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Downgraded from First/Business Class on United(Questions,Compensation, etc.)[ARCHIVE]

Downgraded from First/Business Class on United(Questions,Compensation, etc.)[ARCHIVE]

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Old Dec 16, 15, 3:02 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: Billiken
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It has been reported that the compensation, via Electronic Travel Certificate, rules/schedule for passengers downgraded from F to Y are in SHARES system at: GG OVS DOWNGRADE

Agent could also search for "FRONT CBN OVERSALE"

1-1000 miles $200
1001-2000 miles $250
2001-3000 miles $500
3001-4000 miles $750 (was $1000)
4000-5000 miles $1000
5001+ miles $1,500

PLUS a refund of the miles/money/instrument used for upgrading, or if revenue, the fare difference between the fare paid and the lowest published fare available on the date of purchase.

The above applies only to day of departure downgrades.

Downgraded passengers on award tickets must contact the MP service center.
"...Service center determines if customer receives downgrade comp in addition to the ETC provided at the airport."

With thanks to Billiken for the original post.
UPDATED 15-FEB-2015 by Billiken
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Old Mar 30, 12, 10:34 am
  #1  
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Downgraded from First/Business Class on United(Questions,Compensation, etc.)[ARCHIVE]

Hi all - quick summary of events that transpired earlier this week. Just looking for anyone who might have had similar experience and candid view on what sort of additional compensation can be expected (if any).

  • Flight from LAS to IAH on 757-300 w/24 F seats
  • Booked on Q fare, GS status, upgraded to F 2 days before flight. About 5 or 6 empty seats in F when I selected seats, but I don't know how many available for sale because I didn't check
  • Seat assigned and checked-in at 24 hours
  • F still showing 2 seats for sale on night before flight (I checked)
  • Arrived at gate, boarding pass denied when scanned
  • GA said F oversold and I was to be downgraded
  • When I asked why me, she said "computer tells us who to downgrade"
  • She also said 2 had not yet checked in and if they didn't by 30 minutes before departure, I'd get a seat
  • They checked in so I had no F seat
  • UA app showed 19 people were upgraded on that flight
  • She gave me $250 voucher and a coach BP
  • Tried to get me to sign some voluntary downgrade form, which I did not do
  • Said to call GS line and they were authorized to give more compensation

I haven't called GS line yet to discuss, but just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on why I was picked for downgrade. I find it hard to believe the 19 upgraded people on the flight were all GS on higher fare class, but I obviously have no proof. Also, does anyone have experience getting additional compensation in this situation?

Thanks in advance and sorry for post length.

Last edited by ajhun9; Mar 30, 12 at 8:23 pm
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Old Mar 30, 12, 10:49 am
  #2  
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There have been other reports of downgrades which seem out-of-line with any logic, including pax on paid upfares to F being downgraded in favor of GMs who bought upgrades (at TOD rates) at check-in.

I think there's something seriously wrong with UA's downgrade logic in SHARES. Some GAs have blamed it on time of check-in--I saw that in person on an equipment swap a couple of weeks ago--yet we have had several reports like yours of pax who checked in at T-24 getting booted. There's no way everyone in F checked in at T-24.

I suspect what's happening is that SHARES isn't prioritizing downgrades and DBs due to oversales in any sort of outwardly-deterministic manner. We at PMUA were used to it being done by status, which seems to be an anathema to SHARES.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 10:54 am
  #3  
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Originally Posted by ajhun9 View Post
Hi all - quick summary of events that transpired earlier this week. Just looking for anyone who might have had similar experience and candid view on what sort of additional compensation can be expected (if any).

  • Flight from LAS to IAH on 757-300 w/24 F seats
  • Booked on Q fare, GS status, upgraded to F 2 days before flight. About 5 or 6 empty seats in F when I selected seats, but I don't know how many available for sale because I didn't check
  • Seat assigned and checked-in at 24 hours
  • F still showing 2 seats for sale on night before flight (I checked)
  • Arrived at gate, boarding pass denied when scanned
  • GA said F oversold and I was to be downgraded
  • When I asked why me, she said "computer tells us who to downgrade"
  • She also said 2 had not yet checked in and if they didn't by 30 minutes before departure, I'd get a seat
  • They checked in so I had no F seat
  • UA app showed 19 people were upgraded on that flight
  • She gave me $250 voucher and a coach BP
  • Tried to get me to sign some voluntary downgrade form, which I did not do
  • Said to call GS line and they were authorized to give more compensation

I haven't called GS line yet to discuss, but just wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts on why I was picked for downgrade. I find it hard to believe the 21 upgraded people on the flight were all GS on higher fare class, but I obviously have no proof. Also, does anyone have experience getting additional compensation in this situation?

Thanks in advance and sorry for post length.
LAS to IAH? Plenty of oil money in IAH, and I can imagine lots of people blow their money in LAS and on high fare tix.

I agree that there were not 21 GS on a higher fare class, but I do believe there were a combined total of 21 people on higher fare classes (regardless of status) and people willing to pay TODs to take your seat.

I would find another airline, since if a GS on a Q fare cannot secure an upgrade on a 24 seat F cabin, then why bother?
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Old Mar 30, 12, 10:56 am
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Since you were upgraded and not in paid F, I think a $250 voucher is pretty generous. Look on the US forums and you will see plenty of similar storing with absolutely no compensation. It does seem likely though that someone else should have been downgraded ahead.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post
LAS to IAH? Plenty of oil money in IAH, and I can imagine lots of people blow their money in LAS and on high fare tix.

I agree that there were not 21 GS on a higher fare class, but I do believe there were a combined total of 21 people on higher fare classes (regardless of status) and people willing to pay TODs to take your seat.

I would find another airline, since if a GS on a Q fare cannot secure an upgrade on a 24 seat F cabin, then why bother?
Appreciate the thoughts. Are TODs sold even when F is full? Also, is the thought that higher fare class trumps status? I would have assumed it was status, then fare class.

Originally Posted by exerda View Post
There's no way everyone in F checked in at T-24.
Correct - there were 2 people that hadn't checked in and I had to wait to allow them the chance to check in up until 30 minutes to departure. They did, and I got bumped down.

Last edited by iluv2fly; Mar 30, 12 at 5:47 pm Reason: merge
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by doctor15 View Post
Since you were upgraded and not in paid F, I think a $250 voucher is pretty generous. Look on the US forums and you will see plenty of similar storing with absolutely no compensation. It does seem likely though that someone else should have been downgraded ahead.
$250 seems generous but not when you consider the GS probably dropped North of $50,000 on United last year and paid for a not-so cheap Q fare. If it was an "S" ticket I would agree.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:10 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by ajhun9 View Post
Appreciate the thoughts. Are TODs sold even when F is full? Also, is the thought that higher fare class trumps status? I would have assumed it was status, then fare class.
I don't suppose TODs are sold when the cabin is full, but we've plenty of evidence that TODs are sold in excess of the waitlist.

My guess is that the cabin was filled with upgraders, TODs, and paid F. Then F was oversold by at least one person, and that triggered a downgrade. The algorithm for selecting a downgrade would likely exclude a TODer because that is cash, and too much hassle to refund. I guess that they then ignored status to select a victim, and instead picked the non-TODer who paid the least.

The GS line will ask you why a GS is flying a Q fare.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by ajhun9 View Post
Appreciate the thoughts. Are TODs sold even when F is full? Also, is the thought that higher fare class trumps status? I would have assumed it was status, then fare class.
In theory or in practice?

In theory, at least according to UA Insider, TODs aren't even supposed to be offered if the number of elites on the WL >= number of open seats in F. In practice, of course, who knows. Status trumps fare class except for the highest coach fares, but even if people came in and bought such fares, you still shouldn't have been downgraded.

What I'm trying to figure out is how in the world F was oversold in the first place in the absence of a downgague situation. Was the previous flight cancelled?

When GS are getting downgraded, you know something is seriously, seriously wrong...
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by ajhun9 View Post
Appreciate the thoughts. Are TODs sold even when F is full? Also, is the thought that higher fare class trumps status? I would have assumed it was status, then fare class.
GS is supposed to trump everything else.

Below GS, well, as yet another change very few actually end up liking, it's fare class, then status (e.g. a 2P on B will beat a 1K on H).

I suspect that as yet another IT gremlin, someone forgot to add the "GS trump" logic. Likewise, yes, TODs are still being sold even when the F cabin is already full, and TOD-purchasers are at times displacing previously-upgraded pax.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by mre5765 View Post
I don't suppose TODs are sold when the cabin is full, but we've plenty of evidence that TODs are sold in excess of the waitlist.
I've seen the latter happen several times since 3/3 (as long as there's a seat open in F).
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:52 am
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Originally Posted by exerda View Post
it's fare class, then status (e.g. a 2P on B will beat a 1K on H).
Your example is correct; the generalization is not. A 2P on Y or B will beat a 1K on any fare except Y or B or M. However, the 1K will prevail on all fare classes if the 2P is not on Y or B.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
What I'm trying to figure out is how in the world F was oversold in the first place in the absence of a downgague situation. Was the previous flight cancelled?
The GA had no explanation when I asked this question. It was the first flight of the day. Coach had several empty seats. Equipment was not downsized and no one else was downgraded either. Oh well, will call GS line and see if they offer anything else. Thanks.
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Old Mar 30, 12, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by ajhun9 View Post
The GA had no explanation when I asked this question. It was the first flight of the day. Coach had several empty seats. Equipment was not downsized and no one else was downgraded either. Oh well, will call GS line and see if they offer anything else. Thanks.
Could it have been a FAM?
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Old Mar 30, 12, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post

When GS are getting downgraded, you know something is seriously, seriously wrong...
I would be outraged at the downgrade, especially at the moment my boarding pass was scanned. Couldnt they have called your name ahead of time and spoken to you? Had that been me, I would have asked to be placed on a different flight. Also, I would be so insecure of this happening again to me. There is absolutely no way the FC cabin was filled with F/A tickets and all GS, if it was then its either an anomaly or there's too many GS out there.

The flight falls out of the system in 24/48 hrs I think. Maybe someone can tell you at the GS desk what happened. But it is truly unacceptable and this is the very first time I have heard this in 20 years of flying, 15 on UA. UNLESS a flight was cancelled or change in a/c

Did you at least get a decent seat in coach? You were one of the last to board since you had to wait for the two check-ins.

This is only the beginning. Stories like these are going to make people change carriers. I already have. I'm sorry for what happened, thanks for telling us. Curious to see what happens.

UG
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Old Mar 30, 12, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by as219 View Post
...When GS are getting downgraded, you know something is seriously, seriously wrong...
^ The writing is on the wall for the rest of us.
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