I booked two return business class tickets April 2015 Manchester / Bangkok via a flight/holiday centre for travel commencing 27th January 2016 . All flights were on Etihad Airlines with Etihad flight numbers. Today by pure chance I rang my agent to check prebooked seat nos and all my seat allocation had been changed. Also I then noticed that the flight from Bangkok was not Etihad but Jet Airways which I believe is owned by Etihad . Also the business class seats are 49 inches in pitch as opposed to Eithad which are 73 inches in pitch. My agent never informed me of this change . I would not of booked this journey knowing that Jet Airways were part of my journey . I was offered an alternative homeward flight on Etihad with a 12 hour connection wait . Also I could change to another airline for an extra fee of £850 . If I had been aware that Eithad could downgrade me to a lesser flight I would not of booked it in the first place. Obviously not a lot I can do about it now. Can anyone advise me in any way on this problem. Even the agent was unaware that Etihad had changed planes and airlines. Also a refund was not possible .
It's unlikely there is anything you can do about this, other than booking a different flight.
Changes to bookings happen all the time. Many are more serious than this, such as changes of departure day or even destination. In almost all cases the limit of the airline's liability is to offer you a full refund. I would have expected them to inform you, and you might have some cause for complaint there.
You really have only two options:
- Claim a refund and book another flight. Presumably not practical.
- Negotiate with the airline for some kind of price reduction. Based on the different spec of business class you have a good chance of this, especially if the cost of booking a business class fare on the new equipment is less than the equipment you originally booked on. You will probably have better results if you hold the possibility that you will switch to a different airline over them while you negotiate. If there is a higher class than business, maybe try for an upgrade to that class instead of a price reduction - something that might not cost the airline anything at all if there are spare first class seats. If you have to go through your agent, that shouldn't make any difference. Agents are often better placed to negotiate with airlines, and they want to keep your business more.
I try to answer you also if you didn't wrote a clearly question .
Anyway airlines companies could change your airplane type , or can re-protect you without inform you ,the most important thing is that the carrier have to guarantee you a same departure and arrival time and same class of the ticket that you booked .
That is about a general rule for all kind of travel services . For instance you can book a four star hotel , when you arrive to the hotel the hotel it's fully booked and it will ove you in an other hotel with similar feature ( in this case you cannot ask a refund ) .
Regarding some changes about seats reservation or airplane type , I think that your travel agent miss to read the message queue about changes in his GDS ( ex. Amadeus or Sabre ) . If he is an Iata Agent and then he have a GDS system , I suppose that he didn't see this message , that we usually receive .
Have you got a fare basis just to check the fare rules ?