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Schedule change put me in coach on a FC saver award ticket

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Old Jul 16, 17, 11:50 am
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Schedule change put me in coach on a FC saver award ticket

Flying DAL-SFO-FLL on VX, and Virgin/Alaska completely chopped SFO-FLL. The route went from 3 nonstops down to 1; even LAX-FLL got chopped.

Anyway I was alerted by email to call Alaska and found out I could no longer legally connect to my FLL flight. This was when I also found out I was put in coach on the SFO-FLL flight the next day because there was no availability in First despite a empty cabin. I took it to mean, no saver level availability.

I first requested a reroute via LAX and was told it was available. The agent then came back and said the 'desk' said it was not available. When she tried to change my flights, I also lost the confirmed FC seat on DAL-SFO; so I ended up in coach throughout as she could not get it back. I told her it didn't make sense because now I was essentially throwing away miles for a Y class ticket. She agreed; I asked her to cancel the ticket and promptly bought a AA FC ticket from DFW for a little over $300. Virgin wanted $1000. Slightly inconvenient over using DAL, but you take what you can get sometimes.


I don't understand how they seem unable to even force inventory on their own flights. On Delta they would have switched me to any other flight with FC seats available. On Alaska the flights are wide open and it seems the agent's aren't empowered to do anything if your on a saver award. I said it before on the thread where the guy was complaining about being swindled into buying miles, only for Alaska to increase redemption. They have removed a lot of saver availability 2 weeks ago. Whether it's due to the amount of miles they sold, I don't know.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 1:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Yellowjj View Post
Flying DAL-SFO-FLL on VX, and Virgin/Alaska completely chopped SFO-FLL. The route went from 3 nonstops down to 1; even LAX-FLL got chopped.

Anyway I was alerted by email to call Alaska and found out I could no longer legally connect to my FLL flight. This was when I also found out I was put in coach on the SFO-FLL flight the next day because there was no availability in First despite a empty cabin. I took it to mean, no saver level availability.

I first requested a reroute via LAX and was told it was available. The agent then came back and said the 'desk' said it was not available. When she tried to change my flights, I also lost the confirmed FC seat on DAL-SFO; so I ended up in coach throughout as she could not get it back. I told her it didn't make sense because now I was essentially throwing away miles for a Y class ticket. She agreed; I asked her to cancel the ticket and promptly bought a AA FC ticket from DFW for a little over $300. Virgin wanted $1000. Slightly inconvenient over using DAL, but you take what you can get sometimes.


I don't understand how they seem unable to even force inventory on their own flights. On Delta they would have switched me to any other flight with FC seats available. On Alaska the flights are wide open and it seems the agent's aren't empowered to do anything if your on a saver award. I said it before on the thread where the guy was complaining about being swindled into buying miles, only for Alaska to increase redemption. They have removed a lot of saver availability 2 weeks ago. Whether it's due to the amount of miles they sold, I don't know.
AFAIK, VX is still being operated completely separately and by the same management team that was running VX prior to the merger (though I'm sure Alaska Air Group, the parent company and legal owner of Virgin America, has input into large decisions), so blaming "Alaska" for canceling the route and blaming "Alaska" for being unable to open up space on "their" flights is not quite accurate. Between the separate management and the fact that the back-end systems are not yet integrated, to Alaska agents, dealing with VX is still more or less like dealing with any other partner--just like AS agents can't force AA or CX or QF or whoever to open up space, AS can't do the same with VX.

I'd almost actually suggest that your post be moved to the VX forum as your real beef is with VX, not AS, but it probably is on-topic here as you were (it sounds like, anyway) using AS miles.

Things will get better and easier for AS agents to handle VX stuff once management is integrated into the AS organization and the systems are integrated. For now, it's probably best to just mentally treat VX as a partner of AS's and know that booking VX comes with similar restrictions as booking any other partner.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 1:14 pm
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Even before systems are integrated, since the merger it should be possible for an AS agent to call VX and have award inventory instantly opened in cases like this. Otherwise, it's a good way for AS to dive away their customers during the merger.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 1:27 pm
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AS and VX are two entirely separate air carriers owned by the same holding company. Until they file and DOT approves a Single Operating Certificate, they will remain that. The SOC won't be filed until key systems --- reservations, IM, RM being among them --- are chugging along.

Your beef is indeed with AS as the ticketing carrier. While AS can't force VX inventory, it may request it and I suspect that it would be forthcoming. This is a manual and ad hoc process for these two carriers because it is new. It might take several days, but it could likely have been done.

I would send a note to AS even though you have made other arrangements and ask that it do a better job of training regarding how these cross-carrier requests are to be made.

Last edited by Often1; Jul 16, 17 at 5:56 pm Reason: Correcting VS to VX reference
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Old Jul 16, 17, 2:11 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
AFAIK, VX is still being operated completely separately and by the same management team that was running VX prior to the merger (though I'm sure Alaska Air Group, the parent company and legal owner of Virgin America, has input into large decisions), so blaming "Alaska" for canceling the route and blaming "Alaska" for being unable to open up space on "their" flights is not quite accurate. Between the separate management and the fact that the back-end systems are not yet integrated, to Alaska agents, dealing with VX is still more or less like dealing with any other partner--just like AS agents can't force AA or CX or QF or whoever to open up space, AS can't do the same with VX.

I'd almost actually suggest that your post be moved to the VX forum as your real beef is with VX, not AS, but it probably is on-topic here as you were (it sounds like, anyway) using AS miles.

Things will get better and easier for AS agents to handle VX stuff once management is integrated into the AS organization and the systems are integrated. For now, it's probably best to just mentally treat VX as a partner of AS's and know that booking VX comes with similar restrictions as booking any other partner.
While I do know AS and VX are still separate, my gut feeling says AS was behind these massive cuts to redeploy VX fleet elsewhere.

I was using AS miles but what I didn't mention was I also requested the SEA-FLL flight and even had the agent look at MCO from both SEA/PDX. This was on Alaska own metal, so you'd think they would have some "power" to open space. That's where my gripe with Alaska stems in. All the agent kept saying was not available and when she did find space; she came back to say the desk said it was unavailable. Nowhere did she mention contacting anyone at Virgin to request space and I figured if she couldn't be bothered trying to get AS space to open up, why waste time in requesting something that would be more complex for her to handle.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 3:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
AFAIK, VX is still being operated completely separately and by the same management team that was running VX prior to the merger (though I'm sure Alaska Air Group, the parent company and legal owner of Virgin America, has input into large decisions
Ben Minicucci, AS President and COO of Alaska Airlines, is the CEO of VX.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 3:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Yellowjj View Post
On Delta they would have switched me to any other flight with FC seats available.
Would DL have allowed a Dallas-LAX-FLL routing?
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by dayone View Post
Would DL have allowed a Dallas-LAX-FLL routing?
Delta would have allowed any routing with-in reason. But kind of a moot point seeing as they only fly to ATL from DAL.

From DFW, they would have indeed allowed a DFW-LAX or DFW-SLC or DFW-MSP-XXX. Whatever flight suited to my needs.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Yellowjj View Post
Delta would have allowed any routing with-in reason. But kind of a moot point seeing as they only fly to ATL from DAL.

From DFW, they would have indeed allowed a DFW-LAX or DFW-SLC or DFW-MSP-XXX. Whatever flight suited to my needs.
I have found DL is quite willing to reroute you on its own metals regardless there is saver availability or not.

From your posts seems AS is not accommodating even the cancellation is by VX which despite the corporate structure remains 2 entities, after all, shouldn't AS can liason with VX much easier than with any other partner given the fact that AS OWNS VX?
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
I have found DL is quite willing to reroute you on its own metals regardless there is saver availability or not.

From your posts seems AS is not accommodating even the cancellation is by VX which despite the corporate structure remains 2 entities, after all, shouldn't AS can liason with VX much easier than with any other partner given the fact that AS OWNS VX?
That's my experience with Delta as well. Once you have a ticket they will reroute you however you want on their metal, paid or award.

I would have hoped so but it doesn't seem to be the case right now. The agent didn't seem empowered to try or maybe I had to suggest that to her? I would have at least expected them to force space on AS metal, but all she kept coming back with was not available. Well at least she thanked me for being a MVP and my loyalty lol.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Happy View Post
From your posts seems AS is not accommodating even the cancellation is by VX which despite the corporate structure remains 2 entities, after all, shouldn't AS can liason with VX much easier than with any other partner given the fact that AS OWNS VX?
Not this early in the merger, I wouldn't expect that at all. At similar stages in the DL-NW or UA-CO mergers, I think expectations like this would have been the very least of the concerns.

Originally Posted by Yellowjj View Post
That's my experience with Delta as well. Once you have a ticket they will reroute you however you want on their metal, paid or award.

I would have hoped so but it doesn't seem to be the case right now. The agent didn't seem empowered to try or maybe I had to suggest that to her? I would have at least expected them to force space on AS metal, but all she kept coming back with was not available. Well at least she thanked me for being a MVP and my loyalty lol.
It's a fair assumption and question, but you have to understand a couple of things about AS's corporate culture:

1) Their agents aren't used to IRROPS or issues inherent with running a large, complicated route network (like cancellations or schedule changes that create problems with connections), so things that are second-nature to UA or DL agents are not often encountered or thought of by AS agents, and

2) While AS agents are very friendly and cheery, they are hired more for their friendliness and cheeriness than their actual problem-solving skills. I've long found that AS agents are less willing to bend or break policy, even for high elites, than other airlines. As a 75K, I was quite often very apologetically and sympathetically told no, whereas as a UA 1K, my issue was frequently resolved quickly and competently, even if the attitude was a little more gruff and no-nonsense. Obviously, there are exceptions at both carriers, but that was my general perception after many calls to both.

In any case, yes, you probably would have benefitted from specifically asking the agent to look into either requesting that VX force space open or reminding them that it was their actions, not yours, that caused the schedule issue and that they should be able to put you in any seat on their own metal regardless of fare class. No guarantee it would have worked, but specifically asking them that or asking if a supervisor can assist would have increased the chances of getting the desired end result.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
AS and VS are two entirely separate air carriers owned by the same holding company. Until they file and DOT approves a Single Operating Certificate, they will remain that. The SOC won't be filed until key systems --- reservations, IM, RM being among them --- are chugging along.

Your beef is indeed with AS as the ticketing carrier. While AS can't force VS inventory, it may request it and I suspect that it would be forthcoming. This is a manual and ad hoc process for these two carriers because it is new. It might take several days, but it could likely have been done.

I would send a note to AS even though you have made other arrangements and ask that it do a better job of training regarding how these cross-carrier requests are to be made.
I think you mean VX (Virgin America) as opposed to VS (Virgin Atlantic). AS (Alaska) has nothing to do with VS (Virgin Atlantic).
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Old Jul 16, 17, 5:41 pm
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AS partnerships always seems like a shtshow to me. It seems like they just don't care to have things work smoothly with their partners.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 5:58 pm
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Any carrier can force space on its own metal. Fare buckets are artificial assignments and so long as there is any availability, not only DL, but UA & AA will force space as well. AS would have forced space on its own metal.

But, carriers can't force others to do this and all they can do is ask. What AS did not do for OP is ask.
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Old Jul 16, 17, 6:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Yellowjj View Post
Delta would have allowed any routing with-in reason. But kind of a moot point seeing as they only fly to ATL from DAL.

From DFW, they would have indeed allowed a DFW-LAX or DFW-SLC or DFW-MSP-XXX. Whatever flight suited to my needs.
My question was about the original routing, not the rerouting.
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