Should I have to pay extra for American's schedule change.. please advise

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by lovetofly, Jun 4, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. lovetofly

    lovetofly Silver Member

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    I booked an American off peak award one way to Hawaii for August 29 for 17,500 miles a while back. The itinerary was as follows:

    IAH (leave 12:45 pm) - LAX (arrive 2:20 pm) on American
    LAX (leave 4:40 pm) - LIH (arrive 7:23 pm) on American

    American no longer flies the the evening LAX - LIH segment on that date, so they changed my flights and I didn't even get an email about it. They changed my flights without notice to the following:
    IAH (leave 1:35 pm) - LAX (arrive 3:00 pm) on American
    LAX (leave 8:55 am) - LIH (arrive 11:45 am) on American

    Yes, they have me going from LAX to LIH before I even get to LAX... ridiculous!

    Upon talking to American, they tell me the only routing now available is Houston - DFW - HNL - LIH which I verified.

    The HNL - LIH is served by Hawaiian Airlines. I was told that to change my award now will cost 5000 additional AA miles because HNL - LIH now has to be booked as a separate award. Is American Airlines within their rights to do this? After all, it is their schedule change that is causing the problem.

    Should I have to pay extra miles now for a ticket that I have already paid for? Please advise.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No, you shouldn't. calmly remind them that it is their schedule change causing the problem, not a request you've made, and ask them to add the segment as part of the original award. Alternatively, you could offer to pay the revised price if they are willing to give you a customer service credit in a comparable amount to cover the difference.
     
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    You'll notice that flight is the next day with an overnight layover in LAX, which you would have to cover a hotel for if you left it this way. See more below, though...

    Or IAH-LAX-HNL-LIH, which ITA shows at least available for sale on that date. You might have to push them for an award change, but since the award is already booked/approved and they changed their schedule this should be able to be booked, even if it took a manual override (the award class wasn't there, or was considered more miles). May take escalating beyond the initial rep, though.

    As noted in the other reply, absolutely not. It is a reasonable expectation that American fix this or compensate you for the extra miles 1:1 as described below.
     
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  4. craz
    Original Member

    craz Silver Member

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    Im not so postive, when I ran into the same problem with a paid tkt, I asked 2 different reps @ UA to change my D from ONT to SNA to avoid an overnight or a very long layover.(this was when UA drastically cut their SFO-ONT flights) . I was told what I could chose from or that they would simply CX the tkt and I could go purchase any other tkt (which would have been 2x that price). The problem was caused by UA CXing their flights while I had purchased my tkt months in advance. I took what worked the best and since I was a 1K the rep sent me a $350 eCert to try and make up for the hassle, It did! Now I wish they would do it to all my reses.

    Pt is its bad PR for AA not to make the OP whole, but I believe they have the right to simply tell the OP chose either 1 of these or we will simply CX the whole res and redeposit the tkt w/o any charge to you.So if 1 pushes too hard and says not too nice things they just might end up worse then they are with a Redeposit
     
  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    UA is not AA.
     
  6. craz
    Original Member

    craz Silver Member

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    very true but AA isnt AA either its US or better put AW. But it still stands that they could always simply tell the passenger to CX the tkt redeposit the miles and start from get go. I have known some who were so nice on the phone to end up with that result

    how does the saying go, You can catch more flys with honey then with vinegar. Most Airlines have the CX issue if they so chose to invoke it, its rare for them to do it but its there.So my pt was not to call when all hot headed as the result you end up with can be very far from what you had wanted.
     
  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Actually, that's not the case at all. AA and US haven't merged any operations, haven't aligned any operational policies, and absolutely haven't swapped or cross-trained any customer service staff. AA's customer service agents are among the best, period.

    I would expect that to be something they consider a key success factor for the merger, too, and align operational policies re: customer support strongly in favor of AA's current mode of operation.

    Sure, it could, but that's not been my experience with AA, nor the experience of most on this board, based on other posts here. AA is very, very customer friendly, especially when their schedule changes are involved.

    On this we agree. AA reps have great power to make things happen, but aren't REQUIRED to for those who want to be jerks about it. My typical ice-breaker: "I'll fly in the lav if it's the only seat you can get me..." Works every time!
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    And, in similar situations, I've had UA make basically the same changes for me; it often depends on the agent you get and how friendly/flexible they want to be. Technically refunding the trip makes the customer whole, too, per the CoC but that isn't usually what the customer wants.

    Getting them to buy you a seat on a partner flight when there is no award inventory available can be quite challenging. If the issue is simply one of pricing the award properly that should be much easier to resolve.
     
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  9. lovetofly

    lovetofly Silver Member

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    Thanks everyone for the advice. I will call to see what options they give me and escalate a bit calmly. Will update with what happens.
     
  10. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Amen:)
     
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  11. lovetofly

    lovetofly Silver Member

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    Well, I called and politely asked that they add the segment on Hawaiian without charging the 5000 miles and they said that there was no award space available. I asked that I am willing to pay the difference if they offer me customer service credit and they did not agree. The representative said that they understand what I am saying and agree with me, but what I am asking cannot be done. They gave me the option of staying overnight the night before, or cancel the ticket and redeposit miles without a fee, or take my original routing the next day, none of which I wanted.

    In the end, I decided to become more flexible and somehow convinced them to change my entire itinerary to HOU - DFW - HNL and return LIH - LAX - DFW - HOU. I had originally planned to fly into Honolulu and fly out of Kauai, but they agreed to flip that without any fees.

    One other question:
    When they changed my flights, I noticed that my T (economy award) fare changed to a Y fare (Unrestricted full fare economy). Does this mean I will earn miles now for this change? If so, that would be awesome.
     
  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    It looks like it... one of the benefits of changes like this!

    I'm VERY surprised they wouldn't book it without the award space since their schedule changed. If you wanted to push that with a call to another rep, you could. The adage is HUCA - Hang Up, Call Again - to get what you want from AA.
     
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  13. lovetofly

    lovetofly Silver Member

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    @ Mike Reed. I appreciate all your helpful advice. I think you're right that I could have pushed it, but I took what seemed to work for me. I was getting a bit frustrated knowing what I had read in this thread, but I tried to stay calm and be nice. If I do get miles for this change, then I know I got the better end of the deal :)
     
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