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Old Aug 13, 17, 7:34 am   #1
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Downgrading of reward flights - particular risk on LHR-JFK / JFK-LHR?

Thinking of using a Companion Voucher and/or Avios for a trip in November.

I've seen a couple of pieces on Headforpoints (I think) about people getting involuntarily bumped down a class, and reward flights being prime targets as they only have to reimburse you the difference in Avios or (in the case of 2-4-1) nothing at all as it's a freebie.

Coupled with this, I was reading Simon Calder on why BA don't use A380s on the London-New York route (i.e. that their business travellers want a higher frequency of flights so they can just walk into the next departure when their meeting in town finishes, rather than fewer bigger planes departing less often).

Putting this together, this sounds to me as if there might be a particular downgrade risk on this route (assuming it does happen at all), i.e. you're booked into CW on a reward ticket, someone with higher status or simply paying full price on this popular route, arrives and needs a seat, and you find yourself downgraded as they are worth more to the airline / they have a reservation guarantee etc.

Does this happen in practice, and am I right that this route might be more of a risk than others, or am I making 2+2=5?
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Old Aug 13, 17, 7:38 am   #2
  
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Originally Posted by GCab View Post
Thinking of using a Companion Voucher and/or Avios for a trip in November.

I've seen a couple of pieces on Headforpoints (I think) about people getting involuntarily bumped down a class, and reward flights being prime targets as they only have to reimburse you the difference in Avios or (in the case of 2-4-1) nothing at all as it's a freebie.

Coupled with this, I was reading Simon Calder on why BA don't use A380s on the London-New York route (i.e. that their business travellers want a higher frequency of flights so they can just walk into the next departure when their meeting in town finishes, rather than fewer bigger planes departing less often).

Putting this together, this sounds to me as if there might be a particular downgrade risk on this route (assuming it does happen at all), i.e. you're booked into CW on a reward ticket, someone with higher status or simply paying full price on this popular route, arrives and needs a seat, and you find yourself downgraded as they are worth more to the airline / they have a reservation guarantee etc.

Does this happen in practice, and am I right that this route might be more of a risk than others, or am I making 2+2=5?
2+2=5!
The chances of you being downgraded are so small (particularly on this route) it's not worth discussing at any length. Enjoy your CW flight and relax.

Pilot37
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Old Aug 13, 17, 7:40 am   #3
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> Enjoy your CW flight and relax.

Thanks for the peace of mind! It was for exactly this purpose that I was asking (so as not to arrive at the airport feeling tense), so this is good to know.

Shows the danger of reading too much I guess
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Old Aug 13, 17, 7:41 am   #4
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or am I making 2+2=5?
Absolutely you are.

The central HfP conjecture that 2-4-1 are targeted for downgrades simply isn't correct (indeed someone in BA involved in the process submitted a post to HfP to say so). Moreover, on a route with such a huge number of seats, regular services, alternative carriers under the JBA and any amount of no-shows, JFK must be the least downgraded route in the network.

The main reason for downgrades on this (and any) route is people getting to the airport late. And you're far more likely to be given an involuntary upgrade than a visit to WTP.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 10:01 am   #5
  
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Originally Posted by GCab View Post
Coupled with this, I was reading Simon Calder on why BA don't use A380s on the London-New York route (i.e. that their business travellers want a higher frequency of flights so they can just walk into the next departure when their meeting in town finishes, rather than fewer bigger planes departing less often).
o
I like Simon Calder but I'm afraid on this he's wrong. BA's T7 at JFK simply can't handle A380s.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 11:03 am   #6
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Thanks for the replies - further put mind at rest
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Old Aug 13, 17, 11:04 am   #7
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And yes, that's simpler and makes rather more sense re. the A380 ...
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