United and American Airlines Makes Award Ticketing Easier

It has been a long time complaint of mine that trying to book award travel using frequent flier miles has been a pain.

To do it online, one usually had to pick dates and perhaps even times and have the system search only to find out the award you selected wasn't available for the dates/times selected. Iterate through this several times and it gets old very quickly. Worse, when you finally give up and decide to try a standard rather than saver award the system would never tell you that for less miles you could have gotten a business/first class saver award on the same flight.

Calling an agent was a little better as they seemed to have more info readily available, but still required several iterations to find the best option.

Well, I was visiting both United and American Airlines web-sites to check my miles recently and did some browsing and saw that things are much improved. After entering your desired itinerary both now display a calendar showing the dates where there is availability for the selected award so you don't have to guess and try like before. American even makes it easy to switch between award types. The downside of this is that at least American feels the web-site is good enough that they are charging $15 if you do call an agent now. Unfortunately it appears that if you want to book award travel with a partner you have to call an agent.

Regardless, an improvement over the past.

Comments:

Figures AA would charge a price for this service. With the terrible service AA provides, it should not charge for this service. I have even read they are charging $5.00 for a blanket. These people are nuts.

Posted by MSS on October 01, 2007 at 05:44 AM PDT #

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