Premium Economy Seats Unavailable - Tiny Refund Issued ?

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Jun 16, 2019
My husband and I recently traveled from Austin to Chicago and on to Paris. In Chicago we were called to the counter 5 minutes before the plane began loading to be informed that our flight had been overbooked and our premium economy seats were unavailable. We were given the option to downgrade or fly the next day. We had no choice but to accept the downgrade and wait for our refund. The refund was only $250.00 each. I have worked thru all of the channels at AA, and I do finally have an actual person who has called me. She claims that this amount is correct because the taxes and other fees do not change even though we were downgraded. Are the taxes and fees always the same regardless of class? Am I wrong to think that my refund should be more? I purchased these tickets 5 weeks in advance and I was willing to pay extra for a pleasant flight. Instead, I feel like I got the old bait and switch from AA.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
I believe she is correct. When you upgrade your seats you aren’t charged tax on the upgrade.

I just checked my last flight that I upgraded to premium economy and was not charged tax on the upgrade, just a flat fee.

Barry Graham

Staff Member
Jan 7, 2015
Even so, to be downgraded involuntarily, with only a refund of the cost difference, seems unfair. Usually the airlines compensate generously for such incidents.
Sep 19, 2015
I just priced out ord to cdg on AA in September as a random da— taxes were the same — most are per segment costs — difference in carrier imposed fees — difference in fare between economy and premium economy was between 200 and 400 round trip.

I do think writing in for miles might yield something