Ticket changed by AA

#1
Last Oct we made a reservation to fly from OKC to FCO. This evening I got an alert from Award Wallet that our tickets had been updated and I went into AA to double check. This is our first award flight. Now what do I do? Wait and see? Call? How can they just change your ticket that significantly without talking to you?

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#3
Is there a right or wrong way to approach it? One of the reasons we booked biz/first class was due to hubs hip and back surgery and being over 6'2". There is no way he can tolerate coach. It would be easy enough to get a doctor's note.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
#4
Is there a right or wrong way to approach it? One of the reasons we booked biz/first class was due to hubs hip and back surgery and being over 6'2". There is no way he can tolerate coach. It would be easy enough to get a doctor's note.
Just checking - how much was your F ticket? The original flight looks like AA 3151, which seems to be an ERJ-145? Not totally sure though...

Wondering if you were actually booked into Coach originally, despite a fancy seat number?
 
#5
Just checking - how much was your F ticket? The original flight looks like AA 3151, which seems to be an ERJ-145? Not totally sure though...

Wondering if you were actually booked into Coach originally, despite a fancy seat number?
They were booked with miles via a booking agent. I lost track of the cost/miles used for each leg as they were changed numerous times. The only coach flight we had was via SW from TPA to OKC. Everything else was biz/first except for a hopper in EU.

The booking account was AA. The secondary PNR (?) was BA. At least that was the original one going to CLT. Then there was a better flight so it got changed to OKC to ORD.
 

Matt

Administrator
Staff member
#6
They were booked with miles via a booking agent. I lost track of the cost/miles used for each leg as they were changed numerous times. The only coach flight we had was via SW from TPA to OKC. Everything else was biz/first except for a hopper in EU.

The booking account was AA. The secondary PNR (?) was BA. At least that was the original one going to CLT. Then there was a better flight so it got changed to OKC to ORD.
Is your booking agent available? They may know the details better? Happy to help if it was one of ours or otherwise.
 

redbirdsj

Level 2 Member
#7
They were booked with miles via a booking agent. I lost track of the cost/miles used for each leg as they were changed numerous times. The only coach flight we had was via SW from TPA to OKC. Everything else was biz/first except for a hopper in EU.

The booking account was AA. The secondary PNR (?) was BA. At least that was the original one going to CLT. Then there was a better flight so it got changed to OKC to ORD.
Contact your booking agent for help. Help with schedule/equipment/etc. changes is usually included in their fee. As Matt said many here could help out as well if more details are given.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
#8
You paid the agent to take care of it, and this is part of "taking care of it."

But, in the end, they can change what they want to change. Make sure the agent knows that your husband has special needs. That matters, obviously.

If I were changing it myself, though, I'd use the magic phrase, "I'm sorry, that doesn't work for me/us." Repeated, politely, ad nauseum, it can cause even the most rigid CSR to become helpful.
 
#9
When I encounter changes, my first step is to see what other flights are out there, and how I can improve my position. For example, if they cancelled your flight and now you have a four hour layover, find a different routing that works better for you, even if award space isn't available. Call and ask them, politely, to open up award space since they were unable to keep the original itinerary they sold you. If the agent declines, ask to speak to a supervisor to see if he/she will open up space. Plan on a real long call.

In my experience, the major airlines know if they have made a mess of your itinerary, they know they should make things right, and for me, they usually do. I act polite, ask for (not demanding) help, but being firm if they resist.
 
#10
I did send an email to our booking agent. I need to follow up and remind him of hubs travel constraints. Thanks for the suggest ion MickieSue.

MT, I also appreciate your input. Even though we have a booking agent I'm going to look for other flights. Even though we won't be doing many flight, I still need rudimentary knowledge on how to deal with different things.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
#11
I fly AA a lot and unfortunately some of the smaller planes (CRJ & ERJ) have very few first class seats. Some of the ERJs have none at all and are only coach. I am actually surprised that two seats were even available for a Z award ticket booking in the first place. But the thing is as others have said, they can change the aircraft, the schedule and they do this often. I never use booking agents at all, but a call to AA if something is changed is in order and having some back up options is a good idea. If they have larger aircraft on this route, I would want to see if getting an F seat in one of these were possible.
 
#12
Our tickets did get straightened out and we're back in first class going. Our return flight was changed so will be getting home two hours later. We're going to have to live with that one but it makes it harder transportation wise.

We haven't flown internationally in 14 years. I can't believe it's been that long. With everything going on between surgeries and trying to sell our house and learning a new hobby, I just didn't have the time to learn how to book flights.

After our house goes off the market in a couple weeks, I will finish planning our EU trip, and then try to figure out points and flights to get from FL or neighboring state to MBJ in Feb. :)
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
#13
Our tickets did get straightened out and we're back in first class going. Our return flight was changed so will be getting home two hours later. We're going to have to live with that one but it makes it harder transportation wise.

We haven't flown internationally in 14 years. I can't believe it's been that long. With everything going on between surgeries and trying to sell our house and learning a new hobby, I just didn't have the time to learn how to book flights.

After our house goes off the market in a couple weeks, I will finish planning our EU trip, and then try to figure out points and flights to get from FL or neighboring state to MBJ in Feb. :)
If it makes you feel any better, I spent the morning going through all the flight changes for my AA itineraries. I had one ten segment trip where every single flight had changed. Seats had been shuffled on many. Flight number changed on most and flight time changed on every single one. It was truly epic. I had to cross reference Seat Guru, Route Happy and Expert Flyer to redo all the work I had done before to be sure the aircraft was the type I had been so careful to book. I spend a lot of time on this kind of thing and AA changes are as predictable as the sun going down, except in Iceland where I just was and it didn't.
 
#14
If it makes you feel any better, I spent the morning going through all the flight changes for my AA itineraries. I had one ten segment trip where every single flight had changed. Seats had been shuffled on many. Flight number changed on most and flight time changed on every single one. It was truly epic. I had to cross reference Seat Guru, Route Happy and Expert Flyer to redo all the work I had done before to be sure the aircraft was the type I had been so careful to book. I spend a lot of time on this kind of thing and AA changes are as predictable as the sun going down, except in Iceland where I just was and it didn't.
Ouch! I can't imagine starting over.
 

haserfauld

Level 2 Member
#15
I just got hit by a lovely schedule change on an upcoming flight over the holidays (12/30/16). I'm flying ROA > CLT > ORD > LAX (gross, I know, but CLT > ORD > LAX is in First). I was going to have a 90-minute layover in CLT, but that just adjusted to 30 minutes. That scares me. I hate AA sometimes.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
#16
All carriers do it. Three years ago, a schedule change for Husband's outbound to go see our newborn grandson would have had him landing at FCO a half hour after his flight to MXP--this was Delta. As it turned out, I fairly easily found a better routing for him, and they were good enough to change it.

OTOH, Delta customer service continues to degrade to the point where I'm fairly certain that, at the minimum, I'd get a lot of pushback on the flight I wanted him to be booked on.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
#17
I just got hit by a lovely schedule change on an upcoming flight over the holidays (12/30/16). I'm flying ROA > CLT > ORD > LAX (gross, I know, but CLT > ORD > LAX is in First). I was going to have a 90-minute layover in CLT, but that just adjusted to 30 minutes. That scares me. I hate AA sometimes.
I would definitely change that, Haserfauld. When I traveled for my job, I made it a rule to never have less than a 90 minute layover. I made the rule d/t too many lost connections. This was not AA, BTW, but the old NWA.
 

haserfauld

Level 2 Member
#18
I would definitely change that, Haserfauld. When I traveled for my job, I made it a rule to never have less than a 90 minute layover. I made the rule d/t too many lost connections. This was not AA, BTW, but the old NWA.
Is the best option to just call AA, or should I try to come up with alternative flights first? I wonder if I could finagle a reroute into SNA instead of LAX out of this :p
 
#19
Is the best option to just call AA, or should I try to come up with alternative flights first? I wonder if I could finagle a reroute into SNA instead of LAX out of this :p
You can most likely finagle a reroute into SNA instead of LAX -- though this might be easier with status. But definitely, definitely look up the exact flights you want first before calling!

The other thing you can almost certainly get is to drop a connection and just go ROA-CLT-LAX or ROA-PHL-LAX. Is there a one-stop option on AA from ROA-SNA? If not I'd probably push for the single-connect rather than the double-connect; with AA's recent operational woes, the fewer chances they get to strand you, the better...
 

haserfauld

Level 2 Member
#20
You can most likely finagle a reroute into SNA instead of LAX -- though this might be easier with status. But definitely, definitely look up the exact flights you want first before calling!

The other thing you can almost certainly get is to drop a connection and just go ROA-CLT-LAX or ROA-PHL-LAX. Is there a one-stop option on AA from ROA-SNA? If not I'd probably push for the single-connect rather than the double-connect; with AA's recent operational woes, the fewer chances they get to strand you, the better...
There are a couple 1-stop options, I think. The other problem is since I booked a ticket in first, there are no flights out of ROA on anything bigger than ERJ145, which is a wasted First segment. A 45-minute hop to CLT is okay, given the following segment(s) are on A320s with an F/J cabin. I may be able to go ROA>IAD>LAX/SNA, which would be similar. What I don't want is ROA>PHL>LAX/SNA or ROA>ORD>LAX/SNA. I think I'd prefer 2 connections with 2 legs in F/J than 1 connection but half the flight in Y, after having burned the miles for First.
 
#21
There are a couple 1-stop options, I think. The other problem is since I booked a ticket in first, there are no flights out of ROA on anything bigger than ERJ145, which is a wasted First segment. A 45-minute hop to CLT is okay, given the following segment(s) are on A320s with an F/J cabin. I may be able to go ROA>IAD>LAX/SNA, which would be similar. What I don't want is ROA>PHL>LAX/SNA or ROA>ORD>LAX/SNA. I think I'd prefer 2 connections with 2 legs in F/J than 1 connection but half the flight in Y, after having burned the miles for First.
How would you go ROA-IAD-LAX? AA doesn't fly ROA-IAD. Actually, it looks like AA's only routes out of ROA are ROA-PHL and ROA-CLT.

The other thing is, why are you trying to maximize "number of first class segments" when the segment lengths are so different? ROA-CLT-LAX (for example) is hardly "half the flight in Y"; it's 45 minutes in Y on ROA-CLT, and then 5ish hours in F on CLT-LAX. Roughly comparable to the two-stop option in terms of % of time up front.

Plus transcons on AA get slightly enhanced service (i.e., three-course meal), although the meal service is still not much to write home about. I guess you'd get two meals instead of one if you went CLT-DFW-LAX/SNA or CLT-ORD-LAX/SNA instead of CLT-LAX, but an unnecessary two-stop to LAX seems silly to me (though if you wanted SNA it makes a bit more sense)


EDIT: There is one two-stop option to LAX that could be worth your while, but most agents probably won't let you do: ROA-CLT-JFK-LAX, with JFK-LAX in lie-flat business class. My guess is even if they did agree to free up space they'd want 7500 extra miles for this...
 

Suzie

Level 2 Member
#22
I agree, call first and suggest options that work for you. And don't call on a Sunday night - it's newbie agent night at AA. :eek:
 

haserfauld

Level 2 Member
#23
Thanks for the replies. I guess my post wasn't clear...I was saying I wanted to go ROA>CLT or ROA>IAD so as to have the shortest flight in Y. I didn't want ROA > PHL. You are correct though, that I was mixing up AA's routes with United. ROA used to be strictly United / US Airways. I forget sometimes which routes split off to AA with the US acquisition.

I live 5 minutes from SNA and about an hour from LAX. I'm flying on the 30th, and I hate being anywhere near LA on New Years weekend. I would rather have slightly less optimal meal service and connections, but get into SNA. The lie-flat option is intriguing, though. That's a crazy long travel day, though.

Last point--this reservation is for my wife and I both. Neither of us has status, sadly. I don't see any saver award availability ROA>LAX/SNA anymore, either. I'm fairly experienced in award booking, but I've never tried to alter an award reservation. Do I have to find saver availability, or would any leg with open seats work for suggesting?
 
#24
.........
Last point--this reservation is for my wife and I both. Neither of us has status, sadly. I don't see any saver award availability ROA>LAX/SNA anymore, either. I'm fairly experienced in award booking, but I've never tried to alter an award reservation. Do I have to find saver availability, or would any leg with open seats work for suggesting?
If there is saver availability, they can make the change with minimal discussion since it's within their rules.

However, since the change is their doing, they can but don't have to open availability on flight with seats but not saver. I'd start the call knowing the flights you want and also the flights you would accept, knowing that you can only use the schedule change story once. If the agent can't/won't make an acceptable change, wait a few days and try again to see if a different agent is more helpful or availability has gotten better.
 

MickiSue

Level 2 Member
Supporter
#25
What BFJ said: check for routes/times that are best AND acceptable to you. Last fall, Husband's flight into JFK was switched (same flight number) to leaving 45 minutes later, giving him and his luggage 30 minutes to get from the domestic to the international terminal. Being familiar with the distances there for Delta gates, I called and got him switched. They would NOT let him leave a day earlier, which was my first choice.

But they DID put him on an entirely different route through AMS, a route than no longer EVER shows up as available for purchase with saver miles. It meant that he'd get to VCE much earlier, and have one fewer change of planes.
 

haserfauld

Level 2 Member
#26
I finally got a resolution on this. Cut it a little close, but I guess I got lucky.

Wouldn't work with me into SNA, but I ended up getting into only LAX 1 hour later despite leaving 2 hours later from ROA, having a 90-minute and 2-hour layovers, and avoiding ORD altogether.

Close enough to a win in my book. I'll take it.
 
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