Equipment downgrade, compensation?

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by SK2868, Apr 5, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. SK2868
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    SK2868 Silver Member

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    Hey, so I did a quick search and didn't find a fitting thread to write in, so don't shoot me if I've posted in the wrong place...

    Around a month ago, I upgraded my little sister on her upcoming flight on UA219 ORD-HNL, using an RPU. Up until one of the last few days, there has been a equipment downgrade from an international config 3-class (F,C,Y) 772 with lieflat seats in business to an Hawaii-config 777. I had reserved seat 6A (first row), and she has now been moved to a middle seat in a full cabin and is not able to change seats.

    When downgrading the product, I'd expect them to at least honor the seating preferences according to the reserved seats, in this case window. I also used the RPU, because I wanted her to experience flying in Business class, and I feel like I'm not getting the product that I "paid" for.

    Do I have any chance on getting compensation for this downgrade?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You can ask, but I would expect nil. So long as she's in the forward cabin on the new config you are getting what you paid for as the trip isn't sold as a BusinessFirst flight. Sorry.
     
  3. Captain Oveur
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    Captain Oveur Gold Member

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    This isn't Flyertalk, we're not going to chew you out.



    So long as she got the upgrade, I think it's very unlikely you (or she) would get in anything in return.

    Technically, she got what you paid for, right? A seat in the upgraded cabin. The T&Cs don't say anything about seat preference.

    Candidly, I would let this slide. If complaints like this are in your file, which some at UA might feel as being petty, it could affect how a future complaint may be viewed and/or handled. Not to say the situation wasn't aggravating, but I would let this slide.
     
  4. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I tend to agree with the voices above, but there's one other thing you might try: if you're willing to send her to the back of the bus, ask if they'll downgrade her and return your RPU. Spin it not so much "compensation" as "adapting to changing circumstances". Alternatively, you could cross your fingers and hope for another equipment swap.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I believe they have finally put the last of the old 3-cabin 772s in to be reconfigured.
     
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  6. SK2868
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    SK2868 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the replies, guys. I'll probably just let it slide then...

    Have a great sunday!
     
  7. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    Are they being reconfigured for international (IPTE) or for island?
     
  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Island.
     
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  9. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I would at least nicely complain to UA about the issue. I've had a somewhat similar issue on US a year or so ago where the downgraded me on a leg of a trip from First to coach because of an aircraft change and they refunded me so the fare later but only since I asked. But do it nicely. Catch more flies with Honey.
     
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  10. wilkinsonmd

    wilkinsonmd Active Member

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    I agree that it's worth mentioning your disappointment politely. I'm sitting at IAH right now because there was an equipment downgrade and I was bumped because I used an upgrade. I new this was the case when I left the hotel and my seat assignment changed to SEE AGENT. While I waited for the options, I said "this is disappointing but I am understanding about the situation". I was booked in first a few hours later at and equally convenient flight time and handed $300 credit. Btw anybody know the specifics on what the law says about bumps?
     
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  11. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    :-(
    :(
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Are you surprised? This was announced more than a year ago. They have a small number of planes for the Islands config where there's no way they can sell it as a true premium product for anything close to what they need for the planes to be profitable.
     
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  13. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I knew they were converting the 77A fleet which had the 6-across domestic-style seats and were used for service like HNL-GUM and HNL-ORD. I didn't realize they were also converting some of the 3-class aircraft into a 2-class non-lie-flat configuration. Seems like they had 6 77A aircraft which were numbered in the 210-215 range and might have been enough for the HNL and GUM flying.

    I think there were 3 3-class aircraft with barcolounger biz - so if they expand the fleet to 9 aircraft, what additional routes are they planning? Or maybe more SFO/LAX-Hawaii flying will go widebody? Or replace the 764's that were going to IAD & EWR?
     
  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The 77As don't have the range to do IAD/EWR. There are more than 6 77As; some of them will be in Islands config when all is said and done.
     
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  15. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    I didn't realize there were 772's that cannot do HNL-EWR. The fleet website doesn't seem to differentiate between them.

    Anyway the gradual disappearance of GF has begun with these three. As 763's disappear it will accelerate. It will be interesting to see if the A350's are delivered with GF, but my bet would be that BF is the top class installed, perhaps with the appearance of a more differentiated premium economy, and perhaps a better BF seat, since UA is starting to get left behind in that seat category.
     
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  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The ERs can. The non-ERs cannot. :-:
     
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  17. SK2868
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    SK2868 Silver Member

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    Thanks for the replies. My sister didn't get bumped, she flew in the First class cabin, but was downgraded from lieflat and window seat to a middle seat recliner chair. I do kinda feel like UA "sold" me a product I didn't get though. Because I probably wouldn't have spent the RPU if the flight had been scheduled on an aircraft with this layout from the start...
     
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  18. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Understand how you feel and as some have pointed out, you can still make a comment about this with the airline. I share your stand on ("if it was marketed upfront as this, I wouldn't have") and while not knowing if your comment (if you choose to do so nicely) will eventually be noted and actioned upon, it is still genuine feedback from a customer who is not demanding anything but just sharing.

    Airlines do know that lie flats are the preferred product else they will not be adding these onto their fleets.
     
  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Except that they've made it pretty clear they are removing them in the market in question. :-:
     
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  20. sfogate
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    sfogate Gold Member

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    If you are downgraded due to an equipment swap it's $150 TC.
     
  21. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    You've got me there and I stand corrected.
    Still rooting for OP to get something out of goodwill though (if OP brings this up).
     
  22. Seacarl
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    Seacarl Gold Member

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    There are many markets where pax will pay for lie flat. Hawaii is not one of them.
     
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