"Downgrade" from old 1st to new business class

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  AllOverTheGaff 14 Jun 2019
at 12:44

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  • AllOverTheGaff

    I got a great deal on BA 1st, so took it. (yes yes, more fool me!) So, routing below:

    ABZ – LHR / LHR – GRU
    GRU – LHR / LHR – DXB
    DXB – LHR / LHR – ABZ

    On the LHR – DXB leg they’ve replaced the plane and offer:

    1) Continue on same flight in business class
    2) Wait at LHR from 07:00 arrival departing at 20:40 in 1st.

    Are these acceptable options? I’m not sure I want to cancel the whole thing as it is all on one ticket, and the fare was ridiculously cheap, but I am now wondering if cancellation (full refund) is an option?

    Any thoughts / advice appreciated.



    AOTG – I would take the deal and fly the LHR-DXB leg in Business, can we assume it’s the A350 Club Suite?

    The leg length to DXB isn’t that long, is a daytime flight and prevents you spending 14 hours in transit at LHR. If the price is a good as you say, then for me it’s a no-brainer.


    I think a full refund should be an option. But if that good a deal then you might struggle to get anything close to the fare you originally paid.

    Or depending on times you could ask to be rerouted to AUH without penalty as inside 300 miles of original destination. They might do that for you if an F class on that flight


    The difference between F and J on a 7 hour flight on British Airways isn’t sufficient to warrant sitting for 14 hours in the airport.


    Agree with Simon. But the key decision factor is the price paid by AOTG. Would the a business class LHR-DXB leg, instead of first, reduce the price below what he paid or not. If not, then I would argue “be it”, especially if the downgrade is linked to the introduction of the new business class seat on the A350.


    Another consideration could be the tier points. I imagine BA would only give 140 points for that sector as opposed to 210? Or as the fare paid was for First would 210 be given? I suspect BA might not be able to be flexible on this..
    As was mentioned above, flying into AUH could also be an option,and late at night it is only about 1 hour 20 into Dubai, depending on traffic, hotel location etc. I did this once when the fare into AUH was much lower than the DXB fare.

    However if it is an A350 I doubt the difference to F will be that huge and indeed exciting to try the new product and aircraft.


    Or you could do the 14 hour layover, get a cabana in the Concorde Room, eggs benedict and champers delivered for brekker, have a nice sleep, lobster lunch at Caviar House, back to Concorde Room and drink your fare in champagne before your DXB flight.


    Presuming this is a tier point run and that being based in Aberdeen there are no issues with visas etc, the most productive course in terms of TPs would be to stick to F options and make the most of the layover.
    Either head into London or be more adventurous and rent a car and explore the wilds of Wiltshire plus enjoy a decent pub lunch. See some of the real world beyond seat 1A and airport lounges.


    There is of course also a large world beyond tier points ………


    I would be very surprised if BA didn’t offer ORC in such circumstances so no need to sit around Heathrow all day for the TPs.


    Had same when booked BA F LHR TO AUH with family. Companion ticket and upgrade from cash J tickets. Refused all offers of pathetic compensation and made them buy 4 F tickets for us on Etihad 380 same day. HAPPY DAYS!


    AOTG, was there no suggestion of compensation for a downgrade to business on the original itinerary? There may be some detail I have missed but (assuming your flight starts pre-Brexit, if that ever happens) EU261 mandates a reimbursement on downgrade of 75% of the fare for a flight of that distance (LHR-DXB). The regulation doesn’t make it clear whether this applies to the entire fare or to the fare for that sector (I suspect BA will take it to be the latter), and as you have mentioned the fare was very low, but it does seem to me that (particularly if you are going to be on the new business suites) it might be worthwhile sticking with the original itinerary and getting some cash back. If BA try to claim they offered you an alternative that you rejected, just say that you have to be in DXB at that time so the rerouting was not an acceptable option, therefore it is an involuntary downgrade.

    I am not sure if you will still get access to the Concorde Room if you “accept” the downgrade and the compensation, but I will leave it to you to decide whether that is an acceptable sacrifice against the potential downgrade compensation!

    Have a good trip 🙂

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    BA have been operating the Air Belgium A340-300 on this and other selected routes (LHR – CAI planned for September), which may account for downgrade?


    Apologies for the delayed reply (traveling funnily enough!), and thanks to all who’ve chipped in. In no particular order, here’s the answers:

    1) Is NOT a tier run, I gave up chasing BA points years and years ago based on poor service. (Am growing weary of EDI as my airport of choice and a new motorway has recently opened to ABZ which makes it more appealing as it is still an airport and not a retail capture/ransom point)
    2) It IS a ‘downgrade’ to their new club suite and it seems to be only on the outbound flight to DXB, the return is still 1st
    3) No compensation has been offered just the option to change flights or ‘suck it up buttercup’

    I think I’ll aim for a refund in full as they aren’t providing the service they were contracted to provide, I’ll let you know if I am successful in getting anywhere.


    PS Not getting Concorde room would actually be an issue, I like it in there…..is one of the main benefits to flying BA.

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