Earlier today I posted the following about booking Etihad Airways award space with American Airlines–
American Airlines Cannot Book Etihad Award Space…Again
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways is a wonderful American Airlines AAdvantage partner, offering excellent premium cabin award space to top destinations around the world. AA ran into problems earlier this year confirming Etihad award space and it took several weeks for the problem to be resolved. Unfortunately, a new problem has arisen and since Friday, 24 October, AA has been unable to confirm Etihad award space. All Etihad space is now blocked.
The problem this time around is a bit different than the direct access availability issue last time: what was happening this time was that American Airlines would confirm the award space with Etihad and ticket the reservation, but then space would come back unconfirmed after ticketing. Thus, AA has blocked Etihad space until the problem can be resolved. Check your reservations if you recently booked an EY award with AA. There is no time frame on a resolution, but the blockage earlier this year ran from late May to the end of June, so I am not optimistic we will get a fix in the next few days.
Until then, alluring award space will be left dangling for Etihad’s own Guest members to grab without competition from the millions of AAdvantage members…
But as it turns out, the space is bookable. Which causes me to scratch my head.
Here’s how I came to the apparently inaccurate post above.
Call One: Agent could not see the Etihad space – said she could even pull up the schedule
Call Two: Agent said there was no space
Call Three: Agent checked and found no space, then found a “memo” saying that since 24 October 2014, AA reservations made on Etihad had been coming back unconfirmed after ticketing so AA had blocked all space and was working with Etihad to address the problem
Call Four: Agent confirmed what previous agent had said, checked space, and found no award seats
Call Five: Agent found no space
After five calls, I thought…shoot, this must be a real problem, and so I posted here.
But after reader and fellow award booker Del sent me a note saying that he had just booked award space on Etihad, I called back and easily and immediately was able to book the space I wanted.
A String of Bad Agents or A Timely Resolution to the Problem?
While it is conceivable that AA fixed this space in the few hours between my post and now, I think it more likely that I actually encountered five agents in a row at the Executive Platinum desk (!) who were incompetent and/or uninformed. That is very concerning.
So there you have it. I apologize for the false alarm, am thankful it was only a false alarm, and note that even five checks may not be enough checks.