Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:43 am

"Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Mon Jul 21, 2003 3:06 pm

I recently made a booking with my favourite Australian airline. It was quite involved since 3 of us were travelling - outwards on different dates and returning together. Since the internet option wouldn't show the fare I wanted I called their domestic bookings and made the bookings over the phone. I received email confirmation for the e-tickets for the two other and my booking appeared on my FF bookings page. It was all paid for via my credit card.

After an intervening o/s trip I checked my credit card statement to find only two tickets had been paid for - I double-checked my FF bookings to find my flight had disappeared!! I phoned the airline and they could find no trace of my booking (my outward flight was still open but the flight the other two was returning on was fully booked). They could get us all back on the same day but it would cost me an extra $150.00 (the original price was $168.00 plus taxes!!) - I would also have to pay alteration fees for the other two. Airline motto: "The Spirit of Australia".

At this point I thought I was going crazy. I was sure I had booked that flight. I phoned back with the booking reference of the first two tickets (for some reason the airline could not find this against their flight details) lo and behold the lights came on - the original CSR had confirmed the first two flights but not mine. At COB on the day of the booking, my seat had been swept up into the available bin and resold. The airline rebooked me at the original price and altered my mates return flights at no extra cost.

But: if I hadn't had their original email confirmations, I wouldn't have had recourse at all (since the details had appeared on my FF page I had thrown away my booking ref - let us all learn from this!!). In any case, we had to alter theatre bookings for that night at cost to us all.

The irony is that the airline's webpage boasts etickets never get lost!!

Am I just an unlucky so-and-so - or is this a regular occurrence??

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Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 6:37 am

RE: "Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Mon Jul 21, 2003 3:25 pm

The only possible way for something like this to happen would be if there was a computer failure. This is very strange.

That's why I always book my flights via Expedia (or similar) since they keep a record of every flight you're on including confirmation numbers, e-ticket numbers, etc.
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RE: "Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Mon Jul 21, 2003 3:29 pm

Something quite similar happened to my boss one day. When he turned up at the airport with his eticket number, his reservation wasn't confirmed, so he had to pay one of those notoriously epxensive walk-up fares.  Wow! He paid as much for a short flight to VIE like he would have paid for a "conventional" ticket to the USA.

Turns out that he forgot to pay the ticket beforehand, so his reservation was still in the system, however he wasn't confirmed on his flights.  Nuts
Homer: Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!
Posts: 439
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2002 11:43 am

RE: "Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Mon Jul 21, 2003 3:33 pm

The only possible way for something like this to happen would be if there was a computer failure.

- Not true according to the CSR who subsequently sorted out this mess. She said the original CSR had merely "provisionally" held the booking, not confirmed it. I find it strange that the FF details would be updated with a provisionally held seat but can understand a provisional booking being returned to general availability at COB that night.

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RE: "Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Mon Jul 21, 2003 3:43 pm

I don't know about online bookings etc.

But if you would have made the booking directly at the Airline you wanted to fly, a "Lost Bookings" shouldn't be very common at all. The problem only starts when there aren different CRSs involved. The thing which happens from time to time is, that one CRS doesn't transmit all data to the other CRS. Meaning when you make a booking in a CRS of Airline "A" involving an Airline "B", it could be that you see a confirmed segment but maybe Airline "B" has cancelled your segment or it was never confirmed. Datas could be lost when one CRS has to transmit datas to other CRSs.
Same goes when Travel Agents make a reservation in Sabre, Galileo and others and when an Airline "X" cancels a segment it could be that the Travel Agent didn't get the HX. That's not the airlines fault, its the Company providing the System.

But I don't know what happened in your case.
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RE: "Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Mon Jul 21, 2003 9:05 pm

Although uncommon, dropped reservations happen from time to time. Something simple like a wrong keystroke can slip by unnoticed and your reservation can be on "hold" instead of "confirmed." Many airlines also have software that routinely check reservations and kill those that are double bookings, past hold dates, etc. Also, since the return flight was full, that may have played a part in your reservation not being confirmed.
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RE: "Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:08 am

I had something like this happen to me during the last year of Sabena's life. I tried to change a return ticket date (already flew outward leg), and the computer showed an error whenever they tried to call up my confirmation number. I had paper tickets, which should have solved the problem, but they couldn't confirm. Since Sabena at that time was such a good airline with such great customer service (wink wink), it took 2 months to figure it out. They had me call transatlantic once a week for 2 whole months to fix it, Brussels said call New York, New York said call Brussels. I finally got them on conference call where they yelled at one another about who was responsible for transmitting the info via whatever crazy system they used (passenger pigeon I think), before changing the ticket. I then had to go to an airport, EDI in this case, and have them change it there as Sabena refused to confirm the ticket without me showing up in person. They refused any sort of compsenation or even apology because "we are bankrupt and can't do anything about it." It worked out in the end, but it was a major headache, and a mysterious "lost" reservation. It did show up on FF miles as well.
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RE: "Lost Bookings" - How Common?

Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:18 am

This used to be a trick that Delta's Revenue Protection Unit pulled pretty frequently to dissuade folks from booking multi-segment mileage runs.
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