AA canceled my hold [overlapping bookings]

 
Old Aug 17, 15, 12:21 pm
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AA canceled my hold [overlapping bookings]

I have a ticket booked to Brazil from LAX on an OTA. Since I booked, the schedule changed and it didn't work for me. OTA gave me the option of picking another routing or canceling my ticket.

I found a new itinerary originating in LAS that worked better for me. So I put it on a free 24 hold with AA last night, and planned to call the OTA today to cancel. Once it canceled, I would book the flight on AA.

I woke up this morning to find out AA had canceled my hold as it had flights I was already booked on. I explained that I had another ticket that I was going to cancel, and I couldn't book it until I had confirmed that the OTA would indeed cancel the original ticket at no cost to me.

AA is offering me to book the flight at a 30% higher price since the original fare is gone, which is not an option.

I understand with an error fare AA could possibly cancel a hold, but I was not aware of this weird scenario. Do I have any options here? I feel like this is violating the DoT rule of allowing 24 hour cancelation or hold. I am basically given neither option from AA and feel this is very unfair.

No idea how to proceed... thanks for opinions, guys.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 12:26 pm
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Was there any overlap in terms of times or flights between your old itinerary and the one you had on hold? AA does not allow duplicate reservations, and will cancel a hold if it conflicts with an existing reservation.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 12:28 pm
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If you have a trip that is already booked and you put one on hold that overlaps, the one on hold will get cancelled.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 12:35 pm
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AA specifically prohibits what you have done under its conditions of carriage

From http://www.aa.com/i18n/customerServi...ditycompliance

Originally Posted by CoC
Duplicate and impossible/illogical bookings: Duplicate or impossible/illogical American Airlines bookings are prohibited without prior authorization from American Airlines. A duplicate or impossible/illogical booking includes, but is not limited to, bookings for the same passenger on flights traveling on or about the same date between one or more of the same or nearby origin and/or destination (such as JFK to DFW and LGA to DFW or DFW to LAX and DFW to ONT), or bookings with connections that depart before the arrival of the inbound flight.
AA has done nothing wrong in cancelling the held flights

Options are to hold flights with another airline if waiting for the cancellation to be completed or to rebook once they are cancelled at the prevailing price. AA hasn't violated any rules
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Old Aug 17, 15, 2:46 pm
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Last edited by Geauxtigers; Aug 14, 16 at 10:52 pm
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Old Aug 17, 15, 3:12 pm
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Thanks for the feedback, guys. Wish I would have known this when I put it on hold. Why would AA even let me put it on hold in the first place if they're going to cancel it because of overlapping flights? Really unfair as it made me lose the flights I wanted.

Had I purchased the flight, I'm sure AA would not have had any problem taking my money twice.

Originally Posted by Geauxtigers View Post
What I would have done...
Yup I realized this when they canceled my hold today. Next time I'll know AA's terrible, hidden rules better.

Last edited by JY1024; Aug 17, 15 at 4:46 pm Reason: Merged consecutive posts
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Old Aug 17, 15, 3:14 pm
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.1030 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

"Why would AA even let me put it on hold in the first place if they're going to cancel it because of overlapping flights?"

Because it takes AA's computers some time to discover the overlapping reservation; that's why.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Because it takes AA's computers some time to discover the overlapping reservation; that's why.
Yeah that was sort of a rhetorical question.

Obviously all airline reservation systems were programmed by monkeys who don't know what they're doing.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 3:25 pm
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Originally Posted by veeRob View Post
Thanks for the feedback, guys. Wish I would have known this when I put it on hold. Why would AA even let me put it on hold in the first place if they're going to cancel it because of overlapping flights? Really unfair as it made me lose the flights I wanted.

Had I purchased the flight, I'm sure AA would not have had any problem taking my money twice.
There is nothing unfair or unreasonable in the terms. Most airlines have similar rules

If you choose to book online yourself, then it you need to take responsibility for your actions. If you had booked with an agent and explained it, you would have likely been informed by the agent that you cannot have 2 bookings on 1 flight and to come back once the other flight was cancelled

Alternatively could have booked on another carrier

If you had made payment, that would not stop the airline cancelling the booking since the booking was in breach of the airline's conditions of carriage
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Old Aug 17, 15, 3:30 pm
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In general, I recommend making new reservations before cancelling the existing ones, so your approach makes perfect sense -- it's just that in this particular case, it doesn't work due to AA's (understandably) aggressive policies and procedures to combat speculative bookings.

Because you booked the original flight via an OTA, it would be better to have the same OTA do the rebooking, if at all possible. The OTA can do it as an effectively atomic transaction (that is, cancel the old itinerary and rebook the new one at a confirmed price) so you don't have to take the risk.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 3:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Geauxtigers View Post
Did you use your Advantage # in the new booking as well? What I would have done is put the new reservation on hold without using my AA #. This way it's much more difficult to trace and you could have likely gotten it pushed through this morning. Never use your AA # for multiple reservations if the flights overlap: use a different email, no advantage number, etc.
First name, middle name, last name, and date of birth sounds like a fairly unique record to me.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 3:45 pm
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Originally Posted by mikew99 View Post
In general, I recommend making new reservations before cancelling the existing ones, so your approach makes perfect sense -- it's just that in this particular case, it doesn't work due to AA's (understandably) aggressive policies and procedures to combat speculative bookings.

Because you booked the original flight via an OTA, it would be better to have the same OTA do the rebooking, if at all possible. The OTA can do it as an effectively atomic transaction (that is, cancel the old itinerary and rebook the new one at a confirmed price) so you don't have to take the risk.
I have a US Airways voucher I wanted to use to pay for this new reservation, which I can't use with the OTA. Further, the OTA is somewhat uncooperative, so rebooking anything with them would be difficult.
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Old Aug 17, 15, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by veeRob View Post
Thanks for the feedback, guys. Wish I would have known this when I put it on hold. Why would AA even let me put it on hold in the first place if they're going to cancel it because of overlapping flights? Really unfair as it made me lose the flights I wanted.

Had I purchased the flight, I'm sure AA would not have had any problem taking my money twice.
Historically, double-booking would be detected "by hand", frequently on the day of the flight or the night before(*). Today, it is probably done as a batch job, in the middle of the night.

A reasonable case can be made that computers today should be able to catch the problem in real time. But a reasonable case can also be made that passengers today should know that it is not permissible to double-book.


(*)Many years ago I was stranded by BA because someone with the same last name, traveling with his wife, was on the same flight, and so they canceled both bookings. (I was traveling by myself.) The agent kept saying, in effect, "Are you sure you're not married?" I think this kind of anti-duplication was done by humans at the time, not computers. Anyway.

Last edited by SeeBuyFly; Aug 17, 15 at 6:43 pm
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Old Aug 17, 15, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
A reasonable case can be made that computers today should be able to catch the problem in real time.
Yeah, right! Real-time with that 1970's-era SABRE technology behind the scenes.

Actually, I think it's great that they found it overnight (although one could make an argument that duplicate international itinerary should be allowed for 24 hours because of their complexity).
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Old Aug 17, 15, 9:31 pm
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Originally Posted by SeeBuyFly View Post
A reasonable case can be made that computers today should be able to catch the problem in real time. But a reasonable case can also be made that passengers today should know that it is not permissible to double-book.
AA.com does catch certain types of overlapping reservations in real time assuming both reservations were made on aa.com.
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