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Who gets downgraded first? Aircraft swap 738 -> A319

Who gets downgraded first? Aircraft swap 738 -> A319

Old Jan 28, 19, 4:20 pm
  #1  
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Who gets downgraded first? Aircraft swap 738 -> A319

No status on AA. Got a polite, but not particularly apologetic, phone call on the morning of departure to tell me they are "unable to accommodate" my F reservation. New seat is in Main Cabin (not Extra) and boards in group 7.

Did AA really sell 8 paid F seats? Or was this downgrade to accommodate CK/EXP free upgrades?
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:25 pm
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Good question and sorry I can't answer it, but I'm wondering if they refunded you any money on those paid F class seats you lost?
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:30 pm
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I think that depends on the fare class. There is an economy fare that automatically upgrades at purchase(can't remember the code). You can be downgraded without any refund.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by jmj9905 View Post
I think that depends on the fare class. There is an economy fare that automatically upgrades at purchase(can't remember the code). You can be downgraded without any refund.
Are these the YUP***** fares you sometimes see?
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:46 pm
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I hear Bout them but donít see them as they arenít clearly disclosed at the point of sale.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 4:55 pm
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Generally, downgrades occur in reverse order. Thus, paid F are the last to go.

Hard to answer OP's question without knowing his fare basis. Looking for a five character alpha-numeric which if truly paid F, would begin with F.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 5:00 pm
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ptsailor I think you are right. Often1 these are not paid F that's why they are the first to be downgraded. I learned this the hard way several years ago. When you book you have to checkthe fare class.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 5:18 pm
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anybody can be downgraded by AA without AA under any legal obligation to provide compensation (beyond fare difference).

anybody - full F/J, discount, YUP, award, upgrade. anybody. to the extent AA has some internal policy it is suppose to follow, you are not in any position to point to that policy and get the AA agent to change his decision of selecting you.

assuming AA chooses you, and you are unable to use your powers of persuasion to get AA to move along to the next passenger, then AA will be exceedingly accommodating.

choices freely available to you: cancel & refund, delay the whole trip to different dates through end of schedule, pick any other AA flight (or AA connecting flights) with J1 inventory (including flat beds) - even if new flights would otherwise not be permitted under fare rules

if AA gives you grief for any of these requests, just hang up and call a new rep.
the rep is just being a d, under no instruction from management to deny these requests.

choices you might be able to obtain with some persuasion: rebooking onto another airline, accepting downgrade under condition AA gives you desirable coach seat (even if that means AA move a coach seat).

if you travel in the downgraded cabin, then insist (and only board the plane) if the eticket is reissued (not revalidated) in Y booking class.
get a copy of eticket receipt (along with downgrade compensation on the spot if you can get it).

you'll prolly need to still go to prefunds.aa.com to get the actual refund post hoc.
do a calculation yourself for this difference on what the lowest coach fare would have been if booked originally (use a similar prospective purchase if you can't figure that).
include this calculation in the notes on your prefunds.aa.com claim.

and you also get a 2nd bite at the apple in additional compensation via AA customer service online request.

and then a 3rd bite after the dust settles with a AA Advantage customer service online request.

Last edited by Colin; Jan 28, 19 at 5:32 pm
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Old Jan 28, 19, 5:47 pm
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Unfortunately pretty much every domestic first class fare is an instant upgrade fare nowadays. Assuming we are talking about regular two class aircraft, then the only way to avoid this is to buy a J class fare (F class fares don't exist on these flights anymore) but these are usually around five times more expensive than the lowest advertised first class fare. These instant upgrade fares are based on a fixed upgrade amount from the relevant economy fare, so I'm pretty sure you would get that element refunded if you asked.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 7:44 pm
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Definitely not the best form of AA to do this without offering other reaccommodation options.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by spanishflea View Post
Unfortunately pretty much every domestic first class fare is an instant upgrade fare nowadays. Assuming we are talking about regular two class aircraft, then the only way to avoid this is to buy a J class fare (F class fares don't exist on these flights anymore) but these are usually around five times more expensive than the lowest advertised first class fare. These instant upgrade fares are based on a fixed upgrade amount from the relevant economy fare, so I'm pretty sure you would get that element refunded if you asked.
Indeed, and this is true for United and Delta, too, AFAIK.

The actual page has since disappeared but this was the last guidance I saw on downgrade compensation for Y-UP/Instant Upgrade fares:
Instant Upgrade tickets are booked in the Main Cabin. However, Instant upgrade ticketholders who travel in the Main Cabin due to an involuntary seat change, equipment change, routing change, flight cancellation, or missed connection as a result of a late incoming flight may request a travel voucher. The voucher value shall be equal to $0.10 per mile, or $50, whichever is greater, for each flight segment flown in the downgraded cabin. Refunds will be rounded to the nearest whole dollar amount, and can be requested at www.aa.com/refunds.

So essentially, it's at least $50 in compensation, and for a transcon something more in the $200 range. AA were offering this as late as mid-2018, the last time I needed to use the refunds route. I was bumped on an Instant Upgrade MCO-LAX due to a flight cancellation and received a voucher for $220 ($0.10x2200 miles) on what was a $450-some fare. Ended up in Y exit row.
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Old Jan 28, 19, 8:43 pm
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
No status on AA. Got a polite, but not particularly apologetic, phone call on the morning of departure to tell me they are "unable to accommodate" my F reservation. New seat is in Main Cabin (not Extra) and boards in group 7.

Did AA really sell 8 paid F seats? Or was this downgrade to accommodate CK/EXP free upgrades?
I'd be surprised if you were displaced prior to upgraded passengers, but I have no insight into the precise algorithm of who's booted from First first.

Originally Posted by jmj9905 View Post
I think that depends on the fare class. There is an economy fare that automatically upgrades at purchase(can't remember the code). You can be downgraded without any refund.
Persistence may result in an reaccomodation in a premium cabin on another flight or some sort of consideration from the airline. Even if technically an economy fare, the conditionality of premium seating is not prominently/obviously disclosed when booked (i.e., these are not marketed as "you are purchasing an economy fare entitling you to a confirmed first class seat if all goes as planned"). Ultimately, the downgrade is a customer service issue, not a breach of contract.

Originally Posted by ptsailor View Post
Are these the YUP***** fares you sometimes see?
YUP!
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Old Jan 28, 19, 9:50 pm
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1) Ignore all the noise about “UP” fares; it’s irrelevant.
1a) If a gate agent tells you there’s no refund because of this, ignore the GA. Contact AA after the flight is completed.
2) You are at least owed the difference in fares between what you purchased and what you flew.
3) When purchasing a premium cabin fare, ALWAYS screenshot the difference between what you are buying and what the lowest coach fare is at the time for the identical itinerary. This will make it MUCH easier to pursue AA for the appropriate refund, if, for some reason, they are calculating it unfavorably to you.
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Old Jan 29, 19, 12:31 am
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Twice now when I've been called and asked to accommodate AA in a oversold J situation I've been offered 300$ plus Y or next flight in J. One was an upgrade other paid J (yup or cheapest biz seat).

Does seem that AA may be overselling J. Neither of my experiences was an aircraft swap
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Old Jan 29, 19, 6:17 am
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In my experience, the people with assigned seats in rows that are no longer F/J get downgraded.

I had kept upgrades before while a revenue F in the row behind me ended up in Y simply because his row was no longer F. I have seen this often enough that I think this is a computer default. They may manually interfere for a CK - but I think that's about it.

I used to fly a route a fair bit that was operated by a 319 while they went from 3 to 2 rows - and you never knew what aircraft config they had the next day. It didn't take long to learn that picking a seat in the 1st two rows avoided downgrades. I kept my (upgraded) seat in Row 2 while Marco Rubio seemed slightly confused, but sat down in the first row of coach.

Last edited by flying_geek; Jan 29, 19 at 7:54 am
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