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Disruption Assistance thread - signposts and what you need to know

Disruption Assistance thread - signposts and what you need to know

Old Jul 22, 2022, 8:53 am
  #1  
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Disruption Assistance thread - signposts and what you need to know

This post gives some very basic introductions for anyone who has very recently experienced disrupted travel. The attempt here is to give some helpful signposts rather than a comprehensive guide, allowing travellers to know where to go next. So this may be a bit succint but we are trying to prevent travellers getting overwhelmed with details. Note in particular the BA Forum Dashboard, which has a wealth of information in it, including a glossary for any abbreviations which are unclear.

See also the BA forum dashboard for the latest "Reason for flight delay or cancellation" and EC261 threads.

If you need more help or advice, if something is not clear, don't hesitate to put your question below and someone will doubtless give you some good advice.

It's a work in progress started by the BA forum moderators and ambassadors, there is a meta thread here for any comments on the contents, so that we can improve this thread over time and over experience.

1) My flight is cancelled - what do I do?

Your options with a flight cancellation are to accept a full refund (even if just one short connection is cancelled), or to be rebooked - this is always the customer's choice, not the airline's choice. The BA App is your first port of call - refresh this frequently and it may well give you a rebooking option within the app. In particular note that onboard wifi on aircraft can link free of charge to your app, so cancellations and other flight disruptions can be sorted inflight. One question that may help you is to think clearly and realistically about what you want and need. It really helps if you are clear in your mind what your preferred option is, and in that respect, does it really matter if you are (e.g.) a day late? If your ticket is an Avios redemption ticket on a BA operated aircraft then you can be rebooked on services that have space, it doesn't need Avios availability. Note you only get one rebooking option per irrop, do not accept the first thing offered if it's unsatisfactory, it may be better to leave it a while and then more and better options may show up. Note also: if your flight is actually delayed rather than cancelled, including delayed overnight, do NOT cancel your booking / reservation until you know what you are doing, see point 17 below.

2) Is my flight really cancelled?
There are two sources of data which are always up to date and are used by the rest of BA too. For flights in the next 10 days see:
ba.com/flightstatus

For flights further off use
ba.com/schedules

3) How can I get rebooked? What other airlines?
Ideally you can rebook yourself online, particularly if you have a simple booking. Complex bookings, and BA Holiday bookings may require a telephone call. All telephone numbers can be found via
ba.com/contactus
It won't always appear on the app but on some routes BA will rebook you to other airlines including Iberia, AA and other oneworld airlines, Qatar, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian, TAP among others. BA can also rebook on LNER train services. The complete list is here, but do ask about specific services, this is a complex area.
https://www.britishairways.com/asset...dates/rooc.pdf
There is also an online Chat service, see this webpage and if it's live there should be a blue chat box at the bottom of the screen:
https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb...hts/disruption


4) How does rebooking work online?
In the App or Manage My Booking there could be a disruption menu, showing available options. It sometimes won't show all options, and sometimes it takes a while for the screen to be populated with alternative flights. Sometimes not all options are showing so by all means ask below if something seems missing.

5) What are the current rebooking policies?
You can currently rebook all trips that involve a flight from LHR before 25 July for up to 12 months. Full details in this thread
New flexibility for BA flights departing (LHR?) to 25 July

6) I have a BA Holidays booking and I've hit a problem.
If you have a BAH booking, so with hotel, car hire and/or an experience as part of the booking, then there is a different process. These sorts of bookings will not normally be self serve, you need to talk to BAH for any changes, cancellations or delays that impact other arrangements. Counter-intuitively, the fastest response is via email, so drop a very brief email with your PNR, telephone number, and perhaps any specific preferences you have to resolve the issue. BAH will usually contact you quite quickly, and will have your details ready when they call.
[email protected]
And the telephone number - not such a good option - is: +44 208 707 4492. We have a text/SMS number of +44 786 002 2933 but currently unsure of the status of this.

7) My flight is showing as severely delayed. What should I do?
Sometimes a flight will show as delayed quite ahead of time and it is good to check the app regularly to see if your flight is scheduled as delayed. One thing to remember is that delays can come and go. At times, it may get gradually worse, but similarly, a delay can improve (for instance if it is due to a mechanical issue on an aircraft or a late arrival, and a replacement aircraft is found). If this is your only flight, you should go to the airport in line with the original scheduled departure (if you don't, the airline check in desks may close, or if the delay is revised and you miss your departure, you will be deemed a no show). If this is part of a connecting itinerary and the late flight would result in a missed connection, you should either try to call BA or go to the airport and speak to the ticket office to see if there is any rerouting available. It is a good idea to check possible itineraries first and propose them to the person you speak to (on BA or on partners such as IB or joint venture partners). Do not panic, very often, a solution will be found. Note that this is a case where you should not attempt to book yourself on a different airline.

8) How can I get a hotel?
If you are going to find yourself in need of a hotel there are various options. If there's any assistance from BA at your relevant airport go down this route first but if not then it is prudent to book yourself if you can. BA would in most cases refund you up to the value of 200 but there have been recent reports of BA honouring above this. It's worth expanding your radius west of Heathrow too as some hotels might invariably be cheaper. Booking.com, last minute.com, Trivago are amongst the main well known websites to look at. You may also want to have apps for Hilton, IHG, Marriott and Accor on your phone. Note that Premier Inn and Travelodge don't always release inventory to other sites, so sometimes hotels are all booked out with the exception of these two large chains, so worth a look there. Also consider areas along the M4 to Reading and around the M25 towards Surrey, they may be further away but late at night they can be really quick to get to. BA often books Heathrow stranded passengers into the Renaissance but you are free to book your own hotel. Do not use the Hoppa bus service, use the TfL options, every Heathrow airport is served by them - they are cheaper, more frequent and faster than the Hoppa.

9) Can I claim food and drink?
Yes, if you are delayed by more than 2 (shorthaul) to 4 (longer flights) hours. Buy what you need and photo the receipts, sometimes BA will offer meal vouchers but in many ways it's best to sort yourself out. BA's guideline is 25 per person per day, but the real guideline is to be reasonable and proportionate. Note in particular that if a BA service is delayed overnight there is a strong risk there won't be much catering since chilled food may have to be thrown away. If you have lounge access that is normally deemed your allowance, but some lounges have very little food in them and don't allow items to be taken away. You can also claim wifi / communication expenses.

10) What to call BA about and what not to call?
Generally information queries may well be best answered in this Flyertalk forum, and if you are not sure, by all means give an outline of your query here and we may be able to save you a long wait on the phone. At the other extreme, anything involving money or complex rebooking arrangements may well need a phone call, some things are not avoidable. For BA Holidays queries it is important to select the right BAH option. Consider installing Skype on your phone - it's useful for the unexpected times when you have to call via wifi. Some reports suggest that the Bremen contact centre is less busy than others, and you can try the Prague number to reach them. Full telephone numbers are here, note that you can call Hong Kong / India to cover hours when the UK then USA are closed.
ba.com/contactus

11) Alternative ways to contact BA apart from calling?
You can use Twitter by Following British Airways and then send them a Direct Message. Sometimes they may take a while to respond. If you log into your BAEC account you may well see a Chat option at the bottom of the screen. They can rebook via Chat, but can't handle rebookings that involve money or credit cards. But a full cancellation can be handled via Chat.


12) My bags are missing - what do I do?
When packing bags that will be checked in at the airport, always take a photo of the contents, add a piece of paper or envelope with your contact details and consider using AIrTags to track baggage progress. If your bags don't appear, check your phone - if BA have your mobile number they may send an automatic text if your bags missed your flight and a report number. Otherwise report the missing bag at the airport if you can to get the report number, however you can do it the next day online (bit flakey) or by phone if necessary. It is OK to buy essential items, such as clothes and cosmetics, to keep you going until your bags reappear, just photo the receipts. More advice here:
ba.com/baggage
Tracking / World Tracer: https://www.britishairways.com/trave...missingbaggage
BA Missing Baggage customer number: 0344 793 0785 (06:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs UK time)
Delayed/lost luggage rights

As a more general point, so long as WorldTracer has your information, there is very little more you can do other than let the system catch up with you. There's no point making extra telephone calls or trying to escalate the issue, it won't work. The one possible exception would be if the bags were held at a small airport, where a personal appearance may get a staff member to help you out.

If you are struggling to enter a baggage number into the system, does it start 0125? If so replace that with "BA" followed by 6 numbers. This happens when your bag is tagged by a mobile device rather than at check-in desks, sometimes they use a mobile device at check-in desks if the equipment has failed.

12a) What can I claim for delayed baggage?
BA are usually fairly good in this area, and so long as your claim is reasonable it should be paid without quibble. Cosmetics, clothes, chargers are all ok. They won't pay for laundry so that implies you should buy clothes if laundry costs you money. If you are returning home there is an assumption that you are unlikely to claim since you would have replacement items at home already, but there can be exceptions (e.g. work shoes in checked baggage). The limit is approximately 1350 but that also covers the cost of replacing items if your bags are not found at all. Usually BA doesn't pay compensation for delayed or lost bags, just replacement costs.

13) Security is slow - I may miss my flight
If you are on a single booking (PNR) then if you get stuck in security BA will rebook you. In T5 head to the customer service desks by gate A13 or the similar desks in the lounges. Clearly in the current circumstances it is best to allow plenty of time, but usually 2 hours before departure is fine at LHR even now.


14) Should I transfer airside or landside at LHR?
Airside transfers are often very slow at the moment at LHR. So consider going out via the UK Border and re-entering via landside. This has risks. T3 in particular sometimes has long queues. If you have less than an hour between flights you best stay airside since you can be rebooked more efficiently that way.. But if you have more time than this, if you can use the e-gates and are BA Gold / oneworld Emerald or travelling First then consider using the First Wing to avoid queues. If you are risk adverse, stick to airside. Domestic connections are best done airside, connections from JER or DUB probably best done landside.

15) Why has BA invited me to move my flight?
You don't have to move your flight! BA and HAL are trying to reduce workload so offering flexibility, it doesn't necessarily mean your flight will be cancelled. Be aware that if you take up this option on a booking originally made before 9 June you may be losing some Buy with Confidence protections, so you need to think this through. More information here:
New flexibility for BA flights departing (LHR?) to 25 July

16) What about compensation?
The main thread on EC261 / UK261 is to be found below and that is the best place for queries and data points. Note that for the recent round of cancellations BA appear to be denying compensation since BA is blaming HAL for this. However a number of us feel that BA should in fact pay EC261 and then claim the costs from HAL - this is provided for in the Regulations.

The 2021/22 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261/2004
LHR asks BA and other airlines to stop selling tickets for the summer.,

17) Can I rebook my own flights (e.g on easyJet).
With caution, and there is not an automatic right to do this. Firstly you must give BA a proper chance to rebook, and that means at least a few attempts at telephoning BA. The CAA's guideline is that BA should rebook on the same day as the cancelled service where possible. If BA's best option excludes another viable airline which has a same day service then you can take the risk of booking it and inviting BA to pay up for this. BA has reluctantly done this, particularly in the face of a claim via MCOL (Money Claim Online, the UK's small claims court). BA cannot currently rebook on Ryanair, easyJet or Jet2, since they are not IATA members and therefore not part of the inter-airline agreement for this area. Do not cancel your ticket if you want BA to rebook you or refund your additional travel, since a cancel-for-refund is an alternative remedy to rebooking, and you can't have both.

18) What about taxis?
Depends on the circumstances but the following are ok:
- taxis from hotels to airport if caused by disruption (Article 9 of EC261)
- taxis from airport1 to airport2 if BA can only offer services from airport2 (Article 8 of EC261)
- taxis home from an airport when a delayed flight arroves so late at night and there isn't much realistic alternative
- taxis from (say) LGW to LHR late at night if re-routed and your car is parked in LHR.
There is a general provision to use public transport and so BA have sometimes capped taxis at 50, but clearly there will be circumstances where this is an unrealistic guideline, and generally BA does pay up. For something like LHR to LCY during the day time it would be reasonable (and probably faster) to use public transport. If you are rebooked to a new airport a customer service agent - who will have had limited or no training in EC261 - is obliged to say "transfers are your own expense" but that's not always correct.

19) How do I complain?
For claims - EC261, baggage expenses, meals, hotels, and complaints about BA's service, there is a customer portal here. Some reports have suggested it is best not to log in to your BAEC when filling this out, but to add your BAEC details in later. Also you can add photos of receipts and other claimable items - it may be best not to add this first time around, submit the claim without receipts, then use the reference number to add in receipts as an update to your claim, either straight away or later on.
ba.com/complaints

20) My flight is disrupted, can I fly to another destination?
When your flight is cancelled (regardless of when it is), BA normally allows you to move to a destination within 300 miles of the one you booked. However, this is not allowed in case of delays under 5 hours. You cannot do this online, so you will need to call BA or ask for that at the airport. For both cancellations and long delays, BA will also normally allow you to switch your flight to a "co-terminal" (ie another airport in the same city, for instance Gatwick instead of Heathrow, or Newark instead of JFK).

21) What is a "trip in vain"?
Sometimes, the new arrangements that an airline can propose are so disruptive that they would render your trip pointless. Imagine that you plan a nice weekend away with two nights at destination, but because of a cancellation, the airline can only fly you there in such a way that you would arrive at destination in the evening of day 2 and leave in the morning of day 3. That would not be much of a weekend any more and may not tempt you at all. Or imagine that you are flying somewhere for a wedding or a conference but a delay in the flight means that you would actually arrive after the occasion is over. That is what is called a "trip in vain" - the arrangements offered to you would defeat the very purpose of your trip. Airlines normally have to recognise a trip in vain, so that the airline will have to fully refund your trip and take you back to your point of origin if you are no longer there at the time the disruption becomes known. Two important notes: 1) it is important to remember that under EC261/2004 (or the UK261 equivalent), the trip in vain is one option (ie the full refund), so once you take it, you cannot have a second bite of the apple and also ask for the airline to rebook your trip. 2) before deciding that your trip is in vain, remember that a cancellation allows you to rebook all of your sectors. So to go back to the example of the 2 night weekend, if your outbound is disrupted and BA can only fly you on the Saturday instead of the Friday, but you would actually be able to return on the Monday instead of the Sunday and you would like to, it may be preferable to ask to move your (non disrupted) return to protect the length of your stay than to claim a refund.

22) Make sure your ticket has been correctly reissued
If you rebooked flight needs to be reissued (e.g. changes of airport) or revalidated, it has to be queued off for this to happen. Revalidation usually always works, but reissues sometimes fall over and need manual attention. So check your rebooked tickets via the App, in the Flight Details screen, to see that a ticket number is showing - typically 125-nnnnnnnn. Finnair also has an option to email e-ticket receipts which also gives this number and much more. If you can OLCI then your ticket is OK, if you can't OLCI then this is a reason why and it will need attention.


23) Zen Section: how to chill in LHR
So you are hot and bothered in LHR - what to do?
- Consider going down to the passageways, which is a cooling off zone See Passageways guides in the BA Forum Dashboards
- LHR T5 air conditioning units are to be found as floor based units in several areas. There is a particularly effective bank by Paul Smith under South lounge complex, even if the seating is limited
- Consider using the passageways to go to T5B (for the quiet BA lounge) or T5C where there are often empty quiet areas. You will need to use the passageways for getting back, not the transit.


Other useful threads
July 2022 Flight Cancellations and Operational Changes
August 2022 Flight Cancellations And Operational Changes.
September 2022 Flight Cancellations And Operational Changes
October 2022 Flight Cancellations and Operational Changes
November 2022 Flight Cancellations and Operational Changes
December 2022 Flight Cancellations And Operational Changes

Current FastTrack queues at LGW/LHR

Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; Sep 9, 2023 at 10:11 am
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Old Jul 22, 2022, 12:01 pm
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This is great. You might add something to the effect that the flight being zeroed out on expert flyer does not mean the flight is cancelled, and not being able to select a seat does not mean the flight is cancelled (or that you won't get on it).
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Old Jul 22, 2022, 12:12 pm
  #3  
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9) Food and drink is actually an entitlement when a delay is expected to exceed 2 hours for flights under 1,500km, 3 hours for 1,500-3,500km, and 4 hours for over 3,500km. Not 5.
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Old Jun 16, 2023, 4:46 am
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I found this thread after it was cross-referenced in the FAQ: Reason for flight delay thread.

Following the BA forum's advice, I took a hotel following a long flight delay that forced me to fly the next day. What is the best email address to which I send my reimbursement request? The FAQ does not provide an email.

The Germany-facing BA site provides [email protected] in its legal notice. Is that the way to go or have you had more success with another address?
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Old Jun 16, 2023, 4:49 am
  #5  
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The best way I have found is just follow the prompts after clicking Help & Contacts at the bottom of the page on ba.com. Click to submit expenses and upload your receipts in the claim.
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Old Jun 16, 2023, 6:03 am
  #6  
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Complaints Portal - some pointers

Originally Posted by KARFA
The best way I have found is just follow the prompts after clicking Help & Contacts at the bottom of the page on ba.com. Click to submit expenses and upload your receipts in the claim.
That's sometimes known as the Complaints Portal, and the fast track to it is
ba.com/complaints

A few pointers on this
1) Like with many areas of BA.com, it relies on cookies developed by dozens of different teams over the years, and so it is prone to technical issues. If you type anything up do a screenshot or text copy before submitting.
2) Some people find it works best is you are not logged into BAEC first time around, particularly with uploading receipts. So sometimes it's best to just identify the booking with PNR and surname. Then later on amend the booking with BAEC information (and in any case the PNR will hold your BAEC number).
3) Take screenshots as you go since while you will get an incident log email after successful completion, you may wonder - sometime later - which bank account number you used for any refunds.
4) It can take a while to get any updates. It's best not to send chaser emails in, however you can use the BA chatbot, in collaboration with the incident number, to see the status / ensure it's not been closed down without you noticing.
5) After 8 weeks and 1 day from submitting to the Portal, it's best to raise a CEDR complaint if the matter is not resolved. This won't speed things up in a direct way, but if it drags on it gives you better control of the following sequence of events.
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Old Jun 16, 2023, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
That's sometimes known as the Complaints Portal, and the fast track to it is
ba.com/complaints

A few pointers on this
1) Like with many areas of BA.com, it relies on cookies developed by dozens of different teams over the years, and so it is prone to technical issues. If you type anything up do a screenshot or text copy before submitting.
2) Some people find it works best is you are not logged into BAEC first time around, particularly with uploading receipts. So sometimes it's best to just identify the booking with PNR and surname. Then later on amend the booking with BAEC information (and in any case the PNR will hold your BAEC number).
3) Take screenshots as you go since while you will get an incident log email after successful completion, you may wonder - sometime later - which bank account number you used for any refunds.
4) It can take a while to get any updates. It's best not to send chaser emails in, however you can use the BA chatbot, in collaboration with the incident number, to see the status / ensure it's not been closed down without you noticing.
5) After 8 weeks and 1 day from submitting to the Portal, it's best to raise a CEDR complaint if the matter is not resolved. This won't speed things up in a direct way, but if it drags on it gives you better control of the following sequence of events.
To keep track of submissions, I like to send a reply to the automated email you get. I change the recipient to my own email address, and add the screenshot I've taken of the form before I submitted (the Go Full Page Screenshot extension for Chrome is useful here), as well any attachments/evidence. This also provides a contemporaneous record of what you submitted and when, in case you need it down the line.
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 5:24 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA
The best way I have found is just follow the prompts after clicking Help & Contacts at the bottom of the page on ba.com. Click to submit expenses and upload your receipts in the claim.
I did follow your suggestion and was really surprised by the result. I submitted a claim for GBP 220 compensation, refund of the hotel, train, and food expenses all via the web form.

BA replied after a few days and accepted all my demands. I got the money about a week later. They used two separate bank transfers, one for the compensation and one for the expenses.

Excellent advice by you and corporate-wage-slave , thanks! Without the forum, I would have submitted my claim via email (just to have some proof of submission, fully expected the airline to deny the claim).

Good job on part of BA as well!
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Old Jul 14, 2023, 6:48 pm
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1st leg of flight changed, miss the next flight

I hope someone can advise me.

We have a 2-4-1 flight returning to Vancouver in December.

The flight was to be from FNC to LHR (BA521) and then to YVR (BA85), in December. We had plenty of time at LHR (arr 14:50 dept 17:40).

We just received notice today that flight BA521 now arrives at LHR at 18:00. So, the flight to Vancouver will already have left.

Something must change. My question is, what is reasonable to ask BA to do, to right this problem? I would think that at minimum, they should cover the costs of an overnight stay, meals and if needed, transportation to/from accommodations. We will not accept a changed to a 1 (or more) stop flight, it would just take too long.

As I have yet to speak with a representative, it would be good to know where the conversation would go.

My wife and I are both silver status (if this helps).

Thanks to everyone.

PS we are in business class

Last edited by Radtel; Jul 14, 2023 at 8:45 pm Reason: ad comment
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Old Jul 14, 2023, 7:58 pm
  #10  
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A flight with an additional stop wouldn't help anyway - not much leaves LHR after 19:00 to North America, and even if you take one of those, you'd need to overnight in the US, so doesn't really resolve your problem.
Options would be another date (if the schedule varies enough to allow for a same day connection), or indeed an overnight in London (plus meals, etc), as duty of care. They will not commit to that upfront (indeed, they'll say it's at your cost), but put in a claim after travel and you'll be fine, as long as you're reasonable.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 2:11 am
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Radtel Are the FNC -LHR and the LHR-YVC flights on one PNR or did you book the FNC flights separately?

If on one PNR I would wait a few days as BA's systems should pick up on the misconnect for the later transatlantic flight and either rebook that the following day or offer you an earlier option for the FNC-LHR flight.

If on separate bookings you need to contact BA and request an earlier FNC departure, possibly the day before, as you will be marked as a no show for the transatlantic flight if you do nothing. You will not be able to change the transatlantic flight unless there is reward seat availability.
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 8:13 am
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Originally Posted by AJA_
Radtel Are the FNC -LHR and the LHR-YVC flights on one PNR or did you book the FNC flights separately?

If on one PNR I would wait a few days as BA's systems should pick up on the misconnect for the later transatlantic flight and either rebook that the following day or offer you an earlier option for the FNC-LHR flight.

If on separate bookings you need to contact BA and request an earlier FNC departure, possibly the day before, as you will be marked as a no show for the transatlantic flight if you do nothing. You will not be able to change the transatlantic flight unless there is reward seat availability.
Thanks for your thoughts

They are on one PNR. Also, there is only one flight per day from FNC - LHR (and LHR - YVR).
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by BA6501
A flight with an additional stop wouldn't help anyway - not much leaves LHR after 19:00 to North America, and even if you take one of those, you'd need to overnight in the US, so doesn't really resolve your problem.
Options would be another date (if the schedule varies enough to allow for a same day connection), or indeed an overnight in London (plus meals, etc), as duty of care. They will not commit to that upfront (indeed, they'll say it's at your cost), but put in a claim after travel and you'll be fine, as long as you're reasonable.
Thank you for your advice. It is really appreciated,
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Old Jul 15, 2023, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by BA6501
A flight with an additional stop wouldn't help anyway - not much leaves LHR after 19:00 to North America, and even if you take one of those, you'd need to overnight in the US, so doesn't really resolve your problem.
Options would be another date (if the schedule varies enough to allow for a same day connection), or indeed an overnight in London (plus meals, etc), as duty of care. They will not commit to that upfront (indeed, they'll say it's at your cost), but put in a claim after travel and you'll be fine, as long as you're reasonable.
Thank you for your advice. It is really appreciated,
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Old Jul 19, 2023, 8:36 am
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Originally Posted by BA6501
A flight with an additional stop wouldn't help anyway - not much leaves LHR after 19:00 to North America, and even if you take one of those, you'd need to overnight in the US, so doesn't really resolve your problem.
Options would be another date (if the schedule varies enough to allow for a same day connection), or indeed an overnight in London (plus meals, etc), as duty of care. They will not commit to that upfront (indeed, they'll say it's at your cost), but put in a claim after travel and you'll be fine, as long as you're reasonable.
We had a chat with a very bored BA agent, yesterday. It played out exactly as you have suggested.

Something that I found interesting is that the agent said several times, "If you make any other changes, you will have to pay for them." When I pointed out that it was BA that made the changes and not us, she said 'That doesn't matter, you only get one change for free". I hope that BA doesn't change any more flights on this trip. Also, she told us that because it was outside 5 months, things were different. When I pointed out that it was less then 5 months, she said that that made no difference at all. What?

Thanks again.
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