Is there a time limit on choices with BA schedule changes?
28th August 2022 at 14:36freckles 134 posts
I’m hoping HfP family can advise me on something.
I have a flight/tour package starting LHR booked with Explore in Nov to Sri Lanka. Around that I’ve separately booked a round flight only trip EDI-LHR-EDI with BA. Now that FDCO have removed the ‘don’t travel’ warning for Sri Lanka, it seems currently likely the tour will go ahead (and I will know more in the next few weeks when the balance is due).
BA have now notified that my original return flight LHR-EDI is cancelled and they are offering me the next flight (which would be fine) or a refund.
Even if Explore confirm their intention to run the trip at this stage, there’s still a chance the FDCO may change their advice again between now and then.
Knowing I only have one ‘free’ choice with BA (and the original booking is not flexible), I don’t want to jump too soon.
1. Is there a time limit on me making a decision about reschedule or refund?
2. If I opt for refund, presume that will only be a refund on the return portion of my overall BA booking? (If Sri Lanka doesn’t go ahead, I would look for an alternative long haul flight somewhere so I can retain BAEC Gold under reduced threshold by 31 Dec, so still using the EDI-LHR flight and finding something that leaves the same day or next day could be an option.)
3. When I made the booking it was part e-voucher and part cash. If any refund is only on the return BA flight how is voucher likely to be treated?28th August 2022 at 21:32memesweeper 1,178 posts
1. No, the legislation means you can sit and wait, as there’s no defined time limit, but be reasonable (and if you want a reschedule the seats you want may sell out so don’t leave it last minute)
2. No, AFAIK BA will refund the entire trip
3. I believe you’d be entirely refunded, including a new voucher for the voucher part, with the same expiry as the original voucher
… I’ve never demanded a refund for a multi-leg journey, so can’t be sure about point 228th August 2022 at 22:20ChrisC 1,005 posts
Seems like there are two separate bookings involved so perhaps @freckles can confirm
The first appears to be the directly booked BA positioning flights in which case if either leg is cancelled you can have a refund or be rebooked for other flights that day or other dates. If you choose refund than it will be all cash.
The second is the one made via Explore on an unnamed airline so hard to comment on that and their refund policies.
With the BA flight you can basically wait until the day of departure to be rebooked but perhaps the need to be certain on what you are doing shouldn’t wait until then!28th August 2022 at 23:07JDB 4,133 posts
I’m not sure if I understand quite understand the story, but in the event your Sri Lanka trip (which if is also at least partly with BA? as part of tier point earning to gold) didn’t go ahead you have rerouting rights in respect of the flights, but no statutory rights for the the rest of the package, save a refund. The rest, to the same destination or a different one, would be repriced; there is no legal protection for that.29th August 2022 at 10:22freckles 134 posts
I tried for an element of brevity and clearly lost some clarity. There are indeed 2 separate bookings here.
A holiday/tour package booked with Explore, including business flights with Sri Lankan from LHR that earn me the needed TP’s. Explore will not run trips against FDCO advice, and if they cancel I will be able to choose refund, same trip moved to another date, or different trip. Currently now expect them to confirm my trip, but could change. To be clear my query does not relate to this booking.
Separately I booked domestic/positioning flights EDI-LHR-EDI with BA, partly as I had a flight only voucher and partly so I had freedom to book timings with generous layover at LHR. It’s this booking my query relates to.
BA want to reschedule my return flight by 1 hour, but I have the choice of a refund. The revised flight is in MMB and is ticketed but needs me to confirm my decision.
If Sri Lanka goes ahead, I’m happy with rescheduling – and there’s no compensation/duty of care at stake.
If Sri Lanka doesn’t go ahead a refund may be more beneficial to me – I will need to find an alternative holiday that earns TP’s and not being tied to exactly the same dates would give me more flexibility.
How long can I hold off making a firm decision with BA, and if I chose refund am I refunding the whole flight booking or just the return element?29th August 2022 at 10:45Michael C 638 posts
Not sure what Explore’s policy is, but right now, SL is somewhat better than a month or so ago, but still not great, with shortages of various basic products coming and going, along with still-frequent power cuts.29th August 2022 at 12:02SamG 1,625 posts
You can wait until 6 years after the fact to get the BA refund and no problem getting just the return segment. I’d call BA and have them delete the unconfirmed segments before checking in for the outbound in case you accidently accept the rescheduled flight. For now they’re holding the seat on the proposed option for you
The only thing I’m not sure is if you’d get it back in cash or voucher
From what I’ve heard the situation there still isn’t great but I suspect they’ll be efforts to stabilise tourist experience ASAP once the basics are up and running as it is a vital source of foreign currency and employment.29th August 2022 at 14:51ChrisC 1,005 posts
Ok so BA are for the domestic positioning flights and a separately booked Sri Lankan Airlines flights via Explore for the main trip.
So for the Sri Lankan Airlines trip you’re under their and the Explore policies.
For the BA positioning flights the return LHR-EDI has been cancelled so that allows you to refund the whole ticket. Or to allow you to reschedule it. You would get that back as cash (I’ve had flights and holidays refunded all in cash even when part paid with an e-voucher)
For the EDI-LHR I think you have up to an hour before departure to cancel otherwise you’ll likely be recorded as a no show and lose the rest of the booking which makes getting a refund more complicated.
Obviously you won’t want to wait until that point as hopefully you’ll know the situation in Sri Lanka in good time.
In the meantime don’t go into the BA booking unless you absolutely have to as even accidentally accepting the rebooked flight would mean you lose the right to a refund /rebooking unless there is a further change.29th August 2022 at 19:56freckles 134 posts
Thanks everyone for your input. Good to know no decision needs to be made on BA booking and I can wait until nearer the time when Sri Lanka situation will hopefully be more definite.
I’m following FDCO and aware of food/fuel shortages and power cuts etc. It does appear tourism infrastructure is on some sort of priority list as it’s such an important aspect of their economy, and am sure Explore have suitable on the ground contingency support in place.
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