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Was in First, Now in Biz (equipment swapped)

Was in First, Now in Biz (equipment swapped)

Old Jun 29, 18, 4:13 am
  #1  
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Was in First, Now in Biz (equipment swapped)

Title says it all....

I was booked in First (and looking forward to checking it out) and I just noticed airplane has now been swapped out and I am in BusinessFirst.

Am I entitled to any recompense?

Thank you.

ETA: Do I / should I care?

Last edited by Roar; Jun 29, 18 at 4:35 am Reason: more
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Old Jun 29, 18, 5:00 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Title says it all....

I was booked in First (and looking forward to checking it out) and I just noticed airplane has now been swapped out and I am in BusinessFirst.

Am I entitled to any recompense?

Thank you.

ETA: Do I / should I care?
I'm assuming this is for an International long haul. If not, ignore part of my comments.

If when you purchased your ticket, the price of First Class was more than the price of Business, then you should reclaim that difference. Example, for my trip to PVG, First was $1500 more. If you were upgraded to First with an instrument, you should get back the instrument (GPU, Miles + copay).

Your experience would have been better in First (even without the soup that was enhanced) but it will still be very good in the new Polaris seat.

But if you paid for First, make sure your reclaim that money. It's not peanuts.

If it's a domestic flight or international short haul, and you were swapped from a plane with First Class to a plane with the lie flat Business seats, then it's a big improvement and you should be happy about it.

Last edited by StuckinITH; Jun 29, 18 at 5:30 am
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Old Jun 29, 18, 6:49 am
  #3  
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Thanks. It was international long haul - and the price was more or less the same as business (how would you even prove this after the fact?)

I even took an earlier flight because First was an option and I wanted to try it.... today I called UA to see if I could change to later flight and they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg. (And the woman on the phone kept trying to tell me Polaris was "the same" as First.)

I have been in the new Polaris... did just want to see what all the fuss was about in First...

Last edited by Roar; Jun 29, 18 at 6:55 am Reason: clarity
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Old Jun 29, 18, 6:58 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Thanks. It was international long haul - and the price was more or less the same as business (how would you even prove this after the fact?)

I even took an earlier flight because First was an option and I wanted to try it.... today I called UA to see if I could change to later flight and they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg. (And the woman on the phone kept trying to tell me it was "the same".)

I have been in the new Polaris... did just want to see what all the fuss was about in First...
I don't really know what to suggest but maybe you should try calling again and you'll get an agent that can understand that it's not the same thing. Keep it pleasant so they don't mark your reservation. If you recall the price difference, if it was a few hundred $, I would write and ask for the difference. They may disagree or just throw some miles your way but at least you would have tried.

If you are really lucky, the planes will be swapped again. Happened to us in May for our flight to MUC. (disclaimer: I was not in First so I was not going to lose anything, except when we got back the original plane I ended up with a way worse seat than my original seat)
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Old Jun 29, 18, 6:59 am
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I think that you have a solid ground to switch to another flight with Polaris First cabin. Call again and talk to a supervisor if an agent won't switch flight for you. You do not need to mention the price difference. Good luck.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 8:33 am
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Note than you should introduce your request to change flights as being in response to the equipment swap. It is worth calling again; sounds like the first agent didn't correctly understand or wasn't interested in helping.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 8:38 am
  #7  
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1. What is the route? If this is a departure from the EU, you are entitled to a refund of 75% of the base fare, Otherwise. all UA is obligated to do is to issue a refund for the fare difference. UA calculates this as the difference between the fare paid and the J fare as of the date of the downgrade. Often means that the refund is little or nothing. Nothing you need to deal with until after the trip.

2. UA is not obligated to change your flights, but will generally do so. This sounds as though the agent documented your PNR record denying the change, so you need to overcome the above. For this reason, I agree with above that you introduce your request with the change UA made.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 11:11 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Thanks. It was international long haul - and the price was more or less the same as business (how would you even prove this after the fact?)
Depending on the fare structure, there are a few ways to demonstrate after the fact... or you could have documented it at booking, but most people don't do that.

Originally Posted by Roar View Post
I even took an earlier flight because First was an option and I wanted to try it.... today I called UA to see if I could change to later flight and they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg. (And the woman on the phone kept trying to tell me Polaris was "the same" as First.)

I have been in the new Polaris... did just want to see what all the fuss was about in First...
You should be contractually entitled to a refund (if you want), and any reasonable agent should give you positive-space reaccommodation into the First cabin on a different routing. If you want to fly in F, call back and try again.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 3:01 pm
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Thanks for the tips.

So, just got off the phone with United. Agent was studiously polite (and firm).

It turns out that even though:
1. I selected First (by clicking on the far right box)
2. I was able to choose a seat in the First Cabin

My fare that was booked was United Polaris (A).

So, basically UA told me that I was a) always in Polaris b) the computer showed me the wrong equipment because it's being changed over c) and because it was equipment that was being changed over, my fare was less than it otherwise should have been. And that I got a good deal as a result.

So, PSA - If you think you are booking in First, pay attention to your fare code. And be mindful that is probably not the plane you are going to get, anyway.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 3:06 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
My fare that was booked was United Polaris (A).
A is a First Class fare. You were booked in "Polaris First," which is distinct from "Polaris." You have a MOLA (Mistaken or Lying Agent), again. Sadly, that's not particularly uncommon, especially if you don't have status and are getting the regular agents.

I'd continue to call, and I'd be armed with a specific replacement flight or flights. "I booked First Class on a three-class plane, and it was swapped to a two-class plane. Could you please put me onto UA123, departing at 4:56 PM, which has First Class availability on the website?"
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Old Jun 29, 18, 4:08 pm
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Interesting.

Annoyingly, I only discovered this last night, and I have to fly tomorrow. There are no 3 cabin planes tomorrow...
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Old Jun 29, 18, 5:07 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Roar View Post
Interesting.

Annoyingly, I only discovered this last night, and I have to fly tomorrow. There are no 3 cabin planes tomorrow...
OK. In that case, your options are to request a full refund and fly on another carrier, or fly your reservation in business class and then take it up with them afterwards. You're due the fare difference from F to J (as a refund to your original form of payment) and may get a "we're sorry" travel certificate for the inconvenience.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 10:48 pm
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And this is exactly why UA should stop the charade of selling international first class tickets. It is only going to irritate people who don't know the minutia of what their IFC product has or doesn't have, what fare classes apply, etc.

They should just give it up and hold back any seat assignments in the cabin until they know for sure the flight will have them and then offer them for sale at some reasonable price, give the left-overs to GS, maybe 1K's, and so on, and offer the same service as in business.
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Old Jun 30, 18, 10:58 am
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Originally Posted by 1kBill View Post
And this is exactly why UA should stop the charade of selling international first class tickets. It is only going to irritate people who don't know the minutia of what their IFC product has or doesn't have, what fare classes apply, etc.

They should just give it up and hold back any seat assignments in the cabin until they know for sure the flight will have them and then offer them for sale at some reasonable price, give the left-overs to GS, maybe 1K's, and so on, and offer the same service as in business.
I agree, I am finding all kinds of UA Global First fares well into next May. I'd be extremely pissed if I select one of those GF fare and then they swap over to 2 class planes.

UA should either just completely get rid of GF or bring it up properly (which is unlikely).
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Old Jun 30, 18, 2:01 pm
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I was thinking about this and wondering where to look what fare I purchased. The receipt does not state it.

But if I go to My Trips, then manage Reservations, then View Current Reservation, I can see that for my next trip to PVG, my Fare Class is United Polaris Business (P).

Most probably, the OP's one would have said United Polaris First (A). The key word being "First".

In a sense, the problems caused by the elimination of a seat class is the same as the problems caused by the introduction of a seat class. When they announced the introduction of Premium Economy, I asked in that thread how would I be sure that I get the seat in Premium Economy that I purchased. I was told that there's no way it would happen that I would find myself in Economy +. This thread convinces me that I was right to worry. And the pain of being in Economy + instead of Premium Economy on a 16 hours flight is greater than the pain of being in Polaris Business rather than in Polaris First.
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