We have all probably heard this a hundred times, but sure enough I continue to realize how important it is to hang up and call again (HUCA), especially when a simple task is denied or rejected by the airlines. I spent a large part of my day planning a last minute award trip to Europe. As you can imagine, when I finally found award routing that would work, I was ecstatic! I had been looking off and on for 2 days, but after sitting down for three hours straight this morning I found a ticket: Outbound SAN-PHL-FCO, Inbound FLR-STR-TXL-MIA-SAN. The issue was I couldn’t get aa.com to put the inbound ticket together. So instead I placed FLR-STR-TXL-MIA on hold and then placed MIA-SAN on hold. The result: three separate tickets. I wasn’t worried about two one way tickets to and from Italy; my concern was the two inbound tickets. By the time I finally found the routing I wanted, I was late to an appointment. I ran out the door and planned to come back to the ticketing dilemma later. Maybe this was my mistake, at the time MIA-SAN had multiple award saver seats available, but by the time I returned there were none–except for the one I had placed onhold.
I picked up the phone and called the AA Elite desk and I presented the agent with my two reservation numbers and asked her if she could combine them. She refused and told me she could only add a segment to the itinerary but could not combine them. She also told me there were no seats from MIA-SAN available so I was out of luck. I asked her if she could reach out to her help desk, but she again refused. I thanked her, hung up and called AA web support. I sometimes find that web support can do some pretty awesome things behind the scene and thought it might be more helpful. This agent was more helpful, but like the first agent, she could not help. She tried a couple of things and without prevail told me I was out of luck for the time being. I wished her a good night and called back reservations. This time, the third agent understood my frustration and went to work to find a solution. She too failed but not without an honest effort. She told me to hold on to both reservations until tomorrow (when they expire at midnight) and continue searching for award space on either route until something opened up. Then AA would be able to add the segment without an issue. I explained to her that this was not really a possibility as I was leaving to go camping in the morning and if I couldn’t get these two tickets combined I would not be going on vacation, because paying an additional 12,500 miles to ticket the MIA-SAN portion would be foolish. She too agreed and thought I should be ticketed at the correct price, and since it was a matter of vacation or no vacation she asked me to hold and went to her help desk for additional support. I thanked her and continued to cook my dinner while listening to the AA reservation elevator music.
outbound: red = US Airways Inbound: Green = Air Berlin, orange = American Airlines
She switched back and forth a few times and informed me that the help desk was working on it and they may be able to combine them after all. Another few minutes passed and she came back to inform me of the good news, I was ticketed all the way from Florence to San Diego in one reservation for 50,000 points and $89! I profusely thanked her, told her she was an AAngel and I booked my ticket to and from Italy for a last minute spring adventure!
I know I’ve said it a hundred times, and everyone will tell you this, but honestly just HUCA! If you are getting nowhere or it’s not working out, stop wasting you time and HUCA! It took me three agents and 30 minutes, but in the end I was able to get this ticket booked, on the routing that I wanted! All because of the phrase HUCA!
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