BA Cancels Flight But OTA Won't Offer Alternative?

Old Sep 6, 19, 10:42 am
  #1  
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BA Cancels Flight But OTA Won't Offer Alternative?

Hoping to get some advice from the BA experts.

Premium Economy flight booked from Dubai to London. Unfortunately via Expedia...

BA cancelled the 9:20 am flight on my travel date (19 September). No alternative offered.

Because this is an OTA booking, I must call Expedia. "We cannot see any available seats". W class seats are clearly available on ba.com for alternative flights on same day, although of course this is expensive and may just be with the intention of op-ups.

I request that Expedia liaise with BA to open a seat in PE. Put on hold for awhile. No way of telling whether the agent is actually calling BA or not.

Any magic words to use with Expedia that would get them to contact BA and put me on a different flight? Should I call BA (Silver status FWIW) and see if they will do anything from that end?

And FWIW I have not actually been notified by Expedia or BA and therefore am within the 14-day window for EC261 compensation. I would have thought that might focus the mind?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 10:48 am
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You have to deal with Expedia, unfortunately. BA has specific guidelines for situations like this and if a seat exists in the cabin then it should be given to you. I don't khow how well trained Expedia's agents are but they should have access to these guidelines for travel agents. In a situation like this, the available booking classes should be of no relevance - Expedia should re-book you into whatever is available. The magic words would be to push Expedia to look up BA's policy and to remind them that BA allows booking any available seat when there is a cancelation. Expedia's agent does not even have to talk to BA about it or get the airline's approval.

Last edited by Andriyko; Sep 6, 19 at 11:04 am
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:01 am
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You could also remind Expedia that under EU261 it is a requirement to re-book you under comparative conditions.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
You could also remind Expedia that under EU261 it is a requirement to re-book you under comparative conditions.
Isn't that ultimately BA's responsibility, not the OTAs?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:43 am
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Originally Posted by rapidex View Post
You could also remind Expedia that under EU261 it is a requirement to re-book you under comparative conditions.
But it's the airline's obligation, not Expedia's
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:52 am
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Maybe the title could better reflect that it is expedia that currently will not offer an alternative?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:53 am
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This is often a huge issue as OTA's are generally staffed with not very well trained agents. I have had bad experience with Expedia too but believe me they are by no means the worst.

The way I got a similar issue solved previously was to call the airline and have them insert in the booking PNR notes that due to the cancellation, rebooking in W class is allowed. Then call Expedia and tell the agent the rebooking is within the airline's policy and that there are notes for the agent in the booking. Any negative response after that is a fob-off that you should not accept. Insist on speaking to the supervisor and don't give up. It's a pain, but you will get there. Also, don't accept them trying to charge you their own change fee either, which might well happen.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Isn't that ultimately BA's responsibility, not the OTAs?
as you booked with Expedia and it is cancelled way ahead of departures the OTA “own” the ticket and BA might not even have a clue how much you paid etc. It is the OTA responsibility to rebook you and it is clear by the regulation.
in some cases if the OTA book you into a public fare BA might able to take ownership over the ticket but they don’t have to.
as for EU compensation you have to submit your claim to BA as they are the operating airline in this case.
so unfortunately it is Expedia who have to come up with an arrangement.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 11:59 am
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post

The way I got a similar issue solved previously was to call the airline and have them insert in the booking PNR notes that due to the cancellation, rebooking in W class is allowed. Then call Expedia and tell the agent the rebooking is within the airline's policy and that there are notes for the agent in the booking. Any negative response after that is a fob-off that you should not accept. Insist on speaking to the supervisor and don't give up. It's a pain, but you will get there. Also, don't accept them trying to charge you their own change fee either, which might well happen.
That can be an uphill battle as well unfortunately. I once booked a ticket on Lufthansa with Expedia and they had a schedule change that allowed me to rebook but Expedia would not do anything. I asked Lufthansa to add notes to the PNR that changes were allowed but Expedia said that they could not see those notes and they did not have access to the policy. We even had a three-way telephone conference but the Expedia agent still was not sure what to do and what waiver code to use to make the change. I ended up having to fly on the original flight as Expedia was useless and Lufthansa would not take control of the ticket. I don't book flights with Expedia anymore.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by scottishpoet View Post
Maybe the title could better reflect that it is expedia that currently will not offer an alternative?
I once made the same mistake (i.e. booking through Expedia) and it took me hours and hours to sort it out, with Expedia saying "they were on the other line with BA" (doubt that), that they'd call me back (never happened - each time had to call again) and eventually rebooking me onto an alternative flight without my consent (tried to unwind this, eventually gave up).
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:44 pm
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I have the same topic, missing itinerary after booking. 7th Dec MAN-LHR-ORD-SDF, there’s been a schedule change and the LHR-ORD-SDF are no longer showing in MMB.

speaking to Propeller there’s a 3 month window (which is this weekend) at which point they can look to re-book. The booking was WTP with GUF upgrade to CW.

as this is a schedule change, if we find an AA alternative routing to LEX not SDF for example, what are the changes of an AA route being accepted (as opposed to BA) and keeping the business class seating?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:48 pm
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One of many reasons why I don’t book with OTAs, best of luck in solving your issue and please do let us know how it goes to help others with similar problems in the future.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:51 pm
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Isn't that ultimately BA's responsibility, not the OTAs?
No it is the responsibility of the OTA, however if there are seats available BA must allow the re booking.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 12:57 pm
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
Any magic words to use with Expedia that would get them to contact BA and put me on a different flight? Should I call BA (Silver status FWIW) and see if they will do anything from that end?
BA’s standard customer guidelines is a great point of reference. These are written for the benefit of travel agents. A copy of these guidelines can be read here
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:07 pm
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Immediately ask for a supervisor. Front line staff are useless.
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