Winning the AA Held Ticket Lottery

So, am I the only person who managed to get my WAS-PEK ticket reinstated after American killed the hold before the 24-hour window was up?

I eventually got my flights ticketed this morning. The AA rep suggested this was akin to winning the lottery.
I eventually got my flights ticketed this morning. The AA rep suggested this was akin to winning the lottery.


Like many others I spent a bit of time last night trying to find dates and inventory which would work for a trip to China. And I did. Found a couple seats for me and Stephan and put them on hold while waiting to see if the other half of the Dots, Lines & Destinations pair would be able to get similar dates. And then I went to bed, comforted by the fact that the seats were on hold and that, at least theoretically, until tonight. An amateur mistake, perhaps, but such is life. Like many people, however I was disappointed to wake up this morning to discover that the reservation was still there but it had no segments in it. So I called American and asked them to fix it.

I made the call early, around 8:15am, and I think that helped my cause. The agent I spoke with saw that the segments had dropped out and saw that the fare was ridiculously low. He put me on hold while he worked with the rates desk (or someone else, I suppose) to put humpty dumpty back together again. About 10 minutes later he came back and informed me that the flight segments were back in the reservation and that it was ready to go. He also reminded me just how lucky I was to get the deal.

If you believe in streaks of luck you should go buy a lottery ticket because you know that was a mistake and we have to honor it. … Too bad you cannot resell these tickets on ebay.

I laughed with him and countered that I’m looking forward to spending a few days in China so selling the tickets isn’t on my agenda.

Since then I’ve read quite a few reports from folks saying that getting the segments reinstated for them hasn’t gone so well. Am I the only one who got it to stick??

As for his advice to buy the lotto ticket, I’ll take this win as my smart bet for the day and leave that to another lucky soul.

Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.

Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. Lucky you! You might think twice about the lottery ticket but glad AA reinstated your ticket:) I booked & paid for 2 trips early last night: one solo mini MR, & another with that Carolina Travel Girl, Susan! Looking forward to touring Beijing.

  2. I might have missed the first part, but why did you hold it in the first place vs purchasing it right away ? Lot of blogs mentioned holding it, so I’m curious. Thanks

    1. Coordinating dates with others on separate PNRs. Not ideal but it is what we were doing.

      Also, there was not a ton of good reason to believe that AA would go against its published hold policy.

Comments are closed.