AA.com lets me book a flight that doesn’t exist

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I made a booking with BA on the excellent fare being offered by BA/AA/IB and others, from Copenhagen to the US. It allows you to book London City if you plan carefully.


The booking was fine when I booked on AA, and indeed was ticketed about 30 minutes later. I received the email confirmation and called BA to obtain my ticket locator so I could add my BA number and pick seats. The routing was from Copenhagen to Helsinki, on to London all with Finnair. The overnight connection was to London City, where AA.COM offered me:

AA books nonexistent flight

This maps to BA1, but that flight doesn’t operate on that day.

So the next steps are what makes this really interesting. No one told me that this segment came back as ‘Unconfirmed’ until I called BA to book seats. I then called American’s Platinum desk who couldn’t help as the credit card used bills in the UK. #FailOne

So I called BA and asked what they saw. ‘Oh the segment is in the ticket, but not on the flight. In fact that flight doesn’t operate that day.’

‘What shall I do next’ I enquired?

‘Oh call American Airlines if I were you.’ #FailTwo

Calling the UK desk, which is based somewhere in Europe, resulted in a conversation where I explained what had happened (based on the BA phone call), and the agent simply transferred me to the Executive Platinum Desk in the USA.

Thanks goodness for the EXP desk as it is fondly known by American’s frequent flyers. As a BA Gold I often get to speak to this team.

‘Oh Goodness, Mr MilesFromBlighty, I don’t know what’s happened.’
‘Can you rebook me on BA3 please?’
‘Oh yes, I can, but you will have to overnight in New York as there isn’t a connection to Boston that night’


‘OK, so could you book me on BA3, and then a morning flight to Boston?’
‘Of course, I will process this as a schedule change for you, give me a moment to get to the rate desk.’

‘OK, all rebooked Mr MilesFromBlighty. Next time, it might be easier if you didn’t book the Iberia codeshare’

‘Too true. Thanks for your help.’

Phew, so now I am sorted!