If US Airways and American Airlines do end up merging, I hope the good folks at the US Airways call centers do not lose their positions. I depend on them to get my jollies…
I just have to share one of today’s calls with you–
AGENT (with thick Southern drawl): Can I help you make a new Dividend Miles reservation?
ME: Yes, please–I’m tyring to book a round-trip from Boston to Bangkok. I was speaking to another agent about space earlier so if you’d like I can read you back the routing that we found.
AGENT: Did y’all hold it?
ME: No, sadly we do not.
AGENT: Oh durn it!
ME: That’s okay–I’ve got all the fight numbers written down. The first flight will be from Boston to Munich on Lufthansa in business class on April 04th.
AGENT: I know the code for Boston, but have you got this Munich code?
ME: Mike – Uniform – Charlie
AGENT: Oh, Moon-itch. I’ve heard of that. Sure, I can get you that flight, the one leaving at 8:20p?
ME: Yes, Lufthansa 425. Next, will be a Thai flight from Munich to Bangkok departing late in the day.
AGENT: Thai. Hmm. Let’s see. Now what is their code?
ME: T – G
AGENT: Oh thanks! And do you know the code for Bangkok?
ME: Bravo – Kilo – Kilo
AGENT: Great. Here it is. Yup, I can get you this flight too, Thai Airways 925 leaving at 9:50p.
ME: Let’s get this reservation set-up now before your system times out.
AGENT: That’s ok, let’s just get the return flights booked.
ME: Okay. The return will be from Bangkok to Washington via Vienna on Austrian Airways deaprting on April 16th, followed by Washington to Boston on United Airlines on April 17th.
AGENT: Okay. Let’s see what we’ve got here.
[silence for two minutes]
ME: Have you found the space?
AGENT: Still looking
ME: The code for Austrian is O – S.
AGENT: Oh, that’s it. Thank you! I thought it would be something like AA or something.
ME: American Airlines must have beat them to it…
AGENT: That’s funny sir! Ok, where did you say the first flight goes to?
ME: Vienna, Victor – India – Echo. OS 26 to Vienna.
AGENT: Got it. Yup, here’s the flight. Austrian Airlines 26 operated by Ti-ro-lean Airways Tyro-ler Luff-fart (Tyrolean Airways Tiroler Luftfahrt GMBH). Then where?
ME: From Vienna to Washington Dulles, India – Alpha – Delta on April 17th.
AGENT: Ha! Thanks sir, I do know that code. Is that on OS again?
ME: Yes ma’am. OS 93.
AGENT: I got the space. That’s also operated by Ti-ro-lean Airways Tyro-ler Luff-fart.
ME: Great. The last flight will be from Dulles to Boston on United 1136, leaving at 4:56p. That flight will only have X class space on it.
AGENT: I found the flight but it only has economy class on it.
ME: Yes, that’s fine.
AGENT: Okay, what’s your Dividend Miles number?
[I provided by the info requested and the passenger name]
AGENT: Do you want to book this now or put it on hold?
ME: Hold please.
AGENT: Okay, one moment…aw, shucks. You were right. My system timed out. Ah drat, we are going to have to start over again. I lost it all.
[After painfully putting the award trip together, segment by segment, the reservation was built]
AGENT [after repeating flight details]: Okay, this award is going to be 100K round-trip.
ME [surprised]: Oh, okay. How do you figure that?
AGENT: Well, Bangkok is in Thailand, which is one of your Eastern European countries right?
ME: Thank you.
AGENT: No, thank you sir for doing the work for me. I’m sorry we lost the space but I’m glad I was able to get it back for you. Thanks for calling US Airways.