British Airways to actively cancel flights

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 44 total)

  • ASK1945
    Participant

    I wonder if the collective wisdom of some on this Forum can help a friend with his query? I don’t have the answer.

    He was due to take his family tomorrow on a short-haul BA flight tomorrow (Monday). However, he has just had the flight cancelled and no option of a change to another one, but was told to contact BA to do this. He cannot get through!

    Do his options under EU261 (in these circumstances) include just re-booking on another airline, in the same class of flight, and getting BA to reimburse him? Are they obliged to do that if the cost is more than he paid BA, who of course have to refund him in cash under the circumstances of the cancellation? If he arrives at the holiday destination (probably a day later than planned) as a result, is he entitled to the relevant EU261 compensation?


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Yes, options are either i) reimbursement or ii) “re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity”.

    BA is required to use other airlines where that meets the earliest opportunity test. Your friend may need to be persistent though as BA is prone to avoid their responsibilities.

    Cash compensation will also apply unless the cancellation is due to exceptional circumstances. That would include weather but probably not covid as courts/CEDR are now finding that staff sickness from covid is a known risk and no longer exceptional.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Thanks SimonS1.

    However, my primary question was “Do his options under EU261 (in these circumstances) include just re-booking on another airline, in the same class of flight, and getting BA to reimburse him?” I am sorry that I didn’t make my question explicit: this was that in the circumstances that he could not get through to BA by phone, can he just book another airline and pay (again) himself, and then charge BA any increase in fares (bearing in mind that he will be paying for a new set of return fares) – assuming that he does receive the cash for the cancelled flights?

    It is esoteric now, as he has done just that. He says that he will sue BA to get his money back.


    ImissConcorde
    Participant

    DavidSmith2 My partner arrived from Mumbai. Flight landed in T5 at 0700. He was in the car park – with his bag – 45 minutes later!! Hopefully you’ll be as lucky!1

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Thanks SimonS1.

    However, my primary question was “Do his options under EU261 (in these circumstances) include just re-booking on another airline, in the same class of flight, and getting BA to reimburse him?” I am sorry that I didn’t make my question explicit: this was that in the circumstances that he could not get through to BA by phone, can he just book another airline and pay (again) himself, and then charge BA any increase in fares (bearing in mind that he will be paying for a new set of return fares) – assuming that he does receive the cash for the cancelled flights?

    It is esoteric now, as he has done just that. He says that he will sue BA to get his money back.

    Sorry, no they don’t.

    If your friend accepts cancellation and refund from BA then re-booking is their issue. BA responsibility under EC261 is to offer a choice of i) refund, ii) rebooking at earliest convenience, iii) rebooking at a later date that suits the traveller.

    Of course there is no reason not to sue via MCOL if there is some evidence that BA did not meet legal requirements. A starting point is that under Article 14 “an operating air carrier denying boarding or cancelling a flight shall provide each passenger affected with a written notice setting out the rules for compensation and assistance in line with this Regulation”.

    So if passenger was not advised of their rights then they could justifiably say they did not know what to do and therefore push the responsibility towards BA.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Thanks again SimonS1. However, I don’t understand “Sorry, no they don’t”.

    I don’t know whether they received the notice required under Article 14 – I didn’t ask. But I do know that they couldn’t get through to BA to speak to a customer services person and, given they are flying shortly today, my friend was not willing to forgo a whole family holiday because of this – so re-booked the flights with a different airline (I don’t know which).


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Your question was “Do his options under EU261 (in these circumstances) include just re-booking on another airline, in the same class of flight, and getting BA to reimburse him?”

    The answer is – No, that isn’t an option. Either BA does the rebooking, or you take the refund. If you take the refund and do the rebooking yourself that is outside EC261.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Thank you again SimonS1.

    As I wrote, he has rebooked himself and I guess he’s expecting a refund.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Thank you again SimonS1.

    As I wrote, he has rebooked himself and I guess he’s expecting a refund.

    OK. Re-reading the exchange it seems there is some ambiguity. If you mean “getting BA to reimburse him” in the context of reimbursing the BA flight, yes it works. If you mean “getting BA to reimburse him” in the context of the fare paid to another airline then outside of scope.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    SimonS1

    Thank you again. Moving away from the specific case I raised, I assume (from your helpful advice) that a cancellation less than two weeks before a flight can lead to compensation as well as a refund. If a flight cancellation is in excess of two weeks, additional costs are not compensated and only the original cost is refunded.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    SimonS1

    Thank you again. Moving away from the specific case I raised, I assume (from your helpful advice) that a cancellation less than two weeks before a flight can lead to compensation as well as a refund. If a flight cancellation is in excess of two weeks, additional costs are not compensated and only the original cost is refunded.

    Yes, if cancelled less than 2 weeks out then cash compensation is due, with the amount dependent on the delay and the distance of the journey. The exception is if the delay is caused by “extraordinary circumstances”. Extraordinary would be something like weather or ATC issues ie something outside of the airline’s control. This is in addition to any other costs like hotels and food which need to be paid regardless of extraordinary/not.

    If more than 2 weeks out the airline is not liable for cash compensation, however they are still liable to pay your out of pocket expenses.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Paul Charles today says we can expect flight cancellations to continue.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    The Independent reports that BA is deploying a B787 for today’s flights BA836 / BA837 between LHR and DUB to clear passenger backlog.


    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    Researching a piece and gathered together a few headlines from The Times and Telegraph this morning…. (subscriptions required)

    How we finally fell out of love with British Airways
    So long an icon, a turbulent time since the turn of the century has seen BA’s popularity plummet – and it may struggle to rise again

    British Airways is the ultimate ‘because of Covid’ villain
    Airline must stop blaming Covid and sort out flight delays – before its reputation is tarnished for good

    ‘I’m a frequent flyer — but I’m done with British Airways’
    Cancelled flights, lost baggage and unanswered phone calls — loyal passengers are running out of patience with the airline, and Julia Buckley is one of them

    British Airways will never live up to the public’s champagne fantasy

    The last one rather blames our own expectations…

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley
    Keymaster

    A summary piece from today from the FT

    Travel chaos raises stakes for BA as it battles to restore its lustre

    UK airline has been hit hard as wider industry grapples with surge of pent-up demand

    “At the heart of BA’s crisis lies a lack of staff that is besetting the wider aviation industry, from airport operators to ground handlers. The shortage has been compounded by a new wave of Covid infections, a tight labour market and delays in approving security clearances for new staff.”

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