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American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

riw777
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American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

I just booked a flight through American's web site, was pushed to a page that said I would get a special deal on a hotel if I book within 15 minutes (!). I found the right hotel, hit the book button. I received the email confirming the booking just a few minutes later --but the dates were different than the ones I had originally asked for.

I called American, and was then told that the reservations CANNOT BE CHANGED. So, effectively, I paid for a hotel room that I cannot use in any way, cannot cancel (even with a cancellation fee), and cannot modify. After a long an drawn out discussion with their representative, the only response I received was, "sorry, that's just the way the system works. We expect you to verify the dates and closely read all the terms and conditions before booking the reservation." When I pointed out that the dates were different than what I thought I was booking, they simply said, "we understand your frustration, but our web site simply doesn't change dates like that."

The information about cancellation policy is buried in some deep dark recess, rather than being up front on the page. They don't tell you, anyplace, that you are paying for the hotel room up front. It is clearly called a hotel BOOKING and RESERVATION.

This is an absolute scam. Avoid at all costs.

Canada
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1. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

"We expect you to verify the dates and closely read all the terms and conditions before booking the reservation."

and

"but our web site simply doesn't change dates like that."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

are the bare bones of the matter. One learns through trial and (sometimes expensive) error to check the dates, the room type and the cancellation policy - EVERY time you book a hotel room. If 15 minutes isn't long enough (!) to do that, then you need to not book under pressure.

London, United...
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2. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

Oh my, another it was not me guv, it was a mysterious one off system error that has not impacted anyone else, just me, so please give me my money back.

You made a mistake in inputting the dates, the system is obviously not changing dates and booking different ones just for you and you alone. That's a tad silly.

As per post one, fully agree with African daisy,

Edited: 2:32 pm, October 22, 2013
Bangkok
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for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
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3. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

Hi,

I'm with #1 here.. but... what I am not *crystal clear* on is this...

Did you in fact... that is fact... know you specified XYZ dates... then.... you get a confirmation for ABC dates?

While I think the sheer odds here favor the system to be more accurate that the human user, I don't hold out that the system isn't or can't be foul-able...

.. That said, I don't think it's a "scam" as that to me essentially requires that AA and other parties involved *knew* in advance that you wanted XYZ, then willfully and maliciously changed it to ABC with the intention to have you either cancel and re-book (effectively paying twice) or a fee to change the original booking.

Could it be scam? Yes, it could be.. that's true.. I just don't think the odds here favor it being a scam by definition.. this doesn't say that there's not something that went wrong with the booking by the sellers end, but before I go down that road, I'd want to establish what "was" at the origination-- that is what did the OP in fact enter and press "enter" to...

Travel Safe,

London, United...
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4. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

Sorry Gobpi, I studied IT to degree, if the program was corrupt it would impact more than one person. Yes, if hundreds of others start complaining, sure the system is at fault, and aa will know this and deal with it, it will probably even hit the media, if it's just this one person, then it's human error.

At the moment my money is on human error. If however we see something big occur, then I shall stand corrected and apologise.

Surrey UK
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5. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

My sympathies. Computers do funny things. Especially modern tablets with touch screens and windows 8. I have experienced the problem of mysteriously changed inputs.

I always use my desktop to do any online shopping and particularly flight and hotel bookings. And take things very slow.

I doubt this was an AA system problem.

Bangkok
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6. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

Hi,

re: 4

"At the moment my money is on human error. If however we see something big occur, then I shall stand corrected and apologise."

--> I think we're on the same page, your IT degree not withstanding.. I too think the "money" is on user error.. but I cannot hold out as wholly impossible that it was not system error.. I just don't think there's enough objective data here to say conclusively, one way or the other, what it was...

But again, absent hard data, I do think that the statistical odds greatly favor user error-- to whatever extent that is/was-- over system failure on the "AA" end of the process.

This also extends to claim of "scam"... It could be a scam?? That possibility does exist.. true.. I just think that like the other issue-- user versus system failure, absent more objective data, that the odds don't *favor* supporting a scam claim.

Travel Safe,

Edited: 2:58 pm, October 22, 2013
Melbourne, Australia
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7. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

I work with distribution systems and I can say with a fair amount of confidence that it's not a scam - a term which is most often used when a consumer fails to read the T&C of the sale, and realises after the fact they've made a mistake.

The likelihood in a GDS system that it's a error, in ratio to functioning correctly, is very remote. In booking systems, there are so many 'fail safes' built in, where entered data can be checked, corrected and then double checked before payment processing.

The most common mistake made by users is leaving the booking on the default date of the booking, and then month error, year error etc. The most uncommon is that all three - the date, the month and year are all incorrect. Even then, the chances of it being a system error is remote, had as pointed out by froggy, it would affect an enormous number of consumers.

Edited: 3:01 pm, October 22, 2013
Houston, Texas
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8. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

I thought all hotels you get your money back once you cancel as long as it is within two days of the reservation? I guess if it was a bad hotel you won't get your money back.

London
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for London
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9. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

I guess if it was a bad hotel you won't get your money back

===================================

Sorry garbage. Many if not most hotels will offer their best rates as non changeable/cancellable. (A bit like flights. You have to pay more for for flexibility). If the AA booking engine did not show this that's a different matter but it's likely it did and like the dates, the OP was 'confused' to use a kinder word, than, say, stupid.

Canada
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10. Re: American Airlines Cheap Hotel Scam

No, many hotels you do not get your money back if you cancel...

It depends on the terms and conditions. Many special rates or advance purchases are cheaper and non-refundable. Thats why you check the Cancellation Policy as a matter of course.

Edited: 3:23 pm, October 22, 2013