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Loss of compensation using a BA codeshare [when its not an EU airline]

  • IanPreston51

    Just encountered a big downside of using a codeshare, booking with BA and getting return flight with AA. You lose all compensation rights with BA on flight cancellation and fall into the arms of much less generous AA. 8.30 pm out of JFK did not get away wit aircraft malfunction, held on plane till midnight, then deplaned for another aircraft and crew which never materialised. Flight cancelled at 1am, offered a hotel but did not get to our allocated Holiday In Express 12 miles away till 3.30am. Had to be back at JFK for an 11.30am to Boston followed by 6 hours in lounge until evening flight to LHR. Horrendous experience all round. Complained to BA who said it was nothing to do with them as it was an AA flight – they were merely acting as an agent in my ticketing. Complained to AA who after some cajoling came up with two $150 vouchers with 12 month expiry. Wrote to AA CEO a month ago and still no answer.

    Web enquiries revealed a Which? report of 2017 which covered this exact issue. Will be more wary of codeshares in future?

    Any similar experiences or advice?

    HfP Staff

    The problem isn’t the codeshare, the problem is that non-EU/UK airlines do not have to comply with EU261 regs on inbound flights (they do on outbound, though).

    Lady London

    That’s the advice.
    EU261 covers according to the operating airline not the selling airline.

    On any airline back to UK/Eur check the operating airline regardless of the flight number. Longer flight numbers than usual for the airline – say 4 figures in the case of BA – are a big clue to.a different operating airline than the flight number would indicate.

    Departing Uk/Eur you have full EU261 rights on any airline based anywhere in the world with very few obscure exceptions.

    What AA gave you looks really mean. Try again and also look at US Dept of Transportation (DoT) rules to see if there’s anything you should have had that was not done or too long a tarmac delay, for example.


    We fully knew we were flying AA not BA on the way back but had no idea that we were contracting with AA and effectively losing our thread of rights back to BA. We cant read all the very small print and this was certainly not clear to us. A lesson learned.


    Personally I go with the airline that offers me the best service and price and schedule.

    Given that in the scheme of things it’s only a very small number of flights that qualify for UK/EU261 provisions it’s not something that should factor as a major consideration when booking trips.


    Tarmac delay for international flights has to be 4hr to qualify as compensation according to DOT guidance. However, the airline has to provide snack and water after a 2hr delay unless it’s unsafe (i.e. the aircraft is in constant motion or close to runway). They also have to provide updates every half an hour. And the toilets should be open to passengers. Has any of the above not been provided? Then a complaint to DoT might be a possible solution to squeeze a bit more.

    Personally, since I collect AA Advantage miles, I’d be asking them for 45k miles instead of vouchers. That’s enough for RT trip in Europe in business or one-way in business to Doha from LHR with Qatar. It’s a bit more palabale to me than $300 reduction on $2000 ticket.


    To add you could also try and ask them to give you $300 in cash instead of the vouchers because you are unsure that you want fly with them again given the experience.


    I’ve complained twice to the DOS when flights ex US were cancelled and no refund was forthcoming (not AA). Both times they had it sorted within a couple of months, I was really impressed. There’s a form you can complete on their website. Obviously they don’t have anything as good as UK261 but I think the airlines are quite scared of them and they clearly have more teeth than the CAA!


    But the flight (eventually) operated and the OP was given a Hotel which is only required when a delay is the airlines fault.

    I’m at a loss to think what the USDOT would make AA do I’m addition to providing the hotel and rebooking.


    The OP didn’t say what the conditions were on board while they waited for three and a half hours on the tarmac. There are clear DOT guidelines for these situations. Snacks, water, restroom and information every half an hour.

    However, I think $300 is good compensation, but OP might want to ask it in cash or miles instead of a voucher. It’s all about negotiation at this point. AA is obviously willing to offer something and they acknowledged the inconvenience.

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