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Mis-sold Premium Economy flight
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# 1
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eshroom
Old 15-06-2012, 11:21 AM
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Default Mis-sold Premium Economy flight

Hi all,

Back in March I had to go on a work trip to the states. I bought two flights through flight centre. They were priced a bit differently because I was told I had taken the last ticket for a certain fair and the second ticket was a level up.

They sent me a PDF of the flights in order for me to approve and agree and one of them was marked as premium economy rather than economy. I figured we paid a bit more for one ticket and got bumped up. Great.

We got to the airport separately since we wouldn't be travelling together only for Virgin to say FC got it wrong and we would be downgraded. I complained and have been offered 100 as a goodwill gesture.

Question is do I stick to my guns and ask for a free upgrade next time I travel, or do I take the 100? Below is the response email to my complaint.

Any thought welcome! Thanks.

Thank you for your email, it is important we are made aware of any instance where you feel the products or services we provide fall below the high standard expected of Flight Centre and I am sorry to learn of the confusion surrounding your recent trip.
!
I understand that at the time of booking Liz input a search for an economy flight for you however it appears that the fare level available had been loaded into the Global Distribution System we use as a Premium Economy fare. This is unfortunately incorrect. I would like to assure you that the fare level purchased was for an economy seat and you have not been over charged for this booking. It is however, disappointing to learn that this happened and we are currently investigating internally with the GDS company, Galileo to understand why this occurred.
!
I imagine this must have been a particularly stressful situation for you and I sincerely apologise for the error that occurred on your paperwork.
!
In order to bring this matter to a close for you, I would like to extend the offer of 100 credit towards your next booking with Flight Centre. I hope you will find this goes some way to apologizing for the negative impact on your trip. I look forward to receiving your positive acceptance of my offer so that we can resolve this matter with priority.!
!
I can assure you that your feedback will be used constructively to improve the service that we offer to our customers, and I sincerely apologise that the service you received did not meet your expectations.
!
Once again, thank you for taking the time to contact me and we remain hopeful that we can restore your confidence in Flight Centre (UK) Ltd, and have the opportunity to assist you with your future travel requirements.
!
Kind Regards
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# 2
mvteng
Old 15-06-2012, 11:30 AM
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The 100 offer from Flight Centre is only any good if your going to use them again.

For me, there offer is really good. They charged you the correct ammount for the correct seat, the only issue is that they mistakenly told you they had sold you a premium economy seat.
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# 3
Judith_W
Old 15-06-2012, 12:49 PM
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I think the offer is reasonable if you are flying with them again, but perhaps ask for the 100 in cash rather than off future booking, and free upgrade next time. Especially if you had a fight at the flight and it was a stress when you were flying. You can only see what they say.
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# 4
dickydonkin
Old 15-06-2012, 3:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judith_W View Post
I think the offer is reasonable if you are flying with them again, but perhaps ask for the 100 in cash rather than off future booking, and free upgrade next time. Especially if you had a fight at the flight and it was a stress when you were flying. You can only see what they say.
So are you suggesting a 100.00 AND a free upgrade?

For a long haul, that would be some 'compensation' for an administrative error that did not result in the OP being out of pocket - although I accept that it must have been disappointing,but you cannot be 'downgraded' from a class of seat that did not exist in the first place.

A direct booking with an airline would be unlikely to offer an upgrade - let alone a travel agent.

I would certainly ask for cash, but I would not hold out much hope of a 'free' upgrade.

Last edited by dickydonkin; 15-06-2012 at 3:13 PM.
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# 5
eshroom
Old 18-06-2012, 9:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dickydonkin View Post
So are you suggesting a 100.00 AND a free upgrade?

For a long haul, that would be some 'compensation' for an administrative error that did not result in the OP being out of pocket - although I accept that it must have been disappointing,but you cannot be 'downgraded' from a class of seat that did not exist in the first place.

A direct booking with an airline would be unlikely to offer an upgrade - let alone a travel agent.

I would certainly ask for cash, but I would not hold out much hope of a 'free' upgrade.
I had been hoping for a free upgrade - instead of 100 - I did end up paying about 150 more for my ticket than my colleague and there's the added inconvenience of not sitting with my colleague, added time at security (only available seat by the time I arrived was the back row) etc.
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# 6
photome
Old 18-06-2012, 9:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eshroom View Post
I had been hoping for a free upgrade - instead of 100 - I did end up paying about 150 more for my ticket than my colleague and there's the added inconvenience of not sitting with my colleague, added time at security (only available seat by the time I arrived was the back row) etc.
Couldnt you have prebooked your seats online, and given the more expensive ticket to your colleague.

I doubt you will get more than the 100 credit offered as you did get what you paid for even though you thought you were getting a better seat, always worth a try though but 100 cash and a free upgrade isnt going to happen
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# 7
globetraveller
Old 18-06-2012, 9:38 AM
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A free upgrade on a flight to the States? Have you any idea how much that would cost the company?
To the OP- I think 100 is reasonable, but definitely in cash. Dont ask for the upgrade, you would look ridiculous and they can't do anything else but refuse and may also stick to their guns about 100 off rather than cash.
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# 8
terriandaaron
Old 18-06-2012, 10:07 AM
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seriously...am i the only one her who thinks this is a bit low.......
The op booked what she thought was a premium ticket, it should have been honoured...she paid 150 more in the first instance and it should at least reflect that, and then i would be wanting an upgrade free next time too, if i thought id booked premimum and got to the airport and then didnt get it id be very cross...whatever the reason!!
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# 9
malkie76
Old 18-06-2012, 10:16 AM
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The airline does not need to honour mistakes made by third party travel agent bookings. If anything, this is another reason why not to book with a third party, and deal with the airline direct.

An airline also won't give free upgrades for travel agent mistakes, and a travel agent cannot authorise a free upgrade for a future flight. (However they could book you into a higher class and pay the difference themselves).

Your issue is with the travel agent, but all they appear to have done is sent you inaccurate information. You asked for an economy ticket, and thats what you got - it was in a higher fare bucket as all of the cheapest tickets had already sold out.

Not sure what you mean about increased time at security, and only being able to get a seat in the back row. You can select seats at time of booking with Virgin, or at least at online check-in. You were unlikely to be sat next to your colleague as you'd be on separate tickets.

I'd stick to your guns with the travel agent and look for a cash refund rather than money off (unless you travel a lot).
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# 10
richardw
Old 18-06-2012, 11:04 AM
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Does EU Regulation EC261/2004 say something about downgrades?
Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
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# 11
Caz3121
Old 18-06-2012, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardw View Post
Does EU Regulation EC261/2004 say something about downgrades?
there is a formula used for compensation for downgrades however it seems that, in this case, the OP bought an economy ticket for an economy price but the agent put the wrong description

Virgin appear to have 10 different fare classes for economy so it does sound like in this case the OP's colleague got the last ticket in one fare class then it jumps to the next one (in this case a difference of 150, you would expect a Economy to PE economy to be a far bigger difference - looking at random dates for JFK, economy cheapest is around 480 and PE cheapest is more than double that)

I have had problems on domestic flights with fare classes, have flown on all-economy flights on fare classes J - flagged as business and P - flagged as First! however, even though the descriptions were such I knew that I had paid the fare for economy so there was no downgrade as such (just fun when submitting expenses and our expense people query why I travelled in First Class!)
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# 12
photome
Old 18-06-2012, 3:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terriandaaron View Post
seriously...am i the only one her who thinks this is a bit low.......
The op booked what she thought was a premium ticket, it should have been honoured...she paid 150 more in the first instance and it should at least reflect that, and then i would be wanting an upgrade free next time too, if i thought id booked premimum and got to the airport and then didnt get it id be very cross...whatever the reason!!
The OP may have thought they had a PE ticket but in reality they hadnt and had not paid the going rate for a PE ticket, a mistake was made yes but not to warrant what you are asking
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# 13
Mr Wang
Old 18-06-2012, 4:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by photome View Post
The OP may have thought they had a PE ticket but in reality they hadnt and had not paid the going rate for a PE ticket, a mistake was made yes but not to warrant what you are asking
A few years back we bought some Upper Class return tickets to somewhere in the US (LA I think) we paid a mysteriously low price and to be honest knew full well there must have been a mistake.

In any case, about a week later I got a call from VS saying that the price was wrong and we could either pay the correct price or get a full refund.
It turns out we'd paid more than Economy but not as much as Premium Economy. Nothing was offered in it's place just a simple take it or leave it.
Needless to say we cancelled and then rebooked at a saving.

Point being the fact the OP has been offered anything is better than what other airlines and indeed Virgin themselves did for us or would do in this instance.
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# 14
stoneman
Old 18-06-2012, 10:39 PM
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Lets cut to the quick. You know you only paid for an economy ticket. When you saw the obvious mistake on the paperwork you decided to play dumb and see if you could blag an upgrade at the airport. (why else would you not contact the agent and mention the mistake) When this didn't work you went the other route of complaining to the agent.
You are not going to get a free upgrade from VS, it ain't gonna happen.
I think the agent is being quite fair, they coud have said sorry for the mistake and left you to go through the countless emails with their CS department to see if you would give up, but straight away (it seems) they offered you 100 credit on a future flight. It's up to you to decide if hand on heart you really thought you were going to get a PE seat when they are hundreds more than an economy seat, and I mean as an example a Y seat could be 600 and a PE 1,500.
Me, I would accept that I had tried it on and it didn't work.
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.

Last edited by stoneman; 18-06-2012 at 10:53 PM.
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# 15
Indout96
Old 19-06-2012, 10:28 AM
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Quote:
Back in March I had to go on a work trip to the states
As it was a "work" trip I assume you didn't pay for it ? so accept the 100 credit and use it on a personal holiday flight and you are quids in.
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# 16
budgetflyer
Old 19-06-2012, 1:47 PM
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Ive seen BA PE seats for only 40 more than economy LHR to BOM
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# 17
stoneman
Old 19-06-2012, 2:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budgetflyer View Post
Ive seen BA PE seats for only 40 more than economy LHR to BOM
And your point is?
And please don't say it is relevant
The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.
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