J overbooked, confirmed Z downgraded?

 
Old Dec 17, 05, 3:26 pm
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J overbooked, confirmed Z downgraded?

I flew PDX-ATL-MUC last night, upgrading an M to a Z fare with a PMU. When checking in to the ATL BE lounge the agent told me that BE on the ATL-MUC leg was oversold and that they might have to put me "in the back." I said, no way. I had my upgrade confirmed since July, and I also had a BP printed five hours earlier clearly stating my BE seat assignment. On top of that, I had bought a M fare specifically with the intent to upgrade, and I had "paid" for the upgrade with a PMU. The agent was very pleasant (and so was I), and in the end it worked out fine, but I'm a bit shocked to hear that DL would be able to downgrade previously upgraded tickets just like that. It also seems to be a pretty poor way to treat your supposedly best customers.

I wonder: Could the agent have downgraded me? What kind of remedies would there have been? I would assume getting the PMU back would be a minimum, but then there's also the issue of having purchased a M vs. LUT fare. Any input appreciated...
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Old Dec 17, 05, 4:40 pm
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I had the (almost) identical experience on AA. Luckily it had a very happy ending.
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Old Dec 17, 05, 5:15 pm
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See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to hold the reservation and that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them. - Jerry Seinfeld
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Old Dec 17, 05, 5:25 pm
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Originally Posted by emcee
See, you know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to hold the reservation and that's really the most important part of the reservation, the holding. Anybody can just take them. - Jerry Seinfeld
^ That's what I love about Seinfeld. There's almost always something that happens in life that can be related to that show. I remember that scene. It was one of many classics.

Regarding the OP, they would have run into a lot of trouble with me if they had tried to pull something like that under the scenario described. I'm glad it worked out for the OP.

Last edited by atl runner; Dec 17, 05 at 5:49 pm
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Old Dec 17, 05, 5:35 pm
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Originally Posted by vasantn
I had the (almost) identical experience on AA. Luckily it had a very happy ending.
Maybe I should switch airlines. DL has never given me a happy ending, let alone a very happy ending.
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Old Dec 17, 05, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by atl runner
^ That's what I love about Seinfeld. There's almost always something that happens in life that can be related to that show. I remember that scene. It was one of many classics.

Regarding the OP, they would have run into a lot of trouble with me if they had tried to pull something like that under the scenario described. I'm glad it worked out for the OP.
Funny thing is that I just used that quote in this thread. Seemed appropriate for both, similar situations, but the one experienced by jpdx is worse. MC

Last edited by emcee; Dec 17, 05 at 5:59 pm Reason: clarify statement
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Old Dec 17, 05, 6:56 pm
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Once DL have taken your payment (miles, PMUs, first born etc. etc.) and have confirmed you in J (Z) they owe you a J seat if they change flights etc. etc. .
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Old Dec 17, 05, 10:03 pm
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If DL was to convert the passenger's ticket to paper, would the class of service read (M) coach or the upgraded (Z) class of service?
I presume it's M.
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Old Dec 17, 05, 10:17 pm
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I believe it would be Z.
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Old Dec 17, 05, 11:59 pm
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Originally Posted by CelticFlyer
Once DL have taken your payment (miles, PMUs, first born etc. etc.) and have confirmed you in J (Z) they owe you a J seat if they change flights etc. etc. .
The problem is that there is only a certain number of available seats, and you would not want to have to play musical chairs in-flight just to be accomodated in C...;-)

I agree that the airline has to accomodate the passenger downgraded, by either offering him a VDB-package that lets him agree to the downgrade, or kind of IDB him and then pay whatever the applicable law says. This also holds true in my opinion for award-tickets or upgrades.

I once got downgraded on LH on a very short train-sold-as-flight-segment between Frankfurt and Cologne (they had resold my seat as they thought we would not make it in time to the platform), and each of us got a 200 voucher, redeemable as 100 cash if requested, out of this. This amount was the then-valid compensation for IDB. We then were given the option to take the next train with seats in C, or get on the one we were booked on in Y.

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Old Dec 18, 05, 3:03 am
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I have been through the BizElite oversale situation numerous times with Delta. It's a bad situation for both the passengers as well as the gate agents...

Scenario 1 (most common scenario):
Delta will treat the BizElite oversale like a regular oversale = they will try to solicit volunteers to fly BizElite on another flight to their final destination. Regular Delta Dollars DBC does apply in this case.

Example: ATL-CDG oversold by 5 in BizElite, DL offered DL$400 to take a later ATL-CDG flight.

Or, if there are passengers on the oversold Delta flight, which could be put on a Delta non-stop to their final destination, they will simply move those passengers.

Example: ATL-CDG oversold by 2 in BizElite, DL moved me and my brother onto the non-stop ATL-MUC without asking us first - and without any compensation. But who can complain against getting home earlier on the non-stop?

Scenario 2 (less common scenario):
Delta will involuntarily downgrade passengers as needed if they cannot work out scenario 1. This is usually not based on the value of the ticket; it is rather based on a) that you do not hold an assigned seat and b) what your position on the airport standby list is (a PM on a J fare without an assigned seat trumps a GM on a J fare without an assigned seat) and c) your checked in.

A good agent would offer an IDB as an alternative, with a later re-accomodation flight in BusinessElite.


While it would be good business to look at the fare paid (especially vs. upgrades), I have never seen Delta actually doing this at the airport.
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Old Dec 18, 05, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by BumpMe!
If DL was to convert the passenger's ticket to paper, would the class of service read (M) coach or the upgraded (Z) class of service?
I presume it's M.
Until recently there were no e-tickets from ZRH, and the paper tickets always showed Z if they were issued after the PMUs were handed in, and M before.
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Old Dec 18, 05, 4:48 am
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On FT we often discuss holding onto PMUs until check-in. The disadvantage to doing so is that the pax continues to hold a Y,B or M ticket at that point. If you complete the upgrade then you hold a Z ticket and Delta should treat you like any other BE pax as regards oversold situations, missed connections etc. . The position of a pax with a Z reservation and Y,B or M ticket seems to be somewhat weaker though I can understand an argument that it shouldn't be so.
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Old Dec 18, 05, 5:35 am
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Somewhat similar situation happened to me in ATL 6-7 years ago travelling to SJU. I was booked in F (B fare and upgrade at TOB about 1.5 weeks before flight) and I already had a BP with seat assignment. About 40 minutes before departure I heard my name being paged to the counter. Not expecting this and not knowing for what reason they could be paging me to the desk I timidly go up to the counter expecting to be told to call home for an emergency (this is before I carried a cell phone). The agent asked if I would mind giving up my F seat for an $800 voucher and fly in Y. I was so happy that I was not being told a member of my family had died I said sure but how about if I just fly on the next flight in F and the agent said "no problem". After he gave me the voucher I asked why he had picked me to ask and he said he had a family traveling together (paid F) and I was the only single passenger close to where the other family members were seated. That satsified me that it had nothing to do with me being on an upgraded fare but who knows.
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Old Dec 18, 05, 7:42 am
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Originally Posted by CelticFlyer
Once DL have taken your payment (miles, PMUs, first born etc. etc.) and have confirmed you in J (Z) they owe you a J seat if they change flights etc. etc. .
From an ethical perspective, I agree with you. What I'm wondering is if Delta has any LEGAL obligation to keep you in an upgraded class once you've confirmed it?

I guess I could understand that there might be very rare instances where Delta would have a problem with an overbooked flight. If that had happened to me, I'd ask them to either confirm me in business class on the flight I booked, or confirm me in business class on another flight (even if on another airline) in business class.
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