Award reservation frustrations

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by deant, Sep 16, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Trying to make a one way award reservation from LHR to either LAX or SNA.

    I look on the web site and when you put in the request (date, class etc) it shows various flights as being available - most of which are connecting. If you look at flight details everything looks OK. For a business class award, the over water flight is Business and the Domestic leg is First.

    However, when you select the flight and try to book, it show that the flight is "no longer available". I can try any of the options and every flight comes back to the same screen that says the flight is "no longer available".

    Talking to both Gold reservations and Tech Support, they say this is a known bug. They show flights online that are not really available.

    Has anyone else run into this situation? Any solutions?
     
  2. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    I haven't had it particularly recently, but historically it has been an ongoing bug.

    In one rather comical variation of it - and this was years ago - it kept saying 'no longer available' when I went to book, and then "secretly" booked it (and held it) anyway. I remember one day I got a telephone call from AA asking if there was there any particular reason I booked the same guy six times between the same two cities in one day. :) But that has been years ago now.

    The bug you had still crops up from time to time. Sometimes I find the bug is gone the next morning, but that sometimes means the flights on the first availability screen are gone too.

    Otherwise, the only real solution I can think of is asking Elite Reservations is there really is anything available, have them book it, and ask to waive the reservation-by-agent charge (I am PLT, not GLD, but I have found them quite willing to waive that fee for reasonable cause before, even when I preferred they would have just fixed the bug and let me book it myself).
     
  3. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    Kansaskeith,

    Thanks for the confirmation. I did call both Elite Reservations and Tech Support and they both said that nothing was available. However, I just checked a few minutes ago and I was able to book the flights. This was just a couple of hours after I was told nothing was available.

    Very strange. If it is a known bug, you would think they would want to fix it and avoid all the hassles.
     
  4. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    First the important part: I'm glad you were able to book your flights.

    Now, from the timing of your posts I am wondering if one of the things that happened between when you had the problem and when you didn't was that midnight Central time came and went. As I mentioned above, sometimes when I had this problem it would be gone the next morning. If midnight did elapse in between, and if I had to guess, the alleged "known bug" has to do with not actual availability of empty seats on the seat map, but with the synching of the system that controls how many can be booked for award travel, particularly MileSaaver travel. The latter system may go ahead and make some available so that they show on our searches, but not flag them over to the main booking system until it updates for the new "dAAy," at midnight.

    But this is just a hunch of mine from when I have seen this occur. If I were really a comptetent enough I.T. guy to figure that out for sure, AA could hire me in their systems department, and then I could fly free, space-available, and wouldn't have to worry about all this, ha ha.

    Enjoy your business class coming back across the pond. It's not a perfect product, but certainly nothing to scoff at, either.
     
  5. deant
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    deant Milepoint Guide

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    You are correct about midnight having past in CST. So that was probably the solution.

    We had really wanted F but since the flights are in the middle of the Olympics, we didn't want to take a chance and wait for F to become available. We figured it was better to get the saver business seats while they were available than gamble that AA would release F seats later on. Because of the Olympics, we don't have the flexibility to change return dates like I normally try to have (was able to snag SPG award rooms for the beginning of the Olympics so that is fixed). Figure if F does become available, I can always call and change. May have to pay a change fee but such is life.
     

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