AC itinerary doesn't match ticket

Old Aug 16, 17, 4:44 am
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AC itinerary doesn't match ticket

Hello experienced AC travelers,

I have an award ticket issued by United Mileage Plus which includes 2 segments on AV as well as some segments on LX, and no UA segments. This means that each airline has the itinerary under a different PNR. The problem is, the itinerary shown on AC.com doesn't match the ticket.

What happened was, I had originally booked a different itinerary, and then rebooked it a month later. The original itinerary had an EI flight from Dublin to Toronto; the new itinerary has an AC flight 3 days earlier from London to Calgary. When I look at UA.com, it shows the new, corrected itinerary, as ticketed. When I look at Swiss.com under the Swiss PNR, it shows the new, corrected itinerary, as ticketed. When I look at the itinerary on AC.com, I see the new segment (which I am flying today), but I also see the (cancelled) segment from Dublin to Toronto next Saturday.

The agent at the AC lounge at LHR called the ticketing desk, and the told her that they could not delete the segment, only UA could delete the segment. I then spoke to the United ticketing desk, and they cannot delete this segment, because it is no longer in the UA itinerary - they deleted it months ago!

Perhaps this doesn't actually matter -- but I am afraid that when I don't fly that DUB-YYZ segment on Saturday, the AC reservations system will cancel the entire itinerary. Am I being too paranoid here? The AC ticketing desk told the UA agent that not flying a non-ticketed segment would not cause the itinerary to cancel - but I wonder whether the software is sophisticated enough to pick up on this.

Does anyone know whether the information from AC is actually true? Should I stop being worried, or should I get on the phone to AC again?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old Aug 16, 17, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by david7031 View Post
Hello experienced AC travelers,

I have an award ticket issued by United Mileage Plus which includes 2 segments on AV as well as some segments on LX, and no UA segments. This means that each airline has the itinerary under a different PNR. The problem is, the itinerary shown on AC.com doesn't match the ticket.

What happened was, I had originally booked a different itinerary, and then rebooked it a month later. The original itinerary had an EI flight from Dublin to Toronto; the new itinerary has an AC flight 3 days earlier from London to Calgary. When I look at UA.com, it shows the new, corrected itinerary, as ticketed. When I look at Swiss.com under the Swiss PNR, it shows the new, corrected itinerary, as ticketed. When I look at the itinerary on AC.com, I see the new segment (which I am flying today), but I also see the (cancelled) segment from Dublin to Toronto next Saturday.

The agent at the AC lounge at LHR called the ticketing desk, and the told her that they could not delete the segment, only UA could delete the segment. I then spoke to the United ticketing desk, and they cannot delete this segment, because it is no longer in the UA itinerary - they deleted it months ago!

Perhaps this doesn't actually matter -- but I am afraid that when I don't fly that DUB-YYZ segment on Saturday, the AC reservations system will cancel the entire itinerary. Am I being too paranoid here? The AC ticketing desk told the UA agent that not flying a non-ticketed segment would not cause the itinerary to cancel - but I wonder whether the software is sophisticated enough to pick up on this.

Does anyone know whether the information from AC is actually true? Should I stop being worried, or should I get on the phone to AC again?

Thanks in advance for your help!
The problem with your story is that it lacks a bit of clarity and detail, particularly, I'm not quite sure what you mean by this sentence :
"What happened was, I had originally booked a different itinerary, and then rebooked it a month later. "
You rebooked how, with whom, etc.
This matters because of the reservation system works. It's something best explained with a picture but PNRs don't all speak to each other, there's a "pecking order" of sorts. Even though you may be ticketed, depending on who did the change in what PNR you might not hold space for the flight.When you show up, you might get turned around.
What worries me is that an experienced agent knows that you don't just delete a segment on a PNR with OAL involved, you remove it using a special "cancel space" code, which has the OAL delete it from their PNR also. Such an inexperienced agent is also the kind of agent that would reissue a ticket without holding space on the OAL causing the entire thing to get cancelled.
If AC had a look at it and told you it's all good, there's not much more than can be done though...
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Old Aug 16, 17, 12:02 pm
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Doesn't matter.

The only things that matter are:

1. United (or whoever you booked with) has your full real itinerary matching your ticket

2. Every other airline sees you confirmed on their own flights, and that said flight matches your ticket
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Old Aug 16, 17, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
Doesn't matter.

The only things that matter are:

1. United (or whoever you booked with) has your full real itinerary matching your ticket

2. Every other airline sees you confirmed on their own flights, and that said flight matches your ticket
I'm not sure who's information you're quoting as "not mattering", but let me point out your #2, and the very title of this thread "AC itinerary doesn´t match ticket"
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Old Aug 16, 17, 12:23 pm
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So lets say you book a fligh on UA. Then do a bunch of changes. Whatever. And theres one flight on AC.

What you have to make sure is that AC sees you are booked on the correct AC flight, and that your ticket has a coupon for that flight.

It doesn't matter if AC doesnt see the rest of the itinerary booked, nor does it matter if it sees the wrong segments for the other airline flights. Or no other segments at all.

When I book AC with NH segments, they often dont see my itinerary at all. Or see the wrong segments for my AC flights. All that doesn't matter to them as long as they see their correct flight, and as long as AC has my correct full itinerary.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
So lets say you book a fligh on UA. Then do a bunch of changes. Whatever. And theres one flight on AC.

What you have to make sure is that AC sees you are booked on the correct AC flight, and that your ticket has a coupon for that flight.

It doesn't matter if AC doesnt see the rest of the itinerary booked, nor does it matter if it sees the wrong segments for the other airline flights. Or no other segments at all.

When I book AC with NH segments, they often dont see my itinerary at all. Or see the wrong segments for my AC flights. All that doesn't matter to them as long as they see their correct flight, and as long as AC has my correct full itinerary.
What you say is correct to a certain extent, the problem you're not familiar with is how the system works. The space held can be on UA's PNR, the Travel Agency's PNR, or AC's PNR.

In his case, it's probably booked as an "agency booking" source, and that's my concern. I'll speak from AC's perspective because that's the one I'm familiar with but the issue is generalized among airlines.
If AC issues a ticket with a UA flight, the system goes and creates a separate PNR in UA's reservation system, which holds space for the UA flight.
If AC changes the UA flight, it also updates UA's PNR.

HOWEVER,
If the booking is made by a third party (Travel agency ; i.e. expedia, amex, points redemption programmes, etc) then the whole thing becomes a pyramid, where the Travel Agency's PNR is at the top, and it creates a PNR with AC, and one with UA.
If AC goes in and changes the UA flight at this point, ACs reservation will show confirmed space on UA. A ticket can then be issued which will show you HK on UA's new flight.
The problem is that because AC's PNR isn't the master file, UA's PNR doesn't get updated. You get no space held on UA. Then you show up at the gate and UA tells you you don't exist, even though you have a valid ticket. Tough rocks.

There is a way to remedy this, called a shadow PNR, but that's more details than you need to know.
What it comes down to though is that PNRs should ALWAYS have the same flights. If a PNR has different flights, it means that they're not synced. They get desynced precisely in the situation I've described. And when they do, segments that are not affected by the changes can end up being cancelled too because of noshows, or because the system is unable to match the coupon with the segment in the PNR.


Simply put, If UA changes the booking on their PNR to a new AC flight, and the booking source is UA, then AC's PNR would be updated at the same time. The cancelled segments wouldn't show either.
If the booking source is not UA (which I'm not sure because I don't know UA's M+ programme), then the desync he describes might pose an issue.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 1:32 pm
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Thank you. I actually really appreciate you providing me (and the forum) with a detailed technical explanation of how this all works.

HOWEVER,

I still believe that my initial explanation holds.

When I look at UA.com, it shows the new, corrected itinerary, as ticketed.
OP booked a UA award on UA's system. So UA can make changes directly. So they would be the "master"(?) PNR, and they show the correct entire itin (which is the important part).

When I look at Swiss.com under the Swiss PNR, it shows the new, corrected itinerary, as ticketed.
So Swiss sees at least their correct segment with ticket, so he would be OK with Swiss.

When I look at the itinerary on AC.com, I see the new segment (which I am flying today), but I also see the (cancelled)[EI] segment from Dublin to Toronto next Saturday.
So AC does not see that UA cancelled the EI segment, but that is irrelevant for AC.

AC sees that OP is confirmed on their flight, and OP has a ticket coupon for that flight, so he's ok with AC.

Everything else is irrelevant. AC didn't do the booking, so whether they know or not what has been changed for the other airlines is irrelevant, IMHO.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
Thank you. I actually really appreciate you providing me (and the forum) with a detailed technical explanation of how this all works.

HOWEVER,

I still believe that my initial explanation holds.


OP booked a UA award on UA's system. So UA can make changes directly. So they would be the "master"(?) PNR, and they show the correct entire itin (which is the important part).


So Swiss sees at least their correct segment with ticket, so he would be OK with Swiss.



So AC does not see that UA cancelled the EI segment, but that is irrelevant for AC.

AC sees that OP is confirmed on their flight, and OP has a ticket coupon for that flight, so he's ok with AC.

Everything else is irrelevant. AC didn't do the booking, so whether they know or not what has been changed for the other airlines is irrelevant, IMHO.
It was my understanding that the flight yyz-dub became AC at one point, then wasn't removed afterwards. If your understanding, that the EI flight was on the AC PNR but never replaced to an AC flight as I thought it, then yes, it wouldn't be an issue I reckon.

However, the bolded part is not correct necessarily. In the case of AC, an AP booking is not made as an AC booking, but as a travel agency booking (it actually depends on the sort of booking but that's irrelevant in this situation). I assume that the same might be of UA M+ bookings, but I don't know.

That's why I found his explanation confusing, you don't know who changed what to where.

Cheers
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Old Aug 16, 17, 4:24 pm
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Wow - Lots of complexities. There was a great summary above from dread_specter.

Basically, the DUB-YYZ flight was originally provided to AC as information relating to an inbound flight. When you have an agency book a PNR - each airlines will receive their own flights as well as incoming connections. (Now - the airlines also tend to get the outbound connections as well - in order to facilitate the EDIFACT through-check - which used to be a manual process in the paper ticket days). However, somehow, when the inbound flight was actually cancelled, AC's PNR was not updated. No big deal because it is not the real reservation anyway. Each segment is officially only reserved on the inventory and system of the operating carrier - the other carriers just have the booking as information only.
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Old Aug 16, 17, 4:53 pm
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To make this easier for OP:

1. Call each of the three carriers and, using the PNR for that carrier, ask whether OP is properly confirmed and ticketed on the flights for that carrier. Don't bother or worry about flights on any other carrier.

2. Yes, this takes time on hold with three carriers, but it is clear that OP has a limited grasp of the exact situation. Thus, this is the way to go.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by zrh2yvr View Post
Wow - Lots of complexities. There was a great summary above from dread_specter.

Basically, the DUB-YYZ flight was originally provided to AC as information relating to an inbound flight. When you have an agency book a PNR - each airlines will receive their own flights as well as incoming connections. (Now - the airlines also tend to get the outbound connections as well - in order to facilitate the EDIFACT through-check - which used to be a manual process in the paper ticket days). However, somehow, when the inbound flight was actually cancelled, AC's PNR was not updated. No big deal because it is not the real reservation anyway. Each segment is officially only reserved on the inventory and system of the operating carrier - the other carriers just have the booking as information only.
It excessively complex in fact, and that's why you might know someone (or it might've been you), who was booked on a ticket with multiple airlines, experienced an IROP, was rebooked, and then showed up and found out you didn't have a space on the flight even though your ticket says so. It's something that inexperienced reservations agents tend to do when they just start because there's so many steps involved.

But your summary of the situation is right. What matters is what's on the actual carrier's PNR. If dub-yyz was only but a EI flight and never became an AC segment at one point, then it's there for "information" purpose only as you put it.
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
To make this easier for OP:

1. Call each of the three carriers and, using the PNR for that carrier, ask whether OP is properly confirmed and ticketed on the flights for that carrier. Don't bother or worry about flights on any other carrier.

2. Yes, this takes time on hold with three carriers, but it is clear that OP has a limited grasp of the exact situation. Thus, this is the way to go.
I would add to that recommendation that he confirms that the actual reissued ticket is attached to the PNR as well. Reservation systems cancel held space after some time if no ticket number is attached, or if the ticket attached doesn't have a valid equivalent segment (i.e. you fly yyz-yvr on 08jun on your PNR, but your old ticket was yyz-yvr on 07jun and it's the old ticket number that's still attached to the PNR). Otherwise, you got it down right.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by dread_specter View Post

I would add to that recommendation that he confirms that the actual reissued ticket is attached to the PNR as well.
Just checked mine. Actual, correct ticket numbers are attached to the other two airlines itineraries, showing correctly the leg that's missing on aircanada.com.

I think we are safe.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 11:32 am
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Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
When I book AC with NH segments, they often dont see my itinerary at all. Or see the wrong segments for my AC flights. All that doesn't matter to them as long as they see their correct flight, and as long as AC has my correct full itinerary.
You are probably right on all counts. How does the carrier know then to protect you on the next segment if pax misses the connection before it gets to that carrier? I understood that the carrier has a responsibility to backup the flight segment once pax is at the airport. If carriers don't talk to each other even in their own systems how does this mis-connect work. In other words, they don't know where the passenger is coming from or where pax is going after this particular segment.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 12:00 pm
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In my particular case, it didn't matter because NH was the last carrier.

I wouldn't be surprised if AC is the last carrier as well.

And since airports check you through, connecting flight info is probably communicated on DCS.

For IRROPS, the first carrier has to repro, so if I missed my connection it's irrelevant whether or not NH knows (though they wil likely know by looking at my ticket, and because they are so pro).

I have no reason to believe this is an issue at all. Well, it's an inconvenience, and it should be fixed, but it's not an issue.


Furthermore, I still believe in my theory besides what was mentioned previously by dead_specter. According to his explanation on how PNRs work, there's literally no issues with AC cleaning up their file (though the cautious approach would be to not touch it so you dont remove something you're not supposed to remove), but as long as AC doesn't send a specific "remove" segment to the actual OAL (not the "master PNR") then nothing should happen.

It seems like we really under appreciate the complexities of airline systems. We book crazy RTW trips with multiple carriers and flights, make changes, go through IRROPS, and the whole thing still appears seemless with nary a hint of what is really going on.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by 1Newflyer View Post
You are probably right on all counts. How does the carrier know then to protect you on the next segment if pax misses the connection before it gets to that carrier? I understood that the carrier has a responsibility to backup the flight segment once pax is at the airport. If carriers don't talk to each other even in their own systems how does this mis-connect work. In other words, they don't know where the passenger is coming from or where pax is going after this particular segment.
In theory every copy of every PNR should have all flights of all airlines. Every airline's PNR is important however, because it's those individual PNRs that hold space for each respective airline. This is why when you book with UA for example, and you try to ckin on AC with the same PNR number, it doesn't work (or at least it didn't last time I checked). This is also why if you call AC with a UA PNR, your booking won't come up, unless you also have the equivalent AC PNR#.

The one thing however that all airlines can access is the ticket #. AC can pull up a 001 ticket, or 016 ticket, just like UA can pull up a 014 ticket. Therefore, the ticket is really the one indicator of the pax's final destination and itinerary if there's a flight missing on a PNR (but incomplete PNRs were a rather rare occurrence). The ticket also exists as a single, shared "entity", unlike the PNR which is duplicated across airlines.

So to answer your question, an absolute indicator of where a pax is going is the ticket. If you're halfway through your journey and you IROP, it's your ticket that dictates where the airline is responsible to re-protect you to.
This is also why if you buy a flight on AC to YYZ, an a separate ticket out of YYZ on UA (for example), and your AC flight IRROPs, then you won't be re-protected to your final destination, but to your ticketed final destination.

And that's, once more, the problem with the duality of tickets and PNRs, where one can have a ticket that says one thing, and a PNR that says something else.

Originally Posted by SparseFlyer View Post
It seems like we really under appreciate the complexities of airline systems. We book crazy RTW trips with multiple carriers and flights, make changes, go through IRROPS, and the whole thing still appears seemless with nary a hint of what is really going on.
Couldn't agree more, haha
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