Flight cancelled months in advance but no similar priced alternatives

Planning a family trip to Japan at Xmas. Flights booked direct with BA for £850 about 6 weeks ago.

Got email to say the flight is cancelled. Seems like just one if the 3 flights cancelled from Manchester to Heathrow so the whole journey is cancelled. They asked us to call up to rearrange or we could get a full refund.

Trouble with refund is that flights are over 1k each now so as a family we are talking over £500 increase to get a refund and book elsewhere. Going to call BA soon to try to Redbook with them but I suspect they are going to say that I have to pay the price of tickets today and may ask for an extra £500 or more. 

Question is, how do I play the phone call with BA? Is there any way I can get them to honour their original price to put me on a very similar schedule. The flights are regular between all points so I don't see it like there is only one flight a day or less between these places. Especially the Manchester to Heathrow leg.

Comments

  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,906 Forumite
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    Were the other flights as cheap 6 weeks back?  I know when I'm looking to book flights there's a lot of variety on prices for the same destination - might be expensive at 8 am but cheap at 2 pm etc.
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • mr_stripey
    mr_stripey Posts: 660 Forumite
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    BA canned my flights to Oslo a few months before we were due to fly. Just got an email out of the blue saying "we've cancelled your flights" and they refunded the money.

    I immediately looked for alternatives and as you say, they were similar flights but much more expensive. 

    When I checked back a couple of weeks later, everything had more or less settled down to similar prices. In fact the ones I rebooked were actually a little bit cheaper.

    so it might pay to wait and see - but there's no guarantee of course.
  • eskbanker
    eskbanker Posts: 30,883 Forumite
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    Planning a family trip to Japan at Xmas. Flights booked direct with BA for £850 about 6 weeks ago.

    Got email to say the flight is cancelled. Seems like just one if the 3 flights cancelled from Manchester to Heathrow so the whole journey is cancelled. They asked us to call up to rearrange or we could get a full refund.

    Trouble with refund is that flights are over 1k each now so as a family we are talking over £500 increase to get a refund and book elsewhere. Going to call BA soon to try to Redbook with them but I suspect they are going to say that I have to pay the price of tickets today and may ask for an extra £500 or more. 

    Question is, how do I play the phone call with BA? Is there any way I can get them to honour their original price to put me on a very similar schedule. The flights are regular between all points so I don't see it like there is only one flight a day or less between these places. Especially the Manchester to Heathrow leg.
    Article 8 of the UK/EU 261/2004 regulations is triggered by a cancellation and requires that the airline offers you a choice between a refund or rerouting, so they're obliged to rebook you at no extra cost if that's what you (understandably!) want.
  • onashoestring
    onashoestring Posts: 1,631 Forumite
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    As @eskbanker has said you are entitled to choose  between a refund or an alternative flight to your destination- ( this can even be with another airline if the original airline doesn’t have availability )

    Before making the phone call - do some research and find an alternative flight that will meets your requirements -then when you phone BA tell them that you do not want a refund but you are requesting that they book you onto these alternative flights . If necessary quote the UK/EU 261 regulations.
  • Westin
    Westin Posts: 5,938 Forumite
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    Might an idea be to accept the LHR > HND > LHR routing and look at train/coach options between Manchester and LHR?  You would have to let BA know in advance if missing the MAN > LHR sector, don't just skip it on the day.
  • CKhalvashi
    CKhalvashi Posts: 12,056 Forumite
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    BA will likely be able to rebook you to fly from Heathrow, not Manchester.

    I think Flybe are flying to LHR from MAN this winter, but a better alternative is likely to be by bus or train.

    I've also noticed a lot of variation and the £10 flights to many places have long gone now, but it's still possible to pick up a sub-£50 return to most of Europe if you're not picky about dates and happy to book a few weeks out.
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  • steve1500
    steve1500 Posts: 1,438 Forumite
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    edited 10 August 2022 at 3:42PM
    This is the bible http://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/Re-routing Guidance (CAP2155).pdf

    BA CC staff have virtually no knowledge about it

    Para 33 on page 12 makes for interesting reading
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