Historically, British Airways has been very casual about people who dropped the final segment on an ex-EU long haul flight.
What I mean, in plain English, is that if you booked a Club World ticket from Dublin to London to Somewhere to London to Dublin, BA would not cause you any trouble if you did not fly the final London to Dublin leg.
(Why would you book a ticket out of Dublin in the first place? Because, given the right sale conditions, it could be 75% cheaper than starting in London!)
Two people, independently, told me last week that British Airways will begin to take a harder line. Both of these people are very close to the situation.
The trigger has been the ludicrously cheap tickets to Hong Kong which British Airways is selling from Germany. These are £1,000 return in Club World – the offer has been extended to this Friday as my other article today explains. It appears that BA intends to continue to sell tickets at these prices to counteract heavy discounting by the Middle East carriers and Turkish, but needs to ensure it protects its revenue.
If the final leg of your Germany to Hong Kong ticket is a few months after the Hong Kong to London leg, be aware. Your card is marked. British Airways will be watching to make sure you take the final flight to Germany.
Anyone who booked the final leg for the same day or day after their return from Hong Kong has less to worry about. Those tickets look real and there are many genuine reasons why an unexpected situation could detain you in London and meant you missed the last flight ….
If you do not take the final leg of a booked flight, BA has the right to reassess your fare and charge you for the cost of a Germany – Hong Kong – London ticket. This would be a bill for a large amount of money.
This could all be ‘talk’ by British Airways, of course. If you refused to pay their invoice, they would need to pursue you in court for the money and I doubt that they would want to risk a judgement going against them.
However, the two people who told me about this do not know each other and work at totally different ends of the travel spectrum. Both have seen or heard this message directly from BA in the last week.
If you have a one-way ticket from London to Frankfurt showing in ba.com for next year, months after you return from Hong Kong, you may want to take a day off work and make a day trip. You’d get the tier points and Avios from the Club Europe leg anyway so it is worth doing it!