Right when airline changes equipment type.

20 replies

Dan22

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Aug 2013

Total posts 91

I purposely booked a ticket on American Airlines for early next year from Miami to Los Angeles on initially the B777-300ER which offers a lie flat seat in business. Eventually this changed to a B777-200ER - still lie flat but but a older J class seat. Recently AA have changed the aircraft type to an A321 so it looks like the days of domestic 777 are gone. This change however is on their 2 class A321 which features a recliner seat and certainly not what I paid for. In fact looking on their website today I can purchase a similar flight on same aircraft for $300 less then what I paid to be on there B777, only to now be on the same aircraft as these cheaper flights. I called AA Aus reservations and was told any change I make will incur a $250 fee. Pretty pointless to change...but I did some research and found some interesting information. Looking at their conditions of carriage available online, the important facts found are:


...a schedule irregularity is defined and includes an equipment change... Involuntary refund shall be made if the passenger is prevented form using the carriage provided on his/her ticket when...which includes a substitution of a different type of equipment or class service by AA....

Was quiet surprised and proud of myself to find this out and use it to my advantage. I am waiting for customer services to respond, but I am thinking of requesting a full refund, then booking a flight departing an hour later with AA on same a321 equipment for $300 less in same business seat or flying on United/Deltas transcon lie flat aircraft. Anyone else had a similar situation?

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

Member since 30 Nov 2015

Total posts 419

Good luck, sounds legitimate complaint to me.

canberraflyer

Member since 17 Oct 2017

Total posts 1

I would expect your chances to be close to zero. "Prevented from" doesn't mean the same as "don't want to". Unless the equipment substitution leads to you being bumped then the airline's view is that they are still providing you with a journey from point A to point B (there's almost certainly something in the CoC to say that they reserve the right to substitute, that seat reservations aren't guaranteed etc.). Annoying (I often choose flights based on the aircraft type) but not a lot you can do.

Dan22

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Aug 2013

Total posts 91

Ok thanks for your responses. I have replied to AA outlining the specific terms. I will post on here what the outcome was. End of the day it’s not a big deal, but still feel cheated out of something I paid extra for and now not getting.

Last editedby Dan22 at Oct 17, 2017, 04:49 PM.

Dan22

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 07 Aug 2013

Total posts 91

The aircraft change also means a downgrade in lounges - from flagship lounge (all 3 class transcon services have entry) to from what I can see a subpar Admirals club.

Traveller14

Member since 17 Sep 2015

Total posts 73

Consumer protection in USA should be better than in Oz.


It will be fascinating to see how you get on.

Kathy1

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 18 Oct 2017

Total posts 1

I had Qantas change aircraft on one of my flights- an apology was sent with $500 plus two entries into the First Class lounge in Sydney for the pain and suffering!!

mannej

QF

Member since 21 May 2014

Total posts 173

I had Qantas change aircraft on one of my flights- an apology was sent with $500 plus two entries into the First Class lounge in Sydney for the pain and suffering!!

What was the aircraft change to receive that amount of compensation?

Sutty

Member since 12 Apr 2017

Total posts 6

Can I add my experience with changes to Aircraft with surprise surprise Thai International( Buiness Class)

Booked new A350 to end up flying 777-200 both ways ! No flat bed and a very tired plan
Fly out again November 1st Melb to Bangkok and surprise again they have changed from the original plan 777-300 to old 200 it is plainly a rip off and would love to take Thai to task !
Mike

ausJCP

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Aug 2014

Total posts 126

I had Qantas change aircraft on one of my flights- an apology was sent with $500 plus two entries into the First Class lounge in Sydney for the pain and suffering!!
What was the aircraft change to receive that amount of compensation?

I can certainly imagine instances where this might arise.

Perhaps a QF A330-300 was replaced at the last minute with an un-refurbished B747 (or similar), meaning a J-class passenger purchased the fare with the expectation of flying in the new Business Suites, but instead travelled on a Skybed Mk1. (I could see why someone spending $3,000 to fly to HKG in the Suites would be angry at receiving an old Skybed product!)

When you book a flight, you are buying one product comprised of two components:
- 'Hard' product (a flight to transport you from A to B)
- 'Soft' product (quality of food, wine, IFE, service, seating)

The failure on the company's part to deliver the correct product -- for whatever operational reason -- is a company 'supply-side' issue, and is therefore their responsibility to compensate. The customer (having purchased a particular product, advertised by the company) is not at fault.

The issue is: did the customer receive the correct product, as advertised by the company?

- Qantas advertises the flight on a bells-and-whistles A330 product.
- Customer gets excited and buys the A330 product.
- Qantas delivers the flight on a twenty year old un-refurbished 747.

Obviously if the customer knew the airline was going to do a switcheroo & fail to make good on the 'soft' product, they'd likely have made their purchase elsewhere.

mannej

QF

Member since 21 May 2014

Total posts 173

I had Qantas change aircraft on one of my flights- an apology was sent with $500 plus two entries into the First Class lounge in Sydney for the pain and suffering!!
What was the aircraft change to receive that amount of compensation?

I can certainly imagine instances where this might arise.

Perhaps a QF A330-300 was replaced at the last minute with an un-refurbished B747 (or similar), meaning a J-class passenger purchased the fare with the expectation of flying in the new Business Suites, but instead travelled on a Skybed Mk1. (I could see why someone spending $3,000 to fly to HKG in the Suites would be angry at receiving an old Skybed product!)

When you book a flight, you are buying one product comprised of two components:
- 'Hard' product (a flight to transport you from A to B)
- 'Soft' product (quality of food, wine, IFE, service, seating)

The failure on the company's part to deliver the correct product -- for whatever operational reason -- is a company 'supply-side' issue, and is therefore their responsibility to compensate. The customer (having purchased a particular product, advertised by the company) is not at fault.

The issue is: did the customer receive the correct product, as advertised by the company?

- Qantas advertises the flight on a bells-and-whistles A330 product.
- Customer gets excited and buys the A330 product.
- Qantas delivers the flight on a twenty year old un-refurbished 747.

Obviously if the customer knew the airline was going to do a switcheroo & fail to make good on the 'soft' product, they'd likely have made their purchase elsewhere.


Still doesn't answer my question as QF is unlikely to provide the compensation that was mentioned ($500 + 2 F Lounge passes).

Don't forget the number of subs (A330 to 737) domestically, it would get expensive if they were paying out compensation on this.

craig.freeman

Member since 25 May 2017

Total posts 2

Heading:Air New Zealand, never again!

We had a shocking experience with Air New Zealand with whom we will never fly with again. We booked business class flights from Sydney to Papeete, Tahiti that involved a plane change in Auckland. Four months before flying we received a new electronic ticket from Air NZ without any other explanation that the Sydney-Auckland flight was now on a different type of plane that only had economy class seating and thus we would not be flying business class for that leg. After complaining to Air NZ, we received an officious reply that stated that because we had non-refundable tickets, we could not get any refund for the change in flight class. They would let us fly business class to Auckland the previous day, but we would have to pay for accommodation in Auckland and all meals our selves. Given we live on the south coast and have to travel to Sydney the day before and stay overnight at an airport hotel, that would have entailed a 3 day trip to get to Tahiti, plus having to book new accommodation in Sydney.

We did negotiate to get the “Works Deluxe” package and the front exit row seats that was better for my 193cm, 115kg frame, but then we had to share the space with the line up for the toilets and food trollies from the gallery. We also got to hear every time the toilet was flushed, plus eat the second rate economy class food that was served. We had to buy breakfast that morning as we could not get access to the Business Lounge since we were flying economy, plus we lost flyer points by being down graded. Air NZ broke the contract we had with them, we should have been allowed to cancel out flights that far out from our trip and be able to re-book with a more customer-friendly airline as we had firm dates booked for our 3 week Tahiti holiday and could not change them.

bl5965

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 13 Nov 2015

Total posts 80

When VA first introduced 'the business' on A330 services in 2015, I received $500 travel bank credit after a downgrade from A330 to 737 on PER-MEL overnight. I think the original offer was $250 + 30,000 Velocity points, but there was issues with my account at the time so I just got the cash value.

I don't think they have quite the same generous policy anymore.

Butwhy

Member since 13 Jun 2017

Total posts 11

Heading:Air New Zealand, never again!

We had a shocking experience with Air New Zealand with whom we will never fly with again. We booked business class flights from Sydney to Papeete, Tahiti that involved a plane change in Auckland. Four months before flying we received a new electronic ticket from Air NZ without any other explanation that the Sydney-Auckland flight was now on a different type of plane that only had economy class seating and thus we would not be flying business class for that leg. After complaining to Air NZ, we received an officious reply that stated that because we had non-refundable tickets, we could not get any refund for the change in flight class. They would let us fly business class to Auckland the previous day, but we would have to pay for accommodation in Auckland and all meals our selves. Given we live on the south coast and have to travel to Sydney the day before and stay overnight at an airport hotel, that would have entailed a 3 day trip to get to Tahiti, plus having to book new accommodation in Sydney.

We did negotiate to get the “Works Deluxe” package and the front exit row seats that was better for my 193cm, 115kg frame, but then we had to share the space with the line up for the toilets and food trollies from the gallery. We also got to hear every time the toilet was flushed, plus eat the second rate economy class food that was served. We had to buy breakfast that morning as we could not get access to the Business Lounge since we were flying economy, plus we lost flyer points by being down graded. Air NZ broke the contract we had with them, we should have been allowed to cancel out flights that far out from our trip and be able to re-book with a more customer-friendly airline as we had firm dates booked for our 3 week Tahiti holiday and could not change them.

Similar story with me. Business booking to usa. Flight changed by air nz to economy from melb to auk. My agent tried to negotiate with them to put me on an earlier flight with business class and put me up overnight - no dice. They also offered me the works deal.


In the end I cancelled and they gave me a full refund. I don't think mine was a flexible ticket.

silvyvc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jun 2017

Total posts 62

Agreed about the A330 changes to 737, I was a victim of that last year when my sister came to visit me. We ended up being stuck in a 737. Called requesting a change (to a flight departing 15 min later as it was an A330). Qantas said that due to operational changes, they couldn't change me there as they could not guarantee the aircraft.

On the other hand, VA this year (don't fly with them unless I have to), flight from CBR to MEL was changed from a 737 to a ATR 75, called and they were happy to change me to a 737 flight. With both of these situations happening in economy, I was pretty impressed with VA.

Last editedby silvyvc at Oct 23, 2017, 12:51 PM.

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