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advice needed - ET no longer flying to/from BCN, will only offer refund

advice needed - ET no longer flying to/from BCN, will only offer refund

Old Sep 10, 18, 3:07 am
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advice needed - ET no longer flying to/from BCN, will only offer refund

Some months ago i booked a BCN-ADD-BCN itinerary on ET, booked through an OTA. Now got a message that flights have changed to MAD-ADD-MAD; apparently ET is no longer starting from/continuing to BCN. According to the OTA, ET will only offer either the fligths from/to MAD or a refund but not a new routing that honors the booked BCN-ADD-BCN trip. As i already have booked positioning flights from the UK to ADD and another itinerary starting in ADD, i really need to travel as booked, so am wondering if i'm out of luck or if there is anything reasonable i can do. Flights are a few months out. Any advice appreciated.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 3:26 am
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Originally Posted by a9504477 View Post
Some months ago i booked a BCN-ADD-BCN itinerary on ET, booked through an OTA. Now got a message that flights have changed to MAD-ADD-MAD; apparently ET is no longer starting from/continuing to BCN. According to the OTA, ET will only offer either the fligths from/to MAD or a refund but not a new routing that honors the booked BCN-ADD-BCN trip. As i already have booked positioning flights from the UK to ADD and another itinerary starting in ADD, i really need to travel as booked, so am wondering if i'm out of luck or if there is anything reasonable i can do. Flights are a few months out. Any advice appreciated.
Assuming you mean BCN, rather than ADD in the highlighted
1) is ET not willing/able to add in a BCN-MAD to your ticket to position you to their departure point?
2) perhaps trip insurance will be useful to changing the positioning flight from UK
3) provided there is enough time between arrival from UK into BCN and departure of ETís flight from MAD, you could buy a shuttle or redeem avios for BCN-MAD-BCN, and claim from insurance for that cost.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 6:01 am
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I suggest changing your ticket UK-BCN to UK-MAD and start your ET trip from there. You will get nowhere with insisting ET rerouting you BCN-ADD.

Time permitting you could take the high speed train between BCN and MAD. As far as I know no one travels by air between these cities as train travel is more convenient (and cheaper?)

OR you could inquire with the OTA if changing ticket to BRU-ADD-BRU is allowed. In the affirmative, buy a cheap ticket to BRU and refund the BCN tickets.

I agree with previous poster - you may rely on your travel insurance for reimbursement of the extra costs incurred.

Added: Your headline is misleading. ET gave you the reasonable choice to change ticket to MAD-BCN-MAD rather than just cancel/refund
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Old Sep 10, 18, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post

Time permitting you could take the high speed train between BCN and MAD.
Even the fastest AVE train is 2.5 hours, whereas flight time is 1:15. Much better to fly, since there is an IB/VY air shuttle, plus regular scheduled flights by UX with the added advantage that OP would be at the airport already. A lot of precious time would be required to/from the train stations.

As far as I know no one travels by air between these cities as train travel is more convenient (and cheaper?)
Plenty of us still do, but the train has higher market share. Getting into the whys would be taking this too OT
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Old Sep 10, 18, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post

Time permitting you could take the high speed train between BCN and MAD. As far as I know no one travels by air between these cities as train travel is more convenient (and cheaper?)
The origin and destination are the respective airports of the cities. It makes no sense to travel into/out of the city centres to take the train.

If nobody flew then the Puente Aereo wouldn't exist
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Old Sep 10, 18, 8:42 am
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Originally Posted by ubiest View Post


Assuming you mean BCN, rather than ADD in the highlighted
1) is ET not willing/able to add in a BCN-MAD to your ticket to position you to their departure point?
2) perhaps trip insurance will be useful to changing the positioning flight from UK
3) provided there is enough time between arrival from UK into BCN and departure of ETís flight from MAD, you could buy a shuttle or redeem avios for BCN-MAD-BCN, and claim from insurance for that cost.
Yes, i meant positioning flight to BCN not ADD (but then another itinerary originating in ADD).

It appears ET is neither willing to add the BCN-MAD legs nor to change the booking to one originating in the UK rather than MAD.
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Old Sep 10, 18, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
I suggest changing your ticket UK-BCN to UK-MAD and start your ET trip from there. You will get nowhere with insisting ET rerouting you BCN-ADD.
That would essentially mean a new UK-MAD ticket, something i'd rather avoid if possible.

Last edited by a9504477; Sep 10, 18 at 9:19 am Reason: typo
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Old Sep 12, 18, 7:30 pm
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Isn't there a portion of EC261 rule that covers this situation? ET hasnt stopped service, rather they've stopped servicing an airport. I thought EC261 requires them to rebook from MAD in this case.
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Old Sep 13, 18, 11:17 am
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Isn't there a portion of EC261 rule that covers this situation? ET hasnt stopped service, rather they've stopped servicing an airport. I thought EC261 requires them to rebook from MAD in this case.
Not straightforwardly and unambiguously. The Regulation places an obligation to re-route on the airline cancelling the flights but the Regulation does not explcitly say whether that obligation is limited to rerouting on the airline's own services (which begs the question of what happens when, as in this case, the airline stops serving the city concerned) or also includes an obligation to reroute on other airlines when it cannot offer rerouting on its own services. The airlines, unsurprisingly, argue the former but there is to my knowledge no definitive caselaw on this. I would have thought that there would be a reasonably strong case for the latter interpretation and a case like this one would not be too bad a case for a test case. There is no harm in trying to press the point with ET. However, if, as I suspect, they simply ignore it/won't bulge, the hassle factor of litigating it would, imo, outweigh the cost of a cheapie UK-MAD ticket.
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Old Sep 19, 18, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
Isn't there a portion of EC261 rule that covers this situation? ET hasnt stopped service, rather they've stopped servicing an airport. I thought EC261 requires them to rebook from MAD in this case.
Article 8

Right to reimbursement or re-routing

1. Where reference is made to this Article, passengers shall be offered the choice between:

[...]

(b) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at the earliest opportunity; or(c) re-routing, under comparable transport conditions, to their final destination at a later date at the passenger's convenience, subject to availability of seats.

[...]

3. When, in the case where a town, city or region is served by several airports, an operating air carrier offers a passenger a flight to an airport alternative to that for which the booking was made, the operating air carrier shall bear the cost of transferring the passenger from that alternative airport either to that for which the booking was made, or to another close-by destination agreed with the passenger.
One could debate when "the earliest opportunity" is. The airline needs to pay the OP's hotel bill and the OP's meals at BCN if the airline leaves the OP stranded at BCN for a long time, so it's better to send the OP to ADD sooner rather than later. Alternatively, if you see Spain as a "region" the airline would have to pay for ground transport from BCN to MAD.
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Old Sep 25, 18, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by SK AAR View Post
Added: Your headline is misleading. ET gave you the reasonable choice to change ticket to MAD-BCN-MAD rather than just cancel/refund
It is not a "reasonable choice" by ET to offer OP to fly to an airport 500 km away.

OP, I'd recommend reaching out to an ET sales office and getting them to reroute you to BCN via an ET codeshare flight. For example, you could fly ADD-FRA on ET and then FRA-BCN on LH (ET codeshare). Give them the specific routing and flight numbers you want, and ask them to reissue your ticket with the updated routing.

This is also a good lesson on why you shouldn't book through OTAs - I'd be very surprised if you got the same runaround after booking directly with ET, but OTAs are very bad at effectively advocating for their passengers in the cases of schedule changes and similar. In fact, sometimes they have a financial incentive to not provide what the customer wants, whether it be due to their commission structure or real or perceived risk of debit memos if they reissue a ticket in a way the airline doesn't like.
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