Downgraded from business to economy!

25 replies

JTT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 May 2018

Total posts 2

Long time lurker, first time poster. I'm in need of some advice.


I have a J booking from SYD to LAX via AKL with AirNZ and due to their 787 maintenance schedule the SYD to AKL leg has changed aircraft to A320 and as such we have lost our J seats and put into economy. AirNZ is offering $200NZD or $200 in Airpoints which seems minuscule given the cost of the fare for the entire itinerary (~4% to total fare).

Has anyone else been affected in a similar way and has received higher compensation? What are my options?

Stuart Jackson

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Mar 2015

Total posts 84

My mother was downgraded BOS-DOH and only offered $150 US so $200 NZD for such a short downgrade would seem like a good deal in comparison


sid

Member since 07 Jan 2011

Total posts 122

Cancel them and fly someone else after getting a full refund.

henrus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Oct 2013

Total posts 768

As sid said you could book another airline but quite possibly the costs gone up since you've booked.


Otherwise you take the $200 and move on, however, I'd also ask to be put in the Works Duleux cabin if they haven't already done so.

If you're ok with a longer layover in Auckland (or possibly even a night) then you could move to an earlier SYD-AKL flight that is operated by an aircraft with a business class cabin. If you have a night over in Auckland it's worth noting that Air NZ won't pay for it.

As far as I can see only 2 SYD-AKL flights in the next couple of months have been downgraded. I'm guessing yours is the 23rd?

NZ104, operating as NZ704 23 June Sydney - Auckland 11:50am-4:55pm 777-200 to A320


If this is your flight then there is still a 777-200 NZ102 service at 9:50am that has plenty of Business class seats left. You could switch to this flight however you'd then have an extra 2 hours in transit at Auckland.


Another option which you could propose to them includes flying out at 9:30pm on Friday (the day before on) the direct flight to Rarotonga. You'd then have a 16-hour transit during the day (lie on a beach) and get back on a direct flight to LA.

Andrew Barkery

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Mar 2011

Total posts 427

I have had similar, booked to sit on a 777 a few years back, with Air NZ too, got to check in, only to find I got pinged into a 320, I wanted to sit on the 777 and see the sundown, SYD - AKL, in the end, yes, I got to see my sun down, but not to the ideal I had.

I didn't kick up a stink.
Its only "5 hours, or 3 plus the 2 hours time difference", not that long and painful, but I can see your angst, but if I were in your shoes I would take the NZD$200.
I hated Air NZ for dumping me onto that 320, but at anothe times, have also flown the 787 in premY, which is a good thing, better than J class herringbone.
Grin, you could write to Chris Luxon CEO of Air NZ.

btaus

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Dec 2016

Total posts 171

Crazy. Last time Air New Zealand even cancelled my MEL-AKL-LAX business error fare (around $1200) just because they sold the ticket for too cheap. They asked me pay NZ$7250 fare difference to make the original schedule or they'll give a full refund, and I took the refund instead of pay extra. Air NZ is definitely a never again for me.

Butwhy

Member since 13 Jun 2017

Total posts 11

Happened to me with Air NZ. Booked in Feb 2017 for flights to usa in business. There was a plane change in the Mel to auk leg, there was no business class on the new plane.


My agent went into bat for me. She was offered:
No cash compensation for the downgrade. They offered the works package ( seat, meal and entertainment), an empty seat next to me and lounge access in Melbourne.

She also asked if I could fly business class 1 day earlier (no earlier flights that day) and pay for overnight accommodation, but that was also refused.

They said the ticket was a contract of carriage, not of class.

Needless to say I got a full refund, and will never fly Air NZ again.

Red Cee

Member since 15 Feb 2018

Total posts 151

Interestingly, this is the first time I have seen negative comments regarding Air New Zealand.

puppy79

Member since 06 Dec 2017

Total posts 23

IN THAT CASE demand a refund and take your business elsewhere.Hawaiian via HONOLULU OR EVEN UNITED NONSTOP if from Sydney would be looking good about now.normally I would not recommend American carriers to the STATES but being shoved onto that little A320 across to AKL BEFORE GETTING THE 777 onto LA IS A JOKE.You paid for business class all the way and therefore you should get it.

JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 23 Sep 2017

Total posts 10

Air NZ suck. You paid for a business class passage. They can honour it with the option of another flight that does have J/c. Horrid little a320 cattle truck.

Then ditch them completely.

TZB88

QFF

Member since 16 May 2016

Total posts 18

These are the risks you run when trying to save a few bucks. You've opted to fly via AKL, therefore have added an extra leg/aircraft - the second an operational issue arises you're in trouble.

You've got 2 x Oz and 3 x US airlines flying SYD-LAX direct EVERYDAY. The US carriers J class is very good nowadays too. You even have Dreamliner options to LAX.
The people crying "you should get what you paid for!!" ...come on. Airlines are required to swap aircraft all the time for a range of reasons. It happens.
AirNZ is a great airline, but no airline is immune to operational issues.
The old 'I'm never flying them again!" line. HAhahaaha. The classic of the once-a-year flier....
Bad luck JTT, it sucks, but it happens. Fly direct next time.

TheCelt

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Jul 2017

Total posts 8

I hear virgin have the best j class to lax.

alex_upgrade77

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Sep 2012

Total posts 47

Happened to me with Air NZ. Booked in Feb 2017 for flights to usa in business. There was a plane change in the Mel to auk leg, there was no business class on the new plane.

My agent went into bat for me. She was offered:
No cash compensation for the downgrade. They offered the works package ( seat, meal and entertainment), an empty seat next to me and lounge access in Melbourne.

She also asked if I could fly business class 1 day earlier (no earlier flights that day) and pay for overnight accommodation, but that was also refused.

They said the ticket was a contract of carriage, not of class.

Needless to say I got a full refund, and will never fly Air NZ again.


What they've said isn't correct. It's a contract of carriage in the class you've booked. What's not guaranteed is the type of seat or service (eg food entertainment etc). If they breach the contract you're entitled to compensation for the breach (ie the difference between the fare you paid and the economy fare) unless you expressly waive your right to that by accepting their counter-offer (ie what is described as offered above). I'd be writing a very firmly drafted letter to Air New Zealand saying that their staff should not be misleading customers as to what the contract of carriage means.

kiwiwings

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

Member since 10 Aug 2015

Total posts 12

Crazy. Last time Air New Zealand even cancelled my MEL-AKL-LAX business error fare (around $1200) just because they sold the ticket for too cheap. They asked me pay NZ$7250 fare difference to make the original schedule or they'll give a full refund, and I took the refund instead of pay extra. Air NZ is definitely a never again for me.

But as you point out - this was an error fare. I've never seen J that low before. Heck of a good PE price though! Even the OMAAT blog says 'hold your horses' and don't book hotels etc etc with error fares because they know the ins and outs of them and the airline may cancel them. I wouldn't count an airline out because they didn't honour an error fare.

kiwiwings

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

Member since 10 Aug 2015

Total posts 12

Interestingly, this is the first time I have seen negative comments regarding Air New Zealand.

Aircraft are swapped out with any airline. It's happened to me with Air NZ, VA, and QF. I don't get upset about it, and I can't really say I'll never fly them again because I'll be left flying JQ and Tiger. I've already experienced JQ on a bad day so that leaves Tiger and they don't even fly TT!


If people buy error fares they really have to read around the issues and know what they're getting into. If they're surprised by the outcome then they didn't read about the topic because there's plenty of info on the internet about error fares and the associated issues eg the airline not honouring them is not uncommon.

It is possible to get a refund however generally fares have since gone up so you're left paying for a higher fare no matter the carrier.

Looking at alternative timings and routes is I think the best way to go. Air NZ have had to rejig schedules and aircraft due to the Rolls Royce engine issues which affect many carriers world wide and is totally not Air NZ's fault. They're one of the many victims. I don't think anyone has a definite date as to when everything will be back to normal for Air NZ but they'll get there. They've actually done really well to reschedule themselves out of a nasty situation. My friends flight was affected and they accommodated her and I've read other reports on Flyertalk of Air NZ sorting their flights and changing them for free. My friend has no status with Air NZ.

Apart from that Air NZ's A320 frequent flyer seating leg room is actually really good and they have many rows of it. Much better than Qantas 737 economy where there are only a few rows. Virgin introduced a few rows of economy X which are good but no IFE etc. At the time this thread started Emirates have left all trans tasman routes except Sydney to Christchurch so they aren't even an option to the other centres. Qantas are flying the A330s now but it's a bit of a limited schedule. China Airlines are only operating from Brisbane year round so that's limiting. I'm pretty happy flying Air NZ.

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