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Forced W to Y downgrade ORD-LHR 789 to unrefitted 788

Forced W to Y downgrade ORD-LHR 789 to unrefitted 788

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Old Apr 5, 19, 6:22 pm
  #1  
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Forced W to Y downgrade ORD-LHR 789 to unrefitted 788

I don’t know how typical this is but a change in equipment caused my flight (AA46 ORD-LHR in 787-9) to no longer has Premium Economy. Result, I got downgraded to Economy even though I was in a paid W (full fare PE). Agents at ORD must not know much about PE because they seemed to be confused and told me that I had a good seat in coach. I tried to explain that I paid 1000 more for my W ticket but they wouldn’t listen.

I even called the PLT desk and they were not sympathetic suggesting that that my company would get a refund once I arrive.

I should have flown BA. The 787 is nicer but at least BA agents know what WTP is.

(What got me really upset is one agent came over and said there are plenty of J on the next flight but my agent said that I wasn’t an EXP and they wouldn’t upgrade PLT….She said that W is the same as Y)

I am really upset because there is a difference between Economy and PE and I am doing a 6 hour layover in London because of it.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 6:29 pm
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That is a shame. I believe if you were on BA you’d also get some EC261 compensation downgrade reimbursement

can you ask for a reroute? Either onto a BA service or via somewhere? Where is your final destination? Are there other options to get there?

Last edited by nancypants; Apr 6, 19 at 2:49 am
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Old Apr 5, 19, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
That is a shame. I believe if you were on BA you’d also get some EC261 compensation

can you ask for a reroute? Either onto a BA service or via somewhere? Where is your final destination? Are there other options to get there?
I asked for a refund so I can book on another airline but was denied. They said that a downgrade doesn't qualify for a refund. Really !!!
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Old Apr 5, 19, 7:05 pm
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Originally Posted by badm96 View Post
I don’t know how typical this is but a change in equipment caused my flight (AA46 ORD-LHR in 787-9) to no longer has Premium Economy. Result, I got downgraded to Economy even though I was in a paid W (full fare PE). Agents at ORD must not know much about PE because they seemed to be confused and told me that I had a good seat in coach. I tried to explain that I paid 1000 more for my W ticket but they wouldn’t listen.

I even called the PLT desk and they were not sympathetic suggesting that that my company would get a refund once I arrive.

I should have flown BA. The 787 is nicer but at least BA agents know what WTP is.

(What got me really upset is one agent came over and said there are plenty of J on the next flight but my agent said that I wasn’t an EXP and they wouldn’t upgrade PLT….She said that W is the same as Y)

I am really upset because there is a difference between Economy and PE and I am doing a 6 hour layover in London because of it.

holy cow that really sucks. I feel your pain because it has happened to us. They can do this because.....
https://www.aa.com/i18n/customer-ser...e&from=footer?

TL;DR above

CoC below

Sometimes we have to make adjustments to our operation, and between the time you book and the day you depart, there may be changes to:
  • The type of plane you're flying on
  • Your seat
  • The airline that operates your flight
  • The number of stopovers or stopover cities
  • Departure or arrival times
When there are changes that affect your trip, we'll try to contact you in advance and move you to a similar seat, though we can't make any guarantees.

We do our best to be on time but our flight schedule is not guaranteed and not part of this contract. We are not liable if:
  • We're late or you don't make your connection
  • We change the schedule of any flight
  • There are special, incidental or consequential damages because of these changes
  • Your checked baggage is late (except as required by statute, regulation, or Convention)
Rules for delays on international trips are governed by the Montreal Convention and Warsaw Convention. The full linked page provides more information and is incorporated by reference.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 7:09 pm
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EC261 would still apply since the flight is to/from LHR, no?
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Old Apr 5, 19, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by LINDEGR View Post
EC261 would still apply since the flight is to/from LHR, no?
No. Always applies to EU-carriers. Only applies to non-EU carriers when departing a EU member state. Not sure how Brexit will affect this.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 7:46 pm
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Originally Posted by badm96 View Post
I asked for a refund so I can book on another airline but was denied. They said that a downgrade doesn't qualify for a refund. Really !!!
i think a refund would be denied as it results in cash leaving their pocket and arriving in yours

asked to be reaccomodated on a joint venture carrier as an alternative (or indeed own metal through say JFK) however they *should* be at least partially open to- as the cash remains in their general possession
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Old Apr 5, 19, 8:22 pm
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Originally Posted by nancypants View Post
That is a shame. I believe if you were on BA you’d also get some EC261 compensation
Just to clarify as downgrades cause confusion.

There is no compensation under EU261 for a downgrade but there is a reimbursement (the wording of the regulation is explicit) of a % of the fare for the sector. But this is paid back to the ticket purchaser not to the passenger.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 8:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Lux Flyer View Post
No. Always applies to EU-carriers. Only applies to non-EU carriers when departing a EU member state. Not sure how Brexit will affect this.
Again to clarify. Brexit has NO effect in EU261 as far as the UK is concerned.

EU261 is part of UK law - via a Statutory Instrument passed in 2005 - and will remain so until it is actively repealed or replaced by the UK Parliament.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 8:29 pm
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Was it a sub from a 789 to 788? Crazy that they wouldn’t let u switch to the later flight.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 8:37 pm
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Originally Posted by badm96 View Post
I don’t know how typical this is but a change in equipment caused my flight (AA46 ORD-LHR in 787-9) to no longer has Premium Economy. Result, I got downgraded to Economy even though I was in a paid W (full fare PE). Agents at ORD must not know much about PE because they seemed to be confused and told me that I had a good seat in coach. I tried to explain that I paid 1000 more for my W ticket but they wouldn’t listen.

I even called the PLT desk and they were not sympathetic suggesting that that my company would get a refund once I arrive.

I should have flown BA. The 787 is nicer but at least BA agents know what WTP is.

(What got me really upset is one agent came over and said there are plenty of J on the next flight but my agent said that I wasn’t an EXP and they wouldn’t upgrade PLT….She said that W is the same as Y)

I am really upset because there is a difference between Economy and PE and I am doing a 6 hour layover in London because of it.

I had something similar happen to me, the agents don’t care, they try and focus on getting you to your destination on time. They are compensated terribly and have essentially no incentive to go the extra mile, yet many still will.

Even if you were EXP or PlatPro, you would have had to use a systemwide upgrade, it’s not something they just give folks in situations like these, and it’s not that the employees didn’t think Platinum is “good” enough for a consolation upgrade, their system won’t allow it.

While you are traveling on business I get that a refund doesn’t help. But if you write into AA they will likely provide a small voucher in your name that you can use on personal travel or miles.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 9:43 pm
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I'm not an expert on the legalities but sympathize with the OP. PE is a vastly different product than Y, and when booked, especially as a revenue ticket, should have been accommodated, compensated or cancelled as requested after the equipment no longer contained the product booked. I would feel some sympathy but as not much recourse if it were say a UA J class swap from a Polaris 777 to an old 2-4-2 772 J, but to them that's still J. In this case W was booked and paid for, but not available on day of travel.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:06 pm
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Sorry to hear OP. You are due a refund.

AA continues it’s downward spiral to the bottom of the barrel.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:17 pm
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passengers in paid PE downgraded to Y due to aircraft change should be accommodated in J.

if not enough J seats available, inconvenienced passengers should be offered choice of refund, fly in Y w/ differential refund, or fly on next AA w/ J available.

it is obscene for AA to think this situation warrants a downgrade rather than an upgrade.
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Old Apr 5, 19, 10:18 pm
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Originally Posted by badm96 View Post
I asked for a refund so I can book on another airline but was denied. They said that a downgrade doesn't qualify for a refund. Really !!!
If , as you said, you had a full fare ticket, then it would have been refundable anyway ; regardless , with the airline not able to provide the class of service paid for, there would be entitlement to a refund if you cancelled anyway. If there was any issue, this is a case where a disputed charge to a credit card should work easily

It seems that there was poor service from the airport staff there - the refusal to upgrade does not sound unreasonable
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