Wednesday, 27 October 2004
ATA Airlines is bankrupt
ATA Airlines (also known as "American Trans Air") has joined United Airlines, US Airways, and Hawaiian Airlines (and other airlines in countries other than the USA) in bankruptcy.
I've updated my FAQ about Airline Bankruptcies accordingly. I like the service on ATA Airlines -- genuinely unpretentious yet efficient -- and I've flown more often with them than on any other airline on trips within the USA in the last few years. But I won't be buying any more tickets for ATA flights as long as they are bankrupt.
Possible extension of the misleadingly reassuring but largely useless to consumers Federal law governing acceptance of tickets on bankrupt airlines remains bogged down in debates over other provisions the "intelligence" (surveillance) bill to which it has been attached.
[Addendum: More of my comments on airline bankruptcies from the travel section of the New York Times , Pracrtical Traveler: Navigating Turbulent Skies , 10 October 2004.]
Posted by Edward on Wednesday, 27 October 2004, 12:47 (12:47 PM)
Well that's just great.
I have 5 flights on both ATA AND US Airways. I knew about ATA but felt confident about their status and buy-out. But US Airways I was totally unaware of and now I may lose $1600! I just saw the news about US Airways yesterday regarding their Jan deadline. My tickets are for FEB! I called both US Airways and Orbitz and both basicaly said 'until we get a definitive answer, tough shit."
If you purchased them with a credit card you do have some recourse. Even refundable tickets may not continue to be charged or must be refunded if the service is not ever provided for what was paid. This is based in the regulations around the credit card company (i.e. MasterCard, Visa, Amex, etc.), and the agreement that vendors must sign and adhere to before agreeing to accept/use those credit cards as an accepted form of credit/payment. You need to contact your c.c. company and start the process for any "failure to provide the service" issues as they happen. You can also get access to and view the existing regulations and standards for each credit extending service--that is regulated by the F.T.C.
It may take a while to get your monies returned or credit to be applied--but be patient and send in every piece of paperwork that they want. They will probably require a written affidavit for each charge...do it...if only for the principal of the fact. And, almost all of the companies have FAX numbers for you to send them to...just keep a copy of the things you've sent and each of the bills where the charges are handy and keep calling and bugging them.
The credit card "chargeback" rights under the USA Fair Credit Billing Act, as discussed by the previous commenter, apply ONLY if the airline ceases service, and you make a chargeback request in writing to the issuer of your credit card, no later than 60 days after the date that you received the first credit card billing statement that listed the charge. If you got the bill for your tickets more than 60 days ago, and haven't contested it, it's too late.