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Old Jul 17, 17, 1:05 pm   #1
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Downgraded cash booking rather that 2-4-1!

Just returned from a rather chequered trip to Antigua. I was travelling on a 2-4-1 voucher with my wife as my companion in club as my two daughters were joining me they were both on separate bookings which made for a bit of a logistical nightmare trying to get seats together etc. Managed to get ourselves seated in the first part of the plane outbound which was in 4 class configuration.

The return leg was overbooked and t T-24 checked myself and wife (2-4-1) first sat together then my eldest daughter (BA staff discounted hotline seat) and on checking my youngest daughter (full price ticket) in the system claimed to be unable to process it and to check in at the airport. On arrival to check in at T-3 we were told it was overbooked and my youngest (15yrs) was put on standby. She eventually was seated in WTP 12B on the 3 class layout. There was no question of asking for volunteers and no priority assessments made I guess down to incompetence at the ANU end, so foolishly they managed to downgrade the highest paying of our group and land themselves with an EU261 bill they will struggle to contest rather than a no avios for the 2-4-1 companion they are apparently keen to try these days. so hope for other 2-4-1 passengers in a similar position.

The VOD outbound was not functioning but I've decided to let that one lie til they've sorted the more pressing downgrade issue

Last edited by Alun; Jul 17, 17 at 3:28 pm
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Old Jul 17, 17, 1:08 pm   #2
  
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Sorry to hear.

I hope you pursue BA for the full 75% downgrade compensation.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 1:16 pm   #3
  
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Do you actually mean full fare (ie J) or that she has paid cash for the ticket (ie I). I would be pretty surprised if BA had started downgrading actual full fare passengers given the massive costs involved for them.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 1:19 pm   #4
  
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Originally Posted by TabTraveller View Post
Do you actually mean full fare (ie J) or that she has paid cash for the ticket (ie I). I would be pretty surprised if BA had started downgrading actual full fare passengers given the massive costs involved for them.
Believe he meant the only person on the booking paying a full price for a ticket, rather than staff discount or 241 avios.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 1:40 pm   #5
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Originally Posted by YacozA View Post
Believe he meant the only person on the booking paying a full price for a ticket, rather than staff discount or 241 avios.
Correct there were 3 in our party who would've been cheaper to downgrade plus another party of 4 travelling on 2x 2-4-1. The ANU staff just seemed to go for last on first off rather than any protocol, seemed harsh downgrading a child and expecting her to travel unaccompanied
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Old Jul 17, 17, 1:48 pm   #6
  
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Originally Posted by TabTraveller View Post
Do you actually mean full fare (ie J) or that she has paid cash for the ticket (ie I). I would be pretty surprised if BA had started downgrading actual full fare passengers given the massive costs involved for them.
I think the point being made here wasn't whether or not you paid cash, but, with regards to the cash ticket you paid for - what bucket did it book into? A deeply discounted club ticket might well be a better downgrade than an avios booking (in terms of cost in BA's eyes!).
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Old Jul 17, 17, 2:27 pm   #7
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Can't see the fare buckets in MMB now they've been flown, but our party had 2 cash tickets on different booking references and they downgraded the more expensive (by about 300) of the 2
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Old Jul 17, 17, 3:13 pm   #8
  
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Originally Posted by Alun View Post
Can't see the fare buckets in MMB now they've been flown, but our party had 2 cash tickets on different booking references and they downgraded the more expensive (by about 300) of the 2
If there's only a 300 difference then unless the other one was in very nearly full fare (and it'd be noticeably expensive - thousands more than a discounted flight) then it's unlikely it was full/flexible fare. Still, a cash booking is not to be sneezed at.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 3:26 pm   #9
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I get the point but I was surprised given the current hoo-ha over prioritising 2-4-1 for downgrades that they overlooked 3 on this flight and chose the last one to check in and the most expensive fare in our party both cash fares were discounted non-flexible but both more expensive in terms of compensation than the companion voucher surely. I'm sure it was apathy on the part of the ground crew than following any protocol. I've edited the title to avoid further confusion
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Old Jul 17, 17, 3:57 pm   #10
  
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Also a hotline is as bona fide as a "fuller fare" ticket. It is just discounted for staff but is otherwise a paid for ticket. It is not an ID fare.
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Old Jul 17, 17, 4:56 pm   #11
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I think I have already made the point in several separate threads that I when I asked BA (at several management levels) whether 2-4-1s were more likely to be downgraded, they flatly denied it. I know this flies against the mood music put out here and in another place, but yes BA can and do downgrade full fare First ticket holders (even on middle ranking celebs, judging from a discreet bust-up I witnessed last week in the CCR T5) if they are the last to be checked in - even if there is someone else in the cabin on an Avios ticket.

What I was told was that though there are a few ifs and buts, essentially if someone has a seat and checks in at the first opportunity, they are less likely to get downgraded. If they don't get a seat at OLCI it's important to keep trying since it's often a dynamic situation, though that wouldn't so likely returning to London. Also it is less likely if they had a paid for seat (which doesn't arise in First, but it would be interesting to know if the downgraded-daughter had a paid for seat), ditto with special meals. Special meals also inhibit upgrades, for very similar reasons, since it's more difficult than it looks to move special meals between cabins. That's not a total block however.

Otherwise broadly speaking they downgrade the last person without a seat who hasn't checked in, which is appears to be what happened here and perhaps one should congratulate the OP for doing it that way around, on the basis that soneone, somewhere, had to be downgraded. It would also be interesting to know whether the OLCI was done on the dot of T-24 or a bit after, about a third of OLCI is done in the first 2 hours. Moreover whether there was an attempt to do OLCI a few hours later (e.g. if someone had offloaded themselves). Hotlines are indeed revenue tickets in this context (they aren't necessarily cheaper), but ID travel is potentially at risk of downgrading not least because they are often among the last to get a seat anyway.

The worst case I came across was on a JFK flight I had a few months ago. I was given an involuntary upgrade to First from an WTP (ex Jersey) revenue, with discount, and then UuA'd to CW - super cheap in other words. I wandered over to the CW kitchen to take a photo when I got chatting to someone there, and it turned out he was in CW but downgraded from First. He said his was a revenue ticket and I have no reason to dispute this. From what he said, and recalling what had happened in CCR when I got my Invol Upgrade, he checked in very late indeed, well after I had already been OpUp'd to First. At that point I was holding a seat in First, and he wasn't, simple as that. I presume someone in CW, even later to check in, was sulking in WTP.
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Old Jul 18, 17, 1:06 am   #12
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Thanks CWS we checked daughter in at T-23.58 ie just after Me wife and elder daughter, none of us had paid to book a seat as lowly blues it would add 600 to the trip both daughters now bronzes (if BA credit 140TP despite the downgrade). We did keep trying to check daughter in through the the day. Perhaps I need a far east mileage run early in my next year before the next family avios holiday to prevent same next year.
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