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Denied boarding over pregnancy fit to fly letter - who is right?

Denied boarding over pregnancy fit to fly letter - who is right?

Old Aug 19, 19, 3:52 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by BrianDromey View Post
We don't write letters saying fit to fly. No one knows what that is, or what it might be. The expected date of delivery and that there are no complications is what airlines want to see.
Thanks for this. That puts our letter into context - itís exactly what ours says, just dates, and the fact the pregnancy has been normal so far.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 3:54 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by GeezerCouple View Post
Doesn't this say it ALL:

Letter confirmed by BA to be sufficient for both outbound and return.

What could be better? What else could OP have felt would be necessary?

GC
My thoughts exactly!

I will come back to the post with what happens with the claim as and when there are updates.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 4:03 pm
  #63  
 
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Is it even necessary to inform BA of a pregnancy? I understand it may be ‘obvious’ but there are plenty of conditions that can cause a distended abdomen which are none of BA’s business.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 4:07 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by fruitcage View Post
Is it even necessary to inform BA of a pregnancy? I understand it may be Ďobviousí but there are plenty of conditions that can cause a distended abdomen which are none of BAís business.
If more than 28 weeks pregnant then yes (unless you want to risk being denied boarding).

"After 28 weeks of pregnancy, British Airways requires expectant mothers to carry a medical certificate (including a letter and pregnancy record) confirming her due date and a note saying that it's safe to fly. Pregnant women will not be allowed to board a BA flight after 36 weeks of pregnancy."
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Old Aug 19, 19, 4:53 pm
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I can see how this would be very stressful, especially given that the longer the situation persists unresolved the closer the passenger comes to not being able to fly on any view. I certainly wouldn't want to be stranded and giving birth in the USA without insurance! Surely the OP and his wife had a legitimate expectation once they were allowed to leave London that they would be allowed to return. Seems like a pretty clear case of BA being liable.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 6:35 pm
  #66  
 
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OP reports that grounds for denial of boarding were that "agent would not accept our letter, saying we needed a second letter which said that my wife was fit to fly specifically for this flight."
If the OP produced the original letter as provided outbound, if the agent's reason for refusal is correctly reported, and unless the agent had reason to believe that the pregnant passenger had required medical care during the trip (which is BA's only caveat), then this seems to be an incorrectly based denial of boarding and should be compensated accordingly. Even then, the letter is a recommendation rather than a requirement, and is arguably irrelevant except to the extent that it acts as proof that the pregnant passenger is within the limit of weeks and does not suggest any medical reason not to travel.

I do however feel that BA's wording on the passenger website is woolly beyond the clear week of pregnancy limits, especially given the increasing trend for company policy to be enforced through third party agents (who may at some stations be checking in a variety of airlines with different procedures). What is the force of a "recommendation"? What constitutes a letter written "as close as possible to the travel date" - as a return is covered, just how long a gap between outbound & return is acceptable ? As mentioned in previous posts, no medical professional would be bound by anything other than his/her observations at the time of examination and a statement of the estimated timescales of the pregnancy.

One assumes that the policy wording and training given to contractors mirrors BA.com, which it obviously should do, but who knows... in any case, that would be an issue between BA and its suppliers and does not detract from the OP's case.

Last edited by Bullswood; Aug 19, 19 at 6:42 pm
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Old Aug 19, 19, 7:08 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by Bullswood View Post
OP reports that grounds for denial of boarding were that "agent would not accept our letter, saying we needed a second letter which said that my wife was fit to fly specifically for this flight."
If the OP produced the original letter as provided outbound, if the agent's reason for refusal is correctly reported, and unless the agent had reason to believe that the pregnant passenger had required medical care during the trip (which is BA's only caveat), then this seems to be an incorrectly based denial of boarding and should be compensated accordingly. Even then, the letter is a recommendation rather than a requirement, and is arguably irrelevant except to the extent that it acts as proof that the pregnant passenger is within the limit of weeks and does not suggest any medical reason not to travel.

I do however feel that BA's wording on the passenger website is woolly beyond the clear week of pregnancy limits, especially given the increasing trend for company policy to be enforced through third party agents (who may at some stations be checking in a variety of airlines with different procedures). What is the force of a "recommendation"? What constitutes a letter written "as close as possible to the travel date" - as a return is covered, just how long a gap between outbound & return is acceptable ? As mentioned in previous posts, no medical professional would be bound by anything other than his/her observations at the time of examination and a statement of the estimated timescales of the pregnancy.

One assumes that the policy wording and training given to contractors mirrors BA.com, which it obviously should do, but who knows... in any case, that would be an issue between BA and its suppliers and does not detract from the OP's case.
Did the Agent have linked ticket records so s/he knew precisely when the return trip was?

IF so (and that's an assumption I made when reading the "letter is good for both directions"/etc.), then the issue of
"just how long a gap between outbound & return is acceptable ?" should be a non-issue, unless the return is rescheduled for *later* than originally planned.

Otherwise, what is the point of the agent stating that BOTH directions were approved with the medical letter?
I'm feeling like some (or all) of us are missing something here, given the airline approval for BOTH directions as ticketed.

GC
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Old Aug 19, 19, 7:11 pm
  #68  
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We're assuming that the airport contract agents handling BA at DEN were willing and able to read the BA policy, comprehend it, and correctly apply the BA rules to BA passengers. This might be rocket science for some.....
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Old Aug 19, 19, 7:15 pm
  #69  
 
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Were the flights booked as a round trip on one ticket or as two one ways? Grasping at straws trying to figure out what the agent was thinking. If separate bookings, maybe it required a letter for each trip? It sounds like it was a round trip, though.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 7:39 pm
  #70  
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Even with two one way tickets for a two week trip, I would argue that the "as close to travel as is practical" rule would suggest that one normally get the letter from one's regular doctor at home, before leaving on the trip. It's not reasonable to expect one to find a doctor abroad willing to take new patients immediately and pay to get such a letter in order to travel unless (medical) circumstances have changed (such as going to a hospital for premature labor) or it's a relatively long trip.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Even with two one way tickets for a two week trip, I would argue that the "as close to travel as is practical" rule would suggest that one normally get the letter from one's regular doctor at home, before leaving on the trip. It's not reasonable to expect one to find a doctor abroad willing to take new patients immediately and pay to get such a letter in order to travel unless (medical) circumstances have changed (such as going to a hospital for premature labor) or it's a relatively long trip.
I donít disagree. I am just looking for some reason the rep wanted a new letter. A one way trip might be it if they saw the previous letter as being from a different trip.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 8:07 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by Finkface View Post
Were the flights booked as a round trip on one ticket or as two one ways?
It was all on one return booking so donít think that was the issue. Does seem as though it was just an incorrectly applied policy.

Just sitting in the lounge at Denver, so at least we got through this time (with new letter, as I didnít want any trouble at check in, although I was sorely
tempted to try with the original letter and a different check in agent!).
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Old Aug 19, 19, 8:16 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Jamieharvey View Post


It was all on one return booking so don’t think that was the issue. Does seem as though it was just an incorrectly applied policy.

Just sitting in the lounge at Denver, so at least we got through this time (with new letter, as I didn’t want any trouble at check in, although I was sorely
tempted to try with the original letter and a different check in agent!).
I would have insisted on using the original letter unless your doctor at home was willing to generate a new letter instantly. It's totally ridiculous for BA to demand that you find and be examined by a new doctor in the Denver area just to get a letter to be able to fly. It's a waste of your time and convenience as well as a pointless (no pun intended) waste of scarce medical resources.


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Old Aug 19, 19, 8:25 pm
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
We're assuming that the airport contract agents handling BA at DEN were willing and able to read the BA policy, comprehend it, and correctly apply the BA rules to BA passengers. This might be rocket science for some.....
Sure, but BA should recognise that in outsourcing any service, they need to make their procedures crystal clear and readily accessible to staff who might be dealing with numerous carriers, each with its own policy.
I'm not suggesting this was necessarily relevant here, but in a contractor's shoes (or even those of BA's own staff), I would want rules not recommendations. For example, BA has rules on the stage of pregnancy at which one may fly, but it isn't clear how the agent will check compliance - is it through a doctor's letter (in which case that becomes compulsory) or is it through passenger self-certification (as with the check-in questioning about hazardous goods etc)? I'd suggest the latter questioning might be regarded as intrusive, so why not just make the letter a requirement?

As previously noted, this doesn't detract from OP's claim, which I hope will be quickly settled with a suitable apology.

Great to hear that the OP and family are en route home - safe travels and hope the more important "arrival" in a few weeks is smooth & on-time!

Last edited by Bullswood; Aug 19, 19 at 8:57 pm
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Old Aug 19, 19, 11:44 pm
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Jamieharvey View Post
No, just US. I have a British passport. We are on 125 stock, booked through Propeller travel agent as it was a GUF1 (Premium to Club for this leg). Interested what your angle is here?
Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
Im not sure how passport or ticket details are germane to this particular issue?
Birth tourism.

The reason why I asked for the passport and ticket detail is my thought was could that GA feel something some issues and IDBed OP's party for such suspicion.

While I am not a 100% British (OP would know why), British nationality is complicated. In short - OP's baby would be a British citizen by descent anyway regardless of places of birth (but British citizen otherwise by descent if born in the U.K.). But an overpowered GA may not know that. Hence, the possibility of IDB to avoid fines.
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