So my brother and I finally got around to planning a trip for the summer and decided to go to Malta for six days. The Intercontinental Malta has some amazing deals with their 2-4-1 rates, whereby you pay <240 Euros for a club room one night and get the next night free, so it’s basically 120 Euros/night for a club room, not to mention the upgrade and free minibar on top of that. I’ll post a bit more about that shortly, since it’s something I never really explored before this. For $200USD all-in we figured it was a good deal for Europe, so will be going there.
Since my brother lives in NY we found availability for EWR-FRA-MLA-FRA-EWR tickets for two people. I booked mine with UA miles, with a connection from TPA to EWR and back, and used ANA miles for his ticket. So when I called to book his award ticket with my ANA miles this morning, after waiting on hold for 30 minutes, I had the great (dis)pleasure of speaking with the same moron that helped me with my award travel last time. First of all I said I wanted to go to “Malta.” He put me on hold for five minutes and came back to say there was no availability whatsoever, despite it showing up on the ANA award tool. He then says “You want to go to Monaco, right?” I explained I wanted to go to Malta, and not Monaco, and after putting me on hold for another few minutes he asks “That’s airport code MLK, right?” I explained it was actually MLA, and all of a sudden he seemed enlightened.
Once again he put me on hold, came back, and said there was no availability at all. I asked him for which segment there wasn’t any availability, and he said all of them. I then asked “So even Lufthansa 403 on August XX isn’t available, connecting to Lufthansa flight 4128?” He said it wasn’t, and then after putting me on hold came back and said it was available. After another 20 minutes or so of being on hold he came back and found availability for both directions, only to say “Wait, this doesn’t make sense.” Once again I was put on hold, but eventually he came back and confirmed it. Overall the experience took way too long and was very frustrating, not to mention the annoying >$300 “taxes.” The kicker for me was how he read the confirmation number: For him S=sugar, Q=queen, and U=Umbrella.
I have some fun stories to share about booking my ticket with UA, and especially about getting around Starnet blocking as well as a phone call I got regarding my call to UA yesterday, so stay tuned!