I fail to understand why airline reservations agents cannot do simple things like search for award availability.
Today I called American Airlines about an award reservation on Cathay Pacific. I had already verified first class inventory on British Airway’s (horrible) mileage redemption page and simply desired to quickly put a reservation on hold using AA miles.
By the tone of her voice and lack of a simple “hello,” the lady who answered the call was not in a pleasant mood—that should have been a signal for me to hang up and try again. But I asked her to search for the award space I wanted and she tapped away on her keyboard for a few moments then came back and told me there was no availability.
I asked her to take a look again because the award space was definitely there (unless AA has suddenly started blocking partner space). Nope. No space available according to her.
Fine. I hung up and called back, reaching a woman who pleasantly greeted me. I told her the dates I wanted to travel and the flights I wanted and sure enough, she quickly found the space and reserved the ticket.
The same thing happens from time to time on Delta, US Airways, and United. But I cannot explain why. Can anyone explain why? Poor training? Just laziness? Searching for award space on a specific airline on a specific date at a specific time is a rather elementary task. It should not have taken two calls today to book my flight.