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AAV unbookable fares
After three hours on the phone with AA and a great deal of frustration, I was hoping you could offer some advice or help on how to purchase an advertised fare that AA will not honor.
After reading your post on American Airlines Vacations a few months ago, I have been periodically checking various itineraries. A few months ago I found a nice deal for Business class between the US and Australia on the site. I have continued to monitor the fare and it did not seem to be an error, which would have been quickly removed. Based on this, my wife booked a cruise for Nov. 2017 in the hopes that we would still be able to get this fare at that time. Obviously that is a long way off and after a month of watching the fare, I became anxious that although the fare has been consistently available, if it is related to competition on new routes to the Antipodes, it might not be around forever. With that in mind my wife booked another cruise for this Nov. and I called AAV to book this rate which is still showing up on the website. I called because, with the cruise, we don’t require the hotel portion for the whole duration, and instead only wanted four nights(more than the three required). Initially the customer service agent quoted me a price for three in Business class from DFW-SYD and return with four nights at the Radisson Blu for approximately US$6200. This reflected the prices on the website, so I asked him to book the flight. We provided all passenger information, credit card info, address, etc. At this point he received an error and claimed there was a problem with the hotel. After further troubleshooting, he quoted a new price in the US$40,000. range. Obviously, this is no longer a good deal. He claimed the disparity was that he had mistakenly selected Coach airfare.
I called back immediately and received another agent who was very helpful and worked through several iterations with me. She also quoted me a price of less than $6000. We confirmed that the booking class was in Business. In this case she could not get a favorable price with direct flights, so the routing went from DFW-LAX in A, and LAX-SYD in I, with the return via SFO. Again, I agreed to purchase the itinerary as quoted and we provided all information including credit card information for billing. Once again an error message came up. After several attempts at rerunning the credit card, the manager came on to explain that the real price was US$23,000. By this point, you can imagine the frustration.
I understand that inventory is constantly in flux, and prices are subject to change, but in this case, the desired fare is still accessible by the agents and displays on-line, but will not go through. I tried booking on-line with the cheapest available hotel for the whole duration since I was having no luck with the partial stay. I could complete the whole process to include assigning seats, but when the payment was processed, it would always return an error stating, “The price has changed for one of your selections. Please review your checkout selections”.
This is still the case this morning. To me, the website represents the airline’s interface with public and a fare that is displayed on the website should be honored as an advertised fare. When they tell you at checkout, oh by the way, the real price is 500-800% higher, that is a bait and switch.
Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated.
🙁 I don’t know. It sounds like there is a mis-match or a lag in the inventory somewhere. This isn’t something I have experience with (other than general phantom space issues), so I’m not sure what to say. That’s really frustrating.
Although some fares look like they have been adjusted to prices roughly 2-3 times what I originally found, with a little searching, I can now find even better deals online…but alas, still can’t complete the transaction!