AA.com no longer allows close-in booking (ie within a few hours)?

 
Old Jul 21, 15, 3:21 pm
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AA.com no longer allows close-in booking (ie within a few hours)?

I just noticed when searching for some same day travel, that AA.com displays "not available online"

It is 4:18PM in ORD- looking ORD-DTW today the 5:45PM departure shows this. The 6:40PM shows $480.

Given their miserable phone support, if a 'civilian' (lets not say kettle) was trying to book a flight theyd be SOL.

(If this has been discussed, please merge or delete.)

For elites or those with travel agents, they can get around that. (Although Ive been known to book backup via gogoinflight myself)

Is this new? or have I just missed this?

Thoughts?
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Old Jul 21, 15, 3:41 pm
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What's so miserable about the phone support? Wait times can be long when there are significant WX issues, but during normal operations it's not that bad.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 4:07 pm
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I wonder if this is tacit acknowledgment that aa.com's lack of real time ticketing could mean people have initiated purchases but not been issued tickets at the deadline before schedule departure.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 4:15 pm
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It may be that AA considered this is a functionality that wasn't necessary. If you're trying to make a purchase so close to departure, one should already be at the airport and I'm sure you can find AA agents that can sell you a ticket there. Thus, they may not have considered this a case where they need to enable online sales for. Add to that the generally sluggish ticketing process AA uses and you may have answered your question.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 4:41 pm
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AA.com no longer allows close-in booking (ie within a few hours)?

What's the fee for ticketing at the airport counter?
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Old Jul 21, 15, 5:00 pm
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Originally Posted by jaimelannister View Post
What's so miserable about the phone support? .
Oh. OK

For me, phenomenal. Not so much for lower tiers, based on recent reports....

Originally Posted by Phoenixtinct View Post
It may be that AA considered this is a functionality that wasn't necessary. If you're trying to make a purchase so close to departure, one should already be at the airport and I'm sure you can find AA agents that can sell you a ticket there. Thus, they may not have considered this a case where they need to enable online sales for. Add to that the generally sluggish ticketing process AA uses and you may have answered your question.
My point is that this seems to be a change...

Or has this always been the case? I never recall seeing this on same day display.

Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
What's the fee for ticketing at the airport counter?
$0 AFAIK
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Old Jul 21, 15, 6:28 pm
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I thought there was a $35 fee (more for intl.) for ticketing at the counter.
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Old Jul 21, 15, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
I wonder if this is tacit acknowledgment that aa.com's lack of real time ticketing could mean people have initiated purchases but not been issued tickets at the deadline before schedule departure.
Neither AA.com nor Reservations can sell a ticket for flights departing within 2 hours because the tickets may not be issued prior to the check-in cutoff time. The process can be manually expedited with a phone call to eTDS, but it's time-consuming and AA's solution seems to be to simply prevent the sales from happening altogether.

Considering that US Airways offers instant ticketing, I would hope that this functionality is somehow incorporated once we reach a single reservations system.

Originally Posted by Ord Liza View Post
I thought there was a $35 fee (more for intl.) for ticketing at the counter.
$35 for domestic itineraries (including Canada), $45 for international itineraries. Fee is waived for Executive Platinum passengers and passengers who have already paid an AAdvantage expedite fee but were unable to have the ticket issued for whatever reason.
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Old Jul 22, 15, 1:16 am
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Originally Posted by ThreeJulietTango View Post
Neither AA.com nor Reservations can sell a ticket for flights departing within 2 hours because the tickets may not be issued prior to the check-in cutoff time. The process can be manually expedited with a phone call to eTDS, but it's time-consuming and AA's solution seems to be to simply prevent the sales from happening altogether.

Considering that US Airways offers instant ticketing, I would hope that this functionality is somehow incorporated once we reach a single reservations system.
With the US flights merging in AA's systems, I certainly wouldn't hold out much hope for that one.

Being used to instant ticketing on US, this particular point feels like stepping back several decades in time. There are times I have spent very significant dollars on close in flights on US en route to the airport while in a taxi to the airport due to the a client emergency - I keep a separate suitcase in my office for this exact reason, and need it at least a half dozen times per year. The thought that the flights might not be ticketed in time without significant manual intervention in 2015 kind of blows my mind.
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Old Jul 22, 15, 8:01 am
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I don't think this is a change with AA. IIRC, they never allowed you to book via the web less than 2 hours out. Calling reservations or in person at the counter was the only way to do last-minute tickets. Now it seems that the first method is unreliable. If this is important to you, I'd contact PAR/D and complain--last minute tickets make a lot of money and if enough people complain to justify the cost, they could at least add more help to the EXP line to service ticketing calls.
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Old Jul 22, 15, 9:45 am
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Not that it's the best solution, but can you still ticket via an OTA?
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Old Jul 22, 15, 10:07 am
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Originally Posted by iplaybass View Post
I don't think this is a change with AA. IIRC, they never allowed you to book via the web less than 2 hours out. Calling reservations or in person at the counter was the only way to do last-minute tickets. Now it seems that the first method is unreliable. If this is important to you, I'd contact PAR/D and complain--last minute tickets make a lot of money and if enough people complain to justify the cost, they could at least add more help to the EXP line to service ticketing calls.
Agreed. The website is clear that you can't book more than two hours out:

Q: How soon before a flight can I book and purchase a ticket on aa.com?

A:
Your flight must leave at least two hours later than the time you purchase your ticket on aa.
This language has been on the website since at least 2009, so it's definitely not anything new.
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Old Jul 22, 15, 1:59 pm
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Since there's no way to book within 2 hours without incurring the airport ticketing fee, is it possible to make the argument that it's no longer an "optional" fee at that point and should be included in the fare and taxed appropriately?
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Old Jul 22, 15, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by ThreeJulietTango View Post
Since there's no way to book within 2 hours without incurring the airport ticketing fee, is it possible to make the argument that it's no longer an "optional" fee at that point and should be included in the fare and taxed appropriately?
I got off a plane three weeks ago, got a call to head somewhere else, and purchased at the desk 50 minutes prior to flight for no added fee.
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Old Jul 22, 15, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by reeg2 View Post
I got off a plane three weeks ago, got a call to head somewhere else, and purchased at the desk 50 minutes prior to flight for no added fee.
Maybe part of the change that you no longer have to pay the fee for flights that can't be booked online. In my case I was booking Iberia award tickets for my 2 daughters shortly after the change was announced, so I had to remind the agent of the change. No phone fee was added. I don't remember if the change applied to all tickets, or just award tickets on partners that couldn't be booked online
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