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DansDeals Forum => Up In The Air => Topic started by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 09:28:00 AM

Title: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 09:28:00 AM
I looked around a bit to see similar topics but couldnít find (maybe it is buried deep because no one really flew in the past few months !)
Basically we were flying as a family , my wife and I and 2 kids (lap infants ). Yes, I know we should have booked seats for everyone  in premium or economy , but at this flight it didnít make sense for various reasons. But both kids needs both parents since they are quite young ! But that didnít stop united from catching us at the gate , 5 minutes before the gates closed , and telling us one of us is downgraded to premium. They mumbled something about a $1500 certificate , but didnít say anything about us having a choice in the matter. My wife immediately replied she will take it , since the eldest only falls asleep with me and on a flat bed. They assured her she will get a bassinet seat and a good location (not middle ). Obviously they didnít keep to that , and she spent the better of 10 hours trying to stop our 7 month old from spilling and grabbing our neighbors food/drinks. On my side was no picnic either , stand until she fell asleep she was crying to see her mom and baby sis. She also had a soaking diaper , which was bad news since all the diapers were with her mother in premium !
Basically was a horrible experience for both of us , and neither of us got our value from either seat.
We were willing to pay the premium for business , since it is worth it for us flying together. We put everything in one carry on , and we have both parents for both kids so we can switch off.

The question is - is there any options for me at this point ? We obviously will have a hard time flying United from hereon , but thereís no way $1500 is worth what we all (and our seat neighbors !) went through.
I also donít know what I can do different going forward to avoid this - is there anything to be done to avoid, prevent, or get notified of earlier a downgrade ? This is my first time with this so am totally clueless.
If they would have told us 2 hours or even an hour earlier , it would have been a different story ! We could have rearranged the carry ons , negotiated for 2 premium instead (or economy !) , or declined and looked for a different flight ! But it was pushed on us at the last minute , with the warning that the gates will close shortly.

Thanks in advance !!
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: Agoldsc1 on August 19, 2020, 01:27:27 PM
My wife immediately replied she will take it.

Sounds like the airline made an offer to you, and your wife voluntarily accepted it. What's the issue?
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: ckmk47 on August 19, 2020, 04:29:21 PM
Sounds like the airline made an offer to you, and your wife voluntarily accepted it. What's the issue?
She accepted because she thought she had no choice.
When a thief puts a gun to your head you "voluntarily" give him your money don't you?
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: Dan on August 19, 2020, 04:32:23 PM
She accepted because she thought she had no choice.
When a thief puts a gun to your head you "voluntarily" give him your money don't you?
Meh. If you don't say "no" then you can't claim this was forced.
OP said "My wife immediately replied she will take it."
Game over.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: Agoldsc1 on August 19, 2020, 04:37:19 PM
She accepted because she thought she had no choice.
When a thief puts a gun to your head you "voluntarily" give him your money don't you?

Where was the gun? The gate agent is not a psychic to know what his wife was thinking. These offers are made daily in airports all over the USA. TBH, she's lucky she got $1,500 out of it.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 04:42:04 PM
Meh. If you don't say "no" then you can't claim this was forced.
OP said "My wife immediately replied she will take it."
Game over.
Not sure if Iím trying to claim that , although that line was in response to the agents asking both of us which of us will go to premium , not whether or not we will.
They did however say that the premium seat had a bassinet , without saying the word ďguraenteed ď , at best it was intentionally misleading. And a factor in the ďdecision ď was that even if the seat is bad the infant sleeps well in basinetts. My wife did protest when they showed her the seat, but at that point it needed to be a tempered protest , without creating a scene.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 04:43:40 PM
Where was the gun? The gate agent is not a psychic to know what his wife was thinking. These offers are made daily in airports all over the USA. TBH, she's lucky she got $1,500 out of it.
They told me that is the standard  offer for downgrading. Not sure why youíre looking for guns , but the difference between the two class fares is about $1500. They didnít (so far ) refund anything else besides the $1500 certificate they gave.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: Agoldsc1 on August 19, 2020, 04:47:41 PM
They told me that is the standard  offer for downgrading. Not sure why youíre looking for guns , but the difference between the two class fares is about $1500. They didnít (so far ) refund anything else besides the $1500 certificate they gave.

I was responding to @ckmk47.

As for your situation, you can try contacting the airline and asking them for some compensation. They certainly won't reach out to you about it proactively. Personally, I wouldn't focus so much on the fact that the downgrade occured, since that was a voluntary transaction. I would emphasize that you accepted the offer in reliance of the agent's promise of a bassinet and good seat, which didn't materialize. It will still be their word against yours, but maybe you'll get a sympathetic agent who can throw some credit or miles your way.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 04:52:51 PM
I was responding to @ckmk47.

As for your situation, you can try contacting the airline and asking them for some compensation. They certainly won't reach out to you about it proactively. Personally, I wouldn't focus so much on the fact that the downgrade occured, since that was a voluntary transaction. I would emphasize that you accepted the offer in reliance of the agent's promise of a bassinet and good seat, which didn't materialize. It will still be their word against yours, but maybe you'll get a sympathetic agent who can throw some credit or miles your way.

Got you. I am going to contact them but figured Iíll post here for some advice from people who actually went through claims. I have friends who have gotten more , but again, they didnít accept by the gate , however subtly. In my mind , accepting based on misinformation is the same as not accepting , but I can understand the wiggle room.

Iím also not entirely sure how to go about the difference in fare for adult and the infant - the infant is $200 difference in fare but Iím hesitant to assume that I am entitled to a refund on the difference.

Thanks
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 05:04:50 PM
And what about in regards to avoiding /minimizing the chances for this in the future?
Is there anything that can be done (such as checking in , arriving earlier ) or is it always somewhat of a gamble ? Iíve never had this before and flew tens of times (too little ? 🤔) but with a family itís no picnic when it happens
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: AJK on August 19, 2020, 05:08:58 PM
Yeah, next time don't agree to accept the $1500 downgrade until and unless you see that your wife has a confirmed boarding pass for a non-middle seat with a bassinet.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 05:16:36 PM
Yeah, next time don't agree to accept the $1500 downgrade until and unless you see that your wife has a confirmed boarding pass for a non-middle seat with a bassinet.
I wonít lose my tickets if we decline ?
They already filled my wifeís original seat by the time of the offer - I went right into plane after and we were seated on the front row - someone else was already there, quite settled.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: Agoldsc1 on August 19, 2020, 05:19:10 PM
I wonít lose my tickets if we decline ?
They already filled my wifeís original seat by the time of the offer - I went right into plane after and we were seated on the front row - someone else was already there, quite settled.

You always have more leverage if something is done to your ticket without your consent.
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: theblakdavid on August 19, 2020, 05:21:53 PM
You always have more leverage if something is done to your ticket without your consent.
Good to know. They switched my wifeís ticket to a different reservation before we got to boarding gate. We had 2 linked reservations - 1 for us and 1 for our kids.

I went now and I see they sent us the seat confirmation email 10 minutes before we got to the boarding gate and was told about downgrade (and offer)
Title: Re: Half of booking downgraded from business
Post by: AJK on August 19, 2020, 08:49:25 PM
I wonít lose my tickets if we decline ?
They already filled my wifeís original seat by the time of the offer - I went right into plane after and we were seated on the front row - someone else was already there, quite settled.

I'm not saying it would have changed the business class fiasco, but at least you could have made sure your wife didn't suffer in a middle seat without a bassinet.

"Produce the boarding pass for my seat please and confirm she will not be in a middle and have a bassinet. Thanks."