AA award flight cancelled due to schedule change

 
Old Mar 1, 14, 10:37 pm
  #91  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
How about BOS-JFK-LHR or BOS-ORD-LHR or BOS-DFW-LHR - albeit that the flights are overnight?

Dave, surely you can see they aren't the same thing. (in fairness to AA all of those have been offered to me.) However your "albeit" here is a bit of a stretch.

In my particular circumstance my parents are coming out to see my newborn child and obviously wish to maximize that time. They are elderly - they do not wish to do overnight flights, they have prepaid a hotel and parking at LHR based on their original reservations from BOS-LHR leaving 6am arriving 10:45pm. AA confirmed such flights were available and allowed me to use my miles to ticket them.

AA then said, sorry we don't actually want to do what we agreed to do and you have the choice to do something completely different or pay additional "taxes" to do roughly the same thing.

Last edited by dazza189; Mar 1, 14 at 11:03 pm
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Old Mar 1, 14, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by dazza189 View Post
Dave, surely you can see they aren't the same thing. (in fairness to AA all of those have been offered to me.) However your "albeit" here is a bit of a stretch.

In my particular circumstance my parents are coming out to see my newborn child and obviously wish to maximize that time. They are elderly - they do not wish to do overnight flights, they have prepaid a hotel and parking at LHR based on their original reservations from BOS-LHR leaving 6am arriving 10:45pm. AA confirmed such flights were available and allowed me to use my miles to ticket them.

AA then said, sorry we don't actually want to do what we agreed to do and you have the choice to do something completely different or pay additional "taxes" to do roughly the same thing.
I won't get involved in some of the "larger issues" refer to here, but, simply; it's quite possible that AA "should" do things your way. That is to say, maybe (just maybe) they have a reason to do so-- even a legal one, by some accounts.

BUT, as/if/when they do not, what leverage do you think you have in this instance?

As well-- although I often hate when people bring it (trip insurance) up in a knee-jerk fashion-- as far as your parents having already "prepaid hotel and parking," that, unfortunately, very quickly gets into the "have trip insurance" category-- we all know they could have very easily missed that flight, or been severely delayed, etc., for other reasons as well.

I wish you luck no matter what course you decide on!
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Old Mar 1, 14, 11:55 pm
  #93  
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AA then said, sorry we don't actually want to do what we agreed to do and you have the choice to do something completely different or pay additional "taxes" to do roughly the same thing.
Do you believe AA controls BA?

The bottom line is that AA has offered you a lot of reasobable options for flights that are still months away. But you have rejected all of them. And gotten off on a time consuming tangent regarding an AA agent's miscategorization of a BA surcharge as a tax. I'm sure those with a preexisting beef about all things AA are very pleased with your story. Gives them another chance to be all indignant about AA and push you into filing a DOT complaint that is likely to lead no where without a big time commitment from you.
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Old Mar 2, 14, 8:06 am
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At some point you either have to stand up for principles or there is no point in having them.

@JonNYC thank you. I don't think I have much leverage at all, but asking the proper authorities for an opinion doesn't seem out of whack. I do after all fund them on my behalf to look out for me and enforce already established rules. People often forget that government agencies are supposed to be representing you the people.

@Austinrunner - no I do not believe AA controls BA, however I do believe that they have a joint business venture and that they are able to reconcile passengers boarded across their books. If I used money to pay for a ticket on AA and then ended up being transferred to BA - they wouldn't bat an eyelid but they would still need to reconcile the monies as they do not charge the same fares and surcharges for every passenger. Just because I am using miles instead of dollars or pounds shouldn't IMO make any difference.
The bottom line depends on your definition of reasonable - I don't think a daytime flight is the same as an overnight flight and I don't think it's reasonable to substitute one for the other when there is an alternative, others are certainly entitled to disagree but having done both many many times I can certainly have an opinion on it!
The mis-categorization of surcharges as taxes by every single entry point into AA is a problem, i'm sorry you don't agree with that, but it is. It is only however one aspect of my complaint.
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Old Mar 2, 14, 9:06 am
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Just seen this thread and it covers three very important issues for me.
1) Airlines view mileage redemption as at their discretion. If they accept a redemption booking they will move you onto alternate services if they cancel your flight. This is what they did to the OP. Moving to a red eye via RDU is a poor choice, so I would have asked for a routing from LGA via ORD as they still fly a daytime ORD-LHR though it is a two class 763. They are under no obligation to incur expense but to offer you a reasonable alternative.
2) BA have charged for free award tickets for years. After many years of complaining, I believe that some European flights are now without surcharge but they treat their frequent flyers as revenue opportunities rather than loyal customers. BA will give you nothing for free and even charge their frequent flyers surcharge when they fly on AA metal. BA FF's seem to accept this and the elites are satisfied with perks like lounge access at all times which is only available to elites of AA on international travel.
3) IATA sanctioned that airline surcharges could be hidden under taxes and charges under member pressure to get these charges through with minimum opposition. All airlines charge them for revenue fares but only a few like BA (and some US carriers) charge them on Award Free Tickets. It could be seen as dishonest to call them taxes as they do not go to government or revenue authorities but the coffers of an airline but as I said IATA has mandated this is how they are shown on fare breakdowns and tickets. If you ask for a breakdown of taxes and fees you can clearly see the airline portion and these fees and taxes on some coach fares are substantially more than the "fare".

Do not blame AA for the business practices of British Airways or the requirements of IATA. That does not mean you cannot blame AA for stuff that is down to them like canceling 142. I for one avoid BA long haul and now fly via ORD (giving me an opportunity to see friends in Chicago. The in Airport hotel at ORD is very convenient for early morning departures.

Other AA flight attempts to push me to BA such as the alterations to the LHR-LAX route and missing the same day Hawaii connections mean I either change 3 times via ORD and LAX or I fly UA.

To a prior poster, swapping metal is not reasonable to me, I will swap carriers and alliances before swapping to BA longhaul. The BA hard product is inferior to AA 77W's in Business and First, the service and food on AA have improved dramatically whilst BA's (particularly on flights not from LHR) are now really bad.

I think AA see pushing people onto BA as a win win so they can free up 772's to have the first class cabin removed and the new Business and MCE (and presumably 10 across Coach seating) installed. I suspect the numbers will show something else.
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Old Mar 2, 14, 2:26 pm
  #96  
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Originally Posted by dazza189 View Post
At some point you either have to stand up for principles or there is no point in having them.
How very brave and noble of you. I'd bet you would have given up your seat on a Titanic lifeboat.

AA has lawyers who are paid to contest and fight complaints like yours. They also have access to recordings of your conversations with AA, which they can and will quote for all the world to see. Good luck with the immense hassle of the route you've chosen should you pursue it to the bitter end.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is not a consumer protection agency. Don't expect it to take your side or be especially helpful while you are standing on principle and fighting the corporate AA behemoth.
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Old Mar 2, 14, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Austinrunner View Post
The U.S. Department of Transportation is not a consumer protection agency.
Are you sure? The key part of DOT is called the Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Their web site is http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer .
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Old Mar 2, 14, 3:49 pm
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That is hardly "the key part".
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Old Mar 2, 14, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Austinrunner View Post
Sorry, that doesn't answer my question. Surely you have a definition readily available.
Deleted

Last edited by hillrider; Mar 3, 14 at 9:26 am Reason: My original response veered this thread further off-topic (thanks rjlon!)
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Old Mar 2, 14, 4:03 pm
  #100  
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Originally Posted by Austinrunner View Post
The U.S. Department of Transportation is not a consumer protection agency. Don't expect it to take your side or be especially helpful while you are standing on principle and fighting the corporate AA behemoth.
Deleted

Last edited by hillrider; Mar 3, 14 at 9:26 am Reason: My original response veered this thread further off-topic (thanks rjlon!)
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Old Mar 2, 14, 7:11 pm
  #101  
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You're seriously relying on a PR mission statement instead of the statutes controlling a governmental agency?

Last edited by Austinrunner; Mar 2, 14 at 10:17 pm
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Old Mar 2, 14, 7:13 pm
  #102  
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
... as well as a definition from a travel dictionary.
That's hilarious.
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Old Mar 3, 14, 2:16 am
  #103  
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Can I politely suggest this to and for whilst amusing is not advancing the topic? BA's booking procedures are regulated in the UK and it is not AA who charge them on award tickets. IATA is certainly not a consumer organization.
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Old Mar 3, 14, 9:28 am
  #104  
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Originally Posted by rjlon View Post
Can I politely suggest this to and for whilst amusing is not advancing the topic?
Please accept my apologies; I agree with you.
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Old Mar 3, 14, 10:08 am
  #105  
 
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Originally Posted by dazza189 View Post
At some point you either have to stand up for principles or there is no point in having them.

@JonNYC thank you. I don't think I have much leverage at all, but asking the proper authorities for an opinion doesn't seem out of whack. I do after all fund them on my behalf to look out for me and enforce already established rules. People often forget that government agencies are supposed to be representing you the people.

@Austinrunner - no I do not believe AA controls BA, however I do believe that they have a joint business venture and that they are able to reconcile passengers boarded across their books. If I used money to pay for a ticket on AA and then ended up being transferred to BA - they wouldn't bat an eyelid but they would still need to reconcile the monies as they do not charge the same fares and surcharges for every passenger. Just because I am using miles instead of dollars or pounds shouldn't IMO make any difference.
The bottom line depends on your definition of reasonable - I don't think a daytime flight is the same as an overnight flight and I don't think it's reasonable to substitute one for the other when there is an alternative, others are certainly entitled to disagree but having done both many many times I can certainly have an opinion on it!
The mis-categorization of surcharges as taxes by every single entry point into AA is a problem, i'm sorry you don't agree with that, but it is. It is only however one aspect of my complaint.
I agree completely. I'm sorry the Twitter thing didn't work out and they also, inappropriately, labeled the surcharges as new taxes. I bet you are frustrated. I would be too!

With the JV, I guess I 'metal netral' doesn't mean what I would hope it would mean. AA really should have just put you on the new daytime flight and ate the surchages, if any at all would have been charged to them. for all we know, AA never pays them.

I hope AA keeps the US PHL-LHR flights around. I suspect they'll be gone. It will continue to be harder and harder to book flights to Europe without paying YQ I wouldn't mind a small fee, hell US already charges fees for "free" flights, but the YQ charges are crazy. PHL-LHR-PHL on US has $247.30 in taxes and fees in Economy. BA has $705.30 in taxes and fees in economy. Of course, the US flight ends up being about $1500 cheaper overall, with a good chunk of that being those 'taxes and fees' and this is on a paid ticket! Using miles, on those dates, an AAdvantage award would be 40,000 miles and $705.30 on BA (no US options). Yikes!
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