Being forced to take an earlier flight…..

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  LuganoPirate 19 Mar 2018
at 12:32

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  • MartynSinclair

    Todays snow has caused the usual panic in the UK, with airlines (mainly BA) cancelling numerous flights.

    I therefore had to rebook a Germany trip with LH (revenue) rather than my usual BA (avios) flight. On arrival , I had a text from BA confirming that tomorrows (Sunday) flight had now been cancelled and I had been rebooked on a flight leaving one hour earlier than the cancelled flight.

    Do I have to take the earlier flight as it will los me one hour with my client. If I refuse to take that flight, do BA have to cover my expenses if I don’t get back to London tomorrow due to all other Sunday flights being cancelled. Or, will BA rebook me on LH.

    Once again, the thought of snow causes chaos at LHR.


    I plan my connections to catch a flight on its departure time….being told at the last minute I have to be there an hour earlier is not acceptable…nor is it acceptable to be told I’m not a robot until I play silly games with silly pictures…



    As this is a weather case, compensation would not apply.

    Given your right to re-routing, I am not a lawyer so this is purely conjecture. I believe that you could reasonably say it is not possible to make the earlier flight due to existing commitments (this being the reason for travel), but then it would be up to BA to re-route you.

    When Ryanair had their scheduling crunch last year, the CAA got shirty if people did not get a re-route leaving in a max of 24 hours, but EC261 does not state a time limit for the re-routing, so you might find yourself on a flight 2-3 days later, arguing the toss with customer relations.

    I do believe BA would have to house and feed/water you, but think they would be reluctant to pay for a LH ticket.

    Hope it all worked out in the end.

    Though I am a fan of EC261, this scenario is possibly the least well catered for in respect of business travellers, where time is often critical.


    It is always a battle to get an airline to reroute/rebook you onto another airline because the agreements generally mean they have to pay full coupon value, whereas on their own airline or alliance/codeshare partners it is much less if anything.

    I have several times been faced with a situation where airline ‘A’ has said : “Our computer doesn’t show flights of airline ‘B’ “, which is utter BS, or they’ve been honest and said : “We aren’t allowed to book you on ‘B’.” If you stand your ground they usually will, Unfortunately for them, because I have run airline ticket desks, I nearly always get my way in the end!


    On the basis that I could not get through to BA on the phone and the web site did not offer any other alternatives than the flight 1 hour earlier, I cut my meeting short and took the earlier flight…. which ironically… took off 2 hours late 🙁

    Thank goodness the snow is not lasting more than a couple of days…


    Thanks for the update, Martyn. Glad to hear you got away even if 2 hours late and hope that was in time for you. A frustrating experience, though.


    This has happened several times to me with Swiss leaving LCY on the early morning flight, which has been closed due to fog. As soon as I point out that I’m in the S.E. of London and LHR is well to the West and I’d need at least 2 hours to get there. They put me on a later plane without fuss and once when they said 1100 ex LHR and I asked0if i could go with the 1600, despite the much higher fare (hence my booking the early flight) they agreed. The beauty of this for me once was that I could then have lunch with friends.

    Once they cancelled the flight ex MXP to LHR via ZRH and they rebooked me on a BA flight direct so I actually arrived 10 minutes earlier.

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