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QF Oneworld award and notoriously late AA flight!

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JohnK

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I have a QF Oneworld award and it appears I have selected one of the worst AA flights possible. The flight in question is AA74 LAX-IAD red-eye. It is consistently late by as much as 4 hours. The last 2 days it has been late by 2 hours and 3 hours respectively. I have a further award flight IAD-STL with American Connection which departs IAD at 7:10am and arrives in STL at 8:25am and finally a flight STL-ORD on AA which departs STL at 10:20am and arrives in ORD at 11:25am.

In theory if everything goes to plan then I should arrive in ORD at 11:25am. But looking at statistics for AA74 this appears to be a very hit and miss proposition. There is only one other American Connection flight IAD-STL that day which departs IAD at 12:20pm and arrives STL at 1:35pm. There is also an STL-ORD flight which departs STL at 2:25pm and arrives ORD at 3:35pm.

I am guessing that AA is only really obligated to get me to ORD at their convenience. If AA74 is really late what chance do I have of getting the 2 alternate connections mentioned above? In peoples experiences is AA helpful with passengers in these type of situations? If it is known that AA74 is going to be late will AA try to get me on a LAX-DFW-ORD flight or even LAX-ORD direct flight? If the award ticket flights are not flown, due to alternate arrangements, will the rest of my award flights remain in tact? I need to be careful as I do not want AA to re-issue the remainder of the award ticket.

I know it sounds silly but I am still trying to contemplate a status run with less than 24 hours turnaround. I wasn't to know that I had one of the worst AA domestic flights on my itinerary. I know everyone mentions contigency plans but I am just trying to grasp possible scenarios. If the flights are delayed and I am not able to do the status run then I should be able to cancel the "first class with restrictions" AA airfare and be able to re-issue again within 12 months, for a fee of course. Accommodation will be prepaid in TPA what happens here? Does travel insurance cover these type of events? If I am stuck in ORD with no accommodation for the night will AA then put me up in a hotel or will travel insurance cover this as well.

Too many questions and not enough answers. Am I crazy for wanting to attempt a status run knowing the above details? Decisions, decisions....
 

NM

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In my experience, AA will do whatever they can to assist a passenger that has been disrupted by a delay. However, they cannot perform miracles. It will depend on what options are available to them at the time, and that may depend on how many other passengers have been disrupted.

I had once case where a delayed AA flight caused me to miss a CX connection and the next departure was not for over 12 hours. The AAgent did all she could to find an alternate plan for me, including trying to book me info F on the next CX flight since J was full (and I was on a D ticket). But in the end F was also full and I had to wait for the next flight a few hours after that.

However, since I would now not be stopping over in HKG and would only be transiting there for my connection to KUL, the AAgent called CX and had them locate my bags and re-tag them to KUL instead of HKG. She really went the extra mile to make sure I was properly accommodated.

And then a week later I received an email from the MIA station manager apologising for the delay and letting me know he had deposited 8000 miles into my AAdvantage account.
 

JohnK

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NM said:
In my experience, AA will do whatever they can to assist a passenger that has been disrupted by a delay. However, they cannot perform miracles. It will depend on what options are available to them at the time, and that may depend on how many other passengers have been disrupted.
It is encouraging to hear that AA will lend as much assistance as possible.

Still in the back of my mind is the issue of having an award ticket LAX-IAD-STL-ORD but due to delays AA accommodates me on a LAX-DFW-ORD flight.

I have spoken to QF about this type of issue and they said that as long as AA do not re-issue the award ticket it should not matter that I did not fly the exact sectors. Whether this statement is factual or open to interpretation is another matter.
 

Mal

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JohnK said:
I have spoken to QF about this type of issue and they said that as long as AA do not re-issue the award ticket it should not matter that I did not fly the exact sectors. Whether this statement is factual or open to interpretation is another matter.
I would expect that as long as AA marks the sectors as flown but in their own systems gives you a different set of boarding passes (akin to maybe an op-up really) then there shouldn't be any issues.
 

JohnK

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serfty said:
The only thing possibly in your favour is the average delay is 'only' 39 minutes so with a scheduled 05:20 arrival you have a better than even chance of being at your connection gate before boarding starts at 6:40.
I have been monitoring this route for over a month now. It can be OK for 2-3 days, in fact most days it is early, and then have a really late departure. This distorts the average to 39 minutes.

It is scheduled to depart 1:30 hours late again. That makes it 3 days in a row with excessive late departures.
 

simongr

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JohnK - can I just check your schedule as I am trying to understand teh reasoning for the risk taking:

As I understand it you have:

AA74 LAX-IAD 21:25-05:20 +1
AA5488 IAD-STL 07:10-08:25
AA2472 STL-ORD 10:20-11:25

Your objective is to get from LAX-ORD and this is a reqard ticket yes? So no mileage earning on any flight? Why the complex/risky routing?

Was there no availability LAX-ORD?

What is your staus run that you are contemplating?
Is it ORD based?
 

drron

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In March 2006 I with mrsdrron were on QFF business awards and were due to fly CDG-JFK on AA.Naturally the day of the flight was a French general strike and most international flights were cancelled including ours.The AA groundstaff could not have been better.They got us onto the only flight they had that day going to JFK and in business class even though many of their own AA premium members were being rerouted through MIA or ORD.One thing about the yanks they are not quiet when expressing their displeasure.After that even though there were long queues behind us she got in touch with Qantas so that the rest of our flights would continue unchanged.She even noticed QF had us in economy on the JFK-LAX segment and said she would try and get us into business-QF of course said no.
The long wait in the AC was tolerable after that.
 

JohnK

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simongr said:
Your objective is to get from LAX-ORD and this is a reqard ticket yes? So no mileage earning on any flight? Why the complex/risky routing?

Was there no availability LAX-ORD?
The flights you have listed are correct. Originally I wanted to get to DEN and there was availability but as I left it later and later to book the Oneworld award the seats became unavailable. I then wanted to get either ORD and DFW, being noted AA hubs, and again no direct availability.

simongr said:
What is your staus run that you are contemplating?
Is it ORD based?
There are 2 possible and doable status runs, ORD-DEN or ORD-TPA. Some handy SCs if choosing the correct routing. I have settled on ORD-TPA as the preferred destination. It is possible to route ORD-STL-DFW-TPA leaving ORD at 4:35pm but even this is no guarantee the way AA74 performs. Coming back the next day it will more than likely be TPA-LGA-ORD.

Hindsight says I have made a huge mistake but I wasn't to know about AA74 then. Ideally an extra day would have been handy but that would have meant losing time in Europe. It still all fits together nicely as long as AA can get me from LAX-ORD by 3:35pm the next day and then be back in ORD by about 2:00pm the day after. Am I asking and expecting too much?
 

serfty

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Looking on FareCompare.com & AA.com, Tampa is not a bad option - 360-480 SC's for USD805. ORD-DEN is similar by cost's more (USD914).
 
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JohnK

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Tampa is a great option for US$805 less 5% with an AA discount code. I have been trying to get an AA 10% off discount code on coupon connection without success. Admittedly I have only offered Karma in return. I did have an 10% off discount code a few weeks ago but that was expiring 15 June. :(

I calculated it is possible to achieve somewhere between 360-420 SCs but I haven't seen the routing that will achieve 480 SCs. Given my flight and limited time available I will do well if I can get the planned 390 SCs.
 

serfty

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JohnK said:
... I calculated it is possible to achieve somewhere between 360-420 SCs but I haven't seen the routing that will achieve 480 SCs. Given my flight and limited time available I will do well if I can get the planned 390 SCs.
ORD-DFW-STL-TPA gives 440 SC's - Unfortunately you need to depart ORD by 1:30pm for this routing.

On the return & the reverse of the above or TPA-MIA-DFW-ORD both earn 440 SC's; the latter gets you back 2:15pm on some days.
 

JohnK

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It looks like a few new routings have been added to the choice of flight options. I still cannot see the routing ORD-DFW-STL-TPA as most of the available routings are ORD-STL-DFW-TPA.

But you are right. I have been miscalculating the routing ORD-DFW-MIA-TPA as 210 SCs but in fact it is 240 SCs. So it is possible to get 480 SCs for a return trip with the right amount of time available.

Airfares have also gone up since I last looked. I think it may well be time to bite the bullet and take a risk.
 

Mal

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JohnK said:
Airfares have also gone up since I last looked. I think it may well be time to bite the bullet and take a risk.
Some KUP's are fully refundable, others aren't. Check the terms closely in the "refunds" section.
 

JohnK

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The fare basis appears to be KUPP7MZ and from what I understand in the conditions there is full refund available or changing the flights without charge.

I have been noticing AA74 has been close to on time, well within 0:30 minutes anyway, in the last few days.

KUPP7MZ Penalties said:
NOTE - CHANGES ARE PERMITTED PROVIDED APPLICABLE INVENTORY IS AVAILABLE AND ADVANCE RES/TKT REQUIREMENTS ARE MET. OTHERWISE/ TICKET MUST BE EXCHANGED FOR ANOTHER FARE. ------------------------------ FULL REFUND WILL BE MADE FOR WHOLLY UNUSED TICKETS. FOR PARTIALLY USED TICKETS/ THE REFUND WILL BE THE AMT PAID MINUS THE NORMAL ONE WAY FARE APPLICABLE TO THE TRANSPORTATION USED. ------------------------------ PSGRS HOLDING CONFIRMED RESERVATIONS AND TKTS MAY STANDBY FOR EARLIER/LATER SAME DAY AA NONSTOP AND/OR CONNECTING FLIGHTS BETWEEN THE SAME ORIGIN AND DESTINATION AIRPORTS. THERE IS NO ADDITIONAL COST PROVIDED THE NEW FLIGHT/S AND ROUTING ARE APPLICABLE FOR THE FARE CHARGED. IF THE CHANGE IS NOT APPLICABLE FOR THE FARE CHARGED E.G. INVALID ROUTING/ AIRPORT/ ADVANCE RES/TKG/ ETC/ THE PASSENGER MUST PAY THE DIFFERENCE IN FARES. UNLESS RESTRICTED BY THE FARE CHARGED/ WHEN TICKETED FROM/TO CHI/HOU/NYC/WAS/DFW THE PSGR MAY CHECK-IN AND STANDBY FROM/TO ONE OF THE AIRPORTS LISTED CITY AIRPORTS CHI MDW/ORD HOU HOU/IAH NYC EWR/JFK/LGA WAS DCA/IAD DFW DFW/DAL IF FIRST CLASS CABIN IS NOT AVAILABLE/ THE PSGR WILL BE ACCOMMODATED IN THE COACH CABIN SUBJECT TO ITS AVAILABILITY OR PSGR MAY ELECT TO STANDBY FOR FIRST CLASS ON ANOTHER FLIGHT. CANCELLATIONS PER TICKET CHARGE USD 100.00 FOR LOST TICKET. NOTE - AA WILL IMPOSE A SERVICE CHARGE PER TICKET FOR HANDLING SUCH REQUEST FOR REFUND OF A LOST TICKET.
 

JohnK

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serfty said:
The only thing possibly in your favour is the average delay is 'only' 39 minutes so with a scheduled 05:20 arrival you have a better than even chance of being at your connection gate before boarding starts at 6:40.
The heart is starting to beat faster now. Less than 3 days before the adventure begins. The average delay for this flight is now 'only' 43 minutes. Yesterday it arrived 113 minutes late at around 7:20am which would have meant missing the following connection.

Today/last night I notice it has departed on time and is due to arrive early. I hope all is OK in 3 days but a few restless nights between now and then.
 

JohnK

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Not a very good start to my long awaited trip. Some people have luck some don't. Here I was thinking that AA74 was going to be the problem on this trip.

Got to the airport at 6:00am and took more than 30 minutes to check in as the system did not want to print boarding passes for my upcoming flights, QF136, QF25, AA74, AA5488 and AA2472 through to ORD.

Finally sorted out the issues and boarded at 7:45am and sat in the aircraft for 3 hours before they realised that it was not going anywhere. QF25 was going to wait for me but now no point as they had no idea what time aircraft would get into MEL. Funny looking at Flightstats and flight is listed as on route and on time. :confused: It won't get into MEL until after 1:00pm, if it gets there at all.

I have been placed on QF11 instead and was allocated 62B! Managed to change it 46B. Still not good enough. Asked at the QF First lounge and the kind lady was able to allocate 46H for me and is holding on to boarding pass for a possible op-up. And I believe that pigs fly!
 

serfty

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QF136 shows as finally departing 11:33 - Arrived into MEL at 13:00.

QF25 departed MEL at 13:30 (Sch. 10:55), so I guess you were not the only PAX affected.

I suppose it's worked out well in the end; you get to LAX an hour earlier, 9:45. QF25 is now not expected into LAX until 12:00, 75 minutes late.

(46H is quite a Good Exit Seat on Pacific config 3 class 744's - there's just the three rows of WHY in the front of you.)
 

JohnK

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serfty said:
I suppose it's worked out well in the end; you get to LAX an hour earlier, 9:45. QF25 is now not expected into LAX until 12:00, 75 minutes late.
Not too bad I guess. I was hoping for an op-up after waiting at the airport for 8 hours but no such luck. WHY was almost full but business less than half full. Waiting over 10 hours in LAX Flagship Lounge was tiring but I did manage to get 3-4 hours sleep and a shower before onward flight.

serfty said:
(46H is quite a Good Exit Seat on Pacific config 3 class 744's - there's just the three rows of WHY in the front of you.)
It was OK but the guy in 46J must have been well over 6 feet with very broad shoulders and was leaning away from the guy in the window seat for the duration of the flight. It was not comfortable but I was greeted personally and was also given a business class headset which blocked all noise.

So far so good. No major delays. I am in STL now, next stop ORD and the beginning of SC run which should net 420 SCs. Weather has been OK so no delays forecast.
 

Shano

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Not a great start to the trip, but hopefully the remainder goes smoothly for you.

JohnK said:
....I was greeted personally and was also given a business class headset which blocked all noise.
Never had this happen to me flying whY as a WP, but I guess it was a small gesture on behalf of QF for the inconvenience you had experienced (although the op-up would no doubt have been much more appreciated :) )
 
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