A colleague of mine here in Washington, DC is from New Zealand. He learned this morning that his sister is in the hospital in CHC and has only a few days to live.
So he and his wife needed to get home right away.
He had ~ 100k miles in his UA account and ~ 100k miles in his Air Canada account.
So I called UA and found 2 C seats IAD-LAX-SYD-CHC and CHC-AKL-LAX-IAD return. I reserved one with his UA miles and one with my UA miles -- just to make sure we could get them ticketed together. (I'd have loaned him miles from my account.)
Then I called AC and found the same flights and booked them with his miles, called UA back and booked one ticket with his miles and cancelled the other booking.
But this would have been a whole lot easier with a *A award redemption desk.
Furthermore, as we were looking for routings with the UA agent, they didn't know much about allowable *A routings. (The AC agent turned out to be much more familiar.)
So UA had no idea whether routing through SIN or NRT or BKK was allowable when we were having trouble finding LAX-SYD/AKL flights.
Having *A trained agents would sure be nice! FWIW.
Oh, and my other wish would be for electronic ticketing on all *A carriers.
[This message has been edited by gleff (edited 06-13-2003).]