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Cancelled BKK flight? Every cloud has a silver lining.

  • MingTheMerciless

    With the rash of cancellations to BKK I thought I’d share my experience of turning a cancelled flight to my advantage.

    I booked my family wit BA to Lanzarote from London Gatwick (LGW -ACE) in April 2020 to travel in Easter school holidays 2021. Total cost was £140 plus 80,000 avios.

    In March 2021 the flight was cancelled. We also didn’t want to travel due to COVID restrictions in Spain taking the edge off an enjoyable holiday, so we requested rerouting at our conveniences to Elden half term holidays 2022 under eu261 legislation.

    Our request was denied 3 times verbally due to being more then 12 months from the original booking date, with only refund being offered or rerouting at a time of BAs choosing approximately 5 days different from our original dates. On every call I referred them to the relevant legislation and they continued not to cooperate. On the third call I requested that they confirm that they would not reroute at a time of my convenience via email which they did.

    In early May 2021 I booked new flights for February 1/2 term 2022 LGW to ACE. These flights were sat to sat as per the first flights and also in school holidays and also on a fully flexible basis. They also happened to be the most expensive flights BA sold on that route in the 12 months April 2021 to April 2022. The flights were booked via amex travel on BA metal due to having an offer of an extra 500 bonvoy points with Amex travel spend, but the purchase via a travel agency also had the very real benefit of breaking the contractual link for the second flight with BA.

    Armed with a loss of circa £4600 for 4 travelers, I immediately submitted a claim for my loss to MCOL as the sole claimant. If the flights had been more expensive (over £10k each) I would have submitted 4 claims separately for each member of the family and requested that the cases be heard together.

    Hearing was set for May 22 so I moved my fully flexible ticked to July 2022 as I did not want the risk of losing at MCOL and not being able to cancel the ticket.

    About a week prior to MCOL hearing BA submitted a skeleton argument via their barrister. I was surprised that they were looking to fight the case given the open shut nature that I saw it as.

    I spoke with the court 15min before the video hearing to confirm a technical issue. During this conversation I learnt that a video link has been requested by a barrister. The Game was a foot!

    The argument I put forward was accepted in full, and full credit should go to Metta, still in the sun et Al for their comprehensive arguments on your righs under eu261. Key arguments as follows:

    Ba stated that I could not be the sole claimant. Judge told BA no to be so churlish given that I had paid for original and new flights for dependants.

    Ba pointed out that I hadn’t flown my feb 22 flights. Judge pointed out I didn’t have to.

    Ba pointed out that if I won at MCOl I could then cancel my flight and get a refund. Judge’s argument was yes I could. I had paid for 2 flights, not flown 2 flights, so should be refunded 2 flights (one at MCOL and one after cancelling the final flight), the value of each set of flights was £4600 so this should be the amount refunded.

    All in I was awarded £4900ish for the flights and costs. I put in for interest as well and this was rejected. I lost 80,000 avios and also received £140 refund for taxes from my original flight.

    Once the check had cleared I cancelled my fully flexible flights.

    This process converted my avios at a rate of 5.75p per point. I have just returned from ACE via easyJet at a cost of £140.

    I hope that anyone currently in a similar predicament with BA on Bangkok flights is able to turn the situation their advantage.


    Nicely done. What was the advantage “of breaking the contractual link for the second flight with BA”?


    I wanted to stop BA from settling before court by offering to rebook the avios flight at a time of my choosing. I just wanted BA to be forced to pay out cash.


    Congratulations, BA deserves absolute mercilessness after their shenanigans over the last 2 years (and prior, tbh). Their legal arguments were poor and hopefully their lawyers will now advise them to just stop trying to defend these cases.


    Wanted to add my experience regarding my cancelled flights to BKK in Mar-23.

    My wife called last Monday and told emphatic no to all questions (EU261 rights, timing, alternative airlines, CAA letter, …).

    I tried again yesterday and had a very good customer service person help me and, to my surprise, the response was very good. Same dates and choice of four LHR flights on Qatar out (downgraded to economy). Only offered flights back to LGW on Qatar and BA (business) presumably as they are trying to limit their costs using their flights. Have to make post-flight claim for refund of points and cash, but a good outcome.

    Thank you to all for information on how to push for this. I was prepared, but did not need it.


    Were you booked business or WTP?


    Downgrade from business to economy is double downgrade so 2x compensation?


    Downgrade from business to economy is double downgrade so 2x compensation?

    No, the same compo is due for F to J as for F to Y.


    If @cyberstreak is satisfied with the outcome that is ultimately what matters. However, I would not have accepted this; seems like BA were fitting to I/U class for obvious reasons. I’d have pushed for any available seat in same class on or near same dates on any carrier in hope of a flexible fare class for extra avios. Got this on Qatar this spring with fourth agent I tried, and got it again for this winter with AY thanks to a fab agent. There are very knowledgeable and helpful agents out there, just have to keep trying as long as necessary to get one. Very happy, my partner gotbto fly QR for first time, and now we both getbto try new AY sofa seat.

    Lady London

    I wanted to stop BA from settling before court by offering to rebook the avios flight at a time of my choosing. I just wanted BA to be forced to pay out cash.

    Given the number of less able passengers BA has lied to and bullied to take refunds instead of the better rights BA owes them but avoids mentioning, BA richly deserves this.

    Lady London

    Were you booked business or WTP?

    You are due a reimbursement of 75% of what you paid, for being downgraded from Business. You are not just due the difference in points.

    Do not accept any refund of points or cash before the flight. After the flight put in your claim under EU UK 261 for this reimbursement. Take the airport charges and APD out, then calculate 75% of everything else you paid BA for your ticket(s). If you were on a 241, the second passnger seat is claimed also, at the rate claimed for the first seat.

    Personally depending on how happy I was with BA generally I’d probably claim 1.6p per avios paid. It’s BA’s standard selling price so appropriate. For sure if they make me MCOL them (cos then I”d be annoyed).

    Lady London

    PS As well aa the reroute and the downgrade reimbrsement, aren’t you due £520 per seat in cancellation compensation too?


    No cancellation compensation as it is more than 14 days in advance as @cyberstreak’s flight is next year.


    All well and good but the reward has to be worth the time, hassle and effort. Easier just to make one to a few quick calls until you reach an agent who will meet BA obligations from the outset. To date I’ve found persistence does pay off but appreciate it can be demoralising..


    Congratulations Ming! I thought you had been rather quiet following the Curve/NS&I debacle. Good to see you have been putting your time to good use. Interesting that the judge was not phased by your potential to make a tidy profit. I’m afraid that BA have behaved so badly that they deserve little judicial sympathy. Out of interest was this case heard in a Court local to BA or elsewhere?


    Thanks for the advice. We were booked in WTP out and business back. I will claim downgrade compensation after flight as I paid for two WTP seats I did not get.

    I will also keep an eye out for BA direct in case they restart that as the agent mentioned it.


    Thanks for this, incredibly helpful. Kept my cool with the agent, and insisted on my right to be rebooked, and booking was made. Can anyone help me clear up my issue, please? My booking says ‘Business Class C’ and our firends booking say ‘Booking class J (and then underneath ‘not included’). Does anyone know what ‘not included means? Thanks in advance


    Finally, after many many calls I got through to a very competent CSA, flights all rebooked onto Qatar, even got me my preferred day flight. Outbound booked into j class and return in D, no idea what that means. But happy to have it sorted.

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