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Old Nov 23, 09, 10:18 am   #1
 
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Discrepancy between QF and CX award search and AA availability

I was searching for LAN Airlines flight availability between LAX and LIM during the month of May 2010, and saw plenty of Y seats available. However, upon calling the AA Award desk to redeem my miles, the CSR says she can't see anything available for the dates I asked. I called back a number of times and got the same answer...

Is AA starting to employ some kind of filter like the starnet blocking on UA? Or is the Qantas award search just no accurate?
Thanks
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Old Nov 23, 09, 10:29 am   #2
 
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Just because there are awaed seats on LAN available for QF FF members, it does not mean that those award seats are available to all reciprocating airlines' FFers.

Very common, and also frequently related to balance of payments issues.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 10:46 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMMMDL View Post
Just because there are awaed seats on LAN available for QF FF members, it does not mean that those award seats are available to all reciprocating airlines' FFers.

Very common, and also frequently related to balance of payments issues.

wow, that I didn't know. I thought usually for these alliances, award seats made available by one airline should be searchable and bookable by all the alliance members. Unless, of course, one of them is employing some kind of blocking feature like UA in *A.
Guess I was mistaken.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 4:22 pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PMMMDL View Post
Just because there are awaed seats on LAN available for QF FF members, it does not mean that those award seats are available to all reciprocating airlines' FFers.

Very common, and also frequently related to balance of payments issues.
I wouldn't agree with a generic statement that it is "very common" and I have no idea what "balance of payments issues" have to do with it.

I think most people's recent experiences (mine, certainly) has tended to be that if QF (or BA or CX etc.) shows award availability, then it's available via AA. Certainly, there may be exceptions but not to the level of saying it's "very common". AA certainly has difficulty sometimes 'seeing' award availability that is, in fact, there. I had two recent experiences of this (one, LHR-SIN-MEL in F and the other CNS-BNE-CBR-MEL in J, the latter a somewhat convoluted routing) where QF (and BA for the LHR-MEL one) showed it as available but AA insisted it was not. After much persistence (including one idiotic EXP agent who insisted that "you obviously must be looking at revenue ticket availability"), the award seats were, in fact, there via AA.

In this case, QF shows award availability in Y every day in May - and 19 out of the 31 days in May are available direct (LAX-LIM) on LAN and the other days on AA via MIA. I suspect (but have no knowledge one way or the other) that AA may not make the direct (LAN) flight available and thus forces you to take the AA flights via MIA. QF has no incentive to do that as they don't fly the route so will presumably make the LAN flight available to its members if LAN is prepared to make it available, whereas AA may be inclined to force you on to its flights, even if LAN is prepared to make the award inventory available. I have no experience of LAX-LIM (or LAN) so perhaps others who have can comment further.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 5:33 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
I wouldn't agree with a generic statement that it is "very common" and I have no idea what "balance of payments issues" have to do with it.

I think most people's recent experiences (mine, certainly) has tended to be that if QF (or BA or CX etc.) shows award availability, then it's available via AA. Certainly, there may be exceptions but not to the level of saying it's "very common". AA certainly has difficulty sometimes 'seeing' award availability that is, in fact, there. I had two recent experiences of this (one, LHR-SIN-MEL in F and the other CNS-BNE-CBR-MEL in J, the latter a somewhat convoluted routing) where QF (and BA for the LHR-MEL one) showed it as available but AA insisted it was not. After much persistence (including one idiotic EXP agent who insisted that "you obviously must be looking at revenue ticket availability"), the award seats were, in fact, there via AA.

In this case, QF shows award availability in Y every day in May - and 19 out of the 31 days in May are available direct (LAX-LIM) on LAN and the other days on AA via MIA. I suspect (but have no knowledge one way or the other) that AA may not make the direct (LAN) flight available and thus forces you to take the AA flights via MIA. QF has no incentive to do that as they don't fly the route so will presumably make the LAN flight available to its members if LAN is prepared to make it available, whereas AA may be inclined to force you on to its flights, even if LAN is prepared to make the award inventory available. I have no experience of LAX-LIM (or LAN) so perhaps others who have can comment further.


hi tt7, thanks for the response. That's sort of what I'm suspecting as well... AA not making the flights on LAN available. If I go search on the QF website, there are literally tons of availability on the LAN LAX-LIM flight... but the 5-7 AA CSR I spoke too couldn't see any of them.

I actually asked one lady if the awards flights made available by LAN can be seen by all OW airlines... and she said she doesn't think so because LAN may "give" a number of award seats to each airline separately. So if AAdvantage members already redeemed those LAN flights, we won't be able to redeem additional award flights seen on QF, CX, etc... I don't know the accuracy of her statements, but it does seem a little strange.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 6:09 pm   #6
 
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Just check LAN availability on BA website and saw a couple of dates open as well. Called AA award desk and asked why AA seems to not be able to see these availability... the csr responded that it's "probably" because the "allotment" given to AA from LAN has already been redeemed.

I guess OneWorld works a lot different than *A... in that each airline gives an "allotment" of seats to every other airline in the alliance. Once one airline finishes its allotment, it can no longer access seats, even though there may be plenty still available.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 6:21 pm   #7
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Inter GDS availability is not that sophisticated in regard to "allotments".

Availability for a flight is simply returned as a letter indicating a fare bucket with a number between 0 and 4/7/9 indicating how many seats the airline may wish to issue for that fare bucket for that flight.

What an airline can do however, is restrict availability within a fare bucket based on various factors; region of query/purchase being one. I feel the issue may be with LAN.

e.g. In this case LAN may be making more award seats available for Oz based GDSs rather than those which are North American based.
i.e. If X is an award economy class fare bucket then a query by Qantas in Australia might return X4 while the same query done from Dallas may return X1 or X0.

Last edited by serfty; Nov 23, 09 at 6:29 pm.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 6:29 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serfty View Post
Inter GDS availability is not that sophisticated in regard to allotments.

What an airline can do however, is restrict availability based on various factors; region of query/purchase being one. I feel the issue may be with LAN.

e.g. In this case LAN may be making more award seats available for Oz based GDSs rather than those wich are North American based.
i.e. If X is an award economy class fare bucket then a query by Qantas in Australia might return X4 while the same query done from Dallas may return X1 or X0.
Bingo! QF and BA both employ this concept with revenue and award buckets. In 'GDS-speak' it is called POS (Point of Sale) and is separated out in the inventory system. Not sure as to whether LAN does this as well but it's definitely possible. And also, award seats do not work on a system of 'allotments' to specific carriers, despite what any AAgent may tell you. When an award is made available to partners, it is made available to ALL partners, unless it falls under the POS restrictions.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 6:43 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denCSA View Post
Bingo! QF and BA both employ this concept with revenue and award buckets. In 'GDS-speak' it is called POS (Point of Sale) and is separated out in the inventory system. Not sure as to whether LAN does this as well but it's definitely possible. And also, award seats do not work on a system of 'allotments' to specific carriers, despite what any AAgent may tell you. When an award is made available to partners, it is made available to ALL partners, unless it falls under the POS restrictions.

Thanks guys for the explanation. That makes a lot of sense actually.
So I guess my question now is, do you know if LAN (or other carriers) sometimes increases the award availability in certain regions like North America? Or does this mean that once those seats are gone, they're gone for good?

I have an award reservation on hold right now on AA from SFO-MIA-LIM, even though I would much prefer the SFO-LAX-LIM routing and time. I'm debating whether or not to just ticket what I already have, or maybe wait a little longer to see if something might open up on the LAX-LIM.

Thanks again everyone
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Old Apr 28, 10, 9:49 am   #10
 
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CX shows availability, BA says yes too but AA says no

Trying to move from J to F on CX889, CX shows availability (miles seats) but I'm already booked in J using AA miles. It's been 2 days now where CX shows open but AA tells me no. Tried calling BA to check, they show open too.

I'm certain this sort of thing happens all the time, just wondered if there were any tricks I should know (such as it takes AA 3 days to show availability or something?).
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Old Apr 28, 10, 9:50 am   #11
 
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Old Jul 13, 10, 5:09 pm   #12
 
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Qantas/BA award availability but AA says none available

I seem to be hitting a snag for a trip I want to take to EZE or Mendoza 9/3 - 6.

KVS/Qantas/LAN say that saver awards should be available for 1 pax on the LAN flights but AAgents say that it's not showing up in their system.

Does anyone know what's going on/why this is happening? Is AA blocking LA redemptions?

The AAgents also tell me that they cannot contact LAN (this is during regular 9a-5p business hours) to figure out what the problem is or to inquire about opening up award space on the LA (or 4M) direct flights from MIA. Mendoza would be a great trip for us & I have limited time off (or notice to book).

Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

[KVS Availability Tool 5.4.7/Diamond - Amadeus: Awards/OneWorld/AU-QFA-MLT]
Code:
MIA  Miami Int'l FL US [KMIA]
SCL  Santiago De Chile Arturo Merino Benitez CL [SCEL]
FRI  03 Sep 2010 | 1 Seat

Carrier    Flight  From  Depart    To    Arrive    A/C      Availability
---------  ------  ----  --------  ----  --------  ---  --  ------------
LA         503     MIA   22:30     SCL   06:55 +1  763      CS+  YS-
AA         957     MIA   23:35     SCL   08:05 +1  763      CS-  YS+
LA         571     MIA   08:25     SCL   18:45     763      CS+  YS-
AA         1973    MIA   18:20     DFW   20:25     757      CS-  YS+
 -> AA     945     DFW   21:10     SCL   07:50 +1  763
AA         544     MIA   16:10     DFW   18:15     738      CS-  YS+
 -> AA     945     DFW   21:10     SCL   07:50 +1  763
[KVS Availability Tool 5.4.7/Diamond - Amadeus: Awards/OneWorld/AU-QFA-MLT]
Code:
MIA  Miami Int'l FL US [KMIA]
BUE  Buenos Aires Metro BA AR = EZE AEP
FRI  03 Sep 2010 | 2 Seats

Carrier    Flight  From  Depart    To    Arrive    A/C      Availability
---------  ------  ----  --------  ----  --------  ---  --  ------------
AA         909     MIA   20:30     EZE   06:15 +1  777      FS+  CS-
AA         943     MIA   23:20     EZE   09:05 +1  777      FS+  CS-
4M         4521    MIA   21:00     EZE   07:00 +1  763      FS-  CS+
AA         544     MIA   16:10     DFW   18:15     738      FS+  CS-
 -> AA     997     DFW   19:35     EZE   07:55 +1  777
AA         2207    MIA   13:55     DFW   15:55     757      FS+  CS-
 -> AA     997     DFW   19:35     EZE   07:55 +1  777
AA         602     MIA   12:40     DFW   14:45     757      FS+  CS-
 -> AA     997     DFW   19:35     EZE   07:55 +1  777
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Old Jul 13, 10, 5:20 pm   #13
 
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A quick search using "LAN award" reveals a # of threads (including this one - started back in '07 but bumped a couple of weeks ago) confirming there is some problem reserving LAN awards. Seems like you may well need to call AA back.
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Old Jul 13, 10, 11:06 pm   #14
 
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A quick search using "LAN award" reveals a # of threads (including this one - started back in '07 but bumped a couple of weeks ago) confirming there is some problem reserving LAN awards. Seems like you may well need to call AA back.
Thanks. I did lots of searches but not LAN award. I called 4x and had little to no luck. One supervisor had 2 seats for us but when he ticketed the first te 2nd disappeared.

Maybe I am used to Delta were we can request partner availability bit does AA now do this? The LAN J product is lightyears ahead of the AA J seat.
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Old Jul 15, 10, 8:26 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
A quick search using "LAN award" reveals a # of threads (including this one - started back in '07 but bumped a couple of weeks ago) confirming there is some problem reserving LAN awards. Seems like you may well need to call AA back.
AA says that there are no issues and I can't seem to find an agent who is willing to contact the oneworld liason.

They say that Qantas/LAN must be offering "codeshare" availability.... looks like I should get in touch with LAN to see if they can do anything.
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Last edited by WBurcham; Jul 15, 10 at 8:46 am.
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