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Victory over BA at CEDR on ticket validity issue!

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  • 1958

    Thanks for sharing your strategy and the outcome. Very, very useful – and, as someone else has said, it’s much easier to follow this series of posts on the “newlook” Headforpoints.
    I am in a similar situation (seeking the cost of replacement flights, as BA would not allow me to book more than one year beyond the original ticket date. Can I ask: How long did the CEDR take to adjudicate? For me, BA responded to the CEDR on 31 March (and I submitted my “last comments” the same day).
    Thanks to everyone on this site who helped me compile my case. If we ever have a meet-up, I will stand a few drinks.

    StillintheSun

    @1958
    I received my decision almost exactly one month from the date I uploaded my response to BA’s defence. The deadline should show in your CEDR portal. In my case CEDR missed the deadline but let me know the following day that they needed an extra 48 hours. Frankly given how prompt they had been generally and how clear their communication had been it was not something I was going to grumble about! Regardless of the decision the process is refreshingly efficient.

    Paul

    A question?

    I have been trying to get BA to reroute an ex EU ticket. Of 6 sectors 3 have been cancelled. My point of origin is CDG my destination is DPS and I have stopover in LHR (6 weeks) and 4 nights in HKG.

    I want to reroute CDG-LHR (6 week stopover)DOH (4 nights) DPS-DOH-LHR-CDG

    BA are refusingThe are saying I am outside the 350 mile rule and their T&Cs apply solely.

    Can I use CEDR?

    The scope of their service is

    The Scheme can be used to settle disputes between customers and subscribing companies stemming from aviation services contracts relating to a direct flight whose point of origin and/or final destination is in the United Kingdom, or aviation services contracts relating to a directly connecting flight where the point of origin, final destination or any point of connection takes place in the United Kingdom, in the following areas

    I think I can but would welcome thoughts?

    Thanks

    Richie

    What’s the 350 mile rule?

    ChrisC

    Paul hard to advise without knowning what the original routing is.

    The 300 mile rule is a BA policy not a statutory rule.

    Richie

    Have they offerred an alternative to a stop over in DOH?

    JDB

    @Paul you haven’t really given enough info for people to help, including the original itinerary. In respect of whether CEDR can consider your case, there is also the issue of whether 261 applies or not. The long stopover in London may make it better than a connection.

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    ChrisC

    What’s the 350 mile rile?

    It’s 300 miles and the simple version is that when a flight is cancelled it enables you to be rebooked from a different airport within that range.

    Paul

    Original routing

    CDG – LHR – HKG – DPS – HKG – LHR – CDG

    I paid to stopover in LHR on outbound for 6 weeks ( June too Late July) and to stopover in HKG for 4 nights. The return is without stopping.

    I upgraded to F on the HKG flights using Avios. All other flights in Business Class.

    BA cancelled both HKG flights. The offered earlier BA services but I can’t travel as at work. I can travel the following day but now they have cancelled, i wish to divert away from HKG, in part due Covid restrictions and in part due to CX not selling seats on the route. including the flight I am booked on HKG DPS HKG,

    BA cancelled CDG LHR

    I paid £3,500 for 2 so you will understand why I am reluctant to take a refund. I expect my new routing will be north of £12,000 if bought now

    I have asked to route as follows

    CDG – LHR – DOH – DPS – DOH – LHR – CDG

    LHR DOH LHR could be in F under BA flight number but operated by Qatar

    DOH – DPS – DOH in business

    LHR – CDG in business.

    BA refusing to rebook. I am getting all sorts of excuses including
    Terms and conditions,
    QR commercial agreement expires 30th April
    the 350 mile rule,
    QR flights ex DOH are Prime flights and cannot be booked.
    BA do not book other carriers.
    It must be BA flight number all the way to DPS.
    There is no F DOH DPS.

    These are just a selection of the reasons I was given in 2 hours of calls today ( 2 dropped out) The Team Leader who took over lacked empathy or understanding and simply trotted out the T&Cs mantra which I recorded after advising him I was doing so.

    I asked if it would make any difference if I travelled without stopping, I offered to leave from CDG on any routing. There was a blanket refusal and on the recording I was told that they would not re route on any prime flight that was not BA metal.

    Bizarre, frustrating and in my view, without merit.

    I think CEDR can adjudicate but not sure if I need to rebook and pay for another carrier first, or do I cancel and refund from BA before rebooking and then proceeding to CEDR.

    I recently took a travel company to MCOL after my sons school trip was cancelled and won, so I am up for a fight, especially after today

    Richie

    Are they actually offering a convenient re-route at all?

    JDB

    @Paul there are some overriding issues here. I don’t think the new itinerary you are asking for is really a rerouting in the technical sense because of the original stopover in HK. The other issue is whether you are covered by UK261 such that MCOL could have jurisdiction or whether it is only under EU261 that you have rights, to be enforced in France and the EU261 chain also gets broken in HK.

    In respect of CEDR, there have been three reports here in the last two weeks or so, two wins for BA, one for the pax; it can be a lottery. Also, from what you say the current cost of the replacement tickets (ie the sum you would be seeking) is greater than CEDR level and would incur high court fees. You are also unlikely to get a decision in time from CEDR or MCOL. So not easy unfortunately.

    ChrisC

    The BA 300 mile rule only applies to their own flights.

    Given the 4 day break in the original booking between your arrival in HKG and departure to DPS on another carrier then UK/EU261 does not apply. If it had merely been a short connection it would have been different.

    I think you are asking for too much and no wonder BA turned it down because it is such a major change from your original booking.

    memesweeper

    @chrisc @jdb I’d agree, @paul is seeking a new routing, not a re-routing. That’s down to BAs goodwill exclusively I suspect.

    Having said that, have they actually offered a reroute?

    Paul

    Thank you all for the advice and comments. I fear the HKG stop has scuppered matters for the time being so I’ll sit on the booking. CX not selling the route at all and transit at HKG limited to 24 hrs presently. If I give it another 6 weeks things may have changed. I can then rebook to dates that should allow no stop in HKG. If CX operate all good, if not the re route would be required.

    StillintheSun

    Just a final update to confirm that I have today received the CEDR ordered payment from British Airways. More than a month after bank details were provided but within the CEDR permitted timeframe. Very much looking forward to toasting BA with Qatar fizz. Good luck to those still pursuing BA and others.

    Lady London

    @stillinthesun : Thank you very much indeed for sharing your detailed strategy and claim submissions and especially your results.

    The time you took and the comprehensive information you’ve shared have been really appreciated.

    beardysuhz

    @stillinthesun – Echoing the thanks from @LadyLondon

    I will most likely have to go through CEDR as well for a rebooking. Is it better to purchase the flights once BA refuse to rebook before starting a CEDR claim and then claiming the cost back? Can you also ask for the cost of rebooking the ticket even if you haven’t purchased the tickets?

    StillintheSun

    @beardysuhz
    Because the cost of aeroplane tickets fluctuate I preferred to simply purchase the tickets and then start the CEDR claim. However, I got a good deal on my flights at a price I was willing to pay even if I lost.

    The alternative approach of obtaining quotes and then seeking the cost before purchasing is also reasonable if you are prepared to bear the risk that you might have to make up the difference if prices have risen in say the 2 – 3 months between you submitting the case and CEDR determining it. You are entitled to put in a response to the airlines submissions and so if prices have risen I would use that as an opportunity to notify CEDR of that. However, this may be ignored as the submission of new evidence at this stage is against the rules.

    Alternatively, book flights with a cancellation fee that you are content to bear if you lose at CEDR.

    Finally, under the CEDR rules you can ask that the airline be directed to provide you a ticket on their airline on the date requested. This would avoid some of the problems above but of course there needs to be sufficient time between the CEDR adjudication and your departure.

    To those who find this threat useful, you are most welcome. Much of what I have put on here is a repackaging of tips gleaned from far more prolific posters than myself with a few additional bits thrown in!

    memesweeper

    @beardysuhz
    Because the cost of aeroplane tickets fluctuate I preferred to simply purchase the tickets and then start the CEDR claim. However, I got a good deal on my flights at a price I was willing to pay even if I lost.

    The alternative approach of obtaining quotes and then seeking the cost before purchasing is also reasonable if you are prepared to bear the risk that you might have to make up the difference if prices have risen in say the 2 – 3 months between you submitting the case and CEDR determining it. You are entitled to put in a response to the airlines submissions and so if prices have risen I would use that as an opportunity to notify CEDR of that. However, this may be ignored as the submission of new evidence at this stage is against the rules.

    Alternatively, book flights with a cancellation fee that you are content to bear if you lose at CEDR.

    Finally, under the CEDR rules you can ask that the airline be directed to provide you a ticket on their airline on the date requested. This would avoid some of the problems above but of course there needs to be sufficient time between the CEDR adjudication and your departure.

    To those who find this threat useful, you are most welcome. Much of what I have put on here is a repackaging of tips gleaned from far more prolific posters than myself with a few additional bits thrown in!

    BA offer ‘select’ fares through travel agents, including Amex travel. These are refundable for a fee. It’s more expensive than the cheapest tickets, but less than fully flex. Fairly low risk if you want to lock in your price.

    Vin

    I find myself in a similar situation to yours @StillintheSun and have spent a lot of time debating whether to go down the legal route with BA regarding their 1 year ticket validity policy. Reading your story has given me the courage to proceed ! At the initial stage, did you use the complaints form on the website (as suggested to me by a call operator) or did you directly email the legal team? What email did you use for the legal team ? Many thanks in advance.

    StillintheSun

    Hello Vin!

    Once BA had told me on twitter that they wouldn’t change my flights I simply sent a letter of claim in the post (signed for) to BA’s HQ. BA then passed it on to their complaints team to deal with which resulted in a deadlock email directing me to CEDR.

    I started by sending a letter of claim rather than simply a complaint because at the time it seemed unlikely that BA would respond favourably to a simple complaint as opposed to a more formal threat of legal action.

    Secondly, by sending a letter of claim any representation by BA would be in circumstances where litigation was being threatened. Therefore in my opinion if BA asserted that the CEDR decision would be binding on them in correspondence then a judge down the line would likely hold them to that if they tried to wriggle out of it.

    Finally, I set out my letter of claim in such a way as to be able to cut and paste most of it for my CEDR claim saving time.

    You should definitely pursue BA. There is no guarantee but HFPointers are getting some good outcomes both at CEDR and MCOL.

    yorkieflyer

    Yes my positive outcome at CEDR versus reports of fails led me to conclude that if you go to CEDR you may well have the best chance if a) you haven’t already made multiple changes voluntary or otherwise b)are asking for new flights within a year of the original date and c) appear as reasonable as possible in your submission explaining why you are requesting the dates you are asking for. CEDR appears to consider whether the request is reasonable when taking a view as to ‘at your convenience’ weighing this against BA’s assertion that any disregard of their T&C’s on ticket validity means agreeing to any date in the future.
    So yes quote the law but also say why you want the requested dates and don’t ignore your opportunity to respond to BA’s submission

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