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IB: Downgrade to economy at boarding after upgrade during check-in

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  • yonasl

    Only Iberia would be as stupid as to sell a Business upgrade at check-in only to then downgrade me at the gate without any notice. What are my rights?

    ECO ticket was bought for 4,500 Avios plus GBP 55 LHR-MAD
    At check in (day before flight) I was offered the chance to upgrade to Business for EUR 55. I took it as the A330-300 has a nice reclining seat.
    During boarding I am given an ECO ticket and sent to the back of the plane!

    I have asked IB to refund the EUR 55 (I prefer that to getting 30% of the total ticket paid). But is there anything else I can get? Shouldn’t I have been told in advance of the downgrade to select a different flight instead?

    PS: As an FYI, this happened because they changed the plane to a A330-200 with less Business seats. There were 8 downgrades based on status.
    The cool thing of being in ECO is that IB are so bad they allow ECO passengers to leave the plane before business! (well, there is no order and the larger flow of ECO passengers simply keeps those at the front of the plane stuck and unable to get to the door located behind their cabin)

    AJA

    Per EC261/2004 involuntary downgrade:

    Article 10
    Upgrading and downgrading
    1. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class
    higher than that for which the ticket was purchased, it may not
    request any supplementary payment.
    2. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class
    lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, it shall
    within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3),
    reimburse
    (a) 30 % of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1 500 kilometres
    or less, or
    (b) 50 % of the price of the ticket for all intra-Community
    flights of more than 1 500 kilometres, except flights
    between the European territory of the Member States and
    the French overseas departments, and for all other flights
    between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres, or
    (c) 75 % of the price of the ticket for all flights not falling
    under (a) or (b), including flights between the European
    territory of the Member States and the French overseas
    departments.

    yonasl

    Per EC261/2004 involuntary downgrade:

    Article 10
    Upgrading and downgrading
    1. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class
    higher than that for which the ticket was purchased, it may not
    request any supplementary payment.
    2. If an operating air carrier places a passenger in a class
    lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, it shall
    within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3),
    reimburse
    (a) 30 % of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1 500 kilometres
    or less, or
    (b) 50 % of the price of the ticket for all intra-Community
    flights of more than 1 500 kilometres, except flights
    between the European territory of the Member States and
    the French overseas departments, and for all other flights
    between 1 500 and 3 500 kilometres, or
    (c) 75 % of the price of the ticket for all flights not falling
    under (a) or (b), including flights between the European
    territory of the Member States and the French overseas
    departments.

    Indeed, would rather get my EUR 55 back than (a). Since the upgrade was bought separately and then never provided I suppose IB should refund that or AMEX will cancel the payment (service not provided). Any past experiences?

    meta

    As @AJA posted, that’s pretty much all you will get. Be prepared that you might have to take them to MCOL as they won’t be forthcoming.

    They have ignored my request for downgrade compensation and just sent an email citing ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and stating this is their final answer and won’t be responding to any further correspondance with a note that they will also not engage in any arbitration process.

    Sent them LBA, today is their last day to respond…

    AJA

    You could try doing a chargeback via Amex on the basis that you didn’t receive the service. Not sure if it will work though but on the basis nothing ventured nothing gained why not just ask.

    JDB

    You could try doing a chargeback via Amex on the basis that you didn’t receive the service. Not sure if it will work though but on the basis nothing ventured nothing gained why not just ask.

    You can do that, but you first need to attempt to resolve it with Iberia and keep that correspondence as evidence for Amex.

    PeteM

    They have ignored my request for downgrade compensation and just sent an email citing ‘extraordinary circumstance’ and stating this is their final answer and won’t be responding to any further correspondance with a note that they will also not engage in any arbitration process.

    Well that’s quite definitive, isn’t it, gosh! 🙂

    yonasl

    You could try doing a chargeback via Amex on the basis that you didn’t receive the service. Not sure if it will work though but on the basis nothing ventured nothing gained why not just ask.

    You can do that, but you first need to attempt to resolve it with Iberia and keep that correspondence as evidence for Amex.

    AMEX have been quite good in the past. I once paid EUR 18 for seat selection in economy only to pay EUR 40 at check-in for a business upgrade (that includes seat selection). IB wouldn’t refund the EUR 18 even if their own T&C say seat selection fees will be refunded if you upgrade to a class that includes it.

    I wrote a letter to Amex as I asked for a charge back and they refunded without much hassle. I actually think IB did refund months later so maybe got the money twice.

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