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British Airways goes OTT and gives 2 years of status to last weekend’s passengers

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There have been a few developments since I wrote my (well-received, I think) article last Tuesday on BA’s IT melt-down.

The good news is that British Airways is starting to back-peddle on its initial intentions to refuse to compensate passengers.

BA will now consider refunding passengers who bought alternative tickets on other airlines

Mail cover

BA has accepted that it will have to pay EU261 compensation, despite initially telling claimants that they would not be paid

BA will now consider claims for incidental expenses – the current issue is over whether it will insist you claim from your travel insurance first, which is likely to lead to you incurring an excess

The only issue where I don’t have any clarity is whether BA is still insisting that passengers who booked 2 x one-way flights instead of a return ticket will not be compensated for the return tickets they can no longer use.

That said …. if you read the comments under this article, you will see that the reality about what BA is offering to pay seems different (worse) to what they are telling the press.

A surprise gift for Executive Club status members

Some – but not all – travellers last Saturday, Sunday or Monday with British Airways Executive Club status received a pleasant surprise last night.

(Perhaps not as pleasant as being on holiday, which is where many of them were hoping to be but aren’t …..)

BA is extending the Bronze, Silver or Gold status of members travelling last Saturday, Sunday or Monday for two years.  This is a decent gesture and is the first genuine sign of attempting to ‘make good’.

In fact, to be honest, it is a bit OTT.

I can perfectly understand doing this for anyone travelling on Saturday.

On Sunday, however, 2/3rd of Heathrow flights departed – albeit some with long delays.  However, every single flight from Gatwick got away.  Almost all flights on Monday departed as scheduled from both airports.

We are now in a slightly odd situation where there are people who may still be left out of pocket – such as those with 2 x one-way flights booked – whilst many others who were not disrupted at all have had a very generous early Christmas present.

For some reason not everyone who should receive it is receiving the email.  I know of couples, both with the same status, where one has been sent it and the other has not.  Anika also hasn’t had it despite a flight last Monday.  Hopefully BA is not randomly picking out people to receive this, because if it is then there will be even more PR issues coming down the line.

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Comments (126)

  • TripRep says:

    Which Magazine pushing for automatic compensation, if it were extended to downgrades & IDB that may deter deliberate overbooking and cynical downgrade policies.. Although to really deter it I suggest dwngrade compensation should become the price of the last sold ticket!

  • Ash says:

    In compensation world nothing is OTT, particularly when offered by big corporations.

  • Flyoff says:

    It is worth noting that BA under pressure have changed their online claim form removing the need to claim from your insurer first which BA have agreed was not correct.

    • Worzel says:

      Just wondering whether Rob could organise an HFP whip-round and buy Willie a decent shirt and tie!

      • Rob says:

        My shirt maker has a refer a friend scheme 🙂

      • RussellH says:

        Not from me!!

        I might contribute to a whip round for a ban-the-tie campaign though!

        Or maybe I should ask Willie instead??


  • Cheshire Pete says:

    My email from BAEC was worded differently. I dropped down to Silver June 2016 so less than a year ago. I just renewed Silver again in May. My email says I am being upgraded to my previous tier!

    I’ve read read it 4 times as unbelievable!

    • Cheshire Pete says:

      I’m so sorry you had to endure such inconvenience, and understand the frustration it must have caused. So as a gesture of goodwill, we’d like to upgrade your membership to its previous tier for another year.

      • the real harry1 says:

        decent result as you’ll get the soft landing again

        • Cheshire Pete says:

          Yes not bad considering a cancelled £95 flight MAN>LCY got me upgraded back to Gold! I’m just pondering if ‘another year’ means till June 2018 as just renewed or June 2019! Guess find out in a few days!

          • RIcatti says:

            That’s exactly the problem with this move of giving 2-year status extensions.

            It’s also a sign that status members became less profitable for BA itself (many earning via decent QR deals).

            The company will be very stingy with status benefits, and the only raison d’être to prevent from another devaluation is the fact that BAEC is scheme to make people fly more.

  • Tony says:

    Can anyone please advise me and many thanks in advance.

    My wife and I checked into T5 last Saturday for our BKK flight (6000 odd miles). Obviously this was subsequently cancelled, so I believe we are due EUR 600 each for the cancellation under EU261 and will also claim for our incidentals. As an aside our baggage was lost but received 2 x GBP 100 at BKK BA lost baggage counter on arrival and were reunited with our cases on Thursday (so I’m not going to claim any further regards our luggage as GBP 200 has more than covered our costs there).

    We re-booked our flight last Sunday morning and left for BKK on Sunday afternoon, i.e. 24-hours late. So my question is is can we also claim for the 24-hour late departure from T5?

    • Rob says:

      Yes, I think so. Get one €600 paid first then go for the 2nd.

    • Tony says:

      By the way, both my wife and I received the email from BA stating that they’ll renew our current tier status for a further two years by way of an apology [we reached Bronze last weekend].

      • Tony says:

        All things considered, and once we have received EU261 compensation, my wife and I wouldn’t have done too bad out of last Saturday’s T5 nightmare.

        As previously stated, our cancelled CW flight to BKK last Saturday was going to earn just shy of 36k Avios for the round trip. The re-booking has given us 30k Avios each way. Also compensated GBP 200 at BKK for the lost luggage and now our status extended by two years [not sure if this means by one year or two, though].

        The anticipated compensation will be used towards a further CW flight to BKK later in the year, so, personally, we aren’t grumbling.

        • Nick says:

          I’m afraid I’m not sure what you’re asking here. If your Sat flight was cancelled you’ll get compensation. If your rebooked flight left when it was supposed to then you won’t get any more-the first lot of compensation covers that journey. If the rebooked flight was in itself delayed (not from when you were supposed to arrive but when the flight was) then fair enough, you should get two.

  • Jovanna says:

    I got the two year extension email but my partner, on the same booking, did not!

    • Tony says:

      Definitely worth a call / email to BA to clarify, Jovanna. I’ve always found the call centre to be quite helpful.

      • Jovanna says:

        I will do. Still nothing as yet. I’ll call during the week when the dust settles. Maybe they are dealing with it in tranches. My BAEC account hasn’t updated yet to show when my status expires. That would be useful.

  • Lewis says:

    OT; is this a potential alternative for Curve now that Amex support is gone?

    • Alan says:

      Interesting, although I’d be a bit wary after previous similar product Plastc went bankrupt a couple of months ago…

    • Joe says:

      The way it works is by copying the magstripe from your card and recreating it on the Fuze card, so if you put an Amex card onto the Fuze it would still go through the till as an Amex card.

      Obviously it’s not too difficult to read and copy a magstripe, but AFAIK you can’t just do this with a chip and pin card without issuer support to let them do it (something I think isn’t very likely to happen). From their FAQ “At this time, negotiations for EMV Chip technology to work with your bank provider are ongoing, and may limit some chip use”.

      • Alan says:

        Ah – sounds more like a US-centric solution – not much good without chip support!

      • Lewis says:

        Ah fair enough, couldn’t see much about how it works on my phone this morning! Thanks

  • Kathryn says:

    I’ve got the email renewing my status… Only one problem… I didn’t get disrupted! Flew on Saturday prior to all the shenanigans, landed on time 😀

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