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Las Vegas, NV (Nov 14) Australia, a dream vacation. Tickets purchased in February for a trip in November. You want everything to be perfect. American Airlines, flight from Las Vegas, NV to Los Angeles, with American partnering with Qantas for the flight to Sydney, Australia. The return flight will be Qantas from Sydney to Los Angeles with American flying the passengers back to Las Vegas, NV.
The itinerary was chosen because Qantas has the new A380 equipment, the cost being about ten percent more than flying United, but it’s worth the extra to fly the new A380 equipment. American handled everything including the seat assignments from Las Vegas to LA, to Sydney, and both returned flights.
It’s one day before the scheduled departure; the itinerary is checked, and no seat assignments for the Qantas flight out of LA to Sydney or the return back to LA from Sydney, and the equipment reflected a Boeing 747, not the new A380 plane as confirmed in February!! Qantas was contacted but they couldn’t discuss the itinerary for security reasons, and the passengers were advised to call American.
The first call to American the agent said contact Qantas, so the passengers quickly advised the agent that was not an option, so the agent proceeded to verify the seat assignments. To the delight of the passengers, the agent confirmed the passengers had the same seats assigned in February even though the equipment had changed from the A380 to a Boeing 747. With a little online research by the passengers, they discovered the Boeing 747 didn’t show the seats the agent stated were still confirmed; those seats aren’t listed on the 747 seating chart, unbelievable!!
Another call to American Airlines confirmed the first agent gave incorrect information, and new seats were assigned in the back of the plane; another disappointment in addition to the disappointment of flying the Boeing 747 and not the new beautiful A380. Ok, time to pack we are going to Australia!!!
One more online review of the itinerary to confirm the seat assignments and to assure the departure time had not changed, only to discover no seat assignments for the trip on Qantas out of LA to Sydney or the return flight from Sydney back to LA. A quick call back to American Airlines and a new conversation with Helene, customer service representative must have had several people calling her with complaints because she was unusually curt with her responses. She confirmed there were no seat assignments but she would submit to Qantas seat assignment requests. She advised this was a request to Qantas not a confirmation of seats. (When you purchase tickets with an airline who partners with another airline, the primary airline, in this case American was partnering with Qantas, the primary handles all seat assignments, and they submit the request, and then they wait to see if the request is accepted).
The new seat assignments were even more disappointing that the earlier ones assigned. Helene could see the passenger’s frustration and advised seats could be assigned by the passengers. She had to be told that was incorrect information because the passengers had tried that already. She and the other agents at American did not know American Airlines procedures. She then transferred the call to the web administrator who confirmed the passengers could not assign their seats on the partner airline but she did confirm that seats were assigned.
American airlines have the most inept customer service agents. Qantas will not give any information to the customer even though the customer is flying on their plane. Qantas advertizes on their site the A380 flight’s 11 and 12 fly daily from LA to Sydney, Australia. This is misinformation and in marketing terms, a bait and switch. Do not book a flight to Sydney, Australia using American Airlines with partner Qantas. I would advise flying any other airline other than these two airlines but trusting there are seats available at the airport on the 15th November, will be continued from Sydney, Australia.
Brenda Hyatt – WorldNewsVine