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Please help! Do I have any rights or options?

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by SeattleTodd, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. SeattleTodd

    SeattleTodd Member

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    Hi there,

    I hope you all can help me understand what my rights or options may be, if any.

    Here's the situation:
    • Booked VIE-AMS-SLC on KLM in J using AS MileagePlan for Sept 3, 2018
    • Because the KLM flight arrives in SLC after the last AS flight to SEA, bought a paid ticket through AmexTravel (using Business Platinum card) on DL in F SLC-SEA for Sept 3, 2018
    • KLM has now changed the frequency of the AMS-SLC flight, and it won't be operating on Sept 3.
    • AS Mileage Plan will let us out of the booking altogether, but that still leaves the paid SLC-SEA on DL.
    • What are my options/rights with that paid flight on DL? It was in a separate booking from the KLM flights since those were award flights through MileagePlan.
    • Our new itinerary home will be VIE-LAX on Austrian J, but now I need to book a ticket from LAX-SEA.
    • Do I have any leverage/hope to ask DL (or AmexTravel) to change the SLC-SEA ticket to LAX-SEA without paying change fees, since the only reason for the change is KLM's frequency change?
    • Being honest, I'd much prefer to fly AS from LAX-SEA, but I don't expect there's any chance to get DL or AmexTravel to just refund the SLC-SEA ticket, is there?
    Thanks so much for any help/advice you can give me. I've seen many comments/articles on here about EU protection for non-refundable expenses (e.g. our DL SLC-SEA flight), but I have no idea if that applies here.

    Thanks so much,
    Todd
     
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  2. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    Hi @SeattleTodd, that blows. Unfortunately you're not going to have much luck with a separately booked itinerary getting much redress from KLM or AS. Do you have status with DL? You might try calling and explaining the situation and see if they would be willing to give you a travel voucher as one-time exception. I wouldn't hold out much hope though. As a last resort you can cancel and get any money that's left after the cancellation fees.
     
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  3. SeattleTodd

    SeattleTodd Member

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    Thanks, Gaurav. I spoke to AS and, as usual, they were extremely kind and searching for a way to help. Since there was nothing they could do, they issues a $100 travel credit for each of us for future flights or to put towards getting home from LAX. That was incredibly nice of them. The agent said -- and I believe her -- that this far in advance they would definitely waive a change fee due to the problem being KLM's frequency change, and she said she hoped Delta would. I'd be okay with the Delta voucher that you suggested or Delta letting me put the full value of the SLC-SEA tickets towards LAX-SEA tickets. Do you think that might be successful with DL?

    Should I ask for any help from AmexTravel through this (being a Business Platinum cardholder), or will they just defer to DL?

    Thanks...
     
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  4. SeattleTodd

    SeattleTodd Member

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    Quick question though -- how is this different from the nonrefundable costs that I've read folks say airlines are on the hook for when they cancel your tickets, like with the recent round of mistake fares. Those costs wouldn't be associated with the original flight booking, the same way our DL flights aren't part of our original flight booking.

    Just curious about all this, which is why I posted in the first place. :)
     
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  5. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    The EU protection is only for flights between US and Europe. Since your SLC-SEA ticket was completely separate, those rules wont apply here. I agree with @Gaurav - call DL, explain and see what they can do, like waiving change fees and only paying the fare difference, though I wouldnt expect much at all.
     
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  6. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    In this case, the problem was a KLM frequency change, and not a mistake fare. Had you left it, AS or KLM may have reached out to rebook you or offer a refund. You may also have had success if calling AS and KLM on a 3 way call and asking them to rebook you on a different date, regardless of whether there was award space or not.
     
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  7. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    As @David W mentions, the rules you are referring to are for mistake fares, not really applicable here unfortunately.
     
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  8. SeattleTodd

    SeattleTodd Member

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    Thanks, guys -- really appreciate the insights. I expected I had no real recourse, but figured it was worth being sure before taking any actions and losing the chance to have fixed it more cheaply. The more I think about it, it just feels crappy that plans made based on ticketed fares are not protected in any way. If I were to tell KLM I wanted to travel on a different date they would just laugh at me or charge me a fee. They get to change their mind and plans and I've got no protection for plans I've made just because they weren't (and couldn't be) in the same PNR. Again, I expected this was the case, but it just feels lousy.

    @David W I haven't touched the reservation yet. KLM/AS *did* rebook us to the same VIE-AMS-SLC flights the day before (which is how I found out about the problem)(, but there's no way I want to lose a day off our vacation because of their frequency change.
     
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  9. Tiffany

    Tiffany One Mile At A Time

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    Definitely agree with starting by calling Amex Travel and/or Delta. They might be more helpful than you expect, especially as Delta will be able to look at the KLM ticket and see that it was canceled.

    As a side note, this is why I encourage folks not to stress about finalizing all their plans right when the schedules open. Things can change a lot operationally, and that paid segment SLC>SEA would have probably cost about the same whether you purchased it in November or July.

    Good luck!
     
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  10. SeattleTodd

    SeattleTodd Member

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    Thanks so much for your note @Tiffany . You are absolutely right about not rushing in the future -- I was worried the first class fare would skyrocket (which it hasn't), so there was indeed no need to rush and book the paid tickets. :-(

    But... I have great news! I called Amex Travel -- they were no help. I called Delta, and the agent I got was happy to make changes for $200 per person. I asked to speak to her supervisor (who had told her that was all she could do). I spent the first few minutes re-explaining the situation to him; I don't know if he didn't understand before or if the agent spoke to a different supervisor or made up the story, but he was willing to not only issue a travel voucher or change the date with no penalties, but even to issue a full refund! I took him up on that, thanked him profusely, and told him (genuinely) that this would have a big impact on my future loyalty to Delta.

    So, given the Delta full refund and Alaska's kind $100 voucher for the trouble caused by the KLM frequency reduction, there's a very happy ending. I booked first class LAX-SEA flights on Alaska using the "MVP Gold" instant upgrade (since the cheapest economy fare was already in a high enough fare class -- it's Labor Day) and the $100 voucher. for $60 less out of pocket than the original Delta flights SLC-SEA.

    Phew! :)

    Thank you all (@Gaurav and @David W included) for your guidance and support!

    Best,
    Todd
     
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  11. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

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    I'm so glad it worked out!
     
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    Tiffany likes this.