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GONE 29 APR 2015: Special ticketing procedure: award tickets from Manila / MNL / Phil

GONE 29 APR 2015: Special ticketing procedure: award tickets from Manila / MNL / Phil

Old Mar 6, 11, 1:46 pm
  #1  
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GONE 29 APR 2015: Special ticketing procedure: award tickets from Manila / MNL / Phil

MODERATOR NOTE: These restrictions have now been done away with as of 29 Apr 2015.

Having just gone through the process of ticketing an AAdvantage award originating in the Philippines (and having to sift through a great amount of incorrect, conflicting information in the process) I thought I would share the CORRECT procedure with my fellow FlyerTalkers!

Under Philippine law, virtually all ticketed travel originating in the Philippines MUST be ticketed within the country of the Philippines. This includes award travel. (This is why many internet ticketing sites will generate error messages when attempting to book flights departing from airports within the Philippines.)

This means that, while the AAdvantage desk can reserve ex-Philippine AAdvantage awards they can not actually issue such awards. In my recent experience, it became clear to me that many of the AA ticketing agents do not understand why, much less how to complete the process. At various times, I was told that I needed to contact the partner airline's office in the Philippines to complete the award issuance (wrong), that the reservation could only be held for 24 hours (also wrong), that I had to be physically present in the Philippines to complete the ticketing process (also wrong), etc., etc.

I have outlined below the CORRECT procedure that will ensure a successful ticketing process:

AAdvantage Desk steps:
  1. Call the AAdvantage desk as usual to confirm award availability.
  2. Have the agent book your reservation.
  3. Have the agent pull the miles from your account (they may tell you they can't issue the ticket-- that doesn't matter). Tell them you understand, and to pull the miles from your account and queue the reservation for ticketing, which you will complete with AA CTO in the Philippines.
  4. Obtain the current contact phone numbers and fax numbers for the American Airlines CTO in Manila (it is a contract operation operated by a third-party GSA, Airesources, Inc.).

Cautionary side-note: After completing the first three steps, your reservation may show as "ticketed" on AA.com, and you may be tempted to skip the next part. Don't do that-- the partner airline will not allow you to travel, as they will have no record of payment for the flight!

American Airlines Manila CTO (Airesources, Inc. GSA) steps:
  1. Call the Manila CTO (Airesources, Inc.) to confirm they can "see" the reservation and that it is set up for ticketing. (This can be difficult at times, it is a small office with a quirky phone system--- be prepared for long hold times, many of which will terminate with arbitrary disconnection before reaching a live human. Don't take it out on the agent you ultimately reach, as he/she likely has no purchasing authority over their telecommunications gear. If you yell at the person who answers, everyone in the very tiny office will know-- and you run the risk of making your ticketing become unduly "complicated.")
  2. Tell the Manila CTO that you will come to their office to pick up the ticket and to arrange for ticketing.
  3. Go to the Manila CTO (located inside the retail concourse located on the lower level of the Century Park Hotel) to claim your ticket. Bring both local currency (to pay a certain tax payable only in cash) as well as your passport (by producing your passport with Philippines entry stamp, you may be able to avoid one of the taxes).
  4. Alternatively, if you are not able to physically present yourself at the Manila CTO, you may arrange to fax authorization for them to issue an e-ticket for the flight. This requires you to fax a detailed letter of authorization, accompanied by a copy of your passport and credit card and takes 2 - 3 days.

I realize that not many FTers may need this information, but it took me several days, several international phone calls, and sorting through a great deal of incorrect information to figure this out. Hopefully, this may save someone else the hassle.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 30, 15 at 8:52 am Reason: Update
HKG_Flyer1 is offline  
Old Mar 6, 11, 1:54 pm
  #2  
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Maraming salamat po, HKG_Flyer! Things can be very different in the Philippines, including various kinds of airline ticketing, credit card authorization for same (and even my ATM / Cash Card, authorized for use and successfully working in Japan and Hong Kong SAR last month, did not work in the R. P.)

This issue has indeed cropped up from time to time on these boards, and this is very helpful.

Originally Posted by HKG_Flyer1 View Post
...

I realize that not many FTers may need this information, but it took me several days, several international phone calls, and sorting through a great deal of incorrect information to figure this out. Hopefully, this may save someone else the hassle.
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Old Mar 10, 11, 10:27 pm
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This is fairly timely for me--I'm about to book flights ex-MNL on a revenue ticket--so thank you for posting this information.

So what are the procedures for booking revenue tickets? Will I just need to find the airline's agent in the Philippines like you did and call him up on a local number?
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Old Mar 11, 11, 4:28 pm
  #4  
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Per JDiver's suggestion, I've added a link to this excellent thread to the FAQ entry on award booking :

• How do I book award travel using my AAdvantage miles?
dstan is offline  
Old Mar 11, 11, 7:15 pm
  #5  
 
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I know about the official policy of having tickets ex-Philippines having to be issued there. However, I've never had a problem buying them outside of the Philippines nor traveling.

1999: Bought one-way MNL-BKK on TG in the US.
2000: Bought one-way MNL-HKG on CX in the US.
2010: Redeemed BA miles for 3 one-way tickets for MNL-HKG-YYZ on CX in the US.

And yes, I'm in the US, not writing from a Philippine prison.
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Old Mar 11, 11, 7:22 pm
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by Wiirachay View Post
I know about the official policy of having tickets ex-Philippines having to be issued there. However, I've never had a problem buying them outside of the Philippines nor traveling.

1999: Bought one-way MNL-BKK on TG in the US.
2000: Bought one-way MNL-HKG on CX in the US.
2010: Redeemed BA miles for 3 one-way tickets for MNL-HKG-YYZ on CX in the US.

And yes, I'm in the US, not writing from a Philippine prison.
It seems like that if you are not a resident of the Philippines (eg. foreigner on foreign passport without Philippines residency visa, or Filipino residing overseas), the requirement for ex-Philippines tickets being ticketed in the Philippines does not apply.

Philippine residents must pay a special travel tax when purchasing airlne tickets to leave the country. The rule is to stop them from avoid paying the tax by purchasing their tickets outside the country.
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Old Mar 12, 11, 11:38 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by daniellam View Post
It seems like that if you are not a resident of the Philippines (eg. foreigner on foreign passport without Philippines residency visa, or Filipino residing overseas), the requirement for ex-Philippines tickets being ticketed in the Philippines does not apply.

Philippine residents must pay a special travel tax when purchasing airlne tickets to leave the country. The rule is to stop them from avoid paying the tax by purchasing their tickets outside the country.
I do this all of the time. Bottom line is that technically, ALL tickets originating in the Philippines MUST be ticketed AND PAID FOR there!!! I have gotten away with this in the past but in the last few years, it has been strictly enforced.

Also, on an award ticket originating in MNL there is a special tax that is collected regardless of your nationality or residence. The problem is that the AA US agents usually don't know about this and as noted in an earlier post, everything seems "ticketed" and in good order but it is not. I have had experience with this.

The issue is that they legally cannot write a ticket or collect any money without an IMPRINT of a cc AND a signature AND a copy of the passport that they retain.

The issue is complicated further - TECHNICALLY you are not able to enter the Philippines without a return TICKET -NOT simply a reservation!!! The chances that you will be stopped before you get on the plane to Manila are greater than being stopped in immigration but they are real!! I am asked to produce my ticket about 50% of the time by CX and if am bound and gagged and forced to fly Cebu Pacific or PAL - 100% of the time!!

Last year, leaving BKK, I was actually required to buy a ticket out before they let me get on the plane. I bought a refundable ticket but still lost about $60 on the transaction.

There are no ways of getting around this but if you do this regularly you should go to the AA rep office in Manila and talk to them. The are a great group and VERY helpful and professional.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 26, 12 at 11:03 am Reason: bold important bits
wdchuck1 is offline  
Old Mar 12, 11, 11:51 am
  #8  
 
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revenue tickets ex MNL

Originally Posted by BDA shorts View Post
This is fairly timely for me--I'm about to book flights ex-MNL on a revenue ticket--so thank you for posting this information.

So what are the procedures for booking revenue tickets? Will I just need to find the airline's agent in the Philippines like you did and call him up on a local number?
If it is a simple OW or RT revenue ticket, you should be able to book directly on CX website. I just played with it and it seems to work.

If it is more complex, you can find the AA local agent info on the internet. It may pay to call them and discuss your options with them. They play things 10000% by the book so you don't have to worry.
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Old Mar 14, 11, 5:13 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by wdchuck1 View Post
The issue is complicated further - TECHNICALLY you are not able to enter the Philippines without a return TICKET -NOT simply a reservation!!! The chances that you will be stopped before you get on the plane to Manila are greater than being stopped in immigration but they are real!! I am asked to produce my ticket about 50% of the time by CX and if am bound and gagged and forced to fly Cebu Pacific or PAL - 100% of the time!!

Last year, leaving BKK, I was actually required to buy a ticket out before they let me get on the plane. I bought a refundable ticket but still lost about $60 on the transaction.

There are no ways of getting around this but if you do this regularly you should go to the AA rep office in Manila and talk to them. The are a great group and VERY helpful and professional.
Haha... I left that part out of my post to avoid complicating it, but yes... Singapore Airlines refused to allow me to board my one-way flight to Manila until I agreed to buy a return ticket, so I ended up purchasing a fully refundable coach ticket and then immediately submitted it for refund.

Of course, no one asked to see it when I landed in Manila...
HKG_Flyer1 is offline  
Old Mar 19, 11, 4:15 pm
  #10  
 
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I'm stuck on the term "originating in Phillipines" and how that may apply to me.

I just booked a 3-award ticket:
PHX-ORD-HKG-MNL//MNL-HKG-SYD//SYD-DFW-PHX

Travel to and from KGH and MNL is on CX.

My entire trip is not originating in MNL, but the second segment (award) is.

Bottom line: Do I need to worry about this? The whole trip has a status of "ticketed" when I check my online reservation.
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Old Mar 19, 11, 9:29 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by azmojo View Post
I'm stuck on the term "originating in Phillipines" and how that may apply to me.

I just booked a 3-award ticket:
PHX-ORD-HKG-MNL//MNL-HKG-SYD//SYD-DFW-PHX

Travel to and from KGH and MNL is on CX.

My entire trip is not originating in MNL, but the second segment (award) is.

Bottom line: Do I need to worry about this? The whole trip has a status of "ticketed" when I check my online reservation.
Relax, it doesn't apply to your itinerary. You are originating in PHX on a single ticket that just happens to have 3 awards on it
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Old Mar 19, 11, 10:44 pm
  #12  
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This information has been wiki-tized, where it acts as a searchable resource and where it can be updated by anyone who has additional information to provide.

Link: http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php...rocedures_(AA)

Thanks HKG_Flyer1!

Last edited by dstan; Mar 20, 11 at 11:32 pm Reason: repaired dangling parenthesis
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Old Mar 20, 11, 7:34 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
This information has been wiki-tized, where it acts as a searchable resource and where it can be updated by anyone who has additional information to provide.

Link: http://flyerguide.com/wiki/index.php...rocedures_(AA)

Thanks HKG_Flyer1!
Wiki is empty.

Anyway, I recently went thru the same pain and would like to add a few details that may help others as well.

1. Round-trip awards originating outside of the Philippines do not have to ticket the return trip from the Philippines. You also avoid having to pay the Philippine Travel Tax.

2. If you have to ticket thru the Philippine AA office and you are not able to physically be there to pay for and collect your tickets, they don't take credit card payments (I live in the US). They asked me to wire transfer the ticketing cost and Philippine Travel Taxes to them which would have added extra wire transfer fees. Luckily for me, I know of a Phil Natl Bank (PNB) remittance center here in Dallas which remitted my payment for $7.

Last edited by dstan; Mar 20, 11 at 11:33 pm Reason: repaired wiki link
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Old Mar 20, 11, 11:34 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by susmaryosep View Post
Wiki is empty.

I've repaired those links - the old dangling parenthesis glitch.

/Moderator
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Old Jul 18, 11, 7:25 am
  #15  
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i am a little confused. Do you have to actually go to the ticket office in Manila or can you do it by fax?
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