Downgraded on AA, by BA!


Yesterday I flew from JFK to San Francisco having connected from London City on BA.


A few weeks ago American changed their flight times so that I could not make my original booking which was JFK-MIA-SFO. AA in the UK kindly agreed to book me on their three class service AA177 in First Class. I checked the agent knew that the flight was three class and she confirmed that she had permission to do this and my ticket was re-issued to reflect the change. Booking in to A class.

At the Airport

My connecting flight, on BA from London City airport was uneventful and BA issued me my boarding passes, including the segment to SFO. I used the AA Premium Check-in, who gave me an AA boarding pass. Both of these reflected First Class. Good to go I thought!

Having spent a couple of hours in the Flagship Lounge I went to the gate.

“Would passenger ‘MilesFromBlighty’ come to the podium please?”

Just as we were boarding….damn. The agent explained that she had been contacted by BA and that because this was a three class plane I was only entitled to Business. I explained the story above and the agent even located these notes in my booking. The ticket was an AA ticket, so she explained that she had arranged for the ticket to be re-issued to reflect the downgrade. I asked if she knew who it was from BA she spoke with but she explained that she works in the AA terminal, but did not know her name.

The agent was in a genuine quandary as she understood that AA had done a deal with me about the flight and she had just done what she was told by BA.

“Give me a moment…”

Said the agent and vanished on-board. Returning a few minutes later she agreed with the Purser that I could sit in my original seat – as it would remain unoccupied – but would have to board using my business class boarding pass. This would cost me 70 Tier Points (to the 60 I have give up when the JFK-MIA-SFO was changed to the direct service), but I had no choice as the flight was well in to boarding.

So at the moment I am pretty unhappy with British Airways!




  1. Good luck with BA customer service. Their in-flight product is good. Their customer service department gives Spirit Airline a run for its money.

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