Business Class award booking downgraded to economy at gate [QFF award on China Eastern] | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Business Class award booking downgraded to economy at gate [QFF award on China Eastern]

foggy

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Need some advice from the brain trusts of AFF, currently on hold with qantas 131313 with an expected wait time of 1hr due to the weather in Sydney

Booked J class redemption on qantas for a China eastern(CE) flight HGH-SYD for departure 27/11 for father in law(FIL).
Due to smog/pollution, the flight from SYD -HGH could not land there and was diverted to PVG.
CE advised passengers they were spending the night at hotel in Hangzhou and will arrange transportation to PVG the next day (28th)

hotel, bus to PVG all good the next day. At airport, FIL was given 800RMB cash as compensation for delay, I thought that was pretty good when he first told me. Received boarding pass for seat 10J so all was good, he went in the lounge and had some food.

At boarding gate, was pulled aside and advised that Qantas booked J class does not equal to business class on CE, he'd have to pay 7000RMB to be upgrade or take the newly assigned seat of 61F. He was advised to contact the booking agent for a possible refund. Flight was not full, the originally assigned 10J was empty for the whole flight. His boarding pass just had 10J crossed out and hand written 61F. When he went on the plane, he took the seat 10J but was told to move to 61F.

So what do I do now?
 
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RooFlyer

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I'm afraid, if that's how it happened, Qantas is likely to disavow all knowledge of it, or ability to do anything, and they are probably correct. On the face of it, it sounds like a 'shake-down' at the gate!

You will have to know the exact 'booking class' - I, or X, etc that the China Eastern ('MU") flight was ticketed under, and check that against the MU booking codes. Although even then, if there was a BP issued for 10J, I can't see how they could downgrade it at the gate, unless they were overbooked in J which, it seems, wasn't the case.

Just be aware that anyone in the situation of FIL may skip details.

ps, to be more constructive - when you get through to Qantas, describe the situation carefully, noting the exact sequence of events. Don't demand anything - ask them to help you establish the booking class, (as regards China Eastern), the confirmations received from China Eastern, all the info you might need to take it up with China Eastern, which is where i think you'll have to go, sorry.
 
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foggy

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I'm afraid, if that's how it happened, Qantas is likely to disavow all knowledge of it, or ability to do anything, and they are probably correct. On the face of it, it sounds like a 'shake-down' at the gate!

You will have to know the exact 'booking class' - I, or X, etc that the China Eastern ('MU") flight was ticketed under, and check that against the MU booking codes. Although even then, if there was a BP issued for 10J, I can't see how they could downgrade it at the gate, unless they were overbooked in J which, it seems, wasn't the case.

Just be aware that anyone in the situation of FIL may skip details.

ps, to be more constructive - when you get through to Qantas, describe the situation carefully, noting the exact sequence of events. Don't demand anything - ask them to help you establish the booking class, (as regards China Eastern), the confirmations received from China Eastern, all the info you might need to take it up with China Eastern, which is where i think you'll have to go, sorry.
I got through after around 55mins and was told to fill in an "online feedback form", i don't like where this is headed. Class O?

Screen Shot 2018-11-29 at 12.58.01 pm.png
 
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dajop

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Wow! Just wow... sounds like a shakedown. With hindsight the best thing to do would be ask for a new boarding pass .... but in China probably get nowhere with that request. And as the new seat is handwritten it would be easy to challenge the veracity of the claim of being downgraded.
 

foggy

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I've sent the "online feedback form" in and will update, I'm wondering if he should have just not accepted to board the flight? What was the right course of action for him?
 

MEL_Traveller

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Googling 'china eastern award tickets' is not necessarily good news :( There's this thread for example on onemileatatime: My (Mis)Adventure With A China Eastern Award: A Cautionary Tale - One Mile at a Time

Slightly different scenario but pax told 'Delta never issued your tickets'.

Here's another case of a Delta ticket which 'failed' to issue on MU: Do not trust China Eastern to honor your reward ticket reservation - China Eastern Airlines Traveller Reviews - TripAdvisor

No reason to suspect QF will have less difficulty than DL, a major alliance partner.

(But these problems aren't unique to MU - there's another thread here on AFF describing where a QF ticket on a QF flight number on LATAM was not honoured.)
 

fairbasa

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That's horrible - I would be ropeable if in your FIL's shoes. Goodluck!
 

Matt_01

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I ran into issues earlier this year with MU bookings both reward and revenue tickets. I posted the details in the P1 thread as SST had been working on our bookings behind the scenes for about 10-12 weeks to ensure everything was correct. Details are here and made mention of what may happen to those that do not have access to SST, well now I have an answer.

From my understanding and what I was advised there are issues between the booking systems. When I was doing my own research looking at MU fare buckets what we would consider domestic J on some sectors these can be in an F fare bucket with MU depending on the sector. If that does not make any sense I was further perplexed with the MU systems when booking an internal MU Flight HRB-PEK. The fares that were on offer were First, Business and Economy all at different price points as expected. Odd thing is the aircraft is a narrow body (a320) with only 2 cabin classes, bizarre.
 

Duality

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I would have paid the shakedown with my AMEX, and then contested the charge as illegal and a violation of the contract they had already entered.

Easy win.

Now you are screwed. this kind of abuse just infuriates me.....
 

MEL_Traveller

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I ran into issues earlier this year with MU bookings both reward and revenue tickets. I posted the details in the P1 thread as SST had been working on our bookings behind the scenes for about 10-12 weeks to ensure everything was correct. Details are here and made mention of what may happen to those that do not have access to SST, well now I have an answer.

From my understanding and what I was advised there are issues between the booking systems. When I was doing my own research looking at MU fare buckets what we would consider domestic J on some sectors these can be in an F fare bucket with MU depending on the sector. If that does not make any sense I was further perplexed with the MU systems when booking an internal MU Flight HRB-PEK. The fares that were on offer were First, Business and Economy all at different price points as expected. Odd thing is the aircraft is a narrow body (a320) with only 2 cabin classes, bizarre.
I had a quick look at the thread you linked... are QF suggesting you can book a code share award flight? That would be very unusual. Or are they suggesting taking award seats on MU métal can be problematic? (I can only think of a few awards where code shares are allowed, but those are generally ‘hard block’ arrangements where there’s a three digit QF flight number)
 

foggy

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Received an email back this morning asking for a signed authorisation letter from my FIL to proceed further. Took a week for the first reply! hopefully now that I've been assigned someone, it will go a little quicker.
 

Matt_01

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@MEL_Traveller To clarify the x2 reward seats are on QF129 and MU5619, when I referred to all QF this may have been a bit confusing as there are also reward QF sectors ADL-SYD, NRT-MEL and MEL-ADL.

It was my revenue flight when I first noticed a problem I had booked QF129 and QF4041. QF4041 (code share) would not stick and was eventually changed to MU5619. I know I will have to deal with the SC and points issue when I return.

My guess and speculation was that the fare buckets for the MU PVG-HRB only shows availability in F and was a most likely a factor as to it is why the revenue flight would not ticket. As SST were also working on the rewards ticket I can only suggest that although ticketed by QF for the entire journey the MU rewards had not stuck.
 
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Haplo

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Did you have the ticket number? On the ticket it should say the booking class.
 

SydneySwan

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Stupid question for the unenlightened (i.e. me) - what, where or who is the SST?
 

Franky

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I would have paid the shakedown with my AMEX, and then contested the charge as illegal and a violation of the contract they had already entered.

Easy win.

Now you are screwed. this kind of abuse just infuriates me.....
If it was a shakedown, I would have thought it was cash only...
 

travelislife

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Any further news on this? All these stories that crop up, unfortunately the only thing to do is politely stand your ground at the time and ask for the paperwork. Much harder for an older person who didn’t book the ticket and may not understand fair codes, etc. but once you accept it and fly you are essentially stuffed for any recourse.
 

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