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Avios flight cancellation – rebooking help!

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  • lev441

    My flights both to and from tel aviv next month has been cancelled. I was travelling on the afternoon flight both ways, and it seems they’ve gone down to a single daily flight in the morning. I booked in business class paid for using avios as a redemption.

    I followed the link on an email for my rebooking options but the remaining flight to Tel Aviv is full on the dates I want to go again on both ways!

    BA said on the phone that the only options I have is pick other dates which have tickets for sale (which doesn’t help me as I have specific dates I need to travel) or I can get a refund (this doesn’t help me as cash prices on the route have gone crazy).

    Do I have any protection from being left stranded? Could BA rebook me on another direct flight on EL AL or Virgin Atlantic if they are flying on my dates?

    NorthernLass

    You have full re-routing rights under EU/UK261 – there’s loads on here about it. Don’t agree to anything until you’re fully prepped.

    thom

    Your rights are outlined under EU/Uk261 article 8. It sounds like you are interested in section b. “re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity”

    If BA doesn’t have available flights themselves then they absolutely could (and should) put you on another airline. However, enforcing your rights might require taking them to CEDR/MCOL however …

    Do note, Avios availability is irrelevant for replacement flights, but they would have to have a business class seat available!

    Check the cancellations thread for more info or search the site for EU261 to get some background.

    lev441

    Your rights are outlined under EU/Uk261 article 8. It sounds like you are interested in section b. “re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity”

    If BA doesn’t have available flights themselves then they absolutely could (and should) put you on another airline. However, enforcing your rights might require taking them to CEDR/MCOL however …

    Do note, Avios availability is irrelevant for replacement flights, but they would have to have a business class seat available!

    Check the cancellations thread for more info or search the site for EU261 to get some background.

    Thanks for the advice. I think the issue (in BA’s eyes) is that the flights are full with no seats available. I don’t want to downgrade to economy nor do I want to wait 4 days until the BA flights are not fully booked.

    Would I need to pay for these new flights and then claim the money back from BA if I had to go down the CEDR/MCOL Route? I’m not sure I have the strength to fight that battle!

    NorthernLass

    If there are no BA seats available, you’re entitled to fly with another airline. Unfortunately BA have been shown to be completely intransigent about denying pax their rights, so you may well have to book your own replacement and claim the cost back. You would need to show that BA had refused to re-route you on the day you need to travel, so keep notes of any phone calls or emails.

    Lady London

    BA obviously merged 2 flights into 1 and there were not enough seats on the 1 flight to accommodate all their booked passengers. BA knows this perfectly well. I wonder if you’ve been selected not to be given one of the seats on the only aircraft they’re now flying, because you’re on an award ticket. I suspect it was a factor.

    BA deserves you to exercise ypur right to be rerouted on someone else’s flight. They will indeed have to reimburse you. However unfortunately if a seat does not come up on their flight when you need you will have to get another ticket and claim back. Make sure you claim the maximum such as 8% statutory interest on all ypur cliom since they’ve put ypu through it and claim maximum reasonable local rates for any hotel (such as at a transit point in Paris etc) and max reasonable local ratea for all extra meals made necessary by a longer or later replacemrnt journey.

    If you paid your ticket on UK credit card ask ypur card to provide the replacement ticket undet Section 75 as they are jointly liable for ypu getting what you paid for and timing is of the essence for flights. This will cut a lot of the pain as they have to pay the new ticket cost no matter what it is now so that would esse your pain.

    To exercise these rights do not take a refund from BA

    lev441

    BA obviously merged 2 flights into 1 and there were not enough seats on the 1 flight to accommodate all their booked passengers. BA knows this perfectly well. I wonder if you’ve been selected not to be given one of the seats on the only aircraft they’re now flying, because you’re on an award ticket. I suspect it was a factor.

    BA deserves you to exercise ypur right to be rerouted on someone else’s flight. They will indeed have to reimburse you. However unfortunately if a seat does not come up on their flight when you need you will have to get another ticket and claim back. Make sure you claim the maximum such as 8% statutory interest on all ypur cliom since they’ve put ypu through it and claim maximum reasonable local rates for any hotel (such as at a transit point in Paris etc) and max reasonable local ratea for all extra meals made necessary by a longer or later replacemrnt journey.

    If you paid your ticket on UK credit card ask ypur card to provide the replacement ticket undet Section 75 as they are jointly liable for ypu getting what you paid for and timing is of the essence for flights. This will cut a lot of the pain as they have to pay the new ticket cost no matter what it is now so that would esse your pain.

    To exercise these rights do not take a refund from BA

    Thanks Lady London. Yes you’re correct, the afternoon flights have all been cancelled leaving just the morning flight.

    So I was thinking How much easier it would be for me using section 75 but the taxes/fees on the reward ticket was less than £100 – I only paid £48.90 so I don’t think section 75 would apply.

    Looks like I will have to buy a ticket on el al which flies an hour later than my original flight. As the BA flight is still full with no seats available. What is the process to get the money back from BA? Do I need to go through CEDR or can I go straight to MCOL? Is there benefits to doing one or the other? Sorry for so many questions I’ve just never had to deal with this sort of situation before!

    Lady London

    Read the various answers in the Flight Changes category, this question has been answered in detail on quite a number of occasions findable in the threads there now.
    .
    Prior to the Forum it was also dealt with around every second day on the Daily Chat thread.

    Basically you put your claim to BA which you are entitled to receive but BA will routinely deny. Time limits and tbe following steps are detailed across many existing answers you will find. Basically after BA finally refuse you then send BA a Letter Before Action and then MCOL or CEDR. All discussed in great detail previously. Make sure you keep notes, date, time, who you spoke to when they refused.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 4 months ago by .
    strickers

    So as I mentioned on chat yesterday Finnair have cancelled my flight to Heathrow via Helsinki, I then got put on a flight 12 hours earlier. Got through to BA chat and I have to say that despite using Avios they were willing to look at any Oneworld option to reroute, even departing Phuket rather than Bangkok which is where I am at the moment. What scuppered things was no J availability from DOH-LHR on the day I want to travel or the day before. They offered Gatwick but with my car at Heathrow that would have been awkward. Ended up accepting the Finnair flight 12 hours later, my only other option was forking out £4K on flights with Emirates and then claiming it back, as I haven’t lost any of my holiday and the fact that they really tried I can live with it. When I mentioned UK261 article 8 their willingness to help changed. Anywho, off for cocktails in the club lounge of the InterCon Phuket.

    Lady London

    Well done Strickers. Good to take a compromise when you can make it work.

    Like you, if I’ve got any flexibility I will always be willing to do my best to make something work if it’s clear that the airline is acknowledging what you have a right for them to offer you and is at least trying.

    Much better than an unpleasant dragged-out process. Finnair has been very unlucky and I hope they will carry on like this.

    strickers

    Thanks LL, I was honestly pleasantly surprised to see BA offer more than just where there was Avios availability. On another positive, it’s great to be in a lounge that’s offering Champagne rather Prosecco.

    LondonFly

    How do virgin play with a similar situation? I had an afternoon flight which no longer exists and they only have an early morning flight. I am waiting for them to contact me and I know they have no Partner airlines for anything similar, but at this stage would just like to know how are virgin to deal with? Do they make things hard and complicated like BA?

    lev441

    Read the various answers in the Flight Changes category, this question has been answered in detail on quite a number of occasions findable in the threads there now.
    .
    Prior to the Forum it was also dealt with around every second day on the Daily Chat thread.

    Basically you put your claim to BA which you are entitled to receive but BA will routinely deny. Time limits and tbe following steps are detailed across many existing answers you will find. Basically after BA finally refuse you then send BA a Letter Before Action and then MCOL or CEDR. All discussed in great detail previously. Make sure you keep notes, date, time, who you spoke to when they refused.

    Thanks. I’ve found the replacement flights on El Al which are fully refundable should BA’s position change.

    I booked the trip as 2 x one way trips. The outbound is £200 is taxes surcharges so I may try the section 75 route for that one, and the other one would need to be MCOL as that’s the one that only cost £48.90.

    I have been refused again any rerouting by BA on the dates I need, so will go ahead and send BA a letter before action.

    lev441

    Update…

    Amex have rejected my section 75 claim when purchasing the new flights..

    They have ruled that
    – BA have not breached their conditions of carriage /regulation 261 as they have agreed to reroute me or refund me but just not on the days that I want to travel (I gave a 5 day window where I was happy to travel for the outbound)
    – Amex said ‘ If you have any evidence to the contrary, that British Airways is obligated to rebook you on another carrier., we will be happy to take this information into consideration’
    – I have not demonstrated to attempt to mitigate my losses (are they basically saying I need to travel on a non direct flight/choose the cheapest option?) this is surely not comparable transport conditions…
    – Amex claimed that under Section 75, as your credit card provider, we can only be held jointly and severally liable for a proven breach of contract and/or misrepresentation by the Supplier of goods and cannot be held responsible for any alleged lapses in customer service.

    Back to square one..

    Lady London

    Update…

    Amex have rejected my section 75 claim when purchasing the new flights..

    They have ruled that
    – BA have not breached their conditions of carriage /regulation 261 as they have agreed to reroute me or refund me but just not on the days that I want to travel (I gave a 5 day window where I was happy to travel for the outbound)

    **Not true. Article 8.1 and specifically 8.1(b) and 8.1(c) of UK EU261 gives passenger the choice of rerouting options and the statute governing this purchase specifically states passenger has the right to choose a date convenient to himself, to be reouted. In point of fact I did give BA the option of rerouting me on any of 5 days on the outbound, and not just one date as the legislation would hsve entitled me to do.,[I suggest you google the text of EU261 Article 8.1 and paste it into your response to Amex as it's vety clear]**

    **You can also point out btw 261 is a statute and as such overrides BA’s conditions of carriage**

    – Amex said ‘ If you have any evidence to the contrary, that British Airways is obligated to rebook you on another carrier., we will be happy to take this information into consideration’
    – I have not demonstrated to attempt to mitigate my losses (are they basically saying I need to travel on a non direct flight/choose the cheapest option?) this is surely not comparable transport conditions…

    **re mitigating losses if you waited 4 days till the next flight BA offered then under Article 9 of 261 the expenses would have been condiderably larger. Cabin class is generally viewed as simolar conditions. But a transit stop more arguable – however s transit stop would have taken longer and probbly incurred more expense (hotel, meals). Also point out the El Al flight was indeed the next available flight snd Article 8.1 gave you the right [quote again].**
    – Amex claimed that under Section 75, as your credit card provider, we can only be held jointly and severally liable for a proven breach of contract and/or misrepresentation by the Supplier of goods and cannot be held responsible for any alleged lapses in customer service. **this is not a customer service issue it is the failure of the merchant to provide what was purchased, being a flight having inh

    statutory rights which the merchant has fsiled to provide**

    **I suggest you politely end by suggesting that they may eish to refer any questions they may still have to their legal department in an effort to rosolve this quickly**

    Back to square one..

    Hi Lev

    Have interspersed suggested responses above to Amex’s queries. Also :

    – was it defo paid on Amex credit card issued in the UK (required for s75 to apply) and not on chargecard

    – I would reply to Amex in the tone of fully satisfying their recent queries and again requesting them to accept your claim for replacement tickets under s75. This communication stays nice 🙂

    Wait for 2-4 weeks for their reponse. Meanwhile request BA to provide cost of tix. Get to the point where you have asked BA seriously 3 times without resolution, or 8 weeks have passed of your first contact with BA attempting to resolve, or BA refuses to deal with it any more or says “Final answer”.

    When that point is reached send your Letter Before Action addressed to Amex and BA jointly, a copy to each of their respective addresses (Brighton and Waterside) by signed-for post giving them 21 days to provide the cost of replacement tix. Then MCOL them both jointly after 28 days no more.

    You can decide if you go after both or just BA – card is jointly liable but I’m guessing some here might worry about Amex victimising you when you win. FWiW I think BA will have to pay you anyway and if I had decided not to join Amex to the action I’m not sure if it would be good or bad to let Amex know the bullet they dodged or just let sleeping dogs lie.

    Did they give more than 2 weeks notice of cancellation? If less then might as well claim for compo quoting Article 7 as well.

    Let us know the outcome.

    Lady London

    PS it’s long established they have to put you on the soonest reasonably available flight if you need to travel as close as poss to original flight even if it’s somebody else’s flight – I suggest you google to find a case or few, or just rely on their legal dept to know this

    lev441

    Thanks LadyLondon.. hoped you’d see this.

    It was definitely on my Amex credit card – was on the BAPP.

    So the issue with this is the planned flight is due to leave in less than two weeks.. so running out of time.

    I will reply to Amex’s email with your suggestions and see what happens. Thank you so much – will keep you posted.

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 4 months ago by .
    lev441

    Thanks LadyLondon.. hoped you’d see this.

    It was definitely on my Amex credit card – was on the BAPP.

    So the issue with this is the planned flight is due to leave in less than two weeks.. so running out of time.

    I will reply to Amex’s email with your suggestions and see what happens. Thank you so much – will keep you posted.

    Just got this as a response. Dead end…

    ‘As previously advised, without the benefit of any additional evidence to substantiate your allegations, our decision should be considered final on our part and any further correspondence received from you pertaining to this matter will be filed but not responded to’

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 4 months ago by .
    Lady London

    Hi Lev,

    I’m disppointed about this as it sounds like Amex is refusing their statutory s75 joint liability. I do not know how they can consider BA not offering you a flight till 4 days later is acceptable. Did you manage to find an example case to quote to them, of the right to choose a close flight to original time even if that flight was on someone else? Given that I thought the points had been covered. The response you’ve got looks like a paragraph Customer Service keep on a cribsheet, I wouldn’t be sure it had gone near their Legal Dept.

    If all the points were covered in your reply to them I cant see why they could refuse, unless there is something I have missed. Technically what they’ve given you, you could take to the FOS as a complaint against them or you could bring them into any further action (MCOL) if needed, alongside BA. The judge would then share or choose betwen the co-defendants assuming you win. I just don’t know if they would victimise you for that, and you may find the card convenient to keep.

    lev441

    Hi Lev,

    I’m disppointed about this as it sounds like Amex is refusing their statutory s75 joint liability. I do not know how they can consider BA not offering you a flight till 4 days later is acceptable. Did you manage to find an example case to quote to them, of the right to choose a close flight to original time even if that flight was on someone else? Given that I thought the points had been covered. The response you’ve got looks like a paragraph Customer Service keep on a cribsheet, I wouldn’t be sure it had gone near their Legal Dept.

    If all the points were covered in your reply to them I cant see why they could refuse, unless there is something I have missed. Technically what they’ve given you, you could take to the FOS as a complaint against them or you could bring them into any further action (MCOL) if needed, alongside BA. The judge would then share or choose betwen the co-defendants assuming you win. I just don’t know if they would victimise you for that, and you may find the card convenient to keep.

    Luckily I didn’t need to go down this route..

    I went on expert flyer and saw that J1 seat appear… but was not able to do anything online as there was two of us travelling. Once again BA impossible to get hold of on phone, I ended up going down to Heathrow on Monday evening where one of the BA staff was able to call revenue management to release an extra seat.

    Was supposed to be flying at 5pm today (Wed) and ended up with 8am flight on Friday. They weren’t able to open up any additional seats on the Thursday 8am flight although I’ve seen on expert flyer that it’s now listed as J2! *facepalm* . Will BA cough up duty of care for hotel stay tomorrow night? Will save us having to get up at the crack of dawn if we stay close by and do twilight check in night before flight..

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 4 months ago by .
    Lady London

    They should. Make sure you ask them to provide you a hotel due to the delay in your being rerouted after their cancellation. If you can’t get through then make sure you keep evidence to say you tried, say 3 calls that hung on for 40 mins or more thrn cut off. Don’t worry they always refuse you must just be seen to give them the opportunity to provide.

    They also are responsible for the reasonable local cost of 3 meals a day during your extra wait time plus internet and transport to and from any extra hotel required in your extra wait time. Sp if you get through might as well mention you will be submitting those expenses to them too.

    A good outcome and I’m pleased for you.

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