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FAQ : Reason for flight delay or cancellation - 2024 edition

Old Jan 1, 2024, 2:11 am
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Four letter codes are explained in post 1 - kindly read the summary.
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FAQ : Reason for flight delay or cancellation - 2024 edition

Old Dec 31, 2023, 10:54 am
  #1  
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FAQ : Reason for flight delay or cancellation - 2024 edition

One of life's occasional frustrations is when BA - or any airline - cancels your flight, or there is a long delay on it. This thread is to help you find out the reason, and indeed feel free to ask questions below about what happened to your BA flight. In some cases it's useful to find out to support a claim for EC261 / UK261 compensation, where "extraordinary circumstances" is a reason why you may be out of scope for compensation. See the main EC261 thread via the BA Forum Dashboard for EC261 / UK261 specific issues.

See also this thread.
Disruption Assistance thread - signposts and what you need to know

and for EC261 / UK261 issues and discussions:
The 2024 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261 / UK261


If your delay happened in 2023, not 2024, you need this thread:
FAQ : Reason for flight delay or cancellation - 2023 edition

Summary version - please read
1) This thread is to find out the reason for delays and cancellations, not to discuss the EC261 / UK261 merits - there is a dedicated thread for EC261 / UK261 discussions. Kindly do not use this FAQ thread for discussions on compensation since people need to be able to find information efficiently in what will turn out to be a long thread.
2) After a delay or cancellation, it's best wait about 24-48 hours to find out whether there is information in this thread - in many cases you don't need to do anything. Broadly all LHR cancellations should be here, LCY and LGW probably need you to raise a question.
3) If you you are flying to London, it's helpful to find out if the flight from London previously was also cancelled: Because almost all BA services start from London we don't tend to list two entries per cancellation, just the London departing cancellation.
4) Rarely there is a cancellation from an out-station to London, so the London to out-station service operated but some technical or crew issue meant the inbound to London service was cancelled. If this applies it's best to ask.
5) If you can't work out what has gone wrong with your service, and particularly after 48 hours, then please ask. Some data only hangs around for a short period.
6) Cancellations come with a four character code, such as WEAN or TECY. The last letter, Y orN, indicates BA's opinion as to whether EC261 applies. The codes are explained below. And just because BA says "no" doesn't necessarily mean that they are correct.
7) Flight Status is an option in both the BA App and the ba.com (under manage). Strangely the App version can have more information than the ba.com version.

==
Delays - how to find out the cause
1) Listen to the flight deck's announcement just as doors are closing after boarding. On every delayed BA flights that I've been on, the flight deck gives a full description of why there is a delay. It may be worth making a note of what is said, this is by far the best and most accurate report you are going to get. I appreciate that sometimes it's difficult to hear what is being said, but on longhaul you can plug in you earphones to the inflight entertainment system to hear more clearly.
2) Expertflyer - there is a dispatch code put into Amadeus by ground staff with a 2 letter code giving a broad reason code (see codes below). This is found in Desktop version / Flight Status / Search by Flight (the default search). Note this information is only visible for around 48 hours. If you don't have access to Expertflyer then by all means ask below.
3) Flightradar24 - in this website you can enter your flight number and you may be able to identify your aircraft registration (e.g. G-TTNF). By clicking on that registration, or entering it into Search, you can see the previous history of the aircraft and see where delays happened.
4) Twitter - sometimes a search will find out more information if someone else has complained about the delay/

Cancellations
These are more difficult to work out, since if done in advance all you will get from BA is some sort of notification of disruption and often a menu that allows you to choose new flights. In this you will not find clarity on what happened to your original flight - and contact centre staff may not know either. And sometimes, to be brutal, BA doesn't particularly want to go out of its way to say (e.g.) we do not have enough crew members to run this particular service. Expertflyer (see above) used to give information about this, but for the last few months this hasn't generally been visible - I don't know whether that's on the BA side or Expertflyer or a bit of both. All EF shows is that the flight is cancelled. You may alternatively get some clues from Flightradar24, particularly if your route needs a particular aircraft type and the designated aircraft is stuck somewhere else.

Both cancellations and delays
5) Don't forget to scan down the BA forum for a page or two, you may see an existing thread with a lot of information, particularly if something like weather or a computer failure was at fault.
6) Ask at the airport. Agents can look up information for you and a polite request should be met with a useful reply.
7) HADACAB: this is actually a name of an adhoc working group which involves the main operational players at Heathrow. Heathrow ATM Demand and Capacity Balancing group can request all airlines to reduce throughput by a given percentage, often in the 5 to 20% range. BA tends to end up with a higher percentage since some operators, with just one flight a day into LHR, are exempt.


Amadeus dispatch codes - main ones
ZO - Operational - a bit of a catch-all this but it could include late arriving crew. Very often ok for EC261.
ZW - Weather - delays caused by poor weather - generally out of scope for EC261.
ZY - Rotational - a delay caused by a previous delay to services and the aircraft is in catch up mode. Often, but not always, ok for EC261.

Less frequent codes
ZA - ATC
ZC - Cargo
ZD - Security delays
ZE - Engineering
ZF - Flight crew (though usually ZO is used)
ZJ - IT delays (also EO is used here)
ZK - Cabin crew (again more likely ZO is used)
ZL - Ground fleet
ZM - Catering
ZP - Passenger services
ZR - Ramp / apron
ZT - Control (load sheets for example)
ZZ - Authorities / government action

Three and four letter codes
OPE - Operational (all sorts of issues get given this, but crew held up in security would be one example of thousands)
WEA - Weather
ARP - Airport (this can mean weather related restrictions)
FCR - Flight Crew
CCR - Cabin Crew
COM - Commercial (COMN usually means a flight BA cancelled some time ago, typically over 2 weeks, so avoiding EC261 compensation)
IND and INR - Industrial / strikes
ITS - IT system failure
HLD and HDL - ground handing
ROT - Rotational (delay due to delay on previous flight)
TEC and TCH - Technical problems on the aircraft
DAM - Damage (e.g. lightning strike)
ODR - Odour related event - typically smoke in the cockpit on a previous flight
Note this usually comes over as 4 letters, so OPEY means operational and potentially yes to EC261. WEAN - means bad weather and no EC261, at least from the airline's perspective
==
Just to reiterate - by all means ask here for more help and assistance for why your flight is late after going through the above, but for EC261 specific enquiries there is a thread for those queries and it's best to put them in that thread rather than spreading information all over the forum.
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Last edited by corporate-wage-slave; May 26, 2024 at 1:10 pm
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Old Dec 31, 2023, 3:03 pm
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BA2700

I wonder if anyone can help me to shed any light upon the reason for the cancellation of flight BA2700, due to fly from Gatwick to Tenerife south at 07:35 on 01/01/24?

Cancelled with about 16 hours notice, due to "operational constraints".

Thanks.
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Old Jan 1, 2024, 2:09 am
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Originally Posted by Heyho
I wonder if anyone can help me to shed any light upon the reason for the cancellation of flight BA2700, due to fly from Gatwick to Tenerife south at 07:35 on 01/01/24?

Cancelled with about 16 hours notice, due to "operational constraints".

Thanks.
TECY and shortage of airframes to cover.

Happy New Year.
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Old Jan 1, 2024, 2:59 am
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Monday 1 January 2024 - New Year's Day

No cancellations today giving 253 BA departures today, which is about 20% down on normal operations. An AA service to BOS has been cancelled. I've only just noticed this cancellation from yesterday:

BA181 EWR (31 December)

which was cancelled 90 minutes to departures. This would normally be a technical issue.

Today's ATC is the nice chatty version (by their standards). The HOEC team that prepares this wishes us a happy New Year.

Landing RWY: 27R
Airborne holding (mins): Avg 3 mins
Departure RWY: 27L
TSAT delay average (mins): 0 mins

Network: Europe - LEMD (Madrid) Apron Management Service (AMS) industrial action will take place between December 31st and January 7th from 00.00LT to 23.59LT each day.
LFRB: Regulation with rate 0 has been applied the whole day due to equipment failure.
Airspace: LFFF: Seine sector regulated whole day due Electrical failure at Melun ( LFPM ) airport. EDUU: Wuerzburg and Frankfurt sectors regulated in the morning with low delays.
LFRR: Level capping scenario has been applied in the morning to offload LFRRVKIU sector (F355-F999). Strong wind, RA/SHRA is expected for the N Benelux and N Germany. Snow expected for W S.

Weather: A breezy but fine start to the morning with sunny spells. Cloud cover then becoming more widespread into the afternoon as fronts approach from the west. Light to moderate rain expected from mid-afternoon, gradually turning more persistent towards the evening with some heavy bursts. There is a Low risk of isolated CB in the south of the LTMA 14-19Z. Moderate SW'ly winds to start with isolated 25-27KT gusts, then easing to gentle by late morning. During the afternoon winds will become SE'ly as the fronts approach, then become strong and gradually SW'ly with 25-28KT gusts throughout the evening (bringing the risk of strong S'ly crosswinds for a few hours as wind direction changes).
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Old Jan 1, 2024, 11:48 am
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BA181 EWR on New Years Eve was a TECY cancellation.
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 1:26 am
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Tuesday 2 January 2024 - St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nazianzus

We have a few cancellations today:

BA1488 GLA = WEAN
BA1452 EDI = WEAN
BA440 AMS = WEAN
BA217 IAD

We are back to 310 departures from LHR today, about normal for a Tuesday. HAL are again reporting high footfall through North and South security

I think those WEANS are thanks to a Low pressure area west of Stornoway bringing cyclonic upper winds swirling around later this afternoon. HAL have repeated their HSSE warnings about FOD given the risk 40 knots. ATC report:

Landing RWY: 27R
Airborne holding (mins): 14
Departure RWY: 27L
TSAT delay average (mins): 0

Network: Due to strong winds EGLLTC 0620-1100 41/60, 1100-1500 38/60, 1500-2200 35/60

Weather: Gentle SSW'ly winds during the morning, possibly light and variable for a short time. From 12Z winds become strong with a W-SW'ly direction, gusts of 30-40 KT are likely throughout the afternoon and into the evening. There is also a low risk of isolated gusts of 42-45 KT during the afternoon 14-18Z. Strong upper winds are also expected. Winds will ease later with gusts down to 25-28 KT by midnight.
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 2:28 am
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BA217 IAD TECY

Early reports of HND having some sort of major incident, whether that sees BA5 HND getting a delay or canx we shall have to wait and see.

UPDATE:
I have significant doubts for a HND operation today by any carrier. Major incident and reports of a collision between two aircraft sadly.

Last edited by Sigwx; Jan 2, 2024 at 2:43 am
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 3:38 am
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Changing the topic slightly - can anyone provide the reason for cancellation for BA2700 (LGW-TFS) on 22 December?
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by Cymro
Changing the topic slightly - can anyone provide the reason for cancellation for BA2700 (LGW-TFS) on 22 December?
Just as a helpful note, wherever possible it is best to ask immediately, as I understand that it drops off many systems after a few days - including internal ones.

Anyway, looks like you are in luck, referring back to the 2023 thread, there is a post asking about BA2701, which seems to be the return TFS-LGW of that aircraft on that day.

FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - FAQ : Reason for flight delay or cancellation - 2023 edition

And here is the reply from the incredibly helpful Sigwx that indicates it was crew sickness

FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - FAQ : Reason for flight delay or cancellation - 2023 edition

(I suspect from Sigwx's comment about getting to TFS that they perhaps looked up the code for the outbound BA2700)

Regardless, would seem to be in scope for UK261.
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 6:08 am
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Originally Posted by Sigwx
BA217 IAD TECY

Early reports of HND having some sort of major incident, whether that sees BA5 HND getting a delay or canx we shall have to wait and see.

UPDATE:
I have significant doubts for a HND operation today by any carrier. Major incident and reports of a collision between two aircraft sadly.
BA5 has departed.
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 6:12 am
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B296 ORD-LHR departure 1 Jan. arrived 1:30 late this morning (2 Jan) resulting in a missed connection and final delay of six hours. Pilot said they had problems with fueling. Can anyone find the code for the original delay?
What is the duty of care requirement? My son got a £10 voucher for a six hour delay; can he ask for more or should he just save receipts for the second meal?
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 6:28 am
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Tuesday 2 January update

Some further cancellations due to the weather event mentioned above, now named as Storm Henk.

BA826 DUB = WEAN
BA1348 JER = WEAN
BA1446 EDI = WEAN
BA1486 GLA = WEAN
BA316 CDG = WEAN
BA1428 BHD = WEAN
BA822 CPH = WEAN
BA1402 MAN = WEAN
BA426 AMS = WEAN
BA860 PRG = WEAN
BA1336 NCL = WEAN
BA1314 ABZ = WEAN
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by eefor jfp
B296 ORD-LHR departure 1 Jan. arrived 1:30 late this morning (2 Jan) resulting in a missed connection and final delay of six hours. Pilot said they had problems with fueling. Can anyone find the code for the original delay?
What is the duty of care requirement? My son got a £10 voucher for a six hour delay; can he ask for more or should he just save receipts for the second meal?
If its a fueling problem sounds like maintenance which would be a covered reason for UK261 comp GBP520 for a six hour delay on ORD-LHR. But Sigwx or someone more in the know might be able to find you the actual delay code
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by eefor jfp
B296 ORD-LHR departure 1 Jan. arrived 1:30 late this morning (2 Jan) resulting in a missed connection and final delay of six hours. Pilot said they had problems with fueling. Can anyone find the code for the original delay?
What is the duty of care requirement? My son got a £10 voucher for a six hour delay; can he ask for more or should he just save receipts for the second meal?
Fuelling is a reason in itself, you don't need a reason code to make a claim, and something like that is usually in scope for EC261. For Right to Care see the Signposts thread mentioned in post 1 but he can claim for more than the voucher.
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Old Jan 2, 2024, 7:47 am
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Delayed flight reason help please

Hi,
Can anyone help me with the details for the delayed flight from Hong Kong to LHR BA0028 dep on 8th Dec 23.40 please?
It caused us to be delayed over 24 hours due to missed connection, BA are claiming delay was solely ATC related but aircraft was delayed departing too.
​​​
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