AAdvantage Complaints

Have you tried using your miles or elite status but encountered problems? Had any problems earning mileage?



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Buyer beware

 
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  #1  
Old Feb 11, 2009, 6:23 PM
RogerG23 RogerG23 is offline
 
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I have sent this email to AA customer services.

I hope you can help me in my predicament. I needed an extra 13000 mlies to purchase my upcoming trip (Locator ENCLNU) . As there is a special bonus for puchasing miles, I only needed 10,000 mlies with the bonus of 3000 miles on top. The 10000 miles was duly bought and creditted to my account. I now discover that the bonus will not be creditted until May sometime. I would have bought the 13000 miles in one go, had I known about the delay in purchasing creditting the bonus. Would it be possible to credit my miles now? I have a hold on the flight until Fri 13th. Failing that could you refund the 2nd charge of $30 which would not have been incurred had the miles all been bought at one time. Your assistance is much appreciated.

We will see what happens.
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  #2  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 12:39 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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We will see, but let me make a prediction. The answer will be no, and about five people will log on here specifically to tell you that you should have read the terms and conditions and it is all your own fault, why should AA make an exception for you? Airlines and their employees are only forgiving of their own mistakes.. there is no latitude for passenger mistakes.
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  #3  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 4:40 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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I don't dispute anyone's right to try to accumulate as many frequent flyer ("FF") miles as possible, redeem miles, etc. Indeed I was a heavy accumulator, and user, of FF miles during the days when US-based airlines had a perceptible level of civility and predictability--pre "9-11." As to using FF miles in a post "9-11" world: I sometimes wonder if people fully understand what they're letting themselves in for. If something goes wrong, and you've taken your first flight, you could, in theory, be on the hook for hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars (the cost of full-fare "walk-up" tickets.) With load levels averaging around 75%+ of fare-paying passengers the only available FF seats, for most people, are at times like 5:00 AM, on a Wednesday in February, for a flight to Islip, New York, when your final destination is Manhattan. As to those “fare, plus miles” deals being pushed: Even outside the “Alice In Wonderland” terms of most Contracts of Carriage, one’s rights in small claims court may be diminished if your ticket was purchased, even partially, with consideration other than legal tender—such as FF miles. For those few "triple platnum" customers FF programs may make some sense, albeit limited, because of the absence of restrictions on usage. Also, as I indicated in another post: Are (accumulating) FF miles REALLY worth being locked-up, on a trans-Pacific flight or a flight of any length, with a flight attendant who thinks she is the Director of the Spanish Inquisition? How do you know you won't run into someone like this when you REDEEM those miles?? For those who are fortunate enough to have a sizeable FF balance with Southwest, taking a chance with their Rapid Rewards program might be worthwhile.
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  #4  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 6:47 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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If you were short 13,000 mikles what were you thinking? Buying miles for an award, unless it's a couple of thousand to "top-off" what you have banked is insane anyway. Add to that the T&Cs of the "bonuses" programs and you deserve what you got! No sympathy here. You should have read the "fine print" which undoubtedly stated that bonus miles are credited sometime after the miles you buy - sometimes up to 3 months after. If you were relying on the bonus miles for your award you were suckered into the airline's spider web of deceit and you deserve whatever consequences you now face. Why don't you do what I do? Only rely on miles that are actually in your account for an award ticket. They played you for a fool and you showed them that, by not being aware of the T&Cs for this particular offer, you ARE, indeed, a fool. Go cry on a shoulder that cares. You'll get no sympathy here!
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  #5  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 12:50 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
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lol... as predicted!!
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  #6  
Old Feb 12, 2009, 7:20 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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Depending on your circumstances you may STILL be able to make use of those AA miles WITHOUT that batch of miles you paid for.
Joining ONE hotel "frequent stay" program might be worthwhile if your plans include stays in hotels, AND your itinerary includes cities where you have NOT, already, paid a non-refundable hotel deposit. I belong to Hilton's "Hilton HHonors" program. AA's frequent flyer program allows you to transfer miles to the "frequent stay" programs of certain hotel chains. I believe Hilton is a participating chain. As I recall, transfers must be in units of 5,000 to 10,000 miles. Usually, the number of "frequent flier" miles will be doubled after they are converted into hotel "points." Also there may be a limit on the number of miles you can transfer within a given year. However, it's important to clarify two things:
(1) How long will it take for your miles to be credited to the given "frequent stay" program? (2) Does the given hotel chain have availability, for "frequent stay" usage, at the location you want to stay at?
Around 30,000 to 50,000 hotel "points" are required for ONE night free. Most "frequent stay" programs allow "points" to be used at all properties within the given chain. Thus, Hilton "points" can be used at Hilton, Doubletree, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, etc. Finally, Hilton (and probably other hotel chains) allow "award" reservations on-line.
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Last edited by Butch Cassidy Slept Here; Feb 12, 2009 at 7:23 PM.
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  #7  
Old Feb 13, 2009, 4:54 AM
Jetliner Jetliner is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
We will see, but let me make a prediction. The answer will be no, and about five people will log on here specifically to tell you that you should have read the terms and conditions and it is all your own fault, why should AA make an exception for you? Airlines and their employees are only forgiving of their own mistakes.. there is no latitude for passenger mistakes.
Except the fine print as you put it is there for a reason. I'm not sure I understand why it should take that long, but if it does, there is a reason. These time frames are stated. So yes, we are going to say that he should have read the information. It was provided.
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  #8  
Old Feb 13, 2009, 7:01 PM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
 
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We will see, but let me make a prediction. The answer will be no, and about five people will log on here specifically to tell you that you should have read the terms and conditions and it is all your own fault, why should AA make an exception for you? Airlines and their employees are only forgiving of their own mistakes.. there is no latitude for passenger mistakes.

Jetliner took the time to paste Jim's quote in the form as it appears above. Jetliner then preaches on the virtues of complete, rather than partial, reading of a given document. The problem, in this instance, is Jetliner chooses not to read the last two sentences of his own paste. In other words Jetliner appears to be guilty of the same "offense" he is charging the original poster with. This kind of behavior tends to support Jim's last two sentences; that contrary to the, past, self-righteous outbursts of Jetliner, and his airline supporters, US-based airlines may be something less than the only true dispensers of "blind justice," or fairness.
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  #9  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 2:34 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
We will see, but let me make a prediction. The answer will be no, and about five people will log on here specifically to tell you that you should have read the terms and conditions and it is all your own fault, why should AA make an exception for you? Airlines and their employees are only forgiving of their own mistakes.. there is no latitude for passenger mistakes.
Originally Posted by jimworcs View Post
lol... as predicted!!
Yes. Exactly as predicted! The thread title was "Buyer beware" yet the OP didn't even heed his or her own advice!

We're talking frequent flier miles here. This isn't about AA's refusal to fix a mistake with a web booking or not allowing someone to board a flight because they showed up 29 minutes prior to departure and the cutoff time is 30 minutes. An airline's frequent flier program is subject to terms and conditions which in turn are subject to change at any time. We all know this. The OP was surprised when the "bonus miles" didn't post immediately and then realized that the terms and conditions of the offer stated otherwise. That should have been the end of it. Story over. Done deal. Too bad so sad.

Yet this whiner continues to harass the AAdvantage customer service folks demanding that he get special treatment. Why is he so different from all the other people who bought miles during this bonus promotion? He is different because he failed to fully read and understand the T&Cs of the promotion before purchasing the miles. How is this AA's fault and why should they post his bonus miles early or refund the extra fee for buying an additional 3000 miles? If they do this for one person they would have to do it for anyone and everyone who asked.

This is no different than those "free cellphone" promotions you often see. The phone is only "free" after you purchase the phone and mail in a rebate form and wait for the company to issue you a check. Same here. You only get the bonus miles after a waiting period from the initial purchase.
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  #10  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 5:51 AM
airhead airhead is offline
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I think the fine print can be simplified. I also believe the crazy nuance rules are silly. They are obviously complicated to fool customers into contracts. Then to top it off, the airlines will give little to minimal training on those policies to their own agents. What a headache! You have to be a seasoned flyer to understand these rules. Or have a team of lawyers fly with you.
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  #11  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 6:05 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by airhead View Post
I think the fine print can be simplified. I also believe the crazy nuance rules are silly. They are obviously complicated to fool customers into contracts. Then to top it off, the airlines will give little to minimal training on those policies to their own agents. What a headache! You have to be a seasoned flyer to understand these rules. Or have a team of lawyers fly with you.
In this case the T&Cs aren't exactly "fine print." Here's a link to the offer on AA.com:

Quote:
Special Offer - 30% Bonus!*

Award:
30% bonus miles

Dates:
February 1 - March 31, 2009

Offer:
Special Offer - 30% Bonus!*
Buy or gift American Airlines AAdvantage® miles between February 1 and March 31, 2009 and earn 1,500 bonus miles for every 5,000 miles purchased. For example, buy 10,000 miles earn 3,000 bonus miles. Get more from your miles today!

*Up to 12,000 bonus miles.

Restrictions:
Members must purchase miles from the buyAAmiles® or giftAAmilesSM program between February 1 - March 31, 2009 to be eligible for the 1,500 bonus miles per 5,000 mile purchased offer. Bonus is awarded to the purchaser of the miles. Please allow 72 hours for purchased miles to post to your AAdvantage account.

Bonus miles will be posted 6 - 8 weeks after conclusion of promotion. Member may earn up to 12,000 bonus miles through this offer.
There it is in black and white. And the font of the "Restrictions" isn't any smaller or finer than that of the main body of the offer. If the OIP didn't bother to read past the "Buy Miles" button that's his fault!
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  #12  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 6:21 AM
airhead airhead is offline
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Thanks for pointing that out. That is VERY SIMPLE. No lawyer needed for that one. Goes to show the nature of some who complain. I suppose I was a bit quick on the draw myself.

Last edited by airhead; Feb 14, 2009 at 6:24 AM.
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  #13  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 6:34 AM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
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Originally Posted by airhead View Post
Thanks for pointing that out. That is VERY SIMPLE. No lawyer needed for that one. Goes to show the nature of some who complain. I suppose I was a bit quick on the draw myself.
Nah - not qick on the draw. Believe me had it been buried somewhere I would have pointed that out too. However it wasn't and now the link is there if there are any doubters. Now, as to the reason for the wait for the "bonus miles" that's anybody's guess. I'm sure AA marleting has it's reasons and as marketing strategies are proprietary information I doubt it would be shared with any of us.

As for the OP, I'm sorry you didn't get what you thought you were paying for. Or, in this case, what you weren't paying for.
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  #14  
Old Feb 14, 2009, 6:43 AM
airhead airhead is offline
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Also, in my defense (and other airline employees,) those "specials" are not made public to the employees. The break rooms do not have these sales posted for the employee to read. One of my points is lack of information. Sure some employees are able to find these specials but they are usually the ones who work away from the front line and have time sitting in their cubicle to find it.

Sure their are entries to find them but it is hard to do that when one is expected to report to the counter as soon as one clocks in. No time for education. Thanks again.
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