EC261 denied - BA57 2/10

Old Oct 25, 2023, 12:32 am
  #1  
jd_
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EC261 denied - BA57 2/10

Hello

I was due to fly LHR-JNB on 2/10/23 on BA57 at 21:25. The flight ended up departing approximately 7pm the following day, it wasn't cancelled but delayed overnight.

I think there were a few flights delayed due to weather earlier that day but nothing as late as 21:25. The flight was shown as on time until an hour before and then pushed back by an hour each time until 12:30am or so, when the delayed us overnight.

We were told by the ground staff this was due to a technical issue but when it came to claim, BA is now advising that it's weather related.

This is the email I received:

"Your claim's been refused because BA0057 on 2 October was delayed because of weather at Heathrow. This caused the aircraft to be towed late from the base and then had to night stop due to the adverse weather conditions, namely low visibility and thunderstorms around the Heathrow area. Due to the weather conditions Air Traffic Control imposed restrictions on the number of flights that could arrive and depart Heathrow. Although some flights were able to operate as normal, your flight was one of those we had to delay. "

Even if it was weather that evening, why did we have to wait almost 24 hours? What's my best course of action to escalate? I was travelling in business class and am a gold member, if that makes any difference to the best route to proceed.

I've had 6 flights cancelled or delayed overnight this year so far - all with BA, so I am good to fight this one as far as it takes.

Many thanks in advance
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 1:33 am
  #2  
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Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA forum.

There are 2 other threads that will be of interest to you.

FAQ : Reason for flight delay or cancellation - 2023 edition

and on 2 October, focusing on cancellations, there were indeed 22 shorthaul cancellations due to the weather, which were fairly obvious at the time. And the other thread is

The 2023 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261 / UK261

Now this one may actually be a grey area, but usually what BA does is just cancel the shorthauls since there is no added bonus in cancelling a big aircraft - they take up the same airport ATC resources whether big or small. But it is the case that BA needrd to shift flights out of 2 October. I suspect that actually it was a bit of a fusion of circumstances, and weather was one factor in there. Because it was overnight, it seems to me a bit of a stretch to call that extraordinary, but it's not clear cut.

Paging Sigwx for any comments.

As you will see from the second thread, if you are not happy with BA's reply then you can go to CEDR for them to take a look at the paperwork. This can happen if you ask BA to confirm that their answer willl not change.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 1:44 am
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I will be interested in any responses here. I was on the return of that flight from JNB to LHR on the 3rd and we were also delayed by approximately 12 hours. I did a live chat with an agent at the time and they told me the delay was due to crew sickness at LHR and gave me the link to claim compensation. (I have a screen shot of that conversation if you think it would help jd_)

Interestingly when we did leave the pilot said the delay was weather related. I do know however that a number of the crew members in JNB had food poisoning so not sure if they extended the outbound delay to give them more time to recover.

I submitted my claim for compensation and expenses but have just had a holding message reply so far.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 2:45 am
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The other question here is whether BA applied all reasonable measures to mitigate the delay. It's one thing to delay a flight overnight - perhaps that was unavoidable (though I'd still place close scrutiny to what actually happened - Sigwx may be able to elaborate on this). But to then not depart until late evening the next day? That suggests they didn't have sufficient standby crew to operate the flight ASAP the next day, which would firmly put the ball back in BA's court.

Either way this is one you'll almost certainly have to challenge with CEDR, but hopefully with a little bit more background information you may be able to make some effective arguments against the flim-flam that BA argues.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 2:51 am
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Interesting use of language by BA.

"Your claim's been refused because BA0057 on 2 October was delayed because of weather at Heathrow. This caused the aircraft to be towed late from the base and then had to night stop due to the adverse weather conditions, namely low visibility and thunderstorms around the Heathrow area. Due to the weather conditions Air Traffic Control imposed restrictions on the number of flights that could arrive and depart Heathrow. Although some flights were able to operate as normal, your flight was one of those we had to delay. "
ATC will impose restrictrions on flow rates, so limiting the rate at which aircraft arrive (for example reducing from an average landing rate of, say, 42, to 38 or 36 per hour. There is no overall restriction of number of flights. From an ATC point of view the same number of flight can operate, they are just progressively delayed. I assume BA decided to refrain from using up some night quota points to depart during the period 2330-0600. not sure why it was delayed though, long haul flights are classed as 'out of area' flights, so are not subject to inbound delays at LHR which result in ATC slot times at their departure airfield (the landing flow rates at LHR only affect departures from European airports), so the inbound flight that brought your airframe back to LHR shouldn't have been affected very much (assuming it wasn't coming from maintenance).
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 2:56 am
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I have now had my response from BA denying my claim due to restrictions from ATC because of thunderstorms in the LHR area. I can't see why this would have caused such a long delay (almost 22 hrs to the outbound) and also why the live chat said crew sickness!
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 3:03 am
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This caused the aircraft to be towed late from the base
Er... that feels like a BA problem.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by barobson
I have now had my response from BA denying my claim due to restrictions from ATC because of thunderstorms in the LHR area. I can't see why this would have caused such a long delay (almost 22 hrs to the outbound) and also why the live chat said crew sickness!
BA tried this with me earlier this year on a delayed Miami flight, announced as need for standby flight ccrew due to illness, but claimed as weather when I claimed. CEDR found in my favour and BA paid out.

Last edited by redpalmetto; Oct 25, 2023 at 7:10 am
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 7:28 am
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Originally Posted by jd_

We were told by the ground staff this was due to a technical issue but when it came to claim, BA is now advising that it's weather related.
Originally Posted by barobson
I have now had my response from BA denying my claim due to restrictions from ATC because of thunderstorms in the LHR area. I can't see why this would have caused such a long delay (almost 22 hrs to the outbound) and also why the live chat said crew sickness!
Originally Posted by redpalmetto
BA tried this with me earlier this year on a delayed Miami flight, announced as need for standby flight ccrew due to illness, but claimed as weather when I claimed. CEDR found in my favour and BA paid out.
It would seem that lying to the customer has become part of the standard operating procedure to avoid paying out.

They've lied to me too when I asked for compensation. Paid out in full when I went to small claims court.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 8:14 am
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https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/35641098-post2483.html

No mention of late tow or tech issues from what I saw at the time. It will be interesting to see what they have on their OPNL legs report at CEDR.

For both the OP and other member affected on the return sector do proceed to CEDR.

When flights are delayed overnight due to weather they are listed as such.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 8:39 am
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They have just requested to see my screen shot of the live chat so lets see what happens. If they still say no I will go to CEDR.

Thank you!
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by barobson
I have now had my response from BA denying my claim due to restrictions from ATC because of thunderstorms in the LHR area. I can't see why this would have caused such a long delay (almost 22 hrs to the outbound) and also why the live chat said crew sickness!
I thought weather delays only exempted that sector. So the return from JNB should have been eligible for compensation anyway.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 8:23 pm
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Unless the issue is obviously weather, whenever I am delayed I always check the flight status notes on ExpertFlyer and take a screen shot if the notes mention aircraft maintenance, crew availability or some other cause in the airline's control. Fortunately I have never needed it to dispute a later denial by the airline but it's always good to have.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 10:46 pm
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You should be recording pilot announcements on your phone every time there is a substantive delay. Then include in your application that you have a recording of the pilot saying it was mechanical, etc. That's what I do to preempt bad actors.
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Old Oct 25, 2023, 11:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Stripe
Unless the issue is obviously weather, whenever I am delayed I always check the flight status notes on ExpertFlyer and take a screen shot if the notes mention aircraft maintenance, crew availability or some other cause in the airline's control. Fortunately I have never needed it to dispute a later denial by the airline but it's always good to have.
From what I know, unfortunately ExpertFlyer doesn't show the cancellation reason anymore for BA.
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