Thought we were booked in first class but NOT!

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Jul 8, 2018
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#1
Our travel agent booked 6 tickets for us and 2 other couples on a Delta flight from Chicago to Paris recently. We paid an extra $500 each to fly first class round trip. She said it is flukey sometimes, but we got first class seats for that extra cost. Air France flew the flight and we were seated in Premium Economy. The flight attendant explained that Air France doesn't have first class seating but a business class. Needless to say we were extremely disappointed. The premium economy must be equivalent to Delta Comfort. Our travel agent is upset with Air France. Should we be upset with Delta, Air France or our travel agent? Do we have any recourse?
 

Neil Maley

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#2
Your travel agent. I have never seen an upgrade to first class for only $500. Not even business class. What were your seat numbers?

Maybe it was Premium Select or Premium Economy on Air France. I think they only have standard, premium economy and business.

https://www.delta.com/content/www/e...onboard-experience/delta-premium-economy.html

What class of ticket did your confirmation say you had and how much were your tickets? Business from Chicago runs about $2800 a ticket. If your confirmation says something you didn’t receive- we can tell you where to write.
 
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Neil Maley

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#4
We were seated in rows 19, 20 and 21.
How much did you pay for your seats? Over $2,000 pp?

I assume this was a code share with Air France.

Also- what does the email confirmation say that you received from the agent? For the rows you received and the $500 it sounds like premium economy. I checked online and the price difference between main cabin and premium select is about $500.

I think the issue is with the travel agent. Please check your confirmation and tell us what it says about the fare. It sounds like perhaps he or she erred in what they told you.

It sounds like you got what you paid for- premium select - which is what Air France calls it.
 
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jsn55

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Dec 26, 2014
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#5
Wow, Kathy, your travel agent is a dunce. Even if s/he got distracted or pushed the wrong button or something, s/he should know that those rows are NOT first or biz. And s/he didn't seem to be aware of the code share flights. What a shame.

I would sit down with your friends and formulate a plan so your TA can make this up to you. Look up the cost of biz, first and premium economy, take the difference (of several thousand dollars) per tix and decide what would make you feel better. Personally, I'd ask for that amount to be paid out by your TA towards tix for another trip. There really isn't any excuse for this kind of ignorance. Please keep us updated.
 

Barry Graham

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Jan 7, 2015
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#6
To be fair, in January 2017 I did see business class to Israel for $2000 round trip which was only $800 more than the economy fare on Delta but to/from Europe, as others have said, I've never seen business class that cheap.
 
Jul 8, 2018
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#7
To be honest, I don't know how much the airfare was since it was bundled with our hotel. I will visit with the travel agent this week to see if she is willing to reimburse us or give us a credit toward another trip.
 
Mar 8, 2018
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#8
Hi,

A few thoughts here when deciding what to ask your travel agent. You paid an extra $250 each way for Premium Economy, which it seems what it should have been. The travel agent erred in telling you that you had first class, but first class would not have been available for that price. So the question is would you have paid this extra amount if you knew it was Premium Economy? If not, I think it would be fair to ask for something back from the agent. Remember though, you did get some value out of this upgrade, so it may not be fair to ask for a refund for the full amount. Personally I think you should receive some goodwill gesture for the agents mistake.

More concerning is that your agent made this mistake to begin with. Perhaps its time to switch agents.
 

weihlac

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Jun 30, 2017
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#9
We were seated in rows 19, 20 and 21.
Whenever you get seat assignments, either on a phone reservation of through a travel agent, you should check the seats on https://www.seatguru.com/. You can choose the airline and the specific aircraft you are flying on. In the rare instance that I do not choose the seats online when booking, more than 50% of the time I will find a better seat on seatguru and change the seat assignment myself online. Rows 19,20,21 are very rarely first/business; that alone is a clue and should be checked on seatguru.
 
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Neil Maley

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#10
It seems you got what you paid for- premium economy.

You haven’t answer the question of what your CONFIRMATION says about the ticket class you bought. Does the ticket confirmation say first or business class? If it does- your agent owes you $500. If your confirmation says premium
economy and that’s what you got- you aren’t owed anything.

If there is no monetary loss, then there is no refund due. But your agent doesn’t understand what he or she sold you and you need to call them out on it. I’ve never heard of seats like your agent stated.

Again- What does your confirmation say about the ticket class? Even if it’s bundled it should say what class the ticket was.

Please talk to your agent and let us know what she says. Something doesn’t make sense.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#11
Premium economy is nicer and a different class than economy. I cannot imagine an upgrade fee to First from economy for 500 r/t. I paid around 300 for one way upgrade from premium economy to business.

Air France does have a First Class called La Premiere and it is only available on selected routes and Chicago is not one of them. A round trip in First from NY to Paris is around $6500 when on sale. Business to Chicago is around 2400 for a good price.

As Neil asked what does the ticket and confirmation say?
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
As Air France does not have a first class on this route there is a serious problem with communication here. AF has never had first class on this route. Delta does not have a dedicated First internationally just business.

How experienced is this travel agent?
 
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weihlac

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#13
To be honest, I don't know how much the airfare was since it was bundled with our hotel. I will visit with the travel agent this week to see if she is willing to reimburse us or give us a credit toward another trip.
A quick look at ORD-CDG on Delta/AF in August gives Premium select fares of $2400-2800RT and Business at $5000-5300RT. The aircraft for that route is an A330. Seatguru shows rows 19-21 to be the only premium economy rows on the plane. Business is in rows 1-7. In the usual airline speak, there are no rows 8-18 on the plane. Premium economy has significantly more leg room than economy, but it is not Business class. It is however much less expensive. Would you have wanted to pay double the airfare for Business?
 

Neil Maley

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#14
A quick look at ORD-CDG on Delta/AF in August gives Premium select fares of $2400-2800RT and Business at $5000-5300RT. The aircraft for that route is an A330. Seatguru shows rows 19-21 to be the only premium economy rows on the plane. Business is in rows 1-7. In the usual airline speak, there are no rows 8-18 on the plane. Premium economy has significantly more leg room than economy, but it is not Business class. It is however much less expensive. Would you have wanted to pay double the airfare for Business?
I think the issue is more that the travel Agent gave her bad information. And it’s a legit complaint. It seems the agent had no idea what they sold.

Christina asked a good question about the agents experience. If the agent is not the owner of the agency she should really talk to the owner.
 

weihlac

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#15
I think the issue is more that the travel Agent gave her bad information. And it’s a legit complaint. It seems the agent had no idea what they sold.

Christina asked a good question about the agents experience. If the agent is not the owner of the agency she should really talk to the owner.
I agree about the TA, but I thought some numbers might temper the OP expectations. This is a case of misinformation, not failing to receive what was paid for.
 
Jul 8, 2018
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#17
Thanks, Everyone. I went to visit the travel agent, who is the owner and has been in the business 30 years, and she was mortified when she heard that she had given us misinformation. She said she booked us Class A tickets which is considered by Delta to be a First Class ticket. She called Delta Vacations right away and it took them a long time to figure out that this is not the case on Air France. I looked at the travel documents she gave me and it does say Premium Economy. She apologized profusely and said she's only booked Air France a couple times in her career, so I guess she learned something. Her Delta Vacation rep and another travel agent friend both had never heard of this difference in classification, so there must be some miscommunication all around in the industry. She was going to write a letter to Air France, but I'm not expecting it to get anywhere.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#18
Thanks, Everyone. I went to visit the travel agent, who is the owner and has been in the business 30 years, and she was mortified when she heard that she had given us misinformation. She said she booked us Class A tickets which is considered by Delta to be a First Class ticket. She called Delta Vacations right away and it took them a long time to figure out that this is not the case on Air France. I looked at the travel documents she gave me and it does say Premium Economy. She apologized profusely and said she's only booked Air France a couple times in her career, so I guess she learned something. Her Delta Vacation rep and another travel agent friend both had never heard of this difference in classification, so there must be some miscommunication all around in the industry. She was going to write a letter to Air France, but I'm not expecting it to get anywhere.
A long time ago, first class fares were F, P and A. Business class were J,C,D,I,Z. Full fare economy was Y, and any other letter used was discounted economy. Now we have Premium Economy which is typically W, but on Air France is S as well as A, and on BA is T. I think Lufthansa uses G, N, and E. So a TA has to be very diligent in knowing, or at least understanding she/he has to do some research about new booking classes.
 

Neil Maley

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#19
Thanks, Everyone. I went to visit the travel agent, who is the owner and has been in the business 30 years, and she was mortified when she heard that she had given us misinformation. She said she booked us Class A tickets which is considered by Delta to be a First Class ticket. She called Delta Vacations right away and it took them a long time to figure out that this is not the case on Air France. I looked at the travel documents she gave me and it does say Premium Economy. She apologized profusely and said she's only booked Air France a couple times in her career, so I guess she learned something. Her Delta Vacation rep and another travel agent friend both had never heard of this difference in classification, so there must be some miscommunication all around in the industry. She was going to write a letter to Air France, but I'm not expecting it to get anywhere.
She mis informed you but you got what you paid for. So I am not sure what else you can expect except an apology because you taught her something.
 
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weihlac

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#20
Thanks, Everyone. I went to visit the travel agent, who is the owner and has been in the business 30 years, and she was mortified when she heard that she had given us misinformation. She said she booked us Class A tickets which is considered by Delta to be a First Class ticket. She called Delta Vacations right away and it took them a long time to figure out that this is not the case on Air France. I looked at the travel documents she gave me and it does say Premium Economy. She apologized profusely and said she's only booked Air France a couple times in her career, so I guess she learned something. Her Delta Vacation rep and another travel agent friend both had never heard of this difference in classification, so there must be some miscommunication all around in the industry. She was going to write a letter to Air France, but I'm not expecting it to get anywhere.
As an experienced travel agent, she should have recognized that the fare paid would not purchase first class, and rechecked the booking class.
 
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