CX availability using AA miles

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by BrianD, Feb 20, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

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    I'm looking for HKG-LAX CX availability 5/7-5/9.

    KVS OneWorld search shows the following flights with F availability:
    5/7 - 880, 882, 884
    5/8 - 880
    5/9 - 882, 884

    KVS CX search shows the following flights with F availability:
    5/7 - 880, 882
    5/9 - 884

    However AA states those flights do not show award availability. I spoke with two different agents agents to confirm. I also decided to use ANX with the OneWorld (BA) search which showed no availability on any of the above flights.

    Any guideance or clarification would be appreciated.
     
  2. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    First, "KVS OneWorld" means searching the Qantas website for availability. It often provides unreliable info on CX in my experience.

    Second, "KVS CX" means searching the Asia Miles website for availability. If the flights aren't showing up for Asia Miles members, you can be confident that they aren't available and that flights showing up in the Qantas site but not here are indeed not really available.

    "OneWorld (BA)" means searching the British Airways Executive Club website. And this is notoriously unrealiable for partners, especially if you're searching a route that is served by British Airways (no matter how illogically). You often won't get any partner space to come up if there's BA space available, in this case via Heathrow. And even then...

    I have yet to find a Cathay Pacific award seat that shows up on the Asia Miles website which American AAdvantage could not book, but I haven't done any in the last couple of weeks. It's often the case that it'll take more than one call. And especially if I see 2 seats, they see only one, and the have to sell the two separately on different screens. The other problem I run into is if they search A-C city pairs, call it Torotno - Bali, they find nothing available. But if they separately search A-B (Torotno - Hong Kong) and B-C (Hong Kong-Bali) the flights will show up.

    Now, there could be communications issues with American and Cathay. Or you could be dealing with incompetent agents. Or American might really not have access to inventory that is showing up for Asia Miles members.

    What I would do is put something suboptimal on a 5 day hold... SFO-HKG is ofen available in F, Torotno - Hong Kong is massively available in F. Then give it a day and call back, I don't know if I'm just lucking out with better agents a day later or whatever synching issue is out there corrects itself.

    Good luck!
     
  3. HNL
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    HNL Gold Member

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    Gleff summed up the issue perfectly!
     
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  4. Phineas
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    Phineas Silver Member

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    am I stupid - don't answer that - but what good is KVS then if all three of the OP's searches show false data points

    also, another maybe I'm stupid comment but why can't KVS just look into the CX inventory vs having to use all these partner carriers?

    No I don't have a KVS subscription and this definitely wouldn't lead me to signing up for one with these type of results
     
  5. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

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    @gleff - Thank you for such a comprehensive and detailed response. As always, you are a wealth of information.

    @Phineas - KVS & ANX both pull their data from other publicly available sites. I have booked a couple of these in the past and at that time AA agents were always able to see the same availability as the Asia Miles search so don't let this post color your impression of the tools too bad. I have found them very useful and primarily a big time saver. ExpertFlyer is the only one I know of which gets their data directly from the carriers but they do not yet support CX for award availability.

    This is for a single seat. I'm hoping this was an agent or IT issue but both agents were able to see TPE-HKG segments so I thought they were at least doing something right. No availability showing for HKG-SFO (Asia miles search) right now on the dates I'm looking for (5/7-5/9). Would like to avoid Toronto if possible as I believe my future mother-in-law (Taiwan citizen) would need to obtain another Visa. I will give AA a couple more shots on HKG-LAX and if that doesn't work explore other CX routes. Will post back results.
     
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  6. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

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    I have some more details to report. Below are the search results from Asia Miles (KVS CX) looking for (1) CX F seat 5/7-5/13. The dates with an "*" are the only flights on which AA could see availability - roughly 50%.

    HKG-LAX
    #884 5/9, 5/12
    #882 5/7
    #880 5/7

    HKG-SFO
    nothing

    HKG-JFK
    #888 5/11
    #830 5/10*
    #840 5/11
    #846 5/7, 5/8, 5/10*, 5/11*

    HKG-YYZ
    #828 5/7*, 5/9*, 5/10*, 5/11*, 5/12*, 5/13*
    #826 5/11*, 5/12*

    HKG-YVR
    #888 5/11*, 5/13
    #838 5/10, 5/11*

    Based on gleff's vast experience it appears the results I'm seeing are in fact unusual. I have spoken with 5 agents at this point so I'd say that factor is all but eliminated. I'm holding out hope there is some sort of temporary IT issue going on here. I grabbed the HKG-JFK route for the time being and will wait a few days to see if things work themselves out per suggestions.

    Does anyone think AA may be blocking some of this intentionally? How would we check that - call another OW member to have them check availability?
     
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  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Brian, this is really interesting. And as I say I haven't done any Cathay awards with AA miles in a few weeks, in fact i'm traveling in Asia right now and have been avoiding calling any airlines.

    Normally I would say to call British Airways but BA agents are more often than not quite inept, and when the agents aren't inept their computer systems are. Plus the hold times are rather long.

    Here's what I would do. Try the British Airways website using a destination that isn't served by BA and that has a reasonable connection between the arrival flight and the onward flight. E.g. try YYZ-SGN and see what comes up for CX.

    A good start to a real comparison, and then if we watch it over several days to see what sorts of differences remain between Asia Miles availability and other oneworld carriers, could be interesting. Also because I havn't tested it recently I might try the Asia Miles site directly rather than KVS tool because recent changes to the Asia Miles site and to the KVS interface are changing the displays and I'd want to make sure that KVS is displaying things correctly, too.

    Could be some interesting learning about changes. Or could be a brief technical issue.
     
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  8. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

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    I went ahead and verified all flights found via KVS CX search showed the same award availability as the Asia Miles site.

    I searched BA.com for YYZ-SGN on dates where I had seen availability on Asia Miles. 5/9 is a good example where Asia Miles showed 2 flights with F award availability on the YYZ-HKG segment but BA.com showed no CX F availability (after clicking include partners) and tried to route most flights YYZ-(AA)-ORD-(AA)-NRT-(JAL)-SGN. I will try to call BA tomorrow to see and compare the availability their agents are able to see.
     
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  9. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

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    Decided to check a few more segments on BA.com to see how availability compared to what AA agents were able to see. HKG-YYZ & HKG-YVR matched exactly. However HKG-JFK still did not show up for 5/10 or 5/11 even though AA agents were able to see them. To further complicate matters BA.com did show HKG-(CX/F)-JFK-(AA/J)-YYZ as an available route on 5/10 even though it would not show HKG-JFK when searching the individual segment. An explanation for such behavior is beyond my knowledge level.
     
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  10. gleff
    Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

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    1. The BA website is awful
    2. Were there BA flights (via Europe) that were available for HKG-JFK? BA.com doesn't like offering partner seats when it can offer BA metal even when BA metal is much more expensive.
     
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  11. Phineas
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    Phineas Silver Member

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    [quote="BrianD, post: 104953]
    @Phineas - KVS & ANX both pull their data from other publicly available sites. I have booked a couple of these in the past and at that time AA agents were always able to see the same availability as the Asia Miles search so don't let this post color your impression of the tools too bad. I have found them very useful and primarily a big time saver. ExpertFlyer is the only one I know of which gets their data directly from the carriers but they do not yet support CX for award availability.

    [/quote]

    thanks for the response but I still want a one stop shop if I'm going to pay for a subscription. It appears that neither of the pay site options are "one stop shopping" sites, would that be a correct statement?

    Do you have to pay to be a member of the Asia miles site? I thought when I tried to do this once with CX that they wanted $50 to be a member of Marco Polo. Or is MP different than Asia Miles? its all way too confusing for me
     
  12. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    You don't need to pay to sign up for Asia Miles.
    https://www.asiamiles.com/am/en/about/join?WAright=JoinNow
     
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  13. Phineas
    Original Member

    Phineas Silver Member

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    thanks, just set one up
     
  14. NYC_Gal
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    NYC_Gal Silver Member

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    My experience is not as extensive as Gleff's, but my calls last month to AA matched OP's observation. Flights that were available on AsiaMiles site were not available to AA. Esp. intra-Asia routes. I'd suggest trying JAL site too (you need to sign up, free). Both BA and JAL sites matched more closely with AA than CX.

    I don't think AA is blocking the awards. I just think CX has more awards for their own members.
     
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  15. Rom Sac
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    Rom Sac Silver Member

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    It's intensely confusing -- you sign up for Asia Miles, then when you want to search for CX availability get redirected to, I think, the CX site but automatically logged in. The good news is that it has a decent display (you can find when in a month a particular route has award availability).
     
  16. JDiver
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    JDiver Silver Member

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    Regardless of the tools, a wider search will be better for revealing possibilities, and YVR often has availability when LAX and SFO may not - requiring a connection or two (AS is a possibility). Good luck!
     
  17. JY1024
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    JY1024 Gold Member

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    I've generally always been able to call AA and grab a CX F seat if I saw it available via AsiaMiles (until last week, about 95% of the time). I've redeemed probably 6 or 7 CX F tickets over the last 2 years.

    However, I had a very hard getting availability to match last week. I had a family member who wanted to change date of travel. I checked AsiaMiles and found F availability on the right date, but not a great flight time. Grabbed the afternoon JFK-HKG flight anyway and just hoped that availability would open up later for the morning flight. Saw availability on AsiaMiles the next day; I called AA about 4 times over a span of 12 hours to try to grab the seat. Each time, AsiaMiles showed the seat, but AA EXP desk said that there was no availability. Over the next few days, availability came and went on the AsiaMiles site, and I'd sporadically call AA with no avail. Finally, just 2 days before departure, I called again. Lo and behold - AA said "sure, there's one F award seat available on the morning flight. Just give me a few minutes to re-ticket." :)

    So moral of the story - keep checking back!
     
  18. magic111
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    magic111 Silver Member

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    My rule of thumb for finding rseats on aadvantage one world partners using aadvantage miles is always to use a partner site and not the airline's site.
    BA use QF or CX.
    CX use QF or BA
    QF use BA or CX

    When I telephone to book a 16 segment oneworld award the process to get the itinerary on hold is completed in about 15 to 20 minutes. I never ask for ticketing on the first call but spend time reviewing after the hold is put in place. When calling using the method above I am able to give the exact flights. Can not remember ever that it was not available.
     
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  19. BrianD

    BrianD Active Member

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    #2 appears to be correct. BA.com did not show the CX F flight when searching HKG-JFK as there was a BA metal option through LHR. A call to BA confirmed the CX F award seat was available though.

    I also had BA agents check availability on the flights I posted in #6 above. They matched AA exactly both in terms of what was and was not available to them.

    To recap,
    1. Asia Miles has always been a very reliable search for CX award availability. If a flight was shown as available, there was generally no problem booking it through AA.
    2. Asia Miles availability is not currently matching up with what AA or BA agents are able to see. A couple other members noted they have seen this as well over the past couple weeks.
    3. BA.com availability for CX flights does seem to be matching up with what AA & BA agents can see the noted exception of routes where there is availability on BA metal (even if it means a stop).

    I suppose time will tell if this behavior holds. I'll sure miss being able to search Asia Miles and know for 99% certainty that the flight was available for a partner award.
     
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  20. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Thank you for all your research on this, BrianD. Very troubling but also good progress on understanding what's going on.
     
  21. bubb1
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    bubb1 Silver Member

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    I had no issues as recently as mid January, but it does seem as though something could have changed in the past few weeks. Thanks to those who are sharing their recent experiences...
     
  22. buschoi
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    buschoi Gold Member

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    It has been this way for a long time, much longer than the past couple weeks. Awards shown as available with Asia Miles does not necessarily match AA/BA since CX sometimes keeps some awards for its own members. In general, though, they do match up ok.
     
  23. flyfree

    flyfree Active Member

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    In my experience if KVS tool showed CX availability I was able to call AA and book the tickets. I had to give them the exact flight number and ask them to look by segment. This was in Dec and Jan.
     
  24. PedroNY
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    PedroNY Silver Member

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    I had success with BA site search for CX seats. What I noticed during my search, the itial screen (after adding partners) would always show 0 seats available. Howver, after moving the date to the next day and coming back to origal date would show all available seats. I did notice that CX seats would pop-up if i would shift my dates around after the initial inquiry inside of the BA tool. I was able to find roundtrip non-stop JFK-HKG tickets in F class, 2 passangers at that time. I don't know if that would help you at all, but it did help me.

    Best,

    PedroNY
     
  25. NYC_Gal
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    NYC_Gal Silver Member

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    Another oddity this week -

    PEK - HKG :
    CX.com = at least 2 J
    BA.com = said 3 J available.
    JAL.com = said 3 J
    Call AA, can't see anything for that entire week, not even F or Y (and they're available too on above sites).
    So, I'm not sure if it's an IT thing, blockage or if the agent doesn't know what they're doing.
    HKG-JFK :
    CX.com = shows 1 F available
    BA.com = shows 1 F.
    JAL.com = nothing.
    Call AA, they saw 2 J only. No F. Booked.
    Was surprised because I don't know how AA can see something CX can't. Very odd.

    So, I'll just have to keep calling AA back for the PEK-HKG leg. BA wants 40K for the 1-way award vs AA's 22.5 for J. :confused: I started to feel that AA is having hard time seeing intra-Asia's inventory. I had same problem with Saigon last year. Agent did tell me I can't book Dragon Air using AA miles, only CX. Is this the problem?
     

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