Involuntary Downgrade - Advice Please

Old Dec 3, 19, 6:30 am
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Scotland, UK
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Involuntary Downgrade - Advice Please

My partner was traveling BSL-MAD-LIS last month and was booked in Business Class (booking code D) for both flights. Both flights were on the same booking PNR. The BSL-MAD flight was late getting in and she missed her MAD-LIS connection. They rebooked her on a later flight but she was downgraded from Business to Economy as the later flight was full.

We filed a complaint via asking for compensation for the downgrade. Iberia have responded offering no cash refund but instead 4500 Avios to be put towards a future flight upgrade. She can't actually accept Avios anyway as her Frequent Flyer status is with American Airlines.

I feel like she should have received the difference in the fare as a cash refund plus compensation on top of this? I am just not sure how we should we should respond to Iberia and what we should be asking them for?

Thanks for your help.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 6:55 am
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Upgrading or downgrading

If you are upgraded, the airline can't request any additional payment.

If you are downgraded, you are entitled to reimbursement of a percentage of the price of your ticket, depending on the flight distance as follows:

a) 30% - flights of 1 500 km or less

b) 50% - flights within the EU of more than 1 500 km (except flights between the EU and French overseas departments), and all other flights between 1 500 and 3 500 km

c) 75% - flights not falling under (a) or (b), including flights between the EU and French overseas departments.

If you have 2 or more connecting flights included in a single ticket, you can only be reimbursed for the flight which was downgraded and not for the entire journey. The reimbursement should be paid within 7 days.

It could be that 4.500 Avios are more valuable than your 30% ( in that segment) reimbursement.

She might be also entitled to EC261 compensation, depending on the delay cause and arrival time in LIS vs scheduled arrival time.
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Last edited by tobsw; Dec 3, 19 at 7:00 am
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Old Dec 3, 19, 7:29 am
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The problem is that she made a request for compensation, presumably for the inconvenience, when what she is due is a refund for the downgrade.

She should make a request under EC 261/2004 for 30% of the base fare for the downgraded segment. That is payable in cash (equivalent). She might choose to accept an offer of Avios if she wishes, but those are largely useless because, although avios may be used to purchase AA tickets, 4,500 won't do the trick.

As also noted, depending on the length of her arrival delay at LIS and the reason for the delay, she may also be entitled to compensation (which is the proper request for delays) for the delay.
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