RU confirmed then taken away

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Old Mar 13, 18, 10:24 am
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RU confirmed then taken away

Just wondering if this happens often as I've never heard of this scenario happening to anyone before.

Just finished a flight on NZ2 from LAX to LHR that had RUs lodged for me and my partner from Y to PE. At check in the upgrades cleared and we got boarding passes in PE. When we went to board we both got the red light, and the gate agents re issued us our boarding passes for two middle seats in Y which were at different ends of the Y cabin, even though this was all on the same PNR. No explanation was given to why we were bumped back to Y and they couldn't give us back the seats we had selected prior to being upgraded at check in.

We are a bit pissed off to be honest, not helped by the fact that the flight was delayed out of LAX due to late arrival of NZ2 from AKL.

Other minor issues, run out of one meal option by the time it got to me, no priority tag on luggage even though *G and our bags were basically the last out at LHR.

Not related to NZ service per say, but also had a hard case carry-on bag dropped on my head while waiting to disembark at by an impatient women who was going to miss her connection apparently, so in addition to all this currently sitting in bed with a headache...
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Old Mar 13, 18, 1:09 pm
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With you there, I'd be steaming. What if that was a toddler with you?

Look forward to the call centre transcript later!
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Old Mar 14, 18, 7:53 am
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Plenty of friends and work colleagues as well as wife and I have used RU’s numerous times but never encountered anything like this, and I would be pretty hot under the collar as well. So much for the ‘recognition’, the least I would have expected was that you got preferred Y seats and together, even if someone else required bumping.

Presume you are going to escalate, at least for an explanation, if not apology. Compensation unlikely as I guess you received what you paid for other than the seat select, but some sort of a goodwill gesture maybe?
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Old Mar 14, 18, 12:20 pm
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I had an RU (IIRC, definitely U -> J) upgrade accidentally removed after clearing at check-in years ago due to a seat reshuffle that went wrong. I did post about it at the time, but this was probably 10+ years ago. After some discussion it was fixed by the gate agents and NZ operations but it took quite some time, and I am glad I pushed to have it fixed. The best time to fix this is when the issue happens - unfortunately I think you won't get more than a "sorry" from NZ now.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by ajnz View Post
I had an RU (IIRC, definitely U -> J) upgrade accidentally removed after clearing at check-in years ago due to a seat reshuffle that went wrong. I did post about it at the time, but this was probably 10+ years ago. After some discussion it was fixed by the gate agents and NZ operations but it took quite some time, and I am glad I pushed to have it fixed. The best time to fix this is when the issue happens - unfortunately I think you won't get more than a "sorry" from NZ now.
Yeah I pushed it at the time, however check in was well in progress at the time, and they called somebody at the gate who told them it was a no go. I wasn't give any other explaination.

When I asked why they were confirmed at check-in and then taken away I got told at the gate that RUs are always subject to availability. With the seats we were told "Sorry, but they were re allocated when you were upgraded and they have already boarded" and then proceeded to tell me that for operational reasons they could seat us wherever they like.

I didn't push any further as I didn't want to make a scene and it looked like the decision was out of the gate agents hands at that stage anyway.

​​​​​​I'm honestly not even sure whether I want to make a complaint, it will probably just infuriate me more being told the same thing as I did at the gate.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by BZNZ View Post
​​​​​​I'm honestly not even sure whether I want to make a complaint, it will probably just infuriate me more being told the same thing as I did at the gate.
You could try and push for downgrade compensation. Depending on your reading of 14 CFR 250.9 which specifies that you should be given an "appropriate refund" for an involuntary denied boarding situation that leads to a downgrade, but this is somewhat subjective and NZ could feasibly say that a return of your RU is an appropriate refund.

Pity this did not happen on LHR-LAX as it would be very clear-cut. I'd suggest reaching out to NZ and asking, possibly citing the above US law. Now I am curious to see what they actually say/do.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 3:03 pm
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I'd clearly be annoyed in that situation also. Being able to give you back your original seats would not be possible as these would have no doubt been allocated.

My current gripe has been being moved on my last 2 PE flights after having selected seats months prior. I realise seats aren't guaranteed, but moving a single pax to accommodate others who have had a last minute upgrade clear seems to be seen as an easy fix by NZ. On my flight back from LAX in January I scanned green with my boarding pass and then when I got to the PE cabin was surprised to see somebody in my seat with a F/A standing there who basically said (while pointing to my new seat) "Mr Biddle here is your new seat and thanks for moving so this couple could sit together".

In this case it was only moving from a side aisle to middle aisle, but nobody had asked me and clearly I was still allocated that seat in the manifest for it to scan green and not be issued a new boarding pass.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by sbiddle View Post
"Mr Biddle here is your new seat and thanks for moving so this couple could sit together".
That would really piss me off. Single people are not second class citizens and should not be forced to move solely because couples can't sit apart for a few hours. I personally would have raised holy hell on this just for the principle of the matter.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by SeaProf View Post
That would really piss me off. Single people are not second class citizens and should not be forced to move solely because couples can't sit apart for a few hours. I personally would have raised holy hell on this just for the principle of the matter.
I'd only raise hell if they moved me to the PE middle - not much difference between the PE aisle seats.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 4:54 pm
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Originally Posted by samyoull View Post
I'd only raise hell if they moved me to the PE middle - not much difference between the PE aisle seats.
For me it's the principle of the matter. I'm a single gay man. I lost all sympathy for heterosexual couples (there's no indication the couple in question was heterosexual, for the record) when marriage equality was debated and, in some places, voted upon. When the status of our relationships was up for public discussion and debate, subjected to the whims of the heterosexual majority, I lost all sympathy for straight couples who apparently couldn't survive sitting apart from each other for a few hours, are more than willing to potentially inconvenience others and subject others to their wishes. I'm sorry, if you booked your ticket late, accept the consequences. If you were upgraded, be grateful. Just don't expect other people to accommodate you just because you are a couple. You can politely ask, just don't be offended if the answer is no. As far as I'm concerned Air NZ should not require passengers traveling alone to move simply because some couple wants to sit together.
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Last edited by SeaProf; Mar 14, 18 at 5:13 pm
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Old Mar 14, 18, 5:11 pm
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As a homosexualist who travels a lot--almost always in Y unless I can leverage an upgrade on NZ--it's much simpler: if you can't get your sh!t together to sort out seats in advance, not my problem. I do. If you get a standby cleared upgrade you get the last seats--that's the trade off. Pay for the premium cabin.

If asked to move, the only I will consider is forward not backwards and not into an inferior seat. I want aisle, as far forward as possible. I booked it in advance of you.

Originally Posted by SeaProf View Post
For me it's the principle of the matter. I'm a single gay man. I lost all sympathy for heterosexual couples (there's no indication the couple in question was heterosexual, for the record) when marriage equality was debated and, in some places, voted upon. When the status of our relationships was up for public discussion and debate, subjected to the whims of the heterosexual majority, I lost all sympathy for straight couples who apparently couldn't survive sitting apart from each other for a few hours, are more than willing to potentially inconvenience others and subject others to their wishes. I'm sorry, if you booked your ticket late, accept the consequences. If you were upgraded, be grateful. Just don't expect or ask other people to accommodate you just because you are a couple. You can politely ask, just don't be offended if the answer is no. As far as I'm concerned Air NZ should not require passengers traveling alone to move simply because some couple wants to sit together.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 5:15 pm
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Originally Posted by samyoull View Post
I'd only raise hell if they moved me to the PE middle - not much difference between the PE aisle seats.
That was my thoughts.. Had they tried to move me to a middle seat I would have been complaining.

My prior flight which I'd posted about on here previously was NZ1 last year where I had to sit next to a screaming baby all the way from LHR to LAX. I was bumped from my selected Spaceseat because a family of 5 had been upgraded and males can't sit next to kids, so as a result multiple people in the cabin had to be moved to accommodate the family.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 8:55 pm
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Originally Posted by jawnbc View Post
As a homosexualist who travels a lot--almost always in Y unless I can leverage an upgrade on NZ--it's much simpler: if you can't get your sh!t together to sort out seats in advance, not my problem. I do. If you get a standby cleared upgrade you get the last seats--that's the trade off. Pay for the premium cabin.

If asked to move, the only I will consider is forward not backwards and not into an inferior seat. I want aisle, as far forward as possible. I booked it in advance of you.
I agree jawnbc, if you get an upgrade then you should accept the seats available, and I (or my wife and I when she is with me) shouldn't be expected to move from our carefully selected seats. I used to move happily when asked, but would only happily do so now if it is essentially no different.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 9:09 pm
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Datapoint. On HND-AKL a PE-J gifted GE RU applied saw Mrs TK and I upgraded at the gate and sitting pretty close to each other (4A and 3B) and we were quite happy - indeed would have been happy with any spare J seat. We don't need to travel in close company.
The solo female traveller in 4B suggested she and my wife swap, which was done in consultation with cabin crew. All parties were happy.
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Old Mar 15, 18, 12:43 am
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Originally Posted by Thai-Kiwi View Post
Datapoint. On HND-AKL a PE-J gifted GE RU applied saw Mrs TK and I upgraded at the gate and sitting pretty close to each other (4A and 3B) and we were quite happy - indeed would have been happy with any spare J seat. We don't need to travel in close company.
The solo female traveller in 4B suggested she and my wife swap, which was done in consultation with cabin crew. All parties were happy.
this is how it should happen
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