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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)

  • Jay says:

    I got the offer last night. I flew BA on the Monday night JFK to LHR and experienced no sign of disruption at all, and was given an upgrade to CW. Two years of Gold is very generous in my view and means I can switch my earning strategy for this year back to star alliance. I do worry about capacity in the lounges though…

    • Joe says:

      Jay: Which flight? I fly back at 20.45 and haven’t gotten the offer.

      • Joe says:

        *flew

      • Jack Contin says:

        I was on 114 Monday night – its exceptionally generous, but if it’s applied to some and not others then BA just opened up a whole lot more questions…

        • dan says:

          totally – a friend of mine got it (he’s gold) – I flew same day and didn’t get it im also gold.
          im fuming really, why was I not offered it.
          not that it will make a difference as I have enough flights booked to retain gold next year anyway. – its the principle.

          • Alan says:

            If you were caught up in the disruptions then I’d contact BA and ask them to make sure you are included – as ever their IT seems to have been a bit flaky and not caught everyone.

  • Mark says:

    I had been given the two year extension also, but as I will achieve gold soon the extension is worth nothing as I will receive a soft landing back to silver anyway

  • simon says:

    BA site crash has locked up just under £7,000 of my cash – they have not issued tickets and will not release cash – one week later and they have not even responded to phone calls and emails – they may have made a reasonable offer to those caught in the airports last Saturday however one full week later they still have my money locked up / have still not issued tickets / have still not had the courtesy to reply to a card holder who has flown BA for 20+ years

    • Yuff says:

      They take weeks to issue tickets sometimes, when are you flying? I assume you used a credit card, so unless you want to cancel is it that much of a problem? 🙂

    • Genghis says:

      I don’t really understand what you want? Tickets issued or to cancel and get a refund?
      If you want to get tickets issued, I recommend contacting them on Twitter. That’s what I did a few months ago, got a call from the twitter team within a few hours and all sorted.

    • RIcatti says:

      Call your credit card company and demand the authorisation be cancelled, especially if that’s a problem with merchant website malfunctioning.

  • Nick Burch says:

    For anyone who doesn’t read the FT, they made BA’s cost-cutting and last weekend’s problem their Big Read yesterday – a whole page of well-informed thought-through BA bashing! https://www.ft.com/content/3126ed82-4212-11e7-9d56-25f963e998b2

    • Alan says:

      Although for those of us that don’t subscribe we also hit a paywall 😉 Luckily them seem to allow a small number of articles per day when clicked through via Google, so search for “Flagging carrier? BA begins recovery mission after IT meltdown” seems to get you past it…

      • Tony says:

        Job done and thanks, Alan. Excellent article, though whether BA actually backtrack is anyone’s guess. Probably not.

      • RussellH says:

        Interesting article, and I would assume that the FT carries rather more weight with BA than most others.

        Interesting technology too. I do not (normally use Google, preferring DuckDuckGo), but while the Duck just took me to the paywall, Google took me through it.

        • dan says:

          the Sunday times also had an article – how BA has dropped below Aeroflot and Ethiopian airways on skytrax.
          for the first time it is losing its four star status and dropping to three.

          the interesting part is the comments.
          1. business class food is a standard no better than economy food on most airlines.
          2. although they pioneered the flat bed seat – its now one of the worst products on offer.

          a realy good bashing

  • Marlene says:

    It is an amazing gesture. It’s funny as I was actually discussing with a friend about going to the destinations that earn 160 TP you sent yesterday morning to keep my silver status but now I can just save time and money!

  • Liz says:

    Sorry OT: Can’t remember the answer to this but how long after the credit card anniversary date do the Virgin upgrade vouchers normally take to appear in your account. Anniversary date is today. Thanks.

  • Lbc says:

    The DailyMail headline in your picture is disgusting… A british company screws up and they immediately blame it on the “spanish” boss and the “indian” IT.

    Is this what Britain has become !?

  • AndyR says:

    Will this really help BA in the media though? “We’re really sorry for last weekend so we are going to give the 10% affected who are frequent flyers an extra 2 years to drink champagne in our lounges”.

    • Tony says:

      I like champagne particularly when I’ve paid for it. Anyway, I always fly CE and CW.

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