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Duplicate, impossible and illogical bookings on AA (master thd)

Old Aug 13, 2016, 6:43 pm
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Impossible, Illogical and Duplicate Bookings
"American Airlines specifically prohibits practices commonly known as: (in part)

"Duplicate and impossible/illogical bookings: Duplicate or impossible/illogical American Airlines bookings are prohibited without prior authorization from American Airlines. A duplicate or impossible/illogical booking includes, but is not limited to, bookings for the same passenger on flights traveling on or about the same date between one or more of the same or nearby origin and/or destination (such as JFK to DFW and LGA to DFW or DFW to LAX and DFW to ONT), or bookings with connections that depart before the arrival of the inbound flight."

Also please note: "Fraudulent, fictitious and abusive bookings: Fraudulent, fictitious and/or abusive bookings are prohibited. These types of bookings are defined as any bookings made without having been requested by or on behalf of the named passenger. Additionally, creating bookings to hold or block seats for the purpose of obtaining lower fares, AAdvantage award inventory, or upgrades that may not otherwise be available, or to gain access to airport facilities, or to circumvent any of American Airlines' fare rules or policies, is prohibited without prior authorization from American Airlines."

Link to AA Conditions of Carriage
Link to Sep 2010 thread announcing AA issuance of rules pertaining to this issue.
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Duplicate, impossible and illogical bookings on AA (master thd)

Old Nov 17, 2020, 3:43 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Often1
  • Booking a ticket in someone's name without the person's consent (which is illegal)
Is this really illegal?
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Old Nov 17, 2020, 4:03 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by mvoight
Is this really illegal?
Yes. Surprise your spouse with a romantic weekend getaway, or your kids with a trip to Disneyland? Straight to jail with you.
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Old Nov 17, 2020, 5:16 pm
  #63  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
AA's systems will not cancel overlapping bookings as long as both flights are fully ticketed and not on hold. That's not to say you might not get a call from AA asking about them, however the system will not arbitrarily cancel one or the other like it will if one is on hold.
Thanks. I should have just booked it instead of putting it on hold. Oh well, live and learn.
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Old Nov 18, 2020, 10:19 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
AA's systems will not cancel overlapping bookings as long as both flights are fully ticketed and not on hold. That's not to say you might not get a call from AA asking about them, however the system will not arbitrarily cancel one or the other like it will if one is on hold.
Not true. AA can and will cancel overlapping or impossible bookings even if both flights are fully ticketed. I had a situation a few years ago where I had scrambled to rebook off of WN during a snowstorm in the midwest. Ended up somehow (not sure the exact order of events) holding two tickets for two different DCA-IND segments several hours apart.

I flew the earlier of the two and when I arrived in IND I had a notice on my phone that AA had canceled the other ticket. I spoke to an agent at IND who told me it was deemed to be an impossible reservation. The reason I remember this episode so clearly is that I remember thinking that was very aggressive of AA as IND-DCA is only about 1 hour flying time I could have theoretically made it back to DCA in time to fly the second segment. Of course I wasn't going to do that and there was no harm to me as the fares were fully refundable, they just credited the amount back to my card. That of course is why they do this kind of cancellation-- they do not want people holding inventory that they are not going to use; and the argument of "why not let the ticketholder just waste the money" doesn't work when the ticket is refundable, or when the ticket is expensive enough (as the ticketholder would only be "out" the change fee).
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Old Nov 18, 2020, 11:18 am
  #65  
 
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If you try to put an award on hold or purchase a ticket that includes a flight that you are already booked on then you will get stopped before you can finalize the booking (unless as someone else mentioned you book the second ticket through a travel agent and not directly with AA). The system will check that in real time. If you manage to put an award on hold or purchase a ticket that otherwise conflicts with an existing flight then I believe the system will let you finalize the booking but will find those impossible or overlapping flights overnight and cancel one of them (including those booked by a travel agent).

If you put an overlapping /impossible flight (but not a duplicate flight) on hold so long as you cancel the original flight the same day you put the new ticket on hold then your hold should stick through the hold deadline.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 12:19 pm
  #66  
 
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It looks like this may have been my scenario, but I would appreciate some thoughts from others on here.

I booked LAS - LAX - PHX - SJC / SJC - LAX - PHX - LAS as a round trip for 4/24 simply as a miles / points run. It was booked directly with AA via their website and ticketed immediately. It works out as $250 for 240 TPs (as I credit to BA and not AA).

Today I noticed that the return LAX - PHX flight had disappeared from the booking. All the flights were still available to book, so it wasn't a schedule change and all the flights comply with minimum connection times etc.

I spoke with AA and they have reinstated the flight. The agent I spoke with also spoke with their support desk but AA couldn't confirm why the flight had dropped off the reservation. My suspicion is that it's because there's a LAX - PHX sector on both the outbound *and* inbound portions of the itinerary. However, AA said that the record locator is usually annotated with a reason for a flight cancellation / removal where it's a duplicate or impossible trip. There was no such comment or note on this record locator. They have made some comments on the booking to the effect that it's all above board and the support desk said they would keep an eye on it.

Presumably if AA's system thinks it's a duplicate or impossible booking then it will drop off again overnight, but I really don't want to be ringing AA multiple times to get them to keep reinstating it. Certainly when I spoke to AA just now they didn't flag it up as being in any way the sort of booking that would fall foul of their T&Cs, but they couldn't really explain why it had happened.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 12:36 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Enigma368
Interesting, so this applies to booked tickets vs just holds. e.g. if I had completed booking the second reservation and paid for the taxes etc. it still would have been cancelled? What if someone wanted to pay cash for two flights one hour apart because they were not sure which flight they wanted to take, and they were happy to eat the cost of paying twice? That is just not allowed?

I can understand the logic behind the rules, especially now that cancellation rules are much more flexible. Not fair to AA other passengers to hold space you don't intend to use or pay for. Just wish I'd known beforehand.

All very useful to know. Thanks.
Thats the scenario they’re trying to prohibit, especially in a world where cheap unused tickets have residual value. The one you don’t fly could be sold for a much higher fare close to departure.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 12:40 pm
  #68  
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I’ve got one going now that might get flagged, but it’s over multiple days, with no flights on the same day. Mistake on my part by double booking the same week, ie- one trip Monday Thursday, and the second Wednesday Saturday.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 12:58 pm
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Geordie405
It looks like this may have been my scenario, but I would appreciate some thoughts from others on here.

I booked LAS - LAX - PHX - SJC / SJC - LAX - PHX - LAS as a round trip for 4/24 simply as a miles / points run. It was booked directly with AA via their website and ticketed immediately. It works out as $250 for 240 TPs (as I credit to BA and not AA).

Today I noticed that the return LAX - PHX flight had disappeared from the booking. All the flights were still available to book, so it wasn't a schedule change and all the flights comply with minimum connection times etc.

I spoke with AA and they have reinstated the flight. The agent I spoke with also spoke with their support desk but AA couldn't confirm why the flight had dropped off the reservation. My suspicion is that it's because there's a LAX - PHX sector on both the outbound *and* inbound portions of the itinerary. However, AA said that the record locator is usually annotated with a reason for a flight cancellation / removal where it's a duplicate or impossible trip. There was no such comment or note on this record locator. They have made some comments on the booking to the effect that it's all above board and the support desk said they would keep an eye on it.

Presumably if AA's system thinks it's a duplicate or impossible booking then it will drop off again overnight, but I really don't want to be ringing AA multiple times to get them to keep reinstating it. Certainly when I spoke to AA just now they didn't flag it up as being in any way the sort of booking that would fall foul of their T&Cs, but they couldn't really explain why it had happened.
I don't think that this was related to duplicate or impossible bookings. I've taken many flights with LAX-DFW or DFW-PHX in both legs.

Did it just drop the segment? As in, you had SJC- LAX and PHX-LAS with a gap? or was there a time change or something small that caused SJC-LAX-PHX to be replaced by SJC-PHX?
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 1:09 pm
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by Antarius
I don't think that this was related to duplicate or impossible bookings. I've taken many flights with LAX-DFW or DFW-PHX in both legs.

Did it just drop the segment? As in, you had SJC- LAX and PHX-LAS with a gap? or was there a time change or something small that caused SJC-LAX-PHX to be replaced by SJC-PHX?
Yes, exactly. The segment was just dropped with a gap where the LAX - PHX flight used to be. There's no schedule change, and the original itinerary is still bookable.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 1:12 pm
  #71  
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Here's my recent experience:

Looking to book a roundtrip US-Europe award.

Booking 1:
Outbound <date 1> (AA-AA-BA flights)
Inbound <date 3> (BA-AA-AA flights)

Booking 2:
Outbound <date 2> (AA-AA-BA flights)
​​​​​​​Inbound <date 3> (BA-AA-AA flights) [exact same flights as in booking 1]

Both bookings put on 5-day award hold.

For both bookings, the first inbound flight (BA flight) was removed after a couple of hours. All other flights are still there.
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Old Feb 4, 2021, 2:22 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Geordie405
Yes, exactly. The segment was just dropped with a gap where the LAX - PHX flight used to be. There's no schedule change, and the original itinerary is still bookable.
I've had weird stuff like this happen occasionally. Random segments dropped or double segments showing up .

​​not frequently, but about once every 150 flights or so.
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Old Feb 5, 2021, 9:47 am
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by Antarius
I've had weird stuff like this happen occasionally. Random segments dropped or double segments showing up .

​​not frequently, but about once every 150 flights or so.
So, having had AA reinstate the dropped segment yesterday a different segment dropped off the booking overnight. This time it was the morning LAX - PHX flight on the outbound, rather than the inbound.

Clearly having two LAX - PHX sectors on the same booking, albeit one on the outbound and one on the inbound, is too much for AA's systems.
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Old Feb 5, 2021, 9:53 am
  #74  
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It's not too much. It may well be triggering an anti-fraud prohibition.

May be worth asking an agent to make a note in the PNR that the routing is legit. Not sure anyone reads those notes, but someday if you are stuck, at least maybe you get some help.
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Old Feb 5, 2021, 11:32 am
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by Often1
It's not too much. It may well be triggering an anti-fraud prohibition.

May be worth asking an agent to make a note in the PNR that the routing is legit. Not sure anyone reads those notes, but someday if you are stuck, at least maybe you get some help.
I understand the point you're making but when I spoke to AA yesterday no one expresses any concern about the routing or the two identical sectors. They did say they had placed a note on the booking. I will call them again today and have them reinstate the dropped segment. However, I don't want to / shouldn't have to keep doing this. My other worry is that one of these days the sector will drop off the reservation and AA won't be able to reinstate it because the cabin is sold out. I know that there's likely to be a schedule change between now and then all bets are off
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