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British Airways announces the routes to be flown by Qatar Airways aircraft

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As we mentioned a few weeks ago, British Airways is leasing A330 aircraft from Qatar Airways in order to cover for its Boeing 787-9 fleet which requires substantial engine repairs.

We now know which routes are being flown by Qatar Airways.  This a wet lease, with Qatar Airways providing both the crew and the aircraft:

BA 157/156 – Heathrow to Kuwait (and return) – 9th June to 1st July

BA 79/80 – Heathrow to Muscat (and return) – 9th June to 21st August

BA 143/142 – Heathrow to Delhi (and return) – 9th June to 21st August

Operationally, this is a bit of a mess as these are two class aircraft:

First Class passengers will be downgraded to Business Class

Some Business Class passengers will be downgraded to Economy

World Traveller Plus passengers will be downgraded to Economy

If you are travelling on any of these services, you have the right to a refund or a rebooking on another BA flight.  This even applies if you are still travelling in the same cabin as your flight now has a different operator.

Seat selection on these flights appears to be free looking at the document sent around yesterday.  If you have paid for seating, you may be allowed a refund.   You are also unable to pre-order meals, or pay for the superior meals if you are in Economy. No Kosher food will be provided – you will get a fruit plate instead.  All meals will be halal.

Compensation payments are substantial:

First Class passengers who are downgraded will also receive, on top of the difference in fare or Avios, a £700 BA voucher or 140,000 Avios PER SECTOR.  That is a ludicrous 280,000 Avios return.

Club World passengers who are downgraded will also receive, on top of the difference in fare or Avios, a £400 BA voucher or 80,000 Avios PER SECTOR.

World Traveller Plus passengers who are downgraded will get NOTHING on top of the fare difference unless they have BA status.  Such passengers will receive 20,000 Avios PER SECTOR.

You will retain the lounge access you would have had before the downgrade, and will earn the Avios and tier points of the original ticket.

It is not clear how this compensation will work alongside any EC261 compensation.  You should be due 75% of the one-way cost of your ticket, including taxes.  However, looking at cases on Flyertalk it seems that BA likes to argue that, where a class of service is removed completely, this is a cancellation and not a downgrade.  You may therefore end up better off if you are downgraded from Business to Economy – since EU261 is clearly due here – than if you were swapped from First to Business or from World Traveller Plus to Economy.

Full details are on ba.com here.


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There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (93)

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

  • Michael says:

    What does this mean for other 787-9 flights? I have a 241 return leg in J booked from SJC in October… concerned about being bumped down last minute.

  • John says:

    Not sure if UK-CDG-MCT-MiddleEast or even India makes any sense, BKK and further east look interesting though.

    • Lady London says:

      Don’t forget you can use Amex Reward points for Eurostar to Paris and thus start your ticket in Paris avoiding the horrendous amounts of UK APD.

  • lev441 says:

    OT – want to cancel my BAPP card – do the Avios I’ve earnt go into my BAEC even if I’ve cancelled (the day they seeep over is the 20th of the month).. I’m sure I read on here they do but on chat they told me I would loose them…

    • Genghis says:

      You might struggle. I’d wait till 20th, provided over say 1000 avios to transfer if you value at 0.8p. Otherwise cancel now. ((15/365 x 195)/0.8)*100

      • lev441 says:

        Thanks Genghis. I was hoping that wasn’t going to be the response – wanted to maximise the cards I have available to me in December for shop small (if it’s going to happen again this year!)

        Have around 25,000 due to work flights/expenses going on the card but missed the cut off for the last statement day by a day or so – very frustrating!

        • Polly says:

          Got to watch the dates like clockwork. We too missed a cut off date like that and had to wait a further month. Shame but worth it. Agree, v annoying.

        • Sundar says:

          From what I have seen on Twitter, Small biz sat is on Dec 1, which means unlikely Shop small…as usually that is done to encourage small biz.

        • Genghis says:

          I thought recently SS has run for two from small biz Sat?

        • lev441 says:

          Yes normally runs for the two weeks after small biz Saturday. Although there were rumours that last year was perhaps the last!?

  • Jeff says:

    OT- are supplementary card holders eligible for new user bonus with AMEX Gold if they want to get their own card later?
    Also do they get additional offers or are they shared with both users?

    • Rob says:

      Yes.

      Not sure if the offers are the same or not, never done a comparison to be honest.

    • JP says:

      Yes you are fine to get a card it you are also a supplementary card holder and get the offers (also get referred from the main hold for extra MR points). You also get your own offers. Also if you add the other person as a supp on your card after you apply you used to get extra points (not sure if they still happens now the switch to a credit card has happened).

  • Simon says:

    OT – If I refer someone for eg Nectar Amex from my plat Amex, do they need to actually use the card for me to get the 18,000 MR referral points, or just be approved for it?

    • shd says:

      Usually Amex referral points post after approval, not first spend. I’ve no direct experience w/ Nectar though…

    • R C says:

      Posted on approval when I referred from amex plat a few months ago.

  • Simon says:

    OT – Amex platinum – If i refer someone for eg a Nectar Amex, do they have to actually use the card for me to get the 18,000 MR referral bonus? Or just be approved for it.

  • ChrisC says:

    It is my understanding that following the Mennens V Emirates case that the taxes and fees are EXcluded from the calculation of the reimbursement of a downgrade under EU261. Also part of the that ruling is that the reimbursement is based on the cost of the SECTOR downgraded and not the entire ticket.

    Where there would be a reimbursement of proper government taxes would be if someone was downgraded to Economy on an ex-UK leg where they would receive 50% of the APD i.e. the difference between the standard and reduced rate. If someone was downgraded from F to CW there would be no reimbursement as the APD rate is the same.

    Note there is no statutory compensation under EU261 for a downgrade. The regulation specifically states in the downgrade article ‘reimbursement’ of a % of the fare depending on the distance of the flight.

    That does not stop an airline giving customers something on top of the reimbursement and this is what BA are also offering.

    • Matt says:

      Taxes are excluded (unless as you say they vary by cabin). Fees that are actually fees, ie airport charges etc, are also excluded.

      Rip-off charges such as BA’s fuel surcharge/YQ/whatever it’s now called are just part of the fare, so definitely are included.

  • Sam says:

    OT: Has anyone been very disappointed by their Amex offers recently? I have the BAPP (don’t churn) and I never seem to be ‘selected’ for any of the decent offers. I’ve been missed out of Harrods, BA, Hilton… I churn Platinum and had better offers but don’t keep it open long term.

    • Andrew S says:

      The better offers come on the Platinum card. I only have 5 offers on my SPG card, 11 on my Platinum Companion Credit Card and 34 on my Platinum Charge Card!

      • Tom says:

        I haven’t had any decent ones on any of my cards for ages! Amex Plat is going down the toilet!

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

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