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What is reasonable compensation for Business Class gone bad?

Jan 18, 2020
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On LHR - ORD flight and 2.5 hours in, there was a power surge that disabled the electricity for half of Business Class seats and 90% of PEC. This meant, no seat movement, entertainment system, charging ability or seat lights. At the time of the outage, my seat was in the lay-flat position (I'm short). The seat remained in that position for 5.5 hours. I did not have use of any entertainment system nor was I able to work as I was counting on ability to charge on plane. As directed by FA, I contacted AA.com to express my complaint (attached is original wording). I received a "form" email back stating they would put 10,000 miles into my AAdvantage account as a token of "goodwill" due to my experiencing a non-properly functioning seat. I replied (via email) that this was insulting as I paid $2,500 for this leg of my trip (this was a splurge for me) and this was more than a seat issue. They replied with a $150 eVoucher. Again, I feel insulted however I have yet to respond. What is reasonable compensation for this issue?
Background: I am AA Gold status that will expire on January 31, 2020 as I did not travel so much in 2019. I have over 170k miles in my account. AA is my primary airline.
 

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Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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I have nothing to offer other than it sounds like a frustrating experience!
 
Jan 18, 2020
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Could the seat be adjusted manually? Certainly a disappointing experience.
The FA’s tried with another customer’s seat but didn’t have any luck. I was seated in PEC for landing - I had to request this as I was feeling unsafe.
 
Jan 18, 2020
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What I wonder is if they got the seat back in the upright position for landing, or if they reseated you for landing? I don't thing a landing in a flat bed seat would be particularly safe.
I didn’t feel safe and asked to get an upright seat for landing.
 

Mel65

Mar 23, 2015
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I didn’t feel safe and asked to get an upright seat for landing.[/QUOTE
I would then definitely ask for something. If you couldn’t sit up in YOUR seat and had to move to a lower class you should ask for the difference in fare. You need to be polite but persistent. This was unacceptable.
 
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Reactions: Pixie Pie
Sep 19, 2015
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The FA’s tried with another customer’s seat but didn’t have any luck. I was seated in PEC for landing - I had to request this as I was feeling unsafe.
Wow that is pretty bad, usually the seats can be adjusted manually -- did you only sit in Premium economy for landing or did you stay in Business?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
This is a traveller's nightmare ... it happens so occasionally but at the time it's devastating. I think AA made you a "decent" offer, considering that they're not required to do anything at all (my opinion, I don't know for sure). Hard to put a dollar/miles factor on this kind of experience. Theoretically, I'd expect a credit of half your fare towards a future flight. But if all of PEC and half of biz was out, I presume that AA will be quite circumspect in their "compensation".
 
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Reactions: alexucimartinez
Nov 22, 2019
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There is no compensation grid, they already gave miles, and voucher, I doubt they will give something else as they are not required. I also would not mention the price paid for the ticket, that you feel insulted, it is not relevant and maybe they will think you paid your flight last minute expensive and want some money back (I am sure some people do this), just focus on the other parts you already mentioned if you wish to continue (security, confort, entertainment, ...).
 
May 30, 2019
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There are some useful thoughts and recommendations from others. I don't have a different thought-out recommendation other than that you may want to search the AA board on Flyertalk.com to see how similar people have fared in your situation.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
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A bit of math for consideration:

Cost of this leg of trip: $2,500​
Their offer: 10,000 miles ($175) + $150 eVoucher​
Percentage of trip with power outage: 70​

One application of logic would result in a refund of 70% of the $2,500 ($1,750). However, that must be weighed against the fact that they delivered you to your destination. What makes sense to me would be an additional $1,000 or 60,000 miles . . .
 
Jan 18, 2020
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There is no compensation grid, they already gave miles, and voucher, I doubt they will give something else as they are not required. I also would not mention the price paid for the ticket, that you feel insulted, it is not relevant and maybe they will think you paid your flight last minute expensive and want some money back (I am sure some people do this), just focus on the other parts you already mentioned if you wish to continue (security, confort, entertainment, ...).
Thanks for the advice. What about focusing on the Business Class experience? How it is different/special. Also, do you think it would help/hurt if I mention that I am not a frequent flyer to international destinations?
 

Barry Graham

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Jan 7, 2015
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I think you should ask for a refund for a percentage of the difference between business and economy for the percentage of the time that you didn't want to be lying flat.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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The $2,500 was the EQM. The price of the rountrip ticket (I sat in coach on way there) was $3,320.
How heavily discounted was the economy fare — the math here does not make sense — are you saying the $2500 was elite qualifying miles or dollars? Elite qualify miles EQM do not have dollar signs.

If the 2500 was the one way upgrade then the original economy fare was $820 round trip?
What was the actual upgrade cost itself — not elite qualifying this or that but the actual cost paid?

During low seasons day of departure upgrades translatlantic can be $500 or $600 dollars — I have been offered such.

The actual spend makes a difference is the request for compensation.