Advice from the regulars

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This topic contains 19 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  Montysaurus 2 Oct 2018
at 10:39
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  • Montysaurus
    Participant

    I am seeking advice from all the regular contributors.

    I have a client in Amsterdam whom I visit every so often and so, given that I have a trip to Hong Kong early next year, I thought I would combine it with a visit to my client and go from AMS to HKG via LHR in CW with BA which saved me a great deal of money.

    I am unlikely to need to return to AMS when I fly back and I have seen on this forum before advice that if one doesn’t make a habit of not taking the last sector BA will ignore it.

    My concern is that now it appears that BA have been manually recording credit card CVVs which would enable them to charge one’s card months after the original booking. Could BA then charge me the LHR to HKG return fare which was about £2K dearer than AMS/LHR/HKG? In the event that you advise that I have to return to AMS and then back to UK, the saving is still substantial.

    Can I have advice please – will BA penalise me as I am a member of BAEC?


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    @Montysaurus

    This is my regular route and onto BKK & my advice is to play the game by BA rules and you will benefit from a cheap airfare + sufficient avios for 3 or 4 free return flights to northern Europe, depending on your BAEC status. Try and beat the system and you may find your ticket price increases (as mine did last trip when I missed my positioning flight).

    Saying that, I don’t believe any one who has purchased their own ticket for an ex Europe fare (on ba.com) has an increased fare issue by not using the last sector, but if you use an agent and don’t use the last sector, the agent will pass onto you any reprice for losing the last sector.

    I use a TC on the basis they have access to a far wider range of flights and I believe better fares, including their add on charge (well worth paying it).

    Just made my next reservation from AMS.. the only added safety I have now done is taking an earlier positioning flight to AMS, rather than out to AMS on the same aircraft that starts my ex-Europe ticket, back to London.. I have for this trip taken the one flight earlier…

    Plus side is cheap fares and plenty of avios, down side a longer travel day and you need a system…(and I never check luggage in, only hand baggage)…


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Do BA manually record CVV numbers? I didn’t think that was allowed.

    Personally I would forget the AMS return and head off home, I don’t think there is any evidence of travellers (at least those booking direct) being penalised.

    I don’t think being a BAEC member is of much relevance btw.


    LuganoPirate
    Participant

    Like Simon I doubt they would charge you the extra. In fact a colleague of mine did just that but via Malpensa some months ago and heard nothing more.
    However, it would still nag me that perhaps, just maybe, they would charge the extra or penalise me in some other way perhaps deducting miles or status that I would not risk it. But that’s just me!


    openfly
    Participant

    Last week my LHR-AMS, after my CPT-LHR flight, was cancelled and I was rebooked on a much later flight. Therefore I missed my AMS-LGW which also had to be rebooked, on the 21.15 flight …ouch. All this was due to a mere zephyr at AMS and the usual Dutch panic!

    I asked to speak to a manager in the First checkin area to discuss my situation. An amazingly affable, helpful and understanding young BA manager appeared.

    My question was….if I don’t travel and just go home will you re-calculate my fare as I had heard that this is a possibility?

    He reassured me that as it was due to “flight disruption” I would not be recharged and would get a refund, which surprised me. He then went on to say that they were fully aware that passengers are “dumping the last sector”.

    He was under the impression that if they were given a reason…illness, dead cat etc there would no recalculation, but if your flight records showed that this was the third time that your cat had died then your fare would be recalculated, and it was happening!

    So from the horses mouth….

    I left T5 and went straight home. I have already received my two refunds!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    @openfly – in the circumstances you mention, BA would at one time allow the final sectors (LHR – AMS) and then the return on a separate ticket (AMS – LHR) to be changed to an open ticket, after all it was their fault as the incoming was late. I would then use those tickets on my next trip to BKK.

    More recently, when the longhaul arrived to late for the connection they would insist the flights are completed same day…


    openfly
    Participant

    @martynsinclair….

    Hi, the inbound Long haul flight wasn’t late in this case, in fact it was 20 mins early!

    The cancellations of my next two sectors were not BAs fault but AMS restrictions in place due to weather.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    If the return inbound is HKG>LHR>AMS why not book the last sector LGW>AMS then traffic on the M25 caused you to miss your flight.

    I have “missed” several last sectors without penalty.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    He was under the impression that if they were given a reason…illness, dead cat etc there would no recalculation, but if your flight records showed that this was the third time that your cat had died then your fare would be recalculated, and it was happening!

    OK, I’ll bite – my cat dies and I have to rush home to bury the poor sod.

    BA approach me and say they are going to charge me for my cat dying for the third time (or a third cat dying).

    So I say, no thank you, don’t think I’ll pay that – have a nice day.

    They can then sue for breach of contract, so we go to court and the judge asks ‘what material loss did BA suffer?’. Did you have to spend more money on fuel? Did you have to pay for extra meals? that trajectory has a certain and predictable outcome, which the airline will not wish to see turned into case law.

    So I have no qualms about dropping the leg, but I wouldn’t do it on a small TA booking, as they TA might be hit with the extra fare via an ADM.


    openfly
    Participant

    The “material loss” is money. The difference in fare that should have been paid for the three sectors flown rather than the agreed fare for the 4 sectors. A fare booked from Europe is frequently cheaper than the same flight only from London, so BA could construe the actions of not using the last sector as blatant fraud, by avoiding paying the correct fare.


    capetonianm
    Participant

    When I worked for an airline and was conversant with IATA regulations, it was stipulated that the passenger was liable to pay the lowest but correct fare for the itinerary flown.

    This would have meant that Openfly’s contention above is correct. Whether a court of law in (e.g.) the UK would have the legal right to enforce an IATA regulation is another matter – I doubt it. I should also add that I am no longer involved in such matters and it may well have changed.

    I do know, and this is fact, that agencies do receive ADMs in cases where the passenger has abandoned the last segments in order to undercut a fare. What I don’t know is whether this is applied selectively or routinely, and obviously the airlines are not going to divulge the truth.

    In the same way, the airline is entitled to bill the passenger direct for the shortfall, but whether they would be allowed to do so by charging a credit card is another story and opens up a rather large can of worms.


    Swissdiver
    Participant

    If the return inbound is HKG>LHR>AMS why not book the last sector LGW>AMS then traffic on the M25 caused you to miss your flight.

    I have “missed” several last sectors without penalty.

    This strategy also helps with the checked-in luggage, since it must be collected at LHR anyway.


    FDOS_UK
    Participant

    The “material loss” is money. The difference in fare that should have been paid for the three sectors flown rather than the agreed fare for the 4 sectors. A fare booked from Europe is frequently cheaper than the same flight only from London, so BA could construe the actions of not using the last sector as blatant fraud, by avoiding paying the correct fare.

    Openfly, no it is not a material loss. A material loss would be a loss incurred by the airline and arising from me not taking the flight (in fact the no show reduces their costs slightly), there is no material loss, only a hypothetical loss and that is not recoverable.

    Capetonianm – IATA regulations are not law, there is a reason that the airlines issue ADMs to agents, but do not pursue passengers.


    openfly
    Participant

    @FDOS….wrong again!


    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    Montysaurus – this may not work for you, though it might be worth looking into:

    I’ve never wanted to do a full ex-EU itinerary, though have been tempted given the cost saving, however about 3 years ago, via the TC I use, found a good fare with QR AMS-DOH-HKG / SIN-DOH-LHR.
    It was a decent saving over an ex LHR fare, though not as low a full ex EU fare. (I simply added a LHR-AMS sector to the above).
    Given your desired itinerary it might be worth looking at QR, possibly AY as well, departing AMS but returning to LHR. Or even a straight return to AMS and then you only have one additional leg from AMS-LHR to add to your journey.

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