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Award Booking Issues

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JohnK

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Mar 22, 2005
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I have been using the award booking engine over the last few weeks trying to plan a RTW using points.

I have come across an issue, I have already reported to QF, where a flight or combination of flights appear but when I select to add to itinerary it displays an error message that flights are no longer available. Now I could believe that someone has taken the available seats but the same combination appears in half an hour, in 2 hours, next day, next week yet I still cannot select. It is not just 1 combination it is many.

I know it is related to my profile and QF is trying to fix the issue but it gets very frustrating trying to plan a RTW using all 16 available sectors in high season. Has anyone had a similar issue?

If anyone has any spare time could you try a dummy award booking JNB-ATH on 6 August 2007 and let me know if 2 selections appear with availability in economy. One is for IB6050 JNB-MAD and IB3884 MAD-ATH and the other is IB6050 JNB-BCN (continuation of previous flight) and IB2028 BCN-ATH. If these do appear can you try selecting one of them? Does the error message appear?
 

Kiwi Flyer

Senior Member
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Sep 24, 2004
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Those flights still appear for me, and I can't select them either. Why don't you book by phone?
 

JohnK

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Kiwi Flyer said:
Those flights still appear for me, and I can't select them either. Why don't you book by phone?
It is all quite strange. QF cannot see that availability. :confused: They can see availability for IB6050 but only business class availability for BCN-ATH or MAD-ATH. Which explains why it can't be selected but I don't understand why it is appearing as available.

ATH is not an easy place to get availability in peak season only 4 months away. I have been able to route JNB-BCN and then BCN-BRU-LHR-ATH. It wastes an additional 2 sectors but I want to use up all 16 sectors anyway.
 

ColinP

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May 1, 2006
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JohnK, have you ever flown IB economy long haul. I have and certainly won't be considering it in the future unless there is no other choice.
 

JohnK

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ColinP said:
JohnK, have you ever flown IB economy long haul.
No I have never flown IB! My dates are fixed. There is no other option out of JNB. I can easily route via HKG but I have been there before.

There are only 2 places I need to be on this trip, ATH and FRA. Given that I have 16 sectors on the RTW I am just trying to get to as many cities/airports as possible that I have never visited before. If I book this latest routing I will travel on 6 different airlines, 7 if I count a paid ATH-SKG return, and visit 8 new cities/airports, 13 if I include planned status runs, which should be a different experience.
 

garyjohn951

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Jul 21, 2006
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You could try JNB - Harare; Harare - LHR on BA. While LHR - JNB are heavily booked, the flights to/from Harare are thin.
 

JohnK

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Thanks. I did not think of that routing. Hardly any availability around the dates I want and award booking engine has HRE-LHR routed as HRE-JNB-MAD-LHR on most days anyway.

On a separate note do all flights on a RTW award booking have to be Oneworld carriers? The award booking engine displays, and accepts, flights for non Oneworld carriers but I was told by QF today that the itinerary would get rejected. I guess that rules out QF303 which is a South African Airways codeshare!
 

fursten

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2006
Messages
49
You may try JHB - mad-tlv-ath
I flew Iberia to JHB -Mad couple years ago was not to bad.
Iberia or ElAl to TLV ElAl to ATH
Fursten
 

Febs

Established Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2006
Messages
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I had a similar problem booking DFW-MEX-DFW today. Booking DFW-MEX was fine (I got to the credit card entry screen), but with the return flight included in the booking - no luck. Problem was there all day, despite the flight showing availability.

I called the QFF Service Centre (who have always been excellent IMO) and they put the booking through straight away and waived the telephone booking fee. They even allowed me to do it using my girlfriend's account! (Though I had all her details, including her QFF pin #).

Trickier for a RTW ticket of course, but it may be your only shot. :(

Cheers,
- Febs.
 

JohnK

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fursten said:
You may try JHB - mad-tlv-ath
I flew Iberia to JHB -Mad couple years ago was not to bad.
Iberia or ElAl to TLV ElAl to ATH
Fursten
Another good solution but still tricky as my dates on this trip are not flexible. This is a sort of last minute decision with 4 months to go but I can almost see on a daily basis availibility on some routes evaporating quickly.

My first problem is SYD-JNB direct only has availability 3 Aug and 8 Aug. I can't leave before 5 Aug and don't want to waste 3 days waiting for 8 Aug. SYD-PER-JNB has availability on 5 Aug but apparently I can'T use it as it not a Oneworld airline.
 

JohnK

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Febs said:
I called the QFF Service Centre (who have always been excellent IMO) and they put the booking through straight away and waived the telephone booking fee. They even allowed me to do it using my girlfriend's account! (Though I had all her details, including her QFF pin #).

Trickier for a RTW ticket of course, but it may be your only shot. :(
The lady at QFF Service Centre was quite happy to book JNB-MAD-ATH or JNB-BCN-ATH for me, and waive the 2,500 assisted booking fee, as she could also see availability even though the award booking engine would not allow me to select. The problem is she could not see QF303, South African Airways codeshare, and therefore not allowed on RTW through QFF service centre.

If I find a suitable routing I will book it and if it gets rejected I will try again. My problem I am trying to visit as many places as possible, in Europe, in only 16 sectors and the only feasible airlines are BA, IB and AY. You can only use an airport as a transit twice before you have to have a stopover. I already have 4 stopovers so have to be careful.
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
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Oct 10, 2005
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JohnK said:
The problem is she could not see QF303, South African Airways codeshare, and therefore not allowed on RTW through QFF service centre.
Non OW carriers are not permitted on the OW award

Also,

13.3.7 Award Flights are not available on Codeshare Flights unless otherwise specified by Qantas. Award Flights must be booked using the airline designator of the operating carrier unless otherwise specified by Qantas.

Dave
 

JohnK

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Joined
Mar 22, 2005
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Can anyone see something wrong with this routing for an award trip?

SYD-MEL-LAX-IAD-STL-(ORD)-LHR-(ATH)-(LHR)-(FRA)-(HEL)-GVA-MAD-BRU-LHR-HKG-SYD. I think 16 sectors in total, around 33,000 miles and 5 stopovers. As far as I know I am allowed to transit a city two times, LHR, plus a stopover. The cities in brackets are the technical stopovers, ie >24 hours. There are some flights on different days that are <24 hours apart. I have tried to book it and it gives an internal error.

I am about to call QF since I am having trouble booking this routing. Sometimes I get someone on the phone who wants to charge the 2,500 FF point booking fee even when the award booking appears to be at fault.
 

serfty

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would suggest getting to near the end of the process and when you have the foll itinerary being displayed, viewing source and saving a copy of the source to a text file.

Do this as you perform each subsequent step until you get the error (to a different file name).

At this point you can contact Qantas to advise of the system error.
 

serfty

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You could use the feedback link that appear when you mouse over the "Help" tab on the top menu bar of qantas dot com pages.
 

JohnK

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Mar 22, 2005
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Thanks Ross.

I have finally managed to book it, spent over 1 1/2 hours on the phone, but had to tweak the routing slightly. It was never going to book online. Too complex and it brought the service centre PC down trying to calculate taxes so they did it all manually in the end. Waived the 2,500 booking fee as I gave them many reasons to waive it.

New routing is SYD-MEL-LAX-IAD-STL-(ORD)-LHR-(ATH)-(LHR)-(FRA)-HEL-ZRH-(HEL)-BRU-LHR-HKG-SYD. The cost of the taxes was $935.12, so much for free award ticket!

Seat allocation has been done already for all non AA flights and generally it is quite good.
 

serfty

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Must have been a tough process ... +++ crashing computers? I'd like to see that. :p

Now all you need to do is get the AA (Sabre) booking reference and by using "my reservations" on aa.com you can select seats online. :)
 

JohnK

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Mar 22, 2005
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serfty said:
Must have been a tough process ... +++ crashing computers? I'd like to see that. :p
Hey don't laugh. I had a call from Michael at QF service centre, who very kindly has helped out, mentioning not to expect an automatic e-ticket itinerary receipt today. They will send one out tomorrow manually, maybe, as the routing was complex. The most complex Oneworld award booking he has ever had to process.

serfty said:
Now all you need to do is get the AA (Sabre) booking reference and by using "my reservations" on aa.com you can select seats online. :)
Ahhh.... I remember hearing something about Sabre before. How would I get that reference? Probably if I searched this website I may find the answer. I am supposed to be packing now. Early start tomorrow morning SYD-BKK via woop woop and sin!

All the different aircraft types are confusing me so I think I will accept most seat allocations as they have been generated!
 
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