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USA International Airline Program (IAP) relaunched as discount benefit (2017).

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Old Jun 10, 17, 6:48 am
#1
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: dallas, tx
Programs: aa gold, amex plat, spg gold, hertz gold (former wn cp, aa plat)
Posts: 112
USA International Airline Program (IAP) relaunched as discount benefit (2017).

Apologies if this has been covered, but it looks like the IAP has changed to a discount program - do I have that right?

http://iap.americanexpress.com

The expanded benefits of the exclusive International Airline Program give you and your companions access to lower fares. Savings are now available on more types of bookings, in more classes of service, on over 15 world-class airlines.1
Available on International First, Business and Premium Economy Class tickets booked through American Express Travel, on both refundable and non-refundable fares.
Good for purchases of 1 to 8 tickets on participating airlines.
Use Pay with Points for all or part of you fares, plus you still get miles from the airline. Subject to $39 servicing fee per ticket.2

I booked a companion fare in March and that was the first time it's ever been advantageous to use this program. Now, it's unclear to me exactly what the value proposition is/will be. Any thoughts here?

(Side note - I'm no longer seeing the IAP listed as a benefit for the platinum card anymore on its main website)
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Old Jun 10, 17, 7:03 am
#2
mia
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Originally Posted by ryannel View Post
...no longer seeing the IAP listed as a benefit for the platinum card anymore on its main website)
It's been removed from the personal Platinum site, but on the Business Platinum site there is an explanation:

We are working to improve the International Airline Program. The improved program will be available soon. In the interim, the International Airline Program is still available; please call Platinum Travel Service to get more information about available program discounts and benefits.

Call 1-800-553-9497
The new program may tie in with this (although AA is not listed on the new site):

http://cpi-web.ru/forum/ameri...an-aa-com.html
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Old Jun 10, 17, 11:22 am
#3

Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Cambridge, MA - AA EXP 2MM
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Interesting. One distinctive characteristic of the old program was that the first ticket was roughly full price (sometimes less) while the second was free (plus taxes and sometimes carrier-imposed fees). $8000+$50 can be useful if, say, a client wants to pay for one full-priced ticket. $4000+$4000 would be less helpful to a traveler in that situation. Client would quite reasonably want to pay $4000 and not $8000. Anyone know how Amex will handle this? How receipts will characterize the charge?
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Old Jun 10, 17, 3:35 pm
#4
mia
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Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
... the first ticket ...?
I don't think the concept of a first ticket will apply because it does not appear that the new program is a companion offer. It says we can buy 1 to 8 tickets on participating airlines.
.
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Old Jun 10, 17, 4:24 pm
#5

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SEA
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It's been removed from the personal Platinum site
Seems unintentional. The T&C on the IAP site clearly state that the program is open to all Platinum and Centurion cardholders.

For fun, I called Platinum Travel Service and inquired about the below sample route.

10AUG DL 4349 SEA 05:50p -> LHR 10:50a (+1)
17AUG DL 4348 LHR 01:20p -> SEA 03:00p


Delta's web site, nonrefundable: $3,766 per ticket (fare class Z)
Platinum Travel Service quote: $3,266 per ticket (fare class Z)
Delta's web site, refundable: $9,715 per ticket (fare class I)

That's a significant discount over the standard Z fare. There's a $39 per ticket booking fee, waived for Centurion cardmembers. Rep said that all bookings must be done via phone; she's not aware of any plans to make these available via their web site.

The phone rep stated that the particular discount varies by carrier and route. We didn't get into whether there's a wide deviation among discounts or whether this is typical. But at first glance it seems very promising.
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Old Jun 10, 17, 11:49 pm
#6

Join Date: Nov 2004
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So I priced out 4 different tickets on Cathay Pacific in premium economy and the tickets were typically in the range of 87% to 88% of the original ticket price which is a nice savings. On a Qatar flight the savings was close to $1000.00 which is about 84% of the original ticket price.

However, one thing I will say is that I just booked a flight that was supposed to be at a savings with this program and the fare repriced when the rep was trying to book and she never told me so not only did I get stuck paying the $39 fee but also paid the regular price of the ticket. As such, this has a left a sour taste in my mouth since I am wondering now if the prices quoted are legitimate or just teaser prices that refare during the purchasing step to the regular ticket price. Now I am paying approximately $200 more than the quoted amount and they are refusing to waive the fee and refund the ticket or honor the original price quoted which for a premium card is unacceptable. If they had told me that the fare was no longer available I would have instead booked with the airline directly or held the ticket with the airline to see if the price went down.

Even worse, I just received my reservation confirmation and the agent did not add my middle name which is on my passport. I specifically asked her to add my middle name, she even had me spell it and then read it back to me, yet on the airline ticket it only has my first and last name. Now American Express wants to charge me $39 to have the name corrected which was there error. For such a premium card there execution clearly sucks.

Last edited by Joe1690; Jun 11, 17 at 2:29 am Reason: Adding Update
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Old Jun 11, 17, 2:45 am
#7
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Originally Posted by weaseltown View Post
Seems unintentional. The T&C on the IAP site clearly state that the program is open to all Platinum and Centurion cardholders.

For fun, I called Platinum Travel Service and inquired about the below sample route.

10AUG DL 4349 SEA 05:50p -> LHR 10:50a (+1)
17AUG DL 4348 LHR 01:20p -> SEA 03:00p


Delta's web site, nonrefundable: $3,766 per ticket (fare class Z)
Platinum Travel Service quote: $3,266 per ticket (fare class Z)
Delta's web site, refundable: $9,715 per ticket (fare class I)

That's a significant discount over the standard Z fare. There's a $39 per ticket booking fee, waived for Centurion cardmembers. Rep said that all bookings must be done via phone; she's not aware of any plans to make these available via their web site.

The phone rep stated that the particular discount varies by carrier and route. We didn't get into whether there's a wide deviation among discounts or whether this is typical. But at first glance it seems very promising.
How VERY interesting. Does this end up in a BULK ticket? Those pesky ones not earning PQDs per what you paid? I will need to look into this ... too bad you can't search online ... it's a shame.

YUCK ... am I seeing this correctly? No more AA, LX etc. ZERO *A options to Europe? They can't be serious
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Old Jun 11, 17, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post

YUCK ... am I seeing this correctly? No more AA, LX etc. ZERO *A options to Europe? They can't be serious
Air New Zealand - LAX-LHR is Star
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Old Jun 11, 17, 8:29 am
#9
mia
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
... No more AA,...
American Express seems to have an arrangement with AA, but not as part of this program. Read here:

http://cpi-web.ru/forum/ameri...an-aa-com.html
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Old Jun 11, 17, 8:59 am
#10

Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: MSP
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If we select pay with points for the new IAP, does anyone know if we get the 50% (or 35% for some people) rebate in points?
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Old Jun 11, 17, 9:45 am
#11

Join Date: Jan 2001
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Originally Posted by Joe1690 View Post
However, one thing I will say is that I just booked a flight that was supposed to be at a savings with this program and the fare repriced when the rep was trying to book and she never told me so not only did I get stuck paying the $39 fee but also paid the regular price of the ticket. As such, this has a left a sour taste in my mouth since I am wondering now if the prices quoted are legitimate or just teaser prices that refare during the purchasing step to the regular ticket price. Now I am paying approximately $200 more than the quoted amount and they are refusing to waive the fee and refund the ticket or honor the original price quoted which for a premium card is unacceptable. If they had told me that the fare was no longer available I would have instead booked with the airline directly or held the ticket with the airline to see if the price went down.

Even worse, I just received my reservation confirmation and the agent did not add my middle name which is on my passport. I specifically asked her to add my middle name, she even had me spell it and then read it back to me, yet on the airline ticket it only has my first and last name. Now American Express wants to charge me $39 to have the name corrected which was there error. For such a premium card there execution clearly sucks.
I too have faced some errors by Amex PTS. In my experience, Amex records all calls, and the right people at Amex can listen to these calls to confirm agent errors. Not saying it's easy to reach these people, but worth a try.

What you describe seems to me actionable in small claims court. That would certainly get attention from a higher tier at Amex compared to ordinary customer service staff or customer relations staff.
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Old Jun 11, 17, 1:48 pm
#12

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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
How VERY interesting. Does this end up in a BULK ticket? Those pesky ones not earning PQDs per what you paid? I will need to look into this ... too bad you can't search online ... it's a shame.
Don't know, we didn't get quite that detailed. The rep was adamant that IAP tickets confer all of the same mileage earning benefits as tickets purchased straight from the airline.
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Old Jun 11, 17, 2:47 pm
#13
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Interesting. I've used the IAP to get to Asia before, and it offered some wonderful savings for two people. But this could also be quite nice for when I'm traveling solo.
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Old Jun 11, 17, 4:44 pm
#14

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Originally Posted by bedelman View Post
I too have faced some errors by Amex PTS. In my experience, Amex records all calls, and the right people at Amex can listen to these calls to confirm agent errors. Not saying it's easy to reach these people, but worth a try.

What you describe seems to me actionable in small claims court. That would certainly get attention from a higher tier at Amex compared to ordinary customer service staff or customer relations staff.
Bedelman, Thank you for the advice. Just this morning when I reached out to again have my name changed I reached a sympathetic agent who did reissue the ticket with my correct name and she waived the additional fee but unfortunately she was not empowered to issue me a credit for the fare difference. However, she did put me in contact with the team that does handle these types of issues and they told me it would take 6-8 weeks to investigate. Seems like a rather long time but I am hoping that they are able to resolve. Otherwise I will explore other options.
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Old Jun 11, 17, 6:16 pm
#15

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Originally Posted by weaseltown View Post
Don't know, we didn't get quite that detailed. The rep was adamant that IAP tickets confer all of the same mileage earning benefits as tickets purchased straight from the airline.
I think the bolded text (bold added by me) answers the question of whether these tickets earn PQDs. They do and they must, if the agent is correct. And if the agent is telling customers things that are incorrect, well, Amex will have to make that right through a dispute resolution process.
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