Award booking was so easy today

Old Apr 3, 15, 3:05 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 73
Award booking was so easy today

I've been a US Airways Chairman Preferred member and until last week, like many others, I was also struggling to book award tickets for a trip to Southeast Asia during end of May. Every time I'd call, I'll get the same negative response. I tried calling the UK based number as well. But no luck. However, I did realize early that US Airways being a new entrant in One World, they don't have too many allocated award seats. Hence nothing will change until Dividend Miles and Advantage Miles merge. So after trying a few times, I stopped altogether and was waiting for the Account Merger to happen and then try my luck again. Worst case scenario, I was willing to pay for my tickets.

Since the accounts merged last week and now all my Dividend miles are under my AA Advantage account and the Executive Platinum Desk can actually access those miles, I called them this morning. I had a heavy breakfast, used the toilet and was ready to spend at least an hour or more to try my luck again. To my surprise, it took me less than 10 minutes !!! It helped a bit since I did some homework and pulled up availability on BA website. While the agent could see my outbound choice, the inbound dates were not showing up in their system. But the agent was able to pull up the same route only two days later of my intended return date.

My trip is on Qatar Airways Business Class all the way from Tucson,AZ via DFW. The fees was just $55.67 per person.

How's Qatar Business Class? Anyone has any experience? I may find something via Ethiad as well. Between the two, which one has a better Business Class? How's Cathay Pacific Business Class? Your feedback will be appreciated very much.
dzongrila is offline  
Old Apr 3, 15, 8:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: CA
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 2,879
But don't expect it to be easy if there is a schedule change and you need to rebook flights. Am running into an issue where a partner (BA) changed schedules so I had a definite disconnect. BA refuses to rebook me on decent flights and AA refuses to book me on any flight that does now have current award availability.

So don't feel so lucky yet.
deant is offline  
Old Apr 3, 15, 11:23 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Tucson, AZ
Programs: PLT AA 2MM, Silver US, DL, NW
Posts: 115
Award booking was so easy today

I flew Qatar business from Doha to Nairobi and then NBO back to IAD via Doha. I found the flights great. food was fine and the lie flat seats good for sleeping. I would take them over Qantas in C/J which I flew Lax-Bne.
jafrelin is offline  
Old Apr 4, 15, 12:31 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by deant View Post
But don't expect it to be easy if there is a schedule change and you need to rebook flights. Am running into an issue where a partner (BA) changed schedules so I had a definite disconnect. BA refuses to rebook me on decent flights and AA refuses to book me on any flight that does now have current award availability.

So don't feel so lucky yet.
Sorry to hear about your troubles. How long ago did you make the reservations? Hopefully you'll find a suitable solution. I've got less than two months before I travel. So hopefully there won't be any schedule change. Plus, being an Exec Platinum, I have the opportunity to change my booking without paying any penalties.

As a frequent traveler, everyone has their own horror stories. I travel domestically every week for work and sometime I have to take two connections to go to a remote location and I often run into flight related issues - delayed flight causing missed connections, flight getting canceled, getting rerouted, spending the night somewhere else. If I start taking stress on such things, I'll be in a horrible state of mind. So rather accept it as part of the whole travel deal and keep going.

So far, I've been really lucky with my international travel except just once. It was a paid ticket bought from a travel agent. American was the domestic career and my fist two domestic segments were on AA before I was supposed to take my international flight. AA canceled my second flight forcing me to miss my international connection and then telling me they can't help as my main ticket was on the international career. I was traveling alone with my three old daughter at that time. To gain sympathy, I had approached some female agents at the AA ticket counters at O'hare. But they simply refused. After I lost my cool, then a gentleman who was working right next to those ladies calmed me down and booked me on a AA flight from Chicago to Brussels. And he told me he's just doing his job.
dzongrila is offline  
Old Apr 4, 15, 12:34 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 73
Originally Posted by jafrelin View Post
I flew Qatar business from Doha to Nairobi and then NBO back to IAD via Doha. I found the flights great. food was fine and the lie flat seats good for sleeping. I would take them over Qantas in C/J which I flew Lax-Bne.
Thanks for the response. I see you are from Tucson,AZ. Me too !!
Do you know which of these airlines fly the Dreamliner on a long distance haul?
dzongrila is offline  
Old Apr 4, 15, 6:34 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: AZ
Programs: AA EXP; (HP-FF>US DM - RIP);Marriott Lifetime Plat and a bunch of others
Posts: 74
FWIW, I've had some pleasant experiences booking international awards flights of late. What wold ordinarily take a lot of struggle, did not. I used DM to book a complex itinerary to multiple cities in Asia about a month ago. Concerned about the ordeal, I poured a coffee, opened KVS/Kayak/USAirways/BA/JAL and called.

in the 'pm days' I would have needed to call and often hang up to get a new agent (because they could never find the flights I was seeing) and despite all the advanced knowledge I had, the process would take hours. This time, despite open jaw and a stopover, and the complication of one of the legs disappearing from availability while we were working on the trip, the entire itinerary was arranged and booked in an hour.

Then, the two FFP's merged. What happened at the same time as that transition, was that a family event caused me to need to change the Asian itinerary. Again, fully armed with my research into options on the new dates, I called. The only minor glitch was that AA could not "find" the itinerary and transferred me to a US Airways agent. To my delight, we were able to rebook everything (almost) with no fees. The only thing that I lost was one leg in the US that we had to eliminate because of the AA open jaw rules (a bit more stringent that the old DM rules).

And, the context of all of this is that I dropped from years of CP (a lot less travel last year) and am now AA Plat, and it still was a reasonable experience.

Last edited by talkandfly; Apr 4, 15 at 6:50 pm
talkandfly is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread