Capital One Financial / charged for first class airline tickets but received premium economy at check-in
On November 1, 2015, I purchased two First Class, round trip tickets from Boston to Rome on Alitalia using the Capital One Rewards Travel website. The tickets were purchased as a birthday present for my wife, but our entire trip was ruined by Capital One’s fraudulent activity.
On Saturday, July 16, 2016, the day we were supposed to depart for Rome (after flying all the way across the country from Los Angeles to Boston), I tried to check into our flight. Once I reached the seat selection screen on Alitalia’s website, I was only given the option to select Premium Economy seats notwithstanding the fact that I clearly purchased First Class tickets as evidenced by the attached reservations from the Capital One Reward Travel website. I immediately called Alitalia to ask why I could not check into First Class, and they said the tickets in their reservation system showed up as Premium Economy, not First Class. The Alitalia agent said I would need to discuss the discrepancy with whomever I purchased the tickets from.
I immediately called the Capital One phone number listed on my reservation receipt and spoke with Nanette S., Agent Sign AOC in Wilkes-Barre, PA. I explained the problem and asked that she put us in First Class on the flight we were booked on, or the other direct Alitalia flight scheduled earlier that same day. After spending over an hour on the phone, Nanette told me that despite my reservations clearly stating that I purchased First Class tickets, there must have been a computer error and she could not do anything for me. I then asked to speak with a supervisor, and she refused. Nanette then proceeded to tell me that my only choices were to accept a refund or pay to upgrade my tickets from Premium Economy to First Class! I was in such disbelief that I put her on speaker phone and asked her to repeat this so everyone else in the room could hear her response. In addition, I asked her to put it in writing and have attached a copy of her email to me stating the same thing.
I am still in complete disbelief that Capital One told me 10 hours before our flights that, even though I bought First Class tickets and had reservation receipts to prove it, my only choices were to accept a refund and rebook my tickets with someone else or pay to upgrade them from Premium Economy. I cannot explain to you how devastated my wife and I were, as she was literally brought to tears. Capital One completely defrauded us and callously destroyed a celebratory vacation that was planned eight and one half months in advance. We were left with no recourse and flew round trip in Premium Economy as evidenced by our attached boarding passes.
Capital One and its employee’s behavior was both fraudulent and abhorrent. I am asking to receive the two First Class, round trip tickets we purchased, although no compensation can alleviate the anguish caused to my family.
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