Reader Question: Thai First Class to Business Downgrades (THREE) On United Issued Award?

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A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me an email about several Thai Airways flights that have been downgraded from first class to business and what could be done.

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Here’s the email from the reader:

I have award on united for TG Flight

Booking 1
BKK-SYD
SYD-BKK
BKK-HKG

Booking 2
SYD-BKK
HKG-BKK
BKK-HKG
BKK-SYD

all flight is book as first class

Today I got notify email from united and my BKK-HKG/HKG-BKK/BKK-HKG are downgrade to business class.

Please advise what i can do about this situation.

Thai Airways (and many other airlines including Cathay Pacific) often substitutes aircraft with no first class cabin on regional routes where they have previously sold it.

TG BKK-HKG EF

Seems that Thai Airways ends, at least temporarily, first class class service between Bangkok and Hong Kong. I would assume that this ticket(s) was booked before the last devaluation when the first class awards to Sydney were very competitively priced.

Perhaps the reader could try to change the awards to Tokyo or Osaka where Thai currently has first class service if merely flying first class is the most important thing and try to get United to withdraw the different in miles under the old chart.

Conclusion

There are often changes in these regional first class flights with both Cathay and Thai Airways and the type of equipment is never guaranteed with any airlines (I have found this out way too many times). Sometimes you may get first but not the type of “first” that you had originally booked.

United here won’t give any partial credit because the Bangkok – Sydney is still in first. If the reader is willing to downgrade that to business class, then he could ask for a mileage credit.

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