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Award Redemption Using Alaska miles: Can't see any QANTAS inventory in late 2016

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by maui-jim-68, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. maui-jim-68

    maui-jim-68 New Member

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    Hi there-

    Back story:
    Trying to get three of us (biz class) to Auckland in December (And hopefully back again). We have a TON of AS miles (1.4M or so) and was hoping to try to use them on Qantas or Air Fiji (anyone have any comments on their J class?). A glance at availability shows 0/2 on alaskaair.com.

    However, I see that QF has availability on days in December (J class) on qantas.com and ba.com. But those don't show on AS website. I called the partner desk and they said they may not appear (does this make sense?) even though I see them on QF and BA and expert flyer as available J awards...

    BA.com is crazy $$$$ (the agent quoted me 170k pp + fees). I have 380k BA miles left (after slowly trying to use them on short haul segments to avoid ridiculous fees). So I can't easily float that.

    We also have UA miles and I am considering booking that outbound and hope we can swing awards in future on QF or Fiji...but we also have to dish out $200 pp to cancel UA books.

    The BIG QUESTION:
    So, is there an issue on AS that I can call to book those QF business awards, or is it correct that even though BA and QF show them? (PS I don't see them on AA either, but I do see a few threads about AA/QF issues...)
     
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  2. No Name

    No Name Well-Known Member

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    @maui-jim-68

    Welcome

    I THINK this might be about when the different programs open up space, without being sure due to not knowing the dates.

    QF open up space 350 or 360 days out and BA can see it and get access to it right away, while AS and AA does not open up booking until 330 days out or something like that.

    Have read that it should be possible to reserve the space on BA then when AS open booking cancel the BA award and the space should go back in the system so that you can book it on AS, but a bit chancy

    Don't have time to check more just now, sorry.

    What you really need is an true expert opinion @Tiffany ?
     
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  3. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    #3
    No Name and Gaurav like this.
  4. maui-jim-68

    maui-jim-68 New Member

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    Hi Again-

    No, sadly I wish it was just the issue of 330 days ahead on AS and 352 or so on BA/QF. The date I found availability originally was 12/13/16. Well within BA and AS means.

    The date I want is ahead of AS right now so I was lurking for that.

    Sadly, I have burned down my once huge stack of BA points to a mere 400k (can't cover the 3 person biz fee now charged by BA of 170k:eek: pp).

    Moreover, I called AS, they said, no that isn't the problem we just might not get inventory like BA does. She mentioned something about 12/7 having inventory. I checked, it is Fiji, not QF.

    Moreover, none of the dates (and there is plenty of inventory showing on QF or BA before the 330 day rule for AS) before that show available either...

    I was hoping someone might have an insight as to why the discrepancy (i.e., NO inventory on AS at all while I see it on Expertflyer, QF and BA sites)...

    HELP? :)

    FYI: The 12/13 is now gone, but 12/10 has 2 seats. Here are the screens: Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 07.25.01.png Screen Shot 2016-01-20 at 07.26.01.png
     
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    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  5. maui-jim-68

    maui-jim-68 New Member

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    And BA (it wouldn't let me include in the last post (sorry)...and I don't know why (I tried a second screen shot and PDFing the web output, but alas, no dice). Suffice it say, that if you search 12/10 for LAX-BNE one way on BA.com, you get the QF16 flight with 2 J seats just like you'd expect from expert flyer output above....
     
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  6. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    @maui-jim-68 -- Okay, that's different then. @Alex said he had a similar issue this morning, so not sure what's going on. Sounds like there might be some availability problems between AS and partners, which isn't unusual by itself, but we'll try and do more research.
     
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  7. maui-jim-68

    maui-jim-68 New Member

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    UPDATE: I called AS and now suddenly things have reversed. Instead of seeing nothing or only FJ flights, now I see only QF flights but 0 business class even though I see a direct with a single seat on QF16 LAX-BNE on 12/12 on QF, BA and ExpertFlyer.

    The AS agent said her supervisor told her that the code share with Air Tahiti and that could be why, but I told her it was a QF plane (#16) and it still seems odd to me that they get 0 direct flight inventory when I can book it on BA (with the 330 day window).

    As an aside, it is strange but AS.com only lets me book to Thurs, Dec 15 LAX-Australia, but I can book SEA-AMS out to Sat, Dec 17...odd?
     
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  8. Renyu

    Renyu Reader

    I am changing an Alaska award on Qantas (LAX-SYD in F) from April to December this year.

    QF website shows 1 available F seat at 330 days, same as ba.com. Neither AS nor AA see the seat even after the schedule opens. Being AA EXP, I called up AA and the agent was able to find the seat and grabbed it on hold.

    The problem is that my original booking is with AS. Canceled the AA reservation on hold, verified that the seat showed up again on Qantas.com, and called AS. They cannot see it.

    Interestingly, one flight YVR - SYD, on 12/12, 1 J seat shows up on both AA and AS website. AS can book that without problem.

    Observations:

    (1) AA and AS website seems to show much fewer seats than what Qantas makes available to partners.

    (2) AA EXP agent can see more, and potentially "correct", QF availability (potentially by manually requesting seats).

    (3) AS agent has no idea about anything beyond their system, which tends to show the same availability of their website.

    Any idea on how to solve my problem? Is there a way to ask Alaska agent to do the same digging as AA agent could do?
     
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  9. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    @Renyu -- Sorry you're having to deal with this! I haven't been able to piece together exactly why this is happening. You may want to try calling in the evenings (ideally during the week), and see if you can find an agent willing to try to use the old system, or try to directly access the inventory. So frustrating.
     
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  10. maui-jim-68

    maui-jim-68 New Member

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    UPDATE: I called both the Partner reservations and Customer Care at Alaska. We explained what we saw (inventory on BA.com for QF that was backed up by both ExpertFlyer.com and calling BA (to book it). Oddly, the day I called, I was told that they saw inventory on QF at various time points (not the ones I cared about in December 2016 tho). On logging into my account, I saw some of this inventory, but still not the J class awards SEA-LAX-BNE-AKL that I wanted.

    ALASKA STATED: Sorry, BA and QF have a better relationship and as such BA may have access to inventory we do not. We can only book what we see on the website. (not verbatim but pretty much exact meaning).

    The above was told to me by a Partner Res Agent after speaking to her manager while I was holding AND Alaska Gold Customer Service (Separately).

    I asked about using the GDS (old system) to go and book the QF flights I was hoping to land. They said, sorry no way. (I tried on 2-3 agents).

    OUTCOME: My 3 J class seats that were patiently waiting for me on Jan 18 got snatched from under my nose. VERY DISAPPOINTING.

    I ended up finding a way SEA-YVR-SYD (and now am stuck there because there are no SYD-AKL legs showing on their website even though I see them included in new searches SEA-AKL for that same day (yes, I am adding the 2 day difference to get the right day 21-Dec which currently is well within the AS booking window).

    REQUEST: My return date is coming up and I expect the same bad news, it would be great if someone figured this out soon...but I fear it is more complicated than system issues now...

    <soapbox>
    While I was really stoked to use my Alaska miles to do a solid high end trip using Alaska, I instead learned that my 1MM+ Alaska miles have a now AMAZINGLY LOW value. No matter how great it is on paper and to earn them, it is not super great if I can't possibly use them to book the high value tickets that their "claimed partners" release to other FF programs such as OneWorld or StarAlliance for UA. I'd rather see them bump award costs (rates) and have seats than to get stuck holding a millions of miles saved for long hauls that they can't deliver.
    </soapbox>

    With Delta pushing hard in Seattle to steal customers, one might thing that Alaska is going to have to step it up. Even with the new world order of mileage earning on the tier 1 carriers, at least I can redeem for those long hauls. I just hate spending 350k miles/person (UA is 175k pp in J) round trip when the illusion of getting that same/similar product on Alaska (via QF or even FJ) is 110k pp. SIGH.
     
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  11. Kostya

    Kostya New Member

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    SAME PROBLEM
    I can see F class availability on QF12 LAX-SYD for July 7 using BA, AA, and QF. Alaska shows nothing.
     
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  12. kyle's miles

    kyle's miles New Member

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    Similar issue here: I am trying to book FJ award in Business and can see availability on QF website and Expert Flyer, but AS can only access Coach. Agent gave me the same line that they don't necessarily get the same seats that other airlines do (I didn't try to escalate the issue -- sounds like others haven't had luck with that approach anyway).

    Any update as to what's going on? Something with their computer system?
     
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  13. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    I've noticed this as well, and @Alex (the Alaska expert) thinks it's some sort of display issue with their web interface, where the availability doesn't make it through. Agents use this system as well, so I think that's the problem.

    If you can get an agent to pull availability from "Direct Access" the space should be there.
     
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  14. kyle's miles

    kyle's miles New Member

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    Thank you!! I got an agent to make an exception and find the availability for me.

    One last twist -- when I was trying to add segments to get from HNL back to the east coast, we ran into an issue where the award would no longer price. The agent said that "Hawaii was another ball of wax" and that she didn't think I could combine AS flights from Hawaii with partner flights on one award (she just had the same thing happen a few days ago with another customer). The connection time was just over 12 hours, so don't think that was the issue. I have read quite a few posts on Alaska's routing rules and hadn't come across anything like this, so wondering if you or @Alex could shed some light.

    Thanks again!
     
    #14