The price of my ticket just went up! I just got the original, lower fare back by calling in.

An upcoming engagement required me to be in Dallas and, naturally, AA is my carrier of choice.

Looking at AA.com, there was a very reasonable fare heading down, but when I tried to book it, and enter my credit card information, the fare disappeared, and increased by over $300…something I was certainly not going to pay. I’ve had this happen before, both on AA and on other airlines – sometimes I think the computer is just trying to screw with the passenger because so many seats seem to disappear “just as you’re trying to book.”

Frustrated, I called the Executive Platinum desk and explained the situation. I told the kind agent that I was attempting to book a ticket, and I gave her the flight numbers and ticket prices I saw. She was very understanding, and put me on hold for a few moments, while she typed away in her computer to see if she could pull up the history of fares on the route. She eventually found the fare I originally had, and within a matter of moments, offered to ticket me on my preferred routing, and at the reduced (original) fare. I was in shock.

So, there’s a few things to keep in mind here:

  • Airlines generally want to help their most loyal customers. Often, they’ll sometimes bend the rules to get things done. In the case of American, they are usually especially generous – and in this case, it wasn’t a matter of right and wrong, but rather than one of their elite passengers was trying to book a ticket with the fare suddenly going up for an unknown reason (which the agent even acknowledged she couldn’t see why the fare had gone up, because the original inventory was still there).
  • Agents have the power to adjust fares – sometimes it requires a call to revenue management, but if an agent tells you that they can’t do it, they aren’t correct.

The AAngel’s saved me from having to pay a higher ticket price, and for that I am very grateful! It was a nice Christmas gift for sure, and certainly leaves a pleasant taste in my mouth for wanting to fly AA more!

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