MSE News: British Airways stalls on strike-affected flight refunds

Options
Former_MSE_Guy
Former_MSE_Guy Posts: 1,650 Forumite
I've been Money Tipped! Newshound! Chutzpah Haggler
edited 17 December 2009 at 7:09PM in Flights, currency & car hire
UPDATE (17 Dec, 3.45pm): The High Court has ruled the proposed strike cannot go ahead (see the BA strike off MSE News story).

British Airways Christmas strike Q&A
Possible staff walkout 22 Dec - 2 Jan



More than 1m passengers face travel misery after British Airways (BA) cabin crew announced a 12-day strike. There's no easy quick fix, but there's a quick Q&A.
  • Can you get a flight refund? BA hasn't yet announced flights are cancelled (by 10pm Tue), and until it does, you can't get a full refund. Meanwhile, for all but fully flexible tickets, it'll only allow you to change flight dates to the same destination. You need to call 0844 493 0787 for this, though its phone lines are constantly jammed (see BA stalls on refunds MSE News story).
  • How about booking another flight? The problem is while it may be possible to find another flight (use Kayak* or Travelsupermarket*, full info with the Cheap Flights guide), until BA says flights are cancelled, you risk paying for two flights if the strike's called off / your flight is still on.
  • Can you reserve a flight elsewhere until BA cancels? Most travel agents that do this will only do so when booking months ahead. You can ask a friendly agent, though it won't be easy (report any success via the discussion link below)
  • Will travel insurance cover you? If BA cancels flights it'll give your money back, but not hotel costs (unless you booked through BA). Some travel insurers will cover you for non-refundable hotel / car hire already paid if you bought it & the cover before 14 Dec (strike announced) or 2 Nov (when the unions first met staff). It depends on them eg. Aviva, Churchill and Direct Line say you may be covered if you had a policy in time. In a nutshell, call your insurer and ask what the score is.
  • Should you cancel your hotel? Some allow cancellation with a full refund if you do it early enough. Find out the date (ie, when you can't cancel after) so you can make the call as late as possible.
  • Are credit card payments over £100 covered (Section 75)? If you booked a hotel / car hire separately it's unlikely Section 75 will cover you as the hotel / car firm hasn't done anything wrong.
  • If you booked via a travel agent / tour operator? If you booked a package, according to ABTA, the Package Travel Regulations 1992 mean you'll usually get a full refund (hotel & travel) or be given a suitable alternative.
Also see the MSE News story:








OfficialStamp.gif
«134567

Comments

  • 78mjt
    78mjt Posts: 111 Forumite
    Options
    This is just a nightmare scenario. A similar thing (not strikes but airport blockade) happened to me when I was in Thailand. I was supposed to be flying back to Bangkok through Air Asia and then Emirates from Bangkok to Dubai and Dubai to Manchester. Air Asia wouldn't cancel the flight until the day before it was due to fly, so I had to book extra flights to get to Malaysia instead and from there Emirates looked after me. The insurance company covered NOTHING - no hotels, no flight changes (named and shamed it was Insure and Go) and you feel in a total state of limbo.

    I wish everyone all the best, just not what you need, especially at Christmas
  • TheFaqqer
    Options
    Martin Lewis, MoneySavingExpert.com creator, says: "BA needs to get its act together. We all understand the company is in a difficult position but this policy of not allowing cancellations is adding to customer woes and likely to lead to long-term detriment to its reputation.
    "If people can find other flights elsewhere they should be allowed to cancel with no charge immediately. Come on BA, stop ruining people's Christmas."
    Normally, I agree with a lot of what Martin promotes, but not this time. BA are, for those who aren't aware of it, a BUSINESS. The reason that they are trying to cut expenses is so that they can stay in business - they can only run at a loss for so long.

    If they allow all their passengers (who may or may not be affected by a strike that may or may not happen in the future) to shift their business to their competitors, then they will go out of business quicker.

    Maybe Martin's last line should have said "Come on Unite, stop ruining people's Christmas" - the unions are the ones that have chosen to strike, they have chosen the dates to cause maximum disruption to customers, and yet they aren't being blamed for it.
  • gegm
    gegm Posts: 22 Forumite
    Options
    TheFaqqer wrote: »
    Normally, I agree with a lot of what Martin promotes, but not this time. BA are, for those who aren't aware of it, a BUSINESS. The reason that they are trying to cut expenses is so that they can stay in business - they can only run at a loss for so long.

    If they allow all their passengers (who may or may not be affected by a strike that may or may not happen in the future) to shift their business to their competitors, then they will go out of business quicker.

    Maybe Martin's last line should have said "Come on Unite, stop ruining people's Christmas" - the unions are the ones that have chosen to strike, they have chosen the dates to cause maximum disruption to customers, and yet they aren't being blamed for it.

    I agree that the Unions are completely to blame for this. They are a disgrace, as I believe, are the CWU organising the previous postal strikes. Ultimately in business tough decisions have to be made by management to keep a company trading, people have to accept this and if it means redundancies so be it - industries can't be propped up just for the sake of it. Times change, business changes, dust yourself down and get on with it. Without abusing your positions to ruin everyone's Christmas.
  • Elvisia
    Elvisia Posts: 914 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Options
    This is a nightmare for people who are traveling for work too: I have to be back in France for the 4th January to start my teaching job again for next term, so I HAVE to get back to Nice, it's not a holiday where I can cancel it and it's an inconvenience. So far I had rebooked on easyjet, going back on New Years Day (I had new years celebrations planned in France, but have had to cancel the party at my house) but I am more worried I won't be able to get my money back from BA and will end up paying for two flights. I could move the flight to later on in the year but I booked expensive ones on BA as it is Christmas, if I change it to later in the year they won't cost at as much, and will BA refund that money?
    I am annoyed they are saying sit and wait to see what happens, already my easyjet flight has gone up so if I was still waiting I would be losing money. I don't know who to blame, all I know is many people are ending up out of pocket (as I am) and we're not all going on luxury holidays to the Caribbean.
  • katiehaze
    Options
    I have an annual policy through STA travel and I've been told that they will not reimburse me for any costs incurred as a reult of the strike as one of the 'general exclusions' is anything which is the result of a labour dispute.

    This site, and most of the newpaper sites I've looked at are telling people that their insurance will cover them provided they booked before the strike possibility was announced. This isn't necessarily true - in all cases, people need to read the fine print on their own policy.
  • friedx
    Options
    We have booked a package holiday with PageAndMoy, who provide a flight with BA from Heathrow, but have chosen to make our own way to the hotel (via EasyJet from a local airport). Page and Moy say if the whole package is cancelled because of the BA strike we will not get a refund for the holiday, although those flying with them will. The FAQ above suggests that travel insurance will not cover me, either, as we booked after Nov 2nd. We paid using a debit card to avoid the credit card fee, so it seems we will be out of pocket even though we are not flying with BA.
  • mirrorsaw
    mirrorsaw Posts: 2,366 Forumite
    Options
    Elvisia wrote: »
    This is a nightmare for people who are traveling for work too: I have to be back in France for the 4th January to start my teaching job again for next term, so I HAVE to get back to Nice, it's not a holiday where I can cancel it and it's an inconvenience. So far I had rebooked on easyjet, going back on New Years Day (I had new years celebrations planned in France, but have had to cancel the party at my house) but I am more worried I won't be able to get my money back from BA and will end up paying for two flights. I could move the flight to later on in the year but I booked expensive ones on BA as it is Christmas, if I change it to later in the year they won't cost at as much, and will BA refund that money?
    I am annoyed they are saying sit and wait to see what happens, already my easyjet flight has gone up so if I was still waiting I would be losing money. I don't know who to blame, all I know is many people are ending up out of pocket (as I am) and we're not all going on luxury holidays to the Caribbean.

    I'm in a similar situation, I've now purchased another flight with American Airlines, and I'm worried that the strike will be cancelled I would've paid for 2 flights :(
    If this happen, we won't even have the opportunity to move these flights to dates later in 2010 will we? So I guess it would be prudent to get the dates moved asap, or we're basically gambling.
    Be kind to all moneysavers
  • lyon1980
    Options
    My partner & I had booked to spend Xmas in New York from 21st-28th back in April as a treat to myself successfully finishing my nursing degree. Flights are through BA and of course are not fully flexable so cant be cancelled just yet. My hotel, not through BA is also non refundable and so are many of the event tickets I have spend money on during our stay. Luckily we were fortunate enough, and quick enough to be was able to purchase tickets through another airline (fully refundable untill 24hrs prior to departure!) as a back up but at a huge cost, not exactly ideal however weighing up the money we would loose overall if we stuck with BA and lost everything it was worth it. We now have to sit tight to see which company we fly with. I have lost all confidence in BA and will not be flying with them again. Surely the potential loss in consumer confidence and expendature is enough for BA to call off the strike - or is that just wishfull thinking? Fingers crossed for everyone effected.
  • Boonbetty
    Options
    My son arrived this morning on BA from DC and is booked to return on 28 December. He is due back at work on 29 December. If his return flight is cancelled because of the strike will BA compensate him for loss of earnings? He has no more holiday entitlement for this year so cannot just ask to extend his holiday. He had no choice but to travel today as his flights are not flexible ones and he would have lost his money.
  • TheFaqqer
    Options
    lyon1980 wrote: »
    Surely the potential loss in consumer confidence and expendature is enough for BA to call off the strike - or is that just wishfull thinking? Fingers crossed for everyone effected.

    BA can't call the strike off - only the union can do that. Have you tried complaining to the union asking them what compensation they are going to provide to those affected?

    BA cabin crew earn on average £29,900 including bonuses and perks. Virgin cabin crew on average earn £14,400. Unite are trying to protect their members who are facing new contracts to try and stop the company going bankrupt - they haven't twigged yet that if BA goes bust then THEY ALL LOSE!

    The choice for BA is whether they cave in to union pressure, keep losing money and then go out of business, or keep going trying to protect as many jobs in the process as they can.
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.2K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.9K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.8K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 608.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.3K Life & Family
  • 248.4K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards