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Downgraded from economy comfort (due to equipment change to 767)

Downgraded from economy comfort (due to equipment change to 767)

Old Aug 28, 18, 9:26 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 92
Downgraded from economy comfort (due to equipment change to 767)

I know things like this happen but Iím wondering if I have any options. I have not flown with Hawaiian Airlines before.

Booked a flight in Nov a few weeks ago and paid for the economy comfort seats. Confirmed 2 seats in row 11 a bulkhead row (hubby is tall so the extra legroom is a benefit.)

I randomly decided to log in and check my itinerary today and notice Iím now booked in coach in row 30.

I went through the customer service chat to find out what happened. They tell me thereís been an aircraft change and if any economy comfort seats become available I can request one with my credit. I got no notice of this, mind you. Iím also still not sure why I was moved from row 11 with the change of aircraft.

I asked whether, given the change of planes, I would be able to rebook into first class and pay the difference in fare (price diff between economy comfort and first on this flight is approx $150pp) The agent quotes me a $565pp upgrade fee and says my only option is to pay that amount or get the economy comfort portion of my ticket refunded and stick with row 30.

Is there any sense in calling tomorrow to see if there are any other options other than sticking with my downgraded seat or paying an astronomical upgrade fee (much more than the actual cost of tickets in first.)?

ShinyO is offline  
Old Aug 29, 18, 1:29 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: LIH, HNL, LAS, Bay Area
Programs: HA Pualani Platinum, National EC Executive, UA & AAdvantage
Posts: 177
Can you go into your reservation on hawaiianairlines.com and change seats on this new aircraft?

I would call them tomorrow during business hours in Hawaii (not sure where you are located), you'll get the Philippines call center. If you can't get a clear enough answer to options you mentioned, ask to speak to a supervisor or be transferred to an in-house HA agent who may be able to assist who will route the call direct to HA in Hawaii.

In my experience with HA aircraft swaps (most recently due to all the A321neo issues), HA has been very good in notifying me of the swap both via email and phone call. Once notified, I was always able to go online into the reservation and change my seats from the ones HA's system re-assigned me due to the aircraft swap. Of course, this only works if the reservation was booked on HA's website.

I find it pretty odd that there would be no open extra comfort seats open this far out from your flight.....oh wait....shoot that might explain things....is your new aircraft a Boeing 767? If so, then there are no extra comfort seats period on that plane. This probably means your original aircraft was an Airbus A321neo. Which adds to the oddness because by this time of the year, I thought HA was done with the A321neo delivery delays.

Last edited by HA/UA_Flyer; Aug 29, 18 at 1:45 am
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Old Aug 29, 18, 8:07 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 92
Yep it changed to a 767. It was my understanding that there were no comfort seats on the new plane. I canít recall what the other aircraft was, I believe it was the A321neo.

Iím wondering now if I should have waited to see if the aircraft changed once again since itís so far out from the flight. Not sure how common multiple equipment swaps in the months leading up to a flight. Especially because they didnít notify me.(total fluke that I checked online. I rarely check flights this far in advance.)

Iíll give them a call and see if I can get to an HA agent as you suggest. I did book directly through HA.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 11:44 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: LIH, HNL, LAS, Bay Area
Programs: HA Pualani Platinum, National EC Executive, UA & AAdvantage
Posts: 177
Ok that sheds light on the problem. The A321neo engine issue has been havoc on airline scheduling this year not just for HA but for any airline that ordered the plane with the Pratt & Whitney engine.

What you could also try although it may not be successful depending on where you are flying out from and your destination in Hawaii is to ask HA to rebook you on another flight/route that is being operated by an A330 or confirmed A321neo. Some mainland cities have multiple HA flights that route to either HNL, OGG or LIH. I know in the case of San Diego, the daily HNL flight is an A330 and the daily OGG flight is an A321neo. This worked for me a few months ago...i was scheduled to fly Lihue to Oakland on the new A321neo back in April but the A321neo delays forced HA to swap aircraft to a 767 and their system automatically re-assigned seats in the 767. I really wanted to fly the A321neo to try it out so I called HA and asked them to rebook me on the Maui to Oakland flight which was an A321neo. They gladly did free of charge and included the Lihue to Maui interisland connecting flight. I was able to get into Oakland on the A321neo after all and at roughly the same time as my original Lihue to Oakland flight.

You can try that method as well. Clearly explain to the agent that you paid for extra comfort and that is what you want so the Boeing 767 flight is not acceptable and to please rebook you on a flight or route that has extra comfort. Also explain to them why you booked extra comfort to begin with. Again, if the Philippine call center agent can't understand you then ask for a supervisor or transfer to an in-house HA agent.

Otherwise if no luck getting any change back to extra comfort or first class, you are pretty much stuck with the 767 and there is nothing you can do except for flying someone else. I would have thought these Airbus A321neo/Boeing 767 swaps were done already by this time of the year but apparently not. There is only 6 767s left out of a total of 18 in the fleet and they are all supposed to be gone by early next year. Unfortunately, these 6 remaining 767s are also the oldest of the HA 767s with predominately the old interiors and sub-par amenities like IFE, no power ports, no extra comfort as compared to the A330s.

Good luck to you.
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Old Aug 29, 18, 12:17 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: LIH, HNL, LAS, Bay Area
Programs: HA Pualani Platinum, National EC Executive, UA & AAdvantage
Posts: 177
One last possible option regarding the 767

ShinyO,

If you are not able to get changes as discussed above, there is one last option regarding the 767 and that is to try an snag a Preferred Seat with extra legroom. Review this page: Preferred Seats

I think Preferred Seats on the 767 are only the exit row and bulkhead. You can only upgrade to these seats at check-in so be sure to check-in using web check-in exactly at the 24 hour mark.

Now what the help page doesn't tell you and what the Philippine call center is hit or miss on is that HA has 3 different seating configurations for the 767 as the 767 came with 3 different exit door configurations. Long story short, HA acquired their 767s over the years brand new as well as used from a variety of sources and airlines. You won't know which configuration you are going to get until the specific aircraft is assigned to your flight usually at the 24 hour mark. So even though the help page above says they have 7 seats for Preferred Seating, there may be more than 7 depending on the specific 767 assigned.

You could also ask HA to put you in an Preferred Seat now since you booked and paid for an original Extra Comfort seat....no harm in asking.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 29, 18, 12:45 pm
  #6  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Thanks for the advice all. I'll call and try to speak with a supervisor or HA agent if the call centre won't budge. Then I guess my choices are a first class upgrade or preferred seat at the 24hr mark. I did ask the customer service rep on the chat if I could be re-seated in a bulkhead row and was told no, but perhaps that's due to preferred seating restrictions?

The flight is SJC-OGG direct, the one daily direct flight of that nature. All other flights are through HNL and the SJC-HNL portion is on a 767. So I guess if I want to fly an alternative aircraft I'll need to fly out of a different airport (and I'd rather not bother since we live quite close to SJC and can Uber over and save the parking fees. I've also booked us an incredibly complicated return itinerary just so we can do the lie-flat in First.)

Last edited by ShinyO; Aug 29, 18 at 4:11 pm
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Old Aug 31, 18, 11:34 pm
  #7  
azj
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,476
Originally Posted by ShinyO View Post
Thanks for the advice all. I'll call and try to speak with a supervisor or HA agent if the call centre won't budge. Then I guess my choices are a first class upgrade or preferred seat at the 24hr mark. I did ask the customer service rep on the chat if I could be re-seated in a bulkhead row and was told no, but perhaps that's due to preferred seating restrictions?

The flight is SJC-OGG direct, the one daily direct flight of that nature. All other flights are through HNL and the SJC-HNL portion is on a 767. So I guess if I want to fly an alternative aircraft I'll need to fly out of a different airport (and I'd rather not bother since we live quite close to SJC and can Uber over and save the parking fees. I've also booked us an incredibly complicated return itinerary just so we can do the lie-flat in First.)
Interesting. SJC-OGG is currently a 767, but was scheduled to switch to the 321neo in November. There must have been a shift in the next deliveries of the plane, a few days later. YOu must have been on one of the first flights HA45 being operated by a 321neo.

FWIW - the engine issues are all no longer a problem for HAL, deliveries have resumed with 8 in the fleet. The last 3 of the year are basically on schedule give or take a little bit.
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