Star Alliance RTW ticket change - help!!

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by geoffb78, May 8, 2006.

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  1. geoffb78

    geoffb78 Junior Member

    Jan 15, 2005
    48
    5
    Hi all

    I am (sadly) in possession of a SQ/LH/UA round-the-world ticket which I have partially flown - the only segment left is from SFO-SYD. I have repeatedly called United, Lufthansa and the travel agent from whom I bought the ticket, trying to change the date of the above flight.

    Repeatedly, I have failed. UA claim they cannot change it (the fare is definitely changeable), LH claim they cannot locate the segments of the booking following those flown by LH (LH also issued the paper ticket) and the travel agent says they cannot access the booking as the airlines have 'taken it over.'

    All I want to do is change the date - can anyone suggest how I might go about doing this successfully. All in all, I estimate I have spent 4-5 hours on the phone without any luck. All advice appreciated.

    Thanks
    Geoff.
     

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    5,453
    4
    Yes LH does use a different GDS than UA. Sounds like you need proof of changeability to give to UA so they can make the change. Two approaches possible - either have UA show you the rule that prevents date changes, and/or get a copy of the rules (saved yourself or from LH) to UA showing where date changes are allowed.


    PS the ticket you describe is not a *A RTW. It sounds like a LH standard fare australia to europe, that happens to be flexible allowing routing via one or both of asia and north america.
     
  3. aspro2

    aspro2 Member

    Nov 26, 2004
    175
    1
    MEL
    You;re probably travelling on this (or very similar fare):
    LH38-EUR/MEAST/AFR VAX/QAX RETURN

     
  4. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,762
    243
    Canberra / London
    Hi Geoff, sounds like a bit of a cop out from your travel agent, especially as none of the airlines seem to admit any responsibility.

    I know that UA can be sticklers for their own rules (and they tend to make them up as they go along), so unless you have some status, I don't think you will get very far with them. Lufthansa are a bit the same, but with a Germanic flavour.

    I would have thought that your best bet at this stage is to go to the nearest UA ticket office (LAX/SFO?) and discuss the issue in person, with the fare rules in your hand.

    Good luck.
     
  5. robynmac

    robynmac Newbie

    Apr 29, 2006
    4
    0
    clifford - sorry to correct you, but it is not a 'cop-out' by the travel agent ... unfortunatley when an airline makes a change on a booking at a clients request, the change does not always update in their GDS, hence, the airlines have 'taken over' the booking .. once an airline takes control of the booking, there is absolultey nothing the agent can then do to change flights as the two PNR's are not in synch with each other.

    You have two options, if your ticket is a paper ticket, call UA and quote your ticket number - if they are the carrier on the segment in question, they are bound by IATA rules to change your fare, do not hang up until they have changed your flight. If your ticket is an e-ticket and you don't have a ticket number, call your agent, and get the UA 'reloc' so UA have a reference so they can bring up your booking.

    Unfortunatley UA are known for 'passing the buck' .. if you stand your ground and ask for the call to be escalated, then you should be fine.
     
  6. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    1,762
    243
    Canberra / London
    Thanks for the informative comments, Robyn.

    I must admit that I was in a similar position to the OP myself a couple of months ago. I had a paper C class ticket, issued by Emirates and also including flight segments on TG and UA.

    While in the USA, I decided that I wanted to change the date/time of one of my UA flights (checked availability etc beforehand). I then rang UA reservations gave them the ticket No. etc, and the agent (who didn't want to be particularly helpful), told me that there was nothing she could do for me; I would have to contact Emirates and get them to make the change.

    As you can imagine, I thought this course was likely to be a long-winded pain, with no guarantee of a speedy resolution. So I decided to go to the airport (LAX) quite early in the morning of my preferred flight and just ask in person if my flight could be changed.

    Well, as it turned out, nothing could have been simpler. The ticketing agent could see that it was a paper ticket, booked in C class, with no restrictions, and I was quickly waitlisted, with an upgrade to First, on the next flight to JFK (which is what I wanted).

    The moral of the story seems to be, if you have a non-UA issued ticket, not to waste your time trying to make a change to your itinerary on the phone, but to mosey on down to the airport (or UA ticket office, if any of these still exist), talk to someone in person, show them your (preferably paper) ticket, and hopefully they'll do something for you.

    If this doesn't work, then you'll probably have to do a lot more scurrying around, or just go with the the original itinerary.
     
  7. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    15,764
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    This is technically true, but its a poor agent that won't continue to take responsibility for their client's travel arrangements and call the airlines on your behalf and fix the problem.
     
  8. robynmac

    robynmac Newbie

    Apr 29, 2006
    4
    0
    while that is true .. try being in the middle of an airline and a client trying to change flights, it may sound clear cut, but its not always the case. Again thats yet another reason to stick to a good travel agent when you find one.
     
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