Paid for First - Flew Coach

Old May 22, 13, 11:05 pm
  #1  
jws
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Paid for First - Flew Coach

Over a week ago wife and I had two paid first class tickets DEN-GCM via IAH. The DEN-IAH leg was delayed due to weather in Houston and we missed flight to GCM. We had paid for first class discounted tickets "P" fare. The agent at IAH tried to accommodate us but the best she could do was 1 first and 1 coach ticket on the next days flight. The only negative experience was waiting for more than 2 hours for our luggage to be located.

In looking at prior posts, it appears I may only be due a refund if the P fare was more than a full Y fare. Also apparently there is nothing that can be done over the phone. United told me only possible remedy is to go to the "Refund" tab on united.com. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old May 22, 13, 11:37 pm
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You should have received downgrade compensation at the time of reaccomodation, based on the flight length, in the form of a voucher.
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Old May 23, 13, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by mduell View Post
You should have received downgrade compensation at the time of reaccomodation, based on the flight length, in the form of a voucher.
This wasn't UG then DG, it was not providing service in the purchased and ticketed cabin. They should receive cold, hard cash for that, in the form of the fare difference.

They may be due DG compensation as well, I just don't know.

In this case, it's not full Y, it's the lowest fare available for purchase between the two city pairs/itinerary that drives the refund amount. With connections, there is some weird math the splits up the cost between the two legs.
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Old May 23, 13, 1:32 am
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Why anyone would buy F ticket from UA? I was burned a couple of times when after misconnect I was accommodated in Y because UA upgraded all elites and F was full. Never again!

I decided that if UA was not willing to reserve a few seats for paid F misconnects (all available seats are usually given to upgrades ours before departure), I am not paying for F period.

You will not find much support on this board because everyone is happy to get upgraded ahead of time, but its a real problem at UA. Unless they keep at least 4 F seats on EACH domestic flights until boarding time, they will piss off misconnected paid F pax and last minute F pax who want to change or buy ticket last minute and loose future bookings from them. But UA does not care. Upgrades are clearly more important.

Last edited by AntonS; May 23, 13 at 1:49 am
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Old May 23, 13, 2:44 am
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Originally Posted by jws View Post
Over a week ago wife and I had two paid first class tickets DEN-GCM via IAH. The DEN-IAH leg was delayed due to weather in Houston and we missed flight to GCM. We had paid for first class discounted tickets "P" fare. The agent at IAH tried to accommodate us but the best she could do was 1 first and 1 coach ticket on the next days flight. The only negative experience was waiting for more than 2 hours for our luggage to be located.

In looking at prior posts, it appears I may only be due a refund if the P fare was more than a full Y fare. Also apparently there is nothing that can be done over the phone. United told me only possible remedy is to go to the "Refund" tab on united.com. Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
I haven't had to deal with downgrade fare difference refunds since 2011, so that's well pre-merger so no idea if the information is still accurate. But the whole "no refund because full Y fare at time of rebooking is more than what you paid" excuse is only what you'll get from lazy, sloppy phone reps.

What you are due is difference between what you paid and the lowest coach fare available at time of original booking. And yes, some UA employee somewhere can get that information. When dealing with this situation I found the most helpful reps were in the refund department, so try to get connected to them if you can.

There were some earlier times (back in the 2000s) when reps would not allow me to talk to the refunds department directly, and to speed up the process I asked for and was granted compensation vouchers, which I accepted because they at least resembled the fare difference. I suppose you could try this route if you have no luck with anything else, but I'd definitely try to get the actual refund first.

As I mentioned before, this is all pre-merger so no idea how the CO world works. Good luck and please update us on any resolution.

Last edited by gengar; May 23, 13 at 2:53 am
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Old May 23, 13, 3:05 am
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Good luck is the best advice, you will need it. In the last 12 months I've had two segments in A which canceled and had to be rebooked in Y. For both they said the calculated fare in Y was higher so no refund. At least I was able to get mileage plus to credit the correct miles and fare basis.

One email I received was so poorly written I had to read twice to understand what the issue was.

Last edited by uanj; May 23, 13 at 5:03 am Reason: typo
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Old May 23, 13, 3:32 am
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
. . . because UA upgraded all elites and F was full. . .
If only.
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Old May 23, 13, 5:15 am
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Originally Posted by AntonS View Post
I decided that if UA was not willing to reserve a few seats for paid F misconnects (all available seats are usually given to upgrades ours before departure), I am not paying for F period.

You will not find much support on this board because everyone is happy to get upgraded ahead of time, but its a real problem at UA. Unless they keep at least 4 F seats on EACH domestic flights until boarding time, they will piss off misconnected paid F pax and last minute F pax who want to change or buy ticket last minute and loose future bookings from them. But UA does not care. Upgrades are clearly more important.
Agree that this is a huge problem that PMUA seemed to understand and PMCO/current UA do not understand.

Originally Posted by gengar View Post
I haven't had to deal with downgrade fare difference refunds since 2011, so that's well pre-merger so no idea if the information is still accurate. But the whole "no refund because full Y fare at time of rebooking is more than what you paid" excuse is only what you'll get from lazy, sloppy phone reps.

What you are due is difference between what you paid and the lowest coach fare available at time of original booking. And yes, some UA employee somewhere can get that information. When dealing with this situation I found the most helpful reps were in the refund department, so try to get connected to them if you can.
This was always my experience with both PMUA and PMCO, so I anticipate this will be the case for the OP as well. Insider did help me get the appropriate comp last time it happened to me, so, if you get pushback from the normal channels, it may be worth a PM.
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Old May 23, 13, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by ryman554 View Post
This wasn't UG then DG, it was not providing service in the purchased and ticketed cabin. They should receive cold, hard cash for that, in the form of the fare difference.

They may be due DG compensation as well, I just don't know.

In this case, it's not full Y, it's the lowest fare available for purchase between the two city pairs/itinerary that drives the refund amount. With connections, there is some weird math the splits up the cost between the two legs.
Downgrade is just the term for flying in a cabin lower than what was intended, regardless of how you got there (upgrade or purchased).

There was a thread elsewhere covering downgrade compensation. I believe it's now a voucher of x dollars of fixed amount, based on whether it was domestic or international.
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Old May 23, 13, 9:01 am
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A few weeks ago I was on a 319 flt in F where someone "supposedly" paid for F and was downgraded. Apparently at the beginning of boarding the FA mentioned to the F paxs that F was oversold and they'd likely be offered $400 comp to sit in coach (I hadn't boarded yet). 10 minutes later a supervisor came to 2 paxs and offered them $200 comp, one guy went peacefully the other put up a fight. The supervisor insisted the computer picked him for the downgrade and the compensation and that any further compensation would have to be requested via complaint (email or phone). The guy finally went back but I thought to myself $200 seemed rather low. Low and behold 2 GS members were the ones that replaced the downgrades.
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Old May 23, 13, 9:08 am
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Originally Posted by nova08 View Post
A few weeks ago I was on a 319 flt in F where someone "supposedly" paid for F and was downgraded. Apparently at the beginning of boarding the FA mentioned to the F paxs that F was oversold and they'd likely be offered $400 comp to sit in coach (I hadn't boarded yet). 10 minutes later a supervisor came to 2 paxs and offered them $200 comp, one guy went peacefully the other put up a fight. The supervisor insisted the computer picked him for the downgrade and the compensation and that any further compensation would have to be requested via complaint (email or phone). The guy finally went back but I thought to myself $200 seemed rather low. Low and behold 2 GS members were the ones that replaced the downgrades.
As a GS I can tell you that I have NEVER, EVER "kicked" someone out of a F seat. Oversell protection only ever applies to coach and I've ridden in the back when F has been full at time of booking and on irrops.

Respectfully,

The GS Boogieman
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Old May 23, 13, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by uanj View Post
Good luck is the best advice, you will need it. In the last 12 months I've had two segments in A which canceled and had to be rebooked in Y. For both they said the calculated fare in Y was higher so no refund. At least I was able to get mileage plus to credit the correct miles and fare basis.

One email I received was so poorly written I had to read twice to understand what the issue was.
This is what kills me. If they're going to offer the credit based on what full Y costs, the difference should be between full F and full Y. Otherwise, they need to offer credit between the discounted F paid by the pax, and the cheapest Y available at the time of purchase of that discounted F.
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Old May 23, 13, 9:22 am
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Originally Posted by glx View Post
As a GS I can tell you that I have NEVER, EVER "kicked" someone out of a F seat. Oversell protection only ever applies to coach and I've ridden in the back when F has been full at time of booking and on irrops.

Respectfully,

The GS Boogieman
I didn't necessarily see it as GS members kicking someone out of F. The flt had been scheduled as a 319 for weeks then the day before until the morning of UA switched it to a 320. By noon the day of the flt they switched it back to a 319. I think in the time it was a 320 some upgrades were processed and caused the oversold situation. I'm not positive but it is just my theory.
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Old May 23, 13, 9:34 am
  #14  
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Thanks for all the comments and advice. Will continue to call and hopefully get an agent that will provide a satisfactory resolution. If not, a letter to management will be in order.
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Old May 23, 13, 9:35 am
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you could always try to request a refund for the fare difference (even though I don't know if you'll get it):

united.com/refund
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