Cancellation question

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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:53 am
  #1  
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Cancellation question

We were due to fly down to LHR tonight, meet up with friends, staying at the Sofitel T5 and then fly on to GVA tomorrow morning. BA have just informed me that the flight tonight is cancelled and we have been rebooked on the flight tomorrow morning, so we can still catch our GVA flight.
However, when I checked the cancellation policy of the Sofitel, it is 3 days, so I can't cancel without being charged.

I phoned the GGL line about reimbursement for the cost of the hotel and was passed onto to Customer Services. After explaining the circumstances, I was told that BA would not reimburse me as the hotel stay was 'prebooked' !!

They advised me to contact my travel insurers. As the room was booked using a BA Amex card, I called them and they have declined to reimburse me as well.

My feeling is that BA should reimburse me, is it worth persisting with them ?
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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:55 am
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I believe hotel costs are not covered under EU compensation law - as BA say contact your travel insurers.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:55 am
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I believe this will be down to your own insurance. BA isn't liable to knock-on affects of a cancellation.

Someone else with knowledge of the T&Cs will be along to confirm in a mo I'm sure!
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Old Aug 10, 18, 8:56 am
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BA won't pick up consequential losses. I think it's more a conversation to have with your insurers. They ought to be on the hook for that.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 9:05 am
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BA will not pick up the cost of third party losses; this unfortunately is down to you or your insurance.

Even during the Polar Vortex a few years back I lost the cost of pre paid hotel in NYC which wasn't cheap.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by wenzlydale View Post
However, when I checked the cancellation policy of the Sofitel, it is 3 days, so I can't cancel without being charged.
It might still be worth asking the hotel nicely, explaining the circumstances. I got caught up in last December's 7 snowflake snow chaos at LHR. My flight to Germany was cancelled. My pre-paid hotel cancellation policy was that I should only get a 10% refund. After emailing to explain why I could not get to them they refunded 50%. So no harm in asking the hotel.

As others have said, there is no point in asking BA to refund you, they won't. But they are liable for any duty of care expenses where you are right now. So reasonable overnight hotel, meals, taxi, etc.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 10:08 am
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1. The instant that you are unable to use the hotel room, call the property and see if it will not permit a cancellation, or at least a credit against future use. Many properties are quite decent about this sort of thing when there is a provable event, e.g., they can look up your flight number.

2. This is a consequential loss which you either insure or accept the responsibility for yourself.

3. As you are now leaving more than 2 hours later than originally scheduled, you will be entitled to EC 261/2004 compensation unless the cancellation was for an "extraordinary circumstance." This gets to the question of why the flight was cancelled. If cancelled for other than an "extraordinary circumstance" your compensation makes you whole as it defrays the hotel room (one would hope).

Finally, don't take the word of your travel insurer over the phone. Read your policy carefully. If the reasons for this loss are covered, push back. If they are not, drop it.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 10:29 am
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The penultimate MAN service is running late, and the LBA 18:35 service is also running. The MAN service is nearly full (and zero'd for sales) but LBA is wide open.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 10:50 am
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Thanks for all the advice, it seems that BA aren't liable. I will still arrive at my final destination on time (and the reason for the cancellation was given as weather), so no reason to pursue a EC261.

I think I will pursue AMEX though. I spend an awful lot of my (and employer's !) money with them and had always thought that using their cards would protect me in the event of a 'travel inconvenience' as they term it.

I've already cancelled the hotel booking on line, so not much point reaching out to the hotel. Maybe, I should have offered a free night in the Sofitel to the FT membership rather than cancel it !!

At the end of the day, I'm not really out of pocket as all it means is an extra night at home in Manchester (and an earlier start). I'm just annoyed that I booked such a relatively expensive hotel, but on the other hand, glad I didn't accept their offer of a cut-price upgrade last night !

(CWS, tied up with work until > 1800, so neither of the options you suggested would work for me, thanks anyway)
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Old Aug 10, 18, 10:51 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
1. The instant that you are unable to use the hotel room, call the property and see if it will not permit a cancellation, or at least a credit against future use. Many properties are quite decent about this sort of thing when there is a provable event, e.g., they can look up your flight number.

2. This is a consequential loss which you either insure or accept the responsibility for yourself.

3. As you are now leaving more than 2 hours later than originally scheduled, you will be entitled to EC 261/2004 compensation unless the cancellation was for an "extraordinary circumstance." This gets to the question of why the flight was cancelled. If cancelled for other than an "extraordinary circumstance" your compensation makes you whole as it defrays the hotel room (one would hope).

Finally, don't take the word of your travel insurer over the phone. Read your policy carefully. If the reasons for this loss are covered, push back. If they are not, drop it.
Option 1 is definitely worth trying. I have moved a hotel booking that could not be cancelled to later in the year with Sofitel.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by Crofton138 View Post
Option 1 is definitely worth trying. I have moved a hotel booking that could not be cancelled to later in the year with Sofitel.
We had a non refundable hotel booked in Venice at the end of February and our flight was cancelled because of snow.
I emailed the hotel straight away as there was snow in Venice as well, and I thought they could maybe use the rooms for someone stranded there.
To our delight, they emailed back to say they would transfer the booking, so, we are re-booked to go in October .
Definitely worth a try.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by wenzlydale View Post
I've already cancelled the hotel booking on line, so not much point reaching out to the hotel. Maybe, I should have offered a free night in the Sofitel to the FT membership rather than cancel it !!
In travel irrops it is generally best to contact the hotel front desk directly rather than do it online or via call centres. It's not guaranteed to work, but many hotels will simply resell tonight's booking and hopefully extract some extras out of you on your new booking.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by wenzlydale View Post
I think I will pursue AMEX though.
If you have a travel insurance component on your type of American Express card then you should have a look to see if the event is covered. If not there's not a lot of point in pursuing American Express. Failing that, do you have any other travel insurance policy? Many travel insurance policies will cover this type of event.
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Old Aug 10, 18, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1
3. As you are now leaving more than 2 hours later than originally scheduled, you will be entitled to EC 261/2004 compensation unless the cancellation was for an "extraordinary circumstance." This gets to the question of why the flight was cancelled. If cancelled for other than an "extraordinary circumstance" your compensation makes you whole as it defrays the hotel room (one would hope).
The departure time doesn't matter , it is whether the passenger is rebooked "to reach their final destination less than two hours after the scheduled time of arrival."

Assuming a through booking to GVA , then the passenger will be arriving in GVA at the originally scheduled time
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Old Aug 10, 18, 3:38 pm
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Real time update - just been informed that the early morning flight Man-Lhr has also been cancelled !!!!!!!!!!!!

Have been told that if I don't get myself and party down to Lhr by 0800 we will not be able to travel to GVA together tomorrow !!!!!!!!! The best they can do is drive to LBA catch the 1105 and then 2 out of 4 will travel at 1745 to GVA and the other 2 will travel at 20:40 to Lyon
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