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Share your BA shut-down experiences …. and BA adds £16 to Expedia etc bookings

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I don’t try to pretend that I’m an expert on things I don’t understand.  That’s why I am going to spare you my thoughts on the impressive British Airways shut-down yesterday.

There is plenty of in-depth coverage without a paywall at The Guardian, BBC News etc.  It does seem that, this time, the failure went far beyond the FLY passenger management system which has been the cause of most meltdowns over the past year.

I was just lucky that, despite it being half term, I’m not actually on a BA flight until next Friday.  It is a minor consolation for me given that we booked into a UK countryside hotel this weekend just to find that the weather forecast for today and Monday looks appalling …..!

If you were caught up in the chaos yesterday or the consequences today, feel free to share your experiences in the comments to this article.

PS.  Given that BA’s outsourcing of its IT operation will have played a large part in the poor response yesterday, it does not bode well for the BA call centre in Newcastle which I understand is on the verge of being transferred to Capita.

British Airways Embraer 190 London City

British Airways to introduce an £8 fee on third party bookings

Back in 2015, Lufthansa took a brave leap and imposed a €16 fee on every ticket booked via a travel agent or indeed anyone who used a ‘global distribution system’ such as Amadeus, Sabre or Travelport.  The airline claimed that it was paying up to €18 in fees for every ticket sold and wanted to encourage passengers and agents to use its own website.

Many thought that Lufthansa would backtrack but it held firm.

British Airways and Iberia have now decided to add their own £8 / €9.50 per segment (so £16 for a return flight) fee from 1st November.

It isn’t clear what the impact of this will be on the leisure market.  Only BA knows what percentage of leisure passengers book on, say, Expedia versus  How many passengers, when they see British Airways on Expedia costing £14 more than easyJet, will know that BA is actually £2 cheaper if booked direct?

The share prices of Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport all fell on Friday by up to 4% (see this Reuters report) which implies that the market believes trade customers will simply move to booking direct.  Concur, for instance, claims that it will be able to integrate direct booking seamlessly into its system so that corporate users see no change to their current booking process.  Leisure travellers won’t do that if they are not educated that direct booking is sharply cheaper.

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Comments (230)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • TripRep says:

    The Guardian are also matching my earlier ball park compensation guesstimate of £100 Million GBP…

    • CV3V says:

      and thats just the compensation bill. Add on to that the lost revenue from website being down, the hit to the IAG share price on Tuesday when markets open and the longer term impact. IAG shareholders aint gonna be happy, and BA will need to do something significant to regain trust (putting the flower back in the First Class bogs don’t cut it).

      btw, where is Cruz? You couldn’t keep Walsh of the TV, even when there was a problem.

      • Phil says:

        This might be the end of Cruz’s bonus again hopefully

      • Another Phil says:

        I’m actually a bit sad about the whole thing! BA used to be such a strong British brand and now it seems to be left in tatters! Not to mention it being arguably the best loyalty scheme to be a part of in the UK in terms of its network.

        Hopefully this can be a kick up the backside for IAG. I’m not a shareholder, but if I was, I’d be happy to forego a couple of years of dividends to get IAG back on track.

  • TripRep says:

    Having suffered poor service myself, and had to deal with a dragged out compensation claim, it goes without saying I have total respect and empathy for the plight of fellow HFP members that have been caught up in this preventable incident.

    Another useful link from the Guardian, good to see they are championing readers rights.

  • TripRep says:

    Express upping the ante, £150MM when all costs are factored in.

    Also ironically mentions that Jeremy Corbyn himself was affected by this today, delaying flying to Glasgow, maybe he will be interested in pax rights & EU261 after all! 😀

  • Mark says:

    I crashed one of the self bag drop-off terminals at T5 on Thursday, revealing that the interface was a website running in internet explorer on windows 7, lol.

    The staff hadn’t seen it before but i must say the software did well recovering, recognising my luggage label had already been printed and just needed a scan. I was extremely surprised and pleased to find out my bag made it to its final destination too!

  • Paul Hampton says:

    And so it continues… after a weekend of spending all day at the airport on Saturday and all day yesterday getting rebooked for today, we have woken up to a text from BA cancelling the rebooked connecting flight from MAN > LHR today.

    Words fail me and I am unable to get hold of BA to try to salvage anything.

    Options right now as I see them, after screaming loudly and tearing out my hair are….

    1. Train to Euston, then taxi to Paddington and take Heathrow Express – no guarantee the LHR > NCE leg won’t cancelled

    2. Hire car to LHR – as above and cutting it fine now to arrange and navigate motorways on a Bank Holiday

    3. Rebook for tomorrow and make it a 4 day break instead of 7 – hardly seems worth it

    4. Accept it’s game over

    Any other advice guys?

    • Phil says:

      Taxi to Wilmslow then train to London- apparently this is much quicker

    • Genghis says:

      I wouldn’t rely on BA at the moment. Any LCC options direct to Nice at a price point you’re happy with? If not, I’d look into abandoning your trip (read travel insurance policy then call them up). What a shambles

    • CV3V says:

      Go check out Easyjet, ryanair etc flights from MAN and all other nearish airports, and fly direct. Later, tell BA what you are forced to do, and make sure your inbound flight doesnt get cancelled as a result.

  • Paul Hampton says:

    Does anyone know if EU261 still applies, in addition to accepting a full refund if one abandons their trip due to flight being (repeatedly) cancelled?

    • Cheshire Pete says:

      Yes, Refund or Rebook, are totally separate from the compensation aspect which is +3 hours -1 hour reference to your original arrival time.

  • Daffy says:

    We booked a ba holiday. (2 seperate holidaymbookings as my daughter and I were flying the day prior to my husband nad son0
    27/5 lhr T5. Taxi to lhr (£50). We were checked onto flight after queueing for 2 hrs. Left luggage in middle of t5 landslide as advised. Through security. Ran to boarding gate and were told we would be delayed by 15 mins. Then 1 hr, then another hour. We sat and waited…after 3+hrs, no one came back. There was a queue snaking round T5 from end to end, we found out that this queue was for everyone that had their flights cancelled and was to exit or rebook. Our flight still showed as delayed boarding. Well, to cut a long story short…iwe were stranded and abandoned. In the 12 hours we were stuck in T5 airside, for 8hrs we only found 5 ba staff…they were checking boarding passes to let people out.
    Not even water was given. We eventually unceremoniously exited onto the street, unable to get our luggage..or any shred of advice. Queued 45mins for a taxi home £50
    Husband was booked to fly ba ex lhr yesterday. Went to airport (taxi £50)to find flight cancelled. Got taxi home.£50.
    Yesterday booked on to Monarch for today. Shopped for replacement holiday items as everything is in cases in T5. All hopefully flying out today for,the remaining 3nights of,our hols!

  • Tony says:

    Finally got to BKK today on rebooked Sunday flight. Our luggage was shipped off to external storage facility on Saturday so couldn’t reclaim it from T5 on Sunday morning. Waited at the luggage carousel at Suvarnabhumi Airport in the vague hope that it might have shipped on our flight but no such luck. Went to BA lost luggage and immediately received 2 x £100 prepaid Mastercards under EU compensation rules and informed that we should receive our luggage in next few days. The compo Is most welcome as my wife only has what she’s wearing so she’s off out shopping this evening for enough clothes to last her a couple of days. I got nervous before checking in at T5 on Saturday as matters were obviously heading south and shifted a few changes of clothes into my cabin case. A good lesson for me for the future.

    • Tony says:

      I should also add some of the outlay incurred since Saturday’s flight cancellation. £185 hotel bill for Saturday night, £6 tube fare, £44 dinner, £10 toiletries and £88 taxi fare for return trip to T5 on Sunday morning. Lost over £100 for one night stay at BKK hotel and had to fork out over £80 today for replacement AirAsia flight. Will claim for most of it from BA and the BKK hotel and replacement AirAsia flight from travel insurance. Still a mighty pain having to claim, though.

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