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American airlines schedule change
Hi Lucky, I’m in need of some info about how American airlines is supposed to take care of customers when there is a schedule change made to an award itinerary made by them. I got my niece(High School Graduation present) an award ticket as 2 one-ways from CHA-HNL and they made a schedule change both ways. On the outbound, they have her leaving CHA at 6:50am instead of 8:11am. Not a big deal but she’s not a morning person so it would be nice if she could leave a little later. I talked to an agent and he found a flight leaving CHA at 8:01 connecting through CLT and then PHX, where I’m joining her. The agent had to call the support desk and after a long wait said everything is fine, tix booked, etc. Well it turns out that the support desk denied the CLT-PHX segment as it wasn’t available at the saver level. On the return, they cancelled a flight from PDT to ORD and they rerouted her through DFW and had her getting into TYS after midnight and over 6 hours later than the original itinerary. I called and said it was unacceptable and what could they do. The agent(same one as outbound) found an earlier flight into DFW from PDT and was able to change the destination from TYS to CHA which is closer to where they live. However, she’s still getting in almost 4 hours later than the original itinerary. It was a minor score to be able to return to CHA instead of TYS but otherwise it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The agents I talk to seem to have no leeway to make changes from saver awards to anytime awards even if there is a schedule change on their part. They have to ask their support team and the answer more often than not is no. There is some very customer unfriendly practices I’ve noticed this year about their award availability but I’ll stop now as this is getting long. Let me know if you wish to hear about them.
[USER=232]@Buddy M.[/USER]–welcome! Schedule changes can be frustrating when they happen and often airlines will work with you arrange for alternatives and even open up space on another route that may not have availability. Sometimes this may depend on the severity of the change. For example your return trip is definitely more compelling than your outgoing that is a difference of about an hour. Either way, I would call back and try again with a different agent who’ll be in touch with a different person at the support desk to see what they can offer. Working with the support/manual rate desk is standard operating procedure for most airlines when there are complicated requests and over rides involved. Unfortunately there is no way around that. Good luck.
Gaurav, thanks for the reply and suggestion. One point that I left out is that for the return the agent tried to get it changed for my niece to HNL-DFW in 1st class and then for DFW-CHA there was only economy which was fine. I originally paid the saver rate of 37.5K miles for the return so I was expecting this to not be a problem but it was denied. The agent said that because the HNL-PDT segment was on Alaska Airlines that they couldn’t switch it to AA to fly HNL-DFW. Is that a hard rule or what? Also, what’s the best phone number to call about award ticket issues? I have been using 800-882-8880. Thanks again.