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Change Fees for Tickets booked BEFORE the CV 19 Alert, Involving Areas With Disease

Change Fees for Tickets booked BEFORE the CV 19 Alert, Involving Areas With Disease

Old Mar 7, 20, 3:55 pm
  #1  
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Angry Change Fees for Tickets booked BEFORE the CV 19 Alert, Involving Areas With Disease

Hello all,

The "Book with Confidence" change fee policy for tickets booked since March 2 or 3 is one thing, but what about those tickets booked BEFORE the alert for travel to areas which NOW have a growing number of cases ?

It sems that anybody with a ticket booked in January for travel now to France (130 new cases overnight) today or in February for travel now to the USA (number of cases and of deaths rising steadily this week on the East Coast) have a choice between:

a) Completely forfeiting the price of the tickets.

b) Paying exorbitant change fees which actually seem to me higher than usual, thus making one wonder whether BA is not trying to make money on the epidemic by raising those fees for early bookers.

c) Ignoring the danger and travel anyway during the present dangerous period (for lack of an alternate solution), thus greatly increasing risks for themselves and their fellow passengers on subsequent flights.

Such a policy by BA would clearly demonstrate that they are only intent on preserving their opportunity at generating new reservations, without giving a damn about the danger to their passengers' health or about reducing the burden and risks affecting passengers who did nothing more than book early. This policy would be nothing short of CRIMINAL.

What needs to be done is to waive the change fees for those travelling to affected areas during the disease-prone period REGARDLESS of the date of booking, and to give them an opportunity to attempt to reschedule their trips in an informed way. While a change of travel dates must be made available to all, the BOOKING DATE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DANGERS INVOLVED and continuing the present policy would simply show GREED as BA's only motivating factor.

Practically all the airlines I have dealt with, AY, AA, CX among others, but also LH, LX and the US Majors (which are not usually famous for being over-generous) are waiving change fees regardless of the booking date, and BA, if singled out in this way, will pay a terrible price in lost revenue and PR if and when this thing is over. As I see it, such a behaviour would be worthy of a worldwide boycott.

I have no doubt that louder voices than mine, especially those of the passengers wronged by the present policy or the families of the un-necessary sick or dead because of the present flawed policy, will see to it.
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Last edited by Cofyknsult; Mar 7, 20 at 4:44 pm
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:05 pm
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Originally Posted by Cofyknsult View Post
Hello all,

The "Book with Confidence" change fee policy for tickets booked since March 2 or 3 is one thing, but what about those tickets booked BEFORE the alert for travel to areas which NOW have a growing number of cases ?

It sems that anybody with a ticket booked in January for travel now to France (130 new cases overnight) today or in February for travel now to the USA (number of cases and of deaths rising steadily this week on the East Coast) have a choice between:

a) Completely forfeiting the price of the tickets.

b) Paying exorbitant change fees which actually seem to me higher than usual, thus making one wonder whether BA is not trying to make money on the epidemic by raising those fees for early bookers.

c) Ignoring the danger and travel anyway during a dangerous period (for lack of an alternate solution), thus greatly increasing risks for themselves and their fellow passengers on subsequent flights.

Such a policy by BA would clearly demonstrate that they are only intent on preserving their opportunity at generating new reservations, without giving a damn about the danger to their passengers' health or about reducing the burden and risks affecting passengers who did nothing more than book early. This policy would be nothing short of CRIMINAL.

What needs to be done is to waive the change fees for those travelling to affected areas during the disease-prone period REGARDLESS of the date of booking, and to give them an opportunity to attempt to reschedule their trips in an informed way. While a change of travel dates must be made available to all, the BOOKING DATE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE DANGERS INVOLVED and continuing the present policy would simply show GREED as BA's only motivating factor.

Practically all the airlines I have dealt with, AY, AA, CX among others, but also LH, LX and the US Majors (which are not usually famous for being over-generous) are waiving change fees regardless of the booking date, and BA, if singled out in this way, will pay a terrible price in lost revenue and PR if and when this thing is over. As I see it, such a behaviour would be worthy of a worldwide boycott.
Without wishing to distract from the discussion on the risk which should be discussed as directed on the main FT Covid thread, I think your over-exaggerating the risk here, understandable given the media response and also the response on many businesses.

Travelling anyway is not ignoring the danger, it is understanding the risk and choosing to take that risk in context of other risks that one takes and the benefits of the travel.

The change fees were not increased due to Covid-19, and I see no evidence profiteering as you claim. The change fees were clear on purchasing, indeed if you used BAís own sales from the website app or other the phone, there are amongst the most clear in the sector.

As for your suggestion that they are behaving criminally for a policy that encourages confidence in new bookings as a business. They are not a charity and it is clear that airlines are taking significant impact on their business and to me they appear to be acting fairly responsible and oin line with what is being offered by other airlines too.

Theh are acting responsible following advice that is being given by those who are actual responsible for public health. Your entitled of course to disagree with the expert opinions of the scientists and clinicians and of course it is understandable for frustrations to run high, so of course sorry if you have travel booked and you want to change it because of the perceived risks.

i havenít seen any airline, but happy to be wrong, allowing changes for free on all bookings; Youíve highlighted that this is the case with AA, but yet the AA forum highlights a similar policy to that instigated by BA from what I can see, have I misunderstood something?

Last edited by navylad; Mar 7, 20 at 4:11 pm
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:16 pm
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Originally Posted by navylad View Post
Without wishing to distract from the discussion on the risk which should be discussed as directed on the main FT Covid thread, I think your over-exaggerating the risk here, understandable given the media response and also the response on many businesses.

Travelling anyway is not ignoring the danger, it is understanding the risk and choosing to take that risk in context of other risks that one takes and the benefits of the travel.

The change fees were not increased due to Covid-19, and I see no evidence profiteering as you claim. The change fees were clear on purchasing, indeed if you used BA’s own sales from the website app or other the phone, there are amongst the most clear in the sector.

As for your suggestion that they are behaving criminally for a policy that encourages confidence in new bookings as a business. They are not a charity and it is clear that airlines are taking significant impact on their business and to me they appear to be acting fairly responsible and oin line with what is being offered by other airlines too.

Theh are acting responsible following advice that is being given by those who are actual responsible for public health. Your entitled of course to disagree with the expert opinions of the scientists and clinicians and of course it is understandable for frustrations to run high, so of course sorry if you have travel booked and you want to change it because of the perceived risks.

i haven’t seen any airline, but happy to be wrong, allowing changes for free on all bookings; You’ve highlighted that this is the case with AA, but yet the AA forum highlights a similar policy to that instigated by BA from what I can see, have I misunderstood something?
You seem to be remarkably well informed and adamant about the change fees not being increased for COVID 19 , and also about the clarity of the change fees on the BA website. These were just impressions of mine but I of course do not work for BA. I have thus no certainty.

And you are absolutely right, no website advertises a "Free for All" but every single of my individual requests to AY, AA and CX for tickets booked in January and February has been accepted. Only the BA "Gold" Customer Service line turned me down. No cancellation/refund was involved or requested, only changes. AY offered a complete refund (which I passed, a change was enough).

Last edited by Cofyknsult; Mar 7, 20 at 4:43 pm
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:23 pm
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We booked for 3 of us to go to ORD at the end of April. We booked it back in September long before Corvid-19. My wife is in the higher-risk group and so we have decided not to travel. We are really hoping that BA change their policy on waiving change fees so we can change to go at the end of the year without penalty when corvid-19 is, hopefully, less of a risk. Another possibility is that Trump has one of his idiotic brainwaves and bans travel from other infected countries!!! Or that the Foreign Office recommends only essential travel for high risk people (old and those with underlying issues). I can see the last one happening... fingers crossed.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:25 pm
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Cofyknsult Any chance you could turn off bold. It feels like you are shouting! Thanks.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:29 pm
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I love a good rant in bold text for extra rantness.

You've lost any sympathy from me when you start using words like 'greed' and 'criminal'. As to a 'world wide boycott' thats not going to happen either - well perhaps a few dozen people - as once things return to normal BA BA will have a couple of sales and all those supposedily boycotting BA will return. All across FT people say they will never fly with airline XXX for all sorts of reasons yet strangly most of them do keep booking and flying with they very same airline

BA are applying their standard cancellation fees. Please show your evidence that they have increased them. Your feelings aren't facts.


BTW I am flying to NYC on the 17th March for a week. There are cases in NY State but I am not worried. I will take the standard precautions of hand washing etc

I al due to fly with Chicago in May. The only concession to covid-19 is that I booking a refundable rate at the hotel

I also have flight bookings to San Francisco. Again I have every intention of going there unless the UK FCO advises otherwise.

Last edited by UKtravelbear; Mar 7, 20 at 4:35 pm
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by Cofyknsult View Post
You seem to be remarkably well informed and adamant about the change fees not being increased for COVID 19 , and also about the clarity of the change fees on the BA website. These were just impressions of mine but I of course do not work for BA. I have thus no certainty.
I fly a lot of BA flights a year, have flights booked in Feb and the change fees are exactly the same as my previous bookings and yes, change fees are displayed during the booking process. As for displaying the change fee, this is what you see during booking...




it is also worth pointing out that BA is allowing cancellation and delay to bookings made before the booking in confidence policy where there is official advice from the authorities (for example if you are travelling from Germany or Spain to Israel).
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:33 pm
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OP - please turn OFF the bold
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:42 pm
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I think BA are following UK government advice and allowing changes where the government advice is against travel at this time. I'm not convinced that it's reasonable to expect BA to offer such flexibility for all destinations. I also think the claim that in not doing so, BA is criminal, is a bit single minded, if not a bit shrill.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 4:59 pm
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I am completely stunned that none of you seems to understand the differences between changes made for personal reason or convenience and those made necessary by a crisis, being health, political, natural (volcano, flood, earthquake..) and others.

Let me reverse the example for you, proponents of the change fees remaining in place: If you back BA maintaining these change fees for tickets booked earlier than a certain date but not after that date (when the booking date has nothing to do with the danger's existence), then you must also accept that passengers of BA flights cancelled to China because of the epidemic claim that they are entitled to compensation under EC 261 (*)... IT MAKES NO SENSE

(*) EC 261 still applicable in 2020 (and probably later) in spite of Brexit,
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:00 pm
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The OP can always try and make a claim against their travel insurance.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Cofyknsult View Post
I am completely stunned that none of you seems to understand the differences between changes made for personal reason or convenience and those made necessary by a crisis, being health, political, natural (volcano, flood, earthquake..) and others.

Let me reverse the example for you, proponents of the change fees remaining in place: If you back BA maintaining these change fees for tickets booked earlier than a certain date but not after that date (when the booking date has nothing to do with the danger's existence), then you must also accept that passengers of BA flights cancelled to China because of the epidemic claim that they are entitled to compensation under EC 261 (*)... IT MAKES NO SENSE

(*) EC 261 still applicable in 2020 (and probably later) in spite of Brexit,
No, the difference between a flight to somewhere where the authorities have advised against travel is different to changing a contract to a destination where the authorities continue to suggest that travel is relatively safe.

as I say, you can have a different view to the public health experts by all means, I personally think they are well aware of the relative risks to travel to countries and have, in my opinion based the advice on the actual risk and not hysteria.

As for EC261/04, yes we are aware that it continues to apply during the transition period and indeed would also continue to apply from all flights from EC countries after brexit is completed. These circumstances are of course likely to be considered extraordinary and outside the control of any airline for the purposes of the directive.

FT can of course be a good place to rant which your welcome to do, but if you need specific advice, there is also a dedicated thread for that so hopefully the community can help you with your particular circumstances.

Last edited by navylad; Mar 8, 20 at 4:10 am
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Dan72 View Post
I think BA are following UK government advice and allowing changes where the government advice is against travel at this time. I'm not convinced that it's reasonable to expect BA to offer such flexibility for all destinations. I also think the claim that in not doing so, BA is criminal, is a bit single minded, if not a bit shrill.
I think the problem is there are other carriers, such as AY and KL that are offering a lot more flexibility than BA. They could issue vouchers for a 12 month validity, that wouldn't cost them anything and may actually have a net increase as if flight prices rise then you'd have to top up with cash, if the price is below voucher amount I would not expect any refund.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Cofyknsult View Post
I am completely stunned that none of you seems to understand the differences between changes made for personal reason or convenience and those made necessary by a crisis,
I think you're too easily stunned. What you consider as 'necessary by a crisis' is just your personal opinion, many others want to and do travel. BA need a fair and transparent criteria to work to, that's always been the government's advice. This is consistent with their previous approach and seems reasonable to me. Doing otherwise would just open BA (and other airlines) up to a sliding scale of concerns.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 5:21 pm
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Originally Posted by tuonopepper View Post
I think the problem is there are other carriers, such as AY and KL that are offering a lot more flexibility than BA. They could issue vouchers for a 12 month validity, that wouldn't cost them anything and may actually have a net increase as if flight prices rise then you'd have to top up with cash, if the price is below voucher amount I would not expect any refund.
to be fair, there are costs associated with such a policy, as the originally booked flight is still operated with the expense incurred and then a loss of revenues on the subsequent flight that canít then be sold to another passenger, I donít think your suggestion that they would make more money off such a policy is accurate.

I havenít seen what AY are offering, but I do know theyíve issues a profit warning and are ďtemporary laying off staffĒ so perhaps it has had a greater impact on the carrier, which isnít surprising given itís predominance of destinations where there is advice against travel. Not seen much on KL policy either, will endeavour to do some more research thanks for the prompt.
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