Downgraded From Paid First Class to Economy Class

Imagine paying for a seat in the premium cabin on a flight, only to be downgraded to a seat in the economy class cabin while others who reportedly had economy class airfares were upgraded to the premium class cabin.
It happened to FlyerTalk member Continited, who was Downgraded from PAID F to Y, while elites in Y were upgraded to F on a Continental Airlines flight from Rome to Houston through Newark this past week. The reason is because the airfare class was Z, but why would that be a key factor in this situation? What advice do fellow FlyerTalk members give? What actions has Continited considered taking? Most importantly, what was the outcome?

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