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Involuntary Downgrade from First to Club due to change of aircraft.

Involuntary Downgrade from First to Club due to change of aircraft.

Old Feb 1, 21, 8:26 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 101
Vancouver April 2021 downgrade

I have an Avios booking to Vancouver for my wife & I & our 3 kids, on 1/4/21 till 9/4/21.
Its split into two bookings.
1. Me, First there & back
2. The other 4 of them out in business back in First.

BA just emailed saying I am downgraded to business there & back , & the rest of them coming back have been downgraded to business too.

I don't think the trip was/is going to happen anyway, given all the restrictions, but what are my options here given they've downgraded us?
Can I request new dates or just cancel for no fees?

Thanks.
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Old Feb 1, 21, 8:39 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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Options are laid out in the main thread here :

BA Covid-19 Flight cancellations, rebooking, and refunds | Help and advice thread - Page 27 - FlyerTalk Forums

You can take the downgrade and claim what you are owed after the flight. Or cancel all of you for a Future Travel Voucher. Or wait and see if the flight is cancelled and get a full cash refund. Or fly
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Old Feb 1, 21, 8:47 am
  #3  
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There's no way Canada is going to be accepting leisure travellers by April, I think.
BA will still be flying there though, so wont cancel the flight.
We then wont be allowed to travel & will likely incur the 35pp avios booking cancellation fee.
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Old Feb 1, 21, 8:58 am
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Its a pity Vancouver has lost First - on our last trip we came back in an A380, which was very nice although the lounge at YVR is mediocre at best. At least the current flights are in an A350 I think, which should have the new Club Suites.

This summer we are scheduled to fly out/back in July. Does anyone think the chances of being open for leisure travel will have increased by then? I'm currently thinking its 50/50 but it doesn't take much to make me more or less optimistic with every news story that comes out
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Old Feb 1, 21, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by Bophopper View Post
There's no way Canada is going to be accepting leisure travellers by April, I think.
BA will still be flying there though, so wont cancel the flight.
We then wont be allowed to travel & will likely incur the 35pp avios booking cancellation fee.

Correct. Or take full value to FTV
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Old Feb 1, 21, 11:02 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by MisterE View Post
This summer we are scheduled to fly out/back in July. Does anyone think the chances of being open for leisure travel will have increased by then?
I think your chances are poor. Right now the Canadian government is getting vaccine from the plant in Belgium and there have been no shipments last week or this week, and the EU is making noises about diverting the plants entire production to EU citizens. So the number of Canadians getting vaccinated is falling well short of the target. In my province for example, only 15,648 people have been fully immunized with the two doses, out of a population of 4.4 million. We have a long way to go.

The government has been working with the two Canadian airlines to restrict travel, right now all the "sun" destination flights to Mexico and the Caribbean have been cancelled until the end of April. Looks like this week the government is going to announce mandatory testing upon arrival and quarantine in a government specified hotel ( at the travellers cost) until you have a negative test result. The Canadian government is getting much more restrictive on leisure travel, not less.

Things may change by July, but part of that will also depend on what the numbers are looking like in the UK, as there is currently a travel ban on visitors arriving from the UK. Safe money says the border remains closed.
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Old Feb 1, 21, 11:12 am
  #7  
 
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A downgrade isn't a reason to get a full refund? I've had one in the past for this- has something changed on that score?
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Old Feb 1, 21, 11:22 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside View Post
A downgrade isn't a reason to get a full refund? I've had one in the past for this- has something changed on that score?
EC261/2004 mandates only for a part refund of the fare paid in the event of a downgrade. Anything above and beyond that is up to the airline and posts on another thread suggest BAs policy has changed.

Last edited by GumshoeW12; Feb 1, 21 at 11:29 am
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Old Feb 1, 21, 11:27 am
  #9  
 
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July vs. April to YVR

You did not give a reason for the travel to YVR? I assume its a ski trip to Whistler?
Under the current rules, you will be req'd to be tested on arrival and then self quarantine for 3 nights @ your expense. Estimate to cost 4 * $2k . There has been no indication when this ends, but it won't be by April. July is a better alternative, if Avios can find the seats?
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Old Feb 1, 21, 11:30 am
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Yeah. It was a leisure trip and involved a stay in Whistler skiing / snowboarding.
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Old Feb 1, 21, 12:04 pm
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Sorry to say it OP but it is extremely unlikely that Canada will open its borders to international visitors by April. Federal government has completely fumbled covid vaccinations right from the start, and are now in full-on panic mode since absolutely nothing is going the way they thought it would. There is zero chance of this being completely sorted in the next two to three months. At present, you can't even board a flight to Canada without providing a negative covid test first, and are still subject to a 14-day quarantine here upon arrival even if your test is negative.

I strongly suggest you take a refund and try again in 2022. Sorry for the negativity, but that is reality. Things may begin to open up by late summer, my gut feel is it will be late Q3 or Q4 before international travel is realistic.
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Old Feb 1, 21, 12:49 pm
  #12  
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I am keen on a refund but not paying the 35pp cancellation fee.

theyve changed the product I paid for and to me that makes them liable to fully refund me.
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Old Feb 1, 21, 12:54 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by GumshoeW12 View Post
EC261/2004 mandates only for a part refund of the fare paid in the event of a downgrade. Anything above and beyond that is up to the airline and posts on another thread suggest BAs policy has changed.
is this really true...?

I buy first, they put me in club (who economy...?) and Im only entitled to fare difference after the trip.

surely this warrants a free cancellation and refund?
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Old Feb 1, 21, 12:55 pm
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Originally Posted by Bophopper View Post
I am keen on a refund but not paying the 35pp cancellation fee.

they’ve changed the product I paid for and to me that makes them liable to fully refund me.
What do their T/C say? surely an operational change doesn't trigger a refund, just compensation after the fact?

The compensation can be quite generous, I believe its more than the (open market) difference
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Old Feb 1, 21, 1:08 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Hawes7701 View Post
is this really true...?

I buy first, they put me in club (who economy...?) and Im only entitled to fare difference after the trip.

surely this warrants a free cancellation and refund?
No.

Putting aside the OT discussion of the purpose of the trip, if one is downgraded, one is due a reimbursement of 75% of the base fare + fees paid. Taxes are adjusted if they change (not likely here). BA may try to substitute the fare difference, but will not likely persist if one pursues this as EC 261/2004 seems quite firm on the point.

BA is not obligated to refund, but under current policy will do so.

I would do nothing at this time and make a decision closer to the scheduled departure. As others note, highly unlikely that OP is permitted to travel without the mandartory restrictions and a decent chance that the service is cancelled.
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