BA replies to my downgrade on AA

Last week I wrote about a poor experience with AA, whereby BA got involved and downgraded me. That post is here.

BA have sent a quick, but lengthy reply, which is summary is ‘hard luck you lost nothing but we really like you as a Gold’. Not really Customer Service in my book.

Here is the text of the reply, if you have the time or interest to read it:

Dear Mr MilesFromBlighty:

Thank you for your email dated 16 August 2013 about your recent flight with American Airlines. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you. I am sorry you are unhappy with the service you received from British Airways. I can understand why you would be annoyed, especially as you were advised one of our members of staff downgraded your ticket.

I appreciate it must have been frustrating for you when you were advised by our gate staff you were being downgraded. It is disappointing to hear the staff member you spoke to did not know who had given her the information to downgrade your ticket and therefore it could not be followed up.

You frustrations must have been further compounded as you were offered an upgrade by American Airlines as you had already been inconvenienced by a change to their schedule. Unfortunately the notes in your booking are unclear and it is impossible for us to confirm exactly why your booking was amended.

As American Airlines are a member of the oneworld alliance, we do have the ability to amend bookings issued by them. However, I am unable to investigate further as to the specific reason you were asked to travel in business class. There are a number of reasons British Airways staff would change an American Airlines booking for example, operational reasons.

You have mentioned you are concerned you have not accrued the Avios and Tier points you would have had you travelled in the higher cabin. I have checked this for you and I am afraid as you were upgraded by American Airlines, you would only receive the Avios for the cabin you originally booking in.

I am sorry I am unable to clarify your experience further. We do value your support as a Gold member of the Executive Club. I hope we can show you British Airways at its best on your flight to Miami on Sunday.

Best regards

Of course, it doesn’t really understand that it wasn’t BA that downgraded me at the gate, but rather AA at their gate on BA’s instructions. BA state that the notes are unclear, which effectively calls me a liar as they are refusing to accept my account of the situation. Their argument that it might be ‘operational reason’ is clearly rubbish as the plane operated with empty seats in F, and on time.

I am looking forward to seeing what BA ‘at its best’ might be!


  1. I think that BA responded appropriately to your concern, and in all points on this email they are right, nothing is guaranteed in life and esp. no with an airline. But if you truly booked C class and were upgraded then by all means they should ONLY give you the credit for C class.
    You were originally upgraded because of the sched. change correct? Then BA should have the right to have AA change the ticket at the gate if there is another person who out ranks you or paid for a First Class ticket.
    Sorry Bud but on this one I am not sure how many will back you.

  2. @Kort – I expect I’ll get nothing, but it’s worth a bit of an email exchange with them. No one ‘outranked’ me and BA interfered with an arrangement I had with AA.

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