Downgraded from business to economy!

25 replies

AlexTravAddict

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 May 2015

Total posts 39

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.


As this flight departs from Australia you should be covered by Australian Consumer Law. Under Australian law you have basic consumer rights. These rights can never be overridden by terms and conditions or contracts of carriage. This is something that many people don't realise or don't understand. One of the most basic consumer rights is that if you pay for a good or service you should get that service and if not you are entitled to a refund or compensation. Because of the nature of changing airfare prices a refund is not always realistic so I would be pressing for compensation (much greater than $200) if I was you. The way airlines push back on these sorts of issues and contravene consumer law is quite frankly scandalous and I've no doubt (as we are seeing with banks at the moment) the travel industry will be held to account sometime in the future.

mushmush

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

Member since 14 Nov 2013

Total posts 40

Air NZ is terrible with its 787 schedule. I flew to Buenos Aires from Sydney 2 months ago, both legs were meant to be on the 787, both legs were changed to a 777 where the hard product is no where near what the 787 offers. Then 3 weeks ago the same thing happened to an associate, if they can't offer consistency on this route then pull the 787 from it.

mannej

QF

Member since 21 May 2014

Total posts 176

Air NZ is terrible with its 787 schedule. I flew to Buenos Aires from Sydney 2 months ago, both legs were meant to be on the 787, both legs were changed to a 777 where the hard product is no where near what the 787 offers. Then 3 weeks ago the same thing happened to an associate, if they can't offer consistency on this route then pull the 787 from it.

I think you need to lay blame with RR, as NZ wouldn't be doing this if they had the choice...

Butwhy

Member since 13 Jun 2017

Total posts 11

"The old 'I'm never flying them again!" line. HAhahaaha. The classic of the once-a-year flier...."


It probably wasn't directed at me, but my 2017 flights were cheap, but certainly not a price error. $5500 business. Mel-Auk-houston-NY.


Because of this, I still won't be flying Air NZ again (also as they no longer get status with Velocity).


I'm not annoyed about changes, but that offered no appropriate compensation, and were inflexible.


(Platinum Velocity and about to be Platinum Qantas)


Last editedby Butwhy at May 24, 2018, 01:22 PM.

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.


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.


As this flight departs from Australia you should be covered by Australian Consumer Law. Under Australian law you have basic consumer rights. These rights can never be overridden by terms and conditions or contracts of carriage. This is something that many people don't realise or don't understand. One of the most basic consumer rights is that if you pay for a good or service you should get that service and if not you are entitled to a refund or compensation. Because of the nature of changing airfare prices a refund is not always realistic so I would be pressing for compensation (much greater than $200) if I was you. The way airlines push back on these sorts of issues and contravene consumer law is quite frankly scandalous and I've no doubt (as we are seeing with banks at the moment) the travel industry will be held to account sometime in the future.

Good points. I'll keep that in mind next time. Anyway I was able to book with Virgin AU / Virgin America for around the same price, so it worked out well for me

Lurch

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Dec 2013

Total posts 20

We returned from the USA last week and were also affected by the rescheduling of the 787's as we were flying Perth - Auck- LA, me in business, friend in economy

In our opinion AirNZ were very accommodating and very helpful in trying to satisfy our requests in what must had been a very difficult time for them. Sure it was a bit of a stuff around but no biggie.
We flew Virgin Perth - Melb - Auck, AirNZ to LA and returned LA - Cook Islands - Auck - Perth with AirNZ in the same classes as our original booking.
We both agreed that we wouldnt hesitate to fly with them again.
Appreciate the OP's point of view with regards to missing the travel class they paid for, I cant say I would be too impressed either if it was me!

Brython14

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 22 Oct 2016

Total posts 8

What absolutely amazes me is the tight arsed approach airlines take in circumstances like this. Why don't they say to themselves, "Stuff it, we've downgraded someone on a full BC cabin. Let's take the goodwill advantage of this and give the loyal passenger unfortunately downgrade the ticket gratis." Can you imagine the PR value?

johnmccg06

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 25 May 2018

Total posts 1

Simple: don't fly ANZ, pay more for a better carrier

JTT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 May 2018

Total posts 3

Thank you everyone for your input and suggestions.


Here's the update: Air NZ said that because I had booked my ticket through a travel agent, I have to go through the travel agent to make any changes / apply for compensation. So I informed my travel agent and they inquired Air NZ (a very round about way of doing things!). The reply after a few days was that "as per the fare rules, if there is no business class on trans-tasman, pax will have to travel in economy, So there won't be any refund or compensation". This is entirely unacceptable as pointed out by others already, this contravenes Australian Fair Trading laws, which overrides any "fare rules". Furthermore, as news sources are pointing out, Air NZ will be compensated by Rolls Royce, but Air NZ won't compensate their passengers?

I was really looking forward to trying Air NZ given I have mostly flown with Oneworld in the last several years. But this is leaving a very bad impression indeed.

craig.freeman

Member since 25 May 2017

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?

You were lucky to get $200. When this happened to us, they were extremely arrogant and said that they would not pay any thing back because the conditions stated they could do it. I eventually got works deluxe, and later had to take them to NSW consumer affairs to get a measly $100 back. I have vowed never to fly Air NZ International ever again. My full post on this is somewhere in community

skoffman

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 09 Mar 2017

Total posts 13

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?

Ask Air NZ to guarantee you that when you next book a AKL-SYD or SYD-AKL flight in Economy with them, and wish to upgrade to Business that you can do so for just NZ$200 each. Fat chance of that....

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