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BA Holidays flight cancellation; options please!

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  • Peter T

    Dear all,

    I have a BA Holiday (NCL to TLS via LHR). They first changed my flight time more than six hours, and said “if ground problems we’ll be in touch” I would have been at LHR for > six hours. They didn’t get in touch.

    They then cancelled my flight AGAIN, and put me in a flight from LHR to TLS that leaves BEFORE my flight arrives.

    Phoned and they agreed to put me up in Hotel (Sofitel) at LHR, but I’d have to pay for dinner.

    I pointed out that if they wouldn’t pay for dinner that they would have to fly me to Toulouse as that is the legal requirement the same day; via another carrier if necessary. They said NO “we don’t have a ticketing arrangement with them”. They offered to route me via Madrid (I considered double TP after all!) but would arrive 21:00.

    They are right in saying “if I agree” to a change, but I’m saying no:-

    1. Pay for dinner at hotel Sofitel or
    2. Fly me to Toulouse via Air France/KLM whoever else

    Am I right that they have to use another carrier; they are arguing NO; as I have the right to cancel.

    I suggested Barcelona (as I’m driving to go skiing) but that would be priced up again….

    Please can clever people help?

    Thanks,
    Peter

    ChrisC

    BA holidays operate under a separate set of regulations and what you can get for a flight only booking under UK/ EU261 doesn’t apply to Holidays bookings for changes and cancellations known about in advance so they can refuse to put you onto an alternative carrier.

    NorthernLass

    Yes, you can basically take what they offer (or what you can negotiate) or have a full refund. This is another one which needs a pinned topic, I’ve answered this same question about 3 times in the past week!

    Peter T

    Yes, you can basically take what they offer (or what you can negotiate) or have a full refund. This is another one which needs a pinned topic, I’ve answered this same question about 3 times in the past week!

    Thanks,

    I tried to look through the forums to find this, and struggled my apologies.

    sara

    @ChrisC @NorthernLass do you have a source for what you’re saying? Everything I can see in the legislation suggests to me that OP is absolutely entitled to what they’re asking. That the flight regulations apply to packages as long as it’s the flight part that was cancelled (not e.g. the hotel part).

    NorthernLass

    @sara, have you got a link to that part the legislation? The advice that was being given from the start of the pandemic was that cancellation of a package holiday only required a full refund from the supplier.

    NorthernLass

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/package-holiday-refunds-and-cancellations/information-about-package-holiday-refunds-and-cancellations#if-your-package-holiday-organiser-cancels-your-holiday

    This says that if your holiday is “cancelled or significantly altered” you are entitled to a full refund within 14 days. It doesn’t refer to re-routing rights, though it’s quite basic and therefore could have missed something!

    sara

    gov.uk often oversimplifies. The legislation is here: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/eur/2004/261/contents

    “Since the distinction between scheduled and non-scheduled air services is weakening, such protection should apply to passengers not only on scheduled but also on non-scheduled flights, including those forming part of package tours.”

    “In cases where a package tour is cancelled for reasons other than the flight being cancelled, this Regulation should not apply.”

    “This Regulation shall not affect the rights of passengers under Directive 90/314/EEC. This Regulation shall not apply in cases where a package tour is cancelled for reasons other than cancellation of the flight.”

    Emphasis mine. My reading of this would be that the legislation absolutely applies to a flight within a package being cancelled, there’s nothing to say it wouldn’t be, and a few statements to suggest that it would be. I don’t have any anecdotes one way or the other of anyone trying.

    NorthernLass

    Interesting – I don’t recall seeing that bit when it was EU261 but may not have been looking properly!

    Sounds like it needs testing by a HFP reader!

    ChrisC

    There were no changes made to EU261 as part of Brexit other than some very technical ones in the definitions and translating the € amounts into £.

    Sara – where are yiu seeing that text though?

    NorthernLass

    Click through then select Article 8.

    ChrisC

    Ok so this is Article 8. Only 1a applies to holidays. Rerouting comes under (b) and (c) and is therefore – under my reading – excluded from packages.

    Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

    1 (a)
    – reimbursement within seven days, by the means provided for in Article 7(3), of the full cost of the ticket at the price at which it was bought, for the part or parts of the journey not made, and for the part or parts already made if the flight is no longer serving any purpose in relation to the passenger’s original travel plan, together with, when relevant,

    – a return flight to the first point of departure, at the earliest opportunity;

    (b)
    re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or

    (c)
    re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger’s convenience, subject to availability of seats.

    2.
    Paragraph 1(a) shall also apply to passengers whose flights form part of a package, except for the right to reimbursement where such right arises under Directive 90/314/EEC.

    NorthernLass

    After reading this about another 5 times it does seem to only put a responsibility on the travel agent to give a refund OR get customers home in the event their return flight is cancelled while they are away on holiday – is this how you read it, @ChrisC? Which would mean we’re back where we started!

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 1 month ago by .
    sara

    I disagree. Paragraph 2 is strangely worded, but paragraph 2 clarifying a detail about 1(a) doesn’t magically mean that no other paragraph in the legislation applies to package flights. The entire document applies to flights, which includes those within packages, unless any such flight is excluded. Which it isn’t (other than what I think paragraph 2 is trying to achieve which is to establish that you can’t take a refund through both directives).

    • This reply was modified 52 years, 1 month ago by .
    Lady London

    Your contract is with BA Holidays for the package as a package so package holiday regs (ATOL) override anything that might have applied for each package component if that component (eg flight) had been bought separately.

    If any element of the package changes significantly then the package provider has the option to choose to refund you.

    I’m pretty sure BA Holidays practically repeats the regulations pertaining to holidays within their ts and cs and that is all that applies. Unless ATOL has something extra of course (and ATOL does not provide EU261 rights).

    Believe it or not most hloidaymakers would actually prefer ATOL protection as it stops people losing their money which in the past was a big problem

    ChrisC

    After reading this about another 5 times it does seem to only put a responsibility on the travel agent to give a refund OR get customers home in the event their return flight is cancelled while they are away on holiday – is this how you read it, @ChrisC? Which would mean we’re back where we started!

    I think we’re now talking about two separate issues.

    What rights does Peter T (and us) have when flights are changed / cancelled in advance and what rights do you have when flights are cancelled whilst you are away.

    On the latter it’s clear they need to get you home and the duty office will work to do that and that would include moving you onto other airlines. They can’t just leave you stranded.

    On the former my interpretation and experience (based on what BA holidays has told me when it wasn’t possible to travel because of various restrictions) is BA Holidays will work to rebook you and not just straight off cancel (but they can under the “major change” provisions) but they limit that assistance to changing dates and keeping you on the same destination but won’t rebook you onto other airlines.

    And that ties into your last comment above this one about ATOL and the relevant package tour regulations.

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