SV Flight Changed for TEN DAYS later!

Old Apr 12, 2024, 6:54 am
  #1  
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SV Flight Changed for TEN DAYS later!

Hello FTers!

I booked through an OTA:

SV FCO-JED-DAR for May 4th
SV DAR-JED-MAN for May 14th

BOTH DAR flights have been cancelled, with the outbound changed to a flight 2 days earlier. I'm now on SV FCO-JED-DAR May 2nd.

The inbound flight is now showing as TEN days later DAR-JED (May 24th) but still showing JED-MAN on May 14th. That will clearly not go ahead as planned, but the SV call centre are not entertaining OAL for the inbound sectors.

They said that they can't touch the booking until 24 hours before scheduled departure.

I don't want the OTA or SV to cancel the booking, as a re-booking with a new airline is looking like 500+ pp

When I spoke to the OTA, they don't really care so much as I said I would deal with SV directly.

In anyone's experience, should I just wait until I'm on the outbound, and then re-try SV call centre, or ticket desk on the Jeddah layover?

Thank you
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Old Apr 12, 2024, 3:21 pm
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It's proceedurally correct that SV or any other airline do not touch tickets issued by an OTA until it goes under airport control usually 48 or 24hrs before departure.

But once it goes under airport control quite often it's exactly that - it's the departure airport team that now have control and quite often call centres cannot assist although this varies between airlines. I am not sure of the SV specifics.

You can try a call centre at 24hrs but set your expectations. You would probably have more luck at the check in counter at FCO as the staff on the ground have a lot more flexibility to reroute on other airlines. Is there a viable OAL route to DAR from FCO they could reticket you onto on the day assuming there is space?

The one bonus you do have on the outbound is EU261 protection and remedies. It won't hurt to gently remind SV of this but don't stick it down their throat as the staff you will be dealing with won't deal with the detail of EU protection. You won't have this on the return but try to get your return ticket fixed at the same time.
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Old Apr 13, 2024, 2:45 am
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Just another thought, if the OTA is not prepared to assist, perhaps it's worth asking them if they can put a note on the PNR that they release their obligations to SV to assist with reticketing. That might give enough authority to SV to assist, but as always in the middle east staff are reticent to deviate from the agreed policy and process for fear of being ex-staff. If there is any movement in this direction acknowledging that this is an unusual request and asking the call centre staff nicely to ask their supervisor for assistance might help.

The doing it at the airport approach does also have risks as you would be a no show for what they have already rescheduled you to. Tricky one.
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Old Apr 13, 2024, 2:57 am
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Hi plunet, thank you for the replies - really insightful.

What I'm hoping for, is to go under the radar for the outbound sectors as I don't want to risk having my entire reservation canceled. I've contacted the OTA and SV - both are unwilling to help with the inbound flight issues. SV said they can look at internally within 24 hours, but do you think that is 24 hours from the trip commencement, or 24 hours from the inbound sectors?

So, if we can get out to DAR without any drama, I can then put it back onto SV to look into alternative flights for the inbound.

Right now, there's loads of flight combos to get us back to MAN. a few with SkyTeam (Kenya, KLM) and further options with TK and QR.

I think I'll take your suggestion to speak with the ground crew in Rome, at that point EU261 will have kicked in surely?
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Old Apr 13, 2024, 3:24 am
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So EU261 is always in effect as soon as the contract is formed by ticket purchase. But the relevant protections in the articles of the legislation apply at different stages of the process. It's quite readable and there are plenty of websites that explain the detail. But the difficulty for you is because SV is not an EU carrier the most relevant EU261 protections only apply for non-EU carriers when leaving Europe, they do not apply when flying back into the EU for your inbound.

If you have not told either SV or the OTA that you have "accepted" the proposed change to fly outbound two days later then you still have the potential to get rescheduled for free, and under EU261 this gives you good clear protection to be flown as close to your original schedule as possible including on other airlines. The difficulty you have is that EU261 applies to the operating carrier and there is no onus on a ticketing agent such as an OTA to assist.

The airport control 24/48 hours thing applies for outbound and inbound separately. So the airport control of the ticket would only start 24hrs from the currently scheduled departure from DAR.

For the OTA this situation is not simple to resolve especially where OAL is in scope and there is no clear written policy from SV that they can work to. It can be time consuming for them and with the wafer thin margins on your ticket all the profit is gone. It needs them to shuttle between you and the SV trade support desk with options and agreements and ticket endorsements and reissuing.

If there is no movement from either the OTA or SV ahead of your flight I think one option you have is to try to engage the SV supervisor at FCO. If you can't find any contact details online for SV at FCO if you are close to to the airport it might even be worth going to the airport in the next couple of weeks when check in is open and ask to speak to the SV supervisor (the check in staff are just agency/contract, but there will usually be a SV station manager or supervisor who is a direct employee of SV). The supervisor would likely have no time to deal with you there and then as they are busy with the flight due to depart but if you can get their email address they can maybe help you by email when they are less busy.
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Old Apr 13, 2024, 10:30 am
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So I've accepted the outbound flight change. I chose my own flight pairing on the Saudia website when it gave me the options. Fly 2 days early to still get in ahead of my Kilimanjaro hike.

I wanted to secure that outbound flight pair as SV have cancelled pretty much all flights in and out of DAR.

As you've now highlighted to me, I'm not protected for the inbound sectors with EU261. I am now hoping that SV will take care of us and route us on the best available options presented to them.

If we can't secure reasonable changes to our inbound, I'll most likely need to lean on my travel insurance to cover these and fly home with QR (I'll earn Avios and TP at the very least!)
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Old Apr 13, 2024, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by SaltyPaprika
So I've accepted the outbound flight change. I chose my own flight pairing on the Saudia website when it gave me the options. Fly 2 days early to still get in ahead of my Kilimanjaro hike.
Enjoy the hike.

How long has the impossible return journey been in that state? Whilst these are typically not resolved immediately most airlines have a batch process that goes through all the pending bookings every few days looking for invalid connections and attempts to resolve them. It's usually a different and separate process to the rescheduling due to time change or cancellation.

If you do have any further interactions be very sure to not accept a change until you are ok with the outcome. In your case you state you have accepted your new outbound but you have probably also accepted the state of the inbound, and you're allowed one attempt free to resolve an involuntary change. Fortunately the inbound is not flyable as booked currently so there has to be something done.

If there is a conversation or other exchange and you are not happy with the resolution make sure you state that the ticket should not be changed and the involuntary change or impossible schedule left pending and not accepted.
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Old Apr 13, 2024, 12:52 pm
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I received a notification through the SV app about 26 days ago and accepted the outbound change pretty swiftly.

I didn't actually realise the inbound was disrupted until a few days after that.

Oddly enough, the SV call centre weren't too bothered to either help or to push me to cancel the booking. I'll take your sound advice and await the fate of an improvement inbound journey that doesn't involve 233 hours in Jeddah!

thank you so much; you've been really helpful.

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Old Apr 15, 2024, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by plunet
The airport control 24/48 hours thing applies for outbound and inbound separately. So the airport control of the ticket would only start 24hrs from the currently scheduled departure from DAR.
This is inaccurate, Most airlines will accept to rebook/touch OTA issued tickets once first segment is flown, i.e. after traveling outbound the airline is prepared to deal with the return segments. No need to wait until 24h before flying the return segments.

Correct that many agents are ignorant about this and will try to refer you to contact the OTA for rebooking even after you have traveled outbound, but in this situation you need to be persistant and politely "educate" the agent about the possibility of airline rebooking the return segments after outbound segments are flown.
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by SK AAR
This is inaccurate, Most airlines will accept to rebook/touch OTA issued tickets once first segment is flown, i.e. after traveling outbound the airline is prepared to deal with the return segments. No need to wait until 24h before flying the return segments.

Correct that many agents are ignorant about this and will try to refer you to contact the OTA for rebooking even after you have traveled outbound, but in this situation you need to be persistant and politely "educate" the agent about the possibility of airline rebooking the return segments after outbound segments are flown.
Hi SK AAR,

Thanks for your reply - do you think it's worth speaking to the SV airport teams during my connection time on the outbound sectors? I guess I'd have more chance of dealing with someone that works for SV directly, rather than an out-station team?
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Old Apr 15, 2024, 11:16 am
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Yes, it is def. worth it. Your assumption is correct.
Alternatively, you obtain the contact details (email) of the local SV ticket offices in Italy and/or DAR and after you arrive at DAR, you email them for assistance.
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Old Apr 16, 2024, 12:01 pm
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Thanks for the correction there SK AAR my experience in the past wasn't quite aligned with what you suggest should be the case (it was another airline), but if that's the way it should work hopefully it will benefit SaltyPaprika
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 1:55 am
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Planet/SK AAR,

Tomorrow is 14 days until departure on the outbound sector FCO-JED-DAR.

Does the EU261 kick in tomorrow as it's within the 14 days prior to departure?

I live in Manchester UK, so I was planning on perhaps visiting MAN in the coming days to speak to the SV Station Manager there - if you think that's a good suggestion?

Thanks again for all your help on this.
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 6:43 am
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I suggest you don't need to focus on it being 14 days from travel as that is just a cut off point for whether compensation is payable for rescheduling or cancelling flights.

If you want an easy to read view of what UK or EU261 means can I suggest The 2024 BA compensation thread: Your guide to Regulation EC261 / UK261 but you have to realise that it's written for BA so you have to unravel that SV does not have to protect the return journey as it's not a European carrier. And as it's the return journey you're now trying to fix UK or EU261 doesn't really help much.

But if you live close to MAN then trying to make contact with the SV station manager when check-in is open won't hurt. Just realise that they probably won't have time to deal with you there and then as they need to deal with the flight due to depart and you probably will need to agree that you share an email address or phone number and your PNR and hope that follow up with you later.

Good luck.
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Old Apr 17, 2024, 8:09 am
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I agree that the 14 days before departure rule is irrelevant here and only applies in case the OP is informed of a cancelled flight within 14 days or less from departure.

By all means go to MAN to talk to the staff there; you may not get anything out of it, but worth a shot IMO.
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