The Most Frustrating Flaw In The American Airlines Website

The American Airlines website requires me to enter the country for my Known Traveler Number (Global Entry/PreCheck) in order to sell me a ticket. It doesn’t remember the country (United States!) after I’ve entered it.

The website does not give me a field in which to add this for any passenger besides myself when buying a ticket for my family and entering their AAdvantage number, which pulls up their information. It would be nice, by the way, if they allowed me to save my wife’s and daughter’s information in my profile at all. Instead I have to enter their names and AAdvantage numbers if I want a shortcut.

As a result, every time I click continue I get an error. Then I have to list “United States” for each of them before I can continue.

This is an e-commerce site that can generate over $60 million in sales in a day and they haven’t addressed simple frictions in the buying process like this one.

Of course, American Airlines doesn’t let you confirm upgrades with systemwides or miles on the website, and even though American Airlines earns the bulk of its profit from the AAdvantage program. Their new award calendar often errors out – they got rid of the old one, which was far more functional. And they still don’t make it possible for someone who isn’t yet a member to join the program in the booking path while buying a ticket. This should be an opt-out check box!

Yet the inability to buy a ticket for my family as part of the same reservation, without clicking through to an error screen, has to be my biggest frustration about AA.com. American scolds me in red as though I am doing something wrong and perhaps that (as much as the extra step) is what’s so annoying.

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