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Strange US Airways Domestic Award Booking Bug

A few weeks ago, I booked an award trip to Boston for today.  I booked a connection that took me through Philly because it was the cheapest point-wise, but I found out the flights I was booking on my end weren’t the same flights US Airways was booking on their end.

Here’s the story.

I booked an award trip to Boston:

MyDCAPHLFlight

When my upgrade window hit, I received notification that my flight–3932–wasn’t available for upgrade.

DCAPHLUpgrade

 

And then when I woke up this morning, I received a reminder of my flight times:

DCAPHLDayOf

Everything was perfectly normal up to this point.

When I was Uber-ing over to the airport, I tried to check in to get my mobile boarding pass.  It told me my check-in window had passed.

I wondered if I was going crazy for a moment, and double-checked my flight times.  I should have been good.

When I scanned into the kiosk, it told me I missed my flight.

I checked my watch (cell phone).  I checked the monitor time.  And I saw my flight hadn’t boarded yet.

What the…

When I went to talk to the Gate Agent, he typed in my information and started explaining that they can’t hold flights for people and I should really get to the airport earlier.  I started pointing out that my flight hadn’t started boarding yet.

He looked down at his screen and said, you aren’t on that flight.  You were on the first flight of the day.

I insisted I must have gotten moved up.  I took out my iPad and showed him my confirmation.  He asked if I moved up my flight and forgot, so I pulled up my day-of reminder for my flight.  Then he looked confused.

I was a no-show, so I didn’t really have a ticket anymore, so he had to fix that first and he was concerned about me missing my actual flight.  So I said I was willing to take whatever next direct to Boston he could get me on.

The agent ended up calling for help, and he seemed really confused the whole call.  He kept saying, “I’m looking at her confirmation right now as we speak.  Every email she got has said this is her flight time.”   They finally worked it out to un-no-show me, and got me on a direct to Boston.  But what the agent told me confused me.

He said I was always booked on the earlier flight in their system.  They didn’t see any changes to my ticket, or anything that could have affected my flight time.  Even though I clicked on this flight time, booked this flight time, and got reminders for this flight time, I was always in US Airways’s system as having the first flight out that day.

Bizarre.

Usually in these situations, I try to write what I did wrong in this situation and how I could have been extra vigilant to prevent the mistake.  But I’m at a loss here.  Aside from calling up US Airways for every ticket I book and ask if it really is that ticket, I don’t know what I could have done.

Any thoughts on what went wrong here?

Disclaimer: I’m not actually complaining because I got to Boston sooner than I would have AND my original two flights got delayed so it was actually good luck for me that my ticket was messed up.

 

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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12 comments

  1. You know what they say right? You don’t look a gift horse…

  2. When they rebooked you was it in a revenue class? Did you get miles?

    I think the lesson here is that US Airways’ IT is very very broken. Hopelessly broken. If the merger goes through with American there will be many things that Dividend Miles members will lose and miss. One major thing they will gain is putting the US Airways Passenger Service System out of its misery.

  3. Your booking is for an AM flight whereas the FIDS shows PM. 6AM vs. 6PM can make you a no-show 🙂

  4. Your PNR is for a 6AM flight whereas the FIDS shows 6PM.

  5. They still send the upgrade email even though it is an award booking?

  6. I had almost the same thing happen to me on Tuesday (6/3/14). I was booked from IAD to CLT at 6:55 am; was upgraded to First on the flight; received a check-in reminder email on Mon morning for the 6:55 am flight. As I went to check-in I saw that I had been downgraded to Coach. That prompted me to look more closely and I realized that I had been put on the 5:20 am flight – nothing had changed on my connecting flight.
    On the phone, no-one could explain the change – although they were able to re-instate me, although no First seats then. I have emailed US Airways but, despite the automated promise of a reply in 48 hours, nothing back from them yet….

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