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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Crazy start to the trip

Greetings from 40,000 feet on my way to...Manchester!  I knew I'd be up here on my way east, I just wasn't expecting it to be on this particular plane. My original itinerary called for a quick change in Dublin before proceeding on to Abu Dhabi. But to my surprise as we got closer to boarding, the gate agents announced that the flight was oversold. Oversold? An international flight?? How does that happen? In any case, if anyone was flexible the offer was $700 vouchers and a free hotel night till tomorrow. 

In a flash I was on Flight Track ... could this work? I just need to get to Abu Dhabi before midnight. No other AA flights available from O'Hare, couldn't get back to PHL and make the connect, but one BA flight in 2 hours with a connect to AUH at Heathrow. That one seemed the most likely to work, and was coded as an AA flight. Off I go to the counter where the agents were ecstatic to see a volunteer. It seemed as though they had a major situation brewing. I mentioned I could do a change to help but only if they could work with me on getting to Abu Dhabi in time and all the flights were coded as American Codeshares. (Etihad, remember, is not a OneWorld member but an American partner. To get elite qualifying miles it must be coded as an AA flight. After all this I couldn't go that far and not get the qualifying mileage.). When the agent saw my ticket and that I had no bags, the challenge was accepted - I did explain what I was doing and they seemed pretty amused by the whole thing. After several phone calls and a supervisor to rework my ticket, they found a seat showing on an AA flight to Manchester UK just finishing boarding that could connect to an Etihad flight coded as American. The gate agents for that flight weren't being cooperative with the seat but my gate crew told me that I was being added as an 'upgraded' passenger since I was platinum. Ok.  And after a quick discussion, the supervisor also approved the $700 voucher.  Awesome. 

I got my new tickets and voucher, and raced to the new gate.  When I arrive the agents there were very confused and tell me I have no seat (laugh). Of course. THEY have to assign the seat, not the Dublin agents. And due to a full plane and the coded upgrade note...I received a business class seat just as the door was beginning to close. 

Couldn't have asked for a better start to this trip. Onward!  Wonder how this Etihad connection will be...and whether all of this mileage will post correctly. ;)

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