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Forced downgrade on an award ticket for the international segment

Forced downgrade on an award ticket for the international segment

Old Oct 29, 12, 9:01 pm
  #1  
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Forced downgrade on an award ticket for the international segment

Fellows

my parents have experienced something this past week that has never happened in many years of award traveling and has left them frustrated and I am looking for some advice.

I booked for them with my UA miles (2 x 70K first class one way SaveAward ( NYC on UA ->SFO On Air China ->PVG), for unknown reason, Air China's flight is "I " which is business award class but I am fine wuith that.

they checked in at NYC, no problem, first class to SFO, however at SFO gate, they are forced to downgrade to coach seats on Air China's flight from SFO to PVG , even they are forced to seat separatedly at coach section for the entire long haul flight.

I wonder the following:
1) Do airlines ( at the SFO gate) have the right to force a downgrade on a confirmed ticket even after checking in ( at new york)? what I booked is Air China's I class, but they changed it to "K" after my parents checked in
2) What compensation could I expect and who should I contact with my dissapointment (UA or Air China?)?


Thanks in advance for your advise.

Last edited by iwpingmu; Oct 29, 12 at 9:06 pm
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Old Oct 29, 12, 9:21 pm
  #2  
 
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Why does this always seem to happen to parents, traveling w/o the sponsor?

Have them keep their boarding passes, call Mileage Plus and get the miles reduced to saver economy, and get a partial refund to your account. "A" carriers can do what ever they want, it seems, especially to parents, as of late! This may be like pulling teeth with MP, but hang in there! Good luck!! ^
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Old Oct 29, 12, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by LilAbner View Post
Have them keep their boarding passes, call Mileage Plus and get the miles reduced to saver economy, and get a partial refund to your account. "A" carriers can do what ever they want, it seems, especially to parents, as of late! This may be like pulling teeth with MP, but hang in there! Good luck!! ^
Sorry, but your information is incorrect.

As long as one segment is a 3 class F in the entire itnerary, you are not going to get any partial refund not unless the the whole trip is in Y.

You can even do a search for awards on united.com, even if it is a mix class award, F and Y, C and Y, F and C, you will still get charged for the higher class award.

The only thing OP can do is complain to CA. However, since the trip already completed, there is nothing much they would do. Anything has to deal with on the spot but not after.
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Old Oct 29, 12, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by ORDnHKG View Post
Sorry, but your information is incorrect.

As long as one segment is a 3 class F in the entire itnerary, you are not going to get any partial refund not unless the the whole trip is in Y.

You can even do a search for awards on united.com, even if it is a mix class award, F and Y, C and Y, F and C, you will still get charged for the higher class award.

The only thing OP can do is complain to CA. However, since the trip already completed, there is nothing much they would do. Anything has to deal with on the spot but not after.
You're absolutely correct, and I stand corrected. I forgot about about the F/C domestic portion!
Sorry!!
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Old Oct 29, 12, 10:08 pm
  #5  
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Did CA provide a reason for downgrade? If they truly have a confirmed itinerary, then they are eligible for downgrade compensation from Air China.

Did they have confirmed business class boarding passes at JFK?
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Old Oct 29, 12, 10:25 pm
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Originally Posted by PTahCha View Post
Did CA provide a reason for downgrade? If they truly have a confirmed itinerary, then they are eligible for downgrade compensation from Air China.

Did they have confirmed business class boarding passes at JFK?


TOLD THEM FULLY BOOKED, NO business seat available, they are not members, also use award seat, so I guess that is why they are the first two people to be chosen to be downgraded


wow, do not know if still keep the board pass, will check, F and I were confirmed at booking, two oldie know very limited english, they might not check the second ticket if it is I or K,
however if downgrade at JFK, should the agent suppose to tell them at JFK? but they told me they are told anything at JFK, but told by agent at SFO
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Old Oct 29, 12, 10:38 pm
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Originally Posted by iwpingmu View Post
TOLD THEM FULLY BOOKED, NO business seat available, they are not members, also use award seat, so I guess that is why they are the first two people to be chosen to be downgraded


wow, do not know if still keep the board pass, will check, F and I were confirmed at booking, two oldie know very limited english, they might not check the second ticket if it is I or K,
however if downgrade at JFK, should the agent suppose to tell them at JFK? but they told me they are told anything at JFK, but told by agent at SFO
How could they tell them at JFK. They checked in w UA @ JFK and were downgraded by CA in SFO. No one @ UA or JFK had any idea they were downgraded. Even though what others have said is true, and since they were in F from JFK-SFO the award would still be the same number of miles. You should still call UA to complain & ask for some miles back. You paul for F all the way through & that's what you should have gotten unless it was YOUR choice to take a lower class
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Old Oct 29, 12, 10:43 pm
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Isn't CA required by law to provide compensation? Don't let them get away with it, complain to the DOT. It takes 2 seconds online.
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Old Oct 29, 12, 10:53 pm
  #9  
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In the US, very little is actually law. We rely on the airlines to have Contract of Carriage provisions, protections, and so forth. In other words, we let the airlines police themselves for the most part.

At some point, it would have been better for your parents to fuss with the agents and refuse to take the flight. The best thing would have been to involve UA at SFO in the situation.
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Old Oct 29, 12, 11:07 pm
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Originally Posted by formeraa View Post
The best thing would have been to involve UA at SFO in the situation.
This would never have happened unless there was a GS involved, and even then it's a stretch.
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Old Oct 29, 12, 11:41 pm
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Originally Posted by iwpingmu View Post
TOLD THEM FULLY BOOKED, NO business seat available, they are not members, also use award seat, so I guess that is why they are the first two people to be chosen to be downgraded
No, award seats or non-members doesn't equal to be the first to be chosen to be downgraded. Besides, how do you know your parents were the first two people being downgraded ? You were not even there !

Fully booked is a bs excuse, I am sure there are more to it, or probably they were never booked in I class (UA show it but never show on CA). I mean did they get seat assignment ahead of time ? Did they or you call CA ahead of time for confirmation ?

There are many missing details here.

PS If you can't find any boarding stub, you are most likely out of luck.
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Old Oct 30, 12, 6:09 am
  #12  
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they were downgraded from Business to coach before check in at JFK, the boarding pass is F ( NYC->SFO) and Coach K (SFO->PVG)

Last edited by iwpingmu; Oct 30, 12 at 9:06 am
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Old Oct 30, 12, 10:17 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by iwpingmu View Post
they were downgraded from Business to coach before check in at JFK, the boarding pass is F ( NYC->SFO) and Coach K (SFO->PVG)
As crappy as this situation is, if they knew before check in at JFK (and certainly once they checked in at JFK) then they/you are probably out of luck. The best opportunity for a potential reroute/reaccomodation would have been with the UA agents at JFK. At the very least, they could have asked to be downgraded on the JFK-SFO segment and then requested a partial mileage refund.

Others may have a better answer, but this seems like the likely scenario.
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Old Oct 30, 12, 12:52 pm
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Rules aside, my experience with 'old' United is that they would have probably given some compensation. In Jeff's world, expect nothing but a lot of 'here are the rules.'
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