Being an avid traveler, I had the worst flight experience of my life with American airlines and I would like to share it and warn everybody about this airline's practices... I booked a ticket on December 2013 for a flight from New York to San Francisco. They had problems charging my credit card but I was never notified of the issue and I received my booking confirmation via email.
The day I was going to fly, the agents in the check-in counter told me there was a problem because the transaction had been declined and I still needed to pay for my ticket. I told them I hadn't been notified but I was happy to pay on site. However, they said the price of 158$ I had booked on December was not longer valid and if I wanted to fly, I would need to pay the current price of 560$ + 35$ fine for not having paid on time.
I felt that this was an abuse since I wasn't aware there was a problem and I could not afford the new price of the ticket but they said they could not help me and unless I agreed to pay the new price, I wouldn't be able to fly. This seemed like a very bad joke and I couldn't believe they were serious.
I requested to talk with a supervisor who proved to be the rudest person I have ever met. He didn't help me at all and limited to say it was my fault because I didn't pay and accused me that I wanted to fly for free. He was really disrespectful to me and refused to help.
As a last resort, I called the airline and told the agent who took my desperate call that the situation was unacceptable and they had to help me. I was crying of desperation and the agent finally understood that it was not my fault and changed the price of my ticket to the original one. The agents in the check in counter still made me pay the 35$ fine for not having paid on time.
This situation caused a big distress to me (one hour before a 6hours flight) and I almost missed my flight due to the huge incompetence of the American airline agents in JFK airport. I have never encountered worst customer service and I will never fly with this airline again. Please, be aware of their lucrative business (declining valid credit cards, not notifying their customers about the problem and then trying to charge them x4 times the original price).
Really shameful company.