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USA AAdvantage Platinum Desk puts Service back into Service Desk

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NM

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Once again I was blown away by the incredible service offered to me on a call to the USA number of the AAdvantage Platinum service desk. I know why I always call the USA number - their agents are almost always polite, knowledgeable and helpful.

I needed to change an award booking I have for my daughter and her best friend. My daughter needs to get back to Australia earlier than originally planned as she will be moving interstate in January to commence her new career (somewhat related to flying and airports ;) ). Her friend will retain the originally booked flight for her return.

So the challenge was to find award availability from Canada back to Australia in the middle of January. Original routing was YYC-DFW-LAX with a 3 night stop, then LAX-BNE, booked before the last award program changes so it was all a single 35K miles award. The LA stopover was not essential and I knew any stopover on the return would cost more miles due to the changes. So I started the process of looking for award availability.

Nothing was available in January using QF trans-Pacific - on any routing in any cabin (needs to be back in Brisbane by 20th at latest). I worked backwards using various tools (ExpertFlyer, Asia Miles, AAdvaantage, QFF etc) and found YYC-DFW-JFK-xHKG-BNE (overnight in DFW) with Asia Miles showing business class only available JFK-HKG (via YVR) and HKG-BNE. However, AAdvantage rep could not see the CX award availability, so may have only been available to Asia Miles members.

So the agent went looking for options. He found something that he said was a "whacky routing". Now, never tell an AFF member that a routing is "whacky"! I thought YYC-DFW-JFK-yvr-HKG-BNE was pretty straight forward, so how could anything he found be too whacky?

His option was YYC-PHX-LAX, then 2 nights in LA (could have made it just one night, but the option for a day at Disney Land was attractive and flights were reasonable timing. So that 12,500 AAdvantage miles in coach. Then 2 days later JL operated LAX-NRT-SYD and QF operated SYD-BNE as two F awards, be 62,500 NA-Asia1 and 60,000 Asia1-Australia. No to decide whether to tell her she will be in F cabin LAX-NRT-SYD or let her find out when she checks in at LAX :D.

He then split the original PNR into two, so her friend's flights remain the originals. Reinstated the original 35K miles for my daughter's return segments, refunded the original taxes paid, booked the new flights and calculated the new taxes for her entire trip (US$223.70) and charged to my Aussie credit card already held on file for the booking.

The original booking was done on-line so no service fee was charged. The agent waived the service fee for making the change as I was effectively "upgrading" the booking, and when the system wanted to charge me US$150 fee for reinstating the original miles into my account, he called his supervisor to seek authority to waive that fee also. While he was on hold waiting to get the waiver code needed to actually waive the fee, he kept coming back to me to apologise for the delay and to let me know he had not forgotten me.

The total call time was 51 mins. Most of that time was spent searching for options for the flights. I was speaking with the agent within 10 seconds of providing my AAdvantage number. He understood what I wanted to do, tried the options I had found, which were not available via AAdvantage, then proceeded to find what turned out to be a better option. All the time he was polite and friendly. And he completed the booking changes, including processing my Aussie credit card and emailed the revised e-ticket confirmation, all in one call.

Fantastic job! Talk about putting the Service back into the Service Desk.
 

straitman

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Fantastic job! Talk about putting the Service back into the Service Desk.
We are flying MEL-LAX on QF93 on 26th Nov. We then fly onwards LAX-SEA-BLI on an AA booking (AS metal) These were booked months ago and all was fine until a few days ago when AA in their wisdom changed the LAX-SEA-BLI timing to only give us a 90 connection in LAX. :confused:

I looked at my options for a day and then just rang the AA Australian number (Suva) to see what could be sorted out. The operator there looked at it and simply put us back on our original flights. She was very apologetic regarding what had happened and VERY efficient.

Suffice to say I have used the Suva office a few times in recent times and have to say that I am extremely happy with their handling of things these days compared to a year or so ago. They are helpful and work hard to explore all the options in a situation.

The only disappointment was when I rang Qantas premium to ensure the notes linking the bookings were still there and I was told that as it was an AS flight they would not through check bags etc etc. (Remember it's an AA booking) I have done this previously without issue and when I did it the first time the onward legs even then showed on QF.com as part of the original booking.

As NM says it seems that AA have really raised the bar with their "Service Desk(s). Well done AA. :D :cool:
 

serfty

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I have had some great service from the usAA service desk ... love the way the VOX recognition process results in being answered by the "EXP line".
 
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TomVexille

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No to decide whether to tell her she will be in F cabin LAX-NRT-SYD or let her find out when she checks in at LAX :D.

I vote to let her find out at LAX :mrgreen:
 

serfty

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How does that work ? (Unless of course you are EXP)
I call one of the Testra or Optus AT&T numbers then AA on 1 800 433 7300 and follow the voice prompts (enunciating as clearly as possible) "reservations", "existing reservations", "continue" (no AAdvantage #), departure date (eg. "June Thirty"), flight number (eg "one seven seven") etc.

My QF WP number needs to be in the booking.
 

Princess Fiona

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I call one of the Testra or Optus AT&T numbers then AA on 1 800 433 7300 and follow the voice prompts (enunciating as clearly as possible) "reservations", "existing reservations", "continue" (no AAdvantage #), departure date (eg. "June Thirty"), flight number (eg "one seven seven") etc.

My QF WP number needs to be in the booking.
Excellent will try that option. The times I have called recently it has been a held booking in my existing AAdvantage account. I have found that I definitely get answered more quickly although not necessarily more knowledgeably by not entering my current no status AAdvantage number.
 

Mal

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I call one of the Testra or Optus AT&T numbers then AA on 1 800 433 7300 and follow the voice prompts (enunciating as clearly as possible) "reservations", "existing reservations", "continue" (no AAdvantage #), departure date (eg. "June Thirty"), flight number (eg "one seven seven") etc.

My QF WP number needs to be in the booking.

Also am a big fan of their automated system. With my WP number in the booking, it quickly routed me to the EXP desk after following the above (calling within the U.S). Even with my non-American accent, the system had no issues hearing and finding my booking date, flight number and surname. And the follow-up service was great too.
 

NM

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I vote to let her find out at LAX :mrgreen:
While its printed on her itinerary, its not overly obvious. There are no seat numbers showing for the JAL flights (just the AA flights). The "Fare Basis" field says Z for those flights, which again means nothing to her (other segments show X, T, U), and the word "First" is printed directly after her name, so no mention of "class". I can only hope that the economy check-in agent does more than just hand her the boarding pass when she checks in at LAX. At least let her know she can use the lounge and provide directions to get to it. Would love to see the look on her face when she realises - I guess we will first read about it on Facebook.

Her outbound journey is 4 connecting flights in economy/coach (1 x QF, 2 x AA Eagle, 1 x AA) over an elapsed time of 31 hours. Then the start of the return is 2 x US coach segments back to LA and 2 nights stopover so she can go to Disney Land. Then then F trip home.
 

NM

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I call one of the Testra or Optus AT&T numbers then AA on 1 800 433 7300 and follow the voice prompts (enunciating as clearly as possible) ...
Luckily I have an IP phone on my home office desk that has a USA number and makes USA calls directly, so no cost to call the USA 1800 number for the AA Plat Desk.

Its great that AA actually uses the OneWorld status to route the call to the right place based on the FF details in the booking. Another case of doing it right for AAdvantage.
 

serfty

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Luckily I have an IP phone on my home office desk that has a USA number and makes USA calls directly, so no cost to call the USA 1800 number for the AA Plat Desk....
Note that those numbers I linked to are toll free ... ;)
 

dfcatch

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Yep - when the booking is on hold, I don't enter my AA number and find I get straight through.

Once booked and QF number is in booking, I follow the voice prompts and always get answered by the EXP desk.

Great system.
 

ejd711

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Great experiences with the AA Platinum desk too both in the US and here called using Skype.

Boo hoo to losing my status in Feb next year.
 

NM

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Note that my experience as noted in the initial post in this thread is with calling the AAdvantage Platinum Service Desk, not the Executive Platinum Service Desk. Even the regular Platinum agents are AAngels and knowledgeable, helpful, polite and proactive. You don't need to be top-tier to get good service from AAdvantage telephone agents.
 
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I too like the lovely Fijian ladies who run Australia AA call centre. They have worked some real miracles in getting me into transcon F so many times!
 

serfty

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Note that my experience as noted in the initial post in this thread is with calling the AAdvantage Platinum Service Desk, not the Executive Platinum Service Desk. Even the regular Platinum agents are AAngels and knowledgeable, helpful, polite and proactive. You don't need to be top-tier to get good service from AAdvantage telephone agents.
I have seen posts on FT, some recently, that there is the group of those AAgents designated for EXP and AAgents for the rest. i.e. From a consumer POV there is only the special EXP "desk" and then a "desk" for others.

The basic theme is that AAgents are generally pretty good.
 
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