Strange Request from Japan Airlines

Last summer, I booked a short trip to Bangkok and Japan.  The intent of the trip was to ride the Shinkansen with my son.  There were some hiccups along the way (details will be provided in the upcoming trip report), but we were able to accomplish the trip.  Here are some of the teaser posts from the trip:

JAL 787-900 Premium Economy in 5 Pictures

JAL 787-800 Economy in 5 Pictures

Singapore Airlines A330 Business in 5 Pictures

Singapore Airlines 777-300 Business in 5 Pictures

Nozomi Shinkansen in 5 Pictures

ANA 767-300 Business in 5 Pictures

To get to/from Asia, I booked the trip in economy class on Japan Airlines.  There were reasonable fares available from Dallas to Bangkok via Tokyo.  During check-in, I was offered a paid upgrade to Premium Economy for approximately $300 USD.  11-12 hours in a smaller cabin with better food and more space?  Sign. Me. Up.  I immediately whipped out my credit card to pay for it.

JAL Premium Economy 787-900 Dallas to Tokyo
JAL Premium Economy

I did not have an issue on the flight and arrived in Tokyo feeling a bit rested.  The “issue” arose last week when I received a call from an UNKNOWN NAME from El Segundo, California.

JAL Customer ServiceJAL Customer Service

The call went like this:

Caller:  Good afternoon, may I speak with Mr. Robert Short please.

Me:  Roberto Short speaking, how can I help you?

Caller:  Ah yes, Mr. Short, I am Yukie with Japan Airlines.  I am calling to inform you that the upgrade payment you made to JAL did not process.

Me:  The upgrade I purchased last July?

Yukie:  Yes.  Please provide me with a credit card number so I can process the transaction.

Me:  Wait a minute there Yukie.  You call me from an Unknown number, about a flight from last summer, and want my credit card information?  Did I miss anything?

Yukie:  No sir, are you able to provide the number?

Me:  I will not provide it to you.  The transaction was processed months ago.  This is an issue with Japan Airlines, not me.

Yukie:  Sir, I really need your number to complete the transaction.

Me:  Tell you what Yukie, send me an email and I will see what I can do.

Yukie:  I would like the payment now.

Me: No.

Yukie:  What’s your e-mail?

Me:  You don’t have it?

Yukie:  Oh wait, I think I do.

Me:  Ok, I will wait for the email.  Have a good day.

I met this entire conversation with skepticism.  Unknown numbers are not usually entertained, but I felt the need to answer this one in case it was someone contacting me for something pertaining to my main job.  I could not understand why the company would process the transaction, allow me to board the flight, then call months later requesting another payment.  My mind immediately went to this is a phishing scam.  I was not providing my number to the person on the other end under any circumstances.

Later in the day, I received the following email from Yukie:

Dear Mr. Short,
Thank you for your patronage of Japan Airlines.
We are writing to you today in regards to your Japan Airlines receipt number XXX-XXXXXXXXXX. Please call Yukie in the Japan Airlines ticketing department at 310-607-2385, available from 09:00-17:00 (Pacific Time) Monday through Friday, for assistance with this receipt.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Best regards,
Japan Airlines The Americas
Customer Support  Desk

I applaud her persistence, but I am not providing another payment for the upgrade.  In all of my life, I have never heard of a transaction still pending after eight months.  This was definitely a good try on her end, but I will not budge on this, it just does not feel right.  I think JAL and I are even after the airline tried to charge me $350 USD for a change flight fee leaving Bangkok.

Have any of you had a similar experience with JAL customer service? 


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