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The 2021/22 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261/2004

The 2021/22 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261/2004

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Old Mar 30, 21, 4:05 am
  #76  
 
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Welcome to FT

If BA offers you a flight 1 day later, you have no grounds to request rerouting to another carrier. The cancellations were made far in advance of your travel dates in July.

If you can't travel as BA has offered to rebook, cancel and get a full refund and book a new ticket elsewhere/on your own.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 4:24 am
  #77  
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Originally Posted by RSW_Travels View Post
Hi Everyone,

I was hoping somebody might be able to share their opinion on a trip I have booked for July. Both my outbound and inbound flights to Sofia have been cancelled for 20th and 29th July this year - I was told by BA back in Feb and offered a refund or flights with BA one day later. I need to travel outbound on 20th as their flight the next day arrives too late for me.

As far as I understand, EC261 only applies a notice period for compensation and not to your re-routing rights. I'd like to be booked on an alternative flight departing on 20th July. There aren't any direct flights and the closest option to a partner carrier (which I thought BA would be amenable to) is an IB codeshare on Bulgaria Air via Madrid (other options are LH group, KLM, etc.). Spoke to BA via Twitter who told me that they won't rebook me via Madrid as the onward flight to Sofia isn't IB operated. When I mentioned EC261 re-routing to them, I was told this does not apply to me because of the notice they have given of the cancellation. Is that the case here?

I then said I could take their flights the day earlier for outbound and day later for my inbound, but would like BA to cover my extra nights of hotel expenses under Article 9 - again I was told no because of the notice they've given.

Is BA right to essentially refuse to re-route me on another carrier on my booked dates because of their greater than 14 days' notice, or should I be pushing back?

Many thanks
Hi and welcome to FT RSW_Travels.

In terms of alternatives was Lufthansa mentioned? That seems to be one offered quite a lot at the moment. You are correct that a rerouting does need to be offered regardless of notice period, and duty of care applies regardless of notice period. If BA will not offer you a flight on the 20 July, and only rebook you on their own flight on 19 July, then I would submit a claim for your extra hotel night in Sofia as a result after your trip.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 4:30 am
  #78  
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Hi and welcome to FT RSW_Travels.

In terms of alternatives was Lufthansa mentioned? That seems to be one offered quite a lot at the moment. You are correct that a rerouting does need to be offered regardless of notice period, and duty of care applies regardless of notice period. If BA will not offer you a flight on the 20 July, and only rebook you on their own flight on 19 July, then I would submit a claim for your extra hotel night in Sofia as a result after your trip.
Unfortunately, the LH rebooking guideline is currently for flights until 30 June so I doubt that the BA hotline agents would offer the OP to be rebooked on LH.
Although, the OP could deduce to not take action at this point and wait for the LH rebooking guideline to be extended into a future date and then rebook.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 4:32 am
  #79  
 
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If the OP refuses to be rebooked from 20 July to 21 July, but asks to fly on 19 July, I fail to see why BA should be liable to reimburse the extra hotel night in Sofia.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 4:39 am
  #80  
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
If the OP refuses to be rebooked from 20 July to 21 July, but asks to fly on 19 July, I fail to see why BA should be liable to reimburse the extra hotel night in Sofia.
Yes, I did caveat that by saying if BA are not offering you something on the 20 July and the closest they will offer is 19 July. If the OP needs to travel and get to Sofia on 20 July I don't think 21 July is really acceptable - although in that case BA could be liable for a hotel room near LHR on the night of 20 July anyway.
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Old Mar 30, 21, 8:22 am
  #81  
 
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Thanks for your help, SK AAR, KARFA, and ISTFlyer (and for the welcomes!) - really appreciate it. I think I'll wait on this for a while, both to see what happens in terms of restrictions lifting and whether the LH rebooking guidelines are extended.

As I say, need to get to Sofia for the morning of 21st (which is why I was flying on 20th), and the flight I've been offered on 21st is too late, but I can see that BA wouldn't want to cover a hotel if I voluntarily opt to fly earlier on the 19th. I don't see their view that I shouldn't be entitled to re-routing when the regulation is "at the earliest opportunity" regardless of carrier. I think I have a stronger case for hotel expenses for my inbound, where I've been automatically offered a flight the day after (if I can't be re-routed on my booked dates).

All the best
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Old Apr 1, 21, 12:06 pm
  #82  
 
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Hello

Long time reader/first time poster. I was wondering if someone could help me.

I had booked SEZ in F on BA on a redemption ticket. The flights were cancelled and the route is suspended. My requests for EC261 rerouting at a later date were refused several times. I eventually issued MCOL, which was defended. I have now been offered rebooking in Qatar, but that is in business class. I understand that if I was to take that, I'd be possibly entitled to 75% downgrade compensation, but I understand from reading here that often you will need to go to MCOL to get that compensation itself.

The flight is for a special occasion and would therefore like to travel in F, especially as there are other airlines (Emirates/Etihad) flying in F. I don't think J is comparable transport conditions for F. Guidance is clear that downgrades should be avoided where possible. Also makes clear that just because an airline doesn't have an agreement with another airline, that shouldn't prevent rerouting. Any advice much appreciated or would be interesting to know if anyone is in a similar situation. If no airline was flying in F then I think that would make things different.

Many thanks in advance.

Last edited by hjm12; Apr 1, 21 at 12:16 pm Reason: edit
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Old Apr 1, 21, 1:53 pm
  #83  
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Originally Posted by hjm12 View Post
I had booked SEZ in F on BA on a redemption ticket. The flights were cancelled and the route is suspended. My requests for EC261 rerouting at a later date were refused several times. I eventually issued MCOL, which was defended. I have now been offered rebooking in Qatar, but that is in business class. I understand that if I was to take that, I'd be possibly entitled to 75% downgrade compensation, but I understand from reading here that often you will need to go to MCOL to get that compensation itself.
Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA forum hjm12, and I hope we will see more of you here.

I'm struggling slightly with the quoted paragraph. You can go to MCOL or CEDR on this issue, however BA generally pays the Mennens Formula calculation without needing this stage. But you do need to claim it in a formal way after completing travel. As far as I know you can't go to MCOL before travel, hence my confusion on this. After all you haven't actually travelled in J yet (or perhaps you have?). You can't insist on First on another airline, unless BA cannot fly you to SEZ at all, indeed BA can insist you travel in Economy if they wish. If they do so they have to pay the reimbursement formula, which is crudely 75% but more complex than that, hence the Mennens formula. But as I say only after travel, after all it's possible you don't travel at all, or BA reinstates First on that route.

Links to the Mennens formula are to be found in this thread's wiki.
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Old Apr 1, 21, 2:13 pm
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA forum hjm12, and I hope we will see more of you here.

I'm struggling slightly with the quoted paragraph. You can go to MCOL or CEDR on this issue, however BA generally pays the Mennens Formula calculation without needing this stage. But you do need to claim it in a formal way after completing travel. As far as I know you can't go to MCOL before travel, hence my confusion on this. After all you haven't actually travelled in J yet (or perhaps you have?). You can't insist on First on another airline, unless BA cannot fly you to SEZ at all, indeed BA can insist you travel in Economy if they wish. If they do so they have to pay the reimbursement formula, which is crudely 75% but more complex than that, hence the Mennens formula. But as I say only after travel, after all it's possible you don't travel at all, or BA reinstates First on that route.

Links to the Mennens formula are to be found in this thread's wiki.
Thanks. Apologies perhaps I should have made this clearer. I issued MCOL initially based on some alternative flights that I had identified (in F), which were not on BA as BA has suspended the route. This MCOL was based on the cost of those flights. Following this, I have only been offered a reroute after issuing MCOL for not being offered a reroute at all, only a refund. The reroute I have been offered are in J however. BA cannot fly me to SEZ at all, they've not flown there since January and there are no flights scheduled at all for the rest of the year. So my point is do I have to accept a rerouting in J when there is F availability on other airlines. If I was to accept the downgrade, then clearly I could use the Mennens formula. The downgrade is convenient for BA but not convenient for me. Hence why I am insisting on F on another airline at a future date 'at the passengers convenience'. Of course I understand that if BA restart the route, then I would accept a reroute on BA. Hopefully that makes more sense?
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Old Apr 1, 21, 4:29 pm
  #85  
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Many thanks, that is indeed clearer. There were some other FTers who were also briefly affected by this. Traditionally BA cancels services quickly and is rather slower to rearrange other options. There always was a set of guidelines that allowed people to rebooking on BA codeshares operated by Qatar, but it could prove trickly to get an agent to use this flexibility. More recently it seems to have got easier on the SEZ route. However while there is a provision in EC261 to be rerouted under comparable transport conditions, there is also a mechanism for downgrades - so EC261 clearly isn't a total defence against that.

The point remains that you can only claim Mennens after travel, amd you dom't have a straightforward case to force BA to open a First seat with another airline. You do have the option of a refund though. So the only way I can see is either you accept the Qatar option and recover the reimbursement after you get back. Alternatively you coud book a new ticket via (e.g.) Emirates and claim the delta via MCOL or CEDR. I would be quite nervous of suggesting this since it may not be upheld bt the courts.
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Old Apr 1, 21, 9:41 pm
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Many thanks, that is indeed clearer. There were some other FTers who were also briefly affected by this. Traditionally BA cancels services quickly and is rather slower to rearrange other options. There always was a set of guidelines that allowed people to rebooking on BA codeshares operated by Qatar, but it could prove trickly to get an agent to use this flexibility. More recently it seems to have got easier on the SEZ route. However while there is a provision in EC261 to be rerouted under comparable transport conditions, there is also a mechanism for downgrades - so EC261 clearly isn't a total defence against that.

The point remains that you can only claim Mennens after travel, amd you dom't have a straightforward case to force BA to open a First seat with another airline. You do have the option of a refund though. So the only way I can see is either you accept the Qatar option and recover the reimbursement after you get back. Alternatively you coud book a new ticket via (e.g.) Emirates and claim the delta via MCOL or CEDR. I would be quite nervous of suggesting this since it may not be upheld bt the courts.
he is on redemption ticket. So if he go n book a cash F ticket on Emirates, donít think BA is going to compensate him for the cost of the F ticket ?
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Old Apr 2, 21, 12:56 am
  #87  
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Originally Posted by sbs2716g View Post
he is on redemption ticket. So if he go n book a cash F ticket on Emirates, don’t think BA is going to compensate him for the cost of the F ticket ?
Yes and no. You are absolutely right that it will fuel BA's determination not to re-route on another airline, and also to give short shrift to any cash demand for a replacement ticket on another airline. But from an EC261 perspective ithere is no distinction, and nor should there be, redemption tickets are just another payment vehicle with real money tied into the balance sheets. It's just very difficult to get BA staff to see it in those terms. But if he went to CEDR or MCOL, that aspect wouldn't make a difference, his / her rights are the same. Equally if CEDR/MCOL decline to read EC261 to force rerouting on the other airline - which I suspect would only definitely work if BA refused to reroute at all - then it won't be the redemption factor which will cause that. I have seen no senior judgement that says people have an absolute right to their cabin, to the extent of transferrring to another airline to preserve that.

The Regulation is inspired to protect passengers when flying, but there isn't absolute right to a particular product, instead the Regulatiion provides a reimbursement mechanism for when it is isn't provided. The OP's case is seemingly further weakened by wanting a date change too, since that requires seats to be available and BA will simply say "no seats available" - if moving dates then it's best endeavours as things stand.
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Old Apr 2, 21, 6:16 am
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Yes and no. You are absolutely right that it will fuel BA's determination not to re-route on another airline, and also to give short shrift to any cash demand for a replacement ticket on another airline. But from an EC261 perspective ithere is no distinction, and nor should there be, redemption tickets are just another payment vehicle with real money tied into the balance sheets. It's just very difficult to get BA staff to see it in those terms. But if he went to CEDR or MCOL, that aspect wouldn't make a difference, his / her rights are the same. Equally if CEDR/MCOL decline to read EC261 to force rerouting on the other airline - which I suspect would only definitely work if BA refused to reroute at all - then it won't be the redemption factor which will cause that. I have seen no senior judgement that says people have an absolute right to their cabin, to the extent of transferrring to another airline to preserve that.

The Regulation is inspired to protect passengers when flying, but there isn't absolute right to a particular product, instead the Regulatiion provides a reimbursement mechanism for when it is isn't provided. The OP's case is seemingly further weakened by wanting a date change too, since that requires seats to be available and BA will simply say "no seats available" - if moving dates then it's best endeavours as things stand.
Thanks for this. Agreed there should be no distinction between a redemption ticket or a cash ticket which the rules make clear.

I would point to the CAA guidance on EC261. They make clear this is their interpretation only, and of course it is for the courts to interpret ultimately EC261, but it would be good to know why an airline, regulated by the CAA, would seek to not use the guidance. In particular, the CAA states that "where possible, passengers should not be downgraded to transport facilities of a lower class compared with the one on the reservation (in the event of downgrading, the compensation provided for in Article 10 applies)". Now if there were no airlines flying in F at all, then I think a downgrade to J would be reasonable. However when there are comparable airlines offering F, then I think it is not reasonable to downgrade. All flights are now indirect too.

CAA also states "We are aware that some airlines have agreements in place with other airlines that facilitate re-routing and allow passengers to be easily transferred onto other airlines. Such arrangements are welcome in that they can minimise both the cost to airlines of re-routing passengers and the inconvenience experienced by passengers in being re-routed. However, where airlines do not have such arrangements in place, we do not accept that this should be a barrier to re-routing passengers on other airlines."

Ultimately like you say, it is a choice between accepting the downgrade (and claiming afterwards) or going for a rebooked ticket on another airline. It has taken a long time (and issuing of MCOL) to even get to a point where rerouting was even offered.
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Old Apr 2, 21, 6:26 am
  #89  
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Originally Posted by hjm12 View Post
Ultimately like you say, it is a choice between accepting the downgrade (and claiming afterwards) or going for a rebooked ticket on another airline. It has taken a long time (and issuing of MCOL) to even get to a point where rerouting was even offered.
Yes you have been very patient with BA. Rerouting though is straightforward under EC261, I can't see any wriggle room to deny that, and actually BA does generally provide this, sometimes faster than other times. But the downgrading point is not an absolute, particularly when combined wiht a date change. So I would only go via an another carrier (which may also change aircraft configuration) if you are willing to take the financial hit if MCOL or CEDR goes against you.
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Old Apr 10, 21, 5:10 am
  #90  
 
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Hopefully I can remember the timelines ...

Was due to fly BSL-LHR on 6th November. 10 days before the flight, BA cancelled it. I got my FTV back. I should have got cash I suppose, but they argued they hadn't actually gotten around to ticketing it so just returned the FTV. I didn't push the point as it was only for around £60.

But, as the cancellation was short and I was annoyed at their rolling cancellations, I completed BA's online form asking for E261 comp. Was refused.

First response: Cancelled due to operational reasons. I said that's unlikely as they cancelled two weeks' worth of flights.
Second response: We gave you enough notice. I replied stating that 10 days is less than 14 days.
Third response: Operational reasons. I replied asking if it was their final answer (no phone a friend).
Fourth response: Operational reasons. I replied asking again if it was their final answer.
Fifth response: Go away. Go to CEDR if you must.

I logged a CEDR. I stated that between the time BA sold the flight (mid Oct) and them cancelling it (end Oct), no rules had changed between Switzerland and the UK and Covid was a known entity and airlines had already sorted out their timetables to deal with it. Plus, Easyjet and Swiss were still flying between the two countries.

20.11.2020: Case logged with CEDR.
23.11.2020: Case accepted
??: BA asked for a delay
23.02.2021: BA submitted loads of documents proving that I had booked the flight (why?) and said flight was cancelled due to Covid
17.03.2021: CEDR appointed an adjudicator
10.04.2021: CEDR award me €250 (£217).

Reading the conclusion, CEDR stated that the flight was cancelled due to reasons of financial viability not due to any flight restrictions or issues regarding safely operating the flight with the crew.

Last edited by adrianlondon; Apr 10, 21 at 2:12 pm
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