Problem Booking International Flights on AA.com

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by jwc3, Nov 12, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. jwc3

    jwc3 Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status Points:
    20
    Hello, MilePointers. This is my first time posting. I am a professional travel photographer, so I travel a fair amount. I am Gold status on AA and about half way to my Million Miler status.

    Anyway, I am having some trouble booking flights on AA.com. I'm traveling from RDU to BKK in January. Every time I search for flights some pretty competitive fares come up, but when I click on them they all instantly become unavailable, as if someone else just bought the last ticket at that fare. But then when I do the same search again the same low fare appears again, and once again it's not available when I select it. This seems to be a deceptive trade practice -- showing low rates and then not allowing me to book. It seems this happens any time one of the segments of the trip is on a partner airline (JAL, CX, etc.) When I scroll down to the same flights with an AA flight number, the price goes up $500-600. Sometimes even more.

    Is it not possible to use AA.com to book flights that use partner airlines for some of the segments? Am I doing something wrong? I'd like to fly AA and continue my status, but they are making it so difficult...

    Thanks for any insight you might have.
     
    zpaul likes this.
  2. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    872
    Status Points:
    750
    I just looked for you on the AA web site and I'm not seeing any attractive fares purchasing from AA. What dates were you using?

    Just checked through CX site and it's much cheaper. If you want AA credit, just use your AA frequent flyer number. Most of the flying is done on partner airlines anyway.
     
    zpaul and MX like this.
  3. jwc3

    jwc3 Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status Points:
    20
    Jan 9 to Feb 5, 2014. I found $1744 rt, but can't book it.
     
    zpaul likes this.
  4. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    I'm getting the same when I click over from Kayak on your itinerary, note if you leave a day earlier you can fly JetBlue and Emirates for $1283 .
     
    zpaul likes this.
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    Matrix seems to think it should be there, too. Call Web Services and see if they can put it into a PNR for you... then you can book.
     
    zpaul, iolaire and flyforawg like this.
  6. jwc3

    jwc3 Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status Points:
    20
    Yes, I know there are some lower fares on other airlines. Thanks. I have a fixed air budget from the client for this trip and the $1744 AA flights are within that budget, so I'm trying to fly AA to get the miles and help retain my Gold Status.
     
    zpaul likes this.
  7. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    872
    Status Points:
    750
    Confirming I get the same error. Agree with Mike.

    I'd suggest taking screen shots of the fare and the flight you select and whichever of the two options for the return leg that offer the same price and then the error page. Call AA and they should be able to book it for you without a phone fee since it is a problem with the web site.
     
    zpaul likes this.
  8. miamigrad
    Original Member

    miamigrad Silver Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    179
    Status Points:
    395
    Just be mindful that, in order to get AA miles on a CX-operated flight, that you either have to purchase the AA code share or purchase specific CX fares (not all CX fares give AA miles, or will only award a small percentage of miles flown):

    http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/earnMiles/travel/airlines/cathayPacific.jsp

    For example, I looked on CX's site (as another posted suggested), and for those dates the lowest pricing I found was on CX-coded flights in inventory classes M and V which would earn a big, fat 0 AAdvantage miles
     
    zpaul, MX, flyforawg and 1 other person like this.
  9. jwc3

    jwc3 Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status Points:
    20
    Thanks, miamigrad. I have flown CX many times before and know about these restrictions. On the cheapest flights you still get the miles credited to your AAdvantage account (you can use them later for AAward flights, etc.), but they don't count toward Elite status. :mad:
     
    zpaul likes this.
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    That's interesting. When was the chart updated, because it now indicates very clearly that 0 miles are earned on the cheapest fares when operated by / marketed by CX (not a codeshare, which would have EQM on any fare)?
     
    zpaul likes this.
  11. jwc3

    jwc3 Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status Points:
    20
    Just rechecked the fare for my RDU <> BKK trip on AA.com. It initially says the lowest fare is $1744, but as soon as you choose the departure flights, the price jumps to $5541! For economy class! WTF is up with AA.com? I trust that site less and less every day...
     
  12. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    2,852
    Status Points:
    1,425
    I'd call the Gold desk and see if they can help...
     
    zpaul and flyforawg like this.
  13. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    The Web Services team is often a lot more helpful - and a lot less time consuming. Especially if they can repro.
     
    zpaul likes this.
  14. jwc3

    jwc3 Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status Points:
    20
    I'm new around here. What is "repro"?
     
  15. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    reproduce
     
  16. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    The basic concept is that the web team may be able to force the price for you.

    You are presented with a price that you want, but their website doesn't allow you to purchase it, so if you call in to web services you may be able to get them to create you a ticket at the visible web price.

    As Mike has suggested you should try that route first. That gives them the option to resolve the pricing issue for you. I don't know how often they will fix the price, be it 100% or much less, I have no experience with that.
     
    zpaul, brodyf and jwc3 like this.
  17. jwc3

    jwc3 Member

    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    7
    Status Points:
    20
    I called AA Web Services (800-222-2377) and was passed around to 4 different people, spending nearly an hour on the phone. None of them could exactly replicate the prices I was seeing (at the time the initial price was $1744 but then would jump to $5541 as soon as I selected my departing flights). The lowest price they could give me was $2081. They blamed it on their partner airlines, other passengers temporarily holding seats, etc. I feel that none of the excuses are the root of the problem since I have been dealing with similar price fluctuations on AA.com for weeks. There is some fundamental flaw in the flight reservation system when trying to book trans-pacific flights. It's almost like they show you un-bookable fares on purpose to suck you in, then switch you over to higher fares.

    I have spent way too much time on this. Even if I could book the $1744 slights, that's still $500 more than it would cost to fly Emirates via DXB. Looks like I will be signing up for Emirates Skywards and taking my business elsewhere...
     
    iolaire likes this.
  18. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    That's disappointing - I've always had Web Services come through for me. Emirates is a great airline and for that price it's an incredible deal. If you have an account you can credit to Alaska, too.
     
  19. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    668
    Status Points:
    720
    If you are handy with ITA, then the best course would be to search your flights there, +/- 2 days flexibility, and airlines restricted to AA,CX,JL+, number of connections to 2 (or unlimited if you would be willing to consider 3 or more connections). Select the itinerary that suits you best. Then purchase at Orbitz, searching multi-city, again restricting the airlines and spoon-feeding the flight times.

    Screwing around with AA.com can get frustrating when AA or BA are not dominant carriers. Of course, you can talk to web services, supervisors etc. That depends on your personality type: do you prefer to argue with and kick at obstructions or walk around them? :)

    Right now AA,CX flights are available 1/9-2/5. All-AA flight numbers (codeshare with JL) 1/11-2/5. Both options around ~$1700.

    Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 11.19.46 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 11.22.45 PM.png

    Obviously, the latter option is better if AA EQMs are your goal. Other variations are possible within each type. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
    jwc3, zpaul, Counsellor and 2 others like this.

Share This Page