UK site won't book in same class as US site

 
Old Feb 16, 07, 11:54 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Based in London but away ~4 months a year, often in Bali
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 322
UK site won't book in same class as US site

I'm trying to book a lhr-jfk-sin flight (segments below) which until a few hours ago was coming up on the UK site with a fare basis of W for lhr-jfk and M for jfk-sin (via nrt). Price was about 840 UKP all in. Suddenly it won't book into M any more and instead comes up in W+B with a commensurate price hike.

At first I thought I was just out of luck on seat availability - but then I spotted that the flight was showing M7 in expert flyer. I loaded up a different browser and hit aa.com as a non-UK user and lo, I could pull up an itin in W+M priced at a bit over 1600 all in - i.e. about the same price as the UK was showing before.

I rang up the EXP helpdesk as I'd rather pay in pounds and also wanted to report the oddity. They put me through to web support who eventually said that they'd look at it and in the mean time I should just book on the US site.

BUT not having a US card, when I tried to pay in dollars it repriced the 1600ish fare to 3500 pounds - so 3-4 times the price. Booking into B or maybe it was Y. On segments showing V7 M7 W7 N7.

Ring back again. SOOOOO unhelpful. EXP helpdesk say there's nothing they can do, no escalation path, no idea why it won't book into M but well, that's that. Ask if fares can provide an explanation or I can do a telephone booking and they come up with a B fare at $3000. Web support's suggestion is that I book it at 3500 pounds, take the flight and then query it with UK web support who wake up on Monday.

I'm a new EXP and this is the first time I'm chasing an issue with the EXP helpdesk. I'm pretty unimpressed with AA right now. Chasing this to no effect on international calls at 5am my time doesn't help. Still, it was a very chirpy "I've no idea what's that happening. <silence>" from the desk.


Full itin:
lhr-jfk feb 18th 8pm
jfk-nrt feb 19th 11.30am
nrt-sin feb 19th 5.50pm [aa codeshare]

sin-nrt mar 5th 8.15am [aa codeshare]
nrt-jfk mar 5th 6.45pm
jfk-lhr mar 18th 11.59pm
manar is offline  
Old Feb 17, 07, 7:52 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New York City
Programs: BA Gold Guest List; HH Diamond; Hyatt Diamond; SPG Gold
Posts: 2,820
As much as you may dislike it, airlines can and do offer different availability to different markets.

I've seen this before - admittedly on BA - where (booking from the US) an I-fare was available, but booking from the UK it was not.

Maybe this is your problem?
NickW is offline  
Old Feb 17, 07, 9:50 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Based in London but away ~4 months a year, often in Bali
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by NickW View Post
As much as you may dislike it, airlines can and do offer different availability to different markets.

I've seen this before - admittedly on BA - where (booking from the US) an I-fare was available, but booking from the UK it was not.

Maybe this is your problem?
Maybe. Though it would be nice to have the fare or the EXP desk able to say that. I'm not convinced (it went from the US site occassionally too and seems to have stayed on expedia.com throughout). Would be nice to understand it but I'm not assuming it'll impact my travels plans now.
manar is offline  
Old Feb 17, 07, 3:46 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ORD
Programs: AA EXP,2MM, DL Gold,Starwood PLT
Posts: 3,875
Originally Posted by manar View Post
Maybe. Though it would be nice to have the fare or the EXP desk able to say that. I'm not convinced (it went from the US site occassionally too and seems to have stayed on expedia.com throughout). Would be nice to understand it but I'm not assuming it'll impact my travels plans now.
Any number of things could be at play that explains why the lower fare wasn't available despite the inventory showing open.

Point of Sale (POS) fare differances by country, booking channel (online direct vs. Expedia etc), etc. are very common.

Another possiblity, given the short time to depature for the travel dates, the lower fare you saw at first may have to be booked to so many days before depature..i.e. 3 day advance purchase restrictions. If you don't meet the advance purchase restrictions, you can't get the fare, even if the booking class inventory is available. Fares can also have O&D, or routing restrictions.

I wouldn't be too hard on the EXP desk. Fare availablity is very complex, and it's quite likely the agent really didn't have a clue about it.
grahampros is offline  
Old Feb 17, 07, 6:37 pm
  #5  
KVS
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Worldwide
Posts: 12,785
Originally Posted by manar View Post
a few hours ago was coming up on the UK site with a fare basis of W for lhr-jfk and M for jfk-sin (via nrt).

Full itin:
lhr-jfk feb 18th 8pm
jfk-nrt feb 19th 11.30am
nrt-sin feb 19th 5.50pm [aa codeshare]
Looks like you have missed the res/ticketing deadline for the M-class fares. Since the local time at the POS (Point-Of-Sale) is typically used, it is entirely possible that during an certain period of time, the fare was still available for sale using a US POS (where it was still the 16th of Feb), but was no longer available via the UK POS (where it was already the 17th).

[KVS Availability Tool 2.8.0/Platinum - ZUJ: NYC-SIN/AA/MLXPX6M/996 USD]
Code:
INSTANT PURCHASE EXCURSION  SPECIAL FARE

[BK CODE]
M -

[PENALTY]
CANCELLATIONS ANY TIME CHARGE USD 150.00 FOR CANCEL/NO-SHOW/REFUND. CHILD/INFANT
DISCOUNTS APPLY. WAIVED FOR SCHEDULE CHANGE/ILLNESS OR DEATH
OF PASSENGER OR FAMILY MEMBER. NOTE - WAIVER ALSO APPLIES TO TRAVELING
COMPANION. CHANGES BEFORE DEPARTURE CHANGES NOT PERMITTED. AFTER
DEPARTURE CHARGE USD 100.00. CHILD/INFANT DISCOUNTS APPLY. WAIVED FOR
SCHEDULE CHANGE/ILLNESS OR DEATH OF PASSENGER OR FAMILY MEMBER. NOTE
- WAIVER ALSO APPLIES TO TRAVELING COMPANION. --- WHEN THE NEW ITINERARY
RESULTS IN A LOWER FARE THE DIFFERENCE WILL BE REFUNDED AND THE
USD 100.00 CHANGE FEE WILL APPLY. WHEN THE NEW ITINERARY RESULTS IN
A HIGHER FARE THE DIFFERENCE WILL BE ADD COLLECTED AND THE USD 100.00
CHANGE FEE WILL APPLY

[RES/TKTG]
RES MUST BE MADE NO EARLIER THAN 14 DAYS AND NO LATER THAN 3 DAYS BEFORE
DPTR OF FIRST SGMT. TKT MUST BE PURCHASED NO EARLIER THAN 14 DAYS
AND NO LATER THAN 3 DAYS BEFORE DPTR FROM ORIGIN OR 3 DAYS AFTER RES
IS MADE, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. SGMTS USING THIS RULE MUST BE CONFIRMED.
------- RES MUST BE MADE NO LATER THAN 15 DAYS BEFORE DPTR OF FIRST
SGMT. TKT MUST BE PURCHASED NO LATER THAN 3 DAYS BEFORE DPTR FROM
ORIGIN OR 14 DAYS AFTER RES IS MADE, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. SGMTS USING
THIS RULE MUST BE CONFIRMED.

[MIN STAY]
6 DAYS. MEASURED FROM DPTR FROM GATEWAY.

[MAX STAY]
RETURN TRVL MUST COMMENCE NO LATER THAN 6 MONTHS AFTER DPTR FROM ORIGIN.

[DAY/TIME]
APPLIES AT ANY TIME MON-THU ON INTL SECTOR. DAY/TIME IS BASED ON TRIP
DATE OF INTL SECTOR.

[SEASONS]
2JAN-23MAY OR 5SEP-20NOV. SAME DATES APPLY EACH YEAR. SEASON IS BASED
ON DATE OF ORIGIN AND IS DETERMINED BY DATE OF DEPARTURE OF OUTBOUND
TRANSPACIFIC SECTOR.

[BLACKOUTS]
NO BLACKOUT RESTRICTIONS APPLY.

[FLT APPL]
APPLIES TO ANY FLIGHT EXCEPT AA 292-293/AA 5600-8399 ON THE DEPARTURE
OF EACH TRANSPACIFIC SECTOR AND APPLIES TO ANY FLIGHT EXCEPT ANY KA/AS
FLIGHT/ ANY AA FLIGHT OPERATED BY AS.

[STOPOVERS]
A FREE STOPOVER IS PERMITTED AND 2 ADDITIONAL STOPOVERS ARE PERMITTED,
AT USD 100.00 EACH PER ADT AND USD 75.00 EACH PER CHD AND USD 10.00
EACH PER INF.  A STOPOVER OCCURS WHEN THE PASSENGER DOES NOT DEPART AN
INTERMEDIATE POINT WITHIN 24 HOURS.

[TICKET RESTRICTIONS]
TICKETS MAY BE ISSUED: BY PTA AND SATISFIES TICKETING REQUIREMENTS NOTE:
EXTENSION OF TICKET VALIDITY FOR MEDICAL REASONS IS NOT PERMITTED
UNDER GUIDELINES STATED IN RULE 65.

[DISCOUNTS]
75 PCT OF THE ADT FARE IS CHARGED FOR A CNN PSGR 2 THRU 11 YRS OF AGE.
CNN PSGR MUST BE ACCOMPANIED ON ALL SGMTS BY AN ADT PSGR TRAVELING IN
THE SAME COMPARTMENT. - - - - 10 PCT OF THE ADT FARE IS CHARGED FOR
AN INF PSGR UNDER 2 YRS OF AGE NOT OCCUPYING A SEAT. INF PSGR MUST BE
ACCOMPANIED ON ALL SGMTS BY AN ADT PSGR TRAVELING IN THE SAME COMPARTMENT.
*** INFANTS OCCUPYING A SEAT WILL BE PERMITTED AT THE CHILDS
DISCOUNT. TOUR CONDUCTOR/ SALES AGENT DISCOUNT DOES NOT APPLY.  UNACCOMPANIED
CHILD 8-11 - NO DISCOUNT. NO OTHER DISCOUNTS APPLY.

[REROUTE]
SEE PENALTY.

[TRANSFERS]
TRANSFERS PERMITTED, 1 IN EACH DIRECTION IN AREA 3-ASIA AND SOUTHWEST
PACIFIC. ADDITIONALLY ONLINE TRANSFERS PERMITTED, 3 IN EACH DIRECTION
ON AA.

[COMBINATIONS]
CARRIER /  RULE  /  FARE      CIRCLE   OPEN  ROUND BASIS      TRIP   
JAW   TRIP SAME  /  SAME  /  SAME        C       C      C SAME  /  SAME
 /  DIFF        C       C      C SAME  /  DIFF  /  SAME        C
     C      C SAME  /  DIFF  /  DIFF        C       C      C DIFF  /
 SAME  /  SAME        C       C      C DIFF  /  SAME  /  DIFF       
C       C      C DIFF  /  DIFF  /  SAME        C       C      C DIFF
 /  DIFF  /  DIFF        C       C      C Y / PERMITTED   N / NOT PERMITTED
  - / DOES NOT APPLY C / SEE TEXT FOR CONDITIONS  CONDITIONS APPLICABLE
TO ROUND TRIP/CIRCLE TRIP/SINGLE OR DOUBLE OPEN JAW - -MAY
BE COMBINED WITH ANY ONE WAY/ROUND TRIP FARE GOVERNED BY ANY RULE IN
IPRP/IPRPI/IPRSAAS VIA ANY CARRIER. -MOST RESTRICTIVE CONDITIONS APPLY.
ADDITIONAL CONDITIONS APPLY ROUND TRIP    - -PERMITTED. -MAY NOT BE
USED IN AROUND THE WORLD FARE CONSTRUCTION. CIRCLE TRIP   - -PERMITTED.
-MAY NOT BE USED IN AROUND THE WORLD FARE CONSTRUCTION. OPEN JAW
     - -SINGLE OPEN JAW PERMITTED AT EITHER ORIGIN OR DESTINATION. DOUBLE
OPEN JAW PERMITTED. END-ON-END    - -PERMITTED WITH ALL FARES.
-COMBINATIONS WITH THIS FARE MUST BE SHOWN SEPARATELY ON THE TICKET.
-CONDITIONS APPLY TO THE ADJACENT LINE OF FLIGHT FARE COMPONENTS OF THE
JOURNEY. -TRAVEL MUST BE VIA THE FARE COMBINATION POINT. CO-TERMINALS
 - -THE FOLLOWING GROUPS OF CITIES ARE CONSIDERED TO BE THE SAME
POINT BUR - LGB - SNA - LAX - ONT, OAK - SFO - SJC, BWI - WAS, FLL -
MIA, NYC - EWR.

[OPEN RTN]
NOT ALLOWED.

[REFUNDS]
SEE PENALTY.

[CO-TERMINALS]
-THE FOLLOWING GROUPS OF CITIES ARE CONSIDERED TO BE THE SAME POINT BUR
- LGB - SNA - LAX - ONT, OAK - SFO - SJC, BWI - WAS, FLL - MIA, NYC
- EWR.

[INTL CONST]
MAY BE COMBINED WITH APPLICABLE ARBITRARIES.

[MISC]
FOR TRAVEL AGENCY BOOKINGS MADE IN MEXICO / THE CARIBBEAN / CENTRAL AND
SOUTH AMERICA - AA WILL ASSESS A USD 25.00 FEE ON ANY UNTICKETED RESERVATION
NOT CANCELED BEFORE DEPARTURE.  TICKETS MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED
BY USE OF AN INSERT OR STICKER THAT TRAVEL IS AT A SPECIAL FARE AND
SUBJECT TO SPECIAL CONDITIONS.
[KVS Availability Tool 2.8.0/Platinum - Sabre: Fares/ZUJ/SG-USD]
Code:
NYC  New York Metro NY US = JFK LGA EWR
SIN  Singapore Changi SG [WSSS]
RT   Feb-Jan

Carrier   From   To   Fare      Cur  Expiry    Min  Max  Fare Basis
--------- ------ ---- --------- ---- --------- ---- ---- ----------
AA        NYC    SIN      557   USD              6   30  NX7P1D
AA        NYC    SIN      590   USD              6   30  WLX7P2Y
AA        NYC    SIN      607   USD              6   30  NW7P1D
AA        NYC    SIN      637   USD              6   30  NS7P1D
AA        NYC    SIN      640   USD              6   30  WLW7P2Y
AA        NYC    SIN      996   USD              6   6M  MLXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1045   USD              6   6M  MLWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1186   USD              6   6M  MKXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1256   USD              6   6M  MKWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1325   USD              6   6M  MHXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1348   USD              6   6M  HLCX
AA        NYC    SIN     1385   USD              6   6M  MPXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1387   USD              6   6M  KLXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1396   USD              6   6M  MHWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1436   USD              6   6M  KLWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1451   USD              6   6M  HKCX
AA        NYC    SIN     1455   USD              6   6M  MPWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1536   USD              6   6M  KKWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1576   USD              6   6M  KKXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1606   USD                      HLOWCX
AA        NYC    SIN     1656   USD              6   6M  KHXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1728   USD                      HKOWCX
AA        NYC    SIN     1826   USD                      HLSO
AA        NYC    SIN     1835   USD              6   6M  KHWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1853   USD              6   6M  HHCX
AA        NYC    SIN     1960   USD              6   6M  KPXPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     1964   USD                      HKSO
AA        NYC    SIN     2030   USD              6   6M  KPWPX6M
AA        NYC    SIN     2194   USD                      HHSO
AA        NYC    SIN     2210   USD                      HHOWCX
AA        NYC    SIN     2298   USD              6  12M  BLEX
AA        NYC    SIN     2394   USD                      HPSO
AA        NYC    SIN     2537   USD              6  12M  BKEX
AA        NYC    SIN     2737   USD              6  12M  BHEX
AA        NYC    SIN     2956   USD              6  12M  BPEX
AA        NYC    SIN     4452   USD                      YCXR
AA        NYC    SIN     4631   USD                 12M  YO2R
AA        NYC    SIN     4822   USD                 12M  YO2
AA        NYC    SIN     5344   USD                      YCX
AA        NYC    SIN     6455   USD                 12M  JXR1
AA        NYC    SIN     6833   USD                 12M  JWR1
AA        NYC    SIN     7456   USD                      Y
AA        NYC    SIN     7499   USD                 12M  JJR1
AA        NYC    SIN     7908   USD                 12M  J1
AA        NYC    SIN     9138   USD                      JCXR
AA        NYC    SIN     9338   USD                      J
AA        NYC    SIN     9505   USD                      JSCXRT
AA        NYC    SIN    10204   USD                      JCX
AA        NYC    SIN    10494   USD                 12M  F
AA        NYC    SIN    10608   USD                      JSCX
AA        NYC    SIN    14354   USD                      F
AA        NYC    SIN    15782   USD                      FCXR
AA        NYC    SIN    17598   USD                      FCX

Last edited by KVS; Feb 17, 07 at 6:45 pm
KVS is offline  
Old Feb 17, 07, 7:41 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ORD
Programs: AA EXP,2MM, DL Gold,Starwood PLT
Posts: 3,875
We have our answer Didn't meet the advanced purchase requirment, but yet pissed off with AA..
grahampros is offline  
Old Feb 17, 07, 11:27 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Based in London but away ~4 months a year, often in Bali
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
We have our answer Didn't meet the advanced purchase requirment, but yet pissed off with AA..
Some might be more interested in how I feel after understanding the situation No matter.

It _is_ good to understand the reason, and I feel slightly dumb (or sleep deprived) for not working it out, but whilst the level of annoyance was probably clouded by the simple act of seeing an itin jump 3-4 fold on a US -> UK conversion, I only showed annoyance at AA for them not being able to explain the situation. I was told it was odd, and encouraged to pay what would have been a legit 3500 pound fare and then challenge it after flying my first leg.

m
manar is offline  
Old Feb 18, 07, 12:26 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ORD
Programs: AA EXP,2MM, DL Gold,Starwood PLT
Posts: 3,875
Originally Posted by manar View Post
Some might be more interested in how I feel after understanding the situation No matter.

It _is_ good to understand the reason, and I feel slightly dumb (or sleep deprived) for not working it out, but whilst the level of annoyance was probably clouded by the simple act of seeing an itin jump 3-4 fold on a US -> UK conversion, I only showed annoyance at AA for them not being able to explain the situation. I was told it was odd, and encouraged to pay what would have been a legit 3500 pound fare and then challenge it after flying my first leg.

m
No worries. I do understand the frustration. Been there before I learned to check the fare rules, adv purchase restricitons, etc on the fare I have tried to book with no success. Complicated process on international itns especially.

Again, (though I understand the annoyance), don't expect the agents to undrestand all the complexities of fares, inventory etc. They are not trained in that. In the future, you can help them give you the answer by noting the full fare baes code on a fare and giving that to the agent. This will allow them to pull up the fare rules and restrictions that can help them sort out what happend. Giving them just the booking class will not help much..as you found out.

Have a good trip to SIN. I'll be there myself starting on the 9th myself. Forntately, CX round trip
grahampros is offline  
Old Feb 18, 07, 3:44 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Based in London but away ~4 months a year, often in Bali
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
No worries. I do understand the frustration. Been there before I learned to check the fare rules, adv purchase restricitons, etc on the fare I have tried to book with no success. Complicated process on international itns especially.

Again, (though I understand the annoyance), don't expect the agents to undrestand all the complexities of fares, inventory etc. They are not trained in that. In the future, you can help them give you the answer by noting the full fare baes code on a fare and giving that to the agent. This will allow them to pull up the fare rules and restrictions that can help them sort out what happend. Giving them just the booking class will not help much..as you found out.

Have a good trip to SIN. I'll be there myself starting on the 9th myself. Forntately, CX round trip
Lesson's learnt are good. Oddly, I do often check the fare basis and pulled them up this time too - but I didn't scan it for some reason. [hmm - probably a function of 4 hours sleep in three days].

Enjoy your trip! I'm leaving just before you head over.
manar is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread