Over the past few days I’ve spent countless hours working on awards, and I made two HUGE mistakes which I hope others can learn from (or at least not be dumb enough to make). Specifically, I’ve been working on the details of my award planned for next March to Hong Kong and Manila in first class, which was the easy part, and then I’ve been working on an award to Egypt for my mom and brother for this November, which I started planning from scratch on Sunday. Anyway, I’ll keep that story for a different post (since that was a massive mistake), which I’ll hopefully have up tomorrow.
So anyway, Cathay Pacific only lets you reserve seats six months in advance for their flights, and today was the six month window for one of our flights with them. I had already printed out the confirmation email from AA on which I wrote the CX confirmation number, but as I was looking for the specific flight number I wanted to reserve seats for, I noticed something odd.
We are scheduled to fly NRT-JFK on March 16 and then JFK-MIA-TPA on March 17. Instead, I noticed that we were booked NRT-JFK on March 16 and JFK-MIA-TPA on May 17, a full two months later! For a second my heart raced not so much out of fear but rather out of confusion, since I could have sworn I went over all the flights ten times. AA just uses the first three letters of the month, meaning it was a matter of “Mar” vs. “May,” something that’s easy to overlook.
I checked the itineraries section of aa.com to make sure I wasn’t going blind, and it confirmed what I thought — the flight was misbooked. I was confident I could make the change though, since the stopover was illogical. I already had a stopover planned in Hong Kong, and two stopovers would make the award illegal. I called up AA and fortunately they had award availability for the day we were supposed to travel, so it was quickly corrected without charge.
That being said, I learned an important lesson: Don’t just check your itinerary once, check it over and over again! I never thought I’d make such a dumb mistake, but it happened.
This story pales in comparison to the other mistake, which I’ll post about tomorrow.