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Cathay Pacific Middle Name Formatting
I am currently holding a partner award through AA on Cathay Pacific. When I went to ticket the booking, they indicated that the AA agent who held the reservation didn’t format my first and middle names correctly as the middle name doesn’t show on the Cathay ticket. They won’t push the ticketing through until it is corrected. They claimed that the CX liaison for AA has to approve the name formatting modification and couldn’t really provide a solid timeline. Anyone have experience with this (how long it took to fix?) and any recommendations on getting it resolved quickly? I’m concerned that all of my alternate award options will evaporate while I’m waiting for them to modify the booking.
Hi [USER=4101]@rtwtraveler[/USER], and welcome!
This is a PITA thing that Cathay is doing. It will get fixed, and the information they’ve given you is accurate. They [I]should[/I] be able to extend the hold if need be, as it’s definitely their fault.
Yes they did extend the hold. I’m just concerned about CX canceling the award space given the delay in ticketing. Any sense of how long CX will hold the award while it is awaiting ticketing? I read in user forums that others have had their tickets cancelled for this exact reason. AA mentioned that it could take several weeks to resolve. Any recommendations if this is left lingering for an extended period of time?
It might also be worth pushing out a post to your users that when using AA miles to book a CX award, it is important to confirm at the time of placing the initial hold or booking that the agent has entered the first name field in the correct format – First Name and Middle Name separated by a space (assuming there is a middle name). If there is no middle name, this also needs to be indicated.
Once an initial hold is placed (even if it hasn’t been ticketed), the AA agent can’t edit the name field without a prolonged process of working with the CX liaison to fix it. In my case, my middle name was in my profile and the agent also asked for my middle name at the time of holding the ticket but nevertheless didn’t enter it according to the format required by CX. The only option for an immediate fix is to cancel the hold and start a new booking, which is less than ideal given that all of the awards during that time are fully booked. They indicated that even if I change the flights on the award hold, if they are still with CX and on the same PNR, the same process will ensue.
I imagine this information could save alot of people the giant headache it is causing me.
Yeah, it’s a new limitation, and a super annoying one. The problem is that there’s really no way to confirm that the agent is entering names “correctly for CX”. The AA systems have fields for [Last] [First] [Middle] — just like passports and pretty much every other airline and agency.
In the past month or so CX has changed something on their end to have fields for [Last] and [First Middle], and it’s just wreaking havoc. If you ask an agent if they’ve entered the middle name correctly, they of course say yes, because they have. It’s not their fault CX has two fields now when every other system AAgents work with have three, so unless you get an agent who has already gone through this hassle with CX, there’s really nothing for it but to go through the Liaison desk.
It’s also worth noting that other CX partners aren’t having this problem, which suggests it’s something about the interaction between AA and CX, and hopefully pressure from the Liaison desk will help get it fixed.
To complete this thread, I thought I would post the outcome of this situation. After many calls to the AAgents, this name formatting issue was corrected by the Cathay Liaison. I was never notified by AA that the change had been made, although I had been watching my reservation closely so it is possible that I noticed and ticketed it before they had the opportunity to call. However, I think that watching the reservation closely is advisable in the event that a contact is never made. On the day it was fixed, they added a purchase deadline to the reservation that was 5 days out. I could also see that my middle name was then reflected in the reservation on both the AA and Cathay websites. The reservation ticketed without any problem.
I’ve had a similar issue happen to me as well. The formatting / field entry on AA’s system did not translate correctly to the CX ticket. The agent could not resolve on their own, and they had to call the OneWorld Help Desk, which I did not know existed (must be for agents, not customers).