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Author Topic: British Airways and cancelled flights - why can't they be like TOC's?  (Read 869 times)
Gordon the Blue Engine
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« on: December 27, 2017, 10:17:42 am »

GTBE Junior + wife + 3 children 7,5,2 was booked on British Airways 1300 LHR – Zurich to-day.  Yesterday he got a message saying it was cancelled due to bad weather, and that they had been rebooked on 1550 LCY – Zurich.  This was no good due to travel at other end and also how do you get to LCY from Reading to-day.

So they offered him 0700 LHR – Zurich as every later BA flight was fully booked.  This meant getting up very early, but he took it as BA were offering nothing else.

He then found a SwissAir flight LHR – Zurich at 1150 with 5 seats together.  He phoned back BA and asked for a refund, which they only agreed to after an escalation and a call back.

My point is that if the different TOC’s help each other out, why can’t the airlines? Why couldn’t BA have rebooked their passengers on to the SwissAir flight?  And on a wider point, when they are thinning out LHR departures due to bad weather, why can’t the airlines co-ordinate to ensure that the planes that do take of are full, even if that means taking competitors’ passengers.  The answer of course is that BA (as do other airlines) put the interests of BA above that of their passengers.

Also worth noting that BA’s 1300 LHR – Zurich was the only flight cancelled out of LHR to-day, and the only flight arriving at Zurich to-day, due to “bad weather”.  So no compensation due.   Last time he’ll be using BA.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2017, 10:26:56 am »

Things don't change.   Mirrors my experience of 25 years ago almost exactly.

I dislike BA with zeal because of that - they remain my airline of absolute last resort, and I don't mind how many times I tell my story.

Wish them well, GTBE ... sounds like they are sorted (thanks to their own devices!) in the end.   It will certainly help turn this into a holiday that they'll remember and I suspect they'll have an extraordinary good time when they get there!
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Gordon the Blue Engine
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2017, 10:36:53 am »

Thank you Graham.  Actually they live there, in a mountain village, so they were going home after Christmas with us.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2017, 11:07:59 am »

All airlines operate the same way - if they can carry you on their other services, they will, with no additional compensation. If they can't carry you (all being full, for example) , then they'll try their code-shares as it's still cheaper - only if they don't exist/full/etc will they transfer you to another carrier.

It's all in the T&Cs if you care to read them....but all airlines look to operate that way.
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rogerw
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2017, 09:41:04 pm »

Had a similar experience in Feb 2012, on the day it snowed, when I was booked on a morning BA flight to Newark as part of a cruise package.  BA cancelled almost every flight from LHR terminal 5 that day, including mine after I had checked in and passed to departures.  The queue to re-book flights was 3 hours long.  Fortunately the problem of finding a flight fell to the cruise company who re-booked me 3 times with BA only to find those flights cancelled.  I eventually left on a United flight at 1800 and had a row of 3 seats to myself.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2017, 08:29:14 pm »

Things don't change.   Mirrors my experience of 25 years ago almost exactly.

I dislike BA with zeal because of that - they remain my airline of absolute last resort, and I don't mind how many times I tell my story.

Wish them well, GTBE ... sounds like they are sorted (thanks to their own devices!) in the end.   It will certainly help turn this into a holiday that they'll remember and I suspect they'll have an extraordinary good time when they get there!

I think you must have been unlucky, I fly for Business/Pleasure at least a dozen times a year, almost always with BA and my experience is almost universally good............any time I've been delayed by more than an hour or so I've had food and drink and always kept informed, and on one occasion in 2012 (may well have been the same day that Rogerw refers to) I was cancelled twice and put up in a hotel until the next day when I was taxied to another airport at their expense.

The effort flag carrying airlines almost always put in to keep their customers informed and arrange alternatives for them generally puts the railways to shame in my experience,  they value customer service and seek to enhance the customer experience...............then again of course, unlike the railways, passengers almost always have a choice of airlines on a given route, so they value retaining their custom and go the extra mile to add value.

I feel for GTBE in the circumstances he describes but I don't think being moved to a later LCY flight from LHR is too much of a hardship to be honest - BA can't be held responsible for the railways being unable to provide a service, and with a bit of imagination other means of transport could have been used - if you'd planned to get to LHR anyway, there is always the Underground/DLR to get to LCY.

I'm actually amazed that a refund was given in respect of flight on a different airline after you'd accepted tickets on an alternative BA flight, I'd say that represents superlative customer service - bear in mind that in most cases GWR won't even pay for a taxi from Slough to Maidenhead if a train is cancelled and you have less than an hour to wait for the next one!!!
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2017, 11:00:41 am »

I’ve never actually flown with BA, but it doesn’t look like many people share TG’s high regard for them:

https://news.sky.com/story/british-airways-drops-to-third-from-bottom-in-satisfaction-survey-11172512

Third bottom in both long and short haul categories, and a Which? customer score that’s dropped 15% in the last year..
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ellendune
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2017, 02:11:56 pm »

No cancelled flights, but my recent experience is not good food offering that you now have to pay for is poor. Paying for hold baggage has made the cabin baggage overcrowded so you are likely to get picked off and asked to put you baggage in the hold (for free).  Annoying when you hadn't planned on it. 

Perhaps TG flies business class.
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Brucey
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2017, 02:25:08 pm »

Providing transport to the other airport is a requirement in the EU261 legislation, whether the delay is within the airline's control or not, unless you opt for a later flight voluntarily.  My understanding is that BA's standard policy is to refund the reasonable cost of reaching the alternative airport (i.e. the tube/DLR fare on a normal day, or a taxi where there is no public transport).

The EU261 regulations also require re-routing, regardless of delay cause.  In practice, you'll only be booked on an alternative carrier if there are no flights on the same or next day.  And then you'll likely only be offered a oneworld flight (in the case of BA).  Even the likes of Ryanair, although not part of an alliance, will only book on certain airlines (easyJet, Jet2, Vueling, CityJet, Aer Lingus, Norwegian and Eurowings, for reference).

You actually get a lot more rights as an air traveller (on journeys covered by EU261) than a rail passenger.  Things like food and drink, telephone calls, hotels and transport are all a legal right, regardless of the cause of delay.

Paying for hold baggage has made the cabin baggage overcrowded so you are likely to get picked off and asked to put you baggage in the hold (for free).  Annoying when you hadn't planned on it. 
Experience suggests BA will allow hand baggage to be checked in before security free of charge (not advertised).  They even have a "hand bag drop" desk at LHR T5, you just have to know about it to realise what it's for Cheesy
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ChrisB
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2017, 04:34:34 pm »

Yep, use it a lot with a max-size-for-cabin bag. Saves paying for hold bags on journeys of up to a week. Need a larger bag beyond that
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1st fan
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« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2017, 07:04:26 pm »

The cancellations were down to Heathrow, National Air Traffic Services (NATS) and Euro Control https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurocontrol . They requested a number of short haul cancellations to allow for greater separation in the bad weather. I don't know enough about BA to be able to comment on the rebooking procedure. I do know that some routes get fully booked over the Christmas and New Year and period.
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