American Airlines Ticketing #Fail!

I  have just used Kayak to research a flight: Austin-Pittsburgh-Boston. The best option price and schedule- wise was an American Airlines/USAir combo sold by American Airlines for $US357.60 in Economy.

Kayak gave me a link to American Airlines which I clicked on. This deposited me on the onto the American Airline homepage ( I entered all my personal data and scrolled through to payments page where I entered my Credit Card details including address.  I discovered, at this point that there was not a drop down box for “Australia”. I could enter “USA”, “Canada” or the “UK” but not “Australia”.

So I called American Airlines. Turns out I can no longer book and pay for a ticket on with an Australian Credit Card. I had to start the whole booking process again at the Australian American Airlines site. This I did. The cost to fly on the same flights was  $A574.40 ($US594.81). This is a massive $US 237.21 difference. This is excessive!

There are three solutions:

  1. Get a US Credit or Debit Card (which I have)
  2. Get a friend to pay
  3. Book and put on hold and go to an airport with an AA counter and pay for the ticket at the airport. AA won’t let me pay over the phone. How bizarre is that?






  1. Other possible solutions:
    – If you can find the same fare on another booking site (e.g. Expedia), these will often accept any form of payment irrespective of country. I used this technique to overcome the same problems when I had to book tix with United.
    – IIRC you can book and put the tix on hold. Then call the AA office in Australia and pay for the tix over the phone.

    Overall I still agree with you – the current restrictions suck.

  2. Oops sorry missed your remark about not being able to pay over the phone.

    Now that is bizarre. I’m sure someone else must’ve booked these tix from Australia before and used the phone technique.

  3. That is a major fail for American. I have never understood why, if we can use credit cards in another country, those same credit cards cannot be validated online.

  4. Two more alternatives

    1. use a travel agent for a small ($30US or so) fee

    2. If you have a card that has travel services (e.g., Amex) call them and have them book it. There’s a good chance they’ll waive the fee if it is a premium card.

  5. I have not used a travel agent to book a domestic flight for 15 years! I forgot that they can do that! Thank you

  6. I experienced the same issue with Ticketmaster US.. Couldn’t book tickets over phone or Internet with AUS credit card due to them not being able to validate billing address attached to credit card. So painful!!!

  7. I have found I cannot use my card in automatic petrol station pumps and NYC transit ticket machines in the USA

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