FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - GONE 29 APR 2015: Special ticketing procedure: award tickets from Manila / MNL / Phil
Old Mar 6, 11, 1:46 pm
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GONE 29 APR 2015: Special ticketing procedure: award tickets from Manila / MNL / Phil

MODERATOR NOTE: These restrictions have now been done away with as of 29 Apr 2015.

Having just gone through the process of ticketing an AAdvantage award originating in the Philippines (and having to sift through a great amount of incorrect, conflicting information in the process) I thought I would share the CORRECT procedure with my fellow FlyerTalkers!

Under Philippine law, virtually all ticketed travel originating in the Philippines MUST be ticketed within the country of the Philippines. This includes award travel. (This is why many internet ticketing sites will generate error messages when attempting to book flights departing from airports within the Philippines.)

This means that, while the AAdvantage desk can reserve ex-Philippine AAdvantage awards they can not actually issue such awards. In my recent experience, it became clear to me that many of the AA ticketing agents do not understand why, much less how to complete the process. At various times, I was told that I needed to contact the partner airline's office in the Philippines to complete the award issuance (wrong), that the reservation could only be held for 24 hours (also wrong), that I had to be physically present in the Philippines to complete the ticketing process (also wrong), etc., etc.

I have outlined below the CORRECT procedure that will ensure a successful ticketing process:

AAdvantage Desk steps:
  1. Call the AAdvantage desk as usual to confirm award availability.
  2. Have the agent book your reservation.
  3. Have the agent pull the miles from your account (they may tell you they can't issue the ticket-- that doesn't matter). Tell them you understand, and to pull the miles from your account and queue the reservation for ticketing, which you will complete with AA CTO in the Philippines.
  4. Obtain the current contact phone numbers and fax numbers for the American Airlines CTO in Manila (it is a contract operation operated by a third-party GSA, Airesources, Inc.).

Cautionary side-note: After completing the first three steps, your reservation may show as "ticketed" on, and you may be tempted to skip the next part. Don't do that-- the partner airline will not allow you to travel, as they will have no record of payment for the flight!

American Airlines Manila CTO (Airesources, Inc. GSA) steps:
  1. Call the Manila CTO (Airesources, Inc.) to confirm they can "see" the reservation and that it is set up for ticketing. (This can be difficult at times, it is a small office with a quirky phone system--- be prepared for long hold times, many of which will terminate with arbitrary disconnection before reaching a live human. Don't take it out on the agent you ultimately reach, as he/she likely has no purchasing authority over their telecommunications gear. If you yell at the person who answers, everyone in the very tiny office will know-- and you run the risk of making your ticketing become unduly "complicated.")
  2. Tell the Manila CTO that you will come to their office to pick up the ticket and to arrange for ticketing.
  3. Go to the Manila CTO (located inside the retail concourse located on the lower level of the Century Park Hotel) to claim your ticket. Bring both local currency (to pay a certain tax payable only in cash) as well as your passport (by producing your passport with Philippines entry stamp, you may be able to avoid one of the taxes).
  4. Alternatively, if you are not able to physically present yourself at the Manila CTO, you may arrange to fax authorization for them to issue an e-ticket for the flight. This requires you to fax a detailed letter of authorization, accompanied by a copy of your passport and credit card and takes 2 - 3 days.

I realize that not many FTers may need this information, but it took me several days, several international phone calls, and sorting through a great deal of incorrect information to figure this out. Hopefully, this may save someone else the hassle.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 30, 15 at 8:52 am Reason: Update
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