How hard is it to make a USDM booking? HELP!

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Isochronous

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Dec 18, 2009
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I have 100k USDM that I want to use to go to Europe.

Planned routing (availability verified through BA and KVS):

CX HKG-DOH, connecting to QR DOH-CPH

then AY RIX-HEL-HKG

We failed at the first step - the agent told me 'there's no Dividend Miles seats on those dates', and that "Only CX and BA have given us availability on that market" when I asked about Qatar. Or is it because I said I was travelling from HKG to CPH via DOH - should I assume they're all stupid/robots and give them one leg at a time?

Is there something in the routing rules that prevents flying from North Asia to Europe via the Middle East? I'm not wanting a stopover, just want to connect directly through.
 
  • There is no such routing restriction for your case. If they can't see the QR availability then so be it, but that would be unusual and there are no special workarounds required.
  • Agent roulette is all part of the experience. If you can't be prepared to put up with that, pack up and go home, or hire an award booking service.
  • The reason the agent gives you that you can't proceed is not always the correct one, or even a reason at all.
  • It is better to feed them dates, times and flights one by one, rather than give them broad instructions. You will need to diplomatically mention to them that you intend to do this at the start of the call when they ask your origin and destination.
  • Do not - in any way - directly or unwittingly be unkind to the agent on the other end of the line. Any hint that the agent does not like you and they can put notes on your booking, resulting in your not getting what you want and having to start all over again. If you can't get what you want with an agent, politely thank them for their time and hang up. Then, wait and try again.
  • If you get what you want and are offered the chance to ticket, do so as soon as possible. Avoid putting a booking on hold as much as possible.
 
Feed them the exact info, date, flight number, routing.. everything.. and be NICE about it!!!
 
I tried that with the UK call centre. He was quite insistent that I give origin and destination and that he did not "take dictate" (in a French accent amusingly enough). I had only asked to be put on a specific flight number on a certain date - wasn't rude at all but he didn't seem to like it.

He managed to get HKG-DOh-CPH, the problem was he couldn't see RIX-HEL on the system. He also saw no HEL-HKG in AY J despite BA and KVS showing availability. I then asked to route via KIX on AY/CX but claimed I wasn't allowed to go that Far East - what is the maximum mileage, if any?
 
My only experiences booking US DM have been with the US call centres. I have no idea if they are still snowed in (pun intended) due to the weather; they are almost always quite amenable.

Since day one of booking US DM fares (in fact, same with AA), I have - from learning off the relevant threads on FT - always fed flights one by one to the agents.
 
anat01 is correct (well he is one of the guru's on all things miles) I did the same spoon fed them, I did however have a few scenarios via other cities on hand too.
 
I tried that with the UK call centre. He was quite insistent that I give origin and destination and that he did not "take dictate" (in a French accent amusingly enough). I had only asked to be put on a specific flight number on a certain date - wasn't rude at all but he didn't seem to like it.

You could always HUACA.

If an agent want to impose origin/destination only, I go with the flow and tell them my origin/destination. I let them play around searching to see if 1) they can find something better than I did (but unlikely) and 2) once they search and they find nothing - then that's my cue to jump in and say "hey, i've got a route suggestion and have the flight numbers ready, would you like to give that a go?". Never had anyone decline that suggestion,well I've only needed to do that twice though so not a big sample ;)
 
9 times out of 10 if its a complex routing and you only give them the origin and destination they will say 'there's no availability/routing'. I've made so many calls that the No 1 priority is to waste as little time as possible. I dont want to sit on hold while a clueless agent attempts to work out something I know better than they do so I politely get on the front foot and take control of the call as early as possible.
 
I have experienced the same..

However, I did advise the next call agent that the "previous" agent had given me some routing and flights numbers but my Skype call got cut off.

This was followed by " oh ok just give me those details and I will see if they are still available "..
 
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