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Unable to change flight in time because of long BA call centre queue

Unable to change flight in time because of long BA call centre queue

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Old Jul 19, 19, 11:48 am
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Unable to change flight in time because of long BA call centre queue

Wondering if I can get people's opinion here please.

My brother-in-law needed to change his flight today and actually forgot to change it until it was very late. He called to change his flight 20 mins before departure but got stuck in the BA call centre queue for 25 mins and therefore by the time he was able to speak with an agent he was unable to change his flight as it was already past departure time so he was considered a no show and now has to buy a brand new (one way) ticket back to UK

Somebody suggested to us that because he had to wait in the call centre queue for so long BA should be a bit lenient here and allow him to change his flight as originally planned instead of having to buy a brand new one and that we should complain to BA etc etc etc.

My honest opinion here is "you left it too late, you have to deal with it now" but I just want to see if I am being too harsh here and whether we would have a chance of getting the original booking reinstated to a later date (incurring the change fee & fare difference etc)?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Jul 19, 19, 11:54 am
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Would have been too late even without the delay. Let it go.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by bisonrav View Post
Would have been too late even without the delay. Let it go.
Exactly as I had thought, thanks anyway!
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Old Jul 19, 19, 12:14 pm
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The thread title is misleading. The delay was the OP's brother-in-law's delay.

Same thing as lines at airport counters. The deadline is met at the counter, not by getting in line.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The thread title is misleading. The delay was the OP's brother-in-law's delay.

Same thing as lines at airport counters. The deadline is met at the counter, not by getting in line.
Well it's BA's responsibility to be contactable to arrange ticket changes. They are the ones who offer changeable tickets, and who publish call centre opening times.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
Well it's BA's responsibility to be contactable to arrange ticket changes. They are the ones who offer changeable tickets, and who publish call centre opening times.
true, but in this case even an instantaneous pick up by BA wouldn’t have helped.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 1:04 pm
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25 mins too much in queue to change ticket! But I suspect if your brother is top flyer, than maybe he get on the call in 1 mins! Just a guesswork of course.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 1:09 pm
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I presume there is a bit more to this story, otherwise he would have been in the airport at the time concerned. But frankly this is just too late, even a Prem wouldn't be able to count on avoiding a no-show on this, moreover with the baggage issue coinciding with the twice yearly flight amendments coinciding with the start of English state school holidays, he did quite well to get answered in 25 minutes.

It's the sort of mistake someone only makes once in a lifetime, but this one is down to personal responsibility, assuming that concept still exists.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by wilsnunn View Post
Wondering if I can get people's opinion here please.

My brother-in-law needed to change his flight today and actually forgot to change it until it was very late. He called to change his flight 20 mins before departure but got stuck in the BA call centre queue for 25 mins and therefore by the time he was able to speak with an agent he was unable to change his flight as it was already past departure time so he was considered a no show and now has to buy a brand new (one way) ticket back to UK

Somebody suggested to us that because he had to wait in the call centre queue for so long BA should be a bit lenient here and allow him to change his flight as originally planned instead of having to buy a brand new one and that we should complain to BA etc etc etc.

My honest opinion here is "you left it too late, you have to deal with it now" but I just want to see if I am being too harsh here and whether we would have a chance of getting the original booking reinstated to a later date (incurring the change fee & fare difference etc)?

Thanks in advance!
20 minutes before scheduled departure was never going to cut it. On the actual flight the doors would be on the verge of closing.

Short haul flight check-in closes 45 mins and long haul is 60 mins before departure and those would have been the absolute limit to do any sort of change to the booking.

IIRC there was a court case involving Easyjet and the judge ruled that merely being in the queue didn't cut it as far as check-in is concerned. The passenger actually has to have completed the formalities by the cut off time and the passenger was denied IDB compensation. BA would rely on that case in this instance
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Short haul flight check-in closes 45 mins and long haul is 60 mins before departure and those would have been the absolute limit to do any sort of change to the booking.
To me there seem to be two distinct issues - (1) when is the last opportunity to change the ticket, and (2) what if BA is unable to accept instructions to do so.

Saying "you can change before departure" is not the same as "you can change before check-in closure". Surely it must depend on the exact wording BA uses?
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:05 pm
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Originally Posted by cauchy View Post
To me there seem to be two distinct issues - (1) when is the last opportunity to change the ticket, and (2) what if BA is unable to accept instructions to do so.

Saying "you can change before departure" is not the same as "you can change before check-in closure". Surely it must depend on the exact wording BA uses?
I seem to recall seeing somewhere on his booking details (but I cannot seem to find it now) that changes can be made up until the time of departure, so I am not sure if the time that check in closes actually makes a difference here.

EDIT: when he got through he was told something along the lines of "had you got through 10 minutes ago then we could have changed it for you" or words to that effect
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by wilsnunn View Post
I seem to recall seeing somewhere on his booking details (but I cannot seem to find it now) that changes can be made up until the time of departure, so I am not sure if the time that check in closes actually makes a difference here.

EDIT: when he got through he was told something along the lines of "had you got through 10 minutes ago then we could have changed it for you" or words to that effect
Yes, the 60 or 45 minute aspect relates purely to check-in related processes, whereas the ticketing side can go up to scheduled departure time, and sometimes beyond if the flight is delayed. What you wouldn't be able to do is to move to a flight less than 60 minutes before that flight's departure, but you could move from a flight at that stage.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:22 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes, the 60 or 45 minute aspect relates purely to check-in related processes, whereas the ticketing side can go up to scheduled departure time, and sometimes beyond if the flight is delayed. What you wouldn't be able to do is to move to a flight less than 60 minutes before that flight's departure, but you could move from a flight at that stage.
So this comes back to again the issue that it was only because of the call center queue that he was unable to change. And had he been able to get through he would have been able to change.

EDIT: Okay, not only because of the call center, he should have called much earlier but given the situation he was unable to.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by wilsnunn View Post
So this comes back to again the issue that it was only because of the call center queue that he was unable to change. And had he been able to get through he would have been able to change.
Sure, and mid week, mid winter this gamble would have worked. I suppose he has nothing to lose by asking Customer Relations to look at it and show mercy, but he won't have much of a case if he is relying on call centre never having queues of this sort of length. I'm uncomfortable at the idea that this is anyone's responsibility other than the person with the ticket.
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Old Jul 19, 19, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I'm uncomfortable at the idea that this is anyone's responsibility other than the person with the ticket.
I agree with you completely here! Just trying to see if there is a way out of it for him, but as I said in my OP, I think that the blame rests on him here for not making more effort sooner.

Thanks all as always for your comments.
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