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Redeeming Etihad guest miles for AA flights

Redeeming Etihad guest miles for AA flights

Old Dec 24, 2015, 6:46 am
  #46  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Programs: Delta Gold, Alaska Gold 75K, LATAM Black
Posts: 3,393
Originally Posted by tangey
Quote:





Originally Posted by chinafish


Sorry to resurrect an old thread.

I'm looking to do a redemption booking using Etihad miles on AA metal, and I would like to share with you all my experience:

I've been tinkering around on the AA award redemption tool and found MileSAAver availability on First for 62.5k one way (so 125k return) for this:
13/08 LHR --> ORD --> RIC
20/08 RIC --> DFW --> LHR

or Business for 50k one way (100k return) for this:
13/08 LHR --> ORD --> RIC
20/08 RIC --> ORD --> LHR

I called the Etihad UK number which I presume routed me somewhere out of the country. Agent told me that connections are not allowed and they would only be able to get me LHR to ORD, but not onward to RIC. I didn't bother asking about the return flight from that point and thought I'll try my luck again tomorrow.

And the journey begins...

Fish




A couple of points.

First, your mileage figures above are based on AA's award chart. This bears no relationship to how many Etihad guest miles an AA flight will require, you need to look at the Etihad award chart for redeeming on AA.

Second, in theory connections should be possible, this has been confirmed by the EY rep on here. What we don't know conclusively is whether it will be priced as one award or two. The EY rep has stated to me it will be one award, but some folks on here have had a different experience.
Last time I called, a rep tried charging me as two tickets. I argued but he didn't budge, I called back, and the next rep priced out a reservation for me with two layovers (!!) at the correct price.
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Old Dec 24, 2015, 7:25 am
  #47  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 121
Originally Posted by tangey
A couple of points.

First, your mileage figures above are based on AA's award chart. This bears no relationship to how many Etihad guest miles an AA flight will require, you need to look at the Etihad award chart for redeeming on AA.
I've checked the etihad chart for AA on the etihad site, and it does list B/F as 50k and P as 62.5k for one way award so hopefully that's correct!

Second, in theory connections should be possible, this has been confirmed by the EY rep on here. What we don't know conclusively is whether it will be priced as one award or two. The EY rep has stated to me it will be one award, but some folks on here have had a different experience.
Yes that's one of my fears. I think my ideal outcome is it'll be charged as one award per leg which includes 2 segments. Well I think if they want to charge me more I'll reject the offer and keep trying!

Thanks for the response. I'll let you all know how I get on when I've got time to ring them today. Bad timing really since I only knew of the possibility of the trip these 2 days and it is coinciding with the holiday period.
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Old Dec 24, 2015, 10:58 am
  #48  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 121
2nd call: Was on hold for 8 mins, the agent came back, and my call was dropped immediately.

3rd call: Agent did try a few things for me, but:
- I managed to bring up availability for LHR --> ORD on Z, and ORD to RIC on T on AA, agent says she sees the flight but cannot book it through her system, and suspected it because it is a different class.
- I also see a different flight ORD to RIC on Z (later time same day), but she cannot see that flight at all.
- Agent tried to look at the flights separately for me but seems like nothing is coming up when she does that...

I've had to abandon call and regroup... I don't want to give up but certainly don't feel very hopeful..!!

Fish
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Old Dec 24, 2015, 12:18 pm
  #49  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 121
I'm reaching out to EtihadHelp on the forum here on the sticky thread. Hopefully will be able to get some assistance here. Have already reached out to Twitter but got a "only our reservations team can look into this for you we are sorry", so that's a dead end down the twitter route.
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Old Dec 24, 2015, 3:24 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: KYE
Posts: 4,156
Originally Posted by chinafish
I'm reaching out to EtihadHelp on the forum here on the sticky thread. Hopefully will be able to get some assistance here. Have already reached out to Twitter but got a "only our reservations team can look into this for you we are sorry", so that's a dead end down the twitter route.
I wouldn't hold my breath for it - they're hopeless. You just got to keep calling back until you get what you want. It might take you 20-30 calls, but you'll get there.
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Old Dec 24, 2015, 3:26 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: KYE
Posts: 4,156
Originally Posted by chinafish
2nd call: Was on hold for 8 mins, the agent came back, and my call was dropped immediately.

3rd call: Agent did try a few things for me, but:
- I managed to bring up availability for LHR --> ORD on Z, and ORD to RIC on T on AA, agent says she sees the flight but cannot book it through her system, and suspected it because it is a different class.
- I also see a different flight ORD to RIC on Z (later time same day), but she cannot see that flight at all.
- Agent tried to look at the flights separately for me but seems like nothing is coming up when she does that...

I've had to abandon call and regroup... I don't want to give up but certainly don't feel very hopeful..!!

Fish
You can't mix booking classes on AA using EY. They're NOT AA.
You will need availability in the same class through out.

Just checked it, AA57-AA3532 or AA4429 or AA4337 all in Z.

Ask the agent to check sector by sector, this usually works (their booking system is VERY limited by the way, it's got this oversimplified interface which limits their search capability).

Last edited by edy4eva; Dec 24, 2015 at 3:35 pm
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Old Dec 25, 2015, 10:25 am
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Programs: Delta Gold, Alaska Gold 75K, LATAM Black
Posts: 3,393
Originally Posted by edy4eva
Quote:





Originally Posted by chinafish


I'm reaching out to EtihadHelp on the forum here on the sticky thread. Hopefully will be able to get some assistance here. Have already reached out to Twitter but got a "only our reservations team can look into this for you we are sorry", so that's a dead end down the twitter route.




I wouldn't hold my breath for it - they're hopeless. You just got to keep calling back until you get what you want. It might take you 20-30 calls, but you'll get there.
It might take 20-30 calls.. LOL. So true
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Old Dec 25, 2015, 5:05 pm
  #53  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 121
Originally Posted by edy4eva

Ask the agent to check sector by sector
Thanks for the tip. I haven't asked them specifically to do that previously, will try that when I call them next. And I was holding out hope that I would be able to have one of the sectors on Econ but that's not possible so having to rejig a bit:

The flights I'm now eyeing up in order of preference are:
13/08
AA47, AA3532 (LHR --> ORD --> RIC, 7 hrs layover)
AA57, AA4229 (LHR --> MIA --> RIC, 7.5 hrs layover)
AA47, AA4337 (through ORD also, 10 hrs layover)

(My original choice has only 3 hrs layover... alas it's not to be...)

Return:
20/08
Only option on AA is:
AA1074, AA78 (RIC --> DFW --> LHR, 5 hrs layover)

Failing which I would have to change dates to June (I'm trying to get to a course there which is going to be held twice in June and once in August 2016). There's only economy availability on AA but I was hoping to use up what I have on Etihad Guest, so it's not ideal. This not allowing to mix classes is really limiting, as some internal flights only have Z and T, and no U class offered on the plane. And yet the international business is U class, which means I'll have no hope of getting that as one ticket. Hm maybe unless they'll have to be ticketed separately and charged double...

Outbound:
12/06
AA731, AA5274 (LHR --> CLT --> RIC, only 1hr 15 mins layover, is this too risky?)

Return:
20/06
AA4327, AA90 (RIC --> ORD --> LHR. Really not looking forward to the 0519 flight time...!)

Will let you know how I get on.
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Old Dec 27, 2015, 6:56 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 121
I do believe that I am one of a few lucky people on Earth... I have managed to book my ticket!

I decided to take my chances to call on a Sunday evening close to midnight. My call was picked up by a gentleman which has a faint French accent so I'm thinking maybe a European or Canadian call center.

I detailed what I'm trying to achieve to the guy who put me on hold and went away to research the flights. He managed to find me only the transatlantic flights, but not the internal ones. He found me a June return LHR PHL in economy. I then asked to search in August in First, and he found the AA47 LHR ORD for me.

I then asked for the return from ORD in Business (AA46), and he found a seat for me as well. He promptly reserved them for me. I had to then hang up and discuss with my husband, so I did not pay for the booking right there, but he emailed me the itinerary and booking references right away. This call took in total about 35 mins.

I had a brief discussion with my husband, called up again and spoke to someone else, who looked up the chart, quoted me the miles fare, and I now have confirmed eticket in email. This call took around 20 mins. I can now also bring up my reservation on AA website.

I am so happy I could scream (but I'm not doing that as that'll wake up the baby. Argh.)

So, it can be done! Just required a lot of prior research, detailing exactly the flights you want, exact classes, and luck of an agent who knows what they're doing.

Thanks for all your help on there. Happy new year!!

Fish
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Old Dec 29, 2015, 5:48 am
  #55  
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Tyrone,EU
Programs: Avios Hunter
Posts: 2,798
Originally Posted by chinafish
I had a brief discussion with my husband, called up again and spoke to someone else, who looked up the chart, quoted me the miles fare, and I now have confirmed eticket in email. This call took around 20 mins. I can now also bring up my reservation on AA website.

I am so happy I could scream (but I'm not doing that as that'll wake up the baby. Argh.)

So, it can be done! Just required a lot of prior research, detailing exactly the flights you want, exact classes, and luck of an agent who knows what they're doing.

Thanks for all your help on there. Happy new year!!

Fish
Well done, Can you advise how many miles and also what taxes were charged for the flights. Did you book the out and return as separate bookings ? Interesting to see if EY are charging their $50/$100/$150 per segment per person for eco/biz/first on partner redemptions. According to info received, they shouldn't, but this is EY we are talking about.
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Old Dec 29, 2015, 6:45 am
  #56  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 8,668
Originally Posted by tangey
Well done, Can you advise how many miles and also what taxes were charged for the flights. Did you book the out and return as separate bookings ? Interesting to see if EY are charging their $50/$100/$150 per segment per person for eco/biz/first on partner redemptions. According to info received, they shouldn't, but this is EY we are talking about.
I'd also be interested to know this. Grateful for as many details as possible from anyone who successfully books partner tickets!

chinafish, did you give up on trying to get the domestic connections with EY?
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Old Dec 29, 2015, 3:08 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 121
So the conversation went something like this:

Agent: I've checked all dates and cities, and I can see availability in some transatlantic flights, but nothing for domestic whatsoever.
Me: OK I'll give up on the domestics. Can you check 13/08 LHR ORD AA47.
Agent: There's none in Economy.
Me: How about First class?
Agent: Yes
Me: Please block it for me. *squealing inside* Then can you check 20/08 ORD LHR AA46.
Agent: None in First class. But let me check Business. Yes there is availability.
Me: YES!!!! Please hold these seats for me. Ok I need to speak to my husband about the dates etc I'll call back.

I then called back and this agent realised the fare wasn't quoted (and to be fair I only realised at that point. I got too excited that the first agent managed to hold for me seats in different classes outbound vs inbound) and so went off to find the fare.

Agent 2: So this ticket with outbound in First and inbound in Business will cost 40000 miles.
Me: ARE YOU SURE? I'm expecting a LOT more.

Part of me was very tempted to just let her carry on with the mistake but I didn't want this to come back and bite me on the bum, I didn't want to be dishonest, and I don't really have another opportunity to fly using AA or EY before the miles expire.

Agent2: It says here on my chart 40000. OK then I'll double check. *puts me on hold* Sorry it should be 100000 miles.
Me: Are you absolutely sure?
Agent2: It says here 50000 one way for business and first. So it will be in total 100000 miles. Taxes and charges come to a total of 231.05

At that point I'm so happy I just paid it and got off the phone. I figured if they come back to me and say they should have charged me more miles at least they're in my account.

There... they'll probably come after me now!

So tangey to answer your questions:
1. They charged me 100000 EY Guest miles for this ticket.
2. The fare details section on my e-ticket:

Outbound Fare basis / fare choice ZBP00N1F
Inbound Fare basis / fare choice UBP00NIC

Endorsement / Restrictions: NONE

Fare Calculation Line:
LON AA CHI1.00AALON1.00NUC2.00END ROE0.652504XFORD4.5

Fare:
GBP 1.00

Taxes/Fees/Carrier-Imposed Charges:
GBP 146.00 GB5 (AIR PASSENGER DUTY APD)
GBP 41.65 UB6 (INTERNATIONAL DPTRS IOM THROUGH LTN)
GBP 23.80 US2 (US INTERNATIONAL TRANSPORTATION TAX)
GBP 3.70 YC (US CUSTOMS USER FEE)
GBP 4.70 XY (US FEDERAL INSPECTION FEE)
GBP 3.40 XA (US APHIS USER FEE)
GBP 3.80 AY (US SECURITY FEE)
GBP 3.00 XF (US PASSENGER FACILITY CHARGE)

3. Out and return are in the same booking, within 1 reservation.

One thing that was quite good is that the eticket receipt provided both the reservation code and the "Airline reservation code". I managed to use the "reservation code" on the myflightsapp site, and used the "airline reservation code" on the AA site, which I assumed correctly to be the AA record locator. I had expected to have to jump through a few hoops to get the booking to show up and be attached to my AAdvantage account, which was a nice surprise.

The first agent mentioned something along the lines of:
1. needing to come out of his current screens and going into a separate screen to check AA availability
2. Availability doesn't come on screen live for him. He'll have to go and create a dummy booking for each flight I'm interested in, and send a request out. It will come back as either "confirmed" or "unconfirmed".

To me this sounds like the agents really need to know what they're doing. Maybe some agents haven't had enough training, brought up the flights, didn't see any award information and decided that it means no availability whatsoever. Unfortunately if you get one of those agents it'll be a case of HUCA because it's really not up to the customer to train the agent how to do their job.

Hope this helps!

Fish
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Old Dec 29, 2015, 3:23 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 121
I was going to pay around 330 for the domestic to be purchased directly on the AA site, when my husband suggested checking Avios availability. To bring a long story short, I booked the last (probably only) MilesAAver fare on both of those domestic segments, costing me 9000 Avios and 7.60 in charges.

I'm feeling quite happy about all this - managed to book flights all on the same airline, through using miles, which are about to expire and/or devalue. I think I really lucked out.
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Old Dec 29, 2015, 4:35 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: United Silver Hilton Gold Virgin Atlantic Silver Le Accos Platinum Air India Silver
Posts: 58
Hi All,

Found a super useful agent and got 2 flights ticketed on AA in business and economy -

Syd-Lax on AA non stop in Business for 62500 miles

Mxp-Jfk on AA non stop in economy for 20000 miles ( off peak )

The award availability matches AA saver space and clearly the agent looked like she had previous experience in booking AA awards.

All in all spent a good 25mins on call for ticketing 2 flights, and pretty happy in the end.
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Old Dec 29, 2015, 4:37 pm
  #60  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Programs: United Silver Hilton Gold Virgin Atlantic Silver Le Accos Platinum Air India Silver
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by BLRtoDFW
Hi All,

Found a super useful agent and got 2 flights ticketed on AA in business and economy -

Syd-Lax on AA non stop in Business for 62500 miles

Mxp-Jfk on AA non stop in economy for 20000 miles ( off peak )

The award availability matches AA saver space and clearly the agent looked like she had previous experience in booking AA awards.

All in all spent a good 25mins on call for ticketing 2 flights, and pretty happy in the end.
To add to the above post, for the Syd-lax flight i was charged 131AUD and for the Mxp-Jfk flight 62EUR in taxes.
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