OK, we’ve all been inundated with news of airline cutbacks, with much of the attention focused on canceled routes, the loss of in-flight meals and the closing of airport clubrooms. What hasn’t been mentioned, however, is how much damage is being caused by the closing of many of the airlines ticket offices.
For instance, when members of the United Mileage Plus program want to transfer an award, they have to visit a United Airlines ticket office or desk to personally sign over the award to the other person (that person not being required to be there). To date, United has closed some 32 city ticket offices, creating a growing problem for members seeking an easy solution to award redemption for family and friends.
On a recent trip to the airport, we found a ticket line longer than a conga line on FlyerTalk. Undeterred, we worked our way to the front of the line, only to discover that they were only ticketing for travel that day and were asking those who wished to redeem an award to return during non-peak departure times.
American has reduced city ticket offices from 107 to only seven. As this reduction of CTOs continues, expect different solutions to the problem of award transfer.