At this point you’re surely all familiar with American’s ~$450 roundtrip business class fare between Washington and Beijing, which they published for a few hours last night.
American has been quiet, and up until now all we’ve been able to do is speculate about the fate of our tickets.
While not necessarily current info as of this evening, JonNYC at Traveling Better has the internal memo from this morning, which American sent out to agents.
Here’s the first update, which went out at 7:20AM this morning:
Zero dollar fares were filed for a short period of time on 17MAR15 for the market WAS-BJS. Additionally, 22.00 fares were filed WAS-SHA. The fares have been cancelled and are no longer available for sale.
- For the zero dollar fares WAS-BJS, rule 5 states we do not intend to publish zero dollar fares. Unless Revenue Management advises otherwise, the zero dollar base fares will not be honored. If you receive a call on a PNR where the space was cancelled, it will show that HDQ UC’d the space. This is a clear indication the fares were not meant to be sold. Refunds can be made.
- For the 22.00 fares WAS-SHA, at this time those fares will be honored since those do not fall within rule 5 restrictions.
Then at 10:05AM the following update went was sent to agents:
RM is aware of the situation with the PNRs booked for itineraries pricing at very low base fares to China. They are in the process of trying to identify and UC all unticketed reservations. The intent is to not allow purchase/ticketing of any reservations that have not yet been ticketed. Therefore, do not reinstate itineraries in order to authorize the low fare.
This is information from way earlier today, and it could be that their minds have been changed since then. But it’s clear that this morning their plan was to:
- Honor the tickets with non-zero dollar base fares
- Cancel the tickets with zero dollar base fares
- Not honor the tickets which were only on hold
We’ll see how this plays out, but it’s interesting to know what American was thinking as of this morning. I think American is a bit off in their logic on the base fare somehow mattering, because that doesn’t factor in carrier imposes surcharges. From a consumer’s perspective it’s irrelevant whether something is a base fare or a carrier imposed surcharge — they’re the same thing, and I know the DOT agrees with that.