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Manipulating the American Airlines booking computer

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Manipulating the American Airlines booking computer

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Murphy_The_CatMurphy_The_Cat Forumite
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I realise that this tip will only appeal to a very small number, but the savings can be quite substantial.

I always fly with AA when I go TransAtlantic because they do everything that I want in an airliine. One of the things that I really appreciate is the ease of use of the AA booking computer and I've come across a three things that can save a LOT of money on a flight. One is obvious, one isn't and the last one only works sometimes.

The obvious one first, when you are making an enquiry on the system, always have a look on the 'price & schedule' option as making a just a days change can make a huge difference in your fare if it crosses a 'season' (on my most recent booking it saved me 36% of the price).

The sometimes one. When you put in your 'arrival' airport, select an airport within 90 miles of your 'ideal' destination. In some instance, you can save money big time by taking this option (plus, you may reduce your number of flights).

The final one in the very unobvious one, and is completely illogical to me.
When you are making your enquiry, you have the option of selecting how many stops you want, in the price section. The default setting is 'no preference' and this will bring up their regular price -- however, if you change the number of stops to '1 or less', this will often bring up a lower price, sometimes a MUCH lower price, for exactly the same seats, on exactly the same flight. On my most recent booking, the saving on this method varied from nil, to £15, to £25 all the way upto £50 per seat before I made my booking - which made for a very healthy reduction of £200, from a ticket price that was already very, very competitive.

******as a money saving finale, once you've picked the flight that you want, at the price that you want to pay, DON'T PAY FOR IT. Reserve it instead. Make a note of the Record Locator and then, within 24 hours contact AA reservations amd pay for your tickets with your MasterCard which will get you a further 15% off the flight price (but not the taxes/surcharges).But as Katys Grandad says, you must make it clear that you're using the booking offer codeword MASTER*****
Sadly, it appears that this offer is no longer being promoted. By all means, contact the AA Booking Office, but don't be surprised if the answer is 'no'.

As of 6.00 pm on Monday 11.02.08, it looks like its still on -- but if you are not at all sure, please check before manking your booking.

I hope that I've helped someone out there. If someone needs any extra details, please shout.

In my most recent flight booking (& I didn't get the MasterCard discount), I saved over £700 by manipulating the computer and changing my flights marginally.
blackcat.gif

p.s. The AA computer can change many, many times in a day. Keep logging on until you find the price that you're happy with !


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Replies

  • There's also a 3rd way which works MOST of the time. You have the option to select a multi-city itinerary. If you choose that option but enter what is actually a RETURN, i.e. put the 1st flight A to B and the second B to A, it frequently gives a lower price.

    BTW - the Mastercard discount needs the code 'MASTER' to work. The discount isn't applied automatically just because you pay with Mastercard.
    Filiss
  • lynzpowerlynzpower Forumite
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    just a quickie, murphy well done on your weight loss :T
    :beer: Well aint funny how its the little things in life that mean the most? Not where you live, the car you drive or the price tag on your clothes.
    Theres no dollar sign on piece of mind
    This Ive come to know...
    So if you agree have a drink with me, raise your glasses for a toast :beer:
  • DKLSDKLS Forumite
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    Great tips, I would love to get a hold of their pricing algorithm's
  • exel1966exel1966 Forumite
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    Reserve it instead. Make a note of the Record Locator and then, within 24 hours contact AA reservations amd pay for your tickets with your MasterCard which will get you a further 15% off the flight price (but not the taxes/surcharges).
    quote]

    There's one big flaw here in that when you call AA reservations ad give them the locator they'll find your reservation without problems but they DO NOT honour the fare when you try to use the mastercard discount as a differing tariff applies. I tried it last year and they wouldn't accept it just as dozens of others. There's quite a long thread about here on the site.

    The code MASTER is not applicable online in this promotion.

    8. Promotion Code
    The Promotion Code entered is not valid. Please enter a valid Promotion Code, or remove to continue.

    Promotion Code: MASTER


    The offer is here.
  • Murphy_The_CatMurphy_The_Cat Forumite
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    There's also a 3rd way which works MOST of the time. You have the option to select a multi-city itinerary. If you choose that option but enter what is actually a RETURN, i.e. put the 1st flight A to B and the second B to A, it frequently gives a lower price.

    BTW - the Mastercard discount needs the code 'MASTER' to work. The discount isn't applied automatically just because you pay with Mastercard.

    I'm glad that you've had success with the MultCity pricing for a return trip, as on the routes that I've done, its always been the same - don't you just love the AA computer :j
    As far as I was aware, you had to phone AA reservations to get the 15% deal, I thought that doing it online didn't work. But I'll be happy to be corrected.
    lynzpower wrote:
    just a quickie, murphy well done on your weight loss

    Cheers chuck. I'm hoping for another stone off by the time I got at the end of April.
    DKLS wrote:
    Great tips, I would love to get a hold of their pricing algorithm's
    Me too. there must be some method to it - it just isn't obvious to a mere mortal like me :rotfl:
    exel1966 wrote:
    There's one big flaw here in that when you call AA reservations ad give them the locator they'll find your reservation without problems but they DO NOT honour the fare when you try to use the mastercard discount as a differing tariff applies. I tried it last year and they wouldn't accept it just as dozens of others. There's quite a long thread about here on the site.

    The code MASTER is not applicable online in this promotion.

    Hmmm, at this stage, I wouldn't be 100% sure either way.
    This what happened to me. I set up my flights last night and got an absolutely cracking deal on a W class ticket - I was dead chuffed, and booked it there and then.
    I then came across the Mastercard deal that you linked to and iy looked very interesting, especially with this clause in it
    1. The passenger is entitled to a 15% discount off all published fares for travel on American Airlines transatlantic flights only, including American Airlines web site fares, excluding all taxes, fees and surcharges.
    So I rang AA and asked them for how the 'land lied'. & it was a case of good news/bad news.
    The good news was that YES, I would have had the 15% discount off the fare if I'd reserved it last night and paid for it over the phone with my MasterCard.
    The bad news was that because I'd paid for my tickets last night and that I'd been ticketed, I would need to cancel my existing booking (which was non-refundable ! and rebook it to get the 15% off. Obviously something that I wouldn't want to do.

    Perhaps if someone was to do the reservation online bit, phone up to pay for it with MasterCard bit and then let us all know on here what the score was, we'd all definitely know exactly how the deal works. The worst thing that would happen is that AA redervations say NO and you'll end up paying the original online price.If I've got it wrong about the AA / Mastercard offer, I will of course delete all mention of it
    At first glance it looks a lot better than last years BOGOF deal.

    blackcat.gif

    p.s. and with this flight I now qualify for a free flight to America under the AAdvantage deal :j:j:j


  • I have just saved myself £33 per ticket for 4 adults travelling with American Airlines to Las Vegas and paying by Mastercard.
    I booked online with the Uk website for AA (americanairlines.co.uk) not the US one.
    I became a member of aa advantage (free) then saved the reservation. Don`t pay at this stage!.
    Then I phoned AA on the telephone no. on Mastercards website 02073650777 and quoted the promotion code MASTER.Usually there is a £15 fee for telephone bookings but this is also waived.
    Then the 15% discount is applied to the published flight but not to the taxes etc.
    this gave me a discount of £132 for 4 tickets.

    Hope that helps everyone
  • stonemanstoneman Forumite
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    exel1966 wrote: »
    Reserve it instead. Make a note of the Record Locator and then, within 24 hours contact AA reservations amd pay for your tickets with your MasterCard which will get you a further 15% off the flight price (but not the taxes/surcharges).
    quote]

    There's one big flaw here in that when you call AA reservations ad give them the locator they'll find your reservation without problems but they DO NOT honour the fare when you try to use the mastercard discount as a differing tariff applies. I tried it last year and they wouldn't accept it just as dozens of others. There's quite a long thread about here on the site.

    The code MASTER is not applicable online in this promotion.

    8. Promotion Code
    The Promotion Code entered is not valid. Please enter a valid Promotion Code, or remove to continue.

    Promotion Code: MASTER


    The offer is here.

    Just to drag this post up again. Reserved my flights online last week and phoned up the next day to book using mastercard. Given 15% discount on the WHOLE BOOKING inc. taxes:confused: , and as the booking with this offer is not accessible online, they waived the booking fee.
    Also, I will be signing up for a Platinum challange and with my first flight will accrue 10,900 points and become Platinum straight away.
    Virgin can take a running jump!!:T
    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
  • LB1985LB1985 Forumite
    427 posts
    Stoneman, how do you get a Gold/Platinum challenge for AAdvantage? Is it just a matter of calling them and asking? :confused:
  • stonemanstoneman Forumite
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    LB1985 wrote: »
    Stoneman, how do you get a Gold/Platinum challenge for AAdvantage? Is it just a matter of calling them and asking? :confused:
    Phone up the AAdvantage number in the U.S. not here as they aren't very good. Say you want to go on a gold/5,000 points, Platinum/10,000 points challenge, they start on the 1st. and 15th of the month. You have 3 months to get the required points, if you do you attain that member level for an entire year. Usually you would have to acquire 50,000 in one year to get Platinum, so it's a very good deal, getting you into one-world affiliate club access, preferred seating, free upgrades, etc. You can check the millage you will get using this and then check what class you are booked in to get the number of points you will get per mile.
    I made a mistake in my earlier post, I will in fact receive 13,350 points for my round trip this April.:j
    The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
  • manc29manc29 Forumite
    22 posts
    Is the link for the mastercard offer now dead?
    When i click on it it just takes you to the mastercard website but the offer no longer there.

    Any ideas?
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