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Arrgh! It's painful buying tickets online!

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Mal

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Booked an AA ticket online tonight, and rather than giving my "American/UK/Etc" address, chose to give my Australian one and call up Reservations to authorise my credit card.

So I ring the AA number on the website: 1 300 650-747

Phone answers with an answering message to please call a 1800 International number.

Fine! So I call that number and get diverted to a US Message inviting me to press 1, 2 or 3 etc.

So I press the number for reservations.

Disconnect!

Redial number and try the process again.

Disconnect!

Redial number and try the process again.

Diverted to India (as expected) and then spend 18 minutes going through my details and credit card number for the booking. Havn't been asked to fax my CC through to anywhere, but they seem to have accepted my CC number.

Lots of fun! Why can't AA accept Australian credit cards at face value?
 

Mal

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My reservation has now been changed from $US to $AU, but is yet to be ticketted.

The reservation was $1,109.20 (US) which has now converted into $1455.10 AUD.

According to XE.com - The World's Favorite Currency and Foreign Exchange Site, $1109.20 (US) should be around $1425 (AUD).

Have they added some kind of assistance fee? Or is it just a weird currency conversion?

It'll be interesting to see what ends up on my statement, assuming that the transaction goes through correctly and I don't have to follow it up.
 

cabbage74

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Mal said:
My reservation has now been changed from $US to $AU, but is yet to be ticketted.

The reservation was $1,109.20 (US) which has now converted into $1455.10 AUD.

According to XE.com - The World's Favorite Currency and Foreign Exchange Site, $1109.20 (US) should be around $1425 (AUD).

Have they added some kind of assistance fee? Or is it just a weird currency conversion?

It'll be interesting to see what ends up on my statement, assuming that the transaction goes through correctly and I don't have to follow it up.
XE quotes Mid-market rates. Thus is the average of the buy & Sell prices. For many of the travelex type retail outlets this can be 500-1000 pip/points and this would be about the difference you are seeing.

Mal.
 

oz_mark

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cabbage74 said:
XE quotes Mid-market rates. Thus is the average of the buy & Sell prices. For many of the travelex type retail outlets this can be 500-1000 pip/points and this would be about the difference you are seeing.

Mal.
Don't the airlines use an IATA rate for currency conversions?
 

serfty

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oz_mark said:
Don't the airlines use an IATA rate for currency conversions?
It's called the ROE and is updated every three motnhs.

It is used for cross fare/tax/levy/surcharge calculations between differing currencies. Not used at all by the banks.

At the moment, Qantas quotes it thus: "Effective 01 September 2006 the ROE is 1.30793". It's sort of related to the Greenback; maybe the next update (Friday?) it will reduce.
 

oz_mark

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serfty said:
It's called the ROE and is updated every three motnhs.

It is used for cross fare/tax/levy/surcharge calculations between differing currencies. Not used at all by the banks.

At the moment, Qantas quotes it thus: "Effective 01 September 2006 the ROE is 1.30793". It's sort of related to the Greenback; maybe the next update (Friday?) it will reduce.

But likely the number that would have been used to do Mal's conversion at? It gives a number (1450.75) somewhat closer to what Mal experienced.
 

serfty

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oz_mark said:
But likely the number that would have been used to do Mal's conversion at? It gives a number (1450.75) somewhat closer to what Mal experienced.
Certainly, and the difference makes sense given that the AUD has increased in value against the USD by about 4¢ in the last month.
 
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NM

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serfty said:
It's called the ROE and is updated every three motnhs.

It is used for cross fare/tax/levy/surcharge calculations between differing currencies. Not used at all by the banks.

At the moment, Qantas quotes it thus: "Effective 01 September 2006 the ROE is 1.30793". It's sort of related to the Greenback; maybe the next update (Friday?) it will reduce.
Its actually the Rate of Exchange to the NUC (Neutral Unit Currency or Neutral Unit of Construction depending on whose definition you use) . It just so happens that 1 NUC = US$1 at the present time.
 

Dave Noble

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NM said:
Its actually the Rate of Exchange to the NUC (Neutral Unit Currency or Neutral Unit of Construction depending on whose definition you use) . It just so happens that 1 NUC = US$1 at the present time.
Hmmm....can you think of a time when 1 NUC has not had a ROE of 1.0 to the USD ? :)

Dave
 

Mal

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The full amount has found it's way onto my Amex now - at the Australian price quoted above (and charged by AA Sydney).

At least having it charged in Australian Dollars, there is no Amex conversion fee.
 

NM

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Dave Noble said:
Hmmm....can you think of a time when 1 NUC has not had a ROE of 1.0 to the USD ? :)

Dave
Nope. But one day it might!
 

Mal

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An interesting postscript to this story:

For certain reasons I had to cancel that ticket ... It was fully refundable, so what happened?

The Australian amount was the converted back to US$ by AA and recredited to my card.

I ended up making around $30 on the transaction!

Ooops. I would have expected AA Australia to recredit me, not the U.S. Still not complaining...

Maybe that's my compensation for having to deal with the Indian call centre?

Don't worry though AA, I will be rebooking that ticket again in the future - once a few dominos fall into the right places and my plans are properly finalised. :) (Although this time, I do think I'll be using my "American" or "UK" addresses to try and make the transaction a lot smoother).
 
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