“Hold” / “Purchase” fare difference?

 
Old Jul 19, 08, 10:58 am
  #1  
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“Hold” / “Purchase” fare difference?

I just worked up some flights using price/schedule, and at the time of hold/purchase, when I chose to “hold,” I received the following message:

“The price of this itinerary has changed since you selected your flight(s).
This happens because seat availability often changes based on demand for a particular flight.
The lowest available total price, including taxes and fees, is now: [It’s almost $200 more]”


Alright, so I figured, the fare was too good anyway, no big deal, BUT, if I run the search again, the fare is still available and could be and was purchased immediately, but if “HOLD” was selected again, the message above appears again. That doesn’t seem right to me. There should be at least a notice saying something like: This fare is available for purchase only at this time, and can be held until X for an additional$X.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 11:01 am
  #2  
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Can you really go all the way to "Purchase" with the immediate model? I have a feeling it might jack it up as well. This happens when the available inventory at the price you are holding is gone...but you should still get that price.

The solution is to call Web Services (800-222-2377) and explain the situation. They'll typically make it work out at the fare you have held.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 1:45 pm
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I've seen a similar glitch once before, although IIRC, both Hold and Purchase resulted in increased fares (this was not due to a typical last minute inventory change; ITA matched the initial AA.com fare). There were codeshares on AS involved, so I suspected it had something to do with fare changes not being fully propagated through the system. For one itinerary, I could not even get the Hold to go through at the increased price - Web Services quoted an even higher price. Sorry I can't offer any more substantive insights, but let us know if you find out more.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 3:45 pm
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just research for that exact same flight

I've had happen to me a number of times, what i do is go back and re-search for the exact same flights and often i can get it at the earlier price, sometimes even cheaper.

Honestly i think this is one of those 'glitches' which always goes in favor of the airlines. Some of the time people will say, oh well i guess that other fare is gone. The rest of us will go back, search again, and find the fare we wanted. Is it sketchy, yeah. But it's really just an outgrowth of the same pricing model which says, hide the cheap fares and make people pay more for convenient fares.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 4:03 pm
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Originally Posted by rabble View Post
But it's really just an outgrowth of the same pricing model which says, hide the cheap fares and make people pay more for convenient fares.
On what do you base your conspiracy theory here, other than simply wanting it to be true for some reason? If they're going to "hide the cheap fares" and not show them to people, wouldn't it be easier to just not have cheap fares? They control the pricing and get no advantages from cheap fares if they don't show them. Most conspiracy theories make some sense; this one doesn't.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 4:45 pm
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When this happened to me once before, I was able to save to web page showing the lower price and, after talking to web services on the phone, emailing it to them. They then sold me the ticket for the lower price. It's definitely worth a phone call, rather than just assuming you can't get that fare.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 7:00 pm
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Getting hold price

I'm not sure if this still works with today's coding, but in the past I was told to note my record # and log out of AA.com. Then pull up the reservation and you can purchase it at the hold price. I know web services knew of the problem some time ago, but I don't know what, if anything, they have done about it. But remember to NOT LOG IN and the ITN will not be repriced.

Good luck.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 8:59 pm
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
On what do you base your conspiracy theory here, other than simply wanting it to be true for some reason? If they're going to "hide the cheap fares" and not show them to people, wouldn't it be easier to just not have cheap fares? They control the pricing and get no advantages from cheap fares if they don't show them. Most conspiracy theories make some sense; this one doesn't.

Cheers.
There is some logic. You put the ticket on hold, expecting a lower price.
If the price shows higher later, you think this is the lowest fare available, so you just pay for it. Not that I believe this is true, but at least it makes some sense. It's not unusual for businesses to advertise a low price to get you int the door, then hit you with excessive other charges.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 9:46 pm
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This has happened to me several times before. A quick call to web services should take care of this.
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Old Jul 21, 08, 11:06 am
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And just to balance out the negatives -- I had an LAX-IAD r/t on hold last week at $381 (which was already surprisingly low for out Monday AM, back Friday AM of the same week). When I went to purchase, a lower bucket seat had opened on one of the segments, and it repriced me DOWN to a total of $325 r/t.

So, it goes both ways...
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Old Jul 21, 08, 2:54 pm
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Originally Posted by RogerD408 View Post
I'm not sure if this still works with today's coding, but in the past I was told to note my record # and log out of AA.com. Then pull up the reservation and you can purchase it at the hold price. I know web services knew of the problem some time ago, but I don't know what, if anything, they have done about it. But remember to NOT LOG IN and the ITN will not be repriced.
That's a different situation than the one described by the OP. I your case, the Hold goes through successfully, but then a higher price is quoted at progression to Purchase. In the OP's case, the higher price is being quoted at the initial attempt to Hold (but apparently/strangely, not at direct progression to Purchase).
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Old Jul 21, 08, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by CO FF View Post
a lower bucket seat had opened on one of the segments, ...
I had that happen AND it was rich Corinthian leather.
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Old Jul 21, 08, 8:49 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by CO FF View Post
And just to balance out the negatives -- I had an LAX-IAD r/t on hold last week at $381 (which was already surprisingly low for out Monday AM, back Friday AM of the same week). When I went to purchase, a lower bucket seat had opened on one of the segments, and it repriced me DOWN to a total of $325 r/t.

So, it goes both ways...
Oh well, another conspiracy theory bites the dust.

IIRC, this has happened to me when the 24+ hour hold period would exceed the advance purchase reqmt for the fare. As others have suggested, call web services, and they will make it right.
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Old Jul 22, 08, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by Pit View Post
As others have suggested, call web services, and they will make it right.
Unfortunately this didn't work for me. A call to web services was answered by someone who didn't, couldn't, wouldn't understand the problem. He spent two minutes reproducing my click-throughs on his computer, and then indifferently pronounced that the only price available must be the higher price quoted on the "HOLD" screen. This notwithstanding that one could still repeat the search, and still see the original lower fare.

I bought the higher fare, grudgingly, but it left a bad taste.
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Old Jul 22, 08, 8:44 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Alfonso XIV View Post
Unfortunately this didn't work for me. A call to web services was answered by someone who didn't, couldn't, wouldn't understand the problem. He spent two minutes reproducing my click-throughs on his computer, and then indifferently pronounced that the only price available must be the higher price quoted on the "HOLD" screen. This notwithstanding that one could still repeat the search, and still see the original lower fare.

I bought the higher fare, grudgingly, but it left a bad taste.
The general rule (learned from FT): when you call aa and get an "unfavorable answer"--call back a few minutes later--you might get the answer you want.
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