Good morning from the United Red Carpet Lounge at O’Hare! I am off to New York this morning thanks to 15,000 British Airways Avios I received from the British Airways 100,000 Miles offer way back in 2010.
I will be in New York Thursday to Monday, so if any FFU Readers in NYC want to get together for lunch, feel free to email me or tweet me. We can hit up my favorite local New York pizza joint called Sbarros ; )
As you have undoubtedly heard, to really no ones surprise, Alitalia has relented and has decided to honor tickets booked under the Japanese Coupon glitch that allowed you to take around $320 off any Alitalia ticket. That is the good news…
The bad news is that for your ticket to be honored, you had to have paid something for it. As long as you were charged 1 Euro Cent or higher (that is 1.29 USD Cents in case you were wondering), your ticket is valid.
What this means is that for everyone who booked intra-Europe tickets that were free after the coupon, those tickets are not going to be valid. This is not a surprise since Alitalia didn’t even ask for a Credit Card for these tickets.
That being said, the real winners here are people that booked the New York – Madrid tickets. Even though the coupon cut the price down to only $287 a person, since there was an exchange of money, those tickets are valid! This means come February, I will be on a plane to Madrid!
While my original plan was to fly into Madrid and then use the free intra-Europe tickets to go to Istanbul and Amsterdam for free, according to Alitalia those tickets have been canceled. This is not a huge deal and was to be expected since they were 100% free, however there is 1 interesting issue…
The intra-European Tickets HAVEN’T BEEN CANCELED YET.
For those that got in the deal this past weekend, you probably got 2 emails from Alitalia saying the tickets you bought were not actually processed, there were some fraud, or they have been cancelled, etc.
The whole thing seemed really suspicious since most of us already had our ticket numbers and confirmation numbers, so some crafty FlyerTalkers decided to verify that the tickets were canceled by using the SaudiAirlines.com portal.
If you got in on the Alitalia deal and want to see the status of any of your tickets, simply open up the Alitalia confirmation email you got when you first made the booking. You will need the eTicket number beginning in 055.
Once you have your eTicket number, go to SaudiAirlines.com and navigate to the “Manage My Booking” section.
There click on eTicket and enter 055 in the first box, which should be the 1st three digits of your eTicket.
In the 2nd box, enter the next 11 digits of your eTicket after 055.
In the 3rd box enter your last name and hit “Retrieve My Booking”.
Below is my JFK – MAD ticket which Alitalia said via their Facebook message, is still valid.
As you can see the status is clearly showing Confirmed, which is great news.
Everything seems normal with the JFK – MAD ticket, so I decided to check the intra-Europe flights I booked to see if those had in fact been canceled.
Doing the same exact process as above, lo and behold, the intra-Europe tickets are still showing up as Confirmed and the eTicket number is there.
The only visible difference I see is that under Coupon Status, it is showing as VOID. When I had checked the JFK – MAD ticket this weekend, it was also showing VOID but now it shows Open For Use.
I am not sure what effect that has on the ticket, but it clearly say that the trip status in Confirmed.
What This Means
For flights that cost more than 1 Euro Cent, Alitalia has made it clear that they are planning on honoring those tickets.
For tickets that were free and no money was exchanged, it is hard to tell what exactly is going on. By looking at SaudiAirlines.com, it is clear the tickets are still valid. I am not sure if they are planning on canceling them going forward, but as of right now, I believe you could technically fly and be fine.
Personally, my trip from JFK – MAD isn’t until February, so I am just going to wait it out. If the Intra-Europe tickets do get canceled, then I will just find some cheap Ryan Air tickets or perhaps burn some Avios to get around Europe.
Ultimately, I would not take anything Alitalia says at face value.
I am not sure what EU Law is but I would not be surprised if Alitalia tells everyone that the free tickets are canceled, however in reality they never cancel them. I believe that the first tickets that people can fly on start sometime in November, so I will be monitoring FlyerTalk to see what other people’s experiences are with the free intra-Europe tickets.
Anyways, it will be fun to see what happens in the next few months. I’ll be certain to keep you updated!
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