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  • simonjones 59 posts

    Seems BA have cancelled some flights to- from DXB and has caused issues with downgrades and bumping people off.

    We are both gold members travelling economy from DXB-LHR today on BA 104

    At check in they tried to bump us on tomorrow flight , we had to argue with them not to move us , explained gold members etc anyway that was sorted however then noticed they have moved our seats and we are not sitting together , staff couldn’t move us as flight over booked

    Not great service , could hear in line some first pax was being downgraded to business and others being downgraded from club also

    BA Lounge is completely full no seats ..

    A nightmare

    NorthernLass 6,748 posts

    I don’t know if there are ongoing issues but someone posted yesterday that they pre-selected seats as gold from DXB in Y and were subsequently split up. You might get some avios by way of compensation for having your seats moved as gold status if you submit a complaint.

    Have they given a reason for the cancellations?

    NorthernLass 6,748 posts
    simonjones 59 posts

    There was a lot of angry and upset pax at check in , alone I heard of 4 people being bumped … they didn’t seem to be offering rebooking onto other airlines , just rebooking on tomorrow flight , which was also oversold as the first flight was also cancelled so there just rolling todays problems to tomorrow

    We couldn’t get a seat in the lounge as completely full so sitting in departure lounge

    Very frustrating and annoying

    NorthernLass 6,748 posts

    Are they giving reasons for cancellations? It would also be interesting to know if any of the bumped pax are insisting on same day re-routing – BA won’t offer pro-actively.

    simonjones 59 posts

    Well they offered us £260 per person plus hotel for taking tomorrow flight , when I asked if we would be sat together tomorrow they said the flight is actually overbooked so no guarantees. I also asked if we could travel on another one world airline today and was told no.

    One lady travelling business who was being bumped asked about being put on EK today and the supervisor said no also

    NorthernLass 6,748 posts

    It doesn’t matter what they say – it’s your right to be re-routed under the relevant regulations (UK261) – lots of discussions on here about this, though in practice it can mean having to pay for the new flights and claiming back from BA.
    But if the flight home tomorrow is acceptable to you it’ll probably be less hassle to take that.

    I wonder what’s going on with these flights?! I’ve had an aircraft change for December and I think they might have reduced the number of winter departures but you’d think they wouldn’t be doing this to the current schedule at such short notice?

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,170 posts

    Had something similar happen to us in Dubai about 7 years ago. Turned to find that me, my wife and daughter had been downgraded to PE. My son – aged 5 at the time – had been booked into a hotel on his own and given a ticket for the evening flight.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,051 posts

    Had something similar happen to us in Dubai about 7 years ago. Turned to find that me, my wife and daughter had been downgraded to PE. My son – aged 5 at the time – had been booked into a hotel on his own and given a ticket for the evening flight.

    I hope Rob Jr recreated Home Alone 2 in his hotel room.

    JDB 4,164 posts

    It doesn’t matter what they say – it’s your right to be re-routed under the relevant regulations (UK261) – lots of discussions on here about this, though in practice it can mean having to pay for the new flights and claiming back from BA.
    But if the flight home tomorrow is acceptable to you it’ll probably be less hassle to take that.

    I wonder what’s going on with these flights?! I’ve had an aircraft change for December and I think they might have reduced the number of winter departures but you’d think they wouldn’t be doing this to the current schedule at such short notice?

    So, @NorthernLass what would you do in this situation? Lots of people wave the ‘UK261 rights’ flag in posts, but the practical application of those rights, particularly for short notice cancellations is much trickier.

    Yes, in theory you could go off and buy tickets on another airline at a cost of say at least £2000 for two last minute economy tickets and claim from BA afterwards. BA will say pax refused reasonable rerouting offer, then didn’t give us any other opportunity before going off and making their own arrangements, cost of tickets ridiculous and for good measure will add a raft of medium to bad legal arguments which CEDR sometimes sucks up or you can ‘invest’ some additional money (about £300 issue+ hearing fees) and try MCOL which ought to have a ‘cleaner’ outcome but can have various pitfalls and requires quite a bit of research and effort by the claimant to maximise chances of success.

    NorthernLass 6,748 posts

    @JDB it would depend entirely on how urgently I needed to get home. If I absolutely had to travel that day I would have the necessary conversation with BA and document it fully before making my own arrangements. As you often say, it will come down to who is being the most reasonable, and it’s entirely reasonable to insist on your exercising your legal rights if you have a pressing need to be somewhere. It’s not reasonable for BA to refuse to comply with legislation because it’s financially inconvenient for them to pay for you to fly with a rival airline.

    In my circumstances, however, I think I’d be trying to get an extended holiday at BA’s expense!

    NorthernLass 6,748 posts

    Something similar actually did happen to us a few years ago when our domestic leg to LHR was cancelled 3 hours before departure and we had a same day connection. BA ground staff at MAN initially told us we’d have to come back in 2 days when the next GCM flight was scheduled but I stood my ground and insisted they either re-route us via the US on AA, or get us to LHR by other means. They paid £300 for our taxi to LHR. I considered it unreasonable to lose 2 days of my holiday when there were plenty of other options to get to our destination. If we’d been in some remote location with no such options, I’d have stoically accepted the delay – it comes down to what is realistic and what isn’t.

    JDB 4,164 posts

    @NorthernLass – therein lies the problem! What seems reasonable to a passenger at the time sometimes doesn’t look quite so reasonable to a third party (ie arbitrator/judge) when all the facts are set out and as we know from posts here, people aren’t always too good on providing all the facts, but these litigation processes force the truth, so one just needs to be very careful before buying new tickets and committing money you may never see back.

    NorthernLass 6,748 posts

    @JDB, of course, these are not decisions to be taken lightly. What’s most egregious, though, is BA not informing passengers of their rights (as I understand they are legally required to do), and refusing re-routing requests on spurious grounds such as it not being possible to use non-OW airlines.

    Lady London 1,955 posts

    If it’s you faced with this
    1. get reason for cancellation. try to ask 2 different reps of BA and get 2 answers both of which are hopefully the same answer. Note carefully who you spoke to and the time and where or on what other contact point with BA or their rep eg phone number if you phoned.

    This is because most true reasons for cancellation will later qualify you for £520 compensation per seat. So get the reason while it’s fresh. As strangely BA has been reported to try to change the reason later to a different reason that would exempt them from compensation. But a carefully noted reason given on the spot especially more than once has a good chance of overcoming BA’s change of mind later.

    2. If you really have to depart or reach your destination closest to as planned then tell BA. It’s your right and you have nothing to apologise for. Generally it’s regarded as a flight same day being reasonable as many people are in circumstances meaning they can’t wait another day.

    If BA says they can’t provide you travel that will meet your need to depart today and/ or arrive as close as possible to original travel timing then say please book me on another airline’s flights as I still need….

    If they still refuse state I am formally requesting you under my rights under my statutory rights under UK and European passenger regulations to be rerouted on a flight today on any airline(s) BA or otherwise that will allow me to depart Dubai, for example (point to departure board or state Emirates, Lufthansa, Air France, KLM… any flight you can see on the departures board or ideally have checked is selling seats.)…as I do still need to depart as soon as possible closest to my flight timing / arrive as soon as possible closest to the arrival time I have with the flight that you cancelled.

    Sometimes you can get further phoning the airline even while you’re in a queue in this sort of situation.

    3. If they still refuse say “I have noted your refusal to reroute me on other flights which are available close to my original travel timings and [if true] “you have stated this is because those flights are on other airlines”. keep screenshots of departures board and some online screenshots of seats being sold so BA can’t say later those other flights were full.

    As @NorthernLass says, formally stating your need, asking them to be rerouted asap then formally stating you have noted their refusal should cover you. Just make sure there is space on those other flights though.

    Be careful this should cover you if your flight is cancelled or you get offloaded eg due to overbooking.

    Differently, it seems if you’re still on the flight but downgraded then technically you can’t refuse to travel in the downgraded seat (but you should be able to claim a very serious reimbursement later esp if downgraded from F or J longhaul). If downgraded then you’d need to try to negotiate perhaps for them to willingly move you to another flight to avoid the downgrade and potentially get their agreement [document it] to pay hotel if one is then needed as for downgrade moving you to another flight would be voluntary by airline not a right.


    @JDB
    big business should not always get to ride roughshod over passengers’ rights. That is why those rights exist.

    JDB 4,164 posts

    @LadyLondon – the issue isn’t really about big business riding roughshod over passenger rights. The issue is enforcement of those rights – someone could do all the things you say, but still not get their money back for replacement tickets as there are many more variables than you consider. I wouldn’t punt £2k following your template.

    The problem is that few individual countries/regulators believe in the legislation as it is so outdated and no longer fit for purpose so they pay lip service by telling airlines to comply without taking any action. They leave it to courts or arbitrators although many airlines don’t offer arbitration. Brussels doesn’t want to change the law so it ends up with a sort of stalemate.

    Paul 153 posts

    It doesn’t matter what they say – it’s your right to be re-routed under the relevant regulations (UK261) – lots of discussions on here about this, though in practice it can mean having to pay for the new flights and claiming back from BA.
    But if the flight home tomorrow is acceptable to you it’ll probably be less hassle to take that.

    I wonder what’s going on with these flights?! I’ve had an aircraft change for December and I think they might have reduced the number of winter departures but you’d think they wouldn’t be doing this to the current schedule at such short notice?

    So, @NorthernLass what would you do in this situation? Lots of people wave the ‘UK261 rights’ flag in posts, but the practical application of those rights, particularly for short notice cancellations is much trickier.

    Yes, in theory you could go off and buy tickets on another airline at a cost of say at least £2000 for two last minute economy tickets and claim from BA afterwards. BA will say pax refused reasonable rerouting offer, then didn’t give us any other opportunity before going off and making their own arrangements, cost of tickets ridiculous and for good measure will add a raft of medium to bad legal arguments which CEDR sometimes sucks up or you can ‘invest’ some additional money (about £300 issue+ hearing fees) and try MCOL which ought to have a ‘cleaner’ outcome but can have various pitfalls and requires quite a bit of research and effort by the claimant to maximise chances of success.

    JDB – Northern Lass is correct. Once BA bump you from a flight EU261 places the choices entirely within the control of the customer.

    The regulation is clear

    Denied boarding:

    The carrier must first call for volunteers, who are offered: (i) a freely negotiated sum in compensation, and (ii) the choice between either being reimbursed within seven days (and, if necessary, a free flight to the initial point of departure) or being rerouted or continuing their journey as soon as possible, or at a mutually agreed later date;
    Passengers who cannot board must be offered: (i) assistance (meal, telephone calls and accommodation if necessary), (ii) the choice between either being reimbursed within seven days (and, if necessary, a free flight to the initial point of departure) or being rerouted or continuing their journey as soon as possible, or at a mutually agreed later date, and (iii) an immediate predetermined sum in compensation as follows

    There is no wriggle room here. Especially from somewhere like DXB with literally dozens of non stop and transit options.

    If there was an alternative seat then BA cannot act reasonable by limiting options to a 24 hr delay or indeed only one world options

    JDB 4,164 posts

    @Paul this wasn’t a case of denied boarding; the flight was cancelled.

    While @Northern Lass’s comments on this thread have been entirely correct all along, my point was that on the one hand you have very favourable regulations but set against that is the practical application of those regulations. They consistently don’t get properly applied by most EU/UK airlines and it isn’t as easy as many here suggest to get the rights to which you are entitled either at the time or in a subsequent claim.

    Lady London 1,955 posts

    @JDB of course capitalists and the airlines consider EU / UK 261 “outdated and no longer fit for purpose”. Anything that tries to redress the balance of potential and actual abuse of passengers by airlines, airlines are going to try to avoid aren’t they.

    And the very great majority of airlines that seek to deny passengers fair treatment and compensation are extremely large businesses that need to provide for this as a cost of doing business. Commercial decisions made by the airlines are behind the care and compensation required for passengers in 261 on a day to day basis. These commercial decisions by airlines need to take account of financing and operating to make it right when passengers are negatively affected by the decisions made by the airlines for their own profit and convenience.

    For the occasional event that causes mayhem such as an ash cloud airlines already get out of compensation but should still provide duty of care. Whether financed by insurance or their own resources. 261 exists to make airlines do this because they weren’t.

    IMV the main error made by EU legislators who drafted 261 was not finding a way to increase the rates payable to passengers when airlines fail to provide the rights or unfairly deny and delay.

    Even the USA is now looking to introduce their own form of 261. At least the US DoT has teeth and doesn’t hesitate.to use them. So although I expect US legislation upcoming to provide a bit less than EU it will be enforced.

    AJA 1,028 posts

    I’m with Northern Lass, Lady London and Paul on enforcing my rights if my flight is cancelled or I am denied boarding.

    I agree with @JDB that sometimes it is difficult in the actual moment to get your rights enforced but I disagree with him when he is suggesting that advising people of their rights is essentially a waste of time because it is difficult to get the airlines to play ball.

    If the flight is covered by EU261 and its subsequent adoption in UK law and I absolutely have to get to my destination and I am faced with being bumped off a flight I will fight tooth and nail to get on board. If that option is not possible then I will absolutely inform the airline that I am going to pay for last minute flights on any other carrier and will expect a refund from the airline after the event.

    That said if it made no difference I will probably accept whatever solution the airline comes up with and if that means travelling a few days later with the airline picking up the duty of care costs I’d probably accept. Even if that means I have to pay out and claim back.

    I think it is wrong of you to suggest that your chances of success of getting the airline to abide by their EU261 obligations is slim. Of course there is always a risk that you come unstuck but that is down to preparation and presentation of your case. I strongly believe the law is there to assist the consumer and when faced with the need to enforce it then consumers always should do so. Which is why I am always happy to offer advice to people in that situation as I think it is very poor when airlines use technicalities and obfuscation and frankly sometimes outright lies to get out of their obligations.

    That said I am also realistic and I do think it is right to advise people not to claim when it is clear that their case has no merit. And I will do so. But the situation faced by OP to this thread where he says:
    “I also asked if we could travel on another one world airline today and was told no.

    One lady travelling business who was being bumped asked about being put on EK today and the supervisor said no also” that clearly is against the spirit (and law) of EU261 as per Article 8(b) where it states “re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destinatino at the earliest opportunity” is a choice of the customer. This is true either in the case of being bumped from a flight (ie denied boarding) or in the case of a flight cancellation.

    Blair Waldorf Salad 1,051 posts

    I am agreeing with what everyone says above. I think the contrarian viewpoint being put forward is that rightly or wrongly it can be a battle to get 261 costs paid; and there is always a risk however unfounded of CEDR or MCOL going an odd way. For me the decision would come down to am I willing to be say £3K out of pocket for up to a year having bought a new ticket on a different airline. And if that £3K wasn’t repaid, would I reconcile myself with the fact that I could not practically have flown later/in economy. Personal financial circumstances vary greatly so that kind of decision is less to do with the rights and wrongs of the law and more to do with the level of headroom households have in their finances. In an ideal world such considerations wouldn’t have to be made and national 261 regulators would have swift remedies but…we are where we are

    JDB 4,164 posts

    @Blair Waldorf Salad – that’s a very accurate summary of all the comments.

    Vs. BA people have a fair chance of winning as a) you can use CEDR or MCOL and b) their in house legal staff are both very inexperienced and incompetent and if a case goes to a hearing they engage cheap but wily counsel, but as long as you have a good case and can think on your feet vs the dodgy counsel, you’re probably OK. I’m currently dealing with a defence written by someone who qualified a couple of months ago whose grasp of spelling and grammar is frankly embarrassing. Although recently employed, they have followed the BA formula of ignoring everything in the claim that is inconvenient, adding some irrelevant paragraphs to muddy the waters (ie 5 of 28 paragraphs deny liability for flights unconnected with the claim), two paragraphs referencing a case that was superseded five years ago, and a boiler plate paragraph about no interest being due.

    Iberia is a very different proposition; if you have a problem with them, they don’t offer ADR so you have to take them to court. For a c. £600 claim they have engaged a firm of City solicitors and specialist aviation counsel! They too have peppered their defence with totally irrelevant points, challenged jurisdiction but also made some assertions that are so obviously egregious that they are in some ways difficult to deal with. I’m currently reflecting on the best goose recipe, but frankly many would pull their claim in fear upon reading the defence.

    I have another Iberia one pending for €600 delay compensation that was denied – a final decision, within about 15 hours of filing the claim! The 4 1/2 hour delay was notified one day before departure by email citing staff shortages and the flight duly arrived with that delay, plus three minutes. Claim denied on the basis the flight was ‘rescheduled’, and thus arrived on time and (just in case) unspecified ‘extraordinary circumstances’ applied and for good measure as a UK citizen, as the flight was from a third country to the EU, EC261 was inapplicable to the claim.

    Unfortunately it takes a lot of time as well as careful research and case management to win these cases and it simply isn’t for everyone. What I don’t like about the advice offered is that it is very often of a cookie cutter nature when it needs to be tailored to the specific circumstances.

    In the DXB circumstances of this original thread, I personally wouldn’t have punted money buying tickets on another airline as others have suggested. One of the issues that nobody has taken into account is that a whole flight was cancelled, such that it makes it harder for BA to re-accommodate everyone; BA will play on that in any subsequent cases and elicit significant sympathy.

    meta 1,408 posts

    I am agreeing with what everyone says above. I think the contrarian viewpoint being put forward is that rightly or wrongly it can be a battle to get 261 costs paid; and there is always a risk however unfounded of CEDR or MCOL going an odd way. For me the decision would come down to am I willing to be say £3K out of pocket for up to a year having bought a new ticket on a different airline. And if that £3K wasn’t repaid, would I reconcile myself with the fact that I could not practically have flown later/in economy. Personal financial circumstances vary greatly so that kind of decision is less to do with the rights and wrongs of the law and more to do with the level of headroom households have in their finances. In an ideal world such considerations wouldn’t have to be made and national 261 regulators would have swift remedies but…we are where we are

    It’s a passenger’s problem that they cannot enforce it sooner. My experience with MCOL is 3 months maximum (and that was during covid, usually all done within 1-2 months). I don’t mess around with customer services or CEDR anymore and go straight to the letter before action. Snail mail and all done pretty quickly. If you go via CS they are trained to drag it.

    JDB 4,164 posts

    @meta 1-2 months for an MCOL claim isn’t at all realistic. You need to allow at least 14 days for the Letter before Claim, then once the claim is issued, the airline will almost certainly file an AoS so they have 28 days to issue a defence, it’s then a further 14 days to return the DQ, then however long it takes for the Court to issue directions and set a hearing date, likely to be a minimum of 2-3 months ahead so realistically you are looking at an absolute minimum of 4 months to get to a hearing and most likely longer.

    meta 1,408 posts

    That is if you get to hearing. In 99% of cases you don’t go to a hearing. By sending LBA you show that you
    mean business. We only ever hear about extreme cases. You are also required by law to settle at all costs and avoid wasting court’s resources. You really ought to remind airline about this in your LBA.

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