Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs Virgin Flying Club ANA First Class via Virgin Points – change of plane to one without First Class

ANA First Class via Virgin Points – change of plane to one without First Class

Reply
  • AJackUK

    My partner and I are due to fly to Tokyo from LHR on Saturday October 29th.

    Myself – cash ticket in PE
    Partner – Virgin Points reward seats (2 different reward bookings) in First.

    Few weeks ago we noticed that partners outward leg had disappeared from ANA app and called ANA up to be told that due to a change of plane, there was no First class.

    Now we had previous reward flights booked with ANA / Virgin Points through 2020, 2021 and eventually for May 2022 from Frankfurt, and during this time the plane changed twice and we called ANA and they kindly dropped partner into a Business class seat on the same date, then called Virgin to get them to reissue the ticket.

    I asked if they might do so again this time, but they just told me to refer back to Virgin Atlantic, and would not even talk about or the previous 2 times when they were kind enough to make a similar change.

    due to fly in not too many weeks now, and ideas how I can still try and salvage this, before am forced to cancel?

    I did try emailing the ANA EU261 specific mailbox, but have heard nothing back in nearly 2 weeks now.

    AL

    It sounds as though you haven’t yet travelled, so I don’t know the extent to which your EU261 rights would apply. There could be future equipment changes which, for example, reinstate the First cabin. You won’t know this for sure until after you’ve flown. If you had already travelled, then I think that you would be entitled to 75% of the fare cost back (per https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm#upgradeAndDowngrade), since LHR-NRT (for example) is over 9,000km. I would imagine that, given you paid in Virgin Points, you’ll get Virgin Points back – don’t be expecting hard cash for reimbursement. Someone else might be able to confirm that, though.

    NH are probably correct referring you back to VS for this, especially if the ticket stock is 932 and not 205. Previous interaction with NH to resolve similar issues may well have been as a result of, for example, coronavirus-related flight disruption policies or goodwill gestures, which you can’t bank on occurring all the time as the actions likely aren’t policy.

    What did VS say when you asked them?

    Lady London

    the operating airline is responsible for providing EU261(-UK261) rights.

    EU261 rights also need an airline and journey that are subject to them, to be claimed.

    For ANA this would mean you have a claim for a flight, or (potentially) journey leg, departing out of UK or Europe. Not applicable for a journey departing from Japan.

    If EU261 is able to be claimed here then if Virgin have published a standard selling price for points then you could claim on ANA (send it to both jointly to be safe but IMV it’s ANA who is liable) for the 75% points component in cash based on that. After all you may not have a use for any more points. History of ANA reported is that they fingerpoint incorrectly at the ticketing airline for any claim so you’d need to be prepared to MCOL.

    If the flight is ineligible for EU261 then it becomes a contractual claim ie you did not get all that you paid for so you’d need to deal with Virgin.

    You could also look into making an s75 claim om UK credit card if you paid with one which might be less trouble and definitely less trouble than the MCOL process. But would be a complex claim compared to one of totally not receiving what you paid for so would have to be argued well perhaps having an email ready to send after you talk to your card.

    If it was me to avoid all this I’dctry to get them to pit me on another flight ifvthere is still anothrr one with First.

    Lady London

    PS jusr to make it clear you can only claim after having flown the flight and sctually flown the involuntary downgrade – keep your boarding pass.

    So much better to try to sort the solution out upfront. ANA may not be aware of your right to choose to travel at a different day that is convenient to you, and that ypu have a right to any seat available (ie being offered for sale, say online) in your same level Cabin as booked regardless of whether it is an award seat if they cancel your flight. So watch out im case they.do that too (assuming the flight is covered by EU261).

    In a way, this woukd be better but the consensus here is you don”t have that right for a downgrade – just to the 75% downgrade reimbursement. So it woukd be much better to sort out something by talking to them before the flight.

    AJackUK

    Thanks for all replies – we have not flow yet, it is at the end of October we are due to fly.

    To be a bit clearer, Virgin are offering me full refund of points and fees as ANA “cancelled” the outward flight seats, without having to pay a cancellation fee.

    But had really hoped you folks might have tips to help me convince ANA to give my partner a First or Business seat so would could still make the trip.

    VS told me they cannot talk to ANA in that sense, all they have is the system that basically asks ANA is a reward seat available on sich a date / flight – and then to confirm that VS can have it – type of thing.

    Time to pull my big boy pants on, cancel and move on I think.

    NorthernLass

    I’m confused – is this cancellation, downgrade or what? They still have to get your partner TO Tokyo under EU261 re-routing rules.

    AJackUK

    The outward leg has disappeared from the ANA app, the First class seat
    The return leg is still in the ANA as live / useable.

    The booking ref and eticket reference for outward flight are still “valid” when you put them in the ANA site, but under Status it shows “Flight information changed ( Waiting For Passenger confirmation) but there are no options to pick or change anything.

    Is this a cancellation, downgrade or …..?

    When I talk to ANA they refer me to Virgin.

    NorthernLass

    They can’t just leave you in limbo, they have to get your partner to Tokyo if they are saying this ticket is cancelled, on another carrier if necessary. That would obviously cause you some inconvenience so the common sense solution would be for ANA to provide an alternative seat in the nearest cabin (plus downgrade compo which you would claim later).

    If you just cancel everything you would be on the hook for buying replacement flights which might cost a lot more. Virgin is probably hoping you cancel so they only have to refund points and taxes.

    JDB

    The outward leg has disappeared from the ANA app, the First class seat
    The return leg is still in the ANA as live / useable.

    The booking ref and eticket reference for outward flight are still “valid” when you put them in the ANA site, but under Status it shows “Flight information changed ( Waiting For Passenger confirmation) but there are no options to pick or change anything.

    Is this a cancellation, downgrade or …..?

    When I talk to ANA they refer me to Virgin.

    As @NorthernLass said above, you have statutory rights that entitle you/your partner to be rerouted or rebooked in Club following the change of aircraft to one with no F cabin and if they rebook in Club you will be entitled to 75% downgrade compensation after you have travelled in the lower cabin. If you do accept such a downgrade, be very clear with them and follow up in writing that it is an involuntary downgrade. You can’t allow NH/VS to pass the buck, so if you want to travel you are going to have to fight and do so very quickly given you are travelling in a month’s time.

    Lady London

    There are at least 2 previous threads here where ANA has done similar. There is also commentary elsewhere that ANA is making a thing of just dropping people’s award reservations made by partner airlines. ANA can’t get away with that because of EU261-UK261, for any flight or journey departing Europe or UK.

    In at least one of the earlier threads on this ANA taunted the passenger “no one tries to sue an airline”, clearly coming from the Japanese view of things. Passenger followed the procedure towards suing (MCOL) on here and ANA capitulated. This was ANA flight ticketed by Virgin same as yours.

    I strongly suggest whilst talking to them, you do an external Google search on Hfp with keyword ANA or ANA and Virgin or VS. You will find very extensive advice. Or you can manually run your eye down the list of threads in Flight Changes and Cancellations category on HfP for the ones with ANA in the heading.

    The key is that airlines love to indulge in fingrrpointing at each other in these situations particularly across alliances and regions. Either through the usual bureaucratic incompetence, incomopetent systems or insufficiently trained agents. Or just plain because a delay and denial is always a good approach to deter the very large msjority of good claims. So although we know ANA is defo the liable party here, and defo is liable, and it being ticketed by Virgin doesn’t change that, to leave no chink all your official communications on this should be addressed to them jointly ( not To one and Cc the other but To both). Including naming them both as codefendants on any MCOL (which ANA can be claimed on despite being Japanese) but hopefully it won’t come to that.

    Let us know how you get on

    Lady London

    PS watch out for flight number changes. Even if an airline tries to call it a schedule change (I’m looking at you, Easyjet) or an equipment change, if the flight number changes (even if leaving within 5mins of original time which btw won’t happen) it’s legally a cancellation giving you the highest level of EU-UK261 rights.

    spawn606

    PS watch out for flight number changes. Even if an airline tries to call it a schedule change (I’m looking at you, Easyjet) or an equipment change, if the flight number changes (even if leaving within 5mins of original time which btw won’t happen) it’s legally a cancellation giving you the highest level of EU-UK261 rights.

    Hey LadyLondon, if I may still some time (I made a thread about my issue with ANA bookings on this forum):

    Does a schedule change with the same flight number give me EU-UK261 rights for flights departing UK/EU? The schedule changed by 90 mins if that matters. I am due to depart in 33 days and only discovered the change after randomly checking my booking on the site. No emails or comms about this from Virign nor ANA.

    Thanks!

    NorthernLass

    They do sound woeful in terms of CS but a 90 minute change to departure time on the same service is unlikely to come under EU261. Airlines decide how many hours’ change will give you the right to cancel/change without penalty but it’s usually 3 – 5 hours.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.