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

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

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Old Sep 1, 21, 1:38 am   -   Wikipost
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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

The 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 the day of departure downgrades (due to overbooking of the cabin).
Downgrades due to advance schedule / aircraft changes and/or canceled flights (including the day of departure) are not eligible.

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

If I was CPUed and then degraded, am I eligible for GG OVS compensation?
Yes if the downgrade occurred on the day of departure.

With thanks to Billiken for the original post.

Related thread: First Class Oversold - How does United decide who stays and who goes

Archived thread Downgraded from First/Business Class on United (Questions,Compensation, etc.) [ARCHIVE]
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Old Jan 8, 18, 10:15 am
  #1  
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Exclamation Downgraded from First/Business Class on United (Questions, Compensation, etc.)

Was flying on paid first class (Z) HNL-SFO-IAD. Got delayed leaving HNL, missed connection at SFO, put in Economy Plus seat on the next flight out. No options for first class given. No remorse from the customer service representative at SFO whatsoever. The first class cabin was full of upgraded folks from Economy. Would the same compensation as published in wiki for F apply? Who best to actually call about this? Two people on the same reservation (one gold).
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Old Jan 8, 18, 10:52 am
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UA will argue that you voluntarily accepted the downgrade and no compensation is due beyond the prorated fare difference for the SFO-IAD segment.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
UA will argue that you voluntarily accepted the downgrade and no compensation is due beyond the prorated fare difference for the SFO-IAD segment.
Even if no business class option route was offered? I am not clear on this voluntary downgrade, given that we were not provided another option. How is it voluntary?
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Old Jan 8, 18, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by morkovka View Post
Even if no business class option route was offered? I am not clear on this voluntary downgrade, given that we were not provided another option. How is it voluntary?
It's voluntary because you didn't have to take the next flight. You could've gone to the agent and said "I want to sit in business" with the agent responding "well the next flight with open business seats is tomorrow (or +12 hours or +3 days, whenever)". And re-booked you for that one.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by morkovka View Post
Even if no business class option route was offered? I am not clear on this voluntary downgrade, given that we were not provided another option. How is it voluntary?
I don't condone UA's decision-making here, but in theory you could have dug in your heels and refused to accept the alternate flights in Y. This is one of the worst aspects of UA's IRROPS handling; they use a combination of CPU and TOD to give away all the rest of their F seats so that if you need to get rebooked on a paid fare you're just stuck.

Feel free to fight for the OVS DOWNGRADE comp - I'm just warning you what UA is likely to say.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 12:11 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I don't condone UA's decision-making here, but in theory you could have dug in your heels and refused to accept the alternate flights in Y. This is one of the worst aspects of UA's IRROPS handling; they use a combination of CPU and TOD to give away all the rest of their F seats so that if you need to get rebooked on a paid fare you're just stuck.

Feel free to fight for the OVS DOWNGRADE comp - I'm just warning you what UA is likely to say.
Yes, it seemed particularly unfair that there were 11 (!) upgraded folks in the First Class cabin when we were stuck in the middle/window seat (with aisle occupied). I would totally not want to be the person who gets downgraded from an upgraded seat, but there is gotta be some better way to handle those on paid fares. Thanks for the heads up!

Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
It's voluntary because you didn't have to take the next flight. You could've gone to the agent and said "I want to sit in business" with the agent responding "well the next flight with open business seats is tomorrow (or +12 hours or +3 days, whenever)". And re-booked you for that one.
I guess so, but just for the future, who is responsible for the extra costs incurred in such cases (in case an overnight stay)? There were definitely no flight that day with business class offered.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 8, 18 at 1:56 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member
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Old Jan 8, 18, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by morkovka View Post
I guess so, but just for the future, who is responsible for the extra costs incurred in such cases (in case an overnight stay)? There were definitely no flight that day with business class offered.
You are. Even if the delay was mechanical, runway delays, weather, etc. The rationale is that because you "Voluntarily" chose to incur an overnight stay in order to sit in Business.

This is why if you see an IRROP occurring, changing your itin outright (from a 1 stop to nonstop) or having United "protect" you in Business/First if there are any seats available before you even reach your layover point can help your case considerably.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by morkovka View Post
I guess so, but just for the future, who is responsible for the extra costs incurred in such cases (in case an overnight stay)? There were definitely no flight that day with business class offered.
In theory the rules should be the same as any other forced overnight: at UA's expense if the cause of the misconnect was at-fault (MX, crew) and at your expense otherwise (WX, ATC) - with the exception that 1Ks are always supposed to get hotels. In practice, it might be a fight to get a hotel if they try to pack you off on a same-day Y connect, but you should have a strong position with "I paid for F, and I refuse to travel in anything else". Also don't forget that they can rebook you on any interline partner (AS, AA, DL, etc) if there is space.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 12:54 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by laxmillenial View Post
You are. Even if the delay was mechanical, runway delays, weather, etc. The rationale is that because you "Voluntarily" chose to incur an overnight stay in order to sit in Business.

This is why if you see an IRROP occurring, changing your itin outright (from a 1 stop to nonstop) or having United "protect" you in Business/First if there are any seats available before you even reach your layover point can help your case considerably.
Thanks a lot! Will try to be more proactive next time. We did not get much heads ups in this case.

Originally Posted by findark View Post
In theory the rules should be the same as any other forced overnight: at UA's expense if the cause of the misconnect was at-fault (MX, crew) and at your expense otherwise (WX, ATC) - with the exception that 1Ks are always supposed to get hotels. In practice, it might be a fight to get a hotel if they try to pack you off on a same-day Y connect, but you should have a strong position with "I paid for F, and I refuse to travel in anything else". Also don't forget that they can rebook you on any interline partner (AS, AA, DL, etc) if there is space.
Thanks. This is very helpful to keep in mind for the future. We were not very prepared for such a situation, but I hope we manage to get at least something out of United for the inconvenience this time.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 8, 18 at 1:58 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member; please use multi-quote
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Old Jan 8, 18, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by findark View Post
I don't condone UA's decision-making here, but in theory you could have dug in your heels and refused to accept the alternate flights in Y. This is one of the worst aspects of UA's IRROPS handling; they use a combination of CPU and TOD to give away all the rest of their F seats so that if you need to get rebooked on a paid fare you're just stuck.

Feel free to fight for the OVS DOWNGRADE comp - I'm just warning you what UA is likely to say.
Two things: 1 - Not just theoretically. I've told UA that I will not accept a downgrade on a paid fare and they've happily found me space on American (and offered Delta which I politely declined as part of my "Delta will never see another of my dollars" campaign), though I did ask if they could look at American (nicely) after getting the "oh, only Economy available..." line ... Two times due to maintenance, once due to "late inbound aircraft" (never did figure out the ultimate cause of the delay).. In one other downgrade I got a refund of fare difference buy not compensation for taking a Y seat.

[And amazingly -- and I give props to UA both UA and the agent for this -- when we had a CLE-JAX divert to ATL due to maintenance last week, a 1K Desk agent secured space on AA ATL-CLT-JAX when the easy/obvious/sensible thing would have been to just push me to Delta (as it turned out they found a spare UAEX (Republic) aircraft in ATL and just moved all but 6 of us over to that and continued the flight.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 1:25 pm
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Originally Posted by morkovka View Post
Yes, it seemed particularly unfair that there were 11 (!) upgraded folks in the First Class cabin when we were stuck in the middle/window seat (with aisle occupied). I would totally not want to be the person who gets downgraded from an upgraded seat, but there is gotta be some better way to handle those on paid fares. Thanks for the heads up!
It is simply not reasonable to expect an upgraded customer to be downgraded for your convenience. I now only fly P/Z fares for the most part and I would never expect or ask UA to downgrade or remove someone from F so I could deal with a re-route - I will work with them to find another option everyone agrees with, or take the segment in Y and ask for the fare difference back. Once someone is upgraded, they should not be downgraded for the convenience of another customer.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 1:30 pm
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Hearing stories like this is why I feel these ToD upgrade offers for literally dimes on the dollar need to go away (or be available for ONLY premier members / higher level premier members). This by itself would leave some seats in F open at the gate as long as R/RN/PN inventory is managed properly. This is another prime example where UA may make a little extra $$, but at the sacrifice of the most loyal pax. Unfortunate.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
Two things: 1 - Not just theoretically. I've told UA that I will not accept a downgrade on a paid fare and they've happily found me space on American (and offered Delta which I politely declined as part of my "Delta will never see another of my dollars" campaign), though I did ask if they could look at American (nicely) after getting the "oh, only Economy available..." line ... Two times due to maintenance, once due to "late inbound aircraft" (never did figure out the ultimate cause of the delay).. In one other downgrade I got a refund of fare difference buy not compensation for taking a Y seat.

[And amazingly -- and I give props to UA both UA and the agent for this -- when we had a CLE-JAX divert to ATL due to maintenance last week, a 1K Desk agent secured space on AA ATL-CLT-JAX when the easy/obvious/sensible thing would have been to just push me to Delta (as it turned out they found a spare UAEX (Republic) aircraft in ATL and just moved all but 6 of us over to that and continued the flight.
Good to know there are some success stories. I was not aware they can rebook you on other airlines! I don't know why I did not think of this (I guess just the shell shock of what has just happened ))

Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
It is simply not reasonable to expect an upgraded customer to be downgraded for your convenience. I now only fly P/Z fares for the most part and I would never expect or ask UA to downgrade or remove someone from F so I could deal with a re-route - I will work with them to find another option everyone agrees with, or take the segment in Y and ask for the fare difference back. Once someone is upgraded, they should not be downgraded for the convenience of another customer.
I agree with you that this is not a good solution. I would be mad as hell too if I was that person. My point is simply that United has treated us (paying first class customers) like garbage in this case - absolutely no attempt was made to accommodate us in this situation which was not our fault. This is why after this I am not paying any $ for United business.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Jan 8, 18 at 1:59 pm Reason: merging consecutive posts by same member; please use multi-quote
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Old Jan 8, 18, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by morkovka View Post
Good to know there are some success stories. I was not aware they can rebook you on other airlines! I don't know why I did not think of this (I guess just the shell shock of what has just happened ))
It is one of the "hidden" benefits of flying with a legacy/network carrier -- they have interline agreements with other legacy/network carriers to allow for recommendation [though there has been some erosion e.g. Delta and American shunned each other a couple years ago], while with a LCC like Southwest, Frontier, or Spirit part of their "low cost" structure is not having to maintain those agreements and the infrastructure to support them so if you get stuck up a creek with them you have to wait for them to bring you a paddle or buy your own replacement.
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Old Jan 8, 18, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by morkovka View Post
...My point is simply that United has treated us (paying first class customers) like garbage in this case - absolutely no attempt was made to accommodate us in this situation which was not our fault. This is why after this I am not paying any $ for United business.
It basically comes to two problems:

1. United likes to declare ALL irregular ops as weather events, even when it's obviously something else

2. because it's a "weather event", they will not re-route you on another carrier

3. even if it's obviously mechanical or something in their control, they will still try and refuse to re-route you on another airline, especially if you're seated in a premium cabin
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