Here’s the story of an American Airlines trip written in 2015, originally titled, “Oops! I Missed My Flight”, where I started off by missing the initial sector. Surprisingly, I was not able to travel in my ticketed class despite seats being available and ended up downgraded.

I was booked to fly First Class on American from Portland to Dallas and then to change planes and fly from Dallas to Boston at the end of a trip. Unfortunately, I ended up missing my 05:00 flight from Portland – the first flight I’ve ever missed – and was put on the next flight instead. Despite there being three seats available in First Class, I was put on standby for the flight and standby for the connecting flight. I figured that as someone who had paid for First Class, I’d be seated in that cabin. Wrong, I was downgraded!

Three people on the upgrade list received seats and I was offered 9E. Having no other choice (“You can call reservations and they can rebook you into First Class on another flight”), I took the flight offered. I will say the priority seats at the front of economy have ample leg room, but being seated between two people was not the greatest thing in the world. Still, first world problems really – not to mention it was my own fault for missing my flight!

An AAngel Rescues Me From The Downgraded Land

When we arrived in Dallas, I headed to the Admirals Club and asked at the desk if there were seats available in First Class on the next flight as I had paid for that cabin. I was told there was one seat available but I would have to wait until the flight boarded to see if I was upgraded. I entered the lounge and relaxed with some water before my flight. Quite soon it neared departure time and I decided to head to the gate.

Just as I was about to get into the lift, I thought I heard my name. It turns out I did! The AAngel at the desk had a new boarding pass for me – in First Class! I’d heard about the top quality lounge staff at American over the years and to experience first hand the rumoured excellent service was a total delight!

AA1430 – Dallas Fort Worth to Boston (DFW-BOS)
26 October 2015
Boeing 737-800 – N902NN
Seat: First Class 5E
Departure: 13:45 Arrival: 18:29

Feeling better about life in general, I arrived at the gate and boarded after a couple of minutes. While waiting for people to get on board, I got a shot of the Boeing 737 First Class seats (which have been the same for years now!).

I had no complaints about the leg room, of course! Looking forward you can see what the cabin looks like – the Boeing Sky Interior is quite chic!

The cocktail table between the seats features the Eagle, and the picture gives some indication of the recline. Eventually everyone was on board, we had our safety demonstration, and into the air we went.

On Board Service

The service began and I decided to have a glass of water along with the ubiquitous warm nuts. I do like how they are served properly in the ramekin, rather than a little bag a la British Airways. It really sets American Airlines apart.

With American Airlines, you can pre-order your meal before you fly. I had pre-ordered the pasta meal for lunch on my missed flight and happily it was one of the options on this flight. It was a good looking meal!

I finished everything put in front of me and I was totally and completely full. What I had forgotten about is that there was also a dessert! Not being one to say no to food, I said yes to dessert.

As a fan of anything lemon I was happy. It took me a good 20 minutes to finish it, even though it was a small piece – I was just that full! The rest of the flight was uneventful and I landed in Boston very tired after a bit of a crazy day.

Overall Thoughts

I learned online that people received refunds if they were put into a lower cabin on flights, so I duly wrote a note to American Airlines outlining what had happened and asking if there was anything they could do. Quite promptly I was told my e-mail had been sent to the right department and my refund would be through on my next credit card statement. In reality, it took about 7 days and was the difference between First Class and Full Fare Economy which turned out to be just under $100. I was happy with that!

The moral of the story is, don’t miss your flight! First and hopefully last time for me! Thank you for reading and feel free to leave a comment.

And that is how I reported on things back in 2015. People were pretty surprised that I got downgraded on the Portland to Dallas sector, considering I was ticketed in First Class and there were seats free. For me it was more a case of lesson learned than anything else.

Have you ever been downgraded when you’ve missed your flight? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by Fabrizio Gandolfo on Jetphotos via Wikimedia Commons.