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Downgraded F to J and Compensation Denied

Downgraded F to J and Compensation Denied

Old Nov 24, 22, 3:36 pm
  #1  
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Downgraded F to J and Compensation Denied

I booked an Avios redemption with QR BKK-DOH-IST, first leg in F and second leg in J (I do not believe F exists for DOH-IST). Baby infant could not booked on the points redemption so I had to call to book the baby and was told it could not be done on one ticket because the two flights were different cabins so I paid 15% of adult full fare BKK-DOH in F, and on a separate ticket, 15% of adult full fare for DOH-IST in J, which turns out to be a lot more expensive than a single ticket with a connection.

A couple of weeks ago QR changed the aircraft for BKK-DOH and there is no longer F cabin so they downgraded me to J.

There is an earlier flight on the same day with F cabin for BKK-DOH, and its even available for Avios at 1x not 2x. So I thought it would be an easy change: put me on the earlier flight in F, end of story. But no. They said the flight DOH-IST no longer has J Avios availability so they cannot change the first flight. That is not a typo. I was not requesting to change the second flight nor was QR changing anything to the second flight, but because of the second flight, they refuse to change the first flight. This is exclusively due to QRs own internal process of how they handle such tickets booked with Avios.

In light of this, I asked to get a partial refund of Avios because now its an entirely J redemption BKK-DOH-IST, not a mix of F and J. And I asked for the infant ticket to be redone entirely in J and one ticket only rather than two, so I should get a cash refund for the difference between the two. This has been denied as well, apparently it cannot be done. Once again, it is due exclusively to QRs own internal processes and how they do things they have nobody to blame for this.

Escalating to a supervisor has been a dead end. The first time I escalated I was transferred to a supervisor and he understood my request. He said he would fix it and call me back. He did call me back, then we lost the line and he did not call again. When I called back he was not available. In the subsequent days, I called him perhaps 8-10 times over a couple of weeks and hes never available so I asked his colleagues to request him to call me back but he never did, after he did so once earlier during this ordeal.

Given my inability to speak to him and the inability of other phone agents to help, instead I asked to speak to another supervisor, because agents below that level do not seem to have the authority to fix this. The second supervisor just told me the same thing: both options cannot be done. They will not move me to F earlier in the day, and they will not issue a partial refund for the involuntary downgrade.

When I complained, their next solution was to escalate my request, and I said I already escalated to a supervisor, so where else can I escalate to? He said by sending feedback on Qatar Airways website. I did so, and no response.

I also contacted goingplacestogether on FT for help. I was told someone would call me, but they never did. I re-contacted goingplacestogether to mention that nobody called, and then same answer: my request has been forwarded already. Anyhow, who would call me? If its a ticketing agent as per the private message I received, is it going to be any different than me calling them? These folks have not been willing to do anything so far so I am skeptical I would be different. Moot point anyway since nobody called. It's been 16 days since I first contacted the FT rep so they had plenty of time.

goingplacestogether is more than welcome to come here and defend QRs position in light of the facts above, or otherwise comment.

Overall this situation is shameful. I should not have to make 10+ calls, message a FT rep twice, fill out a form on QR's website, and then write the story on FT to get this fixed.

But if it requires a name & shame outburst, then so be it. I receive better service on some low cost carriers during flight disruptions than how QR has behaved. The QR soft and hard product in the air is great, but incidents like this are a big turnoff and waste of energy which will definitely impact my future bookings with QR. Lesson learned.

But for now, if someone has suggestions of another avenues to get my partial refund please let me know, I am all ears.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 4:39 pm
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Unfortunately I'm not surprised in the slightest, an absolute shower of sh!te.

The whole "backend" of QR absolutely puts the company to shame. It's like a totally different company compared to onboard.
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Old Nov 24, 22, 10:35 pm
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It's hard to imagine they wouldn't eventually refund the fare difference, and I suspect you will receive a reply from the relevant department in the end. But they are slow if you go through the general channels.

It seems the married segments logic may be at play and the phone agents are looking to rebook the whole itinerary rather than just the first sector, presumably because the flight hasn't actually been cancelled, and can't see any availability.

I suppose an alternative might be to cancel and rebook, but then you also would need the whole journey to be available and would no doubt lose money on the cash tickets.

So it seems you may have to wait however long for a response. Or I might be inclined to use the "change avios booking" section of the contact centre link from your QRPC dashboard. I usually get quick responses from that route, and if you write and calmly stick to the facts, and give them an order of preferred resolutions you might find the agents dealing with those QRPC enquiries are more empowered to deal with redemption issues than the general agents on the phone. You might not of course, but there's no harm done trying. Good luck!
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Old Nov 25, 22, 1:19 am
  #4  
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Let's understand QR "legal" logic.
First, the infant ticket. You booked two separate tickets. Only the first ticket is affected. Because of the downgrade QR should refund you the difference between BKK-DOH F and J on that ticket, although fares might have changed. You are asking for a refund that most/all airlines would not entertain: asking to merge the two tickets into one (lower fare) and then get the difference between 2 tickets F+J and a single ticket all in J. This is frustrating but your only option is to get both tickets refunded and buy a new one BKK-IST, that will be cheaper. WHile QR should not impose a penalty for the first one, they certainly will for the refund of the second one (depends on the fare rules)..

Second, your avios redemption(I assume you have a QR Privilege account that you used.) It seems that this was booked as a single ticket with mixed cabins (not separate ticket). As your flight is not cancelled, QR cannot change your flight without reissuing the ticket, and there is no more avios availability on the DOH-IST segment of your ticket. With some airlines, a supervisor might have the authority to override the system and let you fly on the earlier BKK-DOH flight. But QR employees play by the system and are usually not entitled to override it unless you go very high up. Still, they should offer you some avios for the downgrade of the first segment. But we have seen examples where F was as cheap as J on married segments.

Your case is complex because of two separate issues (you and your infant). I suggest following KingCanute suggestion and hold some hope for a small partial refund or a complimentary change to the earlier flight if availability.
BTW: I do not know when you are travelling, but the aircraft for the flights BKK-DOH could change, same for DOh-Istambul.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 3:27 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by KingCanute View Post
Or I might be inclined to use the "change avios booking" section of the contact centre link from your QRPC dashboard. I usually get quick responses from that route, and if you write and calmly stick to the facts, and give them an order of preferred resolutions you might find the agents dealing with those QRPC enquiries are more empowered to deal with redemption issues than the general agents on the phone. You might not of course, but there's no harm done trying. Good luck!
Thank you, there is no harm in trying that route - I will see if it results in a better outcome.

Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Let's understand QR "legal" logic.
First, the infant ticket. You booked two separate tickets. Only the first ticket is affected. Because of the downgrade QR should refund you the difference between BKK-DOH F and J on that ticket, although fares might have changed. You are asking for a refund that most/all airlines would not entertain: asking to merge the two tickets into one (lower fare) and then get the difference between 2 tickets F+J and a single ticket all in J. This is frustrating but your only option is to get both tickets refunded and buy a new one BKK-IST, that will be cheaper. WHile QR should not impose a penalty for the first one, they certainly will for the refund of the second one (depends on the fare rules)..

Second, your avios redemption(I assume you have a QR Privilege account that you used.) It seems that this was booked as a single ticket with mixed cabins (not separate ticket). As your flight is not cancelled, QR cannot change your flight without reissuing the ticket, and there is no more avios availability on the DOH-IST segment of your ticket. With some airlines, a supervisor might have the authority to override the system and let you fly on the earlier BKK-DOH flight. But QR employees play by the system and are usually not entitled to override it unless you go very high up. Still, they should offer you some avios for the downgrade of the first segment. But we have seen examples where F was as cheap as J on married segments.

Your case is complex because of two separate issues (you and your infant). I suggest following KingCanute suggestion and hold some hope for a small partial refund or a complimentary change to the earlier flight if availability.
BTW: I do not know when you are travelling, but the aircraft for the flights BKK-DOH could change, same for DOh-Istambul.
Actually the infant ticket(s) is the easier issue, I think. I am assuming that because it's 15% of adult fully flexible fare, that the infant is flexible too? So I could simply cancel both infant tickets and rebook as one. I have not pushed hard for that solution because to this day I am still unsure whether I will ever get a resolution on the adults ticket, so flying F-J remains an option relative to J-J. The adult issue needs to be fixed first, before the infant.

"With some airlines, a supervisor might have the authority to override the system"

Let's be objective here. Some airlines? I think at least 90% of airlines would be able to fix this, if not 95%+++. Please give me examples of full-service airlines who would consistently refuse to issue a mileage refund in cases of involuntary downgrades.

"But we have seen examples where F was as cheap as J on married segments."

I was charged F-J the same mileage as for an entirely F journey as per the qcalculator: 105k per adult. This is as it should be. If it becomes J-J then the Avios requirements become much lower: 70k per adult. I am not sure what examples you are referring to where it would not be 105k and 70k, but the amount of Avios at stake seems clear-cut here, no?

"hold some hope for a small partial refund"

Why would I not insist on an Avios refund of 35k times 2? I am not seeing how anything less than 70k refund will be acceptable.

"BTW: I do not know when you are travelling, but the aircraft for the flights BKK-DOH could change, same for DOh-Istambul."

Well that's only speculation on my part because it has not happened yet, but given how this entire thing has gone down, I am not optimistic that if F cabin comes back on my flight, that they would indeed fly me in F. Bozos. It would certainly add an interesting twist to the story though.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 3:33 am
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
Let's understand QR "legal" logic.
First, the infant ticket. You booked two separate tickets. Only the first ticket is affected. Because of the downgrade QR should refund you the difference between BKK-DOH F and J on that ticket, although fares might have changed. You are asking for a refund that most/all airlines would not entertain: asking to merge the two tickets into one (lower fare) and then get the difference between 2 tickets F+J and a single ticket all in J. This is frustrating but your only option is to get both tickets refunded and buy a new one BKK-IST, that will be cheaper. WHile QR should not impose a penalty for the first one, they certainly will for the refund of the second one (depends on the fare rules)..

Second, your avios redemption(I assume you have a QR Privilege account that you used.) It seems that this was booked as a single ticket with mixed cabins (not separate ticket). As your flight is not cancelled, QR cannot change your flight without reissuing the ticket, and there is no more avios availability on the DOH-IST segment of your ticket. With some airlines, a supervisor might have the authority to override the system and let you fly on the earlier BKK-DOH flight. But QR employees play by the system and are usually not entitled to override it unless you go very high up. Still, they should offer you some avios for the downgrade of the first segment. But we have seen examples where F was as cheap as J on married segments.

Your case is complex because of two separate issues (you and your infant). I suggest following KingCanute suggestion and hold some hope for a small partial refund or a complimentary change to the earlier flight if availability.
BTW: I do not know when you are travelling, but the aircraft for the flights BKK-DOH could change, same for DOh-Istambul.
When you book a QR longer segment connecting to a shorter segment (e.g. CDG-DOH-MLE), Avios pricing is often governed entirely by the cabin on the longer segment. For example, if you book into J on CDG-DOH you'll probably find you can fly DOH-MLE in F for exactly the same price as J would be. Here the situation is different as the longer BKK-DOH segment is the one being downgraded and presumably escape4 has paid the full F redemption price for BKK-DOH-IST even though the short segment was J, therefore a partial refund should definitely be applicable here for the price difference between F and J for the entire trip.

Unfortunately, QR has what I find to be a very odd approach to Avios availability all round, sometimes applying married segment logic to redemption tickets and recently I've even seen instances of "reverse" married segment logic (i.e. recently I found it was possible to book LHR-DOH and DOH-SYD as separate redemptions on a date but not possible to book it on the same ticket, I even spent 30 minutes on the phone to BA and the highly trained GGL agent said she tried everything but the system just wouldn't let it happen). It's infuriating, but it's possible you may find yourself at a dead end with the rebooking request even if you do see Avios availability, as QR is very much interested in protecting seats to sell them for cash right now given elevated demand.

For the refund of the infant cash ticket, is QR not still offering the option to refund any ticket for a voucher plus 10% of value? If so, perhaps you can turn your two tickets into vouchers and rebook a cash fare assuming prices haven't escalated too much since booking?

Sorry, you're having to go through this escape4 , I hope you get a resolution and I would definitely keep pushing on at least the partial refund of Avios for the downgrade from F to J, that absolutely should be paid to you if you find someone within QR's back office who is not hopeless. Sadly, this is a large part of why I mostly defected to EK these days. QR is very much a budget airline still outside of the cabin and lounges, it isn't really worth putting up with if you have other options in F.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by lost_in_translation View Post
For the refund of the infant cash ticket, is QR not still offering the option to refund any ticket for a voucher plus 10% of value? If so, perhaps you can turn your two tickets into vouchers and rebook a cash fare assuming prices haven't escalated too much since booking?

Sorry, you're having to go through this escape4 , I hope you get a resolution and I would definitely keep pushing on at least the partial refund of Avios for the downgrade from F to J, that absolutely should be paid to you if you find someone within QR's back office who is not hopeless. Sadly, this is a large part of why I mostly defected to EK these days. QR is very much a budget airline still outside of the cabin and lounges, it isn't really worth putting up with if you have other options in F.
Thank you, I did not think of the 10% voucher option. I will investigate what is the price difference, it might be worth it.

Your last comment is the key for me. It used to be that how much I enjoyed flying QR would make me tolerate the rest of the issues, but now the equation has flipped. Do I want to expose myself to several weeks of frustrations to enjoy a very nice 10-hour flight(s)? No.
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Old Nov 25, 22, 11:07 am
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Originally Posted by Schwann View Post
Unfortunately I'm not surprised in the slightest, an absolute shower of sh!te.

The whole "backend" of QR absolutely puts the company to shame. It's like a totally different company compared to onboard.
I can only agree, on my last booking I had 6 timing/equipment changes in a month, I contacted them 24 times, including whatsapp, pfcdoha, tell-us, al safwa & transit manager escalation. All unresolved,
End result was a copy/paste answer, we are so sorry, Not answering anything.
Funny enough they sent the station manager to pick me up in the Philippines, thinking it would fix it, Dude didn't know why he was there.
So after using QR for 7 years I closed down my Platinum account, Still no reply, and I don't expect it :-)
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Old Nov 29, 22, 5:42 am
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Update with good resolution. A couple of days after I wrote the summary of the problematic situation, I finally (!) received a call from QR, someone I had not spoken to before. The agent told me that I could pick a different date in F or get a partial refund for the difference between F and J. I responded that this is specifically what I have been asking for weeks and that I did not think it was unreasonable on my behalf, and that I was glad that QR was finally doing the right thing.

There was a minor hiccup, he told me the Avios refund would be 20k per person because my booking had been done in two separate tickets, BKK-DOH and DOH-IST so the refund would only be for BKK-DOH. This was not correct, I only booked one ticket for BKK-DOH-IST in F for 105k Avios per person and this entire route in J would be 70k therefore the refund should be 35k Avios per person, not 20k. I suspected that if the agent was seeing my booking broken in two, it was because it had been done subsequently when the infant was added; it was rather the infant which was done on two different tickets due to being in different cabins for the two flights, but the adult tickets were just one booking. He said he would follow up and call me back within 48 hours.

Then 48 hours later as promised someone called. This agent confirmed the refund would be 35k Avios per person. Then she said they processed the cash refund to my credit card for both infant tickets, and we proceeded to book the new infant ticket, entirely in J. While doing this, we lost the line. Fortunately, unlike what happened many weeks prior when the supervisor never called me back when we lost the connection, this agent did call back soon after and we could complete the transaction.

So the ending is satisfactory, I just wish it had not been necessary to spend so much time and effort on this issue. I don't know if it's a coincidence that I got a call so soon after posting on FT, perhaps goingplacestogether had something to do with it.
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Old Nov 29, 22, 9:20 pm
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Thank you for posting the update!
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