While many frequent readers know the ins and outs of booking award tickets, many do choose to solicit the help of an award booking service. Being on the Juicy Miles team, booking award tickets is a daily activity for me. In interacting with phone agents on a virtually daily basis, I have gathered some of my favorite lies I have heard from them. See if they sound familiar!
On trying to book an award ticket that includes Brussels Airlines, an agent couldn’t find any award space, even though I was able to identify them. After asking to speak to a supervisor, I was told by the supervisor, “Brussels Airlines is not part of the Star Alliance award network. We partner with them on revenue flights, but we are not partners on award tickets.” Huh? I had been on the phone for over an hour, and got a little frustrated, so I did something I wouldn’t normally recommend anyone do. I told the agent that I was able to find award availability using Air Canada’s website. “Oh. Air Canada is just much closer with Brussels than United is.” K bye.
In another instance, I called US Airways to put an award ticket on hold, for travel on Cathay Pacific. The agent happily obliged after finding the space. I figure I would stick with a competent agent while I had one on the line, so I asked her to help me with holding another ticket, which included a Qantas flight. Perhaps she got a bit uncomfortable holding two awards in one call…“Oh I can’t do that. You will have to either ticket it now or give it up. We can only hold itineraries that include only US Airways flights. Partner awards can’t be held.” Well that’s funny, because she literally just held a Cathay award for me…5 minutes ago.
Delta Air Lines
I was working on an itinerary to Mendoza, Argentina, and was hoping to book a ticket on a Aerolíneas Argentinas. After frantically typing for what must have been 10 minutes, the agent returned. “This is not a valid route.” I tried to verify that Aerolíneas Argentinas does have a route from Buenos Aires to Mendoza, and the agent agreed. “Yes, they do fly there. But you can’t book an award ticket there. Because you can only book award tickets to places where Delta flies, and Delta doesn’t fly there.” #Facepalm
As many of you know, middle of the night/early in the morning is peak hours for airports in the Middle East. I found an amazing itinerary that includes an Etihad First Class flight arriving in Abu Dhabi at 10:50 pm, connecting to one that leaves at 1:00 am. I called American Airlines to book the ticket, and (of course) the agent had trouble finding availability. After asking her to search for the two segments separately, we found award space! However…”this will have to count as two separate awards. All itineraries that has an overnight connection must count as two separate trips.” First day on the job?
What are your “favorite” blatant lies told by airline phone agents?