Reward downgrade adviceBack to Forum
Tagged: #britishairways #downgrade
So, I’ve been downgraded on a flight DXB to LHR as part of an aircraft change. This is a reward flight so only paid tax. The downgrade however does move me to the new club world cabin on the A350. I am unsure what my position is here. I recognise that being downgraded from First is truley a first world problem but I’m not sure a) what to do b) if this is allowed to happen. Forgive me if this is not the right forum but I am not sure what I should do next. BA have offered me the option to move my dates free of charge but my problem is my connection flight isn’t available on any day so would need to make my own way back to the point or origin and they refuse to offer the first ground service even though they are downgrading. Any advice would be most appreciated19 Mar 2019
What is your point of origin? As BA have downgraded you, they should assist you in finding an alternative F flight (not all DXB flights are A350s, eh?) on your complete itinerary, unless you have booked separate tickets. If the latter, then it is down to you. What about asking BA to shift you to a flight out of Abu Dhabi. It isn’t that far or expensive in a cab.19 Mar 2019
All booked via BA leeds is my point of origin and all BA flights out of DXB don’t make the connection due to the leeds schedule being really quite poor. So my options are travel in club to get me home at the time I originally booked or plan overnight stays in LHR19 Mar 2019
Antspants, how far away is the flight (in terms of time)? At the moment, while the UK is still part of the EU, EC261 (aka EU261) applies. Based on your flight distance, this entitles you to a refund of 75% of the ticket price (although you didn’t pay in money, you did pay in miles). Since changing flights doesn’t seem to suit you, you might wish to consider reclaiming 75% of the miles you have “spent” and banking them for a future trip. If you want to take advantage of this, I suggest you claim now – the regulation requires the refund to be made within seven days, so with ten days to go (subject to whatever the PM asks and the EU may or may not agree to, but ten days is the current legal default), act soon!
Although there are no guarantees, if you accompany the refund request with a very polite message saying something along the lines of “also, I think the least you could do is to still grant me access to the first class lounge” it MIGHT work (probably won’t, tbh, but doesn’t hurt to ask!).
Having said that, you say that you are being rebooked into the new Club World on the A350 – if that is the new Club Suite recently announced, I have to say it looks better than BA F, so it might count as an upgrade!!20 Mar 2019
Would the 75% apply even though they have only downgraded the DXB – LHR sector? My outbound is unaffected.
You are right that the new club looks superior to the F product when I called they advised it would be the new club suite on the return20 Mar 2019
They may apply it only to the miles applicable to that sector (EC261 is not clear in that regard), but yes, it will still apply.
I don’t have practical experience myself of how they apply the rules, I am sure other posters will be able to add more colour here. I think your starting point, however, should be to lob in a claim now for a 75% refund and then work out the niceties later. 10 days to go, remember!
Best of luck…20 Mar 2019
this entitles you to a refund of 75% of the ticket price (although you didn’t pay in money, you did pay in miles).
And you paid for those miles in money.
If I were going to pursue this claim, I would calculate the refund due to me on the basis of 75% of the average (which is not very scientific since the fares change constantly) ticket price for F on the sector.
Miles are not manna from heaven. They are a tangible for which you have paid, the only problem is that as with fares, it is extremely hard/impossible to calculate a finite value for them.20 Mar 2019
BA should offer you all the services that go with F if they are downgrading you. So F lounge access, First transfer service etc. Your ticket entitles you to that. Recently on an Emirates trip, First Class ticket, the DXB – MXP sector had an equipment change and I was on the 2 class EK 380. Despite having a Business Class BP I could use the F lounge and had the larger Merc used for F pax take me home.20 Mar 2019
After months of searching booked 4 F reward tickets (2 via companion voucher and 2 x cash J upgraded with miles) LHR TO AUH in Oct 18. Knew there was a problem when couldn’t check in but BA denied it. Arrived at LHR told aircraft had no F cabin and they claimed it was a last minute switch. I then showed them proof the same aircraft had flown this sector for 3 weeks. Offered 200 cash and refund of miles. I refused and told them where to put my gold card. Eventually they transferred all 4 of us to Etihad first at their expense. I believe they have to offer you alternative travel in same class so just reply and tell them to transfer you to Emirates first instead. Last time I ever flew with BA . VS so much better in every respect.20 Mar 2019
Wel after a two hour call with BA this evening they offered me 18,000 avoid which is the difference between Firat and club and nothing else. There has been a clear disregard with BA for any premium ticket as ground services refuses (although all I asked for was the first wing in LHR) even after asking about EU261 they said it didn’t apply to reward flights. Spoke to people on the First dedicated line, customer relations who only deal with post flight issues and customer services all the people were great but all stood by the policy that they could not give F ground services and only the difference between club and first on avios. I have just emailed CEDR as per of the CAA scheme to see if they can intervene. I am amazed at the total lack of care BA have for ticketed passengers it’s astounding!!! Thank you all for the information. I will let you know how it works out.20 Mar 2019
For many years I have wondered why there still is F class – especially when BA have the ability to create a revamped F & C and call it Concorde Class… (even if the French copy, it still has a unique ring)
The answer I have always been given is that on the prime routes F tickets still command a massive premium and companies still pay.
One question, more relevant now, I have always wondered, you have the choice between your favourite Club World seat, (lets say a window seat upstairs on the 380 OR an F seat in the middle. Which would you take????21 Mar 2019
As far as I can see this must be for travel later in the year if the new A350 so as they have given you 14 days notice then provided they have refunded you the difference in points between First and Business then they don’t have to offer First Ground services or any other perks of First Class. This would apply as for any schedule change on a revenue ticket (you’d also be entitled to a full refund of fare / tax – would be free to make new arrangements at whatever additional cost to yourself should you decide to do so). Any other tickets are separate contracts such as the Leeds to London that you mention, thus the carrier doesn’t have to change / refund these.21 Mar 2019
EC261 applies to all flights where a fare is paid, whether this is cash or points. The fact that the points would have had an original cost to acquire us a red herring. You have also paid “cash” as even though this is a reward flight you would have paid a cash element for taxes and fees.
Again the fact that we are/possibly leaving the EU in 7or 21 or however many days is immaterial to any EC261 claim as all existing EU laws will become UK law (if not already) if or when we leave.
However, I would argue that given that BA have given you more than 14 days notice of the downgrade, and have offered you alternative flights then this would be seen as them satisfying their obligations under 261. My understand if the rules is that the 75% of price paid is only applicable without the 14 days notice in line with the rest of 261. A refund of the difference may seem like a poultry offer but a fear this is all you are going to get. An offer of using the F facilities may have been a GOGW though.22 Mar 2019