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EX-INV flight cancelled, help with rerouting options?

EX-INV flight cancelled, help with rerouting options?

Old Oct 16, 2021, 6:59 pm
  #1  
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EX-INV flight cancelled, help with rerouting options?

Apologies for the long post from a long time lurker but I'm at my wits end and was hoping to call on the knowledge of this board. I didn't know where to post this as it involves a booking on both BA and VS metal and also through an OTA (I know... I know... trust me I am learning my lesson).

I booked a *really* good PE fare from INV to LAX back in December - 375 per person, 10th to 15th November. It's booked with Opodo who were about 200pp cheaper than any other option. The INV-LHR and LHR-INV legs are on BA and LHR-LAX-LHR legs on Virgin. It shows as two separate PNRs on my booking and I upgraded the Virgin legs to J using VS vouchers.

Earlier this month the OTA emailed to say the BA legs, INV-LHR(07:00) and LHR-INV(19:55), had been canceled offering the other INV-LHR flight on those days, which are over 4 hours later/earlier and are misaligned with the transatlantic legs. I was waiting until the US travel situation to be resolved before working out what to do and now we've got the the great news about the 8th I've spent the last 36hrs trying to sort this out.

Basically, I can't take the INV flight the day before (outbound) or day after (inbound) due to work commitments so was looking to transfer these to EDI, given the 'within 300 mile' rerouting policy for cancellations (is this right?).

After hours and hours on hold and countless frustrating calls with agents, Opodo say 'this fare is not available' and therefore they can't rebook this route. They also refuse to call BA ticketing to investigate and just ask me to call back in a couple of days to 'see if the fare becomes available'.

Now at a bit of a loss -. I very much doubt the fare will become available ( not sure what Opodo means by this anyway) and unsure of best course of action.

Do I call BA to ask about EDI option or will they not speak to me as booked with OTA?

As it's on a separate PNRs can I just ditch the INV legs and rebook connections using my own cash/avios(I live nearer EDI). Or will i be unable to travel VS legs if I don't travel on the first INV leg, which is timed after my LHR-LAX flight now anyway!!!

I am escalating with Opodo but any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Graeme
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 1:38 am
  #2  
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Unfortunately, ba wont help you directly as the ticket is owned by opodo. Thats the no1 issue with booking through OTAs.

neither ba not opodo can force you to accept their rebooking option and you are correct that for ba, there should be no issue you being rebooked from another airport within 300 miles. Opodo has to do it and they have a trade number if they need to contact ba to check anything. There is no need for the same fare to be available, just the same class of travel so presumably any economy seat.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 2:09 am
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If these are separate tickets as seems likely, you can ditch the BA part. If it's one ticket, Opodo are obliged to find you something that works for connections. I'd also be suspicious of things like luggage allowance on BA as Opodo are constructing routings and probably not aligning other parts of the booking. It's almost certainly not a protected connection.

Personally as long as these are separate tickets, I'd ditch the BA part and book something else to get to London, being careful to allow time to switch terminals and collect and recheck bags.

Opodo have some astonishing deals, and it can be a lot of fun flying around cheap. But a bit of a nightmare for CS and best avoided for anything chunky, though a lot of fun for short haul days out. I have a problem with a Dublin to LHR cancellation on BA, and fear I may have to write off the 10 it cost...
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 2:36 am
  #4  
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The key thing is whether they are separate PNRs or not. So if you look at the Virgin equivalent of MMB - do you see any hint of the BA sectors? If these bookings are totally separate (which in itself is potentially a huge mistake) then just apply for a refund on the INV sectors and rebook something else to get you to and from London. But don't rebook with an OTA unless you can take on all the implications.

Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA Forum The Flying Dundonian.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 2:58 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
Unfortunately, ba wont help you directly as the ticket is owned by opodo. Thats the no1 issue with booking through OTAs.

neither ba not opodo can force you to accept their rebooking option and you are correct that for ba, there should be no issue you being rebooked from another airport within 300 miles. Opodo has to do it and they have a trade number if they need to contact ba to check anything. There is no need for the same fare to be available, just the same class of travel so presumably any economy seat.
Thanks, that's what I thought and I've said as much to Opodo. Frustratingly each of the five people I've spoken to flat out refuse to contact BA. Absolutely the last time I am going through an OTA.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 3:07 am
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Thanks bisonrav and corporate-wage-slave Glad to be on the forum.

Unfortunately it looks like while I have separate PNRs the BA legs show up in MMB for Virgin and vice versa so if looks like some sort of nested situation. Reluctant to take the risk in ignoring first leg.

Looks like my best bet is to keep haranguing Opodo to contact BA.

If no joy, my fallback will be to ask them to cancel down the short haul legs but keep the long haul (is this even possible?).

I don't really want to cancel for refund as looking forward to get away and 375pp + CC voucher for VS upper class is still an insane deal even if I need positioning flights.

Thanks for help 👍
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 3:53 am
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dundonian
Unfortunately it looks like while I have separate PNRs the BA legs show up in MMB for Virgin and vice versa so if looks like some sort of nested situation. Reluctant to take the risk in ignoring first leg.

Looks like my best bet is to keep haranguing Opodo to contact BA.
Yes, it looks like one booking, and in order to get the APD advantage it would have to constructed that way. Opodo don't necessarily need to contact BA, all it requires is for a clued up agent, familiar with BA's trade guidelines, to delete the sectors or to use the 300 mile rule to EDI, GLA, ABZ or NCL. This is published guidance. So you just need escalation and perhaps a clear message - whatever it is you want, delete or new gateway. If the original sectors are left untouched OR replacement sectors are left unconfirmed (not showing OKC as status, to be precise) then BA can delete/rebook their sectors once the flights come under airport control at 24 hours before departure from INV. So that's your fallback.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 4:34 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
Opodo don't necessarily need to contact BA, all it requires is for a clued up agent, familiar with BA's trade guidelines, to delete the sectors or to use the 300 mile rule to EDI, GLA, ABZ or NCL. This is published guidance.
Thanks again for great advice. I have now emailed the CEO/PR dept and will push for escalation on phone as well - the challenge will be to speak to anyone clued up but clear message will be rerouting to EDI is required as per BA rules (are they published anywhere?).
Leaving to 24hrs before not an option with hotels etc. or for my nerves but thanks for info.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 4:42 am
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dundonian
Thanks again for great advice. I have now emailed the CEO/PR dept and will push for escalation on phone as well - the challenge will be to speak to anyone clued up but clear message will be rerouting to EDI is required as per BA rules (are they published anywhere?).
https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...#cancellations

Option 7. It just needs a remark on the PNR, it's so simple to do. This is the standard BA cancellation guideline, it doesn't need approval or sign off, and has been in place for many years.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 7:40 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...#cancellations

Option 7. It just needs a remark on the PNR, it's so simple to do. This is the standard BA cancellation guideline, it doesn't need approval or sign off, and has been in place for many years.
Funny you should say it doesn't need sign off, I expect that is agent specific. Amex travel refused to allow me to use the change of gateway rule without speaking with BA, and they refused to rebook the other cancelled flight until they'd spoken to BA as there was no I Class left (despite both policies saying rebook in lowest fare bucket available).

This was after I had pushed for it, they tried to charge for change of gateway saying that it came under book with confidence and fare difference was due.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dundonian
Apologies for the long post from a long time lurker but I'm at my wits end and was hoping to call on the knowledge of this board. I didn't know where to post this as it involves a booking on both BA and VS metal and also through an OTA (I know... I know... trust me I am learning my lesson).

I booked a *really* good PE fare from INV to LAX back in December - 375 per person, 10th to 15th November. It's booked with Opodo who were about 200pp cheaper than any other option. The INV-LHR and LHR-INV legs are on BA and LHR-LAX-LHR legs on Virgin. It shows as two separate PNRs on my booking and I upgraded the Virgin legs to J using VS vouchers.

Earlier this month the OTA emailed to say the BA legs, INV-LHR(07:00) and LHR-INV(19:55), had been canceled offering the other INV-LHR flight on those days, which are over 4 hours later/earlier and are misaligned with the transatlantic legs. I was waiting until the US travel situation to be resolved before working out what to do and now we've got the the great news about the 8th I've spent the last 36hrs trying to sort this out.

Basically, I can't take the INV flight the day before (outbound) or day after (inbound) due to work commitments so was looking to transfer these to EDI, given the 'within 300 mile' rerouting policy for cancellations (is this right?).

After hours and hours on hold and countless frustrating calls with agents, Opodo say 'this fare is not available' and therefore they can't rebook this route. They also refuse to call BA ticketing to investigate and just ask me to call back in a couple of days to 'see if the fare becomes available'.

Now at a bit of a loss -. I very much doubt the fare will become available ( not sure what Opodo means by this anyway) and unsure of best course of action.

Do I call BA to ask about EDI option or will they not speak to me as booked with OTA?

As it's on a separate PNRs can I just ditch the INV legs and rebook connections using my own cash/avios(I live nearer EDI). Or will i be unable to travel VS legs if I don't travel on the first INV leg, which is timed after my LHR-LAX flight now anyway!!!

I am escalating with Opodo but any advice would be very much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Graeme
Hi Graeme,

I can understand your frustration booking with Opodo as similar to your booking, I booked INV-LHR-JNB-LHR with BA and Virgin on the long haul. The JNB flights were upgraded through the use of Virgin points.

Earlier this year, when the INV flights were cancelled I was getting nowhere with Opodo despite having prime membership (not that it means anything)!

I called Virgin who reissued the ticket to start in LHR, not sure where you are based but this worked out quite well for me. Since then Ive made subsequent changes by contacting Virgin directly who are really helpful.

You can send them a message on whtsapp on +44 344 874 7747 if you cant get through.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 2:46 pm
  #12  
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Thanks corporate-wage-slave , I haven't any luck getting through on phone line today but will quote this when I connect.

haroon145 Thanks for sharing your experience, I tried calling Virgin first as I thought they had taken over the ticket when I upgraded the long haul legs but they referred me back to my OTA. I'll try them again if no dice with Opodo. As you say it's like chalk and cheese in terms of their helpfulness.

Final q, does anyone know how I can check my ticket no.? Not sure if it's BA or VS issued, does this matter?

Appreciate all the support and advice.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by The Flying Dundonian
Final q, does anyone know how I can check my ticket no.? Not sure if it's BA or VS issued, does this matter?
The easiest way to find that out is to look at the BA App, in My Flights, where you may either see a 125- number or 932- for Virgin. It's possible the line is blank, which indicates you haven't been ticketed on to the flight.
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Old Oct 17, 2021, 4:23 pm
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Finding out your ticketing carrier is crucial. If its a Virgin-issued ticket, you can shout at BA all you want but they will be unable to help - its Virgin (via your agent) who need to fix it. Your agent should have told you your ticket number(s). And if they were selling you a self-connect option (i.e. separate tickets) then they should have made this clear during booking as you would always be unprotected.
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Old Oct 18, 2021, 4:32 am
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Worth a few words on Opodo here too. It's a fascinating business in a lot of ways, and I've used it do quite a lot of low cost flying - at one point late last year there were actually negative fares, as they apply a discount to the ticket cost and if there's a flash sale that can reduce it below zero. This appears to be fixed now and a 99p floor set, but I did book a few flights last year on that basis, you don't get a refund of the negative amount but you didn't pay anything either.

They do significantly promote Prime membership. Prime is the driver behind the really cheap fares, and there's a 30 day free trial. You can cancel online, but this is not made easy because the cancellation webpage has no visible text. It is possible by unclicking sliders and finding an invisible button below the visible button, but it's set up in such a way that many will not manage it I suspect. So that's a bit of sharp practice right there. Prime is probably worth it for cheap fares and some hotel discounts (the hotel engine is booking.com but there are sometimes additional savings), however see notes below.

Their business model is based up initially very cheap Prime fares, and the usual LCC offers for ancillaries. You get a booking made on their credit card with LCCs usually for more than you paid, and a PNR you can manage yourself. I have one BA booking which came through as a PNR which has Opodo IATA number, so I can do a lot of things but not anything requiring OTA intervention (I can't get FTV, I can't reschedule a cancelled flight directly). That was a DUB to LHR ticket, which cost 10 rather than 17 direct and which I did as an experiment really. The bookings work fine. You can't use Opodo as a reference for BA Price promise because the cheap fares need Prime to work (just in case anyone gets any ideas).

BUT they also do some very sneaky stuff. As I said, you start with very cheap fares on prime, 99p for LGW to DUB anyone? However as time goes on these increase. You will then often find that changing browser or PC or IP will bring the cheap fares back. They do some combination of PC fingerprinting and IP checking and maybe even a random factor or two to gradually push prices up during the membership period or if you look at a price too often. So although at first Prime seems a great deal, it becomes increasingly difficult to get value out of. They will also spam you to f**k and back once you book or even proceed most of the way through a booking, expect something like 15-20 emails per booking. Plus if you add people to the booking the fares sometimes increase.

Bottom line, this is a "handle with extreme care" OTA. They do not have particularly active CS, I doubt they have booking expertise, they're really just a reseller. For some purposes you can have a lot of fun gaming the offers, but I wouldn't go near them for any booking I couldn't write off. Playing cat and mouse to get cheap days out or short breaks is really enjoyable - I flew return from LGW to Stansted via Dublin return for 11 which was really just because I could, For a holiday or positioning for a TP run? Not a chance, wouldn't go near them.
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