For the past week or so American’s website has had intermittent issues when searching for and booking award travel. The site has frequently errored out, necessitating a call. Fortunately American no longer charges a telephone booking fee for awards that cannot be booked online (which unfortunately remains the majority of partner airline awards).
For the past few days there have been several reports of American’s phone agents unable to see Etihad first class award space that can easily be found on the Etihad site. As a general matter American has access to the same O inventory (“Guest First”) awards offered to Etihad Guest members, but there have also been occasional technology glitches that prevent agents from see either all Etihad awards or just Etihad first class awards.
I put a call into American yesterday on this issue, got a voicemail back when I was in a meeting, and am still looking to connect again today.
However Terry R. points out to me that AA.com is also showing an inordinate amount of Qantas first class award space. This doesn’t seem to be the case on all routes, for instance I don’t see much space for Los Angeles – Sydney. But first class awards for 2 passengers London – Sydney show as wide open on American’s website:
Clicking through, specific flights are shown as options.
Exciting! Qantas has an excellent first class product on their Airbus A380.
However they cannot actually be selected. Once you choose a flight and continue, you’re back to the same screen with an error message.
It’s phantom space. This makes the American award calendar, at least for certain Qantas routes, unreliable at the moment.
According to the Qantas Frequent Flyer site Qantas flight 2 on April 18 has only economy available. That’s confirmed by the British Airways site. So the issue is limited to the American side of the house.
For now I find that the British Airways website remains the most useful place to search for award travel on oneworld partners. And when I want to power search, I use either the KVS Tool or Award Nexus (both of which are paid).