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British Airways drops Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale

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It was obviously never the case that British Airways only launched London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale in Florida back in 2017 as a spoiler to annoy Norwegian.

This means that it is a total coincidence that, 25 days after Norwegian switched its own Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale service to Miami, British Airways has announced that it is closing the route.

British Airways drops Fort Lauderdale

The last flight will operate on 7th September.

If you were booked onto the Fort Lauderdale route, you can either request a full refund or switch to a Miami, Orlando or Tampa service.

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Comments

  1. ChrisC says:

    BAs responsibility is to get you to FLL if that is what you booked and that is what you want even if that means rerouting you.

    So if you are affected then assert what you are entitled to with no additional cost to yourself.

    • Derek Scott says:

      Don’t believe that to be the case. When they suspended/cancelled Calgary for Winter service, if you opted to reroute to another city, then onward travel to your original destination was not covered. If you waited for an Interline agreement to be put in place to your original destination with another airline you would be switched with no cost.

      The other consideration with the first option was the reroute would be at no cost, unless you requested it to be repriced. If the reprice was higher than you originally paid, then you paid the difference. But if it was lower, the difference was refunded.

      • pauldb says:

        Doesn’t your third sentence mean you agree with Chris?

        The problem is that until BA put in an alternative routing, agents will insist they can’t reroute you. Took several days with Calgary.

        However this may be different: who actually wants a connection to FLL when you can fly to MIA (though if you need a transfer to FLL I’d send the receipt to BA). It may also be the case that agents can, under the JBA, rebook you without a new policy arriving on to AA – either connecting to FLL or direct to MIA – if you fancy the 77W J.

        You can also opt for BA to MCO or TPA (<300mi).

        Finally be careful that whatever you accept is a one off change, so it can pay to wait a few days if there is a better possibility for you that MIA direct.

        • pauldb says:

          Or NAS I guess.

        • Nick_C says:

          “who actually wants a connection to FLL when you can fly to MIA” – someone cruising out of Fort Lauderdale the next day!

          I flew to FLL via Philly when we were joining a cruise and didn’t want to drive up from MIA. FLL is a cheap short cab ride to the cruise terminal and nearby hotels.

        • Doug M says:

          I’m guessing here but I suspect most will happily take the better aircraft to the nicer more useful airport MIA. FLL was a price sensitive destination not a choice for most.

        • Derek Scott says:

          My experience with the Calgary suspension was the opposite. I contacted them the day before the info was announced as Travel agents got the details the day before (handy to have contacts). Rerouting was an immediate option even though they recommended I wait until Interline agreements had been organised, but they could take a while (and they turned out to be awful options anyway).
          I rerouted, no cost, and immediate confirmation.

        • An Uber from MIA to Ft Lauderdale cruise port is about is about $40.You might prefer to fly direct to MIA and pay than take the alternative, indirect, route. The $40 is about $25 more than you would pay from FLL to the cruise port.

        • pauldb says:

          Derek – you were rerouted to Calgary, or you went for somewhere instead?

      • Shoestring says:

        Derek is correct – BA are obliged in law to re-ticket you to your original destination if that’s what you want.

        • Lady London says:

          And any problems BA may have in getting you to your original destination regardless of interline agreements or any relevant industry-concerned-only jargon BA May throw into it, are for BA to résolve. If they dont do this then you are entitled to fill in the gap yourself and bill them your reasonable costs.

          Even Ryanair, who probably must employ nearly as many lawyers as cabin crew :-), has had to pay out on this.

    • That’s really easy. If you want to go to FLL, they will rebook you onto a connecting service with AA. Given their joint business deal, this will be automatically available and you won’t have to fight at all to get it if you ask.

  2. Maybe the people who join the Man Utd awards stand a chance of winning it!! 😂

    • Mr Entitled says:

      I assume they are expecting to have to fill Ole’s seat.

    • Someone has to congratulate them for fighting really hard to ensure no other team ends sixth 🙂

  3. Julian says:

    Why are BA being this stupid as this kind of behaviour is surely an open and shut case with the Competition and Markets Authority if Norwegian have competent lawyers. BA behaved this way before against Virgin and got in to a lot of trouble over it but now they are still at it.

    If they wanted to avoid being sued then surely they would have carried on running the route for at least another year.

    I suppose BA will claim they just happened to terminate their service now because it is the end of the winter season in Florida so they had less bookings (even though Norwegian was no longer flying the route) because the summer season is always the Low Season and the winter season is the Peak Season in Florida.

    • Shoestring says:

      I don’t think the CMA are ever going to object to an airline offering *competitive* prices on the same route as a *competitor*.

      • Lady London says:

        They can. Its harder to prove though. Market signalling and concerted behaviour can be concluded as anti competitive. Meetings even about matters of legitimate joint interest in an industry are avoided thèse dans by smart dominant players but there are other ways.

        It would be nice if BA could be made to pay compensation to Norwegian for loss of business on the route. Ideally enough to ensure BA would make a huge loss after compensating Norwegian for BA’s illegal use of its dominance, for example. Wont happen. There are enough ways BA can slide out of such accusations. Fines apparently dont work because i gather that after thé publicity and the regulator looking good with huge headlined fined, actual fines paid are often very very substantially reduced.

        • Callum says:

          What law says it’s illegal to compete with another business?

          There’s a world of difference between competing on the same route and being anti-competitive. It’s not like BA was flooding the market with unreasonably low fares.

        • Lady London says:

          The issue here @Callum is the date of start of flights by a market-dominant player and the date of announcement of those new flights being stopped by that same dominant player and their miraculously close relationship to the dates a very minor player started and stopped flights to that same destination.

          Pretty clear to anyone even peripherally aware of the history of competition amongst transatlantic flight providers. Perhaps those of us who are older so seen previous actions that took place in the past, are more inclined to interpret.

        • callum says:

          That’s not remotely the issue, because BA is allowed to compete with Norwegian if it wants to…

          It won’t need to make a defense because it doesn’t even look like they’re breaking the law, but even if it did, a very simple “we didn’t want Norwegian taking our customers who find LGW-FLL more convenient than LHR-MIA” would more than suffice.

          And no, you being old doesn’t mean you know better! British Airways out-competed Laker by using predatory pricing. There is no indication whatsoever that they’ve done the same here. If you’re going to make that accusation then you have to substantiate it.

    • Stephen payne says:

      Flights from October onwards till end of January we’re usually pretty full. Mind you Norwegian got a slot into Miami which is probably where they wanted to be in the first place. Dare say FLL owners county of Broward are none too happy or the cruise operations out of city.

    • Anti competitive behaviour is in the very business DNA of British Airways – in fact most Airlines.

      • Shoestring says:

        Ken – it’s actually naked competitive behaviour, not anti-competitive.

        • Lady London says:

          Its anticompetitive behaviour if a dominant market player is abusing its dominant position against smaller players and the dates of BA choosing to run FLL and now announcing their withdrawal… Too close for this conclusion not to be drawn. But proven? Regulator will let it slide there are just enough gray areas in the Transatlantic cartel, oops I mean the Transatlantic Alliance.

      • I still don’t know how to treat the fact that on many instances competing airlines offer flights at the same time and leaving the rest of the day unserved. Lots of examples with JAL/ANA/BA arriving at Heathrow from Tokyo within 5-10 mins from each other. Can they compete on anything else than price? Like offering variety of travel times options to passengers?

        • RussellH says:

          I do not spend hours studying air timetables, but this is a very valid comment, IMHO.
          I think it ought to be part of any joint venture approval, such as BA + AA LON-NYC, that flights are properly staggered throughout the day, so that this does not happen.

        • Callum says:

          They could, but if the vast majority want to fly at those times, why would they schedule their flight outside of it?

        • Lady London says:

          Good comment @RussellH

    • If Norwegian had pulled off the route, maybe Julian would be right, it would look as if BA had pushed them away unfairly. But crucially here, Norwegian hasn’t pulled off, they’ve just gone to Miami, which is arguably where they wanted to be originally (and which actually increases rather than decreases competition).

      • Shoestring says:

        Where do you get ‘unfairly’ from? Was BA somehow getting a secret state subsidy or something? I think we should be told.

    • Lady London says:

      That’s how British Airways killed Laker and it looks like they could be up to these old tricks again.

      • Roger* says:

        It wasn’t just BA/BOAC. Lufthansa and the old Swissair were among the culprits.

        It’s a wonder Laker and the banks lasted so long.

    • the_real_a says:

      Its only anti-competitive if the service is run below cost. As with many routes, its not a question if they can be run profitably, its a question if more money can be earned using the same aircraft elsewhere.

      • Sorry that’s just nonsense. There are a whole range of practices that come under anti competitive behaviour.
        In isolation this example isn’t going to trigger an investigation, but it could form part of a pattern of predatory behaviour by a dominant player whose only intention is to squeeze a weaker competitor with the desire to reduce capacity and increase prices.
        It’s not as if BA haven’t had a history of doing this for decades.

        • the_real_a says:

          Many things come under anti-competitive behavior, but none apply here and you haven’t suggested any other specific legal factors either to back up your “feeling”… There is no collusion or cartel behavior, no price fixing in hotel rooms, no state aid, in fact no other relevant factors whatsoever. The only reasonable determination of such a serious allegation in this case is if the route is run at a loss in order to “force out” a competitor – and no-one is suggesting it is as far as i can see.

        • Lady London says:

          Thank you @Ken that’s just my point.

          @Callum youth has brilliance but watch a market for more than 4 decades and patterns emerge even to us relatively dim ones.

  4. Stephen payne says:

    It is a total disgrace that BA work to destroy another airline in such a way. It also means that flying with one stop via virgin now sees a price increase too. The double cartel wins again.

    • Mike Wilson says:

      Open your eyes, it’s how the world of commerce works and you’ll see this in every industry in existence! Dog eats dog, only the strongest survive.

      • It’s really not.
        Airline industry is unusual in that most carriers were once state monopolies and one of the biggest barriers to entry is slots at the main airports.
        Even the low cost carriers can’t gelp themselves. Name another industry that used to have the same level of ‘drip pricing’ as a Ryanair.

        • Mike Wilson says:

          – Event ticketing
          – Hotels & hospitality
          – Telecoms
          – Car rental

  5. Roger* says:

    Doesn’t the ET DUB-MAD flight overnight in Madrid (‘… tagged onto the end of the existing Addis Ababa to Dublin flight’)?

    If so, I would expect the MAD-DUB legs to be next morning.

  6. OT: Has anyone had Curve double charge, a transaction is showing once on the Curve app but has been charged twice to the underlying card?

    • Mike Wilson says:

      Yes, send them a message on the app from the Help & Support in the main menu. They’ll sort pretty quickly.

    • Yes – contacted Curve via the app and to be fair they sorted the problem in 24 hours. I’ve got to say the service and speed of responses was excellent, not really sure why it happened in the first place.

    • Thanks, just hoping support is closed because every method I try through the app is failing at the moment,

    • Not good from Curve today, in App ticketing not working, transaction query not working and have spent 20 minutes holding on the ’emergency’ number!

  7. Totally unrelated but I wanted to hear your opinion. I have about 70k Miles & More miles sitting on my account. Is it worth getting the new M&M credit card and pay £79 just for the sake of preserving them or not? I’m really split… as especially for a family of 4, these miles don’t get us too far with Star alliance…

    • Certainly worth it for a year, because the 5000 sign-up miles cover most of it. You’re sitting on £700 of value if you can find a way of using them long-haul in premium cabins.

  8. Rob, according to some affected folk on FT, BA are offering reroute to Miami, Orlando or Tampa.

  9. OT but BA related: I used my first 2 for 1 to book a flight for myself and another family member. My partner used his Lloyds voucher to book two one way flightd to same destination but his taxes were not half of what I paid, they were more. Now he has the miles to book two one way tickets (return flights). Question is do we book online or call BA? Will they ask for any change fees. The return leg is in October so it wasn’t about dates not being available. Lastly, will they adjust the taxes automatically so that in the end both he and I have paid same taxes. Please advise.

    • Forgot to clarify he booked two one way outbound for himself and a family member.

    • Alex W says:

      You need to call Avios.com to change the Lloyd’s voucher booking. They may have to cancel the ticket and re-book it, assuming it’s still available. He will get the extra surcharges refunded minus a fee. Not sure if the change/canx fee will be 2 x £17.50 or 2 x £35.

    • Call BA, or the avios number (apparently it’s all the same people now). They can book the return legs and add it to the outbound booking and charge the taxes so the total amount paid is what would have been paid for a return (i.e 2 way) journey anyway. I did this last year – used a upgrade voucher to book me and my son outbound to IAD by calling avios.com and paying £800 ish in tax then when return flights I wanted from BOS were released I called again and these were added on (I used another upgrade voucher but I don’t think that would matter), and was charged £350 taxes. The taxes have gone up since then but it should be the same principle.

    • the_real_a says:

      The taxes wont be half of a return, because of the UK’s massive departure tax. Outward one way will be much more expensive.

  10. OT, for the Gold card supp for a Platinum (you can have 1 Plat supp + 3 Gold).
    If you book with that Gold car, are you covered with the car insurance?
    Thanks!

  11. Man United player of the year dinner!

    I cant stop laughing!

    They should invite Graham Souness and Roy Keane!

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