My $400 AA Mistake Fare to PVG Turned Into Cathay First Class

 
Old Apr 28, 15, 10:08 am
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My $400 AA Mistake Fare to PVG Turned Into Cathay First Class

With some recent posts about negative experiences on AA, I want to share my experience last week where both AA and Dragon Air went exceptionally above and beyond for me. Being a legacy US hold over, I was entirely amazed.

I picked up one of the mistake fares IAD-DFW-PVG for roughly US$400 in J. On my flight from DFW-PVG, my flight attendant Janet, who was celebrating her 40th year as a flight attendant, was excellent. She was friendly, funny, and attentive. While I found the seat to be very uncomfortable, Janet made the flight one of my better transpacific experiences. Additionally, the food and wine were actually pretty good. I normally fly CX now (back in the *A days, I flew Air NZ or Singapore) and Janet is probably the best attendants I've ever had.

Having been to PVG before (this was a trip for pleasure), I decided to try a new city. I picked up a J ticket PVG-HKG-TPE with three legs on KA and one on CX. I wanted to stay oneworld in case something happened catching my connection back to AA to PVG. Sure it's a lot of layovers, but there's a sense of security.

Well I wake up in TPE to fly back to PVG and my flight is cancelled by KA. I was auto-rebooked in such a way that I would miss my connection on to AA. I call the CX service desk, he verified my AA record locator to prove I was actually connecting, and said he needed a supervisor. When he comes back, we are on four ways with the CX agent, his supervisor, an AA liaison, and myself. They end up amending my AA itinerary to leave out of HKG back to DFW. The AA liaison said J was booked full, so the CX supervisor instructed her to put me in F. AA said absolutely no problem. I'm already excited to go to 773 F instead of 772 J.

I'm on a new KA flight from TPE-HKG and the pilot says we'll have a ramp delay. Well, I just missed my AA connection in HKG. We land in HKG and someone comes immediately on the plane, addresses me by name, and informs me to go with her. We walk down the ramp were I'm met by two CX agents and an AA agent. They all severely apologize for missing my connections and hand me a hotel voucher. They rebooked me in AA F out of HKG the next day.

I wake up in HKG the next day to see that the AA 138 had been cancelled on Apr 22. Guess I'm never getting home! I go back to the airport to sort it out. The American desk was a JOKE. The lines were insane rebooking all of those people. I just go over to Dragon Air, who rebooked me in the first place, and explain everything that had happened. The desk agent immediately says she needs a supervisor and to hold tight. About 10 minutes later I'm greeted by two KA supervisors. The one starts by apologizing, hands me a meal voucher for Starbucks, and says get a coffee while they sort it out. Cool! I get my coffee and go back to the desk. The two supervisors immediately start apologizing again because they can't get me out that day. They did offer to send me CX economy that day, I declined. They ask if I can stay another day in HKG, at their expense. I'm on vacation and I LOVE Hong Kong. Totally fine with it.

Then, the other supervisor says I've been rebooked for tomorrow and to walk with her to get my new ticket. We walk over to the CX desk, she swipes my passport, and out comes my ticket. It was a ticket HKG-ORD in Cathay Pacific First Class. I try to hold my excitement, thank her, and take my ticket and hotel voucher.

The next day I drowned myself in Krug and caviar on my new US$16,600 ticket.

Shout out to Janet, and the KA/AA liaisons in HKG who took exceptional care of me. This two day delay turned out to be the experience of a life time.

TL;DR- My US$400 mistake fare on AA turned into a lot Krug, caviar, and an extended vacation in one of my favorite cities.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 10:14 am
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Sounds like fun as long as you didn't have to be back at a certain time!
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Old Apr 28, 15, 10:16 am
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A splendid example of how if you have the flexibility, are stuck in the right place, and get treated well IRROPS are occasionally not so bad!
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Old Apr 28, 15, 11:04 am
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So, now you want compensation?

A huge "goodonya", and as has been said, kudos for your flexibility. Nice, memorable Trip!

P.S. If you get a chance, don't forget to shout Janet out to AA. IMO we need to praise the praiseworthy and encourage top notch service as much as possible.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 2:02 pm
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Not that it needed to be said, but I hope you put your AAdv in the record for what probably is coded as a full F fare.

Good to hear that AA did right by you.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 6:28 pm
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Glad that you were taken care by a couple of different excellent OneWorld partners. However, as much as I enjoyed the IRROPs handling in OneWorld like OP did, I failed to see what exactly the $400 AA mistake fare had to do with your IRROPs accommodation. Even if it was a $3k, $4k, or $8k J fare, I bet the handling process would be similarly fascinating. So if you paid more, did it mean you were not as amazed even if you were accommodated the same way as you are now?

There is no point to make a big deal of how you got into the CX F when you were ticketed in AA discount business class fare. Booked in J; then they would do their best to get you in J, or F during IRROPs.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 9:11 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
P.S. If you get a chance, don't forget to shout Janet out to AA. IMO we need to praise the praiseworthy and encourage top notch service as much as possible.
+1 You are so right JDiver. That being said, I've written 3 positive notes on behalf of awesome FAs (2x in domestic F and 1x in domestic Y - have not had any wonderful international/long-haul experiences on AA metal this year) and I just got a very short note back. I do hope this gets back to the FAs and their managers.
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Old Apr 28, 15, 9:19 pm
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Cool story, Asian carrier service is really top notch usually

Although IMO
- $400 fare had nothing to do with this IRROP change
- staying extra 2 days may not work for many people, be glad you're in HKG and not some tiny city
- I hope you got some compensation besides the F-class? no voucher/credit at all?

by the way, did CX/KA-AA protect you ONLY because you were on 2 separate but ONEWORLD tickets? which I know OW protects........

I'd imagine if you were on *A for say PVG-TPE r/t, you may be out of luck instead
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Old Apr 28, 15, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Paulakers2010 View Post
Glad that you were taken care by a couple of different excellent OneWorld partners. However, as much as I enjoyed the IRROPs handling in OneWorld like OP did, I failed to see what exactly the $400 AA mistake fare had to do with your IRROPs accommodation. Even if it was a $3k, $4k, or $8k J fare, I bet the handling process would be similarly fascinating. So if you paid more, did it mean you were not as amazed even if you were accommodated the same way as you are now?

There is no point to make a big deal of how you got into the CX F when you were ticketed in AA discount business class fare. Booked in J; then they would do their best to get you in J, or F during IRROPs.
Personally for me if I pay less and "win" more, the size of the multiplier makes it even nicer. I buy a $1 instant lottery ticket and win $2 (x2) vs winning $100 (x100)--much better. OP paid $400 and "won" $16,000 very
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Old Apr 28, 15, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
So, now you want compensation?
Am I able to request a take home bottle of Krug?

I also wrote to AA praising Janet and they never responded to me.

Originally Posted by VNAFlyer View Post
Not that it needed to be said, but I hope you put your AAdv in the record for what probably is coded as a full F fare.

Good to hear that AA did right by you.
Thanks! They did put my AAdvantage number on my ticket. I ended up getting the same points but more miles versus the original itinerary which was nice.

Originally Posted by Paulakers2010 View Post
Glad that you were taken care by a couple of different excellent OneWorld partners. However, as much as I enjoyed the IRROPs handling in OneWorld like OP did, I failed to see what exactly the $400 AA mistake fare had to do with your IRROPs accommodation. Even if it was a $3k, $4k, or $8k J fare, I bet the handling process would be similarly fascinating. So if you paid more, did it mean you were not as amazed even if you were accommodated the same way as you are now?

There is no point to make a big deal of how you got into the CX F when you were ticketed in AA discount business class fare. Booked in J; then they would do their best to get you in J, or F during IRROPs.
It has more to do with the shear jump from a mistake to a $16,600 oneway ticket. For many others including myself, paying for Cathay First Class is just something I won't be able to do. So being given this opportunity was really great. Also, CX is notoriously hard for F awards. For the vast majority of people, they will never be able to experience this and it was just a winding turn of events that led so something great.

Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
Cool story, Asian carrier service is really top notch usually

Although IMO
- $400 fare had nothing to do with this IRROP change
- staying extra 2 days may not work for many people, be glad you're in HKG and not some tiny city
- I hope you got some compensation besides the F-class? no voucher/credit at all?

by the way, did CX/KA-AA protect you ONLY because you were on 2 separate but ONEWORLD tickets? which I know OW protects........

I'd imagine if you were on *A for say PVG-TPE r/t, you may be out of luck instead
Correct that the $400 fare didn't effect the outcome, but see above. In regards to staying two extra days, the first day I was basically told you have to stay in HKG. I was not offered any alternative flight accommodation. For the second day, I was offered economy. However, that required overnighting in JFK to connect on to DC. If I'm going to overnight somewhere, I rather be in HKG than some JFK airport hotel.

For vouchers, they paid for my hotel both nights. And yes, I was on two separate tickets within ow.

While everyone has a reason to get home on time (aka work), if it just isn't going to work out, getting upset won't get you home any faster. Me yelling at the KA people won't open up inventory to the States. Just go to Ozone, have a drink, and enjoy the impromptu trip!
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Old Apr 28, 15, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
Personally for me if I pay less and "win" more, the size of the multiplier makes it even nicer. I buy a $1 instant lottery ticket and win $2 (x2) vs winning $100 (x100)--much better. OP paid $400 and "won" $16,000 very
+1 Much better put than I wrote above!
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Old Apr 28, 15, 10:09 pm
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
Personally for me if I pay less and "win" more, the size of the multiplier makes it even nicer. I buy a $1 instant lottery ticket and win $2 (x2) vs winning $100 (x100)--much better. OP paid $400 and "won" $16,000 very

We look at things differently. You pay a ticket to fly somewhere. It is per T&Cs from Contract of Carriage issued by the airline. You went on IRROPs that other airlines fulfilled the requirements of Contract of Carriage to get you back to the final destination as soon as possible. If some people are offered Y, and you need to get back in time, some people will just take it. You chose to be more flexible, and you ended up getting a better accommodation. I have never seen a lottery ticket that I had to sacrifice in any way after I paid the ticket in order to break even, or win better lottery. I will absolutely not look at it as buying a lottery ticket. So if you were in mis-connect, and you didn't get accommodated nicely, or better to be in AA F or CX F, are we seeing another thread of 'Never fly again, Trip In Vein'?

I am sure a lot of experienced flyers like myself and others got screwed by different airlines, and a lot got taken care of by the same airlines out of their long flying history. What you say tells us what you think. I am not seeing a point of saying 'My $400 AA Mistake Fare to PVG Turned Into Cathay First Class' versus 'My AA J ticket + Separate OneWorld connection ticket well taken care by CX, KA, and CX in IRROPs. Kudos to them'. I am sensing you try to be boasted about your experience instead of being thankful for it. Your ticket value does not matter. What matters more is how you are taken care of during IRROPs, the service, the personnel, and how you were helped.

<redacted>

Last edited by Microwave; Apr 29, 15 at 4:26 am Reason: Overly personalised comment
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Old Apr 28, 15, 10:38 pm
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<redacted>

Originally Posted by jerryhung View Post
Cool story, Asian carrier service is really top notch usually

by the way, did CX/KA-AA protect you ONLY because you were on 2 separate but ONEWORLD tickets? which I know OW protects........
1st flight, TPE-PVGKA ; 2nd flight TPE-HKG KA; 3rd flight, KA, which I believed they went extra mile of doing that. CX/KA did the protection. I was surprised they did that the third time.

Last edited by Microwave; Apr 29, 15 at 4:27 am Reason: Removed quote of and reply to deleted posts
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Old Apr 29, 15, 4:29 am
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Old Apr 29, 15, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by elliottishere View Post
Also, CX is notoriously hard for F awards
Uh, no?

It's actually much easier for F awards than SQ, LX, LH, QF. Bookable by multiple partners (not so for SQ and LX, which can only be booked in the "home program", and if it's LX, you have to be Senator+), bookable well in advance (not so for LH for partners), the inventory doesn't get swiped before you can book it on a partner (QF elites get at T-355, AA won't let you book until T-330)...

Cool story, but CX is probably one of the more accessible F classes on award out there on award... so don't despair, you can do it again.
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