Re-pricing info from Plat line: this sounds wrong...

Old Jul 6, 19, 7:29 am
  #1  
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Re-pricing info from Plat line: this sounds wrong...

Trying to change an Y flight for a family member. Change is only for the outbound leg.

The change is more expensive than price for a new ticket on that leg + change fee. Explanation given by AF: even though I make no changes to the return, the return leg is also re-priced at today's fares. Result: although I only change the outbound where there is very little fare difference, the modification costs a lot because there has been a change of fare on the return leg, despite me not changing that.

Is that the way it's done? The full ticket is repriced even if you only touch one leg?
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Old Jul 6, 19, 10:48 am
  #2  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Trying to change an Y flight for a family member. Change is only for the outbound leg.

The change is more expensive than price for a new ticket on that leg + change fee. Explanation given by AF: even though I make no changes to the return, the return leg is also re-priced at today's fares. Result: although I only change the outbound where there is very little fare difference, the modification costs a lot because there has been a change of fare on the return leg, despite me not changing that.

Is that the way it's done? The full ticket is repriced even if you only touch one leg?
I believe that's always the case. repricing applies to the whole ticket. it is the ticket that is repriced, not a specific leg.

Of course, there are many repricing options depending on the fare and whether the outbound has already been flown.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 7:32 am
  #3  
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Yep, sometimes changing flights makes no sense. Same thing with simply forfeiting a ticket; sometimes it would cost more to cancel a flight than it would be to simply not take a leg.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Is that the way it's done? The full ticket is repriced even if you only touch one leg?
It is normally spelled out in the fare rules (likely with lots of complicated jargon and unclear formatting), but yes, typically the entire ticket is repriced at current fares if you change the first segment of the ticket.
If you are changing a subsequent segment, the ticket can be repriced at historical fares, which effectively means it's not re-priced and you just pay the change fee. IME, agents aren't always aware of this and may try to reprice at current fares, although once you've flown the outbound the system will default to not repricing the ticket, so it can be much easier to get done.

ETA: here's sample language from the Penalties section of a JFK-CDG fare. It's surprisingly more straightforward than what I've seen from other airlines where it can be one long block of text :
Code:
 --WHOLLY UNUSED TICKET--
          I. CHANGES TO OUTBOUND PORTION OF UNUSED TICKETS
             A. ISSUE A NEW TICKET - CANCEL AND START OVER
                1. MUST USE CURRENT FARES
                2. VALIDATE ALL FARE RULES
                3. VALUE OF ORIGINAL TICKET LESS CHANGE FEE
                   MAY BE APPLIED TOWARD THE PURCHASE OF A
                   NEW TICKET
          II. CHANGES TO CONTINUING/RETURN PORTION OF UNUSED
              TICKETS
             A. REPRICE USING FARES IN EFFECT WHEN TICKET
                WAS ORIGINALLY ISSUED - USING HISTORICAL
                FARES
                1. NO CHANGES ALLOWED TO THE FIRST FARE
                   COMPONENT
                2. WHEN SAME FARES USED - ALL RULES AND
                   BOOKING CODE PROVISIONS MUST BE MET
                3. NEW TICKET MAY BE LOWER OR EQUAL OR
                   HIGHER VALUE THAN PREVIOUS TICKET
                4. VALIDATE ALL FARE RULES
                5. ADVANCE RES IS MEASURED FROM ORIGINAL
                   TICKET DATE TO DEPARTURE OF PRICING UNIT
              -OR-
             B. ISSUE A NEW TICKET - CANCEL AND START OVER
                1. MUST USE CURRENT FARES
                2. VALIDATE ALL FARE RULES
                3. VALUE OF ORIGINAL TICKET LESS CHANGE FEE
                   MAY BE APPLIED TOWARD THE PURCHASE OF A
                   NEW TICKET
          .
                    --PARTIALLY USED TICKET--
          I. CHANGES TO PARTIALLY USED TICKETS
             A. REPRICE KEEPING FARES FOR FLOWN FARE
                COMPONENTS AND REPLACE UNFLOWN FARE
                COMPONENTS USING HISTORICAL FARES
                1. NO CHANGES TO FULLY FLOWN FARE COMPONENTS
                2. WHEN SAME FARES USED - ALL RULES AND
                   BOOKING CODE PROVISIONS MUST BE MET
                3. NEW TICKET MAY BE LOWER OR EQUAL
                   OR HIGHER VALUE THAN PREVIOUS TICKET
                4. VALIDATE ALL FARE RULES
                5. ADVANCE RES IS MEASURED FROM ORIGINAL
                   TICKET DATE TO DEPARTURE OF PRICING UNIT
                6. USE HISTORICAL FARES IN EFFECT ON THE
                   DATE OF THE ORIGINAL TICKET ISSUE DATE
              -OR-
             B. REPRICE REPLACING FARES FOR FLOWN FARE
                COMPONENTS WITH HISTORICAL FARE/S IN AN
                EQUAL OR HIGHER BOOKING CLASS AND REPLACE
                UNFLOWN FARE COMPONENTS USING HISTORICAL
                FARES
                1. NO CHANGES TO FULLY FLOWN FARE COMPONENTS
                2. NEW TICKET MAY BE LOWER OR EQUAL OR
                   HIGHER VALUE THAN PREVIOUS TICKET
                3. VALIDATE ALL FARE RULES
                4. ADVANCE RES IS MEASURED FROM ORIGINAL
                   TICKET DATE TO DEPARTURE OF PRICING UNIT
                5. USE HISTORICAL FARES IN EFFECT ON THE
                   DATE OF THE ORIGINAL TICKET ISSUE
                   DATE
                6. REPLACEMENT FARES FOR FLOWN FARE
                   COMPONENTS MUST BE OF EQUAL OR HIGHER
                   BOOKING CLASS THAN THE ORIGINAL TICKETED
                   FARE
                7. USE BOOKING CLASS HIERARCHY WHEN
                   REPLACING FARES FOR FLOWN FARE COMPONENTS
                   THE HIERARCHY IS
                   ECONOMY CLASS - Y B M U K H L Q T N R V
                   PREMIUM ECONOMY CLASS - W S A
                   BUSINESS CLASS - J C D I Z
                   FIRST CLASS - P F
              -OR-
             C. ISSUE A NEW TICKET
                1. APPLY RESIDUAL VALUE /IF ANY/ LESS THE
                   CHANGE FEE TOWARD THE PURCHASE OF A NEW
                   TICKET
                2. CALCULATE NEW TICKET USING CURRENT FARES
                3. VALIDATE ALL RULES
          REISSUE IS PERMITTED WITH ANY BRAND EXCEPT LIGHT
          FARES.

Last edited by ijgordon; Jul 8, 19 at 7:56 am
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Old Aug 10, 19, 2:20 am
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Coming back to this - and I am very upset!

I just changed the outbound leg of a ticket and was surprised about how inexpensive it was. The lady in the AF call centre explained to me "of course, we only change the outbound. We don't touch the return. Even if the price of the return leg has gone up in the mean time that doesn't matter, because we don't change it". Of course I thought that in any case the computer would have done the re-pricing, so I specifically asked her if the old booking class for the return was still available to see whether by the previous logic a bump into a higher booking class would have been required: and indeed, old booking class no longer available. According to the lady a few weeks ago, this would have required re-pricing the return as well, even if I changed only the outbound. According to the lady today, this was not necessary.



I have done all kinds of changes and re-routes and different tickets just to optimise the family's travel expenses, based on the first information I got a few weeks ago. Had I received the information that I got today a few weeks earlier, our summer would have been much smoother and I would have been able to avoid one useless return trip.

As much as I praise AF for many good things they do since some time, the inconsistency in information, the contradictions, the cluelessness of their people, and the careless sloppiness and indifference of their staff really really annoys me. I just absolutely hate it when things that should be clear, have rules and thus have predictable outcomes end up being a complete lottery only because every staff member does things his own way (and of course it's always the client who is wrong). And it's even more annoying when that lottery then leads to other, costly, decisions that otherwise would not have been made. But of course the staff don't give a sh**t, they sit in their office, tell their incompetent gibberish to customers without even wondering whether something could be wrong even when told by customers, who are then left to deal with the consequences.
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Old Aug 10, 19, 3:25 am
  #6  
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Indeed, the lack of training of agents, and therefore their inconsistency, is frustrating. As you posted elsewhere, the AF culture is not to carefully read all the memos that agents keep receiving.
I would not rely on the opinion of a phone agent (unless you get transferred to the pricing department), either the first or last one that you mention. Pricing done by the system is quite complex and depends on the ticket rules. It could be that one phone agent did read carefully your specific fare rules and has experience. Nor would I rely on your observation that the original fare bucket is not available anymore.. The question is not only whether the same bucket is still available on the return. A higher fare bucket could mean just a slightly higher fare. And the same fare bucket could be used for several return fares. If I is the fare bucket, there can be several I***** return fares. Repricing at current fares depends not only on bucket availability but also whether AF opened new "promotional" fares I*****. or D***** in the higher fare bucket. From HKG, I have seen cases where the fare dropped by more than the change fee. But there is often a rule you cannot benefit from a negative difference (and the refund fee was huge).

As ijgordon pointed out, most fares require repricing the ticket at current fares when changing the first segment. Unless your ticket is somewhat unusual, repricing before departure is not done at historical rate, I strongly suspect that the last phone agent was simply wrong and not aware of the pricing intricacies .
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Old Aug 10, 19, 10:37 am
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I have no problem with either rule. What I have a problem with is that the outcome for the customer depends on how competent or careless an individual agent is. That shouldn't be the case, at least not for things like fares which have rules.

In any case, if the last agent was wrong, not my problem anymore, I was debited only the lower amount on my credit card and have the new ticket.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
I have no problem with either rule. What I have a problem with is that the outcome for the customer depends on how competent or careless an individual agent is. That shouldn't be the case, at least not for things like fares which have rules.

In any case, if the last agent was wrong, not my problem anymore, I was debited only the lower amount on my credit card and have the new ticket.
I fully agree.
One problem is that phone agents do not want to sound "ignorant". Hence, they give explanations that are way over they pay grade.

As a general statement, the info given by the last agent is wrong. Hence, you should not worry having made wrong moves before calling that last agent.
And be happy with a low fare adjustment. There could be many reasons for such a low adjustment and the call agent could not manually adjust your fare, the system does.Overriding the system is a complex procedure requiring a supervisor approval.

Last edited by brunos; Aug 11, 19 at 3:30 am
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Old Aug 11, 19, 3:22 am
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Is that always the case? I remember changing one of my flights at the crown lounge and the lady went off with a calculator to spend a good 5 minutes figuring out the new fare.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 3:36 am
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
I have no problem with either rule. What I have a problem with is that the outcome for the customer depends on how competent or careless an individual agent is. That shouldn't be the case, at least not for things like fares which have rules.

In any case, if the last agent was wrong, not my problem anymore, I was debited only the lower amount on my credit card and have the new ticket.
I fully agree.
One problem is that phone agents do not want to sound "ignorant". Hence, they give explanations that are way over they pay grade.

As a general statement, the info given by the last agent is wrong, so you should not worry having made wrong moves before calling that last agent.
And be happy with a low fare adjustment. There could be many reasons for such a low adjustment and the call agent could not manually adjust your fare, the system does.Overriding the system is a complex procedure requiring a supervisor approval.
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Old Aug 11, 19, 8:07 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I fully agree.
One problem is that phone agents do not want to sound "ignorant". Hence, they give explanations that are way over they pay grade.

As a general statement, the info given by the last agent is wrong, so you should not worry having made wrong moves before calling that last agent.
And be happy with a low fare adjustment. There could be many reasons for such a low adjustment and the call agent could not manually adjust your fare, the system does.Overriding the system is a complex procedure requiring a supervisor approval.
Maybe not an exact situation, but a similar experience:

I often buy my return tickets for my JFK-CDG trips in Premium Economy with the plan of using miles to upgrade to Business Class, with the outbound leg in 'A' and the return in 'W'. The priority is to upgrade the return flight (day flight, longer) while I can survive the short red-eye outbound.

The 'W' full fare on the return makes it easier to upgrade since it taps into not only the 'O' fares, but also the 'Z' fares when you are Elite, and for 22,500 miles. Most of the times, including this one, the agent on the Plat line took care of issuing the initial "A+W" ticket, but process the upgrade at the sale time, into a "A+Z" ticket.

One month later, after monitoring, I get news that an upgrade/award 'Z' fare gets available on my outbound leg (but no 'O'). Therefore, I call the Plat line in order to pay the fare difference between the 'A' and the 'W' and then use my miles.

Common sense is that I would pay only ~350 (like I did in the past). However, the agent priced it to me for the pretty amount of... 2,700!!!!! It goes without speaking that I politely declined. I hung up without inquiring why such an expensive price, as I was still under the shock and unnerved by the price.

I however tried again the following day and spoke with another Plat Line agent and explained to her my shock. She looked again and told me the re-pricing would be... 325!!!!

She explained to me that the previous agent did brainlessly a repricing by following what's on the computer, and what she priced me was the upgrade from "A+Z" into "W+Z". She should have re-priced the original ticket, i.e. calculate the fare difference between a "A+W" into a "W+W".

Because my return fare was fully flexible and fully refundable, the difference impact would be only on the outbound leg. Not sure whether this helps the OP because this implicitly confirms that the whole trip is re-priced.

As for the conclusion of my story, she charged me only the difference she calculated manually and because it was a manual pricing adjustment, she would need to document it, otherwise the Pricing Dept. would make her troubles. I told her I didn't want to cause her any troubles, and she said to not worry, because she documented everything, and if the Pricing Dept. would challenge her, she would have no issue explaining the reasoning.

She also said that she has been working for 30 years, but that a less experienced agent might have not detected the issue with the computer re-pricing methodology. Of course, she processed the upgrade on the outbound leg with miles and I was confirmed with a "Z+Z" ticket.

That lady was so nice and helpful. The conclusion is that even on the P'lat Line, there is inconsistency among the agents in terms of knowledge.

-Vinnyc


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