CUN-MIA-SFO-HKG-DPS - one award or two?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by wijomas, Dec 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    So, my fiancee (catgirl) and I booked an award to Bali for (the first part of) our honeymoon.

    Here's what it looks like:

    JAN01 AA1302 CUN 1550 MIA 1835
    JAN01 AA1817 MIA 2020 SFO 2330
    JAN03 CX879 SFO 1335 HKG 1845+1
    JAN05 CX785 HKG 1020 DPS 1500

    (Dates changed to hide from creepy stalkers :p)

    The only stopover on this award is in SFO, at the North American Gateway. For some reason, AA seems rather insistent that it's two awards, despite agreeing with me that the stopover should be allowed. They say that CX doesn't allow us to route the way we've routed as one award. I find this odd, considering there are CX fares CUN-DPS which are MPM based fares, and this falls well within MPM. If they want to look at the stopover as well, then there are CUN-SFO fares that allow routing through Miami, and SFO-DPS fares that allow routing through HKG.

    So, AAward experts, I'm correct in thinking this should be a single North America -> Asia Zone 2 award, right? American are trying to tell me it's Mexico -> US and North America->Asia Zone 2. We're now waiting for the advice of the CX Liaison on Monday.

    Thoughts?
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    CX definitely publishes a fare CUN-DPS. Check.

    You don't have to argue over MPM, the MPM+25% isn't an issue here. MPM via the Pacific is 13,113. Your routing is 12,179. So MPM? Check.

    Not that it should matter but the CX CUN-DPS fare I pulled up specifically permits stopovers in SFO. Check.

    And if that weren't implied by allowing an SFO stopover, allow specifically allows transit of US. On AA. Check.

    Everything really does seem to check out here. There's not any valid reason I can think of why AA would disallow this award.

    Sometimes the computer just has pricing errors, and sometimes agents will try to justify why the computer is doing something rather than figure out how to override it. I've had that happen to me, where sticking an SFO stopover into a CX award causes the fare to break and they want to price it as two awards (Origin to SFO, SFO to Asia) as they are wanting you to do here.

    One way to test that theory is to simply remove the stopover, test whether this prices as a straight connection (ie less than 24h in SFO). If it does, then it's just an AA computer pricing error because of the SFO stopover. That's my guess of what's going on here.

    "CX doesn't allow the routing" is false, regardless. It's AA who either does or does not permit a routing, even if one of AA's requirements is that the overwater carrier have a published fare between origin and destination.

    If they decide to give you a hard time, I would ask them WHAT SPECIFIC RULE IS VIOLATED here? Not just "CX doesn't allow it" but WHAT ABOUT THIS ROUTING IS NOT ALLOWED and what would be allowed instead?

    And if you don't get anywhere that way i bet you will find that the SFO stopover is causing the problem, and thus you can prove it by removing the stopover and once you have done that you should be able to get them to manually store the fare.

    And if you've proven it is the stopover that's causing the problem and you are running out of time on your hold then my strategy would be to just issue the tickets at the price they are asking and fight AA for the miles back later rather than risking the AAward. It *is* a honeymoon after all!
     
  3. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    Thanks gleff! :)

    The computer did originally price this out at 97,500. We had the original agent go to the rate desk, who re-priced it back to 67,500. Then we ticketed. The miles never came out of the account, a week later. We called. They said there was an error ticketing because it was not the correct mileage, so back to square one again.

    Sadly, there's no availability on the exact same routing that would remove the stopover, though I guess I could try completely different/random dates.


    Tried that. I was actually on a conference call with the CK desk agent, the rate desk agent, and the supervisor on the rate desk. Initially, they tried to tell me it was because I was transiting a different zone. Uhhh, no, Mexico and the US are both North America, and Hong Kong and Indonesia are both Asia 2. They finally both agreed that it should be 67,500 as far as they know, but clearly it's not because the computer say so. They just can't tell me why :rolleyes:

    We do definitely want the stopover, and it shouldn't be an issue as the CK desk has advised they have put the award on hold indefinitely until the issue is sorted. But I am a little nervous, so we'll see what happens Monday and if still not sorted by the end of the day I think I'll follow your advice and ticket anyway and try claw the miles back later.
     
  4. storyteller
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    storyteller Gold Member

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    This is AA & not UA, however on UA I had a problem with a stopover on a one way. As soon as I made it a return the stopover was fine. Maybe same situation with AA? And do the part you want & cancel the return. Full refund yes?
     
  5. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    UA does not permit stopovers on one-way award tickets, only on roundtrips.

    AA permits stopovers on one-way awards between North America and other continents *at the North American gateway city only*

    The issue he's facing isn't about one-way vs. roundtrip.
     
  6. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Are you finding a published through-fare for CUN-DPS? AA's award rules don't allow the use of constructed fares for a single award. I did a quick look (though not very thorough since it's Saturday night hehe) and everything I saw for CUN-DPS showed that they're constructed fares, using MEX-DPS with a CUN add-on (screenshot below, note the "Constructed routing" language and "Add-On CUN" section):

    Screen Shot 2012-12-08 at 9.50.56 PM.png

    When I search MEX-DPS, that's when I see that CX has an actual published through-fare (screenshot below, note the "Published RTG" language):

    Screen Shot 2012-12-08 at 9.51.25 PM.png

    If you're finding an actual published through-fare, then I don't see an issue with the routing. But if it's all constructed fares that are created, then AA would require 2 awards. Did you happen to find a valid through-fare from CX somewhere?

    If not, might be feasible to change the award to MEX-DPS instead and just buy a cheap one way revenue ticket CUN-MEX.
     
  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Bingo.

    I hadn't looked into the details to see that it's published MEX-DPS with a $200 add-on CUN-MEX.

    It's more than a little bit amusing that (1) AA's rules are so arcane and (2) that they couldn't figure out the problem.

    But indeed,DestinationDavid, you are correct, CUN-DPS are constructed fares and those aren't permitted for validating a routing. MEX-DPS should be permitted on a single award but not CUN-DPS.

    Which is of course silly, but accurate. (There's still some chance that AA will permit the proposed routing, and some chance that the rule identified here isn't what's actually causing the problem...)
     
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  8. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    I'd say there's very little room for doubt that the problem is the problem DestinationDavid astutely points out; no published fare. If nothing else a good "test" would be to try the same award MEX-DPS as suggested-- I bet it'd be approved as one award (availability assuming.)

    But, in any event, I'd feel confident that it's a published fare issue.

    The issue of ex-CUN on CX was discussed briefly here to:
    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...king-engine-may-9-2009-a-45.html#post17308305
     
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  9. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    When I told AA there was a fare CUN-DPS, they said that didn't matter so much as there being a fare CUN-SFO and SFO-DPS, because of the stopover. The initial problem we had was that the original routing on the CUN-SFO was CUN-ORD-SFO, which wasn't permitted by any AA fare out of CUN. Now that we changed it to MIA, which is permitted, they're still having issues.

    But, I still think that the CUN-DPS being a constructed fare probably has a lot to do with it, like DestinationDavid suggests. We'll see what the CX liaison has to say on Monday!
     
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  10. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    Of course, CX does publish a fare CUN-HKG, so even if it was a constructed fare issue, then it should still be lower than 97,500 miles for an F/J award. Ideally it should be 67,500 the whole way through to DPS, but if not, then at least it should be considered a North America - Asia 2 first award, then Asia 2 - Asia 2 business award (the flight HKG-DPS is J only, no F) - which should be 90,000 miles total.
     
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  11. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    Hmm. I just called American and put the following award on hold, which autopriced at 67,500 miles - so apparently this isn't a published fare issue - it just doesn't like the SFO stopover.

    28JUN AA1674 CUN 1600 JFK 2100
    29JUN CX0845 JFK 0130 HKG 0520+1
    30JUN CX0785 HKG 1020 DPS 1500
     
  12. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    As I said above my hypothesis was the computer wouldn't price it properly due to the SFO stopover -- that the stopover caused it to price as CUN-SFO/SFO-DPS.

    But that ultimately DestinationDavid is correct that it SHOULD price as two awards because of the constructed fare issue.

    There are lots of AA pricing glitches and instances where pricing will allow things that aren't permitted / won't allow things automatically that are. Good luck!
     
  13. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    Yeah, but if it was due to constructed fare rather than published fare on CUN-DPS, then surely the same should have applied to the CUN-JFK-HKG-DPS itinerary, no?

    Edit: Ahh right, I see what you're saying. The CUN-JFK-HKG-DPS autopriced "incorrectly". :p
     
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  14. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    ... which of course is crazy, right?

    That American doesn't publish their real routing rules... that they cannot figure out what rules apply... that the computer doesn't price properly... that you're left trying to figure out what should and shouldn't work and that it takes special desks to investigate... that they take a credit card on an award reservation and don't then call it done / that they simply don't issue a ticket because someone decides that the wrong number of miles were deducted and without detailed notes and explanation as to why that is.

    This, IMHO, is really broken.

    But then that AA doesn't generally instantly issue tickets always seemed broken to me as well.
     
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  15. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    +1000000000000000000

    I was truly amazed to hear one of the agents actually say "Sometimes, the computer doing all the work makes it easy to do a job that you don't fully understand the workings of." And this is supposed to be one of the senior reservations agents on the CK desk. :eek:
     
  16. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I wouldn't celebrate until you're ticketed. AA's agents puts lots of awards on hold that are later rejected and repriced when people attempt to have them ticketed. Once you submit it, pay your fees, have your miles deducted, and AA gives you a ticket number, then you can say you beat the system. ;) :)
     
  17. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    AA just issued tickets and pulled the miles (67,500) for the original routing, with SFO stopover. Woohoo!
     
  18. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Rock on!
     
  19. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    Not a bad redemption for 67,500 miles, really :p
     
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  20. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    So does this mean the shindig is in CUN?!
     
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  21. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Congratulations! You've done something not many are able to pull off. Enjoy your honeymoon. :)
     
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  22. catgirl
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    catgirl Gold Member

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    Well done. Nice to see the miles disappear from my account finally. :p

     
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  23. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    You already knew this. :rolleyes: In fact, you were the first to know! :p
     
  24. wijomas
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    wijomas Gold Member

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    Where there's a Will, there's a way :p

    I don't hear that from you often.... :D :rolleyes:
     
  25. mommypoints

    mommypoints Gold Member

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    Ha ha....I never heard an exact location.
     

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