Northwest Airlines Complaint - NorthWest Airlines; downgraded from business class
This was a round trip, business class fare, from the US to Singapore and back.
In arriving at Singapore airport for my return flight to the US I am informed by security (before talking to NWA) that I do not have a seat on the flight to Tokyo, nor on the one from Tokyo back to the US.
Held at the security check-point while security go to check with NWA, they come back and inform me that my reservation has been cancelled since I had not made my flight on January 15, which was not the case. I actually arrived in Singapore around 0130 that day, so something was not "right" in the NWA system. Security followed me through to the NWA counter, and I found out that my seat 2C had been given to someone else. I was offered a coach seat on the 6 hour flight to Tokyo.
Back in the US, I started calling NWA, and nobody could explain how I had been "dropped". Never heard mention of me not making my flight to Singapore from anyone. I had a less than pleasant discussion with the refunds department. The person I reached immediately came across as unfriendly, and with an "Attitude". I do not accept being talked down to, especially when being in the role of a customer, so made for a very unpleasant conversation. I complained about this (too) to their Customer Relations department; for which they apologized and compensated me with frequent flier miles.
I have now received a $100 refund from NWA for having been downgraded from business to coach class on the 6-hour long leg of a $5,000+ round trip ticket. This seems like a very good proposition for NWA, - less so for me. While the pricing "is more complicated than this", and I did not bother to check days of the week etc:
A round trip business class fare Singapore - Tokyo: $1,562
A round trip coach class fare Singapore - Tokyo: $572,89
The difference is $990; or $495 each way. I received $100.
This would be a lucrative way to operate; every so often shift people with existing business class tickets to the "back", compensate them by a minimal amount, for then to bring someone else in to buy the seat that the original customer (now in coach) already had bought...
I would like to think this was "a fluke", but I personally would not be surprised if this is based on risk-cost-benefit analysis. Will the passenger that was downgraded be upset enough to not come back – or is he sufficiently hooked on frequent flyer miles?
This refund was a transaction that should have been automatic - and should have come out in my favor rather than NWA's. NWA have had their chances, and I am not pursuing this any further with them directly.
Will be interested to hear if this has happened to others.