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Downgrade / downgraded on award ticket - what can I do?
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Thread: Downgrade / downgraded on award ticket - what can I do?

  1. #1

    Downgrade / downgraded on award ticket - what can I do?

    I booked a first class award ticket with my father-in-law from LIN-LHR-PHL-ORD on BA through Aadvantage miles. The flight was booked 331 days out for a flight in Sept 2015. I've just found out that BA changed the equipment and no longer offers first on the LHR-PHL route. They've subsequently downgraded us to a mix of business and coach. I see there are plenty of seats in first on other flights but no award availability. Is it common for them to simply downgrade rather than offer another flight (even without award availability)?

    CS says they can "ask" BA to release more availability, but it's up to BA to decide. Is there anything I can do?

  2. #2
    Well, that seems a little harsh. They are not, in fact, obligated to pay for your hotel. They are obligated to refund your ticket without fees. They will usually work with you to find an alternative routing. Obviously it's easiest if the alternative has award availability. But often they can force open award availability on their own flights (which would save you the hefty "fuel" surcharge on BA premium class awards).

    If they don't, and I think I mentioned it upthread, you can still file a complaint with the DOT. While it might not force AA to react favorably to your specific situation, if DOT gets enough complaints about an airline forcing overnight connections and not being flexible on offering changes, they may take broader action. So do it for the greater good!

  3. #3
    Same thing happened to us. We had a connecting flight which was changed, making an overnight stay necessary. The agent must have used the word "voluntarily" 5 times during our conversation because she wanted to make it crystal clear that our only choice was to "voluntarily" take the new flight being offered and pay for the hotel ourselves - or, "voluntarily" take a points refund and pay cash for a ticket on another airline. To add insult to injury, these were AAnytime awards.

    I don't think that word means what they think it means. The change in our plans was NOT voluntary. We ended up flying into a different airport 2 hours from our destination and paid for a one-way car rental. This was cheaper and more convenient than a night at DFW, but I still wouldn't call it voluntary.

  4. #4
    Bumped from F to J, ORD to NRT, RT, on the newly configured 777-200. No more F Class (as many of you know). I found out a week or so ago (set to dept on 12/29). I was shocked, and had a rude customer service agent the 2nd time I called. The third time I called a Supervisor gave me the points back with taxes... said she couldnt find any alternate routes with other partners nor AA metal. I wrote AA and asked for F class points on partner airlines since they could no longer honor our contract to my destination. I did cancel, voluntarily, bc I PAID for F class. I dont know what to do? I booked under the old chart, and at the very least think they should give me the miles to do the same trip under today's chart (but again, AA wont't fly but only J and Economy to NRT -or so I was told. Conditions of carriage state...

    *Per AA 's Conditions of Carriage". "400% of Miles Paid (or cash equivalent)?"

    * "International flight departing from the U.S.:
    You’ll receive 200% of the one-way fare, up to $650 if you arrive one to four hours after your scheduled arrival time; if you arrive more than four hours later than your scheduled arrival time you’re entitled to 400% of the one-way fare, up to $1300.

    * "Airline reroutes passenger under similar conditions to the intended final destination at the passenger’s leisure, subject to the availability of seats"

    I paid for first class! This was unavailable via American or partners (so I was told) for this planned trip. I think what I asked for was more than fair? I had to cancel my travel plans bc I felt this flight was unacceptable by comparison to our original contract. I am a long time patron.

    Be honest, should I have held my flight longer, or did I make the right decision by canceling and contacting Cust Service?

    Anyone have any feedback or suggestions? Im flexible traveling (bummed I wont be there for NYE and my ski trip), but if Im given a "fair" bonus for AA being unable to fulfill their contract, I'll be cool with it. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  5. #5
    I think the part you are quoting from the CoC is about Involuntary Denied Boarding. As this isn't an IDB situation none of that is relevant.

    I also think you won't get what you seek. Whether you like it or not I don't believe there's anything that requires AA to provide you with F class service. If it's no longer offered, it's no longer offered. Was there another routing on AA that could provide F class? If so you could have asked if they would put you on that but now that you've taken the refund I don't think there's much you can do.

  6. #6
    Regardless of what you would like to think it is, to be entitled to involuntary denied boarding compensation, a passenger needs to be denied boarding

    Being downgraded due to the service no longer having a 1st class cabin is not the denial of boarding

    If this was a flight originating in Europe, then there would be entitlement to reimbursement oif up to 75% of the fare for a downgrade, but the USA has no such provision

    With an award ticket from USA, you should be able to get a refund of the difference between 1st and business

    Alternatively should be able to cancel and redeposit the miles without penalty

    Whether you did the correct thing, depends on what is more important to you - taking the trip to Tokyo ( albeit in business class ) or travelling in 1st class

    Expecting a refund of more than the cost, is not a reasonable expectation.

  7. #7

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