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Help: SK botched up my *A award tickets...

Help: SK botched up my *A award tickets...

Old Jun 27, 19, 5:14 am
  #1  
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Help: SK botched up my *A award tickets...

Sorry, wall of text below...
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Hi all,

having a pretty unpleasant thing going on right now. Booked a *A reward flight XXX-YYY-ZZZ-YYY-XXX a while ago. I had to change the outbound leg to XXX-WWW-ZZZ and called in to do so. That was on Monday. The agent and I walked through the new flights and finally after giving him my credit card number he said, all done. he said it might take until the next morning since the EB team has already closed for the day.

Next morning (Wednesday) I saw in my EB app the new flights, unfortunately wrong timings. Not the ones I requested. I called in again and somehow ended up with the same agent who rebooked me the day before. As there was availability on the flights I wanted to take he rebooked me again and said sorry and closed with "the seats are yours".

Happy with the issue fixed, I hung up and went to spend the rest of my day on work. Later in the evening I saw a mail from SK (sent at 18:40) saying they somehow removed the credit card from my booking and I need to contact them to put it back in.

The text said: "Dear Mr XYZ regarding booking reference XXXXX
somehow the form of payment has been removed from the booking and we need a form of payment inputted in the booking in order to reissue the new itinerary it would be greatly appreciated if you could contact us and provide us with these details .''

I called in at about 8pmish and for once the wait was looooong. Finally I got to an agent and told him I wanted to add the credit card back to the booking. We started working on it when suddenly the line broke up. I dialed again and of course. Loooooong wait. I gave up at some point and decided to call in next morning. Which is today. When I woke up I saw the leg WWW-ZZZ has been removed from my booking and immediately called in.

I was told, the ticket could not be issued as I didn't provide a credit card and did not pay for it. So they did not pay to it to the *A partner which then auto-cancelled that leg. Of course the award seats are gone now. No availability so SK cannot easily reinstate the ticket.

I now have a ticketed reservation with XXX-WWW / ZZZ-YYY-XXX. Funny enough XXX-WWW was NOT cancelled by another *A partner, Swiss. The first agent told me: Tough luck, your problem. I complained and demanded to get the issue resolved on their end and after talking to the EB team he came back and said, they'll look into it.

Few minutes later I got the following message:

"Dear passenger/s unfortunately the ticket linked with booking reference XXXXX
has been autocancelled due to form of payment not being inputed on the booking in order for the Eurobonus team to reissue the new itinerary Specifically WWW-ZZZ has been removed from itinerary ,so we need to re-arrange the travel subject to availabilty, please get in touch with us so we can look at options. We have tried contacting you on the phone provided on booking yesterday 26jun19 and today 27jun19 but it goes to voicemail.

I called in again and was told that they are currently they are trying to get the seats back from the partner airline which seem to have canceled the tickets before the ticketing deadline but in case they don't... what are my options? Can I insist they book me on revenue seats? I did nothing wrong here...

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Last edited by fassy; Jun 27, 19 at 6:40 am
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Old Jun 27, 19, 6:55 am
  #2  
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I can’t speak to what SK may do for you, but I know that AA, AF/KL, AC, AV, BA, DL, UA and some others have more or less told me “tough luck” and been generally willing to do nothing more than maybe try to open up award space on their own metal or waive some fees. Getting them to use regular paid revenue space on partner coded-and-operated planes has been a no-go for me. And this is even at times where I had top-tier status in some of those programs.

Different airlines have different practices and policies for how they deal with booked segments that aren’t (yet) ticketed. After X hours/days from time of booking space, some airlines will cancel bookings on their metal if there is no corresponding ticket/ticket coupon for the flight. At least in the days of paper tickets, airlines weren’t all that capable and eager to cancel booked flight segments so fast for bookings without an included ticket (coupon) number.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jun 27, 19 at 7:02 am
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Old Jun 27, 19, 6:59 am
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This sucks, I'm sorry to hear. In general once I get a booking issued I try to fly it. And if I need something new, I cancel and make a whole new booking. Understanding this might not have been possible to your return flight availability. But if ZZZ-YYY-XXX still had open space it could've made sense to completely rebook. As for this trip, good luck
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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:06 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
I can’t speak to what SK may do for you, but I know that AA, AF/KL, AC, AV, BA, DL, UA and some others have more or less told me “tough luck” and been generally willing to do nothing more than maybe try to open up award space on their own metal or waive some fees. Getting them to use regular paid revenue space on partner coded-and-operated planes has been a no-go for me. And this is even at times where I had top-tier status in some of those programs.

Different airlines have different practices and policies for how they deal with booked segments that aren’t (yet) ticketed. After X hours/days from time of booking space, some airlines will cancel bookings on their metal if there is no corresponding ticket/ticket coupon for the flight. At least in the days of paper tickets, airlines weren’t all that capable and eager to cancel booked flight segments so fast for bookings without an included ticket (coupon) number.
No SK metal on the route in question. So, that is not an option. I could - in the worst case - get a later flight the same day (availability in I, not in X) and lose half a day on the ground. But I don't see why I should dish out 30.000 (3x10.000) points, accept a long layover and lose half a day vacation because SK messed up.

Originally Posted by w0r1dtrave1er View Post
This sucks, I'm sorry to hear. In general once I get a booking issued I try to fly it. And if I need something new, I cancel and make a whole new booking. Understanding this might not have been possible to your return flight availability. But if ZZZ-YYY-XXX still had open space it could've made sense to completely rebook. As for this trip, good luck
Well, canceling and rebooking would have meant 3x450 SEK lost. Rebooking was only 3x150 SEK. I could have booked a different return and would have done so, but I thought just rebooking the ticket shouldn't be an issue. Have done so dozen of times without issues.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:33 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by fassy View Post
No SK metal on the route in question. So, that is not an option. I could - in the worst case - get a later flight the same day (availability in I, not in X) and lose half a day on the ground. But I don't see why I should dish out 30.000 (3x10.000) points, accept a long layover and lose half a day vacation because SK messed up.



Well, canceling and rebooking would have meant 3x450 SEK lost. Rebooking was only 3x150 SEK. I could have booked a different return and would have done so, but I thought just rebooking the ticket shouldn't be an issue. Have done so dozen of times without issues.
You could see if SK will more or less toss a boatload of points your way for messing up, but I find Scandinavian companies tend to be miserly in admitting error and in providing compensation and/or a material goodwill gesture when things go wrong unless and until legally required or a senior company exec realizes there could be a bad news story with their name in it in some major regional or national newspaper. But stories of airlines messing up passengers are a dime a dozen and your situation doesn’t sound like a juicy enough story to get anyone at SAS to jump that way.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 9:17 am
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I don't think it's 100% SK's fault, but they own a large part of it.
  • It's quite normal you have to add the credit card info again when you make changes to a flight. I think it's by law that the airlines, web shops etc. are not allowed to add more charges to a credit card than agreed originally. So when you do changes to an order/itinerary, which means additional costs you have to provide the credit card details again. Not even if you have added your credit card to your EB profile are they allowed to use it without your specific approval.
  • Flight reservations are normally only kept for 24 hours. If a ticket is not issues before the end of the 24 hours, the flight reservations are normally automatically canceled. Swiss are pretty hard on this. That said. I have had 2 cases where SK managed to hold the reservations for 3 days before saw they where waiting for my credit card details. But those bookings were done through e-mails to the Diamond customer service.
I can't recall whether you are EBD, but if you are, I would try writing to the diamond customer service e-mail, and explain the situation to them. They can sometimes make miracles.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 9:34 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by highupinthesky View Post
I don't think it's 100% SK's fault, but they own a large part of it.
  • It's quite normal you have to add the credit card info again when you make changes to a flight. I think it's by law that the airlines, web shops etc. are not allowed to add more charges to a credit card than agreed originally. So when you do changes to an order/itinerary, which means additional costs you have to provide the credit card details again. Not even if you have added your credit card to your EB profile are they allowed to use it without your specific approval.
  • Flight reservations are normally only kept for 24 hours. If a ticket is not issues before the end of the 24 hours, the flight reservations are normally automatically canceled. Swiss are pretty hard on this. That said. I have had 2 cases where SK managed to hold the reservations for 3 days before saw they where waiting for my credit card details. But those bookings were done through e-mails to the Diamond customer service.
I can't recall whether you are EBD, but if you are, I would try writing to the diamond customer service e-mail, and explain the situation to them. They can sometimes make miracles.
The issue is 100% SAS’s fault. fassy gave his credit card info to SK at time of attempted rebooking for the reroute. SAS dropped the ball despite the customer giving SAS all that SAS should have needed to do the voluntary rerouting for the customer’s award travel.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post


You could see if SK will more or less toss a boatload of points your way for messing up, but I find Scandinavian companies tend to be miserly in admitting error and in providing compensation and/or a material goodwill gesture when things go wrong unless and until legally required or a senior company exec realizes there could be a bad news story with their name in it in some major regional or national newspaper. But stories of airlines messing up passengers are a dime a dozen and your situation doesn’t sound like a juicy enough story to get anyone at SAS to jump that way.

Well, let's see. I might take them to court for financial damages if they don't fix it in a satisfactory manner.

Originally Posted by highupinthesky View Post
I don't think it's 100% SK's fault, but they own a large part of it.
  • It's quite normal you have to add the credit card info again when you make changes to a flight. I think it's by law that the airlines, web shops etc. are not allowed to add more charges to a credit card than agreed originally. So when you do changes to an order/itinerary, which means additional costs you have to provide the credit card details again. Not even if you have added your credit card to your EB profile are they allowed to use it without your specific approval.
  • Flight reservations are normally only kept for 24 hours. If a ticket is not issues before the end of the 24 hours, the flight reservations are normally automatically canceled. Swiss are pretty hard on this. That said. I have had 2 cases where SK managed to hold the reservations for 3 days before saw they where waiting for my credit card details. But those bookings were done through e-mails to the Diamond customer service.
Not 100% SKs fault? Sorry? They "somehow lost" my credit card! It is not, that I did not provide it. Don't care if the agent put it in wrong or if it got lost somewhere on the way. It is not my problem. And if they find out, I expect them to reach out IN TIME to fix it. I know that reservations are temporary and need to be ticketed in time. I'm spending every week on plane, so I know how the system works.

They claim, they called me. THEY DID NOT! And yes, they got the right number. I get every single promo SMS, gate information etc on my phone. I get notified for every call which cannot be connected via SMS. I actually called my provider and asked for inbound calls from SAS. There were NONE!

And funny enough, the first leg on Swiss is still there, the third and fourth leg, both on LH are still there... and if you look at those 24 hours.... I called in for the flight change at 10:24am, today at 8am the flights where gone.

Originally Posted by highupinthesky View Post
I can't recall whether you are EBD, but if you are, I would try writing to the diamond customer service e-mail, and explain the situation to them. They can sometimes make miracles.
I am. But I don't think writing to the Diamond desk will get me anywhere in time, since their response time gone down as well. Called in again and was told the case has been escalated to SK head quarters now. They want to take the fight up with the *A partner as supposedly they didn't honor the ticketing deadline. Called in after noon and was told by the agent: "Well, for similar cases... I don't think you will be on that flights. I'm sorry." Anyhow, I was told to check back with them tomorrow afternoon.

I just talked to a friend who is legal counsel and he said I have a good case to present to the consumer board. I did nothing wrong, it is 100% on SK (and their *A partner, but that is not my problem). I paid for the flights, I paid for the changes, they messed it up. It is up to them to fix it. He suggested buying revenue tickets and claim the costs - in the worst case in front of a court. I might do that, but will see what SK comes up with tomorrow.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 9:48 am
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All the lawyers I deal with in Sweden try to steer away from going down the litigation route. Even the professional litigators there with too much time on their hand most commonly don’t find it generally worthwhile for retail customer issues. A stern email/letter or two to HQ from ______ Advokatbyrå may eventually be enough to get made whole in a way, but many are on vacation or soon going to be so it may take time to get a reimbursement or compensation decision of sort from SAS and to do so without dealing with Swedish courts or even administrative bodies.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 2:59 am
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Make it very clear to them that SAS missed the ticketing deadline at that they have to call the operating airline to reinstate the segment. If that is not possible in an award booking class, they have to find a solution of their own, issue that segment in a revenue class. If they claim to be unable to do so, they have to refund you the cost of the ticket you book separately to cover that segment. I would advise against booking a separate ticket, but ask them to ticket that segment in the reservation separately, and claim back the charge from their customer service. As EBD that should be possible.
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Old Jun 28, 19, 9:24 am
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Current status is, they booked me and my party on the flight 5 hours later which had 4 award seats in business available. Again, I received no communication from SAS and just found out by the update in the EB app. Called in a bit later and was told that the flight with the new departure is ticketed and I will not lose those seats but SK is trying to get back the seats for the earlier departure. But it might take a while... Should get an update sometime next week.

Since the later flight still arrives at civilized times at around 8pm, I probably accept it and be done with it. The upgrade to business is not a bad compensation on a 2,5 to 3 hours flight. I was more afraid they won't get me to the destination on that day. That would have been a major bummer.

Funny enough I talked to the agent who somehow botched up the reservation and he was really apologetic and told me: He received some "comments" from higher up. So it seems, SK backoffice wasn't too happy about this either and is trying to fix this and make me whole.
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Old Jun 29, 19, 7:13 am
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We had a similar experience with a family Christmas trip last year, flying on partner award tickets on TG. Due to a flight change , SAS had to rebook us on separate flights due to not having 4 C class tickets available on the same flight. In the end, only two of the tickets were issue correctly. We did not find out that the other tickets were not issued correctly for some time, at which point there were no seats available on any partner flights to our destination. It was clear that SAS made the mistake and did not book the two tickets with TG, which they eventually admitted to once we got the problem escalated. In the end, they bent over backwards and managed to get TG to issue to 2 C class tickets on the same flight so that we could fly together. It took a few calls and some time, but SAS really go the job done in the end. If you have managed to escalate your problem, I think that they will find a way to accomodate you.
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Old Jun 30, 19, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by fassy View Post
Not 100% SKs fault? Sorry? They "somehow lost" my credit card! It is not, that I did not provide it. Don't care if the agent put it in wrong or if it got lost somewhere on the way. It is not my problem.
Sorry. I read your initial post as you didn't provide credit card details during the initial rebooking. But I see that SAS is trying to solve the issue for you.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 3:38 am
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Originally Posted by highupinthesky View Post
But I see that SAS is trying to solve the issue for you.
I'm still quite angry. Yes, they say they try to fix it, but so far 0 communication. Nothing! Not a single word. They messed up here and I expect them to at least reach out to me by mail saying "sorry, we messed up, this is what we are trying to do" and then follow up with some status update now and then. I guess, I will be on the later flight and have to live with it, let's see if they at least throw some miles my way.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 1:48 am
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Update: Tonight at 2am I woke up due to a push up notification from the SK app. "Booking changed". I had my phone not silenced since I was on call for a quite urgent client.

For a second I though... "Well, did they get back my previously booked segment?". They did not. The first segment on Swiss disappeared 8)

Can't be! I called in Friday and was told "all flights are ticketed, everything is fine now. We are just trying to get you back on the earlier flight WWW-ZZZ. Did a quick lookup if there is *A availability for XXX-WWW and as it looked quite wide open decided to go to sleep again. A but unsettling but, well.

Next morning, meaning right now, I had to leave for my WAW rotation (yeah, on an E95, not an ancient 737-Pterosaur) this week and tried to see if the SAS staff here in CPH could help out. The lady at the transfer desk was super nice and couldn't believe what she saw as well. Obviously, SK did not ticket the XXX-WWW segment. Even after a dozen of people looked into fixing the whole thing and I specifically was told "everything is ok, all flights are ticketed"

She took the phone and started to work things out with the EB back-office team and after some back and forth in Danish (so I only got about 25% of it but it seems it wasn't an easy talk) they added XXX-WWW to the reservation again. Also in business, as there was no X availability anymore according to the EB team. I was told, I get a call in about 2 hours to finally confirm everything.

Funny enough, I could see X availability in the SAS Star Alliance Award booking tool in the night as well as right now. Had the same issue last week, the agent said he can't see availability which the SAS Star Alliance Award booking tool saw. Spoon feeding segments worked, so there seems to be a disconnect of the system the customer service uses and the tool for the end customer.

Let's see if they can figure it out by the time I arrive in WAW.
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