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  • Al1221 4 posts


    I wonder if someone could advise on our rights and what our best course of action would be.

    Our business class flight back to LHR has been cancelled with just 8 hours notice. We have been offered an alternative flight back an hour later, however this is to LGW not LHR and is in Economy and not Business. Would we also receive less tier points?
    We also have a hotel booked already at LHR and have parked our car there.

    If we accept the later flight to LGW, will we get a refund for being downgraded to Economy and will BA reimburse the cost of a taxi from LGW to LHR for us? We need to be at LHR to collect the car.

    The other option given is to stay another night and fly back tomorrow in Business to LHR. Would BA cover the cost of accommodation for another nights stay?

    Thansk in advance for all answers

    AJA 1,027 posts

    Technically if you accept the downgrade to economy you should be entitled to “downgrade reimbursement” and be refunded up to 75% of the one way fare + fees excluding taxes (long haul, shorter routes pay less either 30% or 50% depending on distance flown). If shorthaul it may not be worthwhile. This is for each passenger on the reservation. So can work out quite lucrative. However BA is notorious for not honouring this especially as they will claim it was your choice to accept the new it will probably require a fight with BA either via CEDR (free) or MCOL(some expense).

    Depending upon the reason for the cancellation you should also be entitled to compensation which if long haul is £520 per passenger, lower amount due for shorter journeys.

    If you choose the business class flight BA will pay for a hotel and meals excluding alcohol. just don’t go spending more than £300 for the hotel room or BA will fight you (read the recent thread on Tokyo-London flight cancelled in similar circumstances in November)

    Also explore other flights today in business class back to LHR as technically the option to fly back on one of them should also be open to you.

    Think carefully about what you want to do as you only get once chance to make a change.

    meta 1,406 posts

    @AJA Your advice is again unhelpful as we don’t know where the OP is stuck. Hotel prices there might be more than £300pp in which case BA will not fight it.

    Could you please tell us the route, so we could give appropriate advice?

    Al1221 4 posts

    Thanks AJA for the in depth reply.

    Unfortunately I had already spoken to BA by the time I saw your message.

    The guy on the phone said they were unable to pay for another night at the hotel we’re currently at as they have offered us an alternative flight back today(albeit to Gatwick and not Heathrow).

    We have agreed to go to Gatwick an hour later, and after a bit of back and forth he somehow found business seats available for us! Originally he had said there were none.

    Are we still entitled to compensation now we have accepted these new flights? The cancellation email says this was due to adverse weather conditions.

    SamG 1,624 posts

    This is correct- another airport in the same city counts as a reasonable rerouting.

    No compensation if it is weather related

    You can take a taxi or uber back to your car at LHR and they’d pay for this

    meta 1,406 posts

    No compensation as adverse weather conditions (extraordinary circumstances).

    AJA 1,027 posts

    Good for you that you’ve got business class seats on your flight home today.

    Regarding the cancellation there is normally no compensation if it really is due to adverse weather conditions. That said I find it odd that BA would cancel a flight 8 hours ahead based on this. Where are you currently?

    As Meta says what route are you flying? That would help us advise better.

    you seem determined to tell me that I offer bad advice. Not really sure what that is about. As we finally concluded yesterday there is no upper limit on the hotel cost other than it be “reasonable, necessary and proportionate” but the point is if you choose to pay around £200 to £300 per room BA is more likely to pay out than they are if you choose to pay £1k per night. In any event much of my advice is now redundant since OP has already accepted the flight back to LGW, albeit now in business class.

    @ Meta would you care to anser the compensation question? Please also offer advice on whether BA will pay for a taxi back to LHR to collect the car? I think they will but I defer to your superior knowledge on this.

    Al1221 4 posts

    We’re in Marrakech. It’s a beautiful day here,so not sure where the adverse weather conditions are tbf

    JDB 4,124 posts

    The question of compensation doesn’t arise as the pax has stated that the rerouted flight is only one hour later. While there is a CJEU case re the actual final destination in principle, that’s not one you want to be trying. BA is obliged to pay for transportation between the airports, they will probably cover the reasonable cost of taxi although there is nothing to stop them insisting on the use of public transport.

    It is not uncommon for BA to cancel flights in advance of bad weather; they are just following orders in these instances. Whether that applies to this flight or another rotation of the aircraft is another issue.

    JDB 4,124 posts

    @AJA I know you want to keep banging this square peg into the round hole, but there is no £300 limit as discussed at length yesterday, so not sure why it has been raised in this instance. The most I have asked for from BA was a hotel at £750/night for three pax plus not cheap lunches & dinners and they paid about £2750 without demur.

    The advice was also wrong in that BA has no obligation to pay for a hotel/food if you reject a reasonable rerouting, even if that involves a downgrade.

    You have also misquoted the expenses test. It doesn’t contain the word proportionate. It is “necessary, appropriate and reasonable”. [in case you notice, the order of the words is misquoted in the Interpretative Guidelines but the footnote takes you to the case and the correct version].

    It’s important also to understand what these words mean in the context of EC261 and how they are interpreted in practice.

    Matt 283 posts

    There is a £200 limit of what BA will pay up without question (has that increased to £300 now?). If you can find a suitable room for less than that it will make your life significantly easier.

    As you say though there is no legal limit though, so as long as it’s necessary, appropriate and reasonable you will get your money back as long as you are willing to persist/use CEDR. If you stay in the hotel you were already in that would be suggestive that it was reasonable and appropriate. Similarly if you can show that there are no hotels available more reasonably priced.

    BA has no obligation to pay for a hotel if you reject a downgraded re-routing, though they often will – it’s not guaranteed though.

    AJA 1,027 posts

    @JDB I apologise. I did indeed get the wording wrong. Sorry for any confusion caused to others

    wookie192 59 posts

    By the way, you may want to do a deeper dive into the reason your flight was cancelled. Your flight (BA669) was due to fly on aircraft G-TTOB. There’s been no bad weather at Heathrow or Marrakesh today so not sure why they said it’s cancelled due to bad weather.

    When looking at that aircrafts logs, it was never late incoming for the London to Marrakesh flight, instead it seems the aircraft was re-routed to do another flight (Heathrow to Basel) at the same flight time as what was supposed to be the Heathrow to Marrakesh flight. Hence why your flight was cancelled as the inbound flight didn’t happen so there was no aircraft available to collect you all.

    When ever an airline says it’s due to bad weather I ALWAYS check the aircraft’s positioning that I was due to fly on to make sure it’s not because of another reason i.e. delays to another flight operated by the same aircraft which has resulted in a knocked on delay to all other flights.

    I honestly don’t understand the “weather issue” they say as I see other flights along the same flight path had no issues. So you may want to double check it’s not because of another reason. Often airlines will blame weather just for the sake of it as staff don’t want to deal with the hassle.

    JDB 4,124 posts

    @wookie192 – the OP advised that they had been rerouted onto a flight leaving only one hour later so the reasons for the cancellation don’t matter as no compensation will be be due.

    Airlines are entitled to claim ‘extraordinary circumstances’ that relate to previous rotations of the aircraft as long as there is a direct causal link, so the weather conditions referenced could be anywhere; they don’t need to be on the route in question. ‘Weather’ could also be rubbish/made up as you say.

    meta 1,406 posts

    @AJA @Matt my experience of seeing cases over 10+ years (including my own), BA will sometimes pay without a quibble (in my own recent cases all the time) over £200ppn. This will be based on number of factors a) location (once paid to me £500 per night as there was no other reasonable option nearby and it was a city and plenty of other options just not close to where I was) b) the difference between what’s reasonable in BA’s eyes is negligible, say £50 extra per person c) the agent handling or legal team doesn’t care and just approves it (possibly related to low claims or them having targets to hit). d) country/place is expensive or involves complicated move from one hotel to another (such as Maldives or if you’re on a different island/somewhere remote).

    So as the legislation and guidelines state, it’s to be determined on a case-by-case basis. And you can’t without any certainty state that BA will pay something without the quibble as even £200 might be excessive in some places!

    Regarding transport between LGW/LHR – in my experience they’ll pay for taxi for early/late arrivals and if you have lot of checked in luggage (more than 1 piece). Otherwise it’s public transport or you can take them to MCOL and then they’ll probably pay for taxi (not Wheely First Class Service though!)

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