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Covid-19 and BA flight cancellations & rebooking: info & advice thread [*noise-free*]

Covid-19 and BA flight cancellations & rebooking: info & advice thread [*noise-free*]

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Old Mar 14, 20, 5:09 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: LTN Phobia
Wiki Link
WikiPost currently includes info on China inc Hong Kong, Singapore and Italy. As and when new/updated information becomes available, we would welcome your input in updating it.
Information resources (e.g. links of entry restrictions/quarantine requirements) are provided at the bottom of Wiki.


29 Feb 2020: List of routes with cancellations from 13 March to 28 March: PKX, PVG, HKG, SIN, LIN, ICN, VRN, BGY, BLQ, TRN, VCE.
(
In the case of PKX and PVG there are no services, for the other locations it's up to 50% of services.)

BA Book with Confidence Policy
BA have instigated a policy of bookings made on or after 3 March 2020 with zero change fees. Initially this policy will expire end of 31 16 March 2020. Details can be found in this thread: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/brit...ce-policy.html
Note.. despite the official start date of 3 March for this policy, at least one FT-er has advised that a booking on 2 March also attracted zero change fees.
BA has now expanded the book with confidence policy to expire 31 March 2020. Starting date of 3 March 2020 is unchanged.
China inc HKG
BA have cancelled all flights to PKX (Beijing/Peking) and PVG (Shanghai Pu Dong) "until 19 April 2020".

BA frequency to HKG has been reduced with effect from 13 February 2020 - see below for further details. From HKG, Cathay is running a heavily reduced schedule to mainland destinations until the end of March.

If you are due to fly to PKX, PVG and your flight is cancelled then you have refund, re-route and rebook options. BA can rebook on to several other airlines.
If you are due to fly to Hong Kong until 1st April you have refund and rebook options.
If you are transiting into mainland China you are also covered as above.
If you are transiting internationally (e.g. LHR-HKG-SYD) you are not able to move your flights, unless they are cancelled anyway.
The latest ba.com update was on 21 February 2020 at 1510.

More information on the advice of Her Majesty's Government about travel and health is on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

For the Special Administration Regions of Hong Kong and Macao:
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/hong-kong
https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/macao

Summary from IATA of all travel restrictions due to Coronavirus as added to TIMATIC https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/int...1580226297.htm


.
HKG frequency reductions (as of 1330 on 21 February 2020, all dates inclusive).

LHR-HKG

From Thu 13.02.2020 to Mon 01.06.2020: BA31 cancelled. BA27 operates (380).

Exceptions:-
  • Tue 18.02.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (777).
  • Tue 10.03.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (777).
  • Mon 27.04.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Tue 28.04.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Wed 29.04.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Thu 30.04.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Mon 11.05.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Tue 12.05.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Mon 18.05.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Tue 19.05.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Sun 24.05.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Mon 25.05.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Tue 26.05.2020: BA27 cancelled. BA31 operates (380).
  • Mon 01.06.2020: BA31 cancelled. BA27 operates (777).
In addition, on Mon 08.06.2020: BA31 cancelled. BA27 operates (777).

HKG-LHR

From Fri 14.02.2020 to Tue 02.06.2020: BA32 cancelled. BA28 operates (380).

Exceptions:-
  • Wed 19.02.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (777).
  • Wed 11.03.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (777).
  • Sun 29.03.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Tue 28.04.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Wed 29.04.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Thu 30.04.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Fri 01.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Tue 12.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Wed 13.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Tue 19.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Wed 20.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Mon 25.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Tue 26.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Wed 27.05.2020: BA28 cancelled. BA32 operates (380).
  • Tue 02.06.2020: BA32 cancelled. BA28 operates (777).
In addition, on Tue 09.06.2020: BA32 cancelled. BA28 operates (777).

Note: Schedule changes take effect on Sun 29.03.2020 in both directions.

Italy
BA has issued a Customer Guideline Update 1 for travel to the north of Italy, defined as:
LIN/MXP Milan
TRN Turin
BLQ Bologna
VCE Venice
BGY Bergamo
VRN - Verona

Tickets issued by 24 February can be changed. If they are dated for original travel on 25 February 02 March 2020, they can now be moved to 25 February 31 March 2020. Alternatively changed to ZRH or GVA (note some of these services will be running very full at this time of the year). Refunds not allowed, redemptions are in scope for change.
Update: Travelling 29 Feb to 15 March can now change date of travel and postpone to up to the 3 Apr or change airport to Geneva or Zurich. Rredemptions included but refunds still not included

Further details:
Key Message
The following guidelines have been published to assist any customer who may wish to change their travel date for Northern Italy.
Advice for British Airways-125 ticketed customers whose BA, IB, AY or AA flight is still OPERATING

Rebook onto: British Airways or AJB

Airports affected - To/From
LIN/MXP Milan
TRN Turin
BLQ Bologna
VCE Venice
BGY Bergamo
VRN - Verona

Tickets issued by: 24 February 2020
Ticket travel dates: 25 February 02 March 2020
New travel dates: 25 February 31 March 2020

Rebooking Allowance: Rebook into the same class as the original flight or lowest available in the same cabin

Change of gateway: Rebook onto a British Airways operated service to/from ZRH (Zurich) or GVA (Geneva) and London (any airport) into the same class as the original flight or lowest available in the same cabin. Must advise the customer that any consequential cost to travel between the original and the new Swiss gateway, e.g. surface transport, hotels, etc. are at their expense. Add a remark into the booking stating that you have advised this. Visas may also need to be checked to travel into Switzerland.

Origin/Destination/Stopover changes: Yes as above
Refunds Allowed: No
Redemptions included: Yes
Available for Trade: Yes

Important Information
One involuntary ticket change allowed from the above options
Includes any connecting BA/Joint Business services on the same ticket
For customers on cancelled flights, please follow the standard customer guidelines >
Adherence to commercial policies/standard customer guidelines remains entirely the responsibility of the user. BA reserves the right to withdraw guidelines at any time
Singapore
BA11 has been cancelled on March 15, 17, 19, 21, 23 and 25, and corresponding returns on BA12 (the next day) have been cancelled.

Information Resources
Travel restrictions by country
IATA's central list of restrictions relating to Covid-19 is here:
https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/int...1580226297.htm

Australian government site for visit/transit restrictions for various countries after visiting certain countries (not just for Australians, as it lists countries visited/transited etc.). It includes information that is missing from IATA list too.
https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

11 March 2020:
For people who are based in the US, the US CDC travel warning for Schengen zone has been updated to Level 3 "Avoid nonessential travel".
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices...navirus-europe

In addition, US Department of State have updated the global travel advisory to Level 3 "Reconsider Travel.
https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...ory-issue.html

This may affect your travel insurance cover (or enable you to claim back the cost of cancellation).






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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:08 pm
  #271  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 209
Originally Posted by Craig2305 View Post
has this been officially announced now?
Yes.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-51809818

I spoke to ba holidays today and the only way we could cancel the hotel for out TLV trip is if we did (losing 60% of payment) or unless the FCO state do not go to that country. I'm not sure if the FCO will issue that due to this announcement though.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:11 pm
  #272  
 
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There goes my trip to Israel next month.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:12 pm
  #273  
 
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Originally Posted by dhacker View Post
We are currently in Israel on an Avios RT award ticket from Baltimore/BWI. Israel just imposed a 14-day quarantine on everyone arriving from anywhere in the world. We are scheduled to return via LHR on 3/21. Can't imagine BA or any other airline will keep flying here. We bought travel insurance, but I haven't yet read details on whether or not they'd pay for accommodations past 3/21 until we get a flight out. Also unsure if BA is responsible for getting us home. Thoughts?
It's not retrospective so you should be able to leave!
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:18 pm
  #274  
 
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Israel

So, as per the recent announcement from Israel, all arriving passengers (from anywhere, and of any nationality it seems) must quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. If they cannot prove they can, foreign travellers will be sent home.

I have a 5 day trip to Israel (travelling on BA, booked well before the "condfidence" declaration) on 19th March which I now cannot travel on. Obviously this is an Israeli decision rather than a FCO "do not travel", however in these circumstances do you think BA will pull flights? I was thinking that Israeli citizens must still use those flights for example, and UK and other nationalities still need to come home if they are already there, so perhaps only some flights may get cancelled? Would I even be allowed on the plane given I would probably be forcibly put back on it at TLV? Does anyone have any thoughts on what might happen now?

The other thing of course is that this is a bird-watching trip designed to coincide with migration and the Eilat Birding Festival. A rebooking window, say into June, would not be very appealing!

I expect that we will hear more from BA in the coming days on this, but I am assuming I am not going and will start cancelling car hire, accommodation etc now.

Last edited by snuffi; Mar 9, 20 at 2:29 pm
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:36 pm
  #275  
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Originally Posted by snuffi View Post
So, as per the recent announcement from Israel, all arriving passengers (from anywhere, and of any nationality it seems) must quarantine for 14 days after their arrival. If they cannot prove they can, foreign travellers will be sent home.

I have a 5 day trip to Israel (travelling on BA, booked well before the "condfidence" declaration) on 19th March which I now cannot travel on. Obviously this is an Israeli decision rather than a FCO "do not travel", however in these circumstances do you think BA will pull flights? I was thinking that Israeli citizens must still use those flights for example, and UK and other nationalities still need to come home if they are already there, so perhaps only some flights may get cancelled? Would I even be allowed on the plane given I would probably be forcibly put back on it at TLV? Does anyone have any thoughts on what might happen now?

The other thing of course is that this is a bird-watching trip designed to coincide with migration and the Eilat Birding Festival. A rebooking window, say into June, would not be very appealing!

I expect that we will hear more from BA in the coming days on this, but I am assuming I am not going and will start cancelling car hire, accommodation etc now.
I am currently booked on LHR-TLV that same day (on AA ticket). I called AA a couple days ago to try to cancel, and they basically told me to pound sand. I asked what would happen if I flew and was denied entry (due to recent France travel). They said I'd have to pay my own way home. Unless BA is more accommodating, we should simply hope that BA cancels all TLV flights. The one thing working against us in that regard is that I believe that the LHR-TLV flights have had some very full loads in recent days, I'm sure in no small part due to LH group canceling their TLV flights.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:39 pm
  #276  
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Originally Posted by snuffi View Post
I expect that we will hear more from BA in the coming days on this, but I am assuming I am not going and will start cancelling car hire, accommodation etc now.
Yes, among the problems BA will have is that they would have to work out a new set of crew hour rotas if the crew cannot enter Israel - crew would either have to fly on to LCA or be double crewed from London. I would expect BA to cancel many, perhaps all flights. It is effective immediately, however will apply to foreign citizens from Thursday. At the moment BA still shows 2 flights a day to Ben Gurion, including Thursday. I would wait until lunchtime tomorrow since it will perhaps be clearer at this point.
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corporate-wage-slave is offline  
Old Mar 9, 20, 2:40 pm
  #277  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
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https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/israel

FCO just updated its website but does not advise not to travel.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:42 pm
  #278  
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Originally Posted by hyperspace View Post
I'm booked LAX-LHR-LIN on April 14th.
Just got an email where my LHR-LIN leg got cancelled and I'm automatically rebooked into an earlier flight...which leaves 30 minutes BEFORE my scheduled arrival from LAX. I'm confused!
In The MMB flights also look out of order, now showing LHR-LIN on the 15th BEFORE my LAX-LHR leaving on the 14th.
again, I'm really confused!
Yes, this is normal. There is one operation that cancels flights immediately and comes up with a "re-accom" and separate task that sweeps overnight on Minimum Connection Time. It has to be like this since flight cancellations come in waves, so all the cancellations have to be out of the way before viable connections can be constructed. Probably best to work out what you really want, perhaps involving GVA or ZRH, and then calling in a few days.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:48 pm
  #279  
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Originally Posted by Mikey Mike Mike View Post
1. Can we get home early with BA if we need to
2. If we get stranded in Europe for 14 days self quarantine, miss our flights - would BA book us on a later flight. Last year when my mother was about to pass away, I was Silver and BA were brilliant, changing my flight three times at no cost. I'm now down to bronze, and so any flexibility for a silver (may not be shown)
BA will allow you to go on the earlier service, yes, the Standard Guidelines (see upthread) allow for you to move forward by 3 days if you want.

For quarantines, I've been told that BA are already rebooking people held in quarantine until after that ends. That's more or less an extension of existing policies on sickness. Clearly it's not in BA's interests to encourage people to breach quarantine requirements.

Since quarantine is not currently mooted on your route at the moment, it is worth looking at your travel insurance. If you were UK based you would probably need something like "Extended Travel Delay and Enforced Stay cover", though the policies I've seen tend to have fairly low ceilings so self insurance may well be better anyway.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 2:52 pm
  #280  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes, this is normal. There is one operation that cancels flights immediately and comes up with a "re-accom" and separate task that sweeps overnight on Minimum Connection Time. It has to be like this since flight cancellations come in waves, so all the cancellations have to be out of the way before viable connections can be constructed. Probably best to work out what you really want, perhaps involving GVA or ZRH, and then calling in a few days.
thank you so much! So I assume there's no arm on not taking any decision at the moment and maybe wait a week or so to see what my options are? In fact I'm not even sure at the moment what I want to do, cancel or move the flights.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:00 pm
  #281  
 
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Is the Israel decision not potentially going to open BA up to shed loads of EU261 claims if it has to cancel flights under 14 days notice??
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:01 pm
  #282  
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Originally Posted by hyperspace View Post
thank you so much! So I assume there's no arm on not taking any decision at the moment and maybe wait a week or so to see what my options are? In fact I'm not even sure at the moment what I want to do, cancel or move the flights.
That is what I would do too. There's a natural tendency to try and sort out loose ends but given that your departure is some way off there could easily be further changes. Moreover I'm going to guess the Contact Centres are overloaded at the moment, and perhaps with calls that are not quick to resolve. Don't accept any proposed flight changes online for the time being.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:03 pm
  #283  
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On the Israel point, the news was reported last Friday by the Jerusalem Post - so BA, and other airlines, have had time to plan and this won't have come as a complete shock (it's been on FT since Saturday morning, and was briefly on the BA Forum before its move Heads up - Israeli ban on UK arrivals)

Most other countries in Western Europe have been on the list since the middle of last week, albeit now ALL countries are on the list.

M
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:05 pm
  #284  
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Originally Posted by tom139 View Post
Is the Israel decision not potentially going to open BA up to shed loads of EU261 claims if it has to cancel flights under 14 days notice??
I think due to underlying reason for the cancellation compensation is very unlikely to be payable.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 3:25 pm
  #285  
 
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Originally Posted by Craig2305 View Post
has this been officially announced now?
Yes. But lucky for us, it's not retroactive.
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