North America to Australia Routing Rules.

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by aussieflyer, Apr 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    I called AA to book an business class award from North America to Australia and the only thing we could come up with was via AKL. All the flights were in business so was happy enough.

    Shortly thereafter I receive an email to call AA regarding my res.
    I was told that it cant be ticketed because LAX-AKL-MEL is not a valid routing. I tried arguing that it was the only option and the agent put it in etc. but no go.

    The only info I can find regarding AA's routing rule is that NA-Australia is not allwed via a third region (e.g. Asia). NZ is in South Pacific together with Australia.
    Anyone know of/had experience with this? Do I have a change of getting it ticketed?
     
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  2. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    As I mentioned by email, I've done Australia via New Zealand before. But then I've also done Australia via Tahiti and New Zealand and I seem to remember someone mentioning Tahiti no longer being a valid routing to Australia, at least that the AA system sometimes spits up and won't price and you don't know why and there's no logical reason for it.

    Worst case is it would be two separate one-way awards, LAX-AKL and AKL-MEL, not a ton of extra miles and better than flying coach.

    But I don't have a logical reason to offer as to why US to Australia via New Zealand wouldn't be permitted.
     
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  3. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I'm with gleff, I don't see why this isn't a valid award.

    Just brainstorming and pondering some possible reasons....I know one of the "rules" I saw listed on TOBB is that the award has to be the most direct routing. Perhaps AA is taking this rule more seriously and thinking that since there are flights LAX-MEL and LAX-SYD-MEL that going through AKL is too out of the way?

    Flights between AKL and MEL are on Jetconnect I believe, but that should still be valid for award routings.....
     
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  4. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    Things get a bit weirder.
    I called back and after talking to a couple agents I managed to get them to ticket it but not the way I wanted.

    She said that the first agent who had set up the booking had put in the flights point to point LAX-AKL, AKL-MEL and business is available on both flights but that is not allowed. She has to put in LAX-MEL and what comes up is LAX-AKL in business and AKL-MEL only in the evening (as opposed to the earlier flight I wanted) and in coach.

    I asked how that makes sense and she tried saying that they release certain amounts of seats for pax terminating in AKL and a certain amount for those continuing on.
    So either I book for 62,500 LAX-AKL in business and AKL-MEL in coach or pay an extra 17,500 for AKL-MEL in business.

    I just ticketed because I dont wont to lose the LAX-AKL segment and ill try and change it but it really doesnt even to begin to make sense. (At least to me...)
     
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  5. Gardyloo
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    Gardyloo Gold Member

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    Was it QF26 that you were originally booked on? (That's the LAX-xAKL-MEL "direct" flight - single flight no. but stopping in AKL.) There now appears to be an equipment change in AKL (744 from LAX, A330 to MEL) - maybe that's part of the issue, although I suspect it's that LAX-AKL and AKL-MEL are regarded as married segments even though it's one flight number.

    Married segments are still somewhat mysterious things to me - the best "short" explanation I've found is this from CX: "Bookings with married segments are actioned as a single unit for that origin/destination i.e. SYD/HKG/LHR instead of SYD/HKG and HKG/LHR."
     
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  6. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    The married segment explanation in this case doesn't ring true, because at least the way the explanation is offered here it's that you type in origin and destination and see what the system comes back with. But that's not a requirement. The system often doesn't see availability that's certainly there. I frequently have to try several agents before they'll 'see' an available flight and ticket it. Building an awrd segment-by-segment is certainly permissable and a normal procedure.

    It sounds to me and this is just speculation that the first folks disallowed it but couldn't explain why (for argument's sake not casting a judgment on that conclusion) and then probably made some notes in the record. So the last agent tried to come up with some reason to explain it and to justify ticketing, plus bear in mind that most agents are completely clueless about what's actually allowed and what isn't or how to even search for awards besides typing in city pairs.

    All very odd. If indeed AKL is now no longer permissable as a connecting point to SYD would love to know that as well, seems very strange but as I say I've heard that the computer will not longer price PPT as an AKL connection either.
     
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  7. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    It was QF26 that I was originally trying to book.

    As Gleff so eloquently said, most agents are completely clueless. So every time I call I get a somewhat different answer as to why booking QF26 all the way through won't work while theyve allowed me to connect later in the day to QF134.

    I still don't understand it but it seems that since its a single flight number, it can't be booked as two separate segments and has to be booked as one segment all the way through.(Multiple agents said that's a rule from Qantas not AA).
    But being that it doesn't come up as one segment (I think that's what was meant by the first agent that I spoke to (as posted above) that she needs to book only what comes up when searching LAX-MEL), I can't book QF26 all the way through.

    The good news is that AKL is still a valid connection but its a pain not to be able to book that flight.

    Wonder if anyone has managed to book QF26 all the way to MEL with AA miles?

    I'm going to keep trying to get them to somehow change it but I'm not holding my breath...
     
  8. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    Just to update.
    After it was ticketed I called and changed the AKL-MEL back to QF26, no worries.

    Conclusion:
    1.Via AKL is a valid routing.
    2. QF26 can be booked all the way through.
    3. Most agents have little or no idea what they're talking about.
     
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  9. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Do you mind if I ask what status you hold on AA? I've always been very blessed when calling in for award bookings using the EXP desk. Are you EXP or using the general line?
     
  10. aussieflyer
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    aussieflyer Silver Member

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    Just a general member. But not for too much longer.
     
  11. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Good to hear! The experience on the phone is much better once you're EXP. GLD and PLT's get priority access in the general line, but no special agents sadly. :(
     
  12. monster
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    monster Silver Member

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    This does not cover the OP's specific problem, but I thought that my experience with routing rules and awards to Australia might be useful.

    I booked
    LGA (AA) DFW (QF) BNE (QF) SYD (QF) HBA
    as a single one way busness class award - no problem.

    For the return, because there was no availability on QF, I had to book
    HBA (QF) SYD (QF) AKL (TN) PPT (TN) LAX (AA) JFK
    but it was 2 awards instead of 1.

    I was told by an otherwise knowledgable agent that because TN was the over water carrier, the award had to follow TN's routing rules, and TN did not publish a fare from HBA, only from SYD (and MEL). So I ended up with one PNR, but 2 ticket numbers, and I was charged an extra 10,000 miles for an economy class award HBA-SYD, and the normal business class amount for the rest.

    This appears to be something new with the one way award system. In 2004, I successfully booked
    JFK (AA) LAX (TN) PPT (TN) AKL (QF) SYD (QF) DRW open-jaw SYD (QF) LAX (AA) JFK
    and this problem did not come up regarding the segment to DRW.

    While I'm happy to have the awards, I truly do not understand why AA is forcing me to cough up the extra mileage. It makes no sense to me why HBA-NYC should cost more than NYC-HBA based on which carrier is flying the trans-oceanic segment(s).
     
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  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Forget about how many miles you needed...that's simply not a pleasant journey...in Y or any class! Is this a 40 hour journey?
     
  14. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I think I remember reading on one of the award help threads on TOBB that there needs to be a published routing for an award to be valid, which usually isn't a problem. Perhaps there is a routing to DRW but not one for HBA?

    I'm pulling this from vague memory though, so who knows. Hopefully someone can hop in soon to help.
     
  15. monster
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    monster Silver Member

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    I'm stopping overnight (< 24 hours) in AKL.
     

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