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Not happy with AA overbooking then bumping me

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Goodonya

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It's the principal of the thing.

I had booked a ONE4 in J two months earlier and one of the sectors I had was on June 7 from SFO to DFW on AA1544. Well I got to the airport way ahead of time (> 2 hrs), sat in the less than to be desired AA lounge, then found out at the gate that they had overbooked their so called first class and that I was being shifted to economy.

Normally I would mind, it's only a 3 hr flight, but hey, how could this happen and why me when I had booked so far ahead?
Was it because I was a solo traveller? Don't know they wouldn't tell me.

Wasn't happy. Was wondering if this happened to others and was a regular occurance by AA.

PS they did give me at the last minute a compensation voucher for 500 USD. Haven't read all the fine print on how I am supposed to use this.
 

defurax

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It's the principal of the thing.

I had booked a ONE4 in J two months earlier and one of the sectors I had was on June 7 from SFO to DFW on AA1544. Well I got to the airport way ahead of time (> 2 hrs), sat in the less than to be desired AA lounge, then found out at the gate that they had overbooked their so called first class and that I was being shifted to economy.

Normally I would mind, it's only a 3 hr flight, but hey, how could this happen and why me when I had booked so far ahead?
Was it because I was a solo traveller? Don't know they wouldn't tell me.

Wasn't happy. Was wondering if this happened to others and was a regular occurance by AA.

PS they did give me at the last minute a compensation voucher for 500 USD. Haven't read all the fine print on how I am supposed to use this.
All North American airlines practice overbooking and they are not hiding it! IME you usually have 3 options:
1- Wait for the next flight or alternative routing in the same cabin you originally booked
2- Accept the downgrade and get a voucher
3- Activate the full DYKWIA mode! Sometimes they will bump another pax, sometimes another pax will volunteer to be offloaded, sometimes security will put you in a headlock:shock: (I've seen it happen...)
 

ozbeachbabe

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It's the principal of the thing.

I had booked a ONE4 in J two months earlier and one of the sectors I had was on June 7 from SFO to DFW on AA1544. Well I got to the airport way ahead of time (> 2 hrs), sat in the less than to be desired AA lounge, then found out at the gate that they had overbooked their so called first class and that I was being shifted to economy.

Normally I would mind, it's only a 3 hr flight, but hey, how could this happen and why me when I had booked so far ahead?
Was it because I was a solo traveller? Don't know they wouldn't tell me.

Wasn't happy. Was wondering if this happened to others and was a regular occurance by AA.

PS they did give me at the last minute a compensation voucher for 500 USD. Haven't read all the fine print on how I am supposed to use this.
Did you get your F boarding pass at the time of checkin?

Americans are right into pre-allocating seats at the time of booking so despite you arriving 2 hours plus ahead of your departure time, you may have been the only one without a seat.

It may have even been the case that the flight wasn't oversold when you checked in but sometime after that an AA Elite (Exec Plat) may have used their lifeline of 'guaranteed seat on any flight even if it's full' option.

I'd be annoyed if I was only given a downgrade slip for the miniscule difference between J & Y however I would be happy with USD500.00 compensation for the 2.5 hour flight.

What seat did you end up with in whY?
 

Jack3193

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It may have even been the case that the flight wasn't oversold when you checked in but sometime after that an AA Elite (Exec Plat) may have used their lifeline of 'guaranteed seat on any flight even if it's full' option.
Are they entitled to a guaranteed seat in F? I thought it was just a guaranteed seat in Y?
 

amaroo

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<snip>

3- Activate the full DYKWIA mode! Sometimes they will bump another pax,
I would/have enforced No 3.

My experience was BA in F.....someone else got moved.
 

Goodonya

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What seat did you end up with in whY?
Wasnt too bad I got an aisle seat a few rows back from first.
however what really annoyed me was only getting 40SC instead of the 120SC I woulda got in first for the flight. Would have upset me if I was relying on the SC's to retain status. I was zeroed on April 30 and this trip will be about 60SC short of the 1200 to re qualify for WP, however I have another two trips coming up.
 

defurax

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Wasnt too bad I got an aisle seat a few rows back from first.
however what really annoyed me was only getting 40SC instead of the 120SC I woulda got in first for the flight. Would have upset me if I was relying on the SC's to retain status. I was zeroed on April 30 and this trip will be about 60SC short of the 1200 to re qualify for WP, however I have another two trips coming up.
You should get SC according to the class originally booked. Send a scan of your itinerary and BP to QFF and they will credit the correct SC.
 
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mannej

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Wasnt too bad I got an aisle seat a few rows back from first.
however what really annoyed me was only getting 40SC instead of the 120SC I woulda got in first for the flight. Would have upset me if I was relying on the SC's to retain status. I was zeroed on April 30 and this trip will be about 60SC short of the 1200 to re qualify for WP, however I have another two trips coming up.
Have a look at Original Routing Credit - it may or may not be your friend in this case.

You should get SC according to the class originally booked. Send a scan of your itinerary and BP to QFF and they will credit the correct SC.
Yep - it's often referred to as ORC
 

MEL_Traveller

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On the voucher - may be of limited use unless you are back in the USA. I know some airlines will offer cash for half the value of the voucher. might be worth checking to see if AA offers the same, and if they can convert that for you next time you are at the airport?

Even preallocated seats can sometimes be lost if there is an aircraft change (even to the same type apparently). For a brief moment another pax might have snagged an otherwise unavailable seat.

you were at the gate longer than 15 mins prior to departure? they also start giving away seats at that point.
 

serfty

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Sad to read.

In the USA when travelling in the pointy end, the following is essential:

-Preselect Seating
-Do not select aisle seats in the second row of First/Business - Airmarshalls will gazump those seated so.
-OLCI at first opportunity
-If with checked luggage, check-it at least one hour before scheduled departure.
-Be at gate when boarding starts and board when First/Business is called (generally 30-40 minutes before departure).

If you still were downgraded after doing all that then the unlucky stars certainly did align ...
 
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Fifa

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good point about the Air Marshal! forgot about those!!
I didn't even know about the air marshals in Row 2 - you learn something every day on AFF :). Thanks serfty.
And to think, with FEBO, I often select row 2 on the even flights!
 

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I would like to confirm the following -

1) being on a AONE/DONE fare, you were booked into fare class A.
2) You were a OWE at the time of travel.
3) the flight you were travelling on was the one you originally booked (not on a standby or interrupted op flight).
4) You were at the gate at the start of boarding (not near the last to board).

If all of the above were true, I find it very hard to believe you were the lowest ranking F passenger and therefore the one to get bumped. There must have been someone on a KUPP/YUPP fare in fare class P or on an award booking in fare class P. You should out rank these passengers automatically. I would also like to think that being OWE, you would outrank most others in fare class A. Only fare class F would be clearly above you.

I have to say I would complained quite forcefully if this had happened to me based on the above. However, personally, I may have considered the USD500 voucher as I travel on AA regularly and therefore it may be quite useful as AA F is pretty poor on that route. I would also have a word to QF (for their information only) about how AA is treating QF WP.
 

Jack3193

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4) You were at the gate at the start of boarding (not near the last to board.
Not sure if I've missed it, but I can't see anything that the OP said regarding when they boarded. And since this is not an issue in Oz (or most other places AFAIK), it's possible that the OP was not aware that boarding at the last minute raises the risk of getting bumped. I didn't realise it was such an issue either TBH, I thought if you'd checked in on time you were generally ok.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Not sure if I've missed it, but I can't see anything that the OP said regarding when they boarded. And since this is not an issue in Oz (or most other places AFAIK), it's possible that the OP was not aware that boarding at the last minute raises the risk of getting bumped. I didn't realise it was such an issue either TBH, I thought if you'd checked in on time you were generally ok.
connections are crazy in the USA... with dozens of flights into hubs it can be a matter of first-in-first-served about 15 minutes before doors closed. people miss connections for all sorts of reasons, and heaven help the gate agent if a seat goes out empty in first!!
 

Pleb Status

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Not sure if I've missed it, but I can't see anything that the OP said regarding when they boarded. And since this is not an issue in Oz (or most other places AFAIK), it's possible that the OP was not aware that boarding at the last minute raises the risk of getting bumped. I didn't realise it was such an issue either TBH, I thought if you'd checked in on time you were generally ok.
If someone is going to get bumped, it may be easier to bump the last passenger to board (in F in this case). The airline can also hope that the last passenger is late so they do not need to take the blame for the bump at all.

Also, if you are going to argue a bump, it helps that not everybody has boarded already. Even if the gate agent is on your side, they are not going to go down to the plane and kick someone off for you. If you board early, it may be possible to bump someone else who has not arrived at the gate.
 

ozbeachbabe

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Are they entitled to a guaranteed seat in F? I thought it was just a guaranteed seat in Y?
To the best of my knowledge the guarantee is only whY however they might have had an EXP pax booked if F on a later flight who they let 'standby' for the earlier flight. Because just about everyone in F boards asap at 45 minutes prior, it would be easy for ground staff to think that if you're not onboard 15 mins prior you're not going to show.

I've been on plenty of AA flights where they tell you that you should be in your assigned seat 15 mins prior to departure as the gate closes 10 mins prior ie you would be too late to board if you turned up then.

Not sure if I've missed it, but I can't see anything that the OP said regarding when they boarded. And since this is not an issue in Oz (or most other places AFAIK), it's possible that the OP was not aware that boarding at the last minute raises the risk of getting bumped. I didn't realise it was such an issue either TBH, I thought if you'd checked in on time you were generally ok.
It would be interesting for the OP to report back & advise how many minutes prior to departure they were at the gate to board.
 

MEL_Traveller

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I have a late inbound recently at ORD (int->dom so I couldn't help it). I ran to the train, ran to my gate. Arrived 40 minutes prior to departure.

I was the last F pax to board and was greeted by 19/20 loading (just my seat left) and of course, no overhead luggage space.

The 'age of entitlement' for USA domestic F class pax (like, oh, boarding at your convenience) is well and truly over!
 
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