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bumped out of business

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by kathy Saletta, Dec 13, 2017.

  1. kathy Saletta

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    After my wife and I were settled and ready for our flight to Paris, I was bumped out of Business to Premier Coach- with about 5 min notice. Had to quickly sign a form to accept $1,000 voucher to be used w/i a year, and was moved from my pod next to my wife back to Premier Coach for our trip. Apparently a fourth pilot came on board and had the right to a Business class seat. Have sent a letter to CEO, Doug Parker, but no response. Contact Customer Service was polite but no help offered. By the way, the cabin crew was very upset, stated that the agents knew of the problem ahead of time but did not take care of it until the last minute - literally. Other passengers were also upset and concerned about the whole process. I was extremely upset, this was a once in a lifetime trip, I debated about creating a scene, I didn't. In hindsight perhaps I should have.


    What's your desired resolution? We will not be able to use the voucher w/i a year given our schedules and finances. It would require too much out of pocket expense to do so. So the $1,000 voucher is useless to us. In addition, we lost the air miles we used to purchase our tickets. We think the compensation is not at all adequate, would like cash instead of the voucher. The cost of air miles is about $1,300 if we were to buy them back from Alaska Airlines.


    What's the value of your claim (in US $)? 2300


    Date of transaction/travel date: 2017-10-17


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    #1
  2. johnbaker

    johnbaker Moderator
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    @kathy Saletta Unfortunately, since you signed the voucher, AA probably considers the matter closed.
    You might try submitting a refund request for the difference in miles between the two classes. In general, that's what DOT requires the airlines to do unless you accept other arrangements.

    Good Luck

    EDIT: Here's an LA times article that covers bumping of a paid ticket... http://articles.latimes.com/2011/aug/07/travel/la-tr-spot-20110807
     
    #2
    Neil likes this.
  3. Christina H

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    Kathy that is an unpleasant surprise to have.

    May I ask how the value of the claim is $2300?
    You wrote it would cost 1300 to buy the miles back from Alaskan? You are a frequent flyer of Alaskan Airlines, and not American?


    This was a mileage ticket correct? What is the difference in mileage between premium economy and business? I would think that the difference should be refunded.

    I think you were right not to create a scene. You could be asked to leave the aircraft. This only happened in one direction correct? That is bad enough...

    Airlines seem to downgrade mileage tickets before paid tickets -- saw this on a domestic Alaskan flight where there was an equipment change the night before and they too waited to the last minute.

    Did you write first to the CEO? Or other customer service contacts first?
     
    #3
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  4. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    I hate to say it but tickets bought with with mileage are usually the first to be bumped in a situation like this.

    And this might surprise your but seating is never guaranteeed on a flight. They owe you the difference between the cost of the tickets you had and the one you lost.

    https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/fly-rights
     
    #4
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  5. ADM

    ADM

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    Christina is right. You were wise not to cause a scene as you might not have made the flight at all. Unfortunately it can always happen. My husband was downgraded very soon before an AA flight with no explanation. He did get a voucher, his own row in Main Cabin Extra, and the First Class meal and alcohol. After the trip I also lobbied to get him a partial monetary refund as well. His ticket for the November trip had been booked at the beginning of January and was paid with money, not miles. He also had Gold status with AA at the time. None of that made a difference as he still got downgraded with no explanation. It wasn't as bad because this was a flight to the Caribbean from Charlotte so the difference in comfort wasn't as significant. I can totally understand being disappointed with your downgrade experience as the difference was much more noticeable. I did find AA to be responsive to requests for compensation but it took some persistence on my part. Perhaps they will extend the expiration date on the voucher and you will be able to use it. Good luck.
     
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  6. kathy Saletta

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    Well, there was no choice in signing the voucher, the move was imminent. Also, can't really compute the difference in miles because Premier Coach is not offered so we are trying to come up with a reasonable amount.
     
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  7. kathy Saletta

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    We calculated the amount of the voucher plus what it would cost us to buy the miles back from Alaska. We have Alaska air miles through our credit card. There is no Premium economy available using miles.
    Yes, the cabin crew gave us the information and we sent an email to the CEO, Doug Parker, but did not get a response. Talked to customer service and did not get anything positive from them.
     
    #7
  8. jsn55

    Staff Member Advocate

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    What a terrible disappointment. I am always astonished at the way most airline personnel handle these issues. There seems to be a prevailing thought to just ignore the problem until the last minute, swoop in with the bad news, and let the flight attendants handle it during the trip. You are really caught between a rock and a hard place. The pilot was no doubt going to work, you were on non-revenue tix, you are Alaska's customer, so moving you was the obvious solution.

    I would ask for the miles to be redeposited into your account ... the difference between what you spent on the booking and what you received on the plane. If there's no category for Coach+, just use the coach mileage cost. I would also ask for an extension on the voucher so that you can at least have a chance to use it.

    Now here's the tough love part ... you travelled to Paris, albeit in a different seat than you were looking forward to. Airlines agree to transport you from Point A to Point B, period. Doesn't matter if it's today or next week. And we have seen stories from many passengers who never get to their destination at all. You flew to Paris at the time you expected, and landed at CDG ready for a wonderful Parisien experience. Your issue is disappointment. I hope this makes you feel a tiny bit better. Good luck and please keep us updated.
     
    #8
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  9. johnbaker

    johnbaker Moderator
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    @kathy Saletta Remember, you always have a choice. Simply decline to sign it... "DOT requires more compensation than that. I'll take this up with customer service when we land." Don't be nasty or impolite. Just state facts.

    That's all it takes :) A lot of times GA's try to do this with IDB to avoid having to pay you in cash. "Well the customer accepted our offer other than cash. See here's the signature where they waived their rights."
     
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  10. kathy Saletta

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    Sounds reasonable but what the agent said was if we didn't sign it we would lose the voucher. If there is a next time I will be more prepared.
     
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  11. Its Not Me

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    There was zero reason to accept their first offer. I would have held out for two $2000 vouchers plus the difference in miles back to my account between 30,000 discount coach award and what I paid in miles. Every minute you say no is a minute they're delaying the departure!

    "I wonder how the public will enjoy seeing this on youtube." [VERY politely] pull out your phone and then say: "tell me what happened again and why you re bumping me from my business class seat and only offering $1000 in vouchers?" That, accompanied by the delay growing by the minute- usually solves any problems.

    They airline has an obligation to the deadhead pilot to put him in business - but now they had two seats? Or did one of you stay in business?

    But yes - free tickets go first - unless you're executive platinum or concierge key.

    I have to tell you that, sadly, Gold means nothing. Gold has so few benefits its meaningless.
     
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  12. ADM

    ADM

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    [QUOTE="I have to tell you that, sadly, Gold means nothing. Gold has so few benefits its meaningless.[/QUOTE]

    I can vouch for that!
     
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  13. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    Her wife was left in first class so it was only Kathys ticket.
     
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  14. SierraRose49

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    I'm confused. In her initial post, Kathy wrote, "Have sent a letter to CEO, Doug Parker, but no response." Mr. Parker is CEO of American Airlines.

    Then, she wrote, "The cost of air miles is about $1,300 if we were to buy them back from Alaska Airlines."

    Then, jsn55 wrote, "The pilot was no doubt going to work, you were on non-revenue tix, you are Alaska's customer, so moving you was the obvious solution."

    Please clarify which airline is involved: American, Alaska or both?
     
    #14
  15. Neil

    Neil Moderator
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    I am also not understanding why she posted under American Airlines but references Alaska Airlines in her letter. As far as I know, Alaska Airlines doesn't fly to Paris.
     
    #15
  16. johnbaker

    johnbaker Moderator
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  17. SierraRose49

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    Thanks, John. I should have checked to see if AA and Alaska Code Shared. Alaska & Delta used to Code Share, but ended their partnership right before we flew on Alaska. I emailed the Alaska contact person I found on the Elliott site and she gave us Alaska miles and more.
     
    #17

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