Involuntary downgrade

Old Dec 28, 21, 7:58 am
  #16  
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Ok, judging by all this it seems I won't be in for much compensation for AA's inability to deliver us from one flight to the next. The gate agent told me we would be due a refund of something but couldn't give me any idea how it was calculated. At the end of the day, AA were responsible for a chunk of the delay as we arrived late, but I'm sure they'll blame the airport.

What I'm learning here is that there is little to no regulations to govern what, if anything, we would be due. It bemuses me that an airline can sell you a ticket in Bus/First and then send you in economy but keep the original fare paid. It was an advanced purchase in J and a good price, but that should be irrelevant ("should be") but seems likely I'll be out of luck. I get that IRROPS happen, but there needs to be ways to handle them. I will be writing to British to get the original routing protection on the Avios/TPs earned which I believe they'll have no issue offering, but I will try and squeeze what I can out of AA.

It was a disappointing end to the first day of our 10th wedding anniversary and a crap way to arrive to Chicago for the first time (no alcohol in Y), but I suppose the Chicago Cubs waited about the same time for a world series as I might have to in order to get something out of AA.

Appreciate all the help
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Old Dec 28, 21, 8:11 am
  #17  
 
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AA will refund u a nominal difference between J and Y. Itís a strange formula and is far less than the true difference in fare.

I am guessing u will have to call.

Originally Posted by TTmex View Post
Thanks for the reply. My understanding is the COC were to fly in J. My ticket was in J to Chicago via Miami, not just to Miami. AA were unable to fulfil that contract. I'm not interested in AA miles as I have OWE from BA. But let's see what happens. They couldn't even offer J on later flights.

Appreciate the info.
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Old Dec 28, 21, 10:32 am
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
Part of the problem on AA is they fill almost all J seats by the day of departure with upgrades. You'll generally see one seat open at best, unless there is simply no one else to upgrade. It's great for the elites to get their upgrades in advance but it often leaves those who actually paid for the front cabin out in the cold if there are any IRROPs. I wish they were less aggressive with the upgrades, but I buy F/J more often these days and would appreciate some flexibility on the day of departure.

Of course I understand that premium cabins can get sold out with paying pax, but that is still the exception.
We only book F/J now and keep having these involuntary downgrades with IRROPS. It goes against a lot of FT opinions, but I donít think they should do upgrades for FF until a hour before departure. Especially right now with staff shortages. But we know that change isnít coming soon so we have taken to driving to Chicago to do direct only flights to limit the amount of IRROPS on connecting flights.
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Old Dec 28, 21, 10:59 am
  #19  
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Originally Posted by ORDflyer92 View Post
Which Y fare though? AA sells so many fare classes this question is impossible to answer, especially since full fare Y usually costs more than discount J. Also, a good amount of paid J flyers are paid by their employer, so they don't care about the refund.

My suggestion would be to offer some real compensation - travel vouchers, AC passes (or upgrade AC members to the FL for the day), 500 mile upgrades, or a good amount of award miles (I've never been offered more than 2500 for IRROPS, which is pathetic).
The suggestion offed by RK23 makes perfect sense to me. If, on the day of *purchase* the cheapest (presumably restricted) business class (I am not using fare basis to avoid confusion) was $600 and restricted coach could be purchased for $200, the refund ought to be $400. If, on the other hand, the passenger (not OP in this case) bought a full J fare ticket, then the refund should be the difference between that ticket price and the cheapest *unrestricted* coach ticket for sale on the day of purchase. It is just apples-to-apples: remove all the other variables like refundability and get to two tickets for sale on the same date where the only difference is the cabin of travel.

It is completely absurd for the airline to say: "You paid $600 for a super discounted business class ticket 3 months ago, but the walk up coach fare on the day of travel is $700, so you get no refund."
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Old Dec 28, 21, 11:07 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by J S View Post
The suggestion offed by RK23 makes perfect sense to me. If, on the day of *purchase* the cheapest (presumably restricted) business class (I am not using fare basis to avoid confusion) was $600 and restricted coach could be purchased for $200, the refund ought to be $400. If, on the other hand, the passenger (not OP in this case) bought a full J fare ticket, then the refund should be the difference between that ticket price and the cheapest *unrestricted* coach ticket for sale on the day of purchase. It is just apples-to-apples: remove all the other variables like refundability and get to two tickets for sale on the same date where the only difference is the cabin of travel.

It is completely absurd for the airline to say: "You paid $600 for a super discounted business class ticket 3 months ago, but the walk up coach fare on the day of travel is $700, so you get no refund."
seems fine to me. you book a J cabin ticket, you miss a flight due to no fault of AA, and your remedy is the very next available J1 seat to your destination or reroute connection taking the last J1 seat or an alternative nearby destination taking the last J1 seat. if you select another option, next Y1 seat, then that’s a voluntary choice and no refund likely due unless you’re on an expenseive J fare (unlikely for FTers).

$200 vs. $600 so $400 refund is bad logic.
half the one-way was flown, so haircut it $100 vs. $300 so $200 diff.
but you still got lounge access, premium checkin, first class bag allowance.
so, haircut the $200 even more.

even still, AA should refund jack. no AA fault here and passenger voluntarily chose next Y1 not next J1.

i’d be on your side if AA tried to pull some crap to no rebook a Z ticket onto a J1Z0 flight, but that’s not the case here and AA has never once pulled that crap with me.

if the problem was AA fault, i’d like to see AA remedy by finding a volunteer downgrade or involuntary downgrade an upgraded passenger. AA won’t do this and I think AA is wrong.

AA J cabin fares are too cheap. often cant even buy a J ticket days in advance. AA should have goal for all flights being J2 an hour before departure.

Last edited by Colin; Dec 28, 21 at 11:18 am
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Old Dec 28, 21, 1:39 pm
  #21  
 
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Originally Posted by Resource Robin View Post
We only book F/J now and keep having these involuntary downgrades with IRROPS. It goes against a lot of FT opinions, but I donít think they should do upgrades for FF until a hour before departure. Especially right now with staff shortages. But we know that change isnít coming soon so we have taken to driving to Chicago to do direct only flights to limit the amount of IRROPS on connecting flights.
Your point is fantastic but with all these freebies, can you imagine them being nervous until 60 minutes before the flight?
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Old Dec 28, 21, 2:28 pm
  #22  
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The reference is not the full Y fare. The reference should be the economy fare available at the time of booking. If you know what class/fare was available. That's why you screenshot the flight search page or get a GDS readout from EF. It is possible to look back in the GDS to see what a specific fare class would have been priced on a historical date. The problem here is that you don't generally see a breakdown of classes by flight.

In any case, this happened to me recently. I went straight to the counter at the new flight and asked (firmly) to be put at the top of the upgrade list. GA obliged. I was #1. Got my seat in F.
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Old Dec 28, 21, 4:38 pm
  #23  
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This was all simpler in the days of Y, Yn, F and Fn. What I loved was that FF award travel (LAX-JFK) was always considered to be Y and you could "pay the difference" to First, which meant that the redeye (Fn) was usually $25 to to upgrade an award to First Class on the 747.
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Old Dec 28, 21, 8:27 pm
  #24  
 
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Originally Posted by J S View Post
The suggestion offed by RK23 makes perfect sense to me. If, on the day of *purchase* the cheapest (presumably restricted) business class (I am not using fare basis to avoid confusion) was $600 and restricted coach could be purchased for $200, the refund ought to be $400. If, on the other hand, the passenger (not OP in this case) bought a full J fare ticket, then the refund should be the difference between that ticket price and the cheapest *unrestricted* coach ticket for sale on the day of purchase. It is just apples-to-apples: remove all the other variables like refundability and get to two tickets for sale on the same date where the only difference is the cabin of travel.

It is completely absurd for the airline to say: "You paid $600 for a super discounted business class ticket 3 months ago, but the walk up coach fare on the day of travel is $700, so you get no refund."
But again, the actual Y fare (full fare economy) is often more expensive than the discount J ticket. AA's fare classes are complex and there's no good 1:1 comparison. More importantly, as I mentioned, a refund isn't a valuable perk to a sizable chunk of J flyers. I'm actually in the group that typically pays for J out of pocket (employer only pays for Y) but on the rare occasion that my flight is comped, I'd rather have even a voucher for a restaurant than someone else get a refund.
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Old Jan 1, 22, 10:25 am
  #25  
 
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Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
AA will refund u a nominal difference between J and Y. Itís a strange formula and is far less than the true difference in fare.

I am guessing u will have to call.
Iím in a similar situation: I was involuntarily downgraded from paid FC to coach. The fare difference at the time of booking would have been about $100; on the date of travel, it was negligible.

If I bought a suit from Nordstrom and received a T-shirt instead, and then the suit went on sale, Iíd think that Nordstrom would refund the original price, not the sale price. Why wouldnít any decent business do the same? (Rhetorical question, I guess.)
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Old Jan 1, 22, 8:47 pm
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler View Post
I’m in a similar situation: I was involuntarily downgraded from paid FC to coach. The fare difference at the time of booking would have been about $100; on the date of travel, it was negligible.
This happened to Mrs. Majuki and me back in May 2021 on a paid J fare MIA-LAX. AA proactively refunded us the fare difference for that segment, and we still received 2x EQM and original EQD for the flight. I don't remember having an issue with the refund amount for the downgraded segment compared to the amount paid for the whole ticket, and the amount between J and Y at the time of booking was nominal such as in your case.
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Old Jan 2, 22, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler View Post
If I bought a suit from Nordstrom and received a T-shirt instead, and then the suit went on sale, Iíd think that Nordstrom would refund the original price, not the sale price. Why wouldnít any decent business do the same? (Rhetorical question, I guess.)
But AA does use the original price of the suit (what you paid for the F/J seat) in calculating the refund. It's unlikely that the fare would drop much from purchase to day of travel, but if it does, this would not reduce the refund. The issue is what price they assign to the T-shirt (Y seat).
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Old Jan 2, 22, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
But AA does use the original price of the suit (what you paid for the F/J seat) in calculating the refund. It's unlikely that the fare would drop much from purchase to day of travel, but if it does, this would not reduce the refund. The issue is what price they assign to the T-shirt (Y seat).
Fair point. But either way, AA screws over its first class customers in a way that Nordstrom would not. Perhaps if AA had competition the same way that Nordstrom does, AA would be more customer-friendly.
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Old Jan 2, 22, 8:28 am
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Best practice is to always screenshot the same itinerary at date of purchase. It takes literally ten seconds to screenshot and either save and/or print. It gives you a proven known reference point for coach pricing, and their systems will match if they cared to look. Then you can argue about the value of the segment on which you were downgraded (i.e., AUS-DFW vs DFW-HKG etc). In my experience if the amount you're talking about is under $200 (your premium ticket was $800 and coach was $600, say), they'll just refund the whole difference as a gesture. More than that and they'll start to divvy up the segments and figure out values. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Never accept a refund on a penalty ticket judged against full Y fare -- you never had the privileges/refundability of the full Y fare at any time during the period you held the prepurchased tickets, so it's essentially theft for them to try to capture that value at a later time.
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Old Jan 4, 22, 4:40 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ORDflyer92 View Post
But again, the actual Y fare (full fare economy) is often more expensive than the discount J ticket.
That was my point. However, it is rare that the cheapest coach fare is more expensive that the cheapest business class fare on the day of purchase. Assuming that the downgraded passenger bought the cheapest business class ticket that was actually available on the day he bought it, then the refund should be between the fare paid and what he would have paid for coach on the day of purchase (not at flight time). The fact that coach fares had gone up by the time he flew (possibly to full-Y) is not relevant (I bet business class fares went up too, possibly to full J).
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