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  • DalMar 9 posts

    Hi all, I appreciate some advice on what compensation (if any?) I’m entitled to from BA.

    I was on a recent flight from LHR to Boston and the flight had to return to LHR after about 30 mins into the journey. When we landed, BA reps told us that all passengers would be automatically re-booked onto another flight taking place in the next 2 days, and that we’d be informed via the app. Which flight we’d be taking in about 2 hrs time. Instead of waiting, I tried to book myself onto the next BA flight available later that evening. I was able to do so (after a lot of hassle and a mad dash across the airport) and managed to get into Boston about 2.5 hrs later than my initial flight was due to land. After landing, my app informed me that I had been rebooked by BA onto the following days flight… Am I entitled to any compensation for this?

    yonasl 987 posts

    Did you pay for the new flight you took? (You mention you used the app to book yourself into the next available flight)

    You won’t get compensation for the cancellation as you arrived to your destination on time.

    But if you paid for the new flight, you may want to try to get BA to refund that.

    DalMar 9 posts

    Thanks for the reply. No i didn’t pay for the other flight. I am getting a bit confused by conflicting info from different websites and whether this constitutes a cancelled flight (I assume it does) or a delay….

    According to this site a cancelled flight if less than 7 days notice (this was cancelled/aborted 30 mins after take off) is entitlement to compensation:
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/holiday-cancellations-and-compensation/if-your-flights-delayed-or-cancelled/

    But the fact that I still managed to arrive at the destination 2.5 hrs later might constitute just a delay (without entitlement to compensation)….

    I’ll put in a complaint and see where it goes

    AJA 1,150 posts

    If your flight is cancelled and if the reroute involves departing less than an hour early, AND arriving less than 2 hours late at the original destination airport, there is no compensation, no matter what (Regulation 5.1.c.iii).

    So you may be in line for some compensation but I think BA may pay out half the rate you are due.

    NorthernLass 8,469 posts

    It will also depend on the reason for the cancellation, i.e. whether it was beyond BA’s control.

    DalMar 9 posts

    Thanks all. It was a technical failure – couldn’t gain enough altitude.

    AJA – what do you think is the rate that is due, and why do you think BA will pay half?

    dougzz99 638 posts

    I think you have no chance at compo. A flight doesn’t return unless the airline has a really good safety reason or medical emergency.

    On a Boston length flight you’d need to be at least 3 hours late regardless of why for compo to be in play.

    JDB 4,836 posts

    @DalMar if you are putting in a claim, the only basis can be cancellation compensation – not delay compensation as you weren’t sufficiently delayed and if you ask for the wrong one, BA can correctly deny your claim. As above, BA will very probably cite ‘extraordinary circumstances’ to deny cancellation compensation entirely but if they do offer compensation it may, as above, be at 50% as there is a seeming conflict between Articles 5 and 7 as well as CJEU judgments.

    yonasl 987 posts

    No conflicts here in my opinion:
    – flight had to return and was indeed “technically” cancelled (even if it did fly for 30min)
    – a technical reason is not “extraordinary circumstance”. Even if indeed mandatory in nature, it is not “extraordinary” to have a technical failure. Up to BA to keep the plane in good shape. This has been discussed a lot here. A technical failure is part of running an airline and if you keep everything in good shape should never happen

    So let’s go back to what happened:
    – you flight was cancelled
    – you had the right to reroute/refund/voucher: you got a reroute on new flight. Great!
    – you arrived on time with less than 3-4hrs delay for transatlantic trips. That means you cannot claim this whole thing caused you any delays (annoying as it was you arrived more or less when you were supposed to)

    If however you had taken the flight the day after:
    – BA would have had to pay for 1 night hotel and food under duty of care
    – you will indeed have arrived more than 3-4hrs late following a cancellation for something that wasn’t an “extraordinary circumstance” so would be due compensation

    JDB 4,836 posts

    @yonasi there are two key errors in the above.

    1) What you refer to above is about delay compensation and is not the way cancellation operates and in this instance the only compensation that could be claimed.

    2) Not all technical faults are excluded under ‘extraordinary circumstances’ – each case has to be assessed on its own merits and there are now plenty of decisions that give guidance as to what’s allowed or not allowed. However, overall while staffing issues are, per the latest CJEU and Court of Appeal decisions, always considered to be inherent within an airline’s ordinary activities and operations but technical issues may not be.

    In this particular case, the emergency nature of the incident may assist BA.

    AJA 1,150 posts

    “you arrived on time with less than 3-4hrs delay for transatlantic trips. That means you cannot claim this whole thing caused you any delays (annoying as it was you arrived more or less when you were supposed to)”

    Which is why OP should be claiming for flight cancellation, NOT delay compensation.

    As I said a flight cancellation followed by a reroute resulting in a delay of more than two hours means BA may pay reduced flight cancellation compensation.

    Lady London 2,173 posts

    It’s a tech failure, so liable for cancellation compensation. Delay doesn’t come into it on this one.

    Tech is not exceptional circs unless BA has found another way to try to avoid paying compensation we haven’t seen yet. From salami slicing minutes of total delays so as to claim a maximum of 1 minute less than the required delay for compo was their fault, to claiming a weather problem somewhere else in the world 3 flights back, caused your flight cancellation (@JDB says airlines are doing this successfully and getting themselves out of paying compensation now), who knows what BA will come up with.

    Part of me is glad the pilot didn’t find this problem 3 further hours out across the Atlantic but on the balance of things BA should pay compo at 50% ie you claim £520, they are within their rights to pay £260 (but you ask for the full amount).

    At least we’re not having to advise someone that didn’t give the airline a chance to provide the asap replacement flight they needed in their circumstances, went ahead without trying for this, paid for their own reroute and is now facing trying to get their money back from the airline that cancelled their flight.

    Please let us know what happens.

    yonasl 987 posts

    @aja @LadyLondon I was under the impression that if a flight gets cancelled and you get put on another one at the very same time then there is no compensation due (the test being “well you still arrived to your destination at the agreed time”)

    Uk261 reads for Article 7:
    Right to compensation …

    2.
    When passengers are offered re-routing to their final destination on an alternative flight pursuant to Article 8, the arrival time of which does not exceed the scheduled arrival time of the flight originally booked

    (a)by two hours, in respect of all flights of 1500 kilometres or less; or

    (b)by three hours, in respect of all F2… flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres; or

    (c)by four hours, in respect of all flights not falling under (a) or (b), the operating air carrier may reduce the compensation provided for in paragraph 1 by 50 %.

    Lady London 2,173 posts

    Article 5 1(c)(iii) of EC261/2004 (presumably still same in UK equivalent) applies as this is a Cancellation not a delay. Passenger arrived over 2 hours later so on a cancellation that’s all that counts.

    (Delay differs more than cancellation according to how late.)

    BA may get ‘confused’ on this too but the claim should stand as a cancellation.

    DalMar 9 posts

    Thanks all. Just so I understand, I should put in a complaint for cancellation and could expect some compensation since the flight I ended up taking arrived 2.5hrs after the original flight was scheduled to do so?

    JDB 4,836 posts

    Article 5 1(c)(iii) applies as this is a Cancellation not a delay. Passenger arrived over 2 hours later so on a cancellation that’s all that counts.

    (Delay differs more than cancellation according to how late.)

    BA may get ‘confused’ on this too but the claim should stand as a cancellation.

    But because it’s under four hours, BA can reduce the compensation claim by 50%.

    People don’t seem to appreciate the difference between cancellation compensation and delay compensation (the latter isn’t provided for at all in EC261 or even in the amended version that is now ‘UK261’) and that the temporal thresholds are different in respect of the two types of compensation.

    JDB 4,836 posts

    Thanks all. Just so I understand, I should put in a complaint for cancellation and could expect some compensation since the flight I ended up taking arrived 2.5hrs after the original flight was scheduled to do so?

    Yes, and subject to ‘extraordinary circumstances’ your entitlement is £260 per person, which is 50% of the full rate as your rerouting didn’t get you there within two hours, but did get you there less than four hours after the original flight.

    [It doesn’t apply here, but a ‘delay’ of 2½ hours on this route wouldn’t entitle you to anything]

    DalMar 9 posts

    Thanks. I’ll let you know what BA come back with

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