Later on this year, I am booked on American Airlines from Santiago, Chile to Washington, DC (via Miami). I used 62,500 Alaska Airline miles for the first class ticket. I opted for first class over business class since it was on the older 777-200 plane with the angled business class seats. Since I really need to make sure I sleep well on that segment, I used 12,500 extra miles to get first class over business.
First Class or Business Class
When I booked the ticket, I was really disappointed that there was not one of the retrofitted business class cabins flying that route. I could have booked through Dallas and received the newer cabin, but I really needed to be in DC early that morning. Fortunately, I happened to notice that there had been a equipment change and it was to AA’s 767-300. This craft does have the retrofitted business class cabin which features lie-flat seats. It looks pretty great so I am looking forward to trying it out (it has the appearance to and people have compared it to the business class cabin on Austrian Airlines – review here).
Business Class Means a 12,500 Mile Refund
Not only was I moved to a newer cabin and seats but I was actually bumped down from first class to business class. Even though it was a bump I was happy to take, it still meant that I had overpaid for my award ticket and it should only be 50,000 miles. Since I booked it as a partner award, Alaska wasn’t going to know about this change by themselves so I called them and explained the situation. At first the rep did not believe me because American is still showing me as being in a first class fare bucket. After he pulled up the seat map, he saw that I was indeed right.
How To Request The Refund
To get the itinerary reissued, he had to put in a request with their American Airlines liaison agent. They said it would take about 24 – 48 hours for the process to happen and the ticket would be reissued automatically and the miles refunded to my account.
If you are in a similar situation, since American is making upgrades to their equipment and putting them on different routes, call Alaska’s award reservations line for partner airlines – 888-280-7560. Once connected, explain that you saw that AA has moved you to business class and you were in a first class seat before. It will likely still show you as being in first class according to the fare code, so they may need to look past the fare – maybe at the seat map for the new flight. Once that has been done, they will submit the request for the reissue and you are all set!
You will not lose you award reservation in the process. If there is not a business class award available on your flight, the liaison agent will request for AA to open up a business class ticket in that fare to put you.
In the end, I am a happy camper. I get to fly in the newer seat that I had wanted initially and I am getting miles back – pretty nice!