A North Carolina woman says she saw an offensive charge on her bank statement after she and her boyfriend flew American Airlines for Thanksgiving, Charlotte’s WJZY-TV reported.
Kyetra Bryant told the news station that she saw “African American and African service charges” on her statement over the weekend. She said she and her boyfriend bought their own tickets and covered their own baggage costs.
“Over Thanksgiving, my boyfriend and I traveled from Charlotte to Denver with American, but I had no idea the trip would be ruined due to racial profiling and bias,” Bryant said in a Facebook post on Saturday.
When Bryant contacted the airline, a representative told him, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Bryant told WJZY-TV.
She said she replied, “I have a screenshot here on two different phones and a computer, and it says she’s from American Charlotte, so I want to know why is she listed from this way?”
Bryant told WJZY-TV that months later she still hadn’t received a clear explanation from her bank or the airline; she said each blamed the other for the accident.
“The bank said directly to American, ‘We have nothing to do with it. When you put something in your system, we charge it the way the merchant charges it, and that’s it,'” he said. she stated. “And to date, that hasn’t changed on any of our statements.”
A representative for American Airlines told Insider they were “disturbed” by the incident and it was investigated after the airline was alerted in mid-December. The airline said it had “determined that the problem was with the credit card company and the bank issuer.”
“Baggage fees were purchased at a self-serve kiosk in Charlotte,” the rep said. “Our team members are unable to edit the text when processing a charge and we have determined that the issue is with the credit card company and the bank issuer. We have contacted Mastercard which confirmed that American correctly submitted baggage fee information during the checkout process and Mastercard is conducting its own investigation.”
In her Facebook post, Bryant said she hadn’t “received an apology or response in almost a month, except that she was ‘investigated’ ‘and her bank’ clearly stated that she had no control over the verbiage presented by the trader.”
Bryant told WJZY-TV there was “no justification” for what happened.
“We definitely felt targeted,” she said.
Mastercard told Insider that American Airlines was not responsible for the error.
“We are conducting a thorough investigation, however, we understand that American Airlines is not responsible for this error,” a Mastercard representative said in a statement. “American Airlines correctly submitted the transaction for a checked baggage purchase, including the correct merchant name. Our banking and payment processing partners are working to understand how the error occurred so that this won’t happen again.”
In a statement to Insider, Capital One called the matter a “technical issue.” The company said its investigation found it was ‘the result of an error in coding a merchant’s name’ and said it was ‘completely unrelated to any specific customer information’ .
Citing proprietary technology it says relies on “an external database of business information,” Capital One said it is “actively investigating precisely where the technology has misinterpreted merchant data and we are correcting the problem”.