Has the American Executive Platinum Desk been infiltrated by US Airways?

One of the greatest things about American Executive Platinum status has to be access to the Executive Platinum Desk, which are hands down the best phone agents in the airline industry. They’ve always been extremely competent and courteous, and you don’t usually have to convince them that time travel is possible.

Maybe I’ve just had a streak of bad luck, though I’m starting to be convinced that the Executive Platinum Desk has been taken over by US Airways’ finest.

I tried to make a change to a simple Cathay Pacific first class award ticket, and the first agent told me that in order to make any change I’d have to redeposit the ticket completely.

I called back. The next agent said that since I was changing my zone of origin I’d have to redeposit and start from scratch. I pointed out that Bangkok and Singapore are in the same zone (Asia 2), which she put me on hold to verify. She came back and confirmed that was the case, but said I’d still have to redeposit the miles and start from scratch to make an changes.

Then I called back to try and make the change again and the agent put me on hold to talk to her support desk. After talking to the support desk she comes back and says that since I’m changing my country of origin, I’d have to redeposit my award and start from scratch. After looking at the itinerary though she goes “wait a second, you want to change from Singapore to Bangkok, that’s the same country. I’m not sure what they were talking about, let me double check on that for you.” I saved her the time and explained that Bangkok and Singapore are in fact in different countries.

So, um, I guess the merger is already underway and they’re doing well on the integration front? šŸ˜‰

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. But you do have to redeposit miles whenever you changed the originating city, regardless of whether it’s the same zone or country?

    Am I missing something here?

  2. @ Vinny V — Not to the best of my knowledge. I think they were all wrong. I believe you only have to redeposit when changing zones.

  3. Sounds like the redeposit routine is standard for them, I upgraded from business class to first on Cathay using AA miles, ( seat became open in first a few weeks after my initial booking) redeposit, and rebooked no problem ( although the agent did seem a bit “grumpy” to do the work.

  4. @ Mikey — Well if you’re changing the class of service and there’s a difference in mileage then the redeposit is standard, though to the best of my knowledge if the award cost remains the same there should be no need for that.

  5. Lots of new AAgents at the EXP desk after they closed the Tuscon office, which had many excellent, knowledgable folks. The quality has dropped noticably.

  6. Strange they don’t keep notes in the booking :) at a normal ffp you would hit cold hard stone, no HUACA possible :p

  7. You have to cancel redeposit when you are changing awards. Changing from All AA to a partner award even if the cities are the same is a different award. But swapping BKK/SIN? Not a problem. Unless it’s a distance-based oneworld explorer award, where no routing changes are permitted after ticketing.

    But no I have not noticed any issues of this sort, just lucky I guess…

  8. Well, maybe they have inside information about a takeover from Singapore by Thailand. It will probably be in the news tomorrow but she already told you in advance that they are indeed same country. :)

  9. I changed two awards this week (change origin on one and change destination on the other) and both had to be redeposited.

  10. I have noticed this the past few weeks as well. My MIA-JFK flight in a few weeks was ‘downgraded’ from a wifi-equipped 762 to a 757. Since I work from home I needed that wifi-flight to work before heading across the pond. I tried to explain this so I could switch to an earlier flight, but the agent insisted that all 757 aircraft had wifi! After correcting him a ‘few’ times (that only 1 or 2 birds have wifi installed) he apologized that he was mistaking the 757 for the MD80 fleet. I miss the TUS agents, hopefully AA will get these new AAgents trained ASAP!

  11. All awards must be redeposited if the country of origin is being changed for AA. This has been around for a while and I’ve had to deal with the problem on multiple instances. It really only became an issue after the transition to one-way awards, since before then most started in the US anyway.

  12. I’ve been having similar experience with AA EXP recently… AAgents just aren’t knowledgeable like they used to be. Does this mean there are any opportunities for exploitation like there are with US Airways? hahaha

  13. You have never been able to change the country of origin of a ticket, including use credit from an unused ticket originating I. Country A for a flight originating in country B. This probably has to do with the bureaucracy of revenue accounting (which needs to be done by country for tax reasons and other country specific restrictions).

    Bottom line…I think you should go work for US! :)

  14. And what, exactly, is the big deal anyway? Who cares whether they redeposit and withdraw the miles, or don’t? You should end up with the exact same result. Unless, of course, someone makes a mistake, but that’s another story completely.

  15. When I called the EXP desk to change a CX HKG-SFO award by converting SFO into a stopover and adding an SFO-JFK segment, they told me I had to redeposit and rebook. I know this is not exactly the same (changing the point of destination instead of origin) but it’s pretty similar.

  16. Well, I just want to know if the agent thinks Singapore is a part of Bangkok or the other way around… Or they both belong to China?

  17. I made a change, so the agent said they have to reimburse me and re-charge me. All my miles were returned but were never taken back. Am I getting a free ticket or will I lose my flights???

  18. @ Carberrie — I believe they closed down Tucson EXP desk, which has a lot to do with it, since they were among the best agents out there.

    @ Eric — Well the big deal is that if you redeposit and rebook, there’s a chance the space doesn’t go back into inventory and you’re left without a ticket.

    @ Tim — Not so fast — a) the agent said Bangkok and Singapore were in the same country and b) the first agent said ANY change at all requires starting from scratch.

    @ Carberrie — Strange. How long ago did it happen? Are you sure the new ticket is issued?

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