Hi Zondra, Brien,
For the past couple of years they (HR) have given us the number of a reservations department at American Airlines — I think it’s that same number that they gave you. I don’t have it handy but anyone in HR should have it available.
I don’t have any knowledge about Signature, but I *do* have lots to say about dealing with AA at that number: all of it BAD. My experience is not unique; on the Peninsula-side there is no travel agent to help us, so we’re forced to use “AA Meeting Services” via the phone. Our experience is generally thus:
1. Everytime you call, you get someone different. You also get wildly different rates. Sometimes they’ll say you can’t get there from here, and the next agent you talk to will say no problem.
2. Check the web first for the flights and prices, so when you call you can correct (!!) the agent or suggest flight numbers. You’re dealing with very poorly trained or bored people who apparently don’t know the difference between Toledo or Timbuktu. I’m totally serious here.
3. If you don’t like the price, say thank you, hang up, and immediately call back. You’ll get a different agent, and chances are they’ll quote you a completely different price. We’ve seen differences of hundreds of dollars. Sometimes they may offer you a partial refund on unused portions of your ticket; last year they offered me a $42 refund for a minor ticket change… I thought that was great. So I went and finalized some other flight reservations on the web, paid for additional hopper flights, then called AA back to change my ticket and take the refund. The second agent told me that the ticket was non-refundable, non-changable, and I’d have to completely re-book it at a cost of $1600. This was because RPSC had used an expired discount code when they booked the ticket, so my return-home ticket was actually invalid and nobody had noticed until now. Needless to say, the kaka hit the rotational aeration device.
Which brings me to…
4. Don’t purchase or change tickets using this service if you can possible help it. If you’re forced to book through them, as we are, and some agent quotes you a good price for the flights you want, Take It! Chances are the next quote will be radically different. Perhaps you can use them to make reservations and then have Signature actually book it, as you mentioned — that would be a better way to go.