Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

  • ANNE 27 posts

    Hoping to get an informed 2nd opinion here before I go into battle with BA. We were booked LHR-DXB in First (241 and Avios ticket). Several months before the outbound BA cancelled our original flight and replaced it with one on the same day, with the same flight number but departing 10 minutes earlier. The replacement flight was on an A350 so we were rebooked in Club.

    When I rang BA I made it clear that this was an involuntary downgrade and requested a reroute in our original class of travel, which they were unable to offer. On that basis we were ticketed in Club, and the agent confirmed this was an involuntary downgrade and stated that I would receive a link after our flight to claim the EC261 compensation due – naturally this didn’t arrive.

    After returning I made a claim and today received the following response from BA:

    ‘Downgrade compensation is not payable as the original flight was cancelled and you were rebooked onto another aircraft. We would only look at paying downgrade compensation if you were downgraded on the original flight. I’m sorry to disappoint you.’

    I don’t agree that this exempts them from paying downgrade compensation. Any experts here who could confirm please?

    ChrisC 956 posts

    To all intents and purposes it is the same flight – it has the same flight number for example.

    A change of plane type does not negate that.

    You are entitled to be reimbursed 75% of the cost of the downgraded sector (excluding any proper government taxes and airport fees)

    A letter to BA legal outlining that and your conversations with customer services should sort this out.

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    You mean they changed equipment? Flight number was the same.


    @ChrisC
    kmows more about this than me but regardless of same flight or reroute, or offload you (which is presented to you as a cancellation) then reroute you on same or different flight, they owe you reimbursement of 75% of what you paid for the first seat, repeated for the second seat, if 241.

    75% reimbursement of everything after starting by removing APD, airport charges, immigration etc. BA’s own co-pay which they misleadingly call taxes, is still in the part you claim 75% reimbursement of.

    I think I’d put in the LBA that if they do not settle the involuntary downgrade reimbursement due to you within x 21? days then as their liability to this is clear and you did previously remind them of your eligibility for this and had advised them prior to the flight that you would be making this claim, then any further action necessary will also include statutory interest umtil paid…

    ANNE 27 posts

    Many thanks both for the prompt responses, very much appreciated.

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    Hum.

    Thinking about this, if they are saying they will only consider this if you were downgraded on your original flight, and you were downgraded on another flight so they won’t consider it, this is rather excellent.

    As according to them you travelled on a different flight, and they must be correct as you received an email from them cancelling you off the original flight,you now realise you had forgotten to add compensation for cancellation of the original flight to your claim of £520 per seat. Naturally your reimbursement claim of £nnnn plus nnnnn avios, per seat, will also continue to apply due to downgrade compensation also being payable on an involuntary reroute.

    You might send a copy or discuss and ask them if they would like to make any comments before it goes to Legal. If they’ve got any brains they’ll retract this stuff about it not being the original flight immediately. In which case I’d suggest to them (and
    record a note that I said) that to save everyone’s time they might like to agree to pay out the downgrade reimbursement immediately.

    In point of fact if they stick with this ‘different flight’ position then as you would have then been rerouted very close to your original flight landing time, they could halve the cancellation compo to only £260 per seat. But that’s for the airline to choose, you would still submit for the full £520.

    Delicious. It will be fun to watch them retract.

    • This reply was modified 54 years, 5 months ago by .
    Lady London 2,139 posts

    PS if it happened both ways and they are still sying it’s a different flight, then cancellation compo claimable again on the return as that’s a separate journey, at £520 per seat.

    ANNE 27 posts

    Lady London – does the above hold true if the flight was cancelled more than 14 days before travel? EC261 claim novice here!

    And downgrade was one way only – we came back in First and in all honesty I think I preferred the Club Suite on the outbound!

    Lady London 2,139 posts

    Ah…missed it was over 14 days. No, in that case.

    ANNE 27 posts

    Thought I’d share the latest. Went back to BA as per advice above, a one paragraph reply came back within a day. No mention of original flight cancellation making this an ineligible claim this time, instead we have moved on to:

    ‘…as the change was made outside of 14 days of the departure date you’re not entitled to compensation’

    Err, no!! No advice needed this time, I’m off to point out what’s clearly wrong with this attempt to dismiss my claim!

    Magarathea 51 posts

    I had a similar downgrade from First to Club from Dubai to London in Nov 2019 and BA came up with a whole screed of nonsense as to why they did not need to pay the 75% reimbursement. This included – no due to it being a reward flight, no as reimbursement is only applied if you are downgraded after you have checked in, no as they gave you more than 14 days notice, no as we accepted the downgraded cabin (reluctantly), no as we could have changed our travel plans to suit when they had First cabin availability etc etc. Various of these spurious arguments were used before and after we went to CEDR but we eventually won our full 75% reimbursement in cash. Virtually the same downgrade happened in November 2020 and BA are busy trying to ignore my claim at the moment but having been through it once before I am not letting go. Finally, guess what happened to our First flights to Dubai in March this year …….

    NorthernLass 8,204 posts

    Are BA legal not getting fed up with all the extra work this is causing them unnecessarily?

    Ghosty 15 posts

    Are BA legal not getting fed up with all the extra work this is causing them unnecessarily?

    Perhaps they are paid commission based on a percentage of what they save BA

    ANNE 27 posts

    I had a similar downgrade from First to Club from Dubai to London in Nov 2019 and BA came up with a whole screed of nonsense as to why they did not need to pay the 75% reimbursement. This included – no due to it being a reward flight, no as reimbursement is only applied if you are downgraded after you have checked in, no as they gave you more than 14 days notice, no as we accepted the downgraded cabin (reluctantly), no as we could have changed our travel plans to suit when they had First cabin availability etc etc. Various of these spurious arguments were used before and after we went to CEDR but we eventually won our full 75% reimbursement in cash. Virtually the same downgrade happened in November 2020 and BA are busy trying to ignore my claim at the moment but having been through it once before I am not letting go. Finally, guess what happened to our First flights to Dubai in March this year …….

    I’ll await the next response from BA saying I should have changed my travel plans in that case – seems to be following a similar pattern!

    I’m fully expecting to have to go to CEDR or MCOL for resolution, for now the predictable exchanges do at least have some entertainment value.

    Question for those who have contacted BA Legal – is this best done by post to Waterside or is there a better route?

    meta 1,470 posts

    I prefer by post. It makes them physically open the letter and read it as opposed to an email which can be ignored for days.

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