To quote the voice of my generation, Puff Daddy d/b/a P. Diddy, aka Sean Puffy Combs, Diddy or as he’s known by the UCLA police, Sean Jean Combs, “Y’all got drama, the saga continues.”
What other way can I explain this Mitt Romney meets John Kerry flip-flop philosophy utilized by American Airlines when it comes to changing award tickets post devaluation. Here’s a recap to the recap (can’t stop, won’t stop) for my return flight post Tahiti:
- 1/13/2016: Miracle #6: JAL Dreamliner Business from Shanghai to Tokyo to DFW to New York: 55,000 AAdvantage + $50
- 4/19/2016: Attempted change DFW to DTW: 20,000 miles + $150 change fee.
- 4/20/2016: Successful change DFW to DTW: 0 miles + $150 change fee.
- 4/21/2016: “Ticket on request, please call to pay for ticket.”
I’ve been burned by airlines too many times to ever rest easy after receiving the all-clear for a reservation. I used to believe that ‘ticketed and confirmed’ meant I was ready to take flight then United cancelled my flight from Tahiti to Shanghai multiple times without telling me.
So of course, I was slightly suspicious when St. Peter said that I could go to Detroit for no additional miles and only a $150 change fee. Still, it seemed logical that this change should be made which is why I wasn’t too concerned when I didn’t receive a confirmation email right away.
Then this afternoon there were ‘technical difficulties’ on AA’s page which made me a little bit nervous. Nevertheless, I still wrote my post AA Changes Courses on TPOL, Literally to spread the gospel that AA was a rationale being. Well that post like Michigan’s celebration over MSU was premature.
When AA’s site went back online, my reservation said ‘Call to Pay.” I nervously followed those instructions. It turns out that my guardian angel agent had made a mistake and that I would have to pay both the 20k + $150 to make this change.
I was connected to a manager who took pity on me and admitted that AA is having all sorts of confusion post devaluation. He proposed the following:
- Reissue the ticket at the new rate of 70,000 miles with no $150 change fee.
- Credit my account 10k AA miles.
That would still leave me 5k short. One can argue that the $150 change fee waiver offsets the 5k but that person would not be TPOL. I asked the manager what would’ve happened had I not called in. He said I would’ve had an interesting experience in Shanghai when I went to depart; I would have a ticket but it would have to be reticketed there for the extra 20k. How do you think that would’ve played out? TPOL in a Chinese jail is not a good look.
The manager recommended that I write to AA customer service and believed that they would credit me the 5k for this fascinating mess. I accepted his offer and wrote the letter.
Are we having fun yet?