It Took a flight with Swiss and paid EUR 2,300 for it. The receipt I got upon booking online shows about EUR 500. I tried for months to get a proper receipt but so far have not been issued one. This is blocking my travel claim and I am at my wits' end. Do I have a chance of success/is it legal if I start a credit card dispute with Amex for an incorrect amount charged?

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    How and where did you book the flight? Directly from the airline on their website? On another website? Through other means? What is the name of the merchant on your card statement? What country are you in?
    – jcaron
    Jul 24 at 13:46
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    Booked the flight on swiss.com. Merchant as per CC statement is SWISS INTL. AIR LINES EUR WEB SALES SUBMISSIONS EUR SPAIN 12345. I'm in the UK booked with a credit card issued in Germany. Jul 24 at 16:07
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    Just wondering… was the €2300 just for the flight(s)? Or were there additional services like hotels or car rentals or transfers or anything else? Was everything on a single PNR? Was it for a single passenger? Amex statements usually have lots of details for flight purchases, is it the case here?
    – jcaron
    Jul 25 at 15:50
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    So the issue is you were overcharged, or simply the receipt is wrong and your company will not pay it all back? Overcharged is clearly an instance when you make a chargeback. Having a malformed receipt but a valid statement your company won't honor sounds like your company is run by d-bags.
    – user27701
    Jul 25 at 16:16
  • 4
    Either way, you're looking for money.stackexchange.com or workplace.stackexchange.com
    – user27701
    Jul 25 at 16:17

4 Answers 4


Note that triggering a chargeback on a payment that you agreed upon is fraud, and doing so can put you in much more trouble than failing to recover money in your travel claim. For a payment as big as 2300€ I'm pretty sure you had to use something like "3D secure auth" to confirm it, which means your bank will be on the hook for at least part of the sum if they proceed with your chargeback claim. Clearly your bank may not be your friend in this affair.

On the other hand, writing to the airline / travel agent about the discrepancy between the receipt and the amount charged on the credit card, and asking them to rectify this discrepancy is not illegal. This makes it sound like a chargeback will soon follow if they don't react, and is often more effective than just asking for a rectified receipt.

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    This worked like magic. Basically I got a very eager agent respond to me why I was wrong and getting an internal department to issue a receipt pretty much straight away. Jul 27 at 14:09
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    @academic_burner I don't understand. You said you "called the hotline many times, sent many emails, even sent a letter asking for correction", and that you tried for months. But now, writing "about the discrepancy between the receipt and the amount charged on the credit card, and asking them to rectify this discrepancy" worked like magic? What's the difference between your previous attempts and this one? Jul 27 at 14:50
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    @FabiosaysReinstateMonica One is asking for a receipt while the other is claiming you have a receipt and that it does not match what you were actually charged. So in the latter you have proof of a discrepancy that must be fixed.
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 27 at 17:07
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    @DKNguyen It can't be that: the OP said they "even sent a letter asking for correction". Surely the discrepancy had already been brought up. So what made the difference this time? Could it be that the OP mentioned the magic word "chargeback"? This is my best guess, but it's only a guess after all. Jul 27 at 17:30
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    @Fabio Previous attempts: Please issue a receipt for 2300 Successful attempt: Please refund 1800 as this is what I'm owed according to the receipt issued. Jul 27 at 19:06

This sounds bizarre and maybe there is some piece of the story missing.

If you booked the ticket directly with Swiss, you should be able to view your trip on their website and download the receipt from there. If the receipt and the amount charge don't match, you can try to contact your credit card company but I doubt it will help. Apparently services were rendered for the agreed upon amount. I don't think they would do a charge-back as "punishment" for a clerical error.

If you booked through a third party, the third party should have issued a receipt. You would need to go through them. It's possible that Swiss has indeed receive only $500 and the $1800 got pocketed by the third party.

So it all depends on who exactly is the entity that charged you and whose name shows up on the credit card statement. Whoever took your money first owes you a receipt.

If all else fails: most companies do have a process to deal with lost or incorrect receipts. It typically involves filing an affidavit (for tax and legal reasons) where you do declare that you indeed incurred this expensive as stated. You can back this up with a copy of the credit card statement and the boarding pass . Your expense department should be able to help with this: people forget or lose receipts occasionally. It's basic human nature.

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    Yes it's incredibly bizarre. As I said, I have been issued a receipt. It just happens to be 1.8k off. Don't ask me how this can happen. I called the hotline many times, sent many emails, even sent a letter asking for correction. Maybe I share the e-mail exchange for a laugh. Jul 24 at 16:10
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    Might be worth using the airline support channels by taking the $500 receipt, saying that this is all you were given after repeated request, and noting the discrepancy to the $2300 charge. Then explain that apparantly you've been overcharged and would like your money back. Perhaps asking for money based on the receipt makes them correct the invoice, after all, or you even get the money back. As long as you describe things honestly, I don't see how this should be illegal. Note that this is less drastic than going for a CC chargeback directly.
    – helm
    Jul 24 at 16:34
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    @academic_burner: can you download another receipt from their website? It should be in your account under "past flights".
    – Hilmar
    Jul 24 at 17:10
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    @helm note that talking to your bank about a problem is not the same as "triggering a chargeback". In my experience, somebody at the bank will investigate, and decide whether a chargeback is warranted, or they may ask you to first talk to Swiss, etc.
    – user253751
    Jul 25 at 8:02
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    @user253751: I had to file a chargeback because my bank couldn't answer "Who's the merchant on this line" otherwise. :( My bank actually tried to tell me it was Enterprise Rent-a-car via PayPal which is preposterous.
    – Joshua
    Jul 25 at 17:10

Specifically addressing the "This is blocking my travel claim" component - does your expense reporting procedure have any allowance for lost receipts etc? Often they'll let you submit the credit card statement (with irrelevant information and other charges redacted for your privacy), along with a signed attestation basically stating that you aren't committing fraud. I would try this if you haven't already, or at least contact someone in the finance department first to get their opinion on the best course of action (again assuming you haven't already tried this, apologies if this seems obvious and you've already done it).

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    I've submitted credit card statements in lieu of receipts for expense reports. To me submitting the expense report is the "attestation" that you are not committing fraud. And as business travel would likely have to be prior approved, there will be several people in the approval chain who understand the situation. As such, IMHO the OP needs to be talking with their manager to get the claim processed.
    – Peter M
    Jul 25 at 15:33
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    In the US, the standard is what the IRS will accept to substantiate a business expense (if it's over $75). My impression is that a credit card statement alone will not be sufficient for a large expense on an audit, without a signed statement explaining why there's no receipt. The receipt includes information about the nature of the travel (dates, places) which is missing from the statement. Smaller expenses seem less likely to be challenged. Jul 25 at 17:48
  • @GlennWillen I believe that my Amex card tracks details of the flights I have bought. And even if it didn't, accommodation, transportation and food expenses at the destination corroberate the flight expenses.
    – Peter M
    Jul 26 at 14:52
  • When I was a finance department approver for a big UK government department, our objective was to pay properly incurred in-limits claims. If a receipt was lost, damaged or unusable for some reason, we paid claims provided reasonably convincing evidence such as a bank statement was provided. Or a signed statement that the receipt was lost. Jul 26 at 16:06
  • @PeterM In my expense reporting system I also had to submit scans of boarding passes. If I was trying to construct a fraudulent scenario to justify not approving it I suppose you might be able to buy a cheap flight for yourself, a fancy one for your partner/mistress/whatever, and claim the more expensive one from your credit card statement while using the other evidence from the cheap one. I don't think this is a particularly likely way to commit fraud.
    – llama
    Jul 26 at 16:46

Send a request (via registered mail) to the company you paid (the one whose name appears on amex statement) telling them they charged you more than what you owe attaching the receipt you already have.

If they don't oblige, then proceed with the chargeback request telling AmEx that "wrong amount was charged" attaching the 500€ receipt you already have as a proof.

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