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BA IT failure – they won’t pay alternative flight costs!

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  • buchanan101

    I am stunned.

    At 1am on 27th Feb BA cancelled our return flight out of Salzburg for 11am that same morning – the message said we could rebook and they’d cover the difference.

    The link only allowed rebooking from Salzburg – and they didn’t fly for another 6 days, so we rebooked from Innsbruck, the last 2 tickets (in Club) €691 each. Only club was left – original flights were club (on Avios).

    Plus we had to pay €300 taxi to get to Innsbruck and still had to pay the Salzburg taxi as cancelled too late

    All they are offering is the €250/head EU compensation. They aren’t even refunding the original flight costs! WTAF!!? I understand that the €250 is compensation for inconvenience and shouldn’t replace other costs to get us home.

    Advice on where to go – may well have to be legal as I am almost €1700 out of pocket.

    (they also delayed my skis on the way out – they are actually covering the cost of ski hire and a damaged ski bag)

    • This topic was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    SamG

    Reply back and remind them under EU261 duty of care you have a right to reroute

    DO NOT ask them or mention about having your original ticket to be refunded as that’ll be the end of the matter

    Were you originally booked in Economy or Club ?

    They may not cover 300eur for a taxi – they usually pay what they consider reasonable which is £50pp or public transport costs. Do you have any travel insurance?

    buchanan101

    Originally booked in Club

    Mentioned EU261 originally, hence they are paying €250 a head

    Yes have travel insurance with Staysure

    SamG

    OK good – would get a bit messy if you had upgraded !

    Just reply back and say you have the right via EU261 regs to re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity, you couldn’t contact them to achieve this so you rebooked yourself and this was the cost that they need to reimburse along with your taxi ride

    I’m not familiar with public transport options so I’m not sure how reasonable a 300eur taxi is – but that might be something travel insurance can help with

    buchanan101

    They haven’t fulfilled their obligations in the slightest. This is from https://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/travel/passenger-rights/air/index_en.htm#reimbursement-cancellation-1 and is exactly what you said.

    Also (I’ve called it “b”) – even if they do reimburse the original ticket unilaterally then I’d still be entitled to the difference in cost.

    They are SO in the wrong here. They didn’t offer ANY of these options!

    And the €250/head compensation is in addition if the re-routing results in >3 hour delay

    Thanks for your help

    ==============================================================================================================
    The airline must offer you, on a one off basis, a choice between:

    1. the reimbursement of your ticket and, if you have a connecting flight, a return flight to the airport of departure at the earliest opportunity
    2. re-routing to your final destination at the earliest opportunity or,
    3. re-routing at a later date at your convenience under comparable transport conditions, subject to the availability of seats.

    As soon as you have chosen one of these three options, you no longer have rights in relation to the other two options. However, the airline may still have to provide compensation depending on the distance of your flight and the length of the delay past your original planned arrival time.

    a. If the airline does not comply with its obligation to offer re-routing or return under comparable transport conditions at the earliest opportunity, it has to reimburse your flight costs.
    b. If the airline does not offer you the choice between reimbursement and re-routing but decides unilaterally to reimburse your original ticket, you are entitled to an additional reimbursement of the price difference with the new ticket (under comparable transport conditions).

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    Lady London

    You are owed ground transport – whatever it costs locally in the circumstances – to reach the alternative airport on a reroute.

    I am quite sure for that journey on that day it would have not been possible to travel any other way in time to make your flight.

    The cost of another item on the duty of care list of things you have a right to, which was the 6 days of hotel accommodation, 6 days of 3 meals per day for each member of your party, plus transport to and from the accommodation for all of you, had you waited another 6 days for the next flight they offered you out of SZG, would have been considerably more than the taxi cost per person.

    Just get their “this is our final answer” and proceed to Letter Before Action for attention of BA Legal at their Waterside address, by a signed-for delivery. Give them, say, 21 days to pay otherwise state you will take court action [MCOL] in which case 8% p.a. statutory interest pa pro rata plus costs, will be added to your claim. Remind them that additionally your are due the separate compensation of xxx Euros for each member of your party before you give them the 21 days, 28 if you’re feeling generous.

    Let us know when the money reaches your account.

    buchanan101

    You are owed ground transport – whatever it costs locally in the circumstances – to reach the alternative airport on a reroute.

    I am quite sure for that journey on that day it would have not been possible to travel any other way in time to make your flight.

    The cost of another item on the duty of care list of things you have a right to, which was the 6 days of hotel acvommodation, 6 days of 3 meals per day for each member of your party, plus transport to and from the accommodation, had you waited another 6 dsys for the next flight they offered you put of SZG, would have been considerably more than the taxi.

    Just get their “this is our final answer” and proceed to Letter Before Action for attention of BA Legal at their Waterside address, by a signed-for delivery. Give them, say, 21 days to pay otherwise you will MCOL in which case 8%pa statutory interest pa pro rata plus costs, will be added to your claim. Remind them that additionally your are due the separate compensation of xxx Euros for each member of your party before you give them the 21 days, 28 if you’re feeling generous.

    We could’ve got the train (as the Innsbruck flight was 7 hours later), but then it’s taxi both ends, skis and everything. Main concern is the €1400 flight costs.

    Staying 6 days more in Zell am See would’ve been very pleasant, but totally impractical, OH’s job, dog and cat in kennels etc.

    They are paying the €250/head, but from what I read about EU261 that’s in addition to re-routing costs.

    They offered nothing. EU261 says they have to…

    Thanks for the advice about what to do next. What is “MCOL”?

    SamG

    The flight reimbursment is clear cut – sounds like incompetence rather than not actually going to pay. Write back a very short and clear reply that you had to reroute yourself, this is what it cost, you want it refunded. I think you’ll get it back by return

    The taxi is a little more tricky with BA and it has to be “reasonable” if it got as far as court – their opinion is if there is public transport then any form of private transport is unreasonable. But put the receipt in as part of the reroute and see how you go.

    Otherwise as per LL says above – get their final answer as “no” (which would be ridiculous) and then you can follow it up either via https://www.cedr.com/consumer/aviation/ or https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money – come back if you need help at that stage

    buchanan101

    The flight reimbursment is clear cut – sounds like incompetence rather than not actually going to pay. Write back a very short and clear reply that you had to reroute yourself, this is what it cost, you want it refunded. I think you’ll get it back by return

    The taxi is a little more tricky with BA and it has to be “reasonable” if it got as far as court – their opinion is if there is public transport then any form of private transport is unreasonable. But put the receipt in as part of the reroute and see how you go.

    Otherwise as per LL says above – get their final answer as “no” (which would be ridiculous) and then you can follow it up either via https://www.cedr.com/consumer/aviation/ or https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money – come back if you need help at that stage

    Agree – it sounds like incompetence – or a deliberate policy of refusal in the first instance, hoping people will go to travel insurance. It would have been a very costly disaster (the IT outage) so maybe they are trying to reduce costs.

    I’ve sent them the excerpt from the EU document, plus the link in case they need reminding of their responsibilities and that I know my rights… At least this is one lot of red tape the UK government won’t be able to bin as airlines have to sign up to EU261 to fly in to and out of the EU.

    I originally had a taxi to Salzburg that I cannot get a refund on because cancellation was at 2 hours notice. They can pay the cost of that, plus public transport to Innsbruck, or the new taxi.

    Thanks for the links. Already had rung CEDR but they say wait 8 weeks, so will do the letter and MCOL.

    buchanan101

    Had another mail back. They still refuse to pay. Have they actually read EU261 – it seems such a clear cut case.

    Have an appointment booked with Which Legal for Monday. I have also asked if this is their final decision and have said I will be writing to BA Legal and if necessary following up with MCOL.

    It really stinks.

    (They are suggesting I could go to my travel insurer…)

    NorthernLass

    Lots of people have been in the same position with BA. You don’t actually need a legal appointment – submit your letter to BA legal (I think @meta may have been successful doing this) and if that doesn’t work submit your case to MCOL or CEDR and they’ll do the rest of the work for you.

    buchanan101

    Lots of people have been in the same position with BA. You don’t actually need a legal appointment – submit your letter to BA legal (I think @meta may have been successful doing this) and if that doesn’t work submit your case to MCOL or CEDR and they’ll do the rest of the work for you.

    Letter is written. Which Legal is included in my sub so I am still going through with it. It’s a cost exercise – they want people to claim on travel insurance

    Londonsteve

    I’m staggered at how you’re being treated. I would expect better for a Club passenger but as others have pointed out, this is a naked cost saving exercise by BA. It’s all very well being directed to your travel insurer but why should they be expected to be on the hook for out of pocket costs that the airline is legally obliged to pay? An on the ball claims manager will bat the claim back to the airline and suggest you take it up with them again. Quite apart from which making a claim could increase your premium next year and makes premiums for all of us more expensive as travel insurance premiums have to go up to ensure that insurers stay in the black.

    buchanan101

    I’m staggered at how you’re being treated. I would expect better for a Club passenger but as others have pointed out, this is a naked cost saving exercise by BA. It’s all very well being directed to your travel insurer but why should they be expected to be on the hook for out of pocket costs that the airline is legally obliged to pay? An on the ball claims manager will bat the claim back to the airline and suggest you take it up with them again. Quite apart from which making a claim could increase your premium next year and makes premiums for all of us more expensive as travel insurance premiums have to go up to ensure that insurers stay in the black.

    Thank you Steve. I guess if I had status it may be different, but now only blue (have been silver 3 or 4 years ago). I have *six* bookings in my account though if they bothered to look, and usually use them at least 3 times a year. (Most bookings have been Avios though – but always Club).

    They give no reason in their reply; they could technically be hanging on the fact that I didn’t rebook flights from Salzburg (the only option offered on the Manage my Booking page after the cancellation). But there were no flights that day, or the Monday, or the Tuesday. I think they only fly Sat and Sun to Salzburg.

    NorthernLass

    @Londonsteve, BA couldn’t care less which class you travel in if they think they can bamboozle you into not making a claim, many people on here have had the same experience, including me. A couple of years ago we were delayed over 5 hours returning from NYC in CW due to faulty air con on board – when I put in a claim for compo BA blatantly lied on their response and tried to say the problem was not being able to get a jet bridge which meant they weren’t liable! I went to CEDR and they caved immediately and said they had “mistakenly” given me the wrong information!

    buchanan101

    @Londonsteve, BA couldn’t care less which class you travel in if they think they can bamboozle you into not making a claim, many people on here have had the same experience, including me. A couple of years ago we were delayed over 5 hours returning from NYC in CW due to faulty air con on board – when I put in a claim for compo BA blatantly lied on their response and tried to say the problem was not being able to get a jet bridge which meant they weren’t liable! I went to CEDR and they caved immediately and said they had “mistakenly” given me the wrong information!

    What I find obscene is that they haven’t even refunded the cancelled flight* (which they should if refusing to cover the new one) – they aren’t even looking at the cases, just saying “no”.

    *ok, it was Avios and a bit of cash, so not expensive, but…

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    NorthernLass

    Quite a few of us on here have managed to get BA to pay up in similar circumstances but it takes time and patience. The problem is BA’s underhanded way of dealing with people (and sometimes genuine ignorance of passenger rights), a lack of gumption by the CAA to hold them to account, and general lack of information on the part of the public and the media. I had a spat on social media last night with someone who swore blind that this couple weren’t owed anything by BA – when I posted the actual legislation covering cancellations, he mysteriously deleted the thread!
    https://twnews.co.uk/gb-news/british-airways-sorry-after-cancelled-birthday-trip-to-dubai-and-compensation-mix-up
    If you read this story you’ll see that this is their standard way of fobbing people off!

    buchanan101

    Quite a few of us on here have managed to get BA to pay up in similar circumstances but it takes time and patience. The problem is BA’s underhanded way of dealing with people (and sometimes genuine ignorance of passenger rights), a lack of gumption by the CAA to hold them to account, and general lack of information on the part of the public and the media. I had a spat on social media last night with someone who swore blind that this couple weren’t owed anything by BA – when I posted the actual legislation covering cancellations, he mysteriously deleted the thread!
    https://twnews.co.uk/gb-news/british-airways-sorry-after-cancelled-birthday-trip-to-dubai-and-compensation-mix-up
    If you read this story you’ll see that this is their standard way of fobbing people off!

    I’m following through with Which Legal as I will then be suggesting that Which investigate. I know not huge circulation, but they are often reported in the media.

    NorthernLass

    That sounds a great idea – if they do run with it, plenty of people on here could provide examples of BA’s behaviour. Which articles are often picked up by other media sources as well.

    Lady London

    Your travel insurer is highly likely to tell you to claim via British Airways first. Or they may only pay out deducting the amount BA was legally obliged to pay out.

    So your claim needs to be on BA but you should inform them if you think you’re covered as there’s probably a minimum time within which you should inform them now you’re aware of your loss.

    Additionally you could claim from your UK credit card if that’s how you paid -ask your card for a Section 75 claim and point to the line on your statement when you paid what you haven’t received in full. This would be the easiest route if it’s available to you. Claim quickly as time limits here too. Cardco is liable for cost of replacement flights and hotels, transport etc under duty of care in the same way as the airline so don’t accept a chargeback.

    Your insurer or your cardco will surely sort their claim out with BA after they pay you and BA won’t succeed in giving them the runaround they’re giving you.

    buchanan101

    Your travel insurer is highly likely to tell you to claim via British Airways first. Or they may only pay out deducting the amount BA was legally obliged to pay out.

    So your claim needs to be on BA but you should inform them if you think you’re covered as there’s probably a minimum time within which you should inform them now you’re aware of your loss.

    Additionally you could claim from your UK credit card if that’s how you paid -ask your card for a Section 75 claim and point to the line on your statement when you paid what you haven’t received in full. This would be the easiest route if it’s available to you. Claim quickly as time limits here too. Cardco is liable for cost of replacement flights and hotels, transport etc under duty of care in the same way as the airline so don’t accept a chargeback.

    Your insurer or your cardco will surely sort their claim out with BA after they pay you and BA won’t succeed in giving them the runaround they’re giving you.

    BA under EU261 are legally required to pay ALL the replacement air fare. They could quibble over the taxi cost, but we had to get to Innsbruck.

    Staysure are impossible to contact…Covid and all that…have emailed them. They shouldn’t have to pay though. I’ve asked BA for the exact reason why they won’t pay the claim; I don’t expect them to tell me.

    buchanan101

    Found what I think is Sean Doyle’s email address… with @britishairways.com it bounces. with @ba.com it doesn’t, so we’ll see

    (Not that he’ll read it anyway, but he may have a sidekick who will)

    Also Tom Stevens (Director of Brand and Customer Experience) and Ian Blackman (VP customer service) to write to. Their email addresses are obvious it seems, Sean’s very slightly less so.

    meta

    Haven’t been following as I was away.
    I don’t deal with CS anymore. It’s pointless as they don’t understand the rules and are not trained.

    Normally, you’re due a compensation of €250 per person plus anything extra that you’re out of pocket.

    However, the problem is that you haven’t contacted BA when you found out they cancelled the flight. You need to prove that you tried at least even if you couldn’t reach them. Trying the online link isn’t enough. So at 8am when the offices opened you should have called BA and try to sort it out or alternatively at the airport (although since it’s an out station they probably wouldn’t be able to help).

    You could have obviously booked six days later and BA would be liable for hotels, meals and transports plus compensation.

    I had several claims now for exactly the same reason when BA abandoned me, but each time I made an effort to call them even when it was a last-minute cancellation. It’s just makes it look totally reasonable if there is any legal action after. BA can argue that you haven’t given them an opportunity to rebook you. The cancellation emails usually do also state to call them to discuss options.

    So yes, this is the reason why I think BA is refusing and it’s not clear cut whether you’d win or not in court as you might find a judge who will say that you have not tried to resolve it on the day it happened.

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    SamG

    What I find obscene is that they haven’t even refunded the cancelled flight* (which they should if refusing to cover the new one) – they aren’t even looking at the cases, just saying “no”.

    *ok, it was Avios and a bit of cash, so not expensive, but…

    Just to be clear again – DO NOT mention refund anywhere to BA. One remedy allowed is to refund you and then the matter is closed and you’d be very out of pocket

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    SamG

    Haven’t been following as I was away.
    I don’t deal with CS anymore. It’s pointless as they don’t understand the rules and are not trained.

    Normally, you’re due a compensation of €250 per person plus anything extra that you’re out of pocket.

    However, the problem is that you haven’t contacted BA when you found out they cancelled the flight. You need to prove that you tried at least even if you couldn’t reach them. Trying the online link isn’t enough. So at 8am when the offices opened you should have called BA and try to sort it out or alternatively at the airport (although since it’s an out station they probably wouldn’t be able to help).

    You could have obviously booked six days later and BA would be liable for hotels, meals and transports plus compensation.

    I had several claims now for exactly the same reason when BA abandoned me, but each time I made an effort to call them even when it was a last-minute cancellation. It’s just makes it look totally reasonable if there is any legal action after. BA can argue that you haven’t given them an opportunity to rebook you. The cancellation emails usually do also state to call them to discuss options.

    So yes, this is the reason why I think BA is refusing and it’s not clear cut whether you’d win or not in court as you might find a judge who will say that you have not tried to resolve it on the day it happened.

    I don’t really think this is an issue in this case – if it went to court then you can just reference the media reports that they had a total meltdown, couldn’t be contacted etc

    This one is particularly silly as it’s BA you bought the flight from – they’d have happily given you the seat FOC if you’d have managed to contact them so they aren’t actually out of pocket, so I think they’ll resolve it before it gets that far

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