SAA Downgrade

Old Dec 12, 11, 7:35 am
  #1  
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SAA Downgrade

Recently travelling from Perth to Joberg on a paid business class ticket. On the outbound I was downgraded to economy due to a broken seat. All SAA have offered is a free upgrade voucher for future flights.

Should I expect anymore and do Australia have a compensation system like within Europe?

Thanks in advancd for your help
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Old Dec 12, 11, 9:04 am
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What more do you actually want? I'm quite confident SAA didn't break the seat just to spite you, and I'm sure the Business cabin was full, or else they would've moved you?

What would you have liked the crew to do? There are only so many Business seats available...

As long as the upgrade is without restriction (like subject to E or I or Z or D fare) than I would be more than happy with a upgrade subject to J or C.

Alternatively you could ask them to refund the difference between what you paid and what the cheapest Economy fare that was available on the day you booked.
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Old Dec 13, 11, 2:06 am
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Seems a perfectly good offer to me if you plan to use SAA again. My business class travel is paid for by my company so refund no value to me. I fly economy if I'm paying so an upgrade would be attractive. Hopefully they gave you a return upgrade, not just one way
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Old Dec 13, 11, 4:06 am
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i wont be travelling with them again as it was a one off journey so a voucher is no real use to me. And really i was asking if Australia have a protection regulation like they have within the EU.

We were told at check in and given letters along with about 5 other passengers so im thinking it was more a overbooking problem.
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Old Dec 13, 11, 4:33 am
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Ask for a refund between Business and Economy - What you paid versus what was the cheapest available Y fare when you booked.

Hate it when people want protection from governments. One would've thought the disaster that is the EU right now would be reason enough not to copycat their system. Governments with too much control fail, see EU, see UK, see US....

What compensation do you actually want? As a decent human being you surely dont want to profiteer out of this situation? or do you? Like I said yesterday I doubt the airline broke the seat just to upset you, or as has now the story changed purposefully overbooked to spite you.
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Old Dec 13, 11, 8:23 am
  #6  
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Saworldvoyager , I'm guessing you have some connection to SAA. No I don't think anything was done to spite me and at the end of the day if I would have wanted to travel economy I would have booked economy. I am 6ft 5 tall and on flights over 4 hours I always book business and before you start criticising me I pay for all my own travel. I gave SAA my money for a business class ticket 6 months in advance and I'm sure with anything you purchase if you do not get what you are expecting it is a dissapointment.

It is all about how any supplier recovers the situation when they cannot deliver and I don't believe SAA handled the situation well at all. Promises of blocked seats and business class meals did not materialise.

Before shouting others down SAworldvoyager I'd be interested to see how you would react if you was travelling on a full revenue ticket and got downgraded or do you only travel on staff tickets??
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Old Dec 13, 11, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by flysas View Post
i wont be travelling with them again as it was a one off journey so a voucher is no real use to me. And really i was asking if Australia have a protection regulation like they have within the EU.

We were told at check in and given letters along with about 5 other passengers so im thinking it was more a overbooking problem.
Mmm... 6 broken seats! Must say it does sound fishy. On the other hand to overbook by 6 would be pretty outrageous too.

I certainly would not be happy with an upgrade voucher unless it was worth something to me. I would insist on monetary reimbursement - and frankly a bit more than just fare differences. At the contractual level they failed so they owe you the difference. At the customer satisfaction level they failed so they should sweeten it - if they have any brand consciousness at all.

I don't buy the "they didn't break the seat on purpose" argument. It doesn't matter why the seat broke (if indeed it did, but that's another matter) or whether they made every attempt to fix it - every sensible business allows some budget for recovery in situations where their service fails. This is SAA's time to use some of it IMO.

Yes, I admit I am deeply suspicious of airlines' bona fides in these matters. There is an old thread on this board about a time I was downgraded by SAA - but eventually got my seat in J - in circumstances that made me wonder if I had just been sacrificed for the convenience of a crew member. The reason the EU made rules, I believe, is to prevent airlines hiding behind any excuse when they shaft their customers. They are much less likely to do that if it hits them in the pocket.
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Old Dec 13, 11, 9:05 am
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I do not and have not worked for SAA, nor do any immediate family or close friends. Like you I pay for my own travel and do not have a corporate account.

I still am not sure what you would like SAA to have done?

How could they handle the situation better?? What recommendations did you make and how did they turn you down?

The only thing concrete you have said is to check for a commission 'a la EU' which gets my back up. The whole world is suffering because of the EU, its protectionism and 'rights'. Now I am not saying we should go back to the days of slavery, but a continent who advocates early retirement, short work weeks as well as high salaries as well as STUPID CONSUMER PROTECTIONISM leads to this disaster.

By all means if you can advise why you think SAA was malicious and or grossly negligent, you may pick up some advocates on the forum willing to help with suggestions, contacts etc. Detail would help too.

To comment fairly more detail would be needed. But based on your original post yesterday (which is all we, the public have on this public forum) your seat broke, and you say from Perth to JNB, which means
SAA wouldve had limited time to fix at a foreign airport, where a plane swop is out of the question, which is in my opinion unreasonable. As I originally said if the flight is sold out, their options are limited.

I feel that an upgrade voucher (without restriction - which you implied but have not clarified) is fair. However you do say you dont fly SA routes often so the only other option is a refund, as I see it? SAA cannot transport you in a tardis to undo the past, even if they wanted to...

I agree, yes as a big guy too, I would be more than angry, but there is only so much you and the airline can do. I would grab the upgrade voucher (return - with no restrictions and even push for Plat elect status).

Last year I was booked and paid for a full fare first class on Lufthansa, not only did I arrive a day and half late, and in the wrong city from where I had originally booked (200km East). They had lost my bags, I had been robbed of my wallet in flight in the F Cabin and they didn't do a thing. But that's life, we move on. I didn't want to lower myself to the level of claiming from an EU commissioner, and join the rot. Ultimately I got close enough, could rent a car, and get to where I was off to. My wallet was probably stolen by another passenger, and there is not too much LH could do about that. I could get all my cards replaced, and hopefully the 7000euro stolen was enough for the thief to kill themselves with. We live in hope.
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Old Dec 13, 11, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by flysas View Post
Recently travelling from Perth to Joberg on a paid business class ticket. On the outbound I was downgraded to economy due to a broken seat. All SAA have offered is a free upgrade voucher for future flights.

Should I expect anymore and do Australia have a compensation system like within Europe?
If you were flying on a paid C they really owe you a lot more than an "upgrade" voucher.

The lowest OW business is $3838 and $1691 in economy. IMHO they owe you the difference.
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Old Dec 24, 11, 10:56 am
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Originally Posted by holtju2 View Post
If you were flying on a paid C they really owe you a lot more than an "upgrade" voucher.

The lowest OW business is $3838 and $1691 in economy. IMHO they owe you the difference.
I happen to agree completely. If you had been upgraded to business for your original flight, then a future upgrade certificate would be appropriate for your down-grade. But in this case you paid for a ticket in business but traveled in economy. It really doesn't matter whether is was over-booking, a broken seat, or an aircraft change. The carrier wasn't able to provide you the seat you paid for. A refund for the difference between what you paid for and what you received is the only minimum acceptable compensation. I am pretty surprised by some of the earlier comments.
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Old Dec 24, 11, 6:10 pm
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Originally Posted by brysal View Post
I am pretty surprised by some of the earlier comments.
+1
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Old Dec 27, 11, 10:56 am
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Slight OT, but would a reasonable course of action be to refuse the economy seat and ask to be placed in the next available business class seat that comes up, and if that involves waiting overnight hotel accomodation.
Particularly on a longhaul flight, going economy might not be something that you want to do.
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Old Dec 31, 11, 1:04 am
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Quite reasonable, I would think. In fact the option was offered to me on the occasion I mentioned. But of course flying a day later can sometimes really mess up your plans.
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Old Jan 2, 12, 7:48 am
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Originally Posted by Yachtman View Post
Slight OT, but would a reasonable course of action be to refuse the economy seat and ask to be placed in the next available business class seat that comes up, and if that involves waiting overnight hotel accomodation.
Particularly on a longhaul flight, going economy might not be something that you want to do.
Absolutely, should be hotel and meal allowances IMO. More than reasonable.
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