JohnK said:My narration of the story was for a person who in no way volunteered to be downgraded but was told you either wait till tomorrow or you can have a whole economy row to yourself and $1000 in cash. He wanted to be back in Sydney, and as a contractor, to get to work the next day so he took the downgrade and the money.
In my opinion he was right to pocket the money. As far as I am concerned he did not cheat the company as they paid for business class airfares and he slummed it in economy to get back to work. YMMV!
I disagree that he has any right to the money if the "compensation" is just the fare difference between business and economy; that is not compensatiion but a refund and that should go to the company paying for the ticket. If the airline was offering the difference in fare between J and Y plus compensation to the traveller for the inconveniance, then the fare difference should go back to the company and the traveller keep the genuine compensation
For it to be compensation, it has to be over and above that which is entitled to based on the fare difference
It seems no differrent to my company paying for a J to the USA and then my getting the ticket downgraded to Y and pocketing the difference myself