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AA Oversold Business class on our flight this week, we lost award seats

AA Oversold Business class on our flight this week, we lost award seats

Old May 21, 19, 7:28 am
  #31  
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The key issues are:
1. Make this about you, not AA. There are a lot of people here who think that somehow you will teach AA a lesson. You will not. It does not care. No agent is sitting there and looking at how this hits the P&L. So forget silly revenge tactics.
2. Do your own research. You are flying DTW-EDI. Check other routings on AA/BA. Does not have to be via PHL. Write down what you find and then call AA. When you have specifics in hand, it is a lot easier. As others note, you might also consider MAN as a destination as it is easy to get to EDI (and don't fight now about who pays for a cheap train ticket). If it is AA metal, AA can simply force space. If it is on BA, AA may have to send its request through its OW liaison to BA's. That can take a few days. But, often on North Atlantic flights covered by the JV, a first-tier supervisor can make this happen.
3. As others note, AA is not required to do this. It could simply downgrade you, refund the miles difference and be done with it. It might also toss some compensation your way as a gesture.
4. Do not deal with this at the airport unless unavoidable.
5. If you would fly in Y before cancelling, ,do not accept the downgrade. Leave the miles where they are. This will net you seat assignments in Y, but on a J fare. This means that you are close enough to the top priority that there is a distinct chance that at least one of you makes it into J.

Finally, in your dealings with AA, be firm but unfailingly polite. You need to enlist someone to help you. Given that downgrades do not require anything other than a refund, if you are unpleasant, this is what will happen. It isn't the agent's fault and the agent is powerless to fix the overall system.

Let us know once your post limit is lifted.
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Old May 21, 19, 7:29 am
  #32  
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OP should look carefully at schedules and availability. Some potential reroutes won't work if they're not done before going to the airport and being told that there are no J seats available on the current flight. At that point, it could be too late to be rebooked onto a ORD-LHR or RDU etc. connection. Obviously it will be even harder to get a same day TATL flight once you're at PHL.

BTW, if the destination is central Edinburgh, it's a pleasant train ride from LHR; some hotels are walkable from the train station even with luggage, although the city is hilly. If the plan is to rent a car, it's obviously better to arrive at the airport rather than downtown. I wouldn't expect AA to reimburse the cost of train tickets, but they can provide a customer service gesture to compensate. Glasgow has a very quick and frequent train to Edinburgh, so it would be easy to fly there instead of Edinburgh, although I'm not sure about public transportation between the airport and train station.

AA is probably betting that it can simply downgrade the OP for a refund of the (minimal if any) difference between a C Saver and Y Anytime award ticket, which is obviously nonsense. OP should not allow this to happen.
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Old May 21, 19, 7:31 am
  #33  
 
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Indeed, if AA can be persuaded to issue a FIM all issues will be solved - then it is just a matter of finding 2 seats in J class on any carrier to EDI.

I hope the OP will report back what actually happens tomorrow at DTW and/or PHL.
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Old May 21, 19, 7:33 am
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
Yea, I'm leaning this way, the airline sold you seats. It's up to them to get you there and in the class you paid for. Doesn't matter if you paid with miles or dollars, you paid. Now, you could take the involuntary downgrade and push for some serious financial compensation. I certainly wouldn't accept miles, not even if it was a full refund for saver level. If they shelled out some serious vouchers I would consider it.

But yea, not having any availability (which btw, don't they have availability on every flight with Anytime or whatever name the awards are at?) is totally their problem. You're not the one that oversold the cabin.
Financial compensation?
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Old May 21, 19, 7:34 am
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
perfect analysis. assuming you really want to travel this week, show up to fly. if at DTW check-in you are issued a downgraded boarding pass for PHL-EDI, you should attempt to get the DTW agent to resolve the matter to your satisfaction which for me would be to maintain a one-stop connection DTW-EDI in J. i would be asking for AA to issue a FIM (flight interruption manifest) to reroute DTW-EDI on UA via EWR/IAD/ORD, on DL/KL via AMS, on AF via CDF, on LH via FRA. keep asking different AA employees until you find one to issue the FIM.
Don't forget the nonstop DL/VS to LHR and train, which IMO would be better than changing airlines and terminals at LHR. From DTW, in addition to SkyTeam (DL/KLM/AF) through AMS, there are CDG nonstop TATL flights from DTW. IIRC DL goes to Edinburgh (and a couple other airports in northern England), but this would mean connecting at either ATL or JFK and possibly doing business class on a 757 with genuine flat beds, but not 100% direct aisle access.
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Old May 21, 19, 7:38 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Indeed, if AA can be persuaded to issue a FIM all issues will be solved - then it is just a matter of finding 2 seats in J class on any carrier to EDI.

I hope the OP will report back what actually happens tomorrow at DTW and/or PHL.
Wouldn't that be any carrier with which AA interlines? Budget carriers or weird airlines wouldn't be included, such as Norwegian, Icelandic, maybe AirLingus, etc.

Also, AFAIK AA would still need to rebook the OP onto the other carrier and issue the FIM for it. I don't think the procedure is to just give the OP the pieces of paper (FIMs for each passenger) and then the OP finds and picks flights himself/herself. The FIM is just a sort of guarantee that AA will pay the other carrier for the ticket, rather than OP risking getting to the gate for the other flight only to be denied boarding because AA hasn't correctly reissued the ticket.
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Old May 21, 19, 7:40 am
  #37  
 
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Are they allowed to downgrade you without compensation? And no chance of an upgrade?
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Old May 21, 19, 7:40 am
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99% chance that the OP will travel in J on the flights as booked, albeit not in seat 4AB.

To me this appears to be a storm in a teacup...
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Old May 21, 19, 7:43 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
99% chance that the OP will travel in J on the flights as booked, albeit not in seat 4AB.

To me this appears to be a storm in a teacup...
I wouldn't put the odds nearly this high for two passengers having confirmed seats to no show on a flight with only 14 (or 16 if two aren't needed for crew rest) J seats, especially when this is the only AA TATL flight to EDI.
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Old May 21, 19, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
Right, losing your assigned seats stinks, but it happens. What it SEEMS like to me, and maybe I'm wrong, is that there was perhaps an equipment change and the airline assigned seats to "paid" customers, unseated these folks now are getting the runaround saying there "is no award availability" which is BS cuz they already had the availability booked. If IRROPS was dependant on award availability, the whole award system falls apart.
There is only 1 config of 752 with 16 seats. The other one is the LUS and has 12 seats and isn't going to be flying to EDI.
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Old May 21, 19, 7:47 am
  #41  
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I hope the OP comes back with a satisfying resolution and I hope AA doesn't bully them into taking a Y seat with scare tactics.
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Old May 21, 19, 8:21 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
perfect analysis. assuming you really want to travel this week, show up to fly. if at DTW check-in you are issued a downgraded boarding pass for PHL-EDI, you should attempt to get the DTW agent to resolve the matter to your satisfaction which for me would be to maintain a one-stop connection DTW-EDI in J. i would be asking for AA to issue a FIM (flight interruption manifest) to reroute DTW-EDI on UA via EWR/IAD/ORD, on DL/KL via AMS, on AF via CDF, on LH via FRA. keep asking different AA employees until you find one to issue the FIM.
First, even if AA issues a FIM, no guarantee that there are J seats available at that point, especially if OP is already in PHL (where the only flights to the UK are AA/BA). I doubt the agent at DTW (a non-hub outstation) would issue a FIM—they would most likely tell OP to speak to an agent at PHL (the AA hub that generally has the most unpleasant staff generally, in my opinion).

I am, moreover, skeptical AA would issue a FIM for overselling the J cabin (and apparently that’s what has happened—this isn’t a case where OP just doesn’t have seat assignments). If OP waits, the options at that point are (1) accept a downgrade into Y, (2) wait for the next EDI flight with J space, (3) potentially be rerouted on other AA or Oneworld flights. Given how full flights are in J this week (the EDI flight appears sold out through the end of the week), the chances of 2 or 3 working out are not great, I’d say.

Bottom line: I’d much rather resolve the issue before leaving home than at the airport (and most likely in PHL) on the day of, and have to hope that AA will be willing to rebook on any airline (which from PHL means little anyways).
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Old May 21, 19, 9:36 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post


First, even if AA issues a FIM, no guarantee that there are J seats available at that point, especially if OP is already in PHL (where the only flights to the UK are AA/BA). I doubt the agent at DTW (a non-hub outstation) would issue a FIM—they would most likely tell OP to speak to an agent at PHL (the AA hub that generally has the most unpleasant staff generally, in my opinion).

I am, moreover, skeptical AA would issue a FIM for overselling the J cabin (and apparently that’s what has happened—this isn’t a case where OP just doesn’t have seat assignments). If OP waits, the options at that point are (1) accept a downgrade into Y, (2) wait for the next EDI flight with J space, (3) potentially be rerouted on other AA or Oneworld flights. Given how full flights are in J this week (the EDI flight appears sold out through the end of the week), the chances of 2 or 3 working out are not great, I’d say.

Bottom line: I’d much rather resolve the issue before leaving home than at the airport (and most likely in PHL) on the day of, and have to hope that AA will be willing to rebook on any airline (which from PHL means little anyways).
i suspect I would have the knowledge & persuasive ability to get an AA agent on the telephone to reroute in J on any AA flight (including AA codeshare operated by BA) with J2 or better availability.
i the OP can find those flights, call & keep calling to effectuate.

if that's not an option due to availability, then i'd show up at the origin airport to pursue a FIM with onto my exact preferred routing on another airline.
a telephone agent on a upgrade is never going to issue the desired FIM.
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Old May 21, 19, 9:50 am
  #44  
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Maybe I'm wrong, but reading the initial post of the OP it seems that the OP only lost the assigned seats. This can happen for a number of reasons; often equipment change. No ASR doesn't mean that the OP has been bumped from the J class cabin; most likely the OP is still confirmed on the AA flight to EDI. It would be very unusual for a carrier to offload the OP from the flight in advance even if the flight is overbooked in J class. Why should AA do so? If the flight is indeed overbooked in J/C this will be resolved at the airport/the gate.
Well, you make it sound so simple. Define "resolved".
It could very easily end badly for the OP (required to fly in middle seats in coach with only the mileage differential refunded), and most of the advice here is to be proactive so as to try to avoid this situation. If the cabin is actually overbooked, then this scenario is quite likely.

IMO, there's a good chance that AA would need to be publicly shamed into doing the right thing. (E.g., on a mileage award, almost no way in hell they'll rebook on a non-partner). So I was only half-joking about the camera crew. But you'd probably need them at DTW and PHL, as DTW will very likely kick the can down to PHL. Perhaps the next best alternative is Twitter, where OP can publicly post on AA's page (and FB and IG too I suppose).
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Old May 21, 19, 10:22 am
  #45  
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HUGE Thank You to everyone for your help and advice!!! I really appreciate all of it. I think this is my last allotted post for the day so I will try to cover where I'm at and see if there is any final hope for me:

I've now spent 3+ hours on the phone with 3 different supervisors. Despite this mornings staff at least sounding more competent, I've gotten to the same final conclusion each time:
  • I brought up my original seats being Blocked vs Assigned - this didn't lead to any aha moments. The doubled down on telling me that they have passengers assigned to every seat in J
  • All J on AA metal across the pond to a city where they can connect me to EDI on AA or Partner metal is full
  • All J partner award space across the pond is full
  • The phone agent supervisor is unable to book me on a revenue ticket with a partner "because that has to be done at the airport". (I even spoon fed them flight numbers for BA out of ORD in an attempt to lead a horse to water but no dice). I really pushed nicely but firmly and then some on this point and was repeatedly told that it 100% cannot happen over the phone
  • They told me there is not enough time to go through a BA liaison to release more award availability on BA
  • Any FIM would have to be issued at the airport and cannot be done over the phone
In summary, most of the call was being told what they can't do over the phone...

In my own words, all of their final advice can be summarized as "That's really weird, I'm sorry this happened but there's nothing I can do. Show up to the airport early and see what happens"

I also sent them a message on Twitter, on Instagram, and through their "official complaints" system on the AA website. No responses on any of them yet, though it's only been about 30 minutes since doing so.

I have no intention of accepting a downgrade, though for my own knowledge I did confirm that there are only 2 seats left in Economy. With my luck so far on this, I'm assuming those will be gone before check-in...

At this point I don't know what else to do other than 1) see if anything happens when I click "check -in" this after noon and 2) show up like 6 hours early tomorrow and see if they can make something happen.

Is there anything I haven't exhausted?

Again, thank you to everyone for all of your timely and detailed advice!
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