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Forums Other Flight changes and cancellations help Had to fly a day early because of a BA canx, who pays for the extra hotel night?

  • PeteM 775 posts

    Some of you may remember I asked about people’s views on my likelihood of success in recovering the cost of an extra hotel night as a result of a flight cancellation some months back.

    Quick refresher: we were due to fly BA to Bucharest on 8/Jul in the early morning. That flight got cancelled and we were moved to an evening flight on 8/Jul. We had an event in Bucharest on the evening of 8/Jul, which was the point of the trip. I tried speaking to BA to move us to a different airline on the morning of 8/Jul, but couldn’t get through. I then changed our flights on MMB to 7/Jul in the evening, which led to needing an extra night at the excellent and newly refurbished Bucharest Hilton (soon to be IC).

    The general view was that BA would not pay out and I should try insurance, so I thought I would share my experience:

    BA

    They indeed refused to pay out and sent a curt reply, roughly two months after I complained. They suggested I go to my insurance company instead.

    I asked for a final response, which arrived a few days later. I then submitted all the evidence to CEDR, mainly because I wanted BA to provide some proper justification for rejecting the claim.

    CEDR

    CEDR accepted the case and BA provided a very thorough response/defence about a month later.

    “The Passengers’ attending a function in Bucharest was not part of their booking with British Airways (BA) and therefore did not form part of their contract with us. BA denies that the Passengers are entitled to recover the amounts of the extra night in a hotel that they booked for 07 July 2022,and this is looked upon as consequential loss. We offered an alternative flight on the same day that they were originally booked to travel. The Passengers then voluntarily changed this to a day earlier, due to something that was not within their contract with BA. BA avers that the function was separate to the flights and so could not have been within the reasonable contemplation of the parties, and therefore, the passengers should recover any such losses through their travel insurance provider.

    While I understand how inconvenient the flight cancellation must have been for the Passengers, there is nothing within EU Regulation to state that British Airways have to reimburse these costs of any consequential loss. English law does not provide a basis for redress for claims for inconvenience and loss of amenity or loss of enjoyment, disappointment, vexation or distress arising out of a contract, save in certain exceptional circumstances, none of which apply to a mere contract for carriage.

    In conclusion the Passengers are not entitled to be reimbursed for the extra nights hotel they booked. They were informed of the cancellation in advance and voluntarily chose to change from 08 July to 07 July. Therefore, we are defending this claim in full.”

    I then withdrew the case, because the likely outcome of the case was fairly obvious.

    For various reasons my family finds itself with way more insurance policies than it probably needs, so I gave them all a try in the order I thought they were most likely to play ball:

    UK AmEx Platinum via AXA

    I submitted a very comprehensive pack to them and a decision was promised within 14 days. A month later I got a rejection, where they simply copied and pasted bits of the T&Cs and gave no explanation as to why the claim was rejected.

    Upon complaining that their response was unsatisfactory, I was told “the claim has been declined as it would fall under travel inconvenience. Travel Inconvenience only covers additional costs prior to departure, and does not cover any costs once you have arrived at your destination.”

    This was my first UK AmEx Platinum insurance claim and I have to say I was deeply underwhelmed by the service.

    US AmEx Platinum via New Hampshire Insurance Company

    After reviewing the T&Cs, they actually have a very limited number of reasons where they would cover a travel delay, so didn’t even bother claiming.

    Liverpool Victoria

    These guys took 50 days to respond to the same comprehensive pack AmEx received and told me:

    “It would appear from the documentation received that you were advised on 1st May 2022 about the change of time to your flight on 8th July.

    As there was just over 2 months notice of the change we very much regret that we cannot look to cover any consequential costs incurred.

    I’m afraid this means your policy doesn’t provide the Travel Delay benefit under these circumstances and we will not be able to pay your claim.”

    We also apparently have some Revolut travel insurance, but haven’t bothered with that.

    So – learning point – it would seem no one will cover this sort of situation 🙂

    meta 1,468 posts

    You should have really purchased ticket with another airline yourself on the same day and claim the difference from BA under Article 8. They couldn’t argue with that.

    I’m also surprised that AXA refused. They always pay up for me even when not completely within T&C. Also the reasoning is a bit dubious given that you have indeed incurred costs prior to departure i.e the need for the extra night was known before.

    PeteM 775 posts

    You should have really purchased ticket with another airline yourself on the same day and claim the difference from BA under Article 8. They couldn’t argue with that.

    Interesting angle, although – could they have also refused on the basis that “we offered an alternative flight on the same day that they were originally booked to travel”…?

    And, yes, I was also hoping AXA would be a bit more relaxed than others – wonder if they are reining in their generosity?

    Aston100 1,457 posts

    That response from Axa is similar to what a lot of companies respond with these days.
    i.e. haven’t bothered reading properly and take forever to come up with an irrelevant response.

    Alex G 465 posts

    You should have really purchased ticket with another airline yourself on the same day and claim the difference from BA under Article 8. They couldn’t argue with that.

    I’m also surprised that AXA refused. They always pay up for me even when not completely within T&C. Also the reasoning is a bit dubious given that you have indeed incurred costs prior to departure i.e the need for the extra night was known before.

    Wouldn’t BA have treated that as a cancellation, and washed their hands of the matter? Cancelling the return flight as the outbound was unused?

    I thought it was always best to insist the airline sorts out the issue, rather than taking matters into your own hands?

    Genuine question. I don’t claim any expertise in this area.

    SamG 1,683 posts

    Based on their CEDR reply it sounds like BA did have an alternative flight that day but it didn’t suit the OP timing. As the CAA considers a same day rerouting offer reasonable, in that scenario there would be two options – fly the day before and accomodate yourself at your own expense (as the OP did) or get a refund from BA and book on another carrier if they had a flight at a preferred time

    If there is a cancelled segment in the booking if you just leave it as is (do not confirm any suggested alternative flights) or have BA delete the segment then any other flights in the booking could still be taken. You could then get a refund on the cancelled flight segments post travel. This could be beneficial in a scenario where you still want to return on BA but prices have gone up, so refunding the whole booking and booking just the return would leave you out of pocket.

    Colin MacKinnon 297 posts

    Thanks PeteM,

    That is really useful and very interesting. Appreciate you sharing this with us.

    RobL 72 posts
    memesweeper 1,297 posts

    It was a while back, but I thought I’d share my experience. I was rerouted onto a one-day earlier flight by BA (the only rerouting they offered, so I took it). I claimed for my additional night at the destination and, after many months of inaction, I chased with a letter before action, and it was paid.

    I noticed while preparing my claim all the flight disruption insurance/regulations just assumes you will be late arriving somewhere, not early.

    meta 1,468 posts

    You should have really purchased ticket with another airline yourself on the same day and claim the difference from BA under Article 8. They couldn’t argue with that.

    I’m also surprised that AXA refused. They always pay up for me even when not completely within T&C. Also the reasoning is a bit dubious given that you have indeed incurred costs prior to departure i.e the need for the extra night was known before.

    Wouldn’t BA have treated that as a cancellation, and washed their hands of the matter? Cancelling the return flight as the outbound was unused?

    I thought it was always best to insist the airline sorts out the issue, rather than taking matters into your own hands?

    Genuine question. I don’t claim any expertise in this area.

    No, if they refuse and you have to have proof that they did. You are just exercising your Article 8 rights and onus is on the airline to get you there asap. You just have to notify them, preferably in writing that this is what you intend to do before the flight. If they subsequently cancel your return, you can pursue them for that as well.

    meta 1,468 posts

    It was a while back, but I thought I’d share my experience. I was rerouted onto a one-day earlier flight by BA (the only rerouting they offered, so I took it). I claimed for my additional night at the destination and, after many months of inaction, I chased with a letter before action, and it was paid.

    I noticed while preparing my claim all the flight disruption insurance/regulations just assumes you will be late arriving somewhere, not early.

    I have a similar experience, but that was a flight that was cancelled less than 14 days before and the only other alternative that was offered was Iberia with a stopover whereas I had a direct flight so I flew a day earlier with direct BA flight and charged the extra night to BA (also had to send an LBA).

    meta 1,468 posts

    Based on their CEDR reply it sounds like BA did have an alternative flight that day but it didn’t suit the OP timing. As the CAA considers a same day rerouting offer reasonable, in that scenario there would be two options – fly the day before and accomodate yourself at your own expense (as the OP did) or get a refund from BA and book on another carrier if they had a flight at a preferred time

    If there is a cancelled segment in the booking if you just leave it as is (do not confirm any suggested alternative flights) or have BA delete the segment then any other flights in the booking could still be taken. You could then get a refund on the cancelled flight segments post travel. This could be beneficial in a scenario where you still want to return on BA but prices have gone up, so refunding the whole booking and booking just the return would leave you out of pocket.

    That’s CAA, but MCOL wouldn’t consider morning vs evening arrival as reasonable especially if you demonstrate that you have genuine need to be there earlier. Once one segment is cancelled you are allowed to re-route/rebook the whole trip. You could purchase an entirely new ticket and charge the difference to BA.

    PeteM 775 posts

    Interesting to read other (mostly more successful!) experiences – thanks everyone! I guess MCOL may have been a better route to take, but BA did seem quite intent on defending this, so didn’t want to risk any more money.

    I am intrigued they care so much, given it was about £350 and presumably it would have been cheaper to just pay out!

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