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American Airlines Database Disaster
Effective November 1st, American Airlines updated its database. In that update, two negative effects have surfaced.
First, AA’s tariff office “ran out of letters.” (Its verbatim answer.) Some booking codes include both award seats and revenue seats. This has caused havoc with flight credit with One World partners. For example, booking code C used to be a business class award seat. Now, fully flexible fare business/first is often coded at C. One World partners “haven’t received the memo” and are denying flight credit. When discussing the matter with a telephone agent and an airport agent, it appears other booking codes are affected and they are frustrated.
Second, you have written about the absence of Etihad award seats on AA’s online reservation system. It appears the database update has triggered something similar . . . but worse. Passenger seeking to book online only see a subset of booking codes. Telephone agents see a different subset of booking codes. While there is some overlap, customers will see some fares that agents can’t see and vice versa. For example, I was booking LAX to MIA in first. I could see A fares but the agent could not. Another example, I could only see C fares but the agent could see I, J, and R fares.
The bottom line is that in the recent database update, changes introduced by AA’s tariff office have created a massive problem for frequent flyers receiving flight credit.