Involuntary downgrade DTW-NRT flight

Old Nov 3, 13, 3:53 am
  #1  
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Involuntary downgrade DTW-NRT flight

Hi all, not a regular poster here but wondering what would be expected in this situation.

Booked my parents in BE using miles for a roundtrip DTW-NRT 10 months ago. One ticket at high level and the other low level. They checked in for their flight DTW-NRT and received their boarding passes with seats 12BC (which is what they reserved). At the gate, they were called by the gate agent and told BE was oversold and they would both be downgraded to coach. My mother sternly told them this was unacceptable but the agent would only agree to keep her in BE and downgraded my father to coach. He received an $800 travel voucher and was told the miles will be redeposited. As an aside, the gate agent told them BE was oversold by 3 - and the 3 people downgraded were all on mileage awards.

Despite the $800 voucher, I find this pretty annoying. For a nearly 13 hour flight, the difference in seating is marked obviously. This likely would've been my parents one and only trip in their lifetime in Business and were very much looking forward to it.

What if anything else should they have done at the gate? What if anything else should have been given in compensation?

Background:
-Parents have no status with delta
-tickets booked using my skymiles account - I'm Gold.

Thanks for any advice.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 4:04 am
  #2  
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Complain and you can get an extra 15k miles for each i assume in addition to the change of miles
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Old Nov 3, 13, 4:10 am
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I haven't seen a thread with this info for a long time, but I remember stories about those of us who use SWUs on $4.5K M fares at risk for being downgraded given certain dynamics.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 4:11 am
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I hope they refund the high mileage award rather than the low. Let us know which one the refunded.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 5:43 am
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TOS say that you are only IDB if they don't take you.

If you're in a different cabin, they haven't IDB.

That being said, I definitely would tell DL exactly what you said here...That you're a GM, and tried to do something amazing for your parents as a once in a lifetime thing, and they ruined it by overselling BE and then bumping them "just cuz" they were on a miles ticket etc.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 5:58 am
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I thought Delta never oversold BE?
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:10 am
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Originally Posted by DJMeatBall View Post
I thought Delta never oversold BE?
where did you hear this? I have seen BE oversold before.

$800 voucher and returning to miles for BE vs. low level coach award (and yes, I would demand this!) are a fair offer IMO. A non-status pax on miles SHOULD indeed be the first targeted for an invol downgrade!
If the OP sends a message to corporate customer care I am sure they will throw in some additional miles.
This sucks, but it sounds like DL played by the rules here.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:13 am
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Originally Posted by DTWpistons View Post
Hi all, not a regular poster here but wondering what would be expected in this situation.

Booked my parents in BE using miles for a roundtrip DTW-NRT 10 months ago. One ticket at high level and the other low level. They checked in for their flight DTW-NRT and received their boarding passes with seats 12BC (which is what they reserved). At the gate, they were called by the gate agent and told BE was oversold and they would both be downgraded to coach. My mother sternly told them this was unacceptable but the agent would only agree to keep her in BE and downgraded my father to coach. He received an $800 travel voucher and was told the miles will be redeposited. As an aside, the gate agent told them BE was oversold by 3 - and the 3 people downgraded were all on mileage awards.

Despite the $800 voucher, I find this pretty annoying. For a nearly 13 hour flight, the difference in seating is marked obviously. This likely would've been my parents one and only trip in their lifetime in Business and were very much looking forward to it.

What if anything else should they have done at the gate? What if anything else should have been given in compensation?

Background:
-Parents have no status with delta
-tickets booked using my skymiles account - I'm Gold.

Thanks for any advice.
Although the situation sucks, I think DL will say that he was compensated fairly. Is $800 the amount they would have to give if you were IDB? That should be the least amount of the voucher IMHO.

This is not a situation where your father was upgraded you actually bought BE tickets. I think DL should have asked for volunteers and either compensated those that choose to sit in coach or IDB those in BE that didn't have a confirm seat because of oversold situation. If I buy BE I think DL is contractually required to fly me in BE but I might be wrong. Did you get all the miles back or just half?
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:13 am
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As a side note, I wonder if the SEA-NRT + SEA feedings are messing with RM's estimates on overselling TPACs.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:15 am
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Originally Posted by DTWpistons View Post
Hi all, not a regular poster here but wondering what would be expected in this situation.

Booked my parents in BE using miles for a roundtrip DTW-NRT 10 months ago. One ticket at high level and the other low level. They checked in for their flight DTW-NRT and received their boarding passes with seats 12BC (which is what they reserved). At the gate, they were called by the gate agent and told BE was oversold and they would both be downgraded to coach. My mother sternly told them this was unacceptable but the agent would only agree to keep her in BE and downgraded my father to coach. He received an $800 travel voucher and was told the miles will be redeposited. As an aside, the gate agent told them BE was oversold by 3 - and the 3 people downgraded were all on mileage awards.

Despite the $800 voucher, I find this pretty annoying. For a nearly 13 hour flight, the difference in seating is marked obviously. This likely would've been my parents one and only trip in their lifetime in Business and were very much looking forward to it.

What if anything else should they have done at the gate? What if anything else should have been given in compensation?

Background:
-Parents have no status with delta
-tickets booked using my skymiles account - I'm Gold.

Thanks for any advice.
Not that I support Delta's move to downgrade the 3 that were on award tickets. I believe Delta should have asked for volunteers to be downgraded based on some remuneration but I doubt they would have had any takers. Others options have been provided by others to seek compensation after the fact for your dad having been downgraded to Economy. Was he at least placed on Economy Comfort?

Beyond that, some of the options that the OP parents could have pushed for at the gate are:
1) Redirected to DTW-NGO-NRT flight (arriving two days after at 9am rather than 4pm day after) with Delta covering hotel in Nagoya
2) Rebooked on following day on BE (arriving 2 days after at 4pm)
3) I assume DTW-MSP-NRT was already out given that the first leg departed at 10am versus the scheduled DTW-NRT flight of 12:35pm

I would still press for additional compensation with either of these options but would still preserve the BE international experience for both
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:18 am
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$800 voucher on a Biz ticket? I don't think that's appropriate.

What's the fare difference between a OW full fare J and Y ticket on the route? I'd guess this would be more like it.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
$800 voucher on a Biz ticket? I don't think that's appropriate.

What's the fare difference between a OW full fare J and Y ticket on the route? I'd guess this would be more like it.
$800 plus 'fare difference' is what was offered. Sounds fair to me.
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by cfischer View Post
$800 plus 'fare difference' is what was offered. Sounds fair to me.
No, $800 plus some sort of miles back. Given the increase in DL awards coming out soon, where's the value? Will they refund the OW amount between Y and J? The high award or the low award?
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:35 am
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
No, $800 plus some sort of miles back. Given the increase in DL awards coming out soon, where's the value? Will they refund the OW amount between Y and J? The high award or the low award?
you are asking them to return money which was not paid? Or miles which are > than today's difference?
I don't usually defend Delta or other airlines, but I am seeing a fair compensation here. If the OP gets $800 and difference in miles for a o/w (!) downgrade (assuming the return is in C) I don't see this as unfair. Of course they miles for high C to low Y should be returned. With 'fare difference' I meant the fare paid (which was miles).
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Old Nov 3, 13, 6:47 am
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Only option would be to force IDB but too late at this point.

Crummy situation. If they give the $800 voucher and the difference in miles it is reasonable, but hardly makes up for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. I sympathize but I don't think DL really needs to offer more post travel, and they probably won't except for a few skymiles.
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