Bits: BA drops Calgary for the Winter, ebookers discount code, new Charles Tyrwhitt / Avios offer

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News in brief:

British Airways drops Calgary for the winter

If you had a Canadian ski holiday planned, you won’t be pleased to discover that British Airways is suspending its Calgary service for the Winter.

There will be no flights from 28th October 2018 to 30th March 2019.

BA is currently refusing to rebook passengers on other airlines but this may change.  At present, all that is being offered is free rebooking to any other BA destination in the US or Canada.  British Airways will not pay to get you to Calgary from wherever you end up.  Alternatively, you can request a refund.

BA suspends Calgary

New ebookers discount code

ebookers has launched a new discount code valid on ‘flight and car’ or ‘flight and hotel’ package bookings.

Code AFFPKG500 is valid until 1st July and gets you £50 off when spending £500 or more on a package.

Travel can be at any point between 1st July 2018 and 31st May 2019.  The full rules are here.  The ebookers booking page is here.

Charles Tyrwhitt avios offer

New Charles Tyrwhitt / Avios offer

If you didn’t win a polo shirt in our recent competition, Avios partner Charles Tyrwhitt, the shirt and suit company, is giving away a free £30 one with every order of £50 or more.

It is a bit fiddly.  You need to spend £50 on other items and then add one of the following products to your basket: JEP0314NAV, JEP0017WHT, JEP0017BLK, JEP0297BER, JEP0017TRQ, JEP0187BSK.  (Put these codes to the search box on the site to bring up the shirts.)

You need to add promo code CTUKSE8 to your order.   The £29.99 price for the shirt will be taken off.

The offer ends 19th June and can also be claimed in stores.  You earn 4 Avios per £1 spent at Charles Tyrwhitt either online (add your number during the order process) or by giving it to the assistant at the till in one of their stores.

The home page is here.  Details of the Avios partnership are here.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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  1. Canuck says:

    As a Calgarian, this is a big surprise! I fly this service monthly. I can understand they’re running low loads in the shoulder seasons, but come Jan their 787 is always packed for Banff / Lake Louise skiing. This could also be due to WestJet now running 767’s to Gatwick in addition to the established AirCanada 787’s and AirTransat A330s. Simply too much competition?

    None the less, a considerable blow to my frequent Avios burning method.

  2. Too bad about the cancellation. Had family winter holidays planned for Banff. May have to look at other airlines or destinations.

    Small comment – the pic on this story is of Toronto and the CN Tower! ????

  3. Catalan says:

    I’ve heard the temporary suspension is due to the ongoing situation with the B787 Rolls Royce engines. Basically lack of available aircraft.

  4. the real harry1 says:

    EC261: Rerouting or refunding is, at the passenger’s choice, one of the following three reimbursements:

    – Repayment of the cost of unused flight tickets, and for used tickets where the flight(s) taken no longer serve(s) any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan, and where applicable, a flight back to the original point of departure at the earliest opportunity
    – Rerouting under similar conditions to the intended final destination at the earliest opportunity
    – Rerouting under similar conditions to the intended final destination at the passenger’s leisure, subject to the availability of seats.
    If a passenger’s destination is an airport at a city with multiple airports and rerouting results in the passenger being taken to another of those airports, the airline must also pay for transport for the passenger to the original intended airport or an agreed nearby destination.

    —> so cancelled passengers have an absolute right under EC261 to demand to be re-ticketed on a competitor airline to Calgary. If BA refused, you would NOT accept a refund, re-ticket yourself then claim back the cost @ MCOL, you would always win ie BA would not contest your claim, obvs keep receipts.

    • Agree, re-routing is an absolute right. I have had this rubbish from BA before so had a close look at the regulations. They really need to be taken to task on their habitual attempts to wriggle out of their legal obligations, as was Ryanair when they cancelled a load of flights last winter. As I recall, the CAA made them honour their obligations in respect of re-routing.

      • Philip Schofield says:

        Agree 100%. Although not conforming to the rules of the playing field does keep a bunch of overpaid lawyers in work. Who then use their severance to fly BA… ????

      • the real harry1 says:

        Yep the CAA made it clear that Ryanair couldn’t insist on a re-routed passenger having to wait until a ticket opened up later on a preferred list of re-routing partners, if there was a more convenient ticket available on a non-preferred competitor airline.

        So say that BA ends up using AA as a preferred partner when re-routing to Calgary gets agreed (as it surely will). If you were booked (and cancelled) to fly on (say) 1st November but BA says we can re-ticket you on AA on 2nd November – and you can see an alternative route that gets you to Calgary on 1st November – you can insist on that more convenient route. If BA doesn’t accept it must re-ticket you on that more convenient route, get it all in writing, make it clear to BA that the BA alternative offered is inconvenient and tell them you’ll be re-ticketing yourself on the more convenient re-route & claim it back afterwards, MCOL if necessary. Don’t accept a refund (of original ticket) from BA, as soon as you willingly do that they have fulfilled their EC261 obligations.

      • Lady London says:

        Hold on guys.

        Are you saying that provided you were ticketed, i.e. ticket number visible in Amadeus(?) then even if BA cancels the flight a few months ahead, you still have all these rights? I thought if the cancelled or modified any more than two weeks ahead, you had no rights to anything other than to take a refund…? I

        f so then I have a bone to pick with Lufthansa who claimed they’d told me more than two weeks ahead so ‘tough’ in a similar situation.

        • the real harry1 says:

          The 2 weeks thing is just about compo. No compo if given more than 2 weeks’ notice. As well as info below.

          Getting cancelled more than 2 weeks out still means all sorts of possibilities: as per my other posts today, refund, re-routing (incl on competitor airlines if it is more convenient), duty of care etc.

  5. BA WILL pay to get you to Calgary, they’re just working out terms with other airlines. This is how it works – ALWAYS works in this situation, as they can’t reveal plans in advance. You should have realised that by now!

    Reroutings to YYC on AA are already possible. It’s very likely AC will follow as a minimum. Just give it a couple of days to play through, there’s no need to request a refund yet.

    • But that should be made clear to travellers who might now be changing their travel plans when they don’t want or need to!

      • That is not what the travel trade document yesterday said. It said that IF they could come to an agreement with other airlines about rerouting then they would publish additional guidance.

    • pauldb says:

      There’s nothing in the guidelines offering AA yet, and I haven’t seen anyone report that on FT?

      It does pay to give them some time, but yes there is an issue that a customer may want a quick resolution and unknowingly take a poor, early option.

      In the past they specifically denied re-routings to redemption tickets, but they seem to have corrected that discrimination in the most recent LAD/PMO examples.

  6. Jamie says:

    OT, sorry – does anyone know how the BA LGW-LIM is going? planning big holiday to Peru next summer with avios, but am nervous of this exact scenario. I’d be booking 4 internal flights with LATAM, and would just be concerned of BA pulling the route and being scuppered. Does anyone know if it’s on a hit list of routes to be axed? thanks!

    • Doesn’t Iberia do Lima? I imagine you’d get rerouted on that.

      • Jamie says:

        they do indeed, and it’s possible to route via MIA, and onwards with AA. I was just noticing (above) BA’s unwillingness to help reroute!

  7. ColinJE says:

    Slight change of subject: has anyone else had issues with Charles Tyrwhitt Avios posing properly? I had an entry showing on my BAEC last week but with zero points awarded rather than the 450-odd I should have had. I sent off my receipt details last week to BAEC along with their claim form (which doesn’t print correctly) to get it corrected but heard nothing yet.

  8. Derek says:

    BA are not refusing to rebook on other airlines. Their Trade comms state that they are working with Interline partners on Involuntary Rebooking conditions. I called BA yesterday and emails are going to customers from today, but Interline arrangements may not be in place yet. The notice also states AJB (AA basically) flights can be booked, subject to Fare Conditions.

    I was impacted by the suspension and had a good call with BA who rerouted me to Vancouver. Of course I’m not happy that I now had to book YVR-YYC flights at my cost (WestJet cheaper than Air Canada). However, the reroute is not repriced unless requested (only do this if you know the new route is cheaper). Therefore I am now on a flight that is selling for £3,500 (Club) when I paid £2,000 for Calgary. (False economy I know).

    Don’t be surprised if AC is an option in the coming days

    • the real harry1 says:

      But you must be happy with this overall arrangement as you willingly accepted it – so BA have fulfilled their EU261 obligations.

      Others in your position might have insisted on a re-ticketed route that included actually getting to Calgary as that is your right.

      • Derek says:

        Yes and no. I read the Trade Notice and it clearly states that BA are not responsible for incurred costs by rerouting to an alternative BA served city. (And this was confirmed by phone at the time).

        This appears, from above, to be in conflict with EC Regulations, so I will be contacting BA re this. Not to change again as I’ve already accepted my involuntary change, but to challenge to expenses factor, which it appears they are reasonably liable for, bearing in mind at the time, no alternative routing carrier was made available

        I decided not to wait, as i’m Traveling during the Christmas peak dates and options will quickly feminist the longer I waited. I may have been hasty, but we’ll see if I can get BA to accept liability to the costs of the internal flights

        • Derek says:

          *(quickly diminish)…. damn autocorrect

        • pauldb says:

          I read the guidelines differently to you. They are offering the immediate extra option of flights to a different city, though this option is standalone: it isn’t a rebooking to YYC so doesn’t include a connection to YYC. If you don’t want that, you still have your EU261 rights of refund or rebooking (and you know they are working on the latter in short order, unless the agent contradicted this).

        • The law is that they have to get you to your original destination by comparable method of transport, despite anything BA says. By accepting an alternative you may well have forgone the right to claim other expenses.

        • the real harry1 says:

          Yep it doesn’t matter what it says in BA’s T&Cs, they are superseded by EC261 regs.

          I know from the Flyertalk EC261 thread that others have been re-routed by BA to the ‘wrong’ airport and successfully claimed back cost of travel to put them back in the same position as if they’d taken a flight to the original airport. Worth a read, it’s one of the best threads on FT.

          I don’t think BA ultimately puts up much of a fight when you claim back the extra travel costs, though they might try to fob you off at first..

    • pauldb says:

      Why did you accept a rerouting to YVR if you are unhappy with paying for the connection, when you expect rerouting options are coming. (The guidelines appear to suggest only one invol change is allowed.)

  9. Londonbus says:

    If you book a flight through ebookers and then follow their offer to add a hotel, be aware that this makes your flight a no-change/no-refund one.

    Well hidden – but a nasty gotcha.

  10. Planespeaking says:

    This isn’t just Calgary – yesterday, our Xmas flights to/from LGW-PFO were cancelled by BA as was the entire winter schedule although I have to admit I half expected it as they never used to serve PFO from Nov-Mar. That said, I really don’t think they’d have any issues filling the aircraft as it’s always full of people who’d prefer to fly BA compared to the chartered or low cost alternatives (and they seem able to fill 2 flights a day to LCA), so I guess they just need the aircraft. The text advising of the cancellation suggested waiting for BA to call me (hmm) or for me to call them. I went with the latter and spoke with a very nice chap who said he could see we were Gold and booked into J so the first course of action would be to wait to be contacted by BA whilst they arranged an exact alternative to PFO, whether Qatar Airways or Cyprus Airways and of course, in Club. This raised alarm bells as neither carrier serves PFO and in fact, there are no J seats to PFO on any other carrier direct from the UK so I just asked to be switched to one of the 2 daily LCA flights and was met with “certainly sir” and all was sorted within minutes and at no additional cost, despite LCA now being way more expensive than we’d paid for PFO. I’d already checked car hire rates and my chosen company was the same cost at LCA as from PFO so I haven’t really lost out, other than the inconvenience of a 90 minute drive at either end and paying for the additional fuel used for each trip but I’m not going to ask for compensation as these are minor inconveniences. Admittedly, I do like the F lounge in LGW South but I also like the F lounge in T5 and the LCA Club lounge is streets ahead of PFO. I also prefer the 320 fleet out of LHR and even taking the drive time into account, I find the LCA flight times more convenient (and more reliable) than LGW. So, everything resolved with the minimum of fuss and I don’t have anything to complain about really, other than it would have been nice if BA had pro-actively contacted me to discuss or their operator had a little more knowledge of more credible alternatives. All thanks to Rob and sites such as this and FT for keeping us in the know but a shame for others who will be affected by similar cancellations and with less awareness (or availability) of suitable alternatives.

    • Planespeaking says:

      Doh, should have written “exact alternative to BA” and not PFO!

  11. Travelling Inspector says:

    Slightly OT – re Vancouver, I flew back on Tuesday evening and as a ‘mere’ Silver member flying PE I was put in the grossly inferior Plaza Premium lounge at YVR. Fortunately a chum with Gold flying Club on the same flight was able to guest me into the Terraces First lounge, but not without a struggle – the desk claiming the diversion to PP lounge was because there were capacity issues in Terraces. Using a 380 does mean a lot more passengers, I suppose.

  12. Derek says:

    Is it normal for BA (or any airline for that matter), to only have 1 Involuntary Rebooking Interline Agreement in place after 12 days? I see that for the Calgary Suspension, BA have only added UA as an option, which feels as if such agreements are almost ‘grudged’?

    Surely AC should be jumping at the chance to secure as many of these booked passengers to Calgary as possible, to try and convert them to future AC customers?

    • the real harry1 says:

      there must be a negotiation on amount to be paid behind this, BA wouldn’t be paying headline ticket prices – maybe other airlines won’t go as low as BA requires

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