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Downgrading on a KLM issued ticket, AF operated CDG-HKG

Downgrading on a KLM issued ticket, AF operated CDG-HKG

Old Nov 30, 2023, 12:11 pm
  #1  
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Downgrading on a KLM issued ticket, AF operated CDG-HKG

Hi,
I am currently sitting at the lounge in AMS waiting for my AF flight to CDG connecting later to HKG on AF188 tonight.
I booked a week ago a business lite fare between BRU and HKG (BRU-AMS-CDG-HKG) and return on the 11th of Dec ICN-CDG-AMS-BRU.
Paid 1800 Euros round trip on this business lite fare (1 checked bag, changes for 300 Euros + fare difference). I am FB platinum for several years now. Ticket receipt shows short haul flights in J and long hauls in Z.
Selected all my seats after booking, Initially selected 14L until I changed to 10L couple days ago (bassinet seat).
I did check 2 bags in BRU, and my boarding passes were issued without an issue.
While receiving a message that my AMS-CDG flight was delayed, I was checking the app to see how much time I would have in Paris. Until I noticed that my seat moved from 10L... to 41L in economy !
I rushed to the lounge agent in AMS who looked at it without being convinced. 5 minutes later it said that the ticket I booked had no availability in lite fare and that I did not pay enough for it, as 1800 euros is "cheap". In the meantime she told me to check with AF. I called the platinum line and the agent was a bit speechless on what was happening and since I had already luggage on hold, he could not fix the ticket. He told me he would call me back in 10 minutes which he did, without any solution to propose me besides visiting the transfer counter in CDG. He also indicated that 1800 Euros for such a trip was "cheap". He also said that the seats were still available, and btw, the app proposes me an upgrade to my former seat for 899 Euros ! He said that my return ICN-CDG was also downgraded, but I will deal with that later with the Platinum PA line of KLM.
I have been travelling with them for 15 years now and never had such a thing !
I have no clue what to do now... Have been travelling for
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 1:10 pm
  #2  
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Pretty speechless. I checked again the ticket receipt and all short haul are in J, the CDG-HKG of tonight is in Z and the ICN-CDG of next month is in O. Business lite fare. Even selected my meal etc... Got zero notification fo the seat change, I noticed this when checking my transfer time due to the delay of tonight's AF1141.
The AMS lounge agent told me that my ticket was too cheap to be in business and that "1800" is not the price of business class ticket. Came back 5 min later with expert flyer in hand showing that a base fare in O on KL on BRU-HKG is 1200-ish but she did not really understood what I was showing her. So I pulled up the klm Belgium website, took a random date next week and found flights for 1720 round trip. She did not budge.
While waiting on line at the gate (delayed flight + tech issues on tonight's AF1141), I decided to call the KLM dutch platinum line to know more. Was happy to get the "usual" lady (recognized her voice, she was always able to sort out issues), after 30 min on hold and escalating it to a supervisor, she told me that there was nothing she could do now as my trip had started and I had luggage on hold (it's a work trip so I need my stuff). But she said that they have left a note on my file and the transfer desk in CDG could figure this out to "reinstate" the ticket. She also said they will figure out at the same time the return from Seoul. I am becoming very skeptical now on how this will work out at the end, and more than everything, what could have gone wrong on this ticket ?! The amex statement indicates the same booking classes as my booking confirmation received from KLM. Overall, maybe a first world problem but a very stressful last 2 hours, added to the fact the plane to CDG is delayed...
But for sure I would have never booked that ticket at that price if it was to travel in Y. I could have flown other airlines for a similar fare in business.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 1:21 pm
  #3  
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OMG 😳
Don’t give up. I can’t believe so many people told you you did not pay enough to be in J . It’s totally abnormal IMO that the Platinum line does not sort this out.
please report here.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
OMG 😳
Dont give up. I cant believe so many people told you you did not pay enough to be in J . Its totally abnormal IMO that the Platinum line does not sort this out.
please report here.
A new lowlight from KLM. I won't give up for sure, will even ask to talk to the captain if needed! Glad I now have the contacts of Mevrouw Rintel following the 104th anniversary party in Valkenburg a couple months ago. I am not that type of guy, but will definitely escalate to the top if sh*t hits the fan. No way I do 12hours in 41L with a double herniated disc. And even less willing to do 14hours on the way back from Seoul like this.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 1:31 pm
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No but seriously. 41L ! Not even premium economy !

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Old Nov 30, 2023, 2:29 pm
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I had something a bit similar last week flying TPE-AMS-EDI. At OLCI I was offered an upgrade to business class on TPE-AMS and took it (14.5 hour flight). Business class seat assigned OK. Then I had to be too clever. Due to the long flight time I couldn't initially check in for the AMS-EDI sector, so several hours later I decided to cancel the check-in and check in again. This did indeed check me in for the flight to EDI but put me into 31G (or similar) on the TPE- AMS flight and wouldn't let me back into business class. I called the Platinum Line and the operator said that she couldn't fix the problem. She then said she would contact head office and after about 30 minutes my business seat was reinstated.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 2:33 pm
  #7  
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For what its worth - and I agree thats not much - if they dont reinstate your j seat, Id claim downgrade compensation (75% pro rata) upon returning. I would also complain regardless of what happens thats unacceptable - whether cheap or not, this is the ticket af chose to sell you and confirmed and thats definitely not an amount in obvious error fare territory. In fact I e seen plenty of lh or tk fare around that level or lower.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 2:46 pm
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1800 in business light is definitely not "too cheap". For what it's worth, I've had Z and I class tickets price out at or around that many many times.

Do you have the fare basis codes that the tickets were issued with? That should at least confirm if it was indeed a business fare.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 2:53 pm
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Originally Posted by sehgalanuj
1800 in business light is definitely not "too cheap". For what it's worth, I've had Z and I class tickets price out at or around that many many times.

Do you have the fare basis codes that the tickets were issued with? That should at least confirm if it was indeed a business fare.
Cannot see the fare basis right now as KLM does not indicate this on their confirmation emails. I can just say that the base fare is 1321 euros and that the booked classes are J for the European flights, Z for the CDG-HKG and O for the ICN -CDG. Deicing is finally done, I will have a very tight connection in CDG. Luggage will most likely not follow, and I hope I find someone competent at the gate of tonight's AF188 to reinstate the ticket. The app says I am still 41L, I don't dare to select the only aisle seat left on the app really...
Edit : tonight's fare is ZRS6QBRA as per the air France app
And I now see 3 bookings on the app : BRU-HKG, ICN-BRU and a new ICN -CDG
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by palmanfr
Edit : tonight's fare is ZRS6QBRA as per the air France app
This is a business light fare as per EF.



The rules also seem consistent with your purchase. Of course, there might be other things that could restrict it but so far it looks like a valid ticketing.

EDIT: What does give me some concern here is that EUR 1791 fare shown by EF, and your paid value of EUR 1800 is too close. I might be wrong, and I cannot recollect this clearly, but the fare shown on EF doesn't typically include surcharges and taxes. This should put the paid fare higher, but I have also gotten lower fares on AF/KL websites than what EF would lead me to believe many times. So it could still be valid. While using fare routing on EF, I was able to to get EUR 1964, which is still in your ballpark. Even if you underpaid, that is what the system quoted and issued you tickets with valid fare basis codes - so your ticket should remain valid. An issue of this form happened once to my mom, where the agent collected a lower amount than needed for an upgrade; but she flew in J and the issue was resolved post flight. That J seat should be yours.

But see quote below.

NOTE - THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS INFORMATIONAL AND NOT
VALIDATED FOR AUTOPRICING.
AIR FRANCE- BUSINESS CLASS -BUSINESS LIGHT FARES
APPLICATION
CLASS OF SERVICE
THESE FARES APPLY FOR BUSINESS CLASS SERVICE.
TYPES OF TRANSPORTATION
FARES GOVERNED BY THIS RULE CAN BE USED TO CREATE
ONE-WAY/ROUND-TRIP/CIRCLE-TRIP/OPEN-JAW JOURNEYS.
CAPACITY LIMITATIONS
THE CARRIER SHALL LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS
CARRIED ON ANY ONE FLIGHT AT FARES GOVERNED BY
THIS RULE AND SUCH FARES WILL NOT NECESSARILY BE
AVAILABLE ON ALL FLIGHTS. THE NUMBER OF SEATS,
WHICH THE CARRIER SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE ON A GIVEN
FLIGHT, WILL BE DETERMINED BY THE CARRIERS BEST
JUDGEMENT.
The section I bolded is the one that might be something that has led to your situation. Maybe the system hit some kind of capacity limitations for this fare and downgraded you?

Either way, if they cannot fix this, you are definitely owed an involuntary downgrade compensation.

Are you flexible to travel one day later? Maybe see if if they can offload in you in Paris and have you fly tomorrow with a seat reinstated in J?

Originally Posted by palmanfr
And I now see 3 bookings on the app : BRU-HKG, ICN-BRU and a new ICN -CDG
This might be the PSL creating new bookings for you, to try and hold the seats.

Last edited by sehgalanuj; Nov 30, 2023 at 3:15 pm
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 3:18 pm
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1800 is consistent with pricing for East Asia flights ex-BRU/ZYR so I dont see the problem.

Its not like you paid 500 and the fact they have the audacity to judge what is a fair price to pay or not is absolutely baffling.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by sehgalanuj
EDIT: What does give me some concern here is that EUR 1791 fare shown by EF, and your paid value of EUR 1800 is too close. I might be wrong, and I cannot recollect this clearly, but the fare shown on EF doesn't typically include surcharges and taxes. This should put the paid fare higher, but I have also gotten lower fares on AF/KL websites than what EF would lead me to believe many times. So it could still be valid. While using fare routing on EF, I was able to to get EUR 1964, which is still in your ballpark. Even if you underpaid, that is what the system quoted and issued you tickets with valid fare basis codes - so your ticket should remain valid. An issue of this form happened once to my mom, where the agent collected a lower amount than needed for an upgrade; but she flew in J and the issue was resolved post flight. That J seat should be yours.
There's no point in trying to dig out the current fares for a past purchase. Fare bases can have different prices at different times. As noted above this doesn't seem like a mistake fare.

Originally Posted by sehgalanuj
The section I bolded is the one that might be something that has led to your situation. Maybe the system hit some kind of capacity limitations for this fare and downgraded you?
That limit only applies if you haven't actually made the purchase. Once you're ticketed it really doesn't matter what capacity limits are imposed on this fare.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 3:43 pm
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Also just got that for a trip planned in a few months, ticketed on a fairly cheap Biz ticket (I class, 074 stock) and changed to Eco + reassigned a seat.
Called the PSL and the agent was baffled, checked and ended up telling me that this was due to KL stock on AF flight
Was able to change the itinerary and reticket in Biz.
First occurrence and very weird
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 3:52 pm
  #14  
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Just landed on CDG and received a message from AF saying that my connection to HKG has been missed. Will still try to have it. They sent me a new ticket being rebooked to... 44K tomorrow. An absolute joke really.
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Old Nov 30, 2023, 4:09 pm
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The downgrade issue has nothing to do with the cost of a ticket. Ticket costs vary and the only fact is the "Fare Basis" which states it is a business class seat and is on your receipt.

You have been downgraded to an economy seat and entitled to compensation.
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