticket and claim the airline for damages. This is clearly airline's fault as you have arrived the airport 4 hours before flight and presented the card according to the fraud control procedure. It's airline fault for the fraud control department not operating 24/7 when the airline itself operates 24/7 and requires passengers to go thru the fraud control to board planes.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 9:54 pm
  #34  
 
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I'm very sorry you're going through this experience. I've had many "flagged" reservations (particularly when I'm buying for another passenger), over the course of the years, and it is ALWAYS a pain in the neck to resolve, assuming it's resolvable. This is what I would recommend in these cases. (a) I've NEVER had a reservation "flagged" when purchased on Expedia or another online agency. I don't know why, because the charge is done by the airline even when the reservation is made through the agency, but it is a fact I've noticed (and I fly more than a quarter of a million miles a year). (b) The airline may run the charge through your credit card and your credit card may approve it, but if the reservation is flagged by the airlines "security team," the ticket will not issue until the flag is removed. The smartest thing to do is to call the airline at the earliest possibility and just CANCEL the reservation. You will save yourself a lot of trouble. Then once it's cancelled with the airline, go to an online travel agency, and book it all over again. My "flaggings" have usually been on Middle Eastern carriers like Emirates and Qatar when I make the reservation for an employee. They are horrible to deal with, but with patience and sometimes a visit to a Ticket Office, you can often resolve. Copa is a different matter. They must be the most incompetently run airline in the Americas, except perhaps for Avianca. I'm sorry to say it, because I am Panamanian, but it's a fact. When there is any irregularity with a Copa Ticket, the best thing to do is to just anul the reservation, if it's possible, because asking their employees to do something sensible, and to do it right, is like drawing blood from a stone. They are not empowered to do anything other than politely answer your questions with a standard rote answer. And the few who are empowered would generally rather just not work. So it's not at all unusual that you were told to just bring the credit card by one employee, and another employee tells you that you are SOL because the appropriate "department" is closed. Inconsistency is rife at that company so my recommendation is to just not buy their tickets directly from them, because you are putting your luck (and your money) in the hands of staff who are generally unmotivated, unreliable, uninterested, and un-intelligent. Their website is virtually useless. Buy from an agency. You may also be interested in knowing that the lowest price for Copa tickets is very often the agencies, and their website merely assures you that "Your transactions are secure" but makes no claim as to being the lowest cost source of their tickets (because it isn't). Moreover, when you buy on their website, there is no 24 hour remorse period (while if you buy a Copa ticket on Expedia you have 24 hours to change your mind. So any flagging can be dealt with by just cancelling within the window if the ticket does not issue. I have never found any benefit from buying a a ticket on copa.com, while I have found that buying from an online agency gives you the 24 hour remorse period, and someone to turn to when the airline fails to perform on the contract of carriage.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:12 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by AdamPanama View Post
... Copa is a different matter. They must be the most incompetently run airline in the Americas, except perhaps for Avianca. I'm sorry to say it, because I am Panamanian, but it's a fact. When there is any irregularity with a Copa Ticket, the best thing to do is to just anul the reservation, if it's possible, because asking their employees to do something sensible, and to do it right, is like drawing blood from a stone. They are not empowered to do anything other than politely answer your questions with a standard rote answer. ...
Copa is actually a very well-run company, as evidenced by its profitability, long history, and excellent punctuality. Copa's problem is the same problem one sees in businesses all over Latin America, which you described in the bolded text above: For a variety of reasons, companies/employers simply don't trust their employees to make decisions. That's frustrating enough in a restaurant or shoe store, but it can lead to huge and seemingly inexplicable inconveniences with an airline. It makes no sense that a Copa airport agent can't issue a ticket when the cardholder is standing there with the credit card and valid ID, but this sort of thing probably happens thousands of times per day across the region. If the situation isn't explicitly in the person's job description, they either can't or won't do it.
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Old Aug 14, 19, 10:38 pm
  #36  
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It makes it even worse when all is said and done they have charged both mine and my dads credit card now for the same flight. When trying to fix the situation 2 weeks ago they rebooked the flight with same record locator, but now leaving the next day and used his card instead. My original charge was not reversed as they claimed...now I have to file a chargeback. I am so over this airline...lol
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