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Risk of no status paid F being downgraded for status upgrader?

Risk of no status paid F being downgraded for status upgrader?

Old Nov 18, 15, 6:25 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4,645
Originally Posted by Tchiowa View Post
...
Somewhere, some place there has to be one lawyer smart enough to find a consumer protection law, or equal protection clause, or something to get past this. Because there is no doubt that it's unethical.
I want to be on the jury!
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Old Nov 18, 15, 6:35 pm
  #32  
 
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With F being $1150 and Y $600 roundtrip, $275 extra each-way for first is great value.

I wouldn't give the downgrade scenario any thought.

One tip would be to drive across the island for a daytime flight from home from Kona. Redeyes only in flat beds is my firm rule.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 6:41 pm
  #33  
ont
 
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Originally Posted by WineCountryUA View Post
. . . I would have zero concern in your case.
You would have zero concern. Because you have status. OP doesn't. He has all the reasons in the world to be concerned. Should something happen, he's not gonna have access to the premier line - he'll be on hold for two hours listening to the friendly skies spiel and waiting to speak to an agent.

OP, your friends are absolutely right. Avoid UA like plague until they get their act together. HA and VX are excellent choices to get to Hawaii from LAX; both are much better than UA in terms of service and reliability. AA is a decent choice. Inter-island flights are short and are actually fun.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 6:53 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by ont View Post
You would have zero concern. Because you have status. OP doesn't. He has all the reasons in the world to be concerned. Should something happen, he's not gonna have access to the premier line - he'll be on hold for two hours listening to the friendly skies spiel and waiting to speak to an agent.

OP, your friends are absolutely right. Avoid UA like plague until they get their act together. HA and VX are excellent choices to get to Hawaii from LAX; both are much better than UA in terms of service and reliability. AA is a decent choice. Inter-island flights are short and are actually fun.
let's clarify your "advice" a bit.

Do you recommend he fly Virgin America LAX to SFO, then Virgin America SFO to OGG, then overnight on Maui, then back to the airport the next morning for Hawaiian Airlines OGG to ITO?

Or, do you recommend he fly Virgin America LAX to SFO, then overnight at an SFO hotel, then fly Virgin America SFO to HNL, then fly Hawaiian Airlines HNL to ITO?

Just curious which 24+ hour VX route is better than 6 nonstop hours on a United 737-800 in first class for less than half the cost?
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Old Nov 18, 15, 6:53 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by TimeWarp View Post
Many thanks for the quick replies from all you hardcore veteran fliers.

The discussion on the AA forum regarding the downgrade on the A321 is a real eye opener for me. I would have never thought about weight and balance issues for the aircraft. It's a real shame the way those passengers were treated by AA.

The UA flight 1004 uses a 737-800, which I guess is a stretched version. Hopefully this aircraft's weight and balance issues are not sensitive as the A321.

Since this is only a 5 hour flight, I might have to think about an E+ seat rather than flying in the F Cabin. I guess it all comes down to perceived value for my dollar.

I'll be flying after Thanksgiving and before Christmas and when I return I'll post my experience. Thanks again!
The horror of someone who travels to get from Aaa-Ccc and doesn't find a downgrade a gross violation of law. FT meet real world people.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:03 pm
  #36  
ont
 
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Originally Posted by Colin View Post
let's clarify your "advice" a bit.

Do you recommend he fly Virgin America LAX to SFO, then Virgin America SFO to OGG, then overnight on Maui, then back to the airport the next morning for Hawaiian Airlines OGG to ITO?

Or, do you recommend he fly Virgin America LAX to SFO, then overnight at an SFO hotel, then fly Virgin America SFO to HNL, then fly Hawaiian Airlines HNL to ITO?

Just curious which 24+ hour VX route is better than 6 nonstop hours on a United 737-800 in first class for less than half the cost?
I'm assuming it's a vacation. For a vacation, overnight at SFO is a plus, as is the inter-island segment. And F on VX is much better than UA - both the seat and the service, unless you were lucky to book an int'l BF with lie-flats, which I doubt would fly to ITO in the near future.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:15 pm
  #37  
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OP - As you can see, people get all hot and bothered here about a simple question. It is of course not a violation of law, most certainly not a "gross" violation of law to downgrade someone. In fact, it's fully contemplated by DOT.

But, to set your mind at ease, UA does have a set order for downgrades. It is the reverse of the UG order and then followed by paid F seating.

Yes, in the AA example where 12 people were DG due to the w&b issue, some paid people were DG. But, that is not the norm. And you should not worry about it here.

As to the fare difference issue, DOT has looked at it time & again and found that using the best available fare at the time of the DG is just fine.

So, don't sweat it. But, if does happen, you should see a bit of a cash refund and roughly a $1,000 credit.
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Old Dec 14, 15, 4:35 pm
  #38  
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Hi folks! I'm back. To recap, I flew from LAX to ITO roundtrip as a no status passenger paying cash for a P fare in the first class cabin for about $1100.

Both flights were very uneventful and went smoothly.

It looks like I will be flying LAX to ITO maybe once or twice a year due to family matters. I do like the non-stop flight, but I might want to try Hawaiian (LAX to HNL to ITO) next time if their fare is competitive with United just to see the difference in airlines.

Overall, very pleased and a big thanks to all you veteran fliers for your advice and opinions.
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Old Dec 14, 15, 5:55 pm
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by embarcadero1 View Post
United can downgrade in case of IRROPS.

The issue is that almost all first fares have underlying fare codes that United believes allows them to rebook you into Y.
United can offer a downgrade in case of IRROPS, but you are not obligated to accept it if you're in a purchased First fare (regardless of the fare basis).

In one case the airport agent told me that I "might have to be OK with Economy" among other completely idiotic assertions (When I realized how clueless she really was, I just called UA res... they had no problem rebooking me on AA in F since there wasn't any UA F cabin availability the rest of the day); in another case UA offered a single cabin aircraft and associated downgrade but when I politely pushed had no problems putting me on the (~30 minute later) A320.

SHARES actually makes it somewhat inconvenient to boot a paid F passenger out of the F cabin... I think it was MIA where Y was oversold and I volunteered because the compensation was amazing vis the inconvenience and no one else was biting (I think I got to my destination 6 minutes earlier, picked up a $500 or $600 ETC, and they got be back up front all the way through)... it took the agents probably 10-15 minutes of head scratching to downgrade me to Y to apply the comp, rebook and upgrade me)
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Old Dec 14, 15, 6:09 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
United can offer a downgrade in case of IRROPS, but you are not obligated to accept it if you're in a purchased First fare (regardless of the fare basis).

...

This makes no sense.

If there is an equipment change and there are now more people on purchased F fares than seats, someone will have to be either thrown into Y or accommodated in F on a different flight. This is basic math and there is not a voluntary aspect to it.

And as was stated upthread, all F fares are NOT treated the same by this airline. Some F fares are respected as F fares but some F fares are treated as Y fares during IRROPS.
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Old Dec 14, 15, 6:13 pm
  #41  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyWorld View Post
This makes no sense.

If there is an equipment change and there are now more people on purchased F fares than seats, someone will have to be either thrown into Y or accommodated in F on a different flight. This is basic math and there is not a voluntary aspect to it.
Isn't that exactly what I posted?

In the case of IROPS, including an equipment substitution United can offer a downgrade but you aren't obligated to accept it. That may mean that you accept a downgrade on your original flight (if that flight is still operating), or are re-accommodated in your purchased class of service on another flight (be it UA or another carrier)... That decision is ultimately the passenger's, however UA may not always make it clear that you have a choice.

And there may be rogue agents treating -UPDIs as Y fares, but that is clearly not the case across the board/if you push back... see my incident where the agent was being useless but res took care of me (it was a UPDI fare, but the airport agent never even looked at the PNR before deciding that she was going to blow me off)
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Old Dec 14, 15, 6:37 pm
  #42  
 
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I have had enough downgrades to not even remotely consider this a rare or very unlikely situation. With United levels of IRROPS, it's far from "remote" or at least my definition or remote.

In 2014 alone I had one round trip with four legs LAX-IAH-DTW-IAH-LAX where I was downgraded on ALL four segments.

The same year, I had a flight from LAX-EWR-FLL-IAH-LAX where I was downgraded on LAX-EWR and from IAH-LAX only the FLL legs remained intact.

The year before I was on a paid FC fare LAX-ORD-DTW-IAH-LAX (I remember $1,878) that I was not only downgraded I was booted entirely on the first leg from LAX-ORD. The plane was downgraded from a 757-300 to a 737-800. Seems the GA just didn't want to do the sorting work necessary to reallocate the PAX upfront based on fare and status, she just lopped the last two rows off, and since the economy cabin was now overbooked, there was no place to put us. This was an early morning flight, and they offered to rebook me on a 1:40 flight arriving in DTW at 11:55 PM in economy with no compensation at all. I politely asked for a print out of my reservation, so I could walk over to the Delta gate, and try get on the direct flight to DTW, she printed it out, and threw it at me and told me to go to Delta. To this day, I don't know why that wasn't my last United flight.
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Old Dec 14, 15, 8:40 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by transportbiz View Post
I have had enough downgrades to not even remotely consider this a rare or very unlikely situation. With United levels of IRROPS, it's far from "remote" or at least my definition or remote.

In 2014 alone I had one round trip with four legs LAX-IAH-DTW-IAH-LAX where I was downgraded on ALL four segments.

The same year, I had a flight from LAX-EWR-FLL-IAH-LAX where I was downgraded on LAX-EWR and from IAH-LAX only the FLL legs remained intact.

The year before I was on a paid FC fare LAX-ORD-DTW-IAH-LAX (I remember $1,878) that I was not only downgraded I was booted entirely on the first leg from LAX-ORD. The plane was downgraded from a 757-300 to a 737-800. Seems the GA just didn't want to do the sorting work necessary to reallocate the PAX upfront based on fare and status, she just lopped the last two rows off, and since the economy cabin was now overbooked, there was no place to put us. This was an early morning flight, and they offered to rebook me on a 1:40 flight arriving in DTW at 11:55 PM in economy with no compensation at all. I politely asked for a print out of my reservation, so I could walk over to the Delta gate, and try get on the direct flight to DTW, she printed it out, and threw it at me and told me to go to Delta. To this day, I don't know why that wasn't my last United flight.
Curious, how did you get on a DL flight without calling UA reservations to rebook you? Did you get any kind of comp for the screw-up?
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Old Dec 14, 15, 9:10 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
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I am reading this and laughing as this happened to me two weeks ago from MSP > EWR due to equipment downgrade. I thought I would have been taken care of much better due to what I thought was a paid F (in my case it was a V-up booked in A, my receipt says A) United could not give a rats A$$ and upgraded 6 others and would not endorse the ticket over to Delta. I have received 2500 miles for the downgrade and that is all. United has refused to do anything else, I have placed the charge into dispute on the credit card and informed DOT. United's response is I bought a V class and received a complimentary upgrade, and that I received what I paid for. The DOT has disagreed so far but still no additional comp from united. If I wasn't so close to 1million miles I would be gone. This is one messed up company.
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Old Dec 14, 15, 9:48 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by TimeWarp View Post
Hi everybody!

I need to fly from LAX to ITO by the end of the year. The only carrier that offers a non-stop flight is United. All the other carriers are either LAX to HNL to ITO or LAX to OGG to ITO. All of my friends have told me to avoid United and just fly the carrier that has the inter-island business for a more pleasant flight experience.

The last time I flew on a commercial flight was in 1974 from LAX to HNL on United in first class. I was minor at the time on a family vacation. Back then, flying first class was a nice, pleasant experience. It seems that times have changed for the worse over the past 40 years, especially at United on domestic first class.

A friend told me about FlyerTalk and I have been avidly reading the various threads to learn as much as possible about the booking/boarding/flying process. I cannot imagine the ordeals that some of you FlyerTalk frequent fliers have been put through. Thank goodness in advance that I don't have to fly often.

There have been several threads recently about passengers booked in the first class cabin being downgraded at boarding time into the Economy/Coach cabin.

I had been planning on flying (first class cabin) LAX to ITO by booking a P or Z fare. I have no status and I would pay using cash, no miles, etc. The several recent downgrade incidents have given me pause about booking on United.

I have watched the United Flight Status & Information for flight 1004. There is a tab that shows United First Upgrade Standby List. Sometimes there are only 3 or 4 on standby into First Class. Other times I have seen 11 or 12 folks on standby into First Class. Several times I have seen some of the standby folks not get upgraded (I assume no seats were available) and get left behind in Y? You can see this after the flight has taken off if folks got upgraded or not.

There seems to be a lot of Golds, Plats, 1K's, Star Alliance, Global Services, etc fliers and let's not forget the FAM passenger from time to time.

So my question is that if there are more status upgraders wanting to move up into the first class cabin than seats available, could I be downgraded to the regular economy/coach cabin since I bought a P or Z fare and have no status?
Highly Unlikely.. even for UA!
There is no way you can be denied boarding if you have a confirmed seat in first class. Good luck!
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