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Removed from First class 1 month before flight

Removed from First class 1 month before flight

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Old Nov 8, 18, 12:28 pm
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Removed from First class 1 month before flight

So I have a flight booked for later this month on Delta. It is an international First class flight to South America. I booked it using skymiles back in June, and when I booked it, almost all of the first class seats were available (ie I didn't book the last seat). Just this weekend, I got a call from Delta that they overbooked first class (it wasn't an aircraft change) and I was moved back to the main cabin. I was provided with $200 ecredit as compensation. I emailed them about it and they told me 1) They accidentally overbooked first class 2) Skymiles award tickets are the lowest on the 'totem pole' which I why I was removed 3) $200 is their standard compensation for this situation and they couldn't budge at all.

Maybe this is more of a rant than anything but I just think its a pretty poor way to do business because I definitely dont think the difference between first and coach (especially on an international flight) is $200. Plus, I'm guessing they probably sold that extra ticket for much more than $200 over the main cabin price so they came out of the situation net positive, even after providing me with "compensation". This is the second time this has happened to me (granted the other time was for an aircraft change), and it appears it has happened to others. I just feel like this type of action is inexcusable, and if they are going to do this, they should be providing proper compensation.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by gobluepoints View Post
So I have a flight booked for later this month on Delta. It is an international First class flight to South America. I booked it using skymiles back in June, and when I booked it, almost all of the first class seats were available (ie I didn't book the last seat). Just this weekend, I got a call from Delta that they overbooked first class (it wasn't an aircraft change) and I was moved back to the main cabin. I was provided with $200 ecredit as compensation. I emailed them about it and they told me 1) They accidentally overbooked first class 2) Skymiles award tickets are the lowest on the 'totem pole' which I why I was removed 3) $200 is their standard compensation for this situation and they couldn't budge at all.

Maybe this is more of a rant than anything but I just think its a pretty poor way to do business because I definitely dont think the difference between first and coach (especially on an international flight) is $200. Plus, I'm guessing they probably sold that extra ticket for much more than $200 over the main cabin price so they came out of the situation net positive, even after providing me with "compensation". This is the second time this has happened to me (granted the other time was for an aircraft change), and it appears it has happened to others. I just feel like this type of action is inexcusable, and if they are going to do this, they should be providing proper compensation.
What's the route? DL doesn't offer IFC, so you either had D1 business class to southern South America or business class (more like domestic FC but it's currently being marketed as business class but not D1 IIRC) to northern South America.

Did they rebook you in true coach or C+? [I don't think there's premium economy yet on any of DL's South American flights and it sounds like you have a DL operated flight here.]

Did you ask about either being rerouted or having your flight changed by a day or so in order to get a seat in the cabin class you booked?
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Old Nov 8, 18, 12:35 pm
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You should also receive a fare difference refund between the miles needed for F and Y.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 12:52 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
What's the route? DL doesn't offer IFC, so you either had D1 business class to southern South America or business class (more like domestic FC but it's currently being marketed as business class but not D1 IIRC) to northern South America.

Did they rebook you in true coach or C+? [I don't think there's premium economy yet on any of DL's South American flights and it sounds like you have a DL operated flight here.]

Did you ask about either being rerouted or having your flight changed by a day or so in order to get a seat in the cabin class you booked?
Sorry, I use First class interchangeable with business. You are correct, it is business class to N South America. They rebooked me in coach because C+ was already full. They offered me to fly out a day earlier (which I'm only there for 4 days so im not going to cut it shorter) or 2 days later (which I dont have enough vacation for, plus the extra cost of spending 2 more days there). I explored other options but nothing that realistically works. Also they offered to refund the fare difference, but since I bought the tickets early(ish), there is only a 2k skymiles difference between the price I paid and the current fare for main cabin.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by gobluepoints View Post
Also they offered to refund the fare difference, but since I bought the tickets early(ish), there is only a 2k skymiles difference between the price I paid and the current fare for main cabin.
I believe they should refund you the fare difference at time of booking.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by aacar View Post
I believe they should refund you the fare difference at time of booking.
That is not what they are offering. I have called/emailed 4 times now and gotten no where so I doubt they will change that...
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Old Nov 8, 18, 1:07 pm
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What route are you flying and for how many miles? That would determine what would be fair compensation.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 1:08 pm
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Originally Posted by gobluepoints View Post
I just feel like this type of action is inexcusable, and if they are going to do this, they should be providing proper compensation.
I agree, and wish we had the equivalent of EC261 that the EU has. Then you would have received 75% of your payment back for an involuntary downgrade, none of this "We will sell DeltaOne for $10000 and downgrade the early guy for $200".

Is there a partner flight on the route, or a different connection point, that you can try for? Like is there an LAX-XXX flight instead of ATL-XXX?
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Old Nov 8, 18, 3:30 pm
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You haven't disclosed the destination, so we have no way of knowing if there is once-daily service or if you could fly from another US connecting point. Presumably it's once-daily, in which case there aren't any alternative flights to offer you. However, this offer is really pathetic. As a point of comparison, I got $300 to move from F to C+ as a voluntary downgrade. My flight was SLC-ASE, so about 30 minutes in the air in a CRJ. Your downgrade was involuntary, and if you lost a flat-bed seat on an overnight flight, the compensation should be much, much higher. I would keep fighting and escalate as needed. It may be a SkyMiles award, but it's still a confirmed J seat and $200 is a joke.

If there are any partner airlines that fly to your destination, you could push for that even if there is no award availability. If not, you might want to explore if you can fly Delta to another South American city in J and then push them to pay for a non-partner ticket to get you to your final destination.

Last edited by Billy Mumphrey; Nov 8, 18 at 3:37 pm
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Old Nov 8, 18, 5:00 pm
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Without some details, it's really hard to help you. As others note, without knowing the city pair, nobody can even make good suggestions.

As to the specific ticket, you have been downgraded from J. That entitles you by contract to the fare refund. That is it. DL also chooses to provide a customer service gesture, in this case $200.

The fare calculation is terrible, but it is the same way AA and UA do it and DOT has refused to intervene in this issue on multiple occasions, so arguing with DL is not worth the cost of the toll-free call.

Better to suggest a rebooking which preserves your J seating, but that takes knowing what you originally hold.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 5:52 pm
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As others have posted, it' s hard to give advice without more details. A Couple of things to keep in mind:

First, you are entitled by law to the difference in miles, pro-rated, base on the the cost of miles on the day the ticket was issued. They may try and get away with refunding the cost on the day of the downgrade so for anything else you would have to take them to small claims court, but there posts here on Delta refunding based on the lowest possible fare on day of ticketing.

You can also be rebooked ( and are entitled to) on a partner carrier if award seats are available. Delta can' t force partners to open up space. So see if Delta can fly you to another destination in South America that connects with another Skyteam airline. Skyteam airlines are very good on this. I was once booked on a Delta flight using my Air France Flying Blue points form YUL to LAX via DTW, in business class. The YUL-DTW aircraft was changed to an all economy flight and a very friendly U.S. based Air France agent rebooked me via JFK in Delta 1, no questions asked. Delta' s COC also makes it clear that if your original class of service is no longer available on a flight you are entitled to be re-routed ( or refunded) at your discretion. I' ve been through it before.

The only other option is to wait and see if seats open up in your originally ticketed cabin either in advance or at the airport: you have a business class ticket and are entitled to be seated in the business class cabin, provided that seats are available. Delta cannot ask you for additional payment as post-ticketing fare increase are illegal ( or else any airline could downgrade passengers and offer to upgrade them for more money) You just have to be persistent. Good luck!
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Old Nov 8, 18, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post
As others have posted, it' s hard to give advice without more details. A Couple of things to keep in mind:

First, you are entitled by law to the difference in miles, pro-rated, base on the the cost of miles on the day the ticket was issued. They may try and get away with refunding the cost on the day of the downgrade so for anything else you would have to take them to small claims court, but there posts here on Delta refunding based on the lowest possible fare on day of ticketing.
I agree with everything in your post except this point. I agree that in principle that this is true, but the 'rules' are going to be different for award tickets versus paid tickets. There is no law or contract of carriage term that protects a passenger on an award ticket in the same way a paid ticket is. Right or wrong - it is what it is.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 6:27 pm
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Award tickets are considered paid tickets. You are getting a specific class of service in exchange for specific I know in Europe this is specifically addressed in the law but under common law if you are offered one product for one price and another for a more expensive price and you choose the more expensive one and the seller does not deliver but give you the lower priced product you have a claim against the difference in price. Depending on the jurisdiction the courts may interpret it differently, especially in this case as Delta sold one product and chose to replace it with another as a business decision.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post
Award tickets are considered paid tickets. You are getting a specific class of service in exchange for specific I know in Europe this is specifically addressed in the law but under common law if you are offered one product for one price and another for a more expensive price and you choose the more expensive one and the seller does not deliver but give you the lower priced product you have a claim against the difference in price. Depending on the jurisdiction the courts may interpret it differently, especially in this case as Delta sold one product and chose to replace it with another as a business decision.
This flight originates from the US by a US-domiciled carrier. EU law has no bearing.
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Old Nov 8, 18, 6:40 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
This flight originates from the US by a US-domiciled carrier. EU law has no bearing.
Perhaps I said it wrong. The EU is a good example of how the regulation is clear. I wanted to say that if you can prove that they didn' t deliver the product as advertised but delivered another product you may have a claim to the difference if you can show that you would have " paid" less as miles are still considered a form of payment. This is true in any industry. The Delta COC isn' t clear on the difference between paid and award tickets either which could work in your favor if you take legal action.
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