Reader Question: American Airlines Screws Up Qatar Airlines Award – Who Is Responsible To Fix?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about maddening award issue that he is facing due to American Airlines screw up.

Qatar Airways Announcements New Routes, Meridiana Stake & Indian Airline Launch

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Here’s the email from the reader:

I have had a terrible 24 hours trying to modify my AA award.

My partner was booked and ticketed on the following flights redeemed with AA miles as a single first class award for 110k for travel on 29-30/7.

BCN-MAD IB (u) 29/7

MAD-DOH QR (u) 30/7

DOH-SYD QR (z) 30/7

Yesterday my partner rang to reroute via London so he could fly BA F to Doha on the following flights, keeping the original QR F flight as the final leg of the booking:

BCN – LGW BA (u) 29/7

LHR – DOH BA (z) 29/7

DOH – SYD QR (z) 30/7

The agent confirmed that all segments were confirmed so he paid the $150 change fee and the agent sent the new itinerary through to be ticketed “within 2 hours” (his words) reminding him that it was all booked under the original record locator.

12 hours later he logged into his AA account to find the booking had been cancelled and my 115k points had been refunded.

Of course when I checked award space there was none available.

After 3 calls to AA we got 3 different explanations:

1) AA failed to ticket within​ QR’s timeframe so it was automatically cancelled,

2) a system glitch caused the ticket to be cancelled

3) the final reason given by a supervisor was that due to the travel restrictions put on QR by other gulf nations QR was cancelling many of their award tickets issued by AA.

Can you offer any options for recourse? Should I ring QR?

Note that U is a business class award fare class on Oneworld airlines and Z is used for first class.

There is no point calling Qatar Airways. This failure to properly reticket the reservation is entirely AA’s making. American Airlines needs to fix it. Reasons 1 and 2 and both plausible. The number 3 given by a supervisor is not.

Reader needs to contact American Airlines again. AA’s Oneworld liaison needs to contact Qatar Airways to get the award space reopened and the ticket properly reissued.

Conclusion

It is maddening that one needs to babysit awards that are issued using American Airlines miles but that unfortunately is reality. These AAdvantage awards go through manual “quality control” that can take forever and partners may drop segments if the ticket numbers are not pushed to them in a timely manner.

Other airlines are able to issue award tickets the moment the agent presses the enter on his/her computer. Why this mess with American that leads to these issues down the road?

I hope that the reader is able to resolve this Qatar Airways award ticket with American Airlines. I have about 400K AAdvantage miles left. Used to be a great program before all the devaluations.

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