How to take British Airways to CEDR arbitration

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We are receiving an increasing number of emails at HFP from British Airways passengers who have had major issues on or with BA flights.  Our general advice has been to take BA to arbitration, making a realistic and not sensationalist claim for compensation.

A HFP reader who has been through the process of taking BA to arbitration has written this how to guide.  You will find it useful if you also feel the need of taking a BA complaint further after not having been offered satisfactory compensation.

British Airways A350

This is how you should approach your claim.  Remember that, of course, this article is purely the opinion and experiences of the author and is not official legal advice in any sense.  Please also remember that the remainder of this article was written by a third party and not by Rob or myself, although it has been edited slightly.

What is CEDR?

Before we got into the details of making a claim, this is an explanation of what CEDR is and how it works:

CEDR is an independent dispute resolution body that adjudicates disputes between passengers and subscribing airlines.

They are currently adjudicating disputes related to Thomson (since the 1st February 2016), British Airways (June 2016), Thomas Cook (July 2016) and EasyJet (August 2016).

A professional adjudicator will assess the application provided by the passenger, evidence submitted by the airline and the relevant law as appropriate in order to reach a decision on the validity of a claim.

CEDR Adjudicators have the power to direct that compensation should be paid to the passenger if the claim is deemed to be proven

In achieving a fair and reasonable outcome for both parties they will treat the passenger and airline fairly, give equal consideration to the word of the passenger and the word of the airline, remain neutral and promote neither the position of the passenger nor that of the airline.

How to claim:

Stage 1:  Raising concerns with the airline

You will not receive a satisfactory hearing at arbitration or in court unless you show that you have used your best efforts to achieve compensation directly from the airline.

In the case of BA you have to use their tortuous online complaints process, which is designed to make record keeping and response as difficult as possible.  You must contact Customer Relations via the form found on this British Airways site.

It is essential that before submitting the complaint online you keep a record of the date and time sent.  Copy the text element of the online submission into a Word or similar file to keep a record of what you stated (save this on your own computer).

The BA system does not encourage this but you will need it later. I suggest creating a BA file and placing a copy of this document into that file.

Once submitted British Airways will email you a receipt to confirm they have received your complaint. This reply also includes your auto generated complaint reference number which you will keep needing, so don’t lose it!

Stage 2:  The airline trying to resolve your complaint

The airline will try and resolve your complaint to your satisfaction. This may take several weeks but you must allow them sufficient time to assess your complaint and respond.

BA tend to respond fairly quickly via email and you will find a letter explaining their response embedded. Keep a copy of the response in your BA folder.

If there is an offer of compensation, you need to decide whether it is reasonable and at this stage either accept or reject it.

Stage 3:  Rejecting the offer

If you decide to reject the airline’s offer, you need to respond with your reasoning and a suggestion of what you would consider to be a reasonable offer.

However, responding to this can be rather difficult as you must follow BA’s convoluted proces to reply correctly.

I would advise that you explain your logic (with calculations, eg x% of the flight cost or £x based on 1.6p per Avios point which is BA’s selling price) as to your idea of proper recompense.  Bear in mind that if BA rejects it, the Independent Adjudicator will read it and if it is plainly unreasonable will probably reject it too!  Be sensible. (If you feel that the airline has contravened any consumer or EU laws, quote them here).

End the submission by suggesting if they do not accept your proposal you will take your case to the County Court. This “threat” should encourage them to either make a FINAL offer or to refuse to budge.  BA should send you a response indicating that this is their final offer and then offering you the chance to go to mediation via CEDR (an independent dispute resolution body that adjudicates disputes between passengers and subscribing airlines of which BA is one).

At the bottom of the BA response you will see a paragraph telling you NOT to reply directly to the email as the email address is unmonitored. You must therefore respond ONLINE via the link at the bottom of the email.  Hit that link, enter your case reference and paste in your response. Submit and keep a record in your BA file.

Stage 4:  The final response letter

If the passenger and airline are unable to find a mutually acceptable resolution to the complaint, the airline will issue a ‘final response letter’.

This letter will tell you that the airline is unable to take your complaint any further and it should normally say that you may refer the matter to CEDR for adjudication. Go to CEDR’s website to see how it works.

Once you have received a “Final Response” that frees you up to go to mediation via CEDR straight away. Alternatively you can apply to CEDR independently BUT only once 8 weeks have passed from your original complaint submission.

In my case I had the “Final Response” letter via email from BA within three weeks of initiating my complaint and was then free to apply to CEDR immediately thereafter.

Stage 5:  Apply to CEDR for adjudication

CEDR’s online process is a bit of a hit and miss if you apply before the 8 weeks are up. Their system seems programmed to reject the application even if you have had your Final Response letter, but it is easy to follow the process.

You can attach files (ie those you have saved in your BA folder).  It is probably better to download their PDF form, complete and sign it and then scan it in to send it along with all your other files via email. If you have a problem you can call CEDR. They are usually very helpful and will sort out any glitches.

You also need to send your Credit Card details to underwrite a £25 fee should your case be 100% rejected by the adjudicator.  This is unlikely and anyway the CEDR process is much quicker and cheaper than the County Court process. You can always revert to that if you are unhappy with the adjudicator’s decision, though it may no doubt become part of the airlines evidence in any County Court process.

CEDR will check your application and may ask for further information. Once they accept it all further correspondence is automated via email and you can log in to check the progress online, answer further queries or see the airline’s comments – or hopefully their revised offer!

Once CEDR has passed it on to the airline they have 15 working days to submit their response (or defence). If no improved offer is forthcoming within the 15 days, the CEDR will adjudicate.

You will then have your final result – and hopefully one in your favour.

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Comments

  1. Polly says:

    That’s torturous, a holiday or trip has to be worth it to go through that route. But l, like our friend here would def go for it, as a large corportation like BA should def be held accountable in these cases.

  2. Charlie says:

    Thank you for this article, I’ve been trying to make sense of the complaints route as I’m in the middle of a BA complaint for denied boarding and had not even heard of CEDR.

    I find that it takes about a week to get each reply after submitting complaint correspondence online via BAs website, and they deny compensation by default!

    • Mark Priest says:

      Please tell us more!! Why were you denied boarding What class, What flight? What was the ticket cost and how did you pay? I’m sure the guys here will tell you what you will be entitled too.

      • Charlie says:

        All sorted now but in case it helps anyone in future herr was my situation.

        It was a BA Amex 2 for 1 redemption traveling in club world, I had already chosen seats and received an email inviting us to check in.

        Arrived at airport to check in to find we had ‘not been ticketed’ and so were turned away from check in and directed to nearby ticket desk who in turn managed to contact executive club. This was quite a frantic experience as by now check in was at last calls! Unfortunately by the time the issue was resolved the check in was closed, so we were booked to travel next day.

        Using the BA website form I put a complaint and after several refusals to pay compensation I quoted EU261, involuntary denied boarding despite having a confirmed reservation, and BA duly paid up.

        I have since learnt that if you check in online, you can find out if you haven’t been ticketed. The benefit here is that you get more time to contact BA to sort BA issues out!

  3. Robert southern says:

    Please can someone explain the scenarios in which this would be needed? Thanks

    • the real harry1 says:

      Generally speaking, for failures in service delivery – which will perhaps include not seating you in the class of seat you paid for, maybe your seat was broken or the IFE didn’t work – possibly the plane arrived late & BA should be offering you compensation but are refusing that for a spurious reason.

      Or in my case, I paid for some seats with food & drink included in the fare, then BA changed the rules and stopped providing free food & drink. Luckily I took several screenshots of the BA offer which help substantiate my case.

      • Jonathan says:

        Approximately what level of compensation would you think is reasonable for IFE not working?

        I took a 2-4-1 business flight to BGI last year and IFE wasn’t working at all. I complained and BA offered I think 16,000 avios and wouldn’t budge on that.

        I didn’t know about CEDR.

        • 16k seems fair (I almost never watch IFE outbound so it would be free money for me). Even ignoring the 241, BGI is 50k each way in Club and they offered you 32% back for a dodgy TV. CEDR would not give you any more.

        • Harpo says:

          I reckon 16,000 is good. I accepted 10k for no IFE on an old 777 LGW-OAK – perhaps I should have asked for more but I didn’t actually notice until quite late into the flight and was happy reading my book.

  4. Avoiding BA altogether therefore avoiding the ‘torturous’ claims procedure is another option.

    I will manage to retain gold next year by avoiding BA completely (BAEC is their saving grace) by flying QR, CX And MH and even my four required BA flights were on Finnair (BA coded).

    I had enough of them last year- absolutely hapless and their customer care are a joke.

    A oiling BA will reduce the risk of stress and grief.

    • Sam Wardill says:

      Avoiding BA is definitely not a good solution IMHO. I have a complaint against Qatar who are not covered by CEDR (or any of the other airline Alternative Dispute Resolution scheme). Under such circumstances complaint resolution is handled by CAA but CAA recently stopped handling complaints other than Regulation EC261/2004 concerning denied boarding, cancellation and delay and EC1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility. My complaint against Qatar does not fall under this scope. I don’t quite understand how the CAA decided that this would be a good policy.

      Non-EU airlines also are only subject to EU Regulation EC261/2004 in the outbound direction from EU so, as Rob has highlighted, you have more protection with an EU airline under law.

      • Polly says:

        Out of interest Sam, would you mind sharing your complaint with the group? Or is it too private, l mean? Just in case others of us fall into a similar trap.

        • Sam wardill says:

          I already agreed with Rob to write an article for the site when my complaint is resolved. It is definitely of interest to HfP readers

    • Polly says:

      We too have managed to retain our Lowly Silver status too, by using QR j back and for the to Asia or Bali. Two of our legs were with EI tho due to change of time allowed in BA Y same day changes. That’s one good thing we found and use frequently. Quite a helpful, not well advertised perk of paid Y fares. Baec is def the best around.

      • Wally1976 says:

        Could you explain the ‘perk of paid Y fares’ please Polly? It’s not clear from your description? Thanks

        • Aliks says:

          When you book a BA flight in Europe there will be 3 options offered: Basic, Plus and Club Europe.
          Basic is really Hand Baggage Only
          Plus is the one that allows you to change flights for free provided its the same route and same day (and there is space on the plane!)
          Club Europe is Business
          Do a trial booking and click on More Details to see the exact restrictions

        • Polly says:

          Aliks, thanks for enlarging on that Y perk….it’s especially useful,if returning from an ex eu flight and you want to get home earlier. We have used it many times when we have needed to leave early or late from wherever. But it’s certainly not promoted. You really have to,read the small,print these days before paying for any flight. We do now, as a matter of principle, as l don’t want any kickback with ba.

    • Catalan says:

      I’d agree with avioding BA if the flights, customer service, complaints procedures are as ‘tortuous’ as suggested. The bit I don’t understand is why one would want to continue chasing Avios and tier points with very airline that is making your travel experience so unbearable. Are there no other airline frequent flyer schemes out there that may be a better choice?

      • Sam wardill says:

        I already agreed with Rob to write an article for the site when my complaint is resolved. It is definitely of interest to HfP readers

        • Sam wardill says:

          Apologies. This was reply to earlier thread.

          On topic in this thread, I think BAEC is streets ahead of QRPC. I am no longer BA gold as I switched to QRPC (where I am now platinum). I regret this decision!

        • Polly says:

          Sam, l have always advised folks to stick with Baec, purely for flexibility and the RFS. We used to be qrpc but found them very hard to use. Their Csa are useless, like dealing with 12 yo. So yes BAEC is tops really if only they would admit their mistakes, and not have people fighting for compo all the time. Ba is not for the feignt hearted. Their 241 is still the best if you can use it on F LH.

  5. Optimus Prime says:

    OT: any hotels recommendations for Kauai and Hawaii’s Big Island in second half of October?

    I do have Amex Platinum though seems to me that staying in a flat would much be cheaper than a SPG or Hilton branded hotel. Haven’t had time to rack up hotel points though I can still trigger my Barclaycard Hulton free night voucher and my wife’s.

    In fact I’m likely to spend all our Avios in the BA 241 redemption and won’t be able to take advantage of Alaska or AA redemptions for the local flights…

    • Bertster says:

      Sheraton Kauai is great – right on the beautiful Poipu Beach. Rumfire restaurant is really good (and quite unlike the bar of the same name in Waikiki – this is much higher end). Ocean View rooms do what they say in the tin. Garden view are cheaper, and are on the other side of the road, but still worth considering if you want a peaceful location.
      I’m also very fond of the Sheraton Kong on the Big Island, and it is decently priced, but it gets mixed reviews as it is in serious need of a revamp.

      • One more vote for the Sheraton Kauai. Location is great. You could argue that some of the rooms are perhapsa bit dated, but we enjoyed a few nights there as part of our honeymoon. The island is also very nice and Poipu beach is great for swimming.

    • Nate1309 says:

      We stayed 2 nights in the small town of Volcano at Hale Ohia Cottages. Fairly basic B and B but Volcano is like that. Depending how long you are on Big Island I would recommend staying there. The views if the lava at night are far more spectacular that in the day. Both at the caldera look out and if you make the hike/cycle to where the lava pours into the ocean along the old coastal road (not accessible by car). Another thing I loved about Big Island was snorkelling around the Captain Cook Minument (we hired a kayak and then paddles there as not accessible on foot) but in they bay there are about 200+ spinner dolphins.

    • Optimus Prime says:

      Thanks for your suggestions, will check those out!

    • Ricardo says:

      The Koa Kea (a little further along the same stretch of beach as the Sheraton) is great if you are looking for a more boutiquey hotel on Kauai.

      On the Big Island we rented a condo at Aston Shores in the Waikoloa development which was ok but nothing special. The same development also has a Hilton that looked decent (from the outside at least!) if you are looking for an option to use the voucher.

    • Canuck says:

      We enjoyed the Fairmont Orchid near Waikoloa on big island. The gold floor made for good value when you factor in the food.

    • Worth looking at FHR options – made use of a free night offer before to very good effect when combined with upgrade and daily free breakfast buffet…

      Try the excellent third-party FHRnews site for tips – https://www.fhrnews.com/countries/USA/Hawaii

    • BIG ISLAND (we have been there only once)
      No great hotels close to Volcano so best to just look under Volcano Village on Trip Advisor and particularly read about Kate’s Cottage(s) in the rain forest built by her Scandinavian husband and which is a great choice for a trip of a few days. As well as the volcano Trip Advisor will point you to the other worthwhile sightseeing – do not miss the black sand turtle beach Punalu’u and enjoy the turtles in the water and on the beach.

      KAUAI (Kauai’i)
      We have been there 7 times – once for 3 weeks in November and six times for most of September (yes I know, it is really tough, but we like to help our American cousins make their economy a success!).

      If you plan on lots of snorkelling, swimming and boat trips note that the ocean in this part of the world gets much rougher from October – March.

      The south shore is the sunniest and driest. If you can pay up, look at the Grand Hyatt which is superbly located oceanfront on deserted Shipwreck beach next door to the key resort area of Poipu (the Sheraton is located here and there are numerous upscale restaurants and shops in the area).

      Up north at Princeville but not oceanfront would be the St Regis and nearby Westin. Weather is generally much wetter up there!

      If you fancy self-catering condos (most are very low rise) I have always found this a good site to start looking and gain a feel for locations and prices etc: https://www.vrbo.com/vacation-rentals/usa/hawaii/kauai. Trip Advisor is also very good for this.

      There are some good value condos in Kapaa which is a busy place with lots of supermarkets etc and has the merit of being just a few minutes north of the airport and almost equidistant from the north and south shores. If you plan on exploring the island you will therefore find this an ideal base. In Kapaa we like the Wailua Bayview for value. The units to go for are those on the 2nd (= the top) floor (called the 3rd floor in America). Also units with high nos are furthest from the main road and so much quieter.

      Lastly, if you only ever do one helicopter ride in Hawai’i be sure to do it in Kauai – you will see Waialeale the wettest place on earth, some Indiana Jones movie sites, Waimea Canyon (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific) and the amazing Napali coast. Also look out for Hawaiian Monk Seals on the beaches – they are seriously endangered with only some 1100 left – they have been declining at about 4% per year but have recently stabilised somewhat. They often hunt at night and haul themselves onto the beaches for daytime naps. Like us, you may doze on a beach and find one lying next to you doing the same when you awake!

      There is so much more it would fill several books……………………….

      Enjoy the trip.

      Hope this may help just a little.

      • Optimus Prime says:

        Great stuff!!

        Thanks everone for their help!

        One more question: we’re landing at LAX at 1:05pm local time. There’s a fight to Kauai at 4:45pm. Could we make it in time?

        BTW we were at NYC last year so our ESTA’s should be still valid? Would this make out waiting at the border control shorter?

        • It depends when you applied for the ESTA – was it for that trip or a previous one? You can check validity on their website, it’s two years IIRC. There are APC kiosks at many airports for those that have entered previously via ESTA – worth keeping an eye out for (I’ve had Global Entry for a few years now so haven’t used these other ones).

        • Optimus Prime says:

          We applied for that NYC trip.

          I just checked online and says it’s valid till March 2018. Is this okay even though we’re going to different cities this time?

        • Yes, covers the entire USA.

        • Yes, that’s not an issue at all – it isn’t city-dependent. You can normally update it with your new first night hotel address although I don’t think that is really necessary, you just need to have a valid one on file.

  6. I have raised a claim against BA for the business class flights I took with them in March . No IFE for the duration of the flight , no menus as they were not loaded onto the aircraft . Not enough wash bags to go around ! – finally no main meal option due to not enough loaded and offered something from light bites side of the menu . Cabin Manager admitted it was a total failure to provide business class service for the 50 passengers . What was worse was that there was so many complaints that the cabin manager spent the flight dealing with it that there was only 4 cabin crew trying appease 50 passengers . BA did not accept liability but one week before court proceedings due to start they have sent a cheque . My intention was not to be unfair , but for a cash booking and being offered 10,000 avios by Silver exec team, I felt I had been unfairly treated .
    This is my first time using MCOL but hope that BA are going to stop these cuts which are having an impact on service .

    • Jonathan says:

      Without specifics (as I guess there’s an NDA) can you please let us know approximately what proportion of the fare were you seeking and what were you offered in the cheque?

      • Hi Jonathan,
        The intention was not to be greedy, I followed excellent advice from HFP and claimed 25% of the value of the return journey. BA has paid in full along with the cost for raising through MCOL.

      • Jimmy says:

        An NDA for this? Hardly.

    • Hi John. Could you give me the BA’s address to which you sent the paparwork for court proceedings? I am in dispute with BA too after my partner and I were involuntarily denied boarding in March from Shanghai to London on 2-4-1 Club World. BA has been terrible in their response and is refusing to give us any compensation at all in spite of the fact that we got a consumer lawyer to draft the complaint letter for us, quoting EU261/4000. I am not going to bother using the arbitration service. I am going to take BA to court and see how they like it. Look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks.

      • How on earth are they trying to wriggle out of that, aren’t the regulations pretty clear cut?!

        • Hi Anna,
          When we were at check in at Shanghai Pudong, we were asked to STAND with our suitcases near the check in desk for three hours until the desk closed. The check in staff gave us some spending money to compensate us for not being able to use the lounge or shop in the duty free area. This was given to us in Shanghai, at the check in desk, not after our return to the UK. BA insists that that money (£125) is the compensation and the right amount and they are not offering us any more compensation. My initial complaint letter to BA was a ‘letter before action’, drafted by a consumer lawyer, and quoting EU261/2004. Below is BA’s response.

          –>> Thanks for coming back to us. You’re clearly unhappy with our previous response, as we’ve rejected your claim for additional compensation. I’m sorry you feel let down.

          Our records show that we’ve already offered £125.00 to you in compensation for denied boarding. As advised earlier, the amount of compensation is in line with other airlines and is a set limit under EU regulations. I hope you’ll understand we have to be consistent so we’re fair to all of our customers. This means we can’t make an exception this time. I’m sorry we’re unable to offer you any additional compensation for denied boarding.

          We’re grateful you’ve taken the time to let us know what happened, as it’s only through your feedback we’re able to focus on areas where we need to improve.

          Thanks again for getting in touch. We value your business and appreciate your loyalty as a Blue member of our Executive Club. I hope we can welcome both of you on board soon. If you need help with anything else, please feel free to contact me directly using the blue link below.

      • K&K – does your lawyer not have this info? (btw think you mean EU261/2004?)

        FT chat on address here;
        https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1812051-2017-ba-compensation-thread-your-guide-regulation-261-2004-a-29.html#post28230687

      • Hi K&K ,
        I returned from my flight at the end of March .
        On return I was disappointed as I stated above . I decided to proceed to take BA to small claims court out of principal as well because of the generic answers to my complaint .
        I actually used the customer relations address . This was amended on the reply to the head office address at Waterside . ( see below )
        Waterside
        PO Box 365
        Harmondsworth, UB7 0GB
        United Kingdom
        Log onto MCOL , raise your court claim and pay £25 . Later you will be asked to send by e-mail documents showing that you have contacted BA which I provided my complaint letter.
        Yesterday BA sent me a mail stating that are not accepting liability but will pay the full amount plus the £25 MCOL fee.
        Good luck !

        • the real harry1 says:

          decent result

        • Thanks John.

        • Nice one, but no more than you or anyone in your shoes deserves.

          Rob – should file this away for future ref.

          In general what I find disturbing about the stock replies, is the apparent repeated complicit flouting of laws and regulations, it would be interesting to see what a judge thought of this practice. ie Is an airline truly acting in “good faith” when they know the laws they should adhere to but appear to be deliberately misleading customers when quoting them?

  7. Does anyone know if TrepRep/anon got a final settlement for his enforced downgrading going to the Maldives? I’ve looked at his blog but it’s rather vague. It would be good to know of a case which has been settled for anyone who has the same problem in the future.

    • the real harry1 says:

      there’s often a generous enough offer combined with a confidentiality agreement, which is why you often don’t hear the settlement details of successful complaints

      • I’m not looking for generosity, I’m seeking justice under the laws that BA should operate within and adhere to.

      • Jimmy says:

        NDAs are not that common. For example under FOS (Financial Ombudsman Service for those unaware, which also caters for travel insurance complaints etc) – they even publish the decisions on their website.

        • the real harry1 says:

          nobody seems to be publishing their victorious claims against BA for dropping free food & drink…

          not too sure you’re right

        • Everyone I know who has settled with BA out of court has agreed to confidentiality. TripRep has actually written something for me already about his case, in case BA makes him sign something later on.

        • the real harry1 says:

          I guess I will too, if they’re generous enough

    • Still awaiting an adjudicator​ to be assigned by CEDR…. The timeframe for my case is 5 weeks after finishing 3 weeks of back and forth with myself and BA putting our cases forward on the CEDR website/forum. So in short in could be over 3 months since the downgrade before CEDR/BA offer a reasonable resolution under EU261/2004, this is not a good advert for either party. I’d recommend MCOL for future action.

      Anna – I do have a few more pointers to add to whoever kindly submitted this guide (not me). I’ll do those this eve when not pushed for time.

      • Thanks for the update – I have been hoping so much that you get a satisfactory outcome. Power to the consumer 🙂

  8. BA Sucks says:

    I think this article could have been more useful if its tone was more neutral and its advice less teacher like.

    • Quiet at the back – raise your hand if you would like to comment…

    • Perhaps you should change the ‘BA’ in your name to ‘My Attitude’.
      Thank you for your useful comment though.

    • John D says:

      I for one feel that as a” How to guide” the format of this is very well written for me.

    • mark2 says:

      I think it is extremely useful and well written. I shall file it for future reference (hopefully not needed).
      Thank you to the person who took the time to set out the steps for us so clearly.

      • Jimmy says:

        The generic advice applies to all complaints. Many companies make it inherently difficult (intentionally so) to complain effectively – e.g. emails not accepted etc. Like telephone companies such as Vodafone or BT etc…but many many more – its standard practice to put off the masses and only those with staying power (and nous) get a favourable outcome. It is imperative to ALWAYS keep records, dates/times of calls (they want you to call rather than write for obvious reasons) and note the name/dept of staff etc etc.

    • Not sure how being less teacher like would be more useful. Surely the usefulness depends on the actual content, not the way its delivered.

      • Polly says:

        Spot on, Alan, def will file for future, hope never to need it!

      • BA Sucks says:

        I’m no defender of BA by any means, but the contributor of this article has put far too much emotion into it, in my opinion.

        All five stages could be cut into five much shorter paragraphs if the emotion is removed. For example: ‘..In the case of BA you have to use their tortuous online complaints process, which is designed to make record keeping and response as difficult as possible…’ – far too much emotion. And that’s just the first sentence.

        Waffle and emotion do not help claimants win these sort of things.

        • Agree when complaining it is definitely worth keeping a cool head. If especially annoyed then perhaps draft and leave until the next day to re-read before submitting!

      • BA Sucks says:

        Look: I’m not having a go at the contributor, who has provided useful information. I just think it is far too emotional and teacher like in its prescription. Here’s an edit:

        Stage 1: Contact BA directly with your complaint

        Contact Customer Relations via the form found on this British Airways website. I suggest you keep a record of this correspondance.

        Stage 2: BA will attempt to resolve your complaint

        BA will try and resolve your complaint. This may take several weeks but you must allow them sufficient time to assess your complaint and respond. In my experience, BA tend to respond fairly quickly via email. I suggest you keep a record of all correspondence with BA. If you are not satisfied with BA’s response at this point, then reject BA’s offer.

        Stage 3: Rejecting the offer

        If you decide to reject BA’s offer, you need to respond with your rational and a suggestion of what you would consider to be a reasonable offer. I would advise that you explain your rational with calculations, e.g.: x% of the flight cost or £x or compensation based on 1.6p per Avios point, which is the price that BA currently charge for Avios points. Bear in mind that if BA rejects your suggestion, the independent adjudicator will be able to see it, and if it is unreasonable will probably reject it too. So I suggest your suggested offer is sensible. Also, if you feel that the airline has contravened any consumer or EU laws, I suggest you quote them at this stage.

        Stage 4: The final response letter

        If BA does not agree to your suggestion, BA will issue a ‘final response letter’ and suggest that the matter is referred to the CEDR. As soon as you receive this letter, you can mediate via the CEDR. Alternatively, you can apply directly to the CEDR for mediation, but only after 8 weeks have passed from the submission of your original complaint.

        Stage 5: Apply to the CEDR for adjudication

        At this stage, CEDR will ask for prior correspondence between yourself and BA in order to adjudicate the case. You’ll also need your credit card details to underwrite a £25 fee in case your claim is ultimately rejected. The CEDR will check your application and may request additional information from you. The CEDR will submit a case file for BA to review. BA then have 15 working days to respond. If BA do not make a satisfactory offer to you after this point, then the CEDR will adjudicate. Hopefully in your favour!

        • the real harry1 says:

          well – yes – top marks – possibly just make mental note (for future reference) not to gratuitously criticise or belittle an article author who has made a pretty good effort to help us all here?

        • +1, it’s a blog for heaven’s sake, it’s supposed to be chatty, informative and accessible. It’s not a legal textbook.

        • BA Sucks says:

          Fair points and I’m sorry – my intention was not to belittle the contributor, which I don’t think I did at any point above anyway. I played the prose not the person. Hopefully if someone visits this page in the future, they will rant less about BA when they need to rant about BA.

        • the real harry1 says:

          accepted, back in the fold

    • Dave T says:

      Hahaha! Your username is totally neutral¬! “quiet in the cheap seats!”

      • BA Sucks says:

        Indeed. And BA would suck much less if some form of revenue model was introduced into the EC.

  9. Jack Contin says:

    Does anyone have thoughts on BA taking vindictive action against passengers regularly (but justified) seeking compensation or arbitration? Should we be concerned that BA might put a black mark against our CIV score for example?

    • Sam Wardill says:

      I think this would be very dangerous for them as (under data protection laws) we are entitled to see that data. The bad publicity arising from such an action would be costly.

    • In fairness to BA tactics (past and current) I seriously doubt they’d try this on, in fact I suspect they’d consider the opposite. For myself they are already aware if I get downgraded/bumped again with similar obfuscating, misleading and generally poor customer service, I’d have no hesitation in starting legal proceedings earlier.

      However, should vindictive behaviour ever be suspected by any of HFP readers, you can be sure that Rob would be receiving emails and they’d be plenty of comments on here and FT….

    • the_real_a says:

      This is exactly what Nationwide did (closing all accounts) after losing adjudications.

  10. Sam Wardill says:

    I submitted a CEDR case on 31st January for compensation from BA under Regulation EC261/2004. I’m still awaiting adjudication. They finally appointed an adjudicator on 13th April and told me to expect a response in 14 days. I guess that must have been working days and I think they are still late.

    On the plus side, unlike in the process suggested by the writer of the article, I was never asked for any credit card details.

  11. PaulW says:

    It is also hard to share experiences of CEDR cases as one of the conditions of use is that you don’t! So suspect plenty of anonymous stories! They seem busy. Process a month late at the moment but probably still quicker and easier than courts route. The speed and standard cut and paste responses mean you will probably be at 8 weeks long before any final letter from BA.

  12. Yarong76 says:

    It is most likely the route I will eventually take in my case: a code share multi-stop flight with BA flight numbers, operated by another OW carrier. As BAEC Gold I changed seats over the phone on one of the flights. When I arrived to check into the flight, boarding pass wouldn’t scan, but I was told to board the aircraft.

    My suspicion is that the other airline was not “expecting” me in the seat I was assigned over the phone.

    Unbeknown to me (discovered this a couple of days later), the airline reported me as a “no-show” and BA subsequently cancelled my ticket and I was told to purchase a new ticket.
    The events which followed I would rather not mention in the comment, but needless to say I had suffered more than just “inconveniences”.

    Apart from the fact that as soon as I discovered the cancellation of the ticket, my holiday was over, my honesty and integrity as a person was put into question. I am now determined to receive an explaination from BA as to why I found myself in the position I was in and to be accountable for the false accusation that I had “simply decided to use up only one leg of my multi city itinerary”

    I will happily update HFP via email on the outcome of my complaint.

    • I had a similar experience but it worked out ok. I travelled from LHR > JFK > MCO in March and LHR Virgin check in issued my boarding passes. When I tried to board at MCO my boarding pass didn’t work so they printed me a new one (not sure why they didn’t do that for you). Once on the aircraft and seated, I was approached before doors were closed by a cabin crew and ground staff asking me to prove my identity which I thought was very odd. The connecting flight was Delta so all booked through Virgin.

      • Yarong76 says:

        My purchased ticket was in business class but the connecting flight was a domestic short haul so I thought all seats were the same. It was only after take off when I was asked if I wanted to purchase something off the menu I thought to myself “no, something’s not right”. When I spoke to the flight attendant she apologised and said that the row I was sat in was not business and showed me the passenger list – at which point I told her “here’s my name….next to the previously assigned seat”. Her response was “I don’t know how the gate agent didn’t spot this”

        What happened later I’m now fighting to find out , but regardless of the “why/how”, the airline reported me as “no show”, BA cancelled remainder of ticket without notice, communication , alert.

  13. I’m using CEDR at present to claim off easyJet for a 5 ½ hour delay AMS to LTN. They blame the weather when they clearly told us otherwise. They have all evidence including a video and have presented their case to easyJet. They 14 days to reply otherwise next level I guess.

  14. Steve says:

    Tried using the BA complaints procedure a few years ago, which got me nowhere.

    What did get their attention was when the papers from MCOL land on their desk. Very quickly resolved – probably the thought of having to travel north of Birmingham

  15. Just trying to get an answer to a simple question from BA contact staff makes me lose the will to live. I emailed them 3 times to ask if we will be able to use the lounge at Manchester the evening before a CW connecting flight, as our domestic tickets were booked before the change to CE. All they will say is refer to the itinerary, which of course shows the flight as being in Economy as per the original booking! When I tried to get a bit more sense out of them, they told me to call Customer Services, though I rarely get much sense out of them either! It can’t be cost effective to employ people who can’t resolve anything quickly.

    • I think there is a ‘same day’ rule so the answer is no. You should probably have had your domestic flight upgraded to CE automatically, however – some people got it.

  16. i had a dispute with flybe last year re overccharging for taking an earlier flight home. they refused to budge and i went to the retail ombubsman and they conceded within a month or so. is this different? my case was for £170 i think.

  17. hi guys
    I recently made a complaint – and did it a much simpler way.
    I emailed a complaint to customer services and copied in the director of customer services (email address easily found)

    I had daily email updates about my issue – followed by a call offering their standard compensation of 10,000 avios

    I rejected this over the phone – suggested what I thought was fair

    agreed it instantly.
    if customer services Boss is included in original email – its amazing how efficient they are

  18. Stuart says:

    Hi everyone.

    Has anyone taken a complaint with Vueling to CEDR? Last summer they failed to issue tickets on a BA operated codeshare BCN-LHR fare from vueling.com. We’re still out of pocket (money and avios) as we had to use Reward availability to get back the same day.

    Vueling remain unresponsive, so we did escalate it to AESA (Spanish CAA) who decided there’s no breach of EC261/2004, which is probably correct, but doesn’t help us get the money/avios back from Vueling. As they’re part of IAG, where should we go next?

    If anyone’s got any ideas then let me know, thanks!

  19. awanderlusttraveller says:

    Just for some info in case it helps anyone

    I had a really long (overnight) delay on a Garuda flight last year where we were told so many different reasons for delay. The connecting flight was also delayed and you will not believe how many passengers had their original boarding passes ripped in front of them! (So they can’t claim compensation back I’m assuming)

    Took Rob’s advice and e-mailed them of EU compensation laws. After not getting much replies, I went on twitter, where after one e-mail I was asked my bank details so they could process compensation!

  20. Just open a case with resolver (via moneysavingexpert), you eventually get to process your case to CEDR.
    I have just done so, over my complaint of not having complimentary food on a flight that was booked before BoB was announced & flight taken after BoB was implemented.
    All they offered was 1000 avios, which is not even enough to buy the cheapest drink & snack both ways on a flight!

    • Julie A says:

      I agree re using Resolver. The benefit is that all communications are logged via one handy case file without all the cutting and pasting and saving each communication manually. This meant that when I eventually took my case to CEDR it was painless. It’s a free service and very efficient in my experience.

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