Travel agent rebooking issue - any experience with receiving a different fare class than originally booked?

Hello! Long time lurker, first time poster.

Late last year I booked a work trip to Germany flying Singapore Airlines. I went to STA travel because it is handiest to where I work. When I booked the ticket I specifically asked it to be booked as full-economy (one of class B, E, H, L, M, W, Y) for a couple of reasons: (1) I wanted the ticket to be semi-flexable because I suspected it might need to change, and (2) you get double status credits with Velocity and this would get me to Platinum. I was told that if I needed to change the flights there would be there would be a small fee charged by STA and above any fare difference (the new booking would have to be an equivalent or higher booking class). That all sounded fine so I ended up with a return ticket on class W.

In the end I did need to change the flights. I paid the fee and was told over the phone that only one of the small domestic legs in Germany was changing booking class. This is when it starts to get strange… It took them two weeks to send me an updated itinerary, and whenever I chased them they said it was on the way. Finally, today they sent it through saying that “there was an error with ticketing, and it’s all fixed now”. After asking, I was informed that the booking classes were H outbound and N inbound (H is full economy but N is discount economy). When I queried them about this they said that “Ticketing missed the TTL which meant the price increased further … but the ticketing department paid the difference to reissue the ticket, hence the delay in ticketing and upgrade in booking classes”. So, they stuffed up and didn’t actually change my flights.

They have since, again, said that it is an upgrade (without explanation, because it doesn’t seem to be). Basically, I’m missing out on 85 status credits (50% of the return leg). I understand that the ticket probably cost them more because it is closer to my flying date but that’s not my problem. Now, I know this might sound silly, but I was going to get Platinum! And I specifically asked, both when I originally booked and changed the ticket, that I would have the booking class I requested. I am going in to speak to them on Monday, but I suspect they know they have stuffed up and are just trying to save money.

Has anyone heard of anything like this happening before? Do I have any recourse, or do I just have to suck it up because I’m still going to Germany and there are things more important than airline status (but I was going to get Platinum!)?

Thanks, folks!

Links:
https://www.singaporeair.com/saar5/pdf/ppsclub_krisflyer/charts/KFOALLevels.pdf
https://www.velocityfrequentflyer.com/content/Earn/StatusCredits/

Hey! I would argue the point that they missed the deadline and have to honour the same fare basis or higher. As you specifically booked W class to get the advantage of it in both directions, that is the minimum they need to book for the return leg. Even if they have to pay more for the ticket, I would take it further to advise you understand the booking classes and you weren’t at fault they missed this. You can insist they re-issue the ticket at their expensive. Understand if you missed deadline but in this case it was he agent’s fault.

I think you should go and see them next week and spell out to them why you booked with them which was because you needed your ticket in a specific booking class and needed flexibility to change your dates.

Stand your ground and let them know you need the reissued ticket to be in one of the qualifying booking classes as this will effect your qualification for platinum which was your reason for being specific about the booking class in the first place. Nothing wrong with being sympathetic if they have messed up and taken a hit but really that is not your issue and unless they told you that when re booking they can’t garentee your booking class I think this should be a black and white case.

 

Let us know now how your get along.

Hi folks,

Well, I finally got a response. After a non-satisfying conversation with STA’s call centre that weekend (where the person on the phone asked me if I had it in writing that I would remain in full economy and was adamant that there was no mistake down-grading me) I managed to get hold of my original agent. He remembered that I had asked to remain in full economy and admitted that the “ticketing team” had missed the deadline and had booked cheaper tickets because they were now paying for it. In doing so, not only was I on a lower fare class for status points but my ticket was no longer flexible (!). That could have been a big issue if I needed to change the dates again. Anyway, long story short, STA Brisbane argued for two weeks with the ticketing team in the UK (it took so long because they only have an hour-or-so overlap in their work days) and someone finally admitted it was their fault and rebooked the tickets correctly. My original W-class was all booked out so I am now actually on a higher ticket so perhaps there is a chance of an upgrade to business.

Anyway, thanks for your comments, it is much appreciated. And always check your fare classes :wink: