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AA auto rebooking system made terrible choices

AA auto rebooking system made terrible choices

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Old Apr 15, 19, 2:34 pm
  #1  
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AA auto rebooking system made terrible choices

Today i was booked SEA-DFW-DCA arriving at around 9:15pm in DC. I sometimes take AA on my trips
to DC because i can reliably get upgraded to F, but the timings are terrible (longer duration than most other carriers connecting flights).

Todays 10:15am SEA-DFW starting rolling out delays around 6am and so i went to the app to see what i could do. For some reason, AA just auto rebooked me on a LATER DFW-DCA flight when there were tons of earlier options to get me from SEA to DCA by 9pm (through other airports). Because of the way they had unhelpfully rebooked me, i could only get options thru the app for other DFW-DCA timings, it would not let me change and restart a new itinerary in SEA. At 6:30am, there were good routings through ORD and even Atlanta with space that would have worked and even an earlier departure from SEA thru DFW that I could have gotten to the airport for. 55 minutes later when i got a call back from the exp line, all those options were gone and my SEA-DFW was now mis connecting to the final DFW-DCA flight of the day making it impossible for me to use the ticket!

I rebooked on Delta through DTW and will get in earlier so no big deal, although at some cost that i think AA should cover. What i want to understand is why would AA make the presumption that i wanted to arrive later and only give me options to tweak the second segment, requiring me to waste precious time calling in and waiting in a queue? Is this the normal operation of AA auto rebooking system or
just a quirk that happened with this reservation?
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Old Apr 15, 19, 3:10 pm
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How do you know there was availability on the flights to ORD? I've found the app generally gives you any available routing, including connections in non-hub cities, when there's a misconnect involved, so I suspect the flights you think had availability actually did not.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 3:24 pm
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS View Post
How do you know there was availability on the flights to ORD? I've found the app generally gives you any available routing, including connections in non-hub cities, when there's a misconnect involved, so I suspect the flights you think had availability actually did not.
Why do i know there were seats? Because i have expert flyer and it showed revenue buckets openand i did searches for new revenue tickets and AA showed availability. I should have just booked one of those revenue seats and worked with AA for compensation.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 3:29 pm
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Again, I've found the re-booking tool to be very accommodating. There had to be something else at play for it not to display the options you saw.

If the new options departed earlier than your current flight, I wonder if that's why, although a few weeks ago when I was going to misconnect it displayed earlier options (albeit the delay was posted the night before).

Last edited by USFlyerUS; Apr 15, 19 at 9:42 pm
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Old Apr 15, 19, 4:04 pm
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The auto-rebook feature is not always perfect and the algorithm it uses may not always replicate everything available especially out of major hubs. But, when it does not, it is a matter of calling. Same on both UA and DL.

OP was free to cancel for a refund as soon as his initial flight was cancelled, but AA will not cover any additional costs OP incurred by purchasing a new ticket on DL. His travel insurance may.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:13 pm
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Just because there is inventory available for sale, does not mean that the flight isn't oversold. The auto-re-booking tool probably won't oversell a flight.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 5:48 pm
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Originally Posted by stephem View Post
What i want to understand is why would AA make the presumption that i wanted to arrive later and only give me options to tweak the second segment, requiring me to waste precious time calling in and waiting in a queue? Is this the normal operation of AA’ auto rebooking system or
just a quirk that happened with this reservation?
AA isn't going to explain the details of its rebooking algorithm to you. If this is the first time you've experienced auto rebooking stupidity in 15 years you're doing way better than me. If I had to guess, it seems there's a higher priority on replacing segments (oh, you were flying DTW-DFW -- here's DTW-ORD-DFW) than on providing time efficient reroutings between origin and destination. (Oh, you were booked DTW-DFW-SAF -- here's DTW-PHX-SAF).
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Old Apr 15, 19, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The auto-rebook feature is not always perfect and the algorithm it uses may not always replicate everything available especially out of major hubs. But, when it does not, it is a matter of calling. Same on both UA and DL.

OP was free to cancel for a refund as soon as his initial flight was cancelled, but AA will not cover any additional costs OP incurred by purchasing a new ticket on DL. His travel insurance may.
Not sure if you have ever worked for a large company or not, but i write a note to our travel liaison and they get us money 90% of the time. I dont really care because its not my money (why on earth would i have travel insurance for work travel?) but as a matter of principle i aggressively use our liaison to get money back when i am not properly delivered at my destination.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by 3Cforme View Post
AA isn't going to explain the details of its rebooking algorithm to you. If this is the first time you've experienced auto rebooking stupidity in 15 years you're doing way better than me. If I had to guess, it seems there's a higher priority on replacing segments (oh, you were flying DTW-DFW -- here's DTW-ORD-DFW) than on providing time efficient reroutings between origin and destination. (Oh, you were booked DTW-DFW-SAF -- here's DTW-PHX-SAF).
yeah, good point, never had such a problem before. The odd thing is that the tool missed the biggest risk, that the delayed SEA-DFW flight woulf continue to be delayed ever more. It finally was so delayed that if I had taken it, they would not have not been able to get me to DCA until mid morning tomorrow! BTW, there were middle seats left in the back of the plane that on an earlier flight that were offered to me when i called in. So i am positive things ex seattle were available but the rebooking tool was only looking ex DFW. Odd, frustrating.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 6:18 pm
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The app gave me all sorts of choices when my flight was canceled yesterday including non-stop options in first (I had cleared complimentary upgrades for a connection through ORD). Granted all choices were for this morning but it worked out well for me especially given the phone waits.
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Old Apr 15, 19, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by stephem View Post


Not sure if you have ever worked for a large company or not, but i write a note to our travel liaison and they get us money 90% of the time. I dont really care because it’s not my money (why on earth would i have travel insurance for work travel?) but as a matter of principle i aggressively use our liaison to get money back when i am not properly delivered at my destination.
That's just goodwill cash allocated for client services. If it wasn't for your request, it would be to pay for something else, a higher discount rebate or a few GPU's.

The broader question is why, if you have access to in-house travel coordinators and presumably a corporate TA, why not have them handle the reroute for you. Any decent one ought to have a 24/7 backup which can take direction via phone, email or a soclal channel.

Last edited by Often1; Apr 15, 19 at 6:37 pm
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Old Apr 15, 19, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by stephem View Post
Not sure if you have ever worked for a large company or not, but i write a note to our travel liaison and they get us money 90% of the time. I dont really care because its not my money (why on earth would i have travel insurance for work travel?) but as a matter of principle i aggressively use our liaison to get money back when i am not properly delivered at my destination.
Just curious, why didn't you have your corporate travel agent handle the re-route? Why would you attempt to wait on hold with AA or fiddle with an app that wasn't giving you the options you wanted?
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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:00 am
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DLs auto rebooking has sometimes tried to send me to airports hundreds of miles away and in the wrong country. I have not yet had that experience with AA, but I do try to minimize my use of AA for long-haul travel when there are other options available that are as or more reasonable than what AA offers and am thus not subject to AAs auto rebooking weirdness as much as with as DLs.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS View Post
Just curious, why didn't you have your corporate travel agent handle the re-route? Why would you attempt to wait on hold with AA or fiddle with an app that wasn't giving you the options you wanted?
Most corporate travel agents are terrible. Our corporate travel rates are bookable directly with AA and I see no reason I'd ever get the travel agency involved if I can avoid it.
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Old Apr 16, 19, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
Most corporate travel agents are terrible.
Speak for yourself. Ours are like magicians and have saved my behind numerous times.
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