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Requesting Assistance - Reservation canceled

Requesting Assistance - Reservation canceled

Old Nov 5, 15, 7:09 am
  #1  
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Requesting Assistance - Reservation canceled

Fellow AA FFers,

I'm in a bit of a predicament here and could use some assistance from the collective wisdom that FT possesses.

Last week I booked a flight home for thanksgiving from DC. DCA - JAX ; GNV - DCA. On Monday of last week I put a hold on a reservation that sorta worked for me. On Tuesday a better time opened up for the same price so I canceled that hold and put a hold on the better time flight. On Wednesday the ideal reservation came down to the same price as the Tuesday hold reservation so I went to book it in cash.

Halfway through booking the cash ticket on Wednesday an error popped up saying there was a duplicate booking (referencing the Tuesday hold presumably) and I could not proceed. So not to lose my current booking I opened up another tab on my browser and went to aa.com to cancel the hold reservation. Navigating through my account I get to my trips and click the cancel button on the Tuesday hold. I went back to the other tab with my incomplete cash reservation and proceeded to book it.

Reservation booked, no problem, received the confirmation email about 30 minutes later showing record locator/confirmation of price/time etc. In between the time of booking and receiving the confirmation email I begin to close some superfluous tabs on my browser. I click on the the AA tab that was used to cancel the hold ticket and I notice that it had taken me to another screen to confirm my cancellation. Meaning I had not completely cancelled the reservation, one of those screens that asks you "are you sure you want to cancel" or something like that. Without thinking I just hit cancel because that was what I wanted in the first place and go on with my day.

This week I go onto my account and notice that there are no upcoming flights in my account. I click on "my trips" and see that the Wednesday cash ticket is cancelled. I call into AA to see what's going on and the agent confirms that the trip is cancelled. We go 10 rounds on how I didn't cancel it but there's nothing she can do because the reservation on her screen says "cancelled on the website" which is proof positive in there eyes that I cancelled it. All she could offer was waiving the change fee and rebooking me into the same flight at the higher price (originally paid $580 now it's $950).

The agent stressed that there's nothing she can do since it says cancelled on the website which became fruitless to say that I didn't cancel it. She then explained that there are no more seats in the booking class that I booked into and I would have to pay the higher price. I ended up booking a much worse time and on a different day causing me to miss a half day of work getting back for an extra $150.

Sorry for the lengthiness but I tried to give all of the relevant facts. So the question is whether there is anything I can do at this point. Am I truly SoL because of some quirk in the AA's booking mechanism? Not really sure what to do at this point. You'd think being an Exec Plat would be useful in this situation but I guess not. Any and all help/advice would be appreciated. Thanks

Random datapoints: the my trips section only shows the Monday hold cancelled and the Wednesday cash ticket cancelled. It does not show any record of the Tuesday hold that was cancelled. However if you manually search the Tuesday hold ticket using its PNR it will take you to the booking showing it to be cancelled.

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Old Nov 5, 15, 7:44 am
  #2  
 
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In the past, I've been able to reinstate a ticket that was canceled accidentally by me. It was non-refundable. I would also try calling AA web support instead of AA reservations.

You can wait and see if fares drop. That has been the case lately.

See if other airlines can also fly those times and routes and if they are cheaper.
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Old Nov 5, 15, 7:52 am
  #3  
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While it may have been an error on your part, the fact remains that you booked a ticket in violation of AA's Contract (a so-called "impossible" booking) because you had not yet cancelled the first reservation.

AA has particularly strong "sniffer" software to guard against inventory spoilage and you are an unfortunately caught up in that.

There is nothing you can do to force AA's hand here and you have already rebooked.

Now that you have a positive booking, why not call AA back and ask if they might help you out. Agents can no longer call inventory/revenue management to open space, but a supervisor can send a message. It may take some time and it has a very slim chance of succeeding, but it is worth a try.
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Old Nov 5, 15, 8:04 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
...She then explained that there are no more seats in the booking class that I booked into and I would have to pay the higher price. I ended up booking a much worse time and on a different day causing me to miss a half day of work getting back for an extra $150.
If you're saying that you've now booked something I'd say this episode is 100%, completely over. NOT to say there was something you cold have done before, necessarily (there might or might not have been,) but if you're booked on something now-- if I'm reading that right-- I'd say this goes firmly in the lesson learned file and nothing more to do about it, in my view.
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Old Nov 5, 15, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
While it may have been an error on your part, the fact remains that you booked a ticket in violation of AA's Contract (a so-called "impossible" booking) because you had not yet cancelled the first reservation.

AA has particularly strong "sniffer" software to guard against inventory spoilage and you are an unfortunately caught up in that.

.
What?

I see not indication this has anything at all to do with AAs contract or so called sniffer software. At all.

*HE* accidentaly canceled it. And it might have been due to how AA.com loads content into multiple browser windows.

OP, you might have tried HUACA. But now its done. Agree with Jon, lesson learned.
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Old Nov 5, 15, 10:56 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by bmchris View Post
In the past, I've been able to reinstate a ticket that was canceled accidentally by me. It was non-refundable. I would also try calling AA web support instead of AA reservations.
Yeah the agent said rebooking would be possible had there been inventory remaining in the fare bucket that I booked.

I already rebooked as fares out of DC for the holiday have gotten pricier by the day.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
While it may have been an error on your part, the fact remains that you booked a ticket in violation of AA's Contract (a so-called "impossible" booking) because you had not yet cancelled the first reservation.

AA has particularly strong "sniffer" software to guard against inventory spoilage and you are an unfortunately caught up in that.

There is nothing you can do to force AA's hand here and you have already rebooked.

Now that you have a positive booking, why not call AA back and ask if they might help you out. Agents can no longer call inventory/revenue management to open space, but a supervisor can send a message. It may take some time and it has a very slim chance of succeeding, but it is worth a try.
I will try that thanks. I thought about that yesterday but I wasn't sure what the web support guys actually do. Maybe they can help or maybe they've heard of this problem.

The problem here is that I canceled a hold ticket not the cash reservation. A mistake would be clicking on the wrong reservation to cancel. I understand what you're saying but my ticket was canceled because of a quirk in the aa web coding, assuming that is what happened, I really have no idea how it got canceled but this seems to be most logical explanation.

Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
If you're saying that you've now booked something I'd say this episode is 100%, completely over. NOT to say there was something you cold have done before, necessarily (there might or might not have been,) but if you're booked on something now-- if I'm reading that right-- I'd say this goes firmly in the lesson learned file and nothing more to do about it, in my view.
Correct, already rebooked. The inventory out of DC is rapidly dwindling and to make matters worse there is a big football game in GNV Saturday so seats are dwindling getting out of there too. So I felt the most prudent course was to rebook lest the only thing I'm left with is a $600 hole in my wallet and a valid complaint.

I'm not even sure what the lesson is to be learned. Check your reservations everyday and don't trust confirmation emails I suppose...But I'm not sure that cancelling one flight means you cancelled the other is something I should have known or been expected to know.

Originally Posted by Exec_Plat View Post
What?

I see not indication this has anything at all to do with AAs contract or so called sniffer software. At all.

*HE* accidentaly canceled it. And it might have been due to how AA.com loads content into multiple browser windows.

OP, you might have tried HUACA. But now its done. Agree with Jon, lesson learned.
I didn't accidently cancel it. I canceled the hold ticket on a separate tab. But I know what you're saying.

The real problem is the only thing the reservation agent sees is "cancelled on the website". It was impossible to get over that evidentiary hump and convincing a reservation agent that there's a flaw in AA's coding...I'm a US guy so I don't really know how the chain of command works with AA. Itired asking for a supervisor but she said she was the supervisor. In the past US agents would just call the rate desk and open up seats if they were convinced something had gone wrong but apparently AA doesn't have a rate desk according to the agent.


Thanks for the comments everyone, keep them coming if you guys can think of anything else. I'll call web support tonight. If anybody has a supervisor email address or anything that would be useful too.

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Last edited by GNVGator; Nov 5, 15 at 11:04 am
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Old Nov 5, 15, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
Y
I didn't accidently cancel it. I canceled the hold ticket on a separate tab. But I know what you're saying.

The real problem is the only thing the reservation agent sees is "cancelled on the website". It was impossible to get over that evidentiary hump and convincing a reservation agent that there's a flaw in AA's coding...I'm a US guy so I don't really know how the chain of command works with AA. Itired asking for a supervisor but she said she was the supervisor. In the past US agents would just call the rate desk and open up seats if they were convinced something had gone wrong but apparently AA doesn't have a rate desk according to the agent.


Thanks for the comments everyone, keep them coming if you guys can think of anything else. I'll call web support tonight. If anybody has a supervisor email address or anything that would be useful too.

Go Gators
Some web pages use cookies or what have you that the browser looks at as it loads info. If you do something on one tab, it MAY grab info from the current cookie (or whatever it is)...I have seen AA.com do things on one page/tab that is related to a DIFFERENT page I was just working on. I am going to guess that when you went to the cancel button on the old booking, AA.com loaded the 'then current' booking from the new interstitial cookie, and canceled that one.

You will never prove it.

Oh..."supervisor email"?? Thats funny.

and AA has a rate desk; and AA has revenue Management; and AA might have fixed the issue had you pressed this before booking and buying the replacement.
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Old Nov 5, 15, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Exec_Plat View Post
Some web pages use cookies or what have you that the browser looks at as it loads info. If you do something on one tab, it MAY grab info from the current cookie (or whatever it is)...I have seen AA.com do things on one page/tab that is related to a DIFFERENT page I was just working on. I am going to guess that when you went to the cancel button on the old booking, AA.com loaded the 'then current' booking from the new interstitial cookie, and canceled that one.

You will never prove it.

Oh..."supervisor email"?? Thats funny.

and AA has a rate desk; and AA has revenue Management; and AA might have fixed the issue had you pressed this before booking and buying the replacement.
Thanks for responding and good to know about the cookies. That's probably the lesson to be learned here.

I know you were joking but I haven't dealt with AA long enough to know what lines of communication are available and what are not. With US there was a Chairman's email you could send that was pretty responsive.

I made that same point to the agent about the rate desk/revenue management hence the 10 rounds comment at the beginning. In fact when she said there was no rate desk I then asked her if she was suggesting that the entire revenue management process is handled externally? She then said no of course not but they can't do anything. Then I asked can't or won't because that is an important distinction. She then started turning fairly hostile saying essentially because the computer says cancelled online they can't do anything but waive the change fee.

But like I said earlier the evidentiary mountain was hard to overcome and like you said I can't prove it.

Needless to say it was a fairly frustrating conversation, should have HUACA but I was at work and under a time crunch.

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Old Nov 5, 15, 12:46 pm
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AA works that way, if you canceled a reservation but let the page open on the confirmation page, then in another window you buy a ticket, it doesn't matter what the first tab said, any change you do on the first tab (the reservation), it will impact on the ticket you bought.

As a test, access to "my trips", open one reservation (rev1) on a different tab (ctrl+click), then on the main tab (my trips), click on any reservation (rev2), then go to the second tab again and try to cancel that reservation (rev1), if you check, AA will try to cancel the rev2, not rev1 because rev2 was the last transaction you did on your account.

It happened to me once but AA was able to recovered because I called within minutes.

Last edited by fedechat; Nov 5, 15 at 3:02 pm
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Old Nov 5, 15, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by fedechat View Post
AA works that way, if you canceled a reservation but let the page open on the confirmation page, then in another window you buy a ticket, it doesn't matter what the first tab said, any change you do on the first tab (the reservation), it will impact on the ticket you bought.

As a test, access to "my trips", open one reservation (rev1) on a different tab (ctrl+click), then on the main tab (my trips), click on any reservation (rev2), then go to the second tab again and try to cancel that reservation (rev1), if you check, AA will try to cancel the rev2, not rev1 because rev1 was the last transaction you did on your account.

It happened to me once but AA was able to recovered because I called within minutes.
Wow, really good to know. Seems my suspicions were correct. The key is the last sentence, calling within minutes...I'll try web support and the reservation agents one more time to see if I can get anywhere. Thanks for the comments everyone.


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Old Nov 5, 15, 1:11 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
Wow, really good to know. Seems my suspicions were correct. The key is the last sentence, calling within minutes...I'll try web support and the reservation agents one more time to see if I can get anywhere. Thanks for the comments everyone.


Go Gators
I've confirmed this before, too. AA.com does use cookies, as mentioned, and my experience is that the last booking, search result or query that I "touch" on AA.com reflects whatever happens next. I once was searching for a ticket and was on the purchase page, then on a separate tab wanted to check one last time for the $ difference between Y and F. So I did that, and decided not to pursue it. When I went back to the tab with the purchase screen, and clicked purchase, it booted me backwards to the "fare has increased" screen showing me now in F.

I closed down the browser and restarted and was fine after that. Learned lesson about multiple tabs/windows on AA.com though.
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Old Nov 5, 15, 2:48 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by GNVGator View Post
...Halfway through booking the cash ticket on Wednesday an error popped up saying there was a duplicate booking (referencing the Tuesday hold presumably) and I could not proceed. So not to lose my current booking I opened up another tab on my browser and went to aa.com to cancel the hold reservation. Navigating through my account I get to my trips and click the cancel button on the Tuesday hold. I went back to the other tab with my incomplete cash reservation and proceeded to book it. ...In between the time of booking and receiving the confirmation email I begin to close some superfluous tabs on my browser. I click on the the AA tab that was used to cancel the hold ticket and I notice that it had taken me to another screen to confirm my cancellation. Meaning I had not completely cancelled the reservation, one of those screens that asks you "are you sure you want to cancel" or something like that. Without thinking I just hit cancel because that was what I wanted in the first place and go on with my day. ..
[my bolding and edit]

Could the problem have simply been that your conflicting on hold reservation was not cancelled?

By your account, it wasn't cancelled prior to booking the desired flight/fare, since you hadn't clicked on that secondary screen that you only discovered after completing the booking. And when you say you hit cancelled on that secondary screen without thinking, it sounds like you were canceling the request to cancel the booking, versus clicking on the "yes" I want to cancel this booking button. If that's what happened then AA's double-booking-sniffing software would have theoretically come across the conflicting on hold reservation with the booked reservation and cancelled the more recent reservation (which was the one you wanted). Perhaps?

So in terms of lessons to be learned: always make sure that you're actually cancelling a reservation. (To confirm that I've successfully cancelled a res, I look at My Trips as a final check).

Also under the lessons to be learned from this experience: you mention opening another tab in your browser when you went to cancel the conflicting held res. By doing that of course cookies would get transferred and perhaps the theory expressed by others here is what happened resulting in the cancelling of your desired flight.

So lesson number 2: what you should do in the future, is open a different browser, not a tab within the same browser. And by different browser I mean, if you're using Chrome, open a window in Firefox, etc. That way cookies won't get transferred.
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