False upgrade at the gate flying TAP

Old Jan 14, 17, 4:14 pm
  #1  
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False upgrade at the gate flying TAP

Hi guys,

Last Friday I travelled from Lisbon to Barcelona and something very weird happened to me, when I was boarding I was informed that I have been upgraded to seat 5D (I had previously secured exit-row seats) due to the flight being full and an equipment change, which usually means good news but unfortunately I was travelling with my gf and she was not upgraded despite both being Star Alliance Gold and after I kindly asked the gate staff to take that into account.

Where it starts to get weird is when after boarding the plane I find out the business class seats only go to row 4 and I was seated in 5D where it specifically said it was C class. I quickly informed the crew about the situation and they told me they would inform their ground staff and see what could be done. After awhile they informed me that unfortunately the biz class was totally full and they would not be able to upgrade me (despite having a biz class ticket in my hand issued minutes ago by their staff at the gate).

The chief of cabin on the flight told me I should report the situation to the airline as I should be entitled to some type of compensation, and what I would like to know from you guys is if should lose any time trying to report the situation or if they simply won't care about the situation?
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Old Jan 14, 17, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by milfweed20 View Post
False upgrade at the gate flying TAP
<snip>
The chief of cabin on the flight told me I should report the situation to the airline as I should be entitled to some type of compensation, and what I would like to know from you guys is if should lose any time trying to report the situation or if they simply won't care about the situation?
You got what you paid for. Unlikely you will get any reimbursement/compensation due to Eu regulations for a downgrade.
Many threads in the BA forum on Eu regulations
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Old Jan 14, 17, 11:50 pm
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In fewer words, they changed your seat at boarding. Happens often, not much you can do about it, think about how happy you were when you were re-united with your GF after this extremely long flight!
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Old Jan 15, 17, 12:12 am
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You will get nowhere with this.

You booked and paid for a seat in economy and you got a seat in Economy. This is not "downgrade" in the sense of EU reg. 261/04
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Old Jan 19, 17, 11:51 am
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Got to love the way the Portuguese organise their national airline. I suspect the crew couldn't be bothered to move the curtain. It has happened to me when I had a business ticket and only got fixed when I told the FA that I would be offloading myself.

What is for sure is that when your BP was printed row 5 was business class. The data on the BP is not manually created.

I would suggest a different tact. Complain to TAP, sending a copy of your boarding pass, that you were on a business class flight but you were refused business service because the curtain was in the wrong place. Tell them you felt that you were downgraded by the crew and ask for compensation. Nothing to lose.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 12:52 pm
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ha ha, such a short flight and its a 319 I think. An upgrade is not a right, so $hit happens.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 5:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Got to love the way the Portuguese organise their national airline. I suspect the crew couldn't be bothered to move the curtain.
Could be that, it could also be that they didn't have enough catering for everyone. Probably a failure in communication between the ground handler and the airline :/

Gotta love TP :/
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Old Jan 21, 17, 7:57 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Got to love the way the Portuguese organise their national airline. I suspect the crew couldn't be bothered to move the curtain. It has happened to me when I had a business ticket and only got fixed when I told the FA that I would be offloading myself...
I've been in the last row of C when they couldn't shift the curtain. They tried artfully draping over my head, but we settled leaving it open, with me in the front row of economy eating a much better meal than my neighbours. An odd experience.
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Old Jan 21, 17, 11:31 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Got to love the way the Portuguese organise their national airline.
Probably unnecessary as a remark, but in actual fact innacurate: for the past year, the responsible for the "organisation" of the airline is a US-Brazilian national.

Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
I would suggest a different tact. Complain to TAP, sending a copy of your boarding pass, that you were on a business class flight but you were refused business service because the curtain was in the wrong place. Tell them you felt that you were downgraded by the crew and ask for compensation. Nothing to lose.
In any case, I would agree with this approach.
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Old Jan 22, 17, 9:27 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post

I would suggest a different tact. Complain to TAP, sending a copy of your boarding pass, that you were on a business class flight but you were refused business service because the curtain was in the wrong place. Tell them you felt that you were downgraded by the crew and ask for compensation. Nothing to lose.
That sounds like a chancer's approach. The OP was travelling on an economy class ticket. To use sophistry to mislead the airline to believe he was travelling in business-class would be tacky.

Disappointing his upgrade didn't go through, but that's life....
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Old Jan 22, 17, 6:53 pm
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Originally Posted by tff View Post
Probably unnecessary as a remark, but in actual fact innacurate: for the past year, the responsible for the "organisation" of the airline is a US-Brazilian national.
Please don't misunderstand. I live mostly in Portugal these days and love the Portuguese and their way of life.

However, TAP at LIS really feels like a Portuguese operation with all the organisational "flair" that comes with it. Don't you love parking at an airbridge just to find the terminal entrance blocked off an you have to walk down stairs to a waiting bus. Don't you then love how you can see where the bus needs to drive but it then drives once all around the terminal to get there. Don't you love the priority boarding signs which sometimes point left and sometimes right, but then the gate agents getting confused and ordering people into the wrong lines. Don't you love the gate announcements where the Portuguese and English language versions contradict each other. I could go on and on, and it sounds negative but it still feels warm, friendly and well meant. I'm sure that US-Brazilian has no idea how his airlines home hub really works.
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Old Jan 23, 17, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Please don't misunderstand. I live mostly in Portugal these days and love the Portuguese and their way of life.

However, TAP at LIS really feels like a Portuguese operation with all the organisational "flair" that comes with it. Don't you love parking at an airbridge just to find the terminal entrance blocked off an you have to walk down stairs to a waiting bus. Don't you then love how you can see where the bus needs to drive but it then drives once all around the terminal to get there. Don't you love the priority boarding signs which sometimes point left and sometimes right, but then the gate agents getting confused and ordering people into the wrong lines. Don't you love the gate announcements where the Portuguese and English language versions contradict each other. I could go on and on, and it sounds negative but it still feels warm, friendly and well meant. I'm sure that US-Brazilian has no idea how his airlines home hub really works.
I could make the same comments about the way CDG works at times and yet I would not frame them as concerning "the French" – they are problems with the airline or with the airport. I do understand you mean well, but very honestly it just sounds patronising.


Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
That sounds like a chancer's approach. The OP was travelling on an economy class ticket. To use sophistry to mislead the airline to believe he was travelling in business-class would be tacky.

Disappointing his upgrade didn't go through, but that's life....
I would agree in theory, but in my experience TP's customer service – unlike other aspects of their performance – is a disgrace; this might be the only way to have any proper reply from the airline.

Last edited by tff; Jan 23, 17 at 5:20 am
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Old Jan 24, 17, 4:57 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Please don't misunderstand. I live mostly in Portugal these days and love the Portuguese and their way of life.

However, TAP at LIS really feels like a Portuguese operation with all the organisational "flair" that comes with it. Don't you love parking at an airbridge just to find the terminal entrance blocked off an you have to walk down stairs to a waiting bus. Don't you then love how you can see where the bus needs to drive but it then drives once all around the terminal to get there. Don't you love the priority boarding signs which sometimes point left and sometimes right, but then the gate agents getting confused and ordering people into the wrong lines. Don't you love the gate announcements where the Portuguese and English language versions contradict each other. I could go on and on, and it sounds negative but it still feels warm, friendly and well meant. I'm sure that US-Brazilian has no idea how his airlines home hub really works.
You're very welcome to go back to where you came from. It sounds negative but it's still friendly and well-meant.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 9:25 am
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I have a question in another thread about luggage on TP, can one of you experts please respond.
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Old Jan 25, 17, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
Please don't misunderstand. I live mostly in Portugal these days and love the Portuguese and their way of life.

However, TAP at LIS really feels like a Portuguese operation with all the organisational "flair" that comes with it. Don't you love parking at an airbridge just to find the terminal entrance blocked off an you have to walk down stairs to a waiting bus. Don't you then love how you can see where the bus needs to drive but it then drives once all around the terminal to get there. Don't you love the priority boarding signs which sometimes point left and sometimes right, but then the gate agents getting confused and ordering people into the wrong lines. Don't you love the gate announcements where the Portuguese and English language versions contradict each other. I could go on and on, and it sounds negative but it still feels warm, friendly and well meant. I'm sure that US-Brazilian has no idea how his airlines home hub really works.
Unfortunately I tend to agree - the airline runs ok, but could be really optimized and made better both financially and for customers if all these small things are taken into account. TAP does not know how to do irrops, and they suck at customer service, except their social media team which is truly awesome!

A lot of this has to do with the fact that it was government-owned, and not really run like a truly commercial operation until very recently. The company culture stinks of mediocrity, and the few awesome people who try harder aren't really recognized/promoted. We (customers) will have to wait until most of these mediocre middle managers are replaced by those who are really interested in changing the airline and have a customer-service-focused outlook or until the company somehow manages to change its company culture for the better, which can't come soon enough.

BTW. My biggest pet peeve is not with TAP but with Groundforce (owned by TAP), which takes forever to open the door once the airplane is parked. If the airline was more customer-service-focused they'd realize that the minutes that are spent after the plane is parked feel like hours. They've already "improved" the baggage claim experience, by increasing the walking time to the baggage claim (this is one reason why buses take forever to get to the terminal).

I have a recent story about this... In December I had to connect in LIS from DT to TP on 2 separate tickets with only 2h05 between the flights in the early AM. The DT flight landed 15 minutes late. From the time the door opened, to the time I was in a taxi took 35 minutes, but only because I managed to get on the biz class bus, and cut the line at passport control. Otherwise it would have taken a good 45-50 minutes. It took me only 30 minutes from the time I got into a taxi, to go home in central Lisbon, change into different clothes and come back to the airport curb.

Last edited by Palal; Jan 25, 17 at 5:23 am
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