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Old Jul 24, 12, 5:45 pm   #1
 
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Alaska website's multicity award search logic

Can someone point to any posts or other info that explains what (for pure AS itineraries) currently can and can't be booked online using the AS website's multicity award search function?

"Just try it and if it doesn't work, call to book" doesn't answer the question. I'm looking for info on the website's restrictions and logic.

For example, why does it find and permit multicity online award bookings for SEA-JNU (stopover)-ANC but will error out on attempts to do the same using KTN, SIT, or WRG for the stopover in the Southeast? The errors occur despite award inventory being available on the routes/days in question.
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Old Jul 24, 12, 6:10 pm   #2
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I believe that its because enroute stopovers are allowed and we don't file those other cities as an option to route through when traveling SEA - ANC. The southeast stopover is an exception to the normal stopover rules so the web inhibited it.

I can check for sure when I get back next week.
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Old Jul 25, 12, 8:43 am   #3
 
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Quote:
The southeast stopover is an exception to the normal stopover rules
Que? I called the Gold desk the other day and asked where I could stop over on a one-way ANC-SEA, coming back from a one-way cruise, and they said only JNU. We were interested in possibly SIT or PSG, since the cruise stops in JNU.

Is that possibly a difference between one way paid and one way awards? I had assumed the rules would be the same.

Of course, we were also thinking about two awards, ANC-ADQ and ADQ-ANC-xxx-SEA, if we could work out the timing with this:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment...,7813511.story
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Old Jul 25, 12, 9:07 am   #4
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Sorry I should have been more clear. Calling it a stopover exception wasn't quite correct.

The exception allowed a "circle trip" instead of a round trip when someone wanted to stop in southeast AK between the rest of AK and the mainland, since Jnu is generally the only authorized stopover point.

The rules may have changed completely when we went to one way awrds or they may still be allowed only on RT awards. A call to the gold desk would tell you for sure. Or I can tell you next week.
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Old Jul 25, 12, 2:37 pm   #5
 
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Here's a use case for the Alaska website team:

An Army spouse on Ft Wainwright is trying to surprise his wife (who recently returned from a war zone) by arranging a visit from her parents, who live in Western WA.

His in-laws have an ANC->SEA cruise package already set. He just needs to get them from SEA to FAI and then to ANC. He'd like to do so using miles for award tickets. He has plenty of miles.

He goes to your website and attempts to book their trip involving these three cities (and in that order) by selecting "multi-city" and "Use miles" and proceeding.

Do you think your website team can come up with a better user experience than what you currently provide? (Since the answer is obviously yes, maybe a better question is when will you do so?)
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Old Jul 25, 12, 2:51 pm   #6
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At some point i believe you will be able to book multiple award types in a single reservation. But you cant even do that by calling right now.

You need a one way Sea to Fai. Then another one way intra - state award from Fai to Anc.
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Old Jul 25, 12, 2:58 pm   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missydarlin
At some point i believe you will be able to book multiple award types in a single reservation. But you cant even do that by calling right now.

You need a one way Sea to Fai. Then another one way intra - state award from Fai to Anc.
Specifically it seems to have to do with fare rules as AS doesn't file SEA-ANC via FAI (so one can't fly a OW award with this routing) but one could do SEA-FAI with a stopover in ANC. At least I think that's the issue here.
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Old Jul 25, 12, 3:56 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
Specifically it seems to have to do with fare rules as AS doesn't file SEA-ANC via FAI (so one can't fly a OW award with this routing) but one could do SEA-FAI with a stopover in ANC. At least I think that's the issue here.
Actually there are two different, but related, interesting issues here suitable for adding to a FAQ:
-- What cities are allowed as stopovers on a single one-way Alaska award ticket between X and Y.

-- What are AS website's multi-city award search function's limitations?
Along with the issue of why, when a user runs in to one of the limitations, can't the web team think of something more helpful to spew out than:
We could not locate any flights that match your request. This could be due to one or more of the following reasons:
- There are flights, but they are full.
- There are no flights for the city pair entered.
- There are no flights for the specific day of week entered.
- The cabin you requested is not available.

Please change your search.

Error Code: -1580
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Old Jul 26, 12, 10:49 am   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quokka View Post
Along with the issue of why, when a user runs in to one of the limitations, can't the web team think of something more helpful to spew out than:
We could not locate any flights that match your request. This could be due to one or more of the following reasons:
- There are flights, but they are full.
- There are no flights for the city pair entered.
- There are no flights for the specific day of week entered.
- The cabin you requested is not available.

Please change your search.

Error Code: -1580
I agree... having run searches where I could confidently say that none of the four reasons were true yet I was still getting the error.

Plus, the error explanation doesn't explain that sometimes the award you want can be booked by calling in.
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