American Airlines, won't honour business class ticket.

By wilso1 | Aug 21, 2017, 03:06 PM

Has anyone ever experienced this before with an Airline?


I made a booking on the American Airlines Australian website for a flight from Cabo Mexico to Atlanta USA, both flights were booked and conformed as Business Class flights.

After I booked and paid I went to choose my seats, when doing this it would not let me choose a business class seat on the first leg Cancun to DFW. (For the record the AU site does Not allow seat selection prior to payment) I called the AU resvation number and spoke with a lady who said she needed to speak to her manager, when she returned I was advised my ticket was Not business but for a fee she could change it. I said No and was then put through to a manager by the name Emmanuel where I explained again my booking is a Business class fare and my ticket clearly shows this, and there are 3 seats available in Business shown? I also pointed out I am Platinum FF with Qantas and I don't appreciate people trying to charge me extra fees when I have a confirmation clearly stating my seats are Business Class, he said my ticket is heavily discounted, (it’s not), and in the ticket sales conditions they are allowed to do this, and he will only fix this if I agreed to pay a fee.. I said No way will I be paying him anymore money and told him I will be making a complaint, He than just hung up on me. I than went to my reservation only to find my reservation has been cancelled. Credit card has been charged, let's see what happens with my refund.

I truly don’t understand in today’s world with social media and so many airlines fighting for your travel bucks this still goes on. It’s very sad such a large company would allow this to go on, obviously the senior management have very little regard for the customer?


Maybe for these types of reasons is why Qantas dumped them. 

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By henrus | Aug 21, 2017, 03:48 PM
If you're still wanting the ticket then I'd get on social media and get it sorted sooner than later otherwise I'd just go ahead and book another flight.

Just last week I booked a flight Sydney - Christchurch on Qantas and was unable to select a seat without an extra $15 fee despite the booking being made as a classic reward flight (which should make it free even without status). It took almost 2 hours in a live chat to select a seat but even trying to change it now results in the same $15 fee. I've even had Air New Zealand change a flight and send a new itinerary with a negative connection time (no joke) and insist that nothing was wrong with the new itinerary and that if we do misconnect that they wouldn't pay for a hotel overnight.

Not every airline is perfect (in fact you'd be hard pressed to find one that is) but some are much much better at customer service than others.
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By GregXL | Aug 21, 2017, 05:30 PM
I have found other limitations with the AU site for AA and have made bookings on the US site with no problems.  Suggest you first try calling AA again and see if you get talk to someone that is competent.
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By John Phelan | Aug 21, 2017, 10:10 PM
It sounds like what has happened is that you have booked a Business class ticket at a rate which does NOT include free advance seat selection. So if you want to select a seat in advance, there is a fee payable. Quite a number of airlines do this, including BA and QF (for certain seats).
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By John Phelan | Aug 21, 2017, 10:12 PM
And by the way, Qantas didn't "dump" AA. They remain partners in oneworld and will be reapplying for their joint venture agreement, which was rejected by the US Government. Not QF's decision. It helps to get your facts right.

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By Michael Kao | Aug 22, 2017, 09:27 AM
I think what you purchased might be a fare known as "instant upgrade". It's a very strange fare with US airlines. The ticket might still be coded as economy (Y, X, E....etc) rather than true business class. It's very confusing as it doesn't say when you book it. It's simply under business (or first class if domestic) when you purchase. 

With this fare, your business class seat is not guaranteed. You only get your seat whenever there is a spare seat available. If the J cabin is full with full fee paying pax, you get bumped to coach. 

How much did you pay for the ticket? If it's less than double the economy fare I suspect it's the instant upgrade you got. Check the fare class of your ticket. I it's one of the economy fare class, then AA has the right not to honor your "business class" ticket because it isn't. 

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend AA here. Personally I agree with you that it's false advertising as they sell you a product they can't deliver. But apparently it is legal to do so in US. 
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By moa999 | Aug 22, 2017, 08:47 PM
I've booked plenty of YUP/KUP flights before and been able to select seats in the front cabins immediately.

They are afterall Instant Upgrades. It's only when you have disruptions/cancellations that you risk getting bumped to Y
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By Brython14 | Aug 23, 2017, 03:33 PM
I fully acknowledge that airlines are run by smarter people than me, but why would a large airline take the risk of annoying long standing customers by deceitful and penny pinching practices like this? I would have thought that the backlash they would receive would far outweigh the $ return. But hey, that's just me.

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By wilso1 | Aug 23, 2017, 05:19 PM
As noted I am platinum FF, this means I travel ofter and do know how to book a flight. I have attached the booking to show the Business Class? No it was not an instant upgrade. And no you cannot choose your seat on the AA website prior to booking and paying for your flight. 


I also had my booking canceled by this person, maybe as soon as they seen there was a problem in their AU system, iI have read the systems do stuff up and sometimes even sell cheaper tickets.


I have obviously complained to AA via their website and calling is a waste of time due to it being an offshore call centre. Their reply was my booking is a economy ticket? As you can see from my attachment its Not! 


I have been told AA contract their Australian booking out and the only way these call centres make money is by changing fares and fees on sales, maybe this is why the person said he can fix it if I agree to pay a changing fee, I really don't know? AA don't care and people need to know this happens and their is very little you can do about it with an American Company.


If you google, Qantas dumps American Airlines, you will see this is what happens, regardless I am making the point AA are very unethical and not good to deal with, and I do spend 3 months a year in the USA so I do know what North American airlines are like, pretty bad on a good day but, I have never experienced this sort of dishonestly. 


People please before you come after me defending this airline, check their website & have check to see if this does happen, it obviously does. I put my point on here to expose the very unethical habits by this company and to see how many others it has happened to, there are thousands of complaints on social media about AA, so they obviously don't care, too big and maybe we are all just a number to them!



Last edited by wilso1 at Aug 23, 2017, 05.37 PM.
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By wilso1 | Aug 23, 2017, 05:59 PM
You have obviously not done this on the Australian AA website, you cannot do it! You can very easily check this by putting in a dummy booking?

I've booked plenty of YUP/KUP flights before and been able to select seats in the front cabins immediately.

They are afterall Instant Upgrades. It's only when you have disruptions/cancellations that you risk getting bumped to Y

Last edited by wilso1 at Aug 23, 2017, 06.02 PM.
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By GregXL | Aug 23, 2017, 09:50 PM
If you search that itinerary now as an AU customer a similar deal is offered.  If you choose US, then Business is shown as unavailable for that pair of flights.  Something dodgy there!
Further, the AU customer is also offered First at twice the price of Business.  The flights are both operated by AA 737-800 aircraft, so it it's either F or J, you can't have both!  This also doesn't happen if you are a US customer.
Last edited by GregXL at Aug 24, 2017, 09.19 AM.
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Danny

By scottie80 | Aug 24, 2017, 01:58 PM

I have never had any problems booking with AA and selecting seats prior to payment (although I use their US website as strangely sometimes it's cheaper!).

Looking at your screenshot, there is something a bit strange in that it shows "business", however domestic routes in the US are "first" - there is no business. On my previous bookings it shows the mix of business/first for international/domestic flights.

Also, if you had input your FF status, you should have been able to select your seats via "my trip" without any fee.

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By johninoz | Aug 24, 2017, 05:55 PM
I fully acknowledge that airlines are run by smarter people than me, but why would a large airline take the risk of annoying long standing customers by deceitful and penny pinching practices like this? I would have thought that the backlash they would receive would far outweigh the $ return. But hey, that's just me.
 

Not sure I agree with your comment about the arilines "are run by smarter people than me..."  Don't know about you, but if I was running an airline, almost none of the problems we read on this site would happen.  But then I am a bit of a customer service nazi and I'd have no problems firing staff who upset loyal customers.
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By wilso1 | Aug 25, 2017, 04:50 PM

I have never had any problems booking with AA and selecting seats prior to payment (although I use their US website as strangely sometimes it's cheaper!).

Looking at your screenshot, there is something a bit strange in that it shows "business", however domestic routes in the US are "first" - there is no business. On my previous bookings it shows the mix of business/first for international/domestic flights.

Also, if you had input your FF status, you should have been able to select your seats via "my trip" without any fee.


I am not an American Airlines member, I am Qantas. You cannot input any info on the Aussie website until after you pay. While the US website allows you to see and choose seats.
I don't have a lot of luck with this airline and sadly being a platinum Qantas FF I try to use them, I honestly I don't know why i bother as I don't need the points to keep my platinum status. Sadly for me not only did this happen they canceled my ticket and still not refunded me my money. They do say they will but as usual its at the customers expense. For the record, I ended up booking with United, 
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By GregXL | Aug 25, 2017, 11:34 PM
If you book through the US website you can enter your QFF number during the booking and you do get benefits from your status.  I found I could book MCE for free but if I just stayed on the default AU page this wasn't available.
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