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Can't Buy A Ticket At Airport Ticket Counter?  
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18153 times:

I'm going to sound like a lunatic here, but as described in another thread (http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/4025872/) I'm going to need to depart for a new destination the night I get back, and I wasn't sure if it would make more sense to add the new segments to the existing PNR or create a new reservation just remember to ask the agent in OMA to check the bags all the way through to LAX.

I was over by CLE earlier this afternoon anyway, and figured I'd might as well stop by the airport and do this in person -- I already knew the flights and farebasis I wanted so I figured it would be an easy transaction once the "one reservation or two" question got answered. (Plus, I've never bought a ticket at a physical location, so it had a "newness" factor to it).

The agent pulled up my details, printed a copy of my itinerary, and then told me (and this is a direct quote) "The ticket counter is not the place to buy a ticket, if you call this 800 number..."

I was tempted to ask her why it was called a Ticket Counter if you couldn't buy a ticket, but instead of being an annoying a--hole I thanked her for her time, did my other errands, came home and called CO Reservations.

But I have to ask, are there any airlines where you can still buy a ticket at the ticket counter? Am I completely loopy? Should I have tried this somewhere else at the airport? (I thought that ATO -- Airport Ticket Office -- included the ticket counter--- is there a separate physical location?)

Anyway, I do have my ticket booked, but I'm still curious about if it's possible to buy in person.


Lincoln


CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23302 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18128 times:



Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
But I have to ask, are there any airlines where you can still buy a ticket at the ticket counter?

Anyone that still has vouchers (for bumps and the like) that cannot be processed electronically-- I believe this list includes both AA and US-- must be able to ticket at the counter. I have no idea if CO is one of these.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineMSYtristar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18121 times:

Well, at the airlines I worked for, we had a "no future ticketing" policy in place when it was flight check-in time; however, If someone didn't see or ignored the sign on the counter stating the policy and actually waitied in line to buy a ticket, we had to help the customer out regardless. We actually did quite a bit of walk up sales at AirTran, and a fair amount at Frontier and Vanguard. There's a good chance the agent just didn't want to deal with collecting a new sale to add to his or her sales report at the end of the day.

User currently offlineJkudall From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 615 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18104 times:

Most airlines (CO included) will allow you to purchase a ticket at the counter. Many airlines will charge an added fee to buy at a ticket counter rather than online. CO will charge you $20 extra for doing this.

It is odd an agent wouldn't sell you a ticket. Some airports have seperate lines for ticketing and check-in. Is it possible you were in a check-in line only?


User currently offlineKU747 From Kuwait, joined Mar 2008, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18038 times:



Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
(I thought that ATO -- Airport Ticket Office -- included the ticket counter--- is there a separate physical location?)

This is really strange! an airport ticket office should issue thickets, also the ticketing counter at the airport should do the same too, that is why they are there for, it is POS (point of sale) which means revenue, income, cash flow....etc. for the airline.



707,727,73all,741,742,743,744,752,753,762,763,77all,300,310,319,320,321,332,333,343,346, L10,L15,DC10,MD11,SSC,VC10
User currently offlineCALRAMPER From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 18038 times:

in CLE I believe that CO has a seperate counter for ticketing as not to interfere with flight check-in. Also, in my experience as an agent the 1-800 res number is often better able to answer any questions that you may have. I have also seen res be able to pull up better fares than the ATO agents can.


ETOPS-Engines Turn or People Swim
User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 1000 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 17990 times:

If you cannot "walk up" to buy a ticket, does that mean that the "walk up" price of a ticket has ceased to exist? Alas, customer no service, once again.


"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineLHR777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 17985 times:

In most non-US locations, CO has check-in desks (not 'ticket counters') and a separate ticket desk. All sales/changes are performed at the ticket desk, not the check-in desk.

User currently offlineStratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 17969 times:

Did tha agent absoulutely say you can't buy a ticket at the ticket counter? In your post you say the agent said " The ticket counter is not the place to buy a ticket" Sounds to me like she was just trying to save you a few bucks by using the 800 number and not saying you could not buy your ticket at the airport.


NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlinePiedmontINT From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 17784 times:



Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
. There's a good chance the agent just didn't want to deal with collecting a new sale to add to his or her sales report at the end of the day.

Bingo. This happened all the time when I was working for ZV. It never failed that at around 5pm when we shut down the ticket counter after the last flight had departed and we were finishing our final paperwork and closing out ACO's that someone would come up and want to buy a ticket. We politely told them that if they have access to internet try to book directly with usairways.com or at least call reservations. Telling them that the internet is where the best fares are that we can't see on our computers and that we would have to charge a $20 ticketing fee usually scared them off.

We weren't jerks about it, but polite and friendly and helping the person out more than anything while at the same time not causing a big hassle for us having to redo all of our sales summaries.

It sounds more to me thats probably what happened to the original poster, just that they didn't seem as friendly about it.


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 17689 times:

Quoting Jkudall (Reply 3):
It is odd an agent wouldn't sell you a ticket. Some airports have seperate lines for ticketing and check-in. Is it possible you were in a check-in line only?



Quoting CALRAMPER (Reply 5):
in CLE I believe that CO has a seperate counter for ticketing as not to interfere with flight check-in.

CO at CLE does have a couple "Special Services" positions, but they were closed and roped off when I was there; I walked down the ticket counter line to make sure that I hadn't missed any other positions, before waiting in the EA line -- all of the lines were essentially empty. (The options I noted were "eTicket Check In", "Continental.com Bag Drop", "Elite Access", and "Special Services")

But that doesn't rule out the possibility that there's a counter somewhere other than the "main" line, but I'm not sure where that would be

Quoting GeorgiaAME (Reply 6):
If you cannot "walk up" to buy a ticket, does that mean that the "walk up" price of a ticket has ceased to exist?



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 8):
Did tha agent absoulutely say you can't buy a ticket at the ticket counter? In your post you say the agent said " The ticket counter is not the place to buy a ticket" Sounds to me like she was just trying to save you a few bucks by using the 800 number and not saying you could not buy your ticket at the airport.

That's the funny thing -- the ticket I wanted to buy, or change I wanted to make as the case may be, was full-fare Y-class economy -- aka the "walk up" fare, and I mentioned this when I told her what I wanted to do -- at $1,200 for CLE-LAX-CLE and $1,400 for the existing CLE-OMA-IAH-CLE, a $20 fee wouldn't have bothered me (and I thought most airlines waved that for full fare purchases anyway).

While she was shoing me away she mentioned that since I had a full-fare ticket there wasn't a going to be change fee when I called Reservations.

She didn't come out and say that it absolutely wasn't possible, but between what she said and her body language it was clear that I wasn't going to be purchasing a ticket at that counter.

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 2):
There's a good chance the agent just didn't want to deal with collecting a new sale to add to his or her sales report at the end of the day.

That wouldn't suprise me; I didn't see a "No future ticketing" sign either, but it has been a little while since I read all of the legal stuff on the counter.

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 9):
not causing a big hassle for us having to redo all of our sales summaries

Pardon my ignorance, but I would have thought that that is something that would be done automatically - i.e. you sell a ticket, PTA, whatever, and the system automatically adds it to your summary, is that not the case?

Lincoln

[Edited 2008-06-14 20:16:05]


CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 17643 times:

lincoln,
i will sell you a ticket any day....ual is more than happy to take your money Smile  Smile



bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineFreakyDeaky From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 132 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 17597 times:

That's very strange. I would not want to be the employee who had to explain why I refused to sell the product. Very strange indeed. It's no different than shopping at Office Depot (on my mind since I need ink) and the cashier refuses to ring you up. Unfortunately, lack of work ethic is rampant.


"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could."
User currently offlineSHUPirate1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3670 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 17495 times:



Quoting KU747 (Reply 4):
This is really strange! an airport ticket office should issue thickets

Why would an airport ticket office issue thickets?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thicket



Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
User currently offlinePiedmontINT From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 17451 times:



Quoting Lincoln (Reply 10):
Pardon my ignorance, but I would have thought that that is something that would be done automatically - i.e. you sell a ticket, PTA, whatever, and the system automatically adds it to your summary, is that not the case?

Normally, it would be done automatically. However once you close it out, its closed. Otherwise you have to go re-open the station's main sales summary and your own employee sales summary and then close everything back out. Thereby creating more paperwork and then redoing the whole sales summary over again to add the last transaction. Trust me, a big headache since you have to find all the other employee's sales summaries and make sure everything is added up correctly etc..

But now that I am a ZK employee, the amount of paperwork has increased 10 fold while everything that should be automated, isn't. But thats for another topic...

Quoting FreakyDeaky (Reply 12):
It's no different than shopping at Office Depot (on my mind since I need ink) and the cashier refuses to ring you up. Unfortunately, lack of work ethic is rampant.

Make sure you tell that to the next cashier you see after she tries to close out her register and clock out for the day. Or better yet, try to buy that ink cartridge 30 seconds from closing time and see how quick the employees will gladly refuse to sell you a product.  Wink


User currently offlineTcfc424 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 17319 times:

At my airline, most empoyees at the "ticket" counter are trained for "lobby." "Ticketing" is an entirely different course, and few of us have that training. Purchasing a full Y ticket, however, is a piece of cake. It is also required that we inform anyone that better fares ***MAY*** be available via the internet, or through our reservations office. We are also required to inform you if any segment of the trip is operated by express or codeshare. Oh, and there is the fee...$30, I believe, $15 through res, and $0 online.

Even I can do a full Y ticket, but thats it...don't ask me to get the best fare and routing on XX date and all...I can look up the routings, and airlines...youre on your own for the ticket. Again though, full Y and I echo uadc8contrail's comment...come to XXX carrier and I'll sell you a ticket!


User currently offlineNorthstarBoy From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1872 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 17158 times:
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if i read the original post correctly, she probably thought what you wanted was an exchange, (i.e. rather than going Cle-Oma-Cle, you were now going Cle-Oma-Lax-Cle) which can be rather complicated, even on full Y fares, not to mention time consuming. Chances are she either didn't know how to do an exchange and there was no desginated ticketer on duty, or she just didn't want to do the work. Rather than admit that she didn't know how to do the exchange properly, she did what she thought was the next best thing, referred you to the 800 number. Of course, in another era, when customer service at all the airlines was better, she'd have picked up the phone herself and done it for you, but i guess when an airline pays someone ten dollars an hour, the customer gets ten dollar an hour service.


Why are people so against low yields?! If lower yields means more people can travel abroad, i'm all for it
User currently offlineKU747 From Kuwait, joined Mar 2008, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 17126 times:



Quoting SHUPirate1 (Reply 13):
Why would an airport ticket office issue thickets?

You got me on this one.  laughing 



707,727,73all,741,742,743,744,752,753,762,763,77all,300,310,319,320,321,332,333,343,346, L10,L15,DC10,MD11,SSC,VC10
User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 17101 times:

Where I work, we do customer service, check in for Club passengers AND all ticketing. We would not send passengers to the phone or internet unless they have missed a flight and we have no others to offer them. And even then thats to look at other carriers.

I cant understand why a ticket desk would refuse to sell a ticket!!


User currently offlineIAD51FL From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 354 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 16273 times:

There is no reason the agent at CLE couldn't sell you a ticket. If its electronic, they cant use the excuse of no ticket stock. Just FYI, if you have a PNR you need to pay for... purchase it through the E-Service Machine. That will save you the $20.00 ATO/Phone fee. Just hit the find find reservation using confirmation number button and enter the PNR. You can also make reservations through the machine also...but like another poster said, you may get a better deal online or via reservations.

Chris



Enjoying the view of KIAH approach end of 27. 29.9758015, -95.2695694
User currently offlineBALHRWWCC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 15070 times:

All the major uk based airlines offer tickets for sale at Airport ticket counters.

I know that BA/BD and VS offer tickets for sale at airport locations usually up until the flight closes for checkin.

U2 offer tickets for sale at airport locations up to 2 hours before departure.

Also recently FR said that it's biggest money earning fares came from last minute purchases.

If CO don't use there ticket counters to sell tickets maybe they should give this space back to the airport authority in turn saving $$$ on airport facility costs.


User currently offlinePhatfarmlines From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1363 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14995 times:

U.S. airports combine the functionality of ticketing purchases and check-in into one area, as opposed to separate facilities found outside the U.S. There used to be a time where U.S carriers would partition ticket purchasing and check-in desks, but these have been combined due to staff reduction, better technology, ticket desk reduction, etc.

Lincoln:
It's unfortunate the agent in CLE did not allow you to purchase the ticket at the ticket counter. At a very trying time in the industry, I am sure CO would have more than appreciated the $20 incremental revenue by purchasing your ticket at the count.


User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11701 posts, RR: 60
Reply 22, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 14967 times:

I found an airline ticket office in London that wasn't allowed to issue tickets on it's own airline... that's Biman Bangladesh for you I suppose Big grin


...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14416 times:



Quoting IAD51FL (Reply 19):
Just FYI, if you have a PNR you need to pay for... purchase it through the E-Service Machine. That will save you the $20.00 ATO/Phone fee

That's good info to shove in the back of my brain (never know when it might come in handy)...

Quoting Phatfarmlines (Reply 21):
I am sure CO would have more than appreciated the $20 incremental revenue

... I just looked back and confirmed that I was not charged the phone/ATO fee on the reservation I just booked (over the phone); I'm assuming that's because it was full-fare and Continental would much rather have the $689 in additional revenue from a Y ($1179 including taxes) ticket vs. lowest available for the same flights (N/U - $489 including taxes)

Quoting NorthstarBoy (Reply 16):
if i read the original post correctly, she probably thought what you wanted was an exchange, (i.e. rather than going Cle-Oma-Cle, you were now going Cle-Oma-Lax-Cle) which can be rather complicated, even on full Y fares,

It is a possibility, I thought I made it clear that I wanted to _add_ CLE-LAX rather than mess with the existing flights, but maybe she thought I was insane for wanting to do that and instead I should do the CLE-OMA-IAH-LAX-CLE (Which, by all rights, applying most forms of logic would make the most sense and the only thing a sane person would want to do...except I need to do a brief meet-n-greet the evening of the 9th in CLE)

Looking at the itinerary she printed it looks like the original ticket was technically already exchanged once (there's the notation /EX 005216588*****) which would kind of make sense since my client changed dates on me... I guess I underestimated the complexity of it (as I often do)

Quoting Tcfc424 (Reply 15):
Even I can do a full Y ticket, but thats it...don't ask me to get the best fare and routing on XX date and all...I can look up the routings, and airlines...youre on your own for the ticket. Again though, full Y and I echo uadc8contrail's comment...come to XXX carrier and I'll sell you a ticket!

:P That's why I already knew the flight numbers I wanted -- CO0507/Y 09JUL and CO0624/Y 12JUL I didn't expect the agent to play travel agent for me, just book the ticket. Hell, had she let me use the terminal, I would have been glad to book it myself (I know enough SABRE syntax to be dangerous and could fake my way through SHARES with a cheat sheet)* once I got the original question answered.

I'll keep y'all in mind, though, CO has pretty much cemented my loyalty (and there's the whole Elite thing) but UA my firm #2 as far as airlines go when I have a choice (Thanks to UA, I got my first, and only so far, rides on the 744 and 772 LAX-ORD-LAX)

Lincoln
* No, I've never worked for an airline or travel agent. Yes I'm a geek. I'm a geek who loves complex large-scale, geographically distributed systems -- I love learning about the airline res systems.



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13748 posts, RR: 61
Reply 24, posted (6 years 6 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 14391 times:
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Quoting Lincoln (Thread starter):
The agent pulled up my details, printed a copy of my itinerary, and then told me (and this is a direct quote) "The ticket counter is not the place to buy a ticket, if you call this 800 number..."

Many carriers are trying to streamline the experience at the airport by - in some cases - doing away with the "counter" itself, such as Alaska Airlines.

As the primary focus of the airport Customer Service Agents is to facilitate the checking-in and boarding of customers for flights, airlines are moving away from doing ticketing at the airports wherever possible, referring customers to reservations and/or their websites. This enables the CSAs to focus more on the task of assisting customers who are flying that day.

Ultimately, this enables airlines to reduce wait times for check-ins while also reducing the headcount needed at the "counter," cutting costs without negatively impacting the customer experience.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
25 Cubsrule : I think this is a good trend, but as I pointed out above, some carriers (including AS?) still have some ticketing functions that must be performed by
26 DTWAGENT : I had to purchase a ticket to SRQ from DTW back about 8 yrs ago at the USAirways ticket counter. It was a family emergency type thing and I needed to
27 AFGMEL : What I find unbelievable is that clearly there are lots of people - including airline employees evidently - who think it's reasonable not to help a cu
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