Making a redemption booking with longer than default connection times

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I'm trying to use up some of my Velocity points before the upcoming devaluation on EY flights, but have hit a snag...

Trying to book SYD-MEL-AUH-FRA, and I can see that:

  • SYD-MEL-AUH-FRA is bookable online (with a 7pm departure), but with only a short connection (1h 35m) in MEL offered
  • SYD-MEL-AUH is booking online with a range of connection times offered (e.g. 5pm, 6pm)
  • SYD-MEL alone also shows availability at many times

So even though there is clearly availability on each individual segment, I'm being told on the phone that I can't book it with a longer connection without making it two separate bookings (and thus requiring more points).

Surely that's not right? It makes no sense because it'd be in VA's interest to have a longer connection to minimise the chance they need to rebook us if we misconnect and put us up in a hotel. They claim something has changed recently (although they don't know what) and thus they can now only book what's in the system. Anyone else had luck recently? Or is it a case of HUACA? :(

(They don't like my AUH-PER-SYD itinerary either... again, all individual flights available, but not bookable in one journey online, and they want me to go via BNE on the phone as well.)
 
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bullerdude

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I'd try hang up and call again. If that fails call the premium centre (so select domestic flight from the automatic phone options) and ask them for some help dealing with the international redemptions line for the custom booking. May not work but could be worth a try.
 
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Thanks for the suggestion! HUACA worked! Got both the earlier SYD-MEL flight before MEL-AUH-FRA and the BRU-AUH-PER-SYD routing too — looking forward to EY's new 789 followed by VA's new A330 J on the way back! :D

It was interesting, because I spoke to the local person first, and asked them about the issue. They understood immediately why I'd want to do have a longer connection, and said it would not be problem on a VA-only ticket at all. But as soon as any sector is a partner airline (even a codeshare), they have to hand off to the Philippines.

The person I spoke with in the Philippines this time had no issue with it though, and it was easy! She explained the process involved creating the dummy booking, which she then had to submit to Etihad and wait a few minutes for approval to come back. Got confirmation, and so she ticketed it! Single PNR.

So for anyone else in this situation, I highly recommend trying to call again, particularly at a different hour of day!

Very happy with that outcome...
 
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davidsilver

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That's a good outcome, but yes a lot of things on the website don't make sense.

I remember flying MEL-SYD-LAX a few years back that had 90 minute connection time, when I arrived at airport they asked me if I would like to be on the next MEL-SYD flight to give me an extra hour with connections.
 

Fiches Mouser

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Good to hear it worked out.

I frequently book itineraries where I simply read out a group of flight numbers and dates and they piece together and price it up. Typically, it seems if the flight connection is under 24 hours the cost doesn't rise significantly. Definitely anecdotal but if you get a good call centre agent, they'll make it a breeze (actually one of the best WP benefits – the team who answer your calls are brilliant).

I think they love a challenge too :p
 
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I frequently book itineraries where I simply read out a group of flight numbers and dates and they piece together and price it up.

Yeah, that's what I did heh! Gave them exact flight numbers/dates/times, nonetheless the first time they went to price it up they still came back and said it wasn't allowed without doing them as separate bookings (and their supervisor said the same thing). I'm hoping that was an isolated incident, as others here have previously reported smooth experiences too.

For the reward redemption call centre, do you actually get different people depending on status? I've noticed they don't greet you differently unlike the domestic one?
 

Fiches Mouser

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Yeah, that's what I did heh! Gave them exact flight numbers/dates/times, nonetheless the first time they went to price it up they still came back and said it wasn't allowed without doing them as separate bookings (and their supervisor said the same thing). I'm hoping that was an isolated incident, as others here have previously reported smooth experiences too.

For the reward redemption call centre, do you actually get different people depending on status? I've noticed they don't greet you differently unlike the domestic one?

Honestly I'm not sure, but I certainly get treated really well when I call – but maybe everyone get's that! :rolleyes:
 
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