How to Go About Requesting a Long Sell on an Award Seat

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by HoKo, Apr 3, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. HoKo
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    HoKo Silver Member

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    The context of my question is that I'm seeing award availability on QF & BA tools for a LA flight but AA agents can't see those award seats.

    How would I go about asking for a long sell - is that something a frontline CSR can do or do I need to escalate that sort of request to a supervisor?

    In case anyone is wondering the flight in question is:

    LAN flight 2510 from LIM-MIA in Business on April 29th
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    LA2510 does appear to be available on the QF website and also the BA website (showing 3 business class seats available).

    How many times have you called AA? I do frequently have one agent not see a flight and another agent will.

    Mostly it's important just to have them search for the one segment, and not as part of a broader trip (eg don't ask for LIM-BOS via MIA).

    I haven't had experience trying to get AA to long-sell a segment. It's usually something I used to do to try to get around Starnet blocking at United, or with US Airways when their IT systems won't display availability that I know exists. And there are two approaches:

    (1) "I spoke to an agent earlier who told me these flights were available, would you mind checking again?" Or specifically to request a long sell with US Airways or United I'd have said, "The agent said something about having to request the seats manually, I think they put in a request for <BOOKING CODE> seats and s/he said they would come back confirmed. It may be a long shot, but would you try that?"

    (2) "I'm a travel agent and I'm looking the flights up in Starnet [the Star Alliance system through which award inventory is published], I can see X number of seats in [O/I/X.. the Star classes for award first/business/coach], would you mind manually requesting the space, it should come back confirmed."

    But with AA I usually just hang up, call back, sometimes 2-3 times to find an agent that knows how to find the seats I see.
     
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  3. HoKo
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    HoKo Silver Member

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    Thanks for the prompt response Gary. Since I know you know exponentially more about this sort of stuff than I do I will provide the rest of the detailed background info and perhaps you or some other savvy AA flyers will pick up on something I've missed so far:

    • I've called AA 5 different times (1 of which I escalated to a supervisor to double check that it wasn't just agents not knowing what they are doing) and no one has been able to see those seats
    • Every single agent has claimed that the way AA's agreements with partner airlines (whether that be OW or other partners) works is that each airline is allotted a certain # of seats and once those seats are used up they can't book anything else. For example in my situation LA makes a certain # of seats available to AA, and a certain # of seats available to QF, certain # to BA etc. This is completely contrary to my understanding of award inventory within an alliance (I thought they all draw from a common pool of seats) and if true it would mean using BA and QF tools are basically useless...
    • One person on FT theorized that this is a point-of-sale issue and that award desks in other countries may be able to draw upon different inventory...so I called AA ticketing offices in the UK and Dominican Republic and their agents couldn't see the seats either.
    • KVS tool is showing these seats as available as well (although I believe KVS uses QF to check inventory? if so that would of course make sense)
    • One agent said that back in Feb they were having technical issues viewing LA award availibilty via Amadeus but supposedly that issue was resolved
    • The LIM-MIA segment is part of a larger trip (CUZ-LIM-MIA-LGA (I'm going to try and pop into FTU for the day :)-DCA) but I have been having them only check that 1 segment so taht they don't get overly confused with the complex routing.
     
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  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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  5. HoKo
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    HoKo Silver Member

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    Ah yes, I actually remember reading that post a while back on your blog but thanks for refreshing my memory. Now if only I could get the AA agents to understand that concept.

    I will keep calling in and checking but in the meantime does anyone have any advice on how to go about requesting a long sell with an AA agent for a LA flight?
     
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  6. Tom
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    Tom Silver Member

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    Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I'm now wondering the same thing..

    HoKo - you ever get any good tips on this?
     
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  7. hillrider

    hillrider Silver Member

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    Has anybody tried asking?

    I'm pretty sure the EXP agents have both the access and the training/knowledge to do a long ("blind") sell, am not sure about the others; AA has invested lots in various Sabre front-ends to reduce training, so some of the reps may not know how to do one and/or lack the computer interface to a native Sabre to do so.
     
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  8. HoKo
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    HoKo Silver Member

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    Hey Tom, unfortunately I didn't receive any additional information besides what you see in this thread.

    If you stumble upon anything or receive some good advice please update the thread!
     
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