Problem with travel agent booking - what would you do?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by jasonmh26, Oct 11, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jasonmh26

    jasonmh26 Silver Member

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    Posted this in the Newbie forum and reposting here on a recommendation in that thread:

    Before I recently found this site and learned soooo much more about travel than I ever knew before, I booked a trip thru a travel agent. The flights are ABQ > STT and back on American for my wife and I.
    Nov 3 2012:
    flight 1356 ABQ > DFW
    flight 2244 DFW > MIA
    flight 1819 MIA > STT
    Nov 11:
    flight 2230 STT > MIA
    flight 1943 MIA > DFW
    flight 1935 DFW > ABQ

    The flights were booked by the travel agent, but supposedly in my name and AA #, so I "should" be able to make changes ( I think ) on my own.
    Here are my issues that I am hoping to get some advice on:

    -Right now we are booked in economy with no confirmed seat assignment on most segments, and on the few that we do have the seats are terrible, like my wife and I both in middle seats in different rows.

    -I asked the travel agent to check into and let me know about pricing for upgrading to first/business class (or premium economy) and they told me that there were no first/business seats available on any of the segments. I know next to nothing compared to most of the people on MP, but even I was able to see that there should be first/business seats available.

    -Even though the ticket was supposed to be tied to my AA#, when I log in I don't see the trip in my profile. I am new to AA, so wasn't sure if this was normal.

    I don't know what booking class the tickets were made in. I have 33,000 AA miles in my account, but don't expect to be able to use them to upgrade. I am hoping that at a minimum that I can somehow confirm some seats and get some better seats if we have to stay in economy. What I would really like to do is upgrade some of the segments to business/first or premium economy.
    I know that it is not a great situation, and the trip is soon. Do I just suck it up and chalk it up to inexperience on my part and stick with what I have now? Is it best for me to call American and see if I can work something out over the phone?

    Thanks for any and all advice.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Call AA. Give them the flight details and ask them to confirm that your AA number is in the reservation. Ask them about seats and the other bits, too.

    And don't use a travel agent who doesn't appreciate your business.
     
    IDGflygirl likes this.
  3. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    First, I'll echo Wandering Aramean's sentiments above and emphasize that if you are going to use a travel agent, you should get one that will actually do a good job. You're paying them so you don't have to be spending time posting information like this to strangers hoping to get your problems fixed, right? ;)

    It's entirely possible there are no seats left next to each other due to AA's premium seat system. If you want to sit together on some flights you may have to pay a fee for one of you to have access to the window or aisle seat next to your spouse. AA could help you with this but they charge a fee for making changes to bookings that are not booked through AA. The ideal situation would be to get your AAdvantage # attached to the booking so you can do the changes yourself on AA.com or to have your travel agent take care of it.

    Or you could wait till the day of the flight and rely on the kindness of AA staff or fellow passengers to help you get seats together.

    Again, your TA is failing you. There are clearly premium cabin seats available for sale on those routes. Perhaps it's an issue with the terminology you're using, since you wouldn't be paying to "upgrade", you'd have to rebook into those cabins. Regardless, your TA should be able to discern what you want to do and find out how much it would cost you to do so.

    Your TA should be able to tell you what classes you are booked into, or if they sent you a confirmation from AA it's possible the data is within that email. With 30K AA miles you theoretically do have enough miles to upgrade yourselves in one direction if you're in a discount fare class, or both ways if you're in a full fare class.
     
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  4. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    Shouldn't he be able to pick seats online if he can get the AA confirmation number?
     
  5. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Yup, that's the ideal situation I mentioned above. ;)
     
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  6. jasonmh26

    jasonmh26 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I called AA and was able to get the flight to show up under my AA number. They did confirm that there was space to upgrade to first on all segments and gave me a price. They said though that I could not process the change through them or via the website. Because of the way it was booked it can only be changed by the TA, so I am going back to them to try again.
    Thanks again for the help. I know that many times it is an obvious answer, but sometimes there are some great ideas on here that I wouldn't have thought of otherwise, so I appreciate the help.
     
    zpaul and IDGflygirl like this.
  7. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    Have you paid the TA yet? -- if not you've got some leverage....

    This is also a good example of why many experienced travelers don't use them anymore .... i.e. in the amount of time you can tell the travel agent what you want to do, you can do it yourself.

    (Years ago, I my employer required me to use one to go to a work related meeting, I had to be there at a certain time, and the TA had me arriving after the meeting was scheduled to end --- supposedly because the fare was a bit cheaper).

    DTWBOB
     
  8. jasonmh26

    jasonmh26 Silver Member

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    Completely agree with you. We booked and paid for the trip in Jan, hopefully we can get it worked out.
     
  9. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    You booked the trip in January and the TA couldn't secure seat assignments for you? Yikes.
     
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  10. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    and that far out, there will be schedule and equipment changes.... in the PMNW days, you couldn't select seats less than 60 days out.

    DTWBOB
     
  11. ryan246

    ryan246 Member

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    You can ask the TA to release the PNR. If he/she does that, then you'll be able to have AA claim it and do whatever you need them to do.
     
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