IDB w/o Cause

Old Mar 31, 19, 8:26 am
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IDB w/o Cause

Apologies for the length but this incident is complex.

I am a US citizen and I was in France on holiday. A friend of mine had to leave suddenly and I decided to invite an English friend of mine to finish out the trip. I booked his flight, train and bus (we were in the Alps) and at some point he mentioned his best friend was keen to join. I offered to take care of his travel arrangements as well Sadly, the flight my friend was taking had sold out so I booked a ticket on BA. I also reserved a train and bus ticket.

I booked the BA ticket over the phone, made clear I was not traveling on the reservation, and verified my identity by providing my Executive Club details. The ticket was issued and a confirmation was received. The person traveling checked in online, and also interacted with an agent while dropping off baggage at Heathrow; this was done around 2 hours in advance of the flight to France.

Upon boarding the flight, the GA asked my friend's friend to step aside and begin to question him about his ticket. Our mutual friend reported these troubles to me via text (he was waiting to board his flight at lgw). I immediately instructed my friend to tell the guy traveling to provide my full legal name and executive club number. And to also provide his return travel details.

At this point I began communicating directly with my friend's friend. He told me what had happen and I told him they were welcome to ask for any information necessary. But he told me the GA would not speak with him further. He relayed that the problems began when he referred to me as "my best mate's boyfriend."

He was not allowed to board the flight, was told there would be no rebooking assistance, had to wait an hour for his bag, and was told to "deal with it."

We subsequently found a flight from SEN on flybee. He had to transfer there by way of train, then I had to hire a car as he landed too late in the day to get a train that would get him to the bus station in time for the last bus.

I'm asking for advice on the following:

What is the best way to request compensation?
Who should write the letter?
As I see it, compensation is as follows:
I should get the BA ticket refunded, as well as reembursement for the car transfer and the unused train and bus ticket.
He is due compensation for his travel from Heathrow to SEN to France, plus allowable compensation for the IDB.
Is this an appropriate expectation?
I'm unfamiliar with the status of these matters in the UK, but should the fact that the situation deteriorated rapidly after I was referred to as "my best mate's boyfriend" be reported to any agency?

I appreciate any thoughts except for those that suggest it's not acceptable for a ticket to be purchased by a 3rd party with a credit card. My secretary buys almost every one of my tickets and I've never been questioned.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 8:43 am
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It's unclear from the above exactly why your contact was denied boarding. Either there was a valid, paid for ticket, and he cleared security, or not. Maybe it was just overbooked, the last person to check-in - or to book - would be at risk of this.

There was one case that I recall with some similarities, which related to a very last minute booking, where BA wanted sight of the credit card used to make the booking. There were some language issues involved, and I don't think we actually found out what happened in the end, but essentially BA has a trigger on suspicious bookings made close to departure.

If you - or rather your contact - feels they had a legitimate booking and that everything was in order, then you can claim compensation from BA under EC261, details in the Dashboard linked thread (though it's also currently towards the top of the forum). It's the Involuntary Denied Boarding area that you need to look at. If BA refused to rebook then that's a further mistake under EC261, however I am wondering if there is some important detail missing here.

Originally Posted by houserulz77 View Post
I'm unfamiliar with the status of these matters in the UK, but should the fact that the situation deteriorated rapidly after I was referred to as "my best mate's boyfriend" be reported to any agency?
Specifically that point, no, regardless of your gender, to the best of my knowledge. Moreover the privacy laws of the UK and the rest of the European Union are among the toughest in the world.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by houserulz77 View Post
.. this was done around 2 hours in advance of the flight to France...
Certainly all sounds rather strange. Just to clarify the timeline, do you mean the booking was made two hours before the flight, or the passenger checked the bag two hours before the flight? Maybe relevant in terms of when any flag was placed on the booking.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 9:28 am
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If the passenger had arrived too late or if the flight had been overbooked, I would expect a GA to say so rather than questioning a customer about his ticket.

Could there have been a language problem?

Has OP tried to contact BA to ask what happened?

OP needs to get the complete story and then probably file for EC261 compensation.
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Old Mar 31, 19, 9:40 am
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I also find it interesting that the GA was handling what amounts to a corporate security or anti-fraud issue.

Because OP was not the passenger and was not present for the entire interaction, it will be hard to obtain the granular details of what happened and when. There is likely to have been additional interaction here and every bit of what was said may be significant.

Thus, it gets to the bottom line, e.g. that unless BA had "good reason" to deny boarding, the friend is owed denied boarding compensation under EC 261/2004 and OP is certainly entitled to a refund of the BA ticket.

If the friend of the friend makes the claim (as the passenger), he will obtain a written response and either a request for bank details or a denial of the claim. If a denial, the friend of the friend may make a claim through CEDR or MCOL (or CEDR and then MCOL if need be).
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Old Mar 31, 19, 6:40 pm
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Just to clarify he was on time and I was referring to the check-in time being 2 hours prior to departure. The flight was not zeroed out when I looked at it while I was talking to him because I was wondering were they trying to get somebody on the plane. I also understand that a one-way ticket from the UK to France for a British citizen booked by an American could warrant some scrutiny, but he told me, and I should point out that he thought he had no recourse whatsoever, that the guy really seemed like he had it out for him. Like he told him something like "you're not getting on this plane today don't even think about it" or something along those lines like he was really upset. This dude is about as timid as a school Mouse. I obviously was not there but I certainly don't think he caused a ruckus.

I appreciate all the feedback but just to refocus should he be submitting for compensation, should it be me or should it be both of us?
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Old Mar 31, 19, 7:07 pm
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Compensation is due to the passenger, not the ticket purchaser. The refund is due to you. How you and he work out who gets what is between the two of you.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by houserulz77 View Post
I appreciate all the feedback but just to refocus should he be submitting for compensation, should it be me or should it be both of us?
Just to underline Often1's reply, given the information we have
- the traveller should claim Involuntary Denied Boarding compensation directly from BA, using the advice in the main Dashboard thread. The main hotlink on the BA side is BA.com/delay

- for the ticket refund there are two approaches: you can either claim a refund due to non fulfillment on Conditions of Carriage, which you could do directly as the person who purchased the ticket. Alternatively you sink the ticket you bought and instead claim the replacement SEN ticket. BA were required to rebook, but from what we see they refused to assist. You could also claim the cost of going from LHR to SEN. Obviously you should do the one which results in the higher payment, however in this second scenario the traveller would have to do the claiming via EC261. And the conditions of EC261 would need to be fulfilled (e.g. confirmed ticket, passing security and so on).

- if BA for whatever reason rejects the claims, and for IDB they almost always reject, then for EC261 related issues the passenger would need to take the matter to CEDR or MCOL. If you are claiming under the Conditions of Carriage then you can do the claim instead, but you're probably heading down the MCOL route rather than CEDR (though not overwhelmingly so). Clearly you can do most of the legwork and simply get the passenger to sign off at e-paperwork submission time.

- The one advantage of either CEDR or MCOL is that you will get chapter and verse as to what happened here since BA are required to submit their side of the story.

There must be something else here than that which we have seen so far, since buying a ticket for someone else is entirely normal, and the fact that different nationalities are involved on an intra-European trip is also scarcely unusual. I'd imagine there would be hundreds if not thousands of such cases daily with BA from London airports.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 1:20 am
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When I worked in the industry well over 10 years ago now, last minute third party bookings were always the ones that we had to take extra precautions over - normally needing sight of the card. What is confusing here is that the OP disclosed that he, as the cardholder, was not travelling (presumably by checking the box to that purpose when booking) and BA appear to have accepted the booking on that basis.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 10:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
What is confusing here is that the OP disclosed that he, as the cardholder, was not travelling (presumably by checking the box to that purpose when booking) and BA appear to have accepted the booking on that basis.
I booked over the phone and was asked the reason. I explained it was for a friend and that the return had already been booked.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 10:55 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Just to underline Often1's reply, given the information we have
- the traveller should claim Involuntary Denied Boarding compensation directly from BA, using the advice in the main Dashboard thread. The main hotlink on the BA side is BA.com/delay

- for the ticket refund there are two approaches: you can either claim a refund due to non fulfillment on Conditions of Carriage, which you could do directly as the person who purchased the ticket. Alternatively you sink the ticket you bought and instead claim the replacement SEN ticket. BA were required to rebook, but from what we see they refused to assist. You could also claim the cost of going from LHR to SEN. Obviously you should do the one which results in the higher payment, however in this second scenario the traveller would have to do the claiming via EC261. And the conditions of EC261 would need to be fulfilled (e.g. confirmed ticket, passing security and so on).

- if BA for whatever reason rejects the claims, and for IDB they almost always reject, then for EC261 related issues the passenger would need to take the matter to CEDR or MCOL. If you are claiming under the Conditions of Carriage then you can do the claim instead, but you're probably heading down the MCOL route rather than CEDR (though not overwhelmingly so). Clearly you can do most of the legwork and simply get the passenger to sign off at e-paperwork submission time.

- The one advantage of either CEDR or MCOL is that you will get chapter and verse as to what happened here since BA are required to submit their side of the story.

There must be something else here than that which we have seen so far, since buying a ticket for someone else is entirely normal, and the fact that different nationalities are involved on an intra-European trip is also scarcely unusual. I'd imagine there would be hundreds if not thousands of such cases daily with BA from London airports.
Thank you for this thorough step-by-step The ticket has been refunded I called to request a receipt so that I could see what the ticket status was and was instantly given a refund. I prepared a straightforward account of the situation for the ticket holder to review and submit which he has done. We will see the result.
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