I've just dealt with a new-to-me airline-ticketing wrinkle. It all started with something I did that wasn't a good idea; I acknowledge that. I just want to warn anyone else who might contemplate doing something similar.
Dealing with a medical issue and with one eye on COVID and the second eye on Putin, I took advantage of United's policy allowing free re-deposit of miles up to 31 (I think) days before a flight. In early April I booked two outbound flights for the same day in mid-June, one to Oslo (for which I feared reinstatement of stringent COVID entry restrictions) and one to Tallinn. I received both confirmation emails.
Overnight United sent me an email canceling the Oslo ticket. I called the 800 number on the back of my United credit card (reasonable response time there). The agent said the computer had automatically canceled the Oslo ticket because of the date duplication; fair enough. When I said Oslo was the destination I preferred, she volunteered to cancel the Tallinn ticket and reinstate the Oslo ticket. I said "thank you", and she did just that. I received a new confirmation email for Oslo with the original confirmation number.
A week ago it was time to cancel some other unneeded flights (don't ask). In doing so I noticed the Oslo flight didn't show up under my frequent-flier account. I could find the ticket via the locator number and my name, but I was nervous about not seeing the ticket under my FF account. I called United again and discovered somehow my FF number wasn't on the reinstated Oslo ticket. The agent added it for me. It then became visible under my FF account.
Today I decided to try to select a seat for the second (SAS) leg of the trip. I found my reservation via the SAS locator number, but there was a red banner across the webpage, saying the flight hadn't been ticketed. I called United, which insisted the flight was ticketed and gave me the (long, numeric) ticket number. I called SAS (much, much longer hold time than with United). The SAS agent said the ticket needed to be reissued; she could see the number in her system but it was no longer an active number. She said I had to call United to fix the problem.
I'm absolutely certain the root of the problem was my making the same-day reservation to Tallinn, which caused the United computer to kick out the Oslo reservation. Somehow, United's reinstatement of the Oslo reservation with the original ticket-locator number didn't flow through to the SAS reservation system.
So I called United again, which kept saying everything was fine. I kept replying that SAS said the ticket needed to be reissued. The agent contacted her technical people, who said the ticket couldn't be reissued because it was good in their system. There was something about maybe needing to do a new booking (which I knew would now require more miles). I kept politely saying, "That's not acceptable; you have to reissue the ticket." Finally I insisted on a supervisor. There was a considerable wait, but the problem was quickly solved by the supervisor. I can now see my ticket on the SAS site, which is even willing to let me book a seat for just $15--except it won't accept my US credit card. That's going to take another phone call but is no big deal.
- Do not book two flights on the same airline for the same day that overlap, time-wise.
- If an airline agent needs to reinstate a ticket for you, follow up immediately to be sure your FF number (if applicable) is in the new record and any partner airline recognizes the new ticket. Just receiving an emailed confirmation is not a guarantee that everything is in place.