Friday, 6 January 2012

Error 9015 on the Round the World site

I thought it might be time for my first non-programming article. My wife and I are going to be doing a round the world trip for our honeymoon next month. I've been spending literally hours at One World's online RTW interactive planner trying to work out the cheapest and best route. It's quite a fun tool just to play with as there are so many destinations and heaps of permutations. The route we eventually settled is the map below start in Seoul:

 You can see the little message at the bottom which basically means everything's validated - ie. all the flights/stopovers and paths don't break any of One World's RTW ticket rules and regulations. And trust me there's heaps. From a programmer's point of view I appreciate how complex such a system is and trying to code in the conditions for all that business logic must be a nightmare designing and coding. With a system this big it's inevitable that there will be some bugs in the system.

Anyway, onto the title of this post. After I validated my journey, confirmed the price etc. I went ahead with entering our personal info and then my credit card info. On the very last step of purchasing it sat there for about 3-5 minutes processing and then came back with error "9015" telling me to contact my Travel Assistance Desk for help.

The problem is this site doesn't seem to have a single point of contact for help. Eventually I rang American Airlines and got through to their RTW hotline (phone number +1800 247 3247) and the lady I spoke with was at least familiar with the system somewhat and had a list of common error codes on hand. Unfortunately 9015 wasn't in that list. She tried manually booking my ticket for me but as the ticket wasn't starting in the US, it was starting in South Korea, they needed to get a quote from their office there. The base tariffs and taxes etc. are based on how many continents you stop in and differ greatly depending on the country you start in (Seoul was a very cheap place to start for people starting in Asia - I just catch the boat to Korea and hop on the RTW from there:).

To cut a long story short, the crux of the story is I wasn't able to purchase my RTW ticket in Korea using the online planner with my credit card because I needed either a) a Korean credit card (the billing address must be there; mine was Japanese) or b) turn up in person with my credit card to the Seoul office of American Airlines which was a non-option because I won't be in Seoul until 2 days before my world trip begins.

I now am guessing that the 9015 error was due to my credit card's billing address not being in the same country as the starting point of my journey. In the end I booked on the phone through a friend's workplace in London for a sweet deal. The guys @ are great!

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