Booking through a 3rd party

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Dec 26, 2014
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#1
In a LONG discussion about booking through a TA and having a code share airline cancel a flight one comment made was to leave a reservation alone (do not go to the airline site and enter your contact information) but leave that to the TA that handled the booking. Is that really true?? It seems to be a huge chance for things to go wrong without the traveller knowing about it in time enough to do something. I always book through a corporate TA, and always go to the airline site once the ticket has been issued (once I get an actual invoice) and make sure the seat selection is right, time of departure/arrival is ok, and connections times are ok, and then I select the notification of flight status for when things go wrong providing the airline directly with my contact info. Shouldn't everyone do that?

(posting in a separate thread to NOT promote a poster to level III)
 

JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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#2
I also always do the same. I make sure my contact details are there because our flights get cancelled at 2am and I want to know and get it dealt with before all the available seats are taken by others in the cancelled flight.
I also keep a very close eye on changes and my seats.. Kinda a control freak!
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#3
@CTP
Glad you asked this question.
You are the person who cares most about the outcome of your trip.
Therefore, it is to your advantage that the airline notify you directly of any pertinent information.
Remember this. You can always negotiate with the airline about re-accommodation. Unless the endorsement line of your ticket says reissues must be done through the issuing agency (for bulk fares), there is no reason why the airline cannot help you directly for a ticket issued by a travel agency. The only reason why they balk at this is because they are lazy and they believe that agent should work harder for their commission. Nothing stops them (the airline) from taking control of your PNR and making the changes they want. It's their ticket!
 
Dec 26, 2014
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#4
@CTP
Glad you asked this question.
You are the person who cares most about the outcome of your trip.
Therefore, it is to your advantage that the airline notify you directly of any pertinent information.
Remember this. You can always negotiate with the airline about re-accommodation. Unless the endorsement line of your ticket says reissues must be done through the issuing agency (for bulk fares), there is no reason why the airline cannot help you directly for a ticket issued by a travel agency. The only reason why they balk at this is because they are lazy and they believe that agent should work harder for their commission. Nothing stops them (the airline) from taking control of your PNR and making the changes they want. It's their ticket!
You are SO right right about negotiating! I must book my flights through a corporate TA, and recently I had a trip that was SEA-ORD-SYR. Chicago had some weather issues (rain and thunder) so they did a ground stop in SEA which delayed my first leg, and then outright cancelled the ORD-SYR leg. As soon as I turned on my phone at ORD I got notices that my flight was cancelled, and that I had been booked on a new flight the next day through a second city that would get me to SYR after noon time the next day which would not work for me. (I was a speaker at a conference starting at 7:30Am) Working with my TA I was told to a few things when talking to an airline agent at the airport. I did what they suggested (I actually went to the AA club and worked with an agent there who was awesome) and got a seat on a later flight to SYR that night that was originally booked full. In my case, although the airline had automatically rebooked me, my TA provided me with directions on what to ask for, and who to ask which worked out very well for me while they worked on finding a solution for me themselves. This flight was with an airline where I do not have status, so I could not call the elite line for aid. It was great to have a TA that knew how to deal with weather delays and finding alternate flights to suggest to the airline as well as looking for solutions that would work in the meantime.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#5
my TA provided me with directions on what to ask for, and who to ask which worked out very well for me while they worked on finding a solution for me themselves
Perfect! You can pick the mind of a wise agent a lot more than what he or she is allowed by the airline to do. Airlines will treat you better than they treat their agents.:)
 
Likes: Neil Maley
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bodega3

Guest
#8
@CTP
Glad you asked this question.
You are the person who cares most about the outcome of your trip.
Therefore, it is to your advantage that the airline notify you directly of any pertinent information.
Remember this. You can always negotiate with the airline about re-accommodation. Unless the endorsement line of your ticket says reissues must be done through the issuing agency (for bulk fares), there is no reason why the airline cannot help you directly for a ticket issued by a travel agency. The only reason why they balk at this is because they are lazy and they believe that agent should work harder for their commission. Nothing stops them (the airline) from taking control of your PNR and making the changes they want. It's their ticket!
If you are using a TA, leave the reservation alone until it is time to obtain your boarding pass. If you see anything amiss, contact your agent immediately. If you can't abide by this, don't use an agent.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 1, 2015
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#9
The agents in AA and other airline lounges are savvy and have more leeway compared to their colleagues who are helping the huddled masses out in the concourses. They are definitely the "go-to" if you have lounge access.

I always print out a list of alternate flight combos from the airline's website, ITA, etc. Proactively suggesting flights when travel goes sideways will do you and the agent a favor. And of course, get in line at the customer service counter but contact the airline by phone or Twitter while you're waiting.
 
Dec 26, 2014
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#10
If you are using a TA, leave the reservation alone until it is time to obtain your boarding pass. If you see anything amiss, contact your agent immediately. If you can't abide by this, don't use an agent.
Wow! Well, I am required to use the corporate TA, (it is a self help online portal we use) but that does not let me select the preferred seats, nor request complimentary upgrades due to my status with the airline. So, of course I go over to the airline site, enter the confirmation code which allows that the trip shows up in My Trips, and then change my seat to a better one and put myself on the upgrade list. I do not understand why I should not do that, it makes no sense to me!
 
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bodega3

Guest
#11
I handle all upgrades for clients. Too bad your company isn't using a full fledged corporate agency where you actually get a agent.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Dec 26, 2014
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#12
The company is American Express Global Business Travel, with fees to use the self help portal and separate fees to call and talk to an agent. (evidently not full fledged!) They have never put me on waitlists, instead they have said to go to the airline web site and do it myself. If flying on a airline where I do not have status and want to pay for the economy plus type of seat I must do that separately, as it is not re-imbersable. They used to always de-select my seat choice and select a seat in the back. That is why I am vigilant about ensuring the seat I have is one I actually want.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#13
The company is American Express Global Business Travel, with fees to use the self help portal and separate fees to call and talk to an agent. (evidently not full fledged!) They have never put me on waitlists, instead they have said to go to the airline web site and do it myself. If flying on a airline where I do not have status and want to pay for the economy plus type of seat I must do that separately, as it is not re-imbersable. They used to always de-select my seat choice and select a seat in the back. That is why I am vigilant about ensuring the seat I have is one I actually want.
That is a different story when they tell you to do it as your company doesn't want to pay the fees. We do it for our corporate clients but we also don't offer a portal, only a live agent to work with the client.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#15
Work harder for what commission?
Oh, the OTAs make commission ... but not the real travel agents. The airlines want their passengers to be helpless and let the airlines do whatever they please to solve problems. They make it as difficult as possible for an agent to stay in business so they have total control of their passengers ... this has been going on for years, and they're getting close to their goal.
 
Dec 26, 2014
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#16
I have a business client who is supposed to be using that Amex booking site but uses me because my fees are less than AMEX's and because I don't charge him a fee every time he calls to just check pricing.
I go to my preferred airline site first and find the flight I want to take (connection times, time of day, availability of good seats, etc.) and then go to the corporate site and limit the times so that my preferred flight comes up. Otherwise I will be making 2-3 connections, fly time is over 6 hrs and connection times are less than 1hr at busy airports (40-50 mins). I wonder why the lowest fares are ones that have the shortest possible connection times? Sitting midway to the back on a plane means that it will be at least 20 minutes before you can deplane once the boarding door opens, making that connection becomes extremely stressful at the least and impossible at worst.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#17
I wonder why the lowest fares are ones that have the shortest possible connection times? Sitting midway to the back on a plane means that it will be at least 20 minutes before you can deplane once the boarding door opens, making that connection becomes extremely stressful at the least and impossible at worst.
It's the only way to sell the seats. No one in their right mind would buy seats with those connection times so they mark them lower hoping they get passengers dumb enough to realize they'll most likely never make the connection.
 
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bodega3

Guest
#18
Oh, the OTAs make commission ... but not the real travel agents. The airlines want their passengers to be helpless and let the airlines do whatever they please to solve problems. They make it as difficult as possible for an agent to stay in business so they have total control of their passengers ... this has been going on for years, and they're getting close to their goal.
Actually, the carriers are coming back to us and offering commissions. It isn't across the board. Our agency gets commission on some carriers, routings, seasons. It just depends.
 
Likes: LaurieB

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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#19
It's the only way to sell the seats. No one in their right mind would buy seats with those connection times so they mark them lower hoping they get passengers dumb enough to realize they'll most likely never make the connection.
Well that's really ugly....
 
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bodega3

Guest
#20
It's the only way to sell the seats. No one in their right mind would buy seats with those connection times so they mark them lower hoping they get passengers dumb enough to realize they'll most likely never make the connection.
Unless the that routing is the rule for the fare, a carrier's flights in that market will have the same pricing, it is just what is open in the class of service at the time of booking for you is what you see online. The least desirable flights get left.