American Airlines may have charged a small group of children for Italian and United Kingdom taxes they should not have paid, according to a filing with the U.S. Department of Transportation.
American is blaming a computer issue and says the problem only affects award tickets booked for children through its AAdvantage program.
In some cases American may have charged adult tax rates for children. In the United Kingdom, for example, most children younger than two have long been exempt from a key tax. On May 1, the U.K. changed the rules so that this tax - the U.K. Air Passenger Duty - is no longer applicable for children younger than 12 flying in regular coach.
American admits its computer system may not have properly assessed these U.K. taxes.
"American has determined that for frequent flier program (AAdvantage) tickets only, a computer programming issue appears to have possibly resulted in the collection of the full amount of such taxes," American wrote to the DOT.
There was also similar issue with regard to collection of Italian taxes on award tickets, and American says some children likely were overcharged. But "American reasonably believes the number of affected passengers will be low."
American promised the DOT it would reach out to affected families. It also says it is changing the computer platform that assesses the tax. It asks the DOT not to conduct a formal enforcement program, since it is fixing the problem on its own.
If you're wondering how this information reached the DOT, it is because traveler Mike Borsetti filed a complaint. He seems to file a lot of them.
Here's American's official response.