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Forums Other Flight changes and cancellations help BA schedule change – 4 hours earlier 5 days before flight

  • LeeG 34 posts

    Hi all – have searched the forum for an answer to this one but can’t find anything that lines up with our issue.

    Due to fly LHR – FAR (BA592) on Sunday, originally scheduled for 13:05 as part of a BA Holiday. Have just received notification (so 5 days in advance) of a reschedule to 09:00 that same day.

    While we can still make that flight it’s adding a fair bit of inconvenience (both the much earlier time meaning we won’t be able to check into our hotel when we arrive for a few hours, will have to amend car parking, a Priority Pass lounge booking and transfer in Faro).

    Nothing showing yet in terms of alternatives through MMB. No later flights that day from LHR, though there is one at 16:10 from LGW which may suite better (assuming BA would pay for us to be ferried over).

    What are BA likely to be able to offer, and is a significant schedule change to an earlier time valid for compensation – everything I can find to read only mentions later times, not earlier.

    Thanks!

    points_worrier 296 posts

    BA will offer nothing proactively.

    It is a non-EU airline flying in to the EU, so EC261 does not apply. UK261 does, but the ECJ judgement that says moving >1h earlier counts as a cancellation for the purposes of Article 7 compensation was post-Brexit, so is difficult to enforce. It is also dependent on the change not being due to extraordinary circumstances.

    BA may (depending on exact timings) offer to move you free of charge to LGW, but they will expect you to get there.
    It is a package holiday, so you may get further protections depending if you booked everything together, but at this stage, such protections may just entitle you to a right to cancel and refund free of charge.

    I would:
    – amend parking and Priority pass. Keep receipts for any costs.
    – Get the earlier flight
    – Enjoy your holiday
    – Look to see if any costs could be covered by your travel insurance – I assume not.
    – When you get back, claim for Article 7 compensation for each passenger and the costs from BA under UK261. If BA do not claim extraordinary circumstances, I would then escalate to CEDR, citing the ECJ C-146/20 judgement as advisory to highlight the high level of protection offered and specified in UK261, and Europe’s reasonable interpretation of this by their top court, and that this was >4h and not just >1h. By no means a slam dunk, but CEDR may well come down on your side and award GBP350 per person.

    SamG 1,679 posts

    Call BAH if you want to go from Gatwick. As it’s more than 2hrs schedule change they can move you to a flight +/- 2 days using BA standard customer guidelines. They will not confirm in advance that they’d pay transfer to LGW. In reality they likely would pay an Uber receipt, unless you’re advised by the agent they won’t cover the cost and they note that in your booking.

    I’d personally just go earlier, afternoon flights have a habit of getting delayed and even an on time arrival of 7pm by the time you’ve got to your accomodation it’s late into the evening. You won’t be far off being able to check into your hotel by the time you’ve arrived on a 9am flight and you can just go grab lunch. I don’t think there would be any cost for amending parking on the same day, priority pass or transfer.

    Compensation wise I’ll leave to the experts. I know EU 261 rules did change and this would be eligible for compensation of €400pp but this ruling was after we left the EU and I am not sure if UK is following this ruling

    Very likely no additional coverage under package holiday regs – they usually consider significant changes something like +/- 12hrs (not familiar with BAH). Can’t see insurance covering anything for advanced notification of changes and you likely won’t actually have incurred any losses.

    JDB 4,630 posts

    As above, you are theoretically entitled to compensation based on a post Brexit CJEU decision, but BA will almost certainly disagree and where it has agreed this in the past offers it the 50% rate. Their guidelines do allow you to rebook or refund if you telephone (ie a concession beyond that required by statute) but in doing so you would give up your right to compensation, plus there are the qualitative reasons above.

    Lots of flights to Spain and Portugal seemed to be getting rescheduled in the next couple of weeks. Not sure if there is any good reason to give BA a compensation get out.

    LeeG 34 posts

    Thanks all, really appreciate the advice – I’ve had a look and it does indeed appear that amending the various bookings is possible (not clicked on ‘go’ yet to see what actually happens).

    The only additional cost I can see this bringing is the hotel the night before – we do have a cancellable stay booked as we’re 3 hours or so away but were swaying towards coming down on the day – this would reverse that decision and we’d come down on Saturday.

    I have also realised that the clocks go back on Saturday into Sunday so there is an extra bonus hour in bed!

    LeeG 34 posts

    Quick update on this one – I claimed for compensation for the 4 hour schedule change and reimbursement for hotel and meal the evening before. Compensation claimed rejected (‘We regret to inform that your claim for compensation has been refused because schedule changes are not eligible for compensation’) but the hotel and meal are being paid which was a pleasant surprise.

    Next step – confirm that’s their final decision for the compensation claim and then my first CEDR submission!

    JDB 4,630 posts

    Quick update on this one – I claimed for compensation for the 4 hour schedule change and reimbursement for hotel and meal the evening before. Compensation claimed rejected (‘We regret to inform that your claim for compensation has been refused because schedule changes are not eligible for compensation’) but the hotel and meal are being paid which was a pleasant surprise.

    Next step – confirm that’s their final decision for the compensation claim and then my first CEDR submission!

    You don’t really need to confirm that’s BA’s final decision but in view of the current long delays at CEDR, if I were you I would either reply to your open case or write to the legal dept or both in a last attempt to settle the matter promptly. Say that what BA refers to as a ‘schedule change’ bringing forward your flight was considered by the CJEU in 2021 whose judgment determined that a departure brought forward by more than one hour was as inconvenient as a long delay and that passengers should therefore be compensated per the schedule in Article 7. BA customer relations / legal team are clearly aware of this so xxx person who denied my claim has made an error. Ask them to correct their decision to reflect the statutory position within 14 days failing which you will escalate the matter to CEDR or MCOL where the adjudicator/judge will be fully aware that schedule changes involving more than one hour earlier departure attract UK261 so you trust that BA will now honour its obligations rather than BA wasting everyone’s time to reach the same outcome at greater cost.

    While BA is currently relying on a non defence, there were a lot of Spain and Portugal schedule changes those days, so it is conceivable that they will come up with something more credible.

    LeeG 34 posts

    Thanks @JDB – really appreciate the detail there and it will be the basis of my response.

    There was nothing in their reply that suggested extraordinary circumstances but understand that may be a card they are yet to play.

    LeeG 34 posts

    Latest and (hopefully) last update.

    BA came back to me fairly quickly to accept compensation was due. They initially suggested the flight distance was less than 1500km (LHR – FAO is 1712km) and so calculated a lower amount. After pointing this out they apologised for getting the distance wrong and we’re now at an agreement on what is due.

    Once again thanks for the advice to those that took the time to help me out.

    JDB 4,630 posts

    @LeeG – well done; it’s great to get that resolved quickly with that last ditch communication thus avoiding the need to resort to CEDR.

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