2.13.2009

I Get Annoyed Again: American Airlines Dot Com

Background: Due to a specific 40 week project, we are booking some plane tickets to go from RDU to SAN. I have in the past accidentally booked the wrong return date on AA.com, so I'm super-cautious before I want to commit to the ticket. (AA currently has the lowest tickets.)

Anyway, I will vent on AA.com today. Whee.

Let's go ticket shopping!

I've already got tickets to SAN, so let's go someplace a little more fun. Nice, France. For a month. For our anniversary and my birthday. Sounds good.


I get this lovely "not quite stolen directly from southwest.com" grid.



Except I only get the grid if I don't care when I fly. This search specifically does NOT give all the flights in a day. For RDU-ICT (a different ticket), it didn't show me anything leaving after 5 pm. The flight routing does exist... but this search won't tell me about it.



I can find that routing if I select that I only care about Schedule.


But that interface won't tell me prices! (Yes, I realize that's an insane ticket below, but I want to see it as a choice, insane or not.) So now I get that"Enhanced" means "find out the price of each leg." Because, you know, that's obvious and I'm just slow...



So, sure, American will let me search by price... but they won't give me the whole picture. I can't willingly choose a more expensive starting flight if i want to, and then switch to cheaper seats for the rest of the ticket.

Ok, let's get back to today... we pick some tickets to Nice.



This looks good, but I hope no one is talking to you, the phone doesn't ring, and your dog doesn't bark...


because that's the last time you will see that information until after you buy your ticket.

The next pages in the transaction don't tell you what tickets you bought, what dates they are one, what flights.. anything.

If you get distracted, or maybe you're a bit confused because you've been shopping multiple routings on multiple airline sites, and you want to go back and see what you're buying before you commit to spending $3070 on non-refundable tickets... well don't get distracted or confused.



Sidebar: Raise your hand if you think buying airline tickets with PayPal® won't get you on the No-Fly list, or at least the belly-button inspection list...

Clicking back to check if that's really the flight choice you wanted and ignoring all the reload warnings (hah, the dangers of being a web developer, no fear!) leads you to a page that suddenly tells you that you are returning on your departure date... or departing on your return date. That's no good.

This is the point where I actually closed my browser, turned off the TV, told my husband to shush the dog and started the whole thing again. *Sigh*.

During the process of buying my "I'm so poor" tickets to San Diego, I gave up on actual seats on one of the flights.

The following flight has $99 seats. It's from Texas to California, so I doubt the seats ever sell for less than $99 AND there is no way they will sell the whole plane at that price. In fact, as soon as the plane starts to fill up, those $99 seats will be gone.

So why is this the available seating? (The 3 center orange seats)


Is the whole flight booked with the Society of Antisocial Sociopaths Annual Vacation Club, or is it that AA is not ever going to release that coveted aisle/window seat for a lowly $99?

Later in the week, I want to go back to see if more seats are available.
I've done this before, so I go looking for the place to check in/change seats that ONLY requires my "record locator number" and name, not an AA username and password which I think I had in 1997, but don't know anymore.


Hmm. Where do I go? View / Change Reservations, that sounds good.


No. Not there.

Here?
No. Same that's the same page, again!

Where? Let's try this. The words say no, but I can't see anywhere else to try...

Finally, aha! Yes, following the link to purchase tickets allows me to select seats for a flight I already paid for. Again, I must be slow because that's so obvious.

Why is this so hard?
And lastly, in the course of grabbing these screens I saw this ad approximately 5,432,232 times.

I have to say that the URL /onebigmillion is really lame on an ad that says ONE MILLION. What, it's a different million? There is a small million but this, this is a BIG million? Either the campaign is One Big Million and the ad image doesn't tie in properly, or the URL is just silly.
Or my patience with everything AA is out, and I haven't even gotten to the airport yet...



2 comments:

WaltzInExile said...

That was painful just to read; you have my sympathy.
Even though I know for a fact you're not going to be anywhere near Nice in July. Puhleeze.

Yet Another Girl said...

I would say maybe we will win the lotto and I can do an Angelena Jolie, but we don't buy lotto tickets...