What would you do? (Mile run trip in vain?)

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by DesertRose, Jun 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    I booked a quick-turn flight DFW-TUL-DFW to qualify for the 11k point bonus for the Day 1 deal of the 30 Years promo. (Book 5 trips by April 30 for 30k miles, each flight is worth an increasing number of miles)

    Now I'm at the gate, the flight has been delayed, and there are 30+ people on the standby list for my flight. I assume this is all backup from the OKC fiasco yesterday. I would happily forgo my little mile run so that someone who was stranded could get home, but I would like my 11k bonus.

    To complicate matters, this is flight #2 of the 5-flight series, so on its face value, it is only worth 3k miles, but missing the flight would result in me eventually missing the 11k bonus.

    Is there any way to give up my seat or skip the trip but still collect the promo bonus? Would trip-in-vain work? I don't think they will be asking for VDBs because this is not an oversold situation.
     
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  2. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    I would fly it. I'm assuming the plane turns around, so no possibility that you would miss a connection. Trip in vain likely won't work when they look at your itinerary.
     
  3. DesertRose
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    DesertRose Silver Member

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    Problem solved - AA up-gauged the flight to a 767. :D Gotta love international business class to TUL.

    Yeah, if I didn't have an good way out, I still would have flown it, but I would have felt guilty that people who actually needed to fly got stuck in DFW.
     
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  4. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    It's thoughtful of you to think of the other pax.
     
  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah I thought so too. But if it's a paid ticket, even if it's an MR for a bonus, I wouldn't feel too bad. It's not like I'm using an award ticket to get cuban food in miami or something like that.
     
  6. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    I wouldn't feel too bad about being more concerned about stranded pax than AA is. If AA was concerned, they would have agreed to give you full mileage credit to skip the trip. Reminds me of a situation Mrs. gemac and I had last year. We had routed OGG-HNL-LAX-STL because it was $100 cheaper than OGG-LAX-STL. Our upgrades cleared HNL-LAX several days in advance. The day before, AA cancelled the last HNL-LAX flight of the day due to mechanical. Flights were pretty full already, pax were rebooked spread out over the next two days but allowed to stand by on earlier flights. I called AA from OGG and volunteered to help out by taking the OGG-LAX nonstop, on which there was plenty of room. AA wouldn't let me do that without paying the fare difference and a change fee - they said the fare I purchased originally broke in HNL. I pointed out to AA that the HNL airport was full of their passengers from the cancelled flight desparately trying to get to LAX, to no effect. There were forty plus passengers on the gate standby list, and we had to walk past them to board. Did we feel sorry for those passengers when I boarded the HNL-LAX and settled into our First Class seats? Sure, but we felt AA should have been willing to bend a bit to help them out. When AA refused, there was nothing reasonable we could do.
     
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  7. neuatomic
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    neuatomic Silver Member

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    Makes you shake your head. Such a sensible offer on your part to help out AA and at least 2 of their pax that would cost nothing - maybe even save AA a few bucks - and I'm sure the Aagent understood also. I can only assume the agent felt constrained under the rules. I really hate the 'proceduralization' of everything to the complete exclusion of allowing a certain amount of discretion at the line-level.
     
  8. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    I agree that it's unfortuantly that AA wouldn't see the win-win situation. Did you speak to a supervisor?

    Couldn't you have gone standdy for OGG-LAX (as it's domestic)?
     
  9. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    Yes, we spoke to a supervisor at the check-in area at OGG, and also spoke to the EXP desk (where they tell you they are all supervisors). We were asking to standby for OGG-LAX. If it were permitted, the original check-in agent we talked to said it would clear immediately and our upgrades would clear immediately. Instead, AA paid a second night of hotel and a second day of food for two passengers, and irritated those passengers even more. Like most big companies, AA tends to set rules for anything and not give front-line employees much leeway to use their common sense instead of following the rules. Everybody we spoke to said that it didn't make any sense, but that they had to follow the rules.
     
  10. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    Despite the fact that DL is much more 'no agent discretion' oriented than AA, I've had a couple of occasions where they broke the rules and allowed me to depart from a different airport (example: original routing LEX-ATL-SAT, allowed to take CVG-SAT when LEX-ATL canceled or a LGW departure in lieu of LHR when a flight canceled). I even had 'em let me take an earlier flight on award tickets when they canceled the original flight - they really wanted to put me on an overbooked flight that left later.

    So AA followed the rules - and it cost 'em.
     
  11. neuatomic
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    neuatomic Silver Member

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    That is exactly it. The larger a company becomes the more they rely on strict 'proceduralization' to handle every situation. Netflix posted a very interesting slideshow on their corporate culture. Slides 41 - 50 or so address this issue. I found the entire slideshow fascinating, sounds like an innovative company and one that would be great to work for ('unlimited' vacation!): http://www.slideshare.net/reed2001/culture-1798664
     
  12. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    Maybe I can understand why they couldn't confirm you on the direct flight ahead of time, but I don't understand why you couldn't standby for the direct @ the airport? You have status & the standby fee is relatively recent so I wouldn't expect the standby fee to be the issue..
     
  13. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    If standby had been permitted, there would have been no standby fee. The problem was the fare construction. The fare I purchased was cheaper, because it was considered a STL-HNL round trip with a stopover in OGG and a connection at the turnaround point, HNL. To continue flying on that fare, I had to go to HNL. To go to LAX non-stop, without going through HNL, the itinerary would have to be changed and re-fared, and I would have to pay the change fee and the fare difference between what I purchased and the then current walk-up fare for OGG-LAX-STL. Of course, I knew this when I bought it, and was happy to go through HNL to save $100 per person.

    I would not have brought it up had AA not had the cancelled flight and had lots of passengers trying to get onto its HNL-LAX flights. It seemed to me like a good time for AA to forget the rule and save themselves some money. The people I talked to agreed that it was a good idea, but they lacked the authority to make it happen. I wasn't mad at the time (I did get what I bought), but I was amazed that AA lacked the flexibility to do what was clearly in their best interests.
     
  14. Travel2Food
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    Travel2Food Silver Member

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    A friend of mine once worked for a company that produced decision support software. They told me that "our customers don't really care if the answer is right or wrong as long as the process is repeatable and done the same way each time". This is one of the problems with blind adherence to 6 Sigma.
     

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