Air France downgrade

Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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Air France downgrade

We were downgraded on an Air France flight from Paris to Houston yeasterday. One of our party was left in premium economy and the other 2 were moved to economy as they overbooked the plane. We were not told of the seats until we were boarding the plane. We were also not given a choice of being split up. The very lovely flight attendants found us 3 seats together in economy and are writing a report to state that we did not use the premium economy seat. don't know if it will help but they were lovely to try. has this happend to anyone else?

We have been bumped up 2 times on Air France but never down so I have not idea what to do. I am going to call the numbers that houston gave me yesterday. AIr France told us to get the refund in Houston and houston apologized for the error in their information but I apparently have to follow another process. Anyway, it was the first really negative expereince with Air France and we have used them at least one a year for the past 7 years. I will fly them again but this is just a pain.

But, Italy, Sicily and Paris were fabulous!! Even the blizzard we landed in Tuesday night in Paris didn't dampen our spirits. We were 2 hours late coming in from Taormina Sicily, paradise by the way, and we took the RER in with all of the luggage. Crazy we were but we were in Paris, our favorite city.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:10 AM
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Did you PAY for premium economy or were you using some sort of FF points for these seats?
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:17 AM
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I paid
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:21 AM
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WOW!!!
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:23 AM
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I gather there was no way you had pre-assigned seats prior to check-in.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:26 AM
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I had them but apparently they moved someone from business to our seats. They kept telling us that we were the 157th people to check in. We did not have internet in my friends apartment so i could not do online checkin as i did for the outgoing flight. The flight attendants were shocked also and thanked us for how nice we were considering. I want to have some compensation for all 3 seats as we had no idea.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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I do have travel insurance and paid with my American Express. Maybe they can help. At this point, I want my money back. But, as I said, I would fly with them again as I know that there are far worse stories than mine on any given airline out there. Hopefully, they will just compensate me and we will feel better!
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:30 AM
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were you on a code-share Delta booking? - we have had bad experiences when we ticket with Delta on an Air France flight. What I really hate is that often a Delta flight on Delta costs hundreds $$$ more than a Delta flight code-shared on Air France. But when we do that, seat assignements seem to disappear and we end up in middle seat purgatory.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:37 AM
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No I bought them from the Air France webiste as I always do. Not sure what happened.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 06:48 AM
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Could it have something to do with online check in?
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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I do not see how online check-in would interfere with seats that we already assigned to you. If they are assigned then they are assigned (at least that is my understanding) and I am sure you checked in well within the required timeframe.

When a flight attendant thanks you for "how nice we were considering..." well, something is rotten somewhere I suspect.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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There is always a get out clause regarding assigned airlines seats. Always. Somewhere in the T&C you will read that they reserve the right to move you to another seat/class if they need to.
Good luck with getting anything back from them - somehow I think they will quote chapter and verse to you and say you accepted the T&C at the time of booking.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 07:17 AM
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I think you may be able to reclaim the difference in price between premimum economy and economy, but only for two of you , the third person was given the seat class that was paid for and the airline is likely not going to refund the difference on a seat/ticket that YOU changed by choice. I hope you kept your boarding passes etc.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 07:19 AM
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I am totally sympathetic to your issue and sorry that happened to you and your party.
I had a little different experience on my last Air France flight. I was flying non-stop LAX-CDG and booked the flight probably 9 to 10 months in advance and immediately selected a nice aisle bulkhead seat. (I really suffer when flying with someones face in my lap, so I wanted to try bulkhead) I checked in at home on line the night before flying and had my boarding pass. I apparently was oblivious to what was going on and just sat in the waiting area as name after name was called to the gate desk, but never me. Honestly, the announcements seemed to be in french more than english. I typically wait til the end of the boarding process to board as I did this time. I walked right to the bulkhead where I expected my seat to be and found it was occupied. I looked at the row# and it was not the row I had selected. I followed the row numbers further back to discover my seat was in the middle of a 3 seat row. I basically freaked as I knew I could not tolerate that for 11+ hours. The plane was 100% full. I immediately found an FA and told her of the problem. It turns out what happened was that the earlier departure to CDG had a mechanical and used the plane supposedly for us leaving a substitute different model plane for us, hence all the activity at the gate desk. Since my seat# was a valid seat on the new configuration plane, they did nothing to try to change my seat assignment. I was not informed when I checked in that this was going on or I would have gone to the gate desk immediately. The FA understood my dilemma and said to wait a moment and she would see what she could do. It turned out a very nice gentleman who had a middle bulkhead seat in the very back section had family re-assigned in my assigned row and agreed to switch seats. Although not a aisle, it all turned out OK in the end. My overall observation of the whole thing was pretty much chaos
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 07:47 AM
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We did have confirmed seats from when I bought the tickets. If we get money back for all 3 fabulous but if for only 2 at least it will pay for most of my souvenirs. I bought some Sicilian tile for oour bathroom redo. The first lady that we spoke to when we checked in the luggage handwrote our original seats on the boarding pass. She also told us the plane was overfull and that we may be moved up not down. We thought nothing of it as we have been moved up before. At the gate they took those from us and gave us new boarding passes.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 08:27 AM
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I would contact the airline. They have a record of your original purchase and of your seat reassignment. And they do owe you a refund or even more.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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I am at work and am about to start calling. Wish me luck!! Will let you all know. Thanks for your advice.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 09:07 AM
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ttt - to see how it turns out.

good luck, lrock.

so pleased you had a good trip though - any chance of a trip report?
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 09:30 AM
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Apparently after speaking with customer relations I must fill out a form for a claim online and there is no one I can speak to.
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Old Mar 18th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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You will be compensated officially. Since refunds for downgrades was one of the things I did for 35 years in the airline industry, I can confirm that it happens very often. It is nearly always a case of "high contribution passengers" making demands at the last minute and getting their way, bumping down all of the little non-VIPs.
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