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BA Aircraft Change

Old 5th Aug 2020, 17:19
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BA Aircraft Change

Booked 2 seats on BA, LHR-LAX late last year.
My wife suffere from MS but was determined to make the journey for the wedding of the daughter of a friend !
She needs to move around during the flight as I do ! (Old Codgers pushing 70)
We specifically booked the 2 seats, window and aisle upstairs on the A380. We booked and paid early to avoid any hiccups !
A frw weeks ago the advised us of change of seating. Window and centre on a 787-9.
This of course was utterly hopeless ! We asked several times for a solution. None was forthcoming !
The option arose of flying an Aer Lingus 360 with the required seating config.
BA however refused a refund, only a voucher !
As this was a one off trip, a voucher was of zero value !
What we bought and paid for, is no longer available.
Can anyone advise me of my rights and how to proceeed.
I have spent countless hours on the phone listening to their elevator music and promotions , even when I get to speak to someone, I am met with a brick wall.
No refund means no rebooking with Aer Lingus !
Always thought I was protected by the various bodies against this kind of thing !!

El Grifo
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 20:05
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Not sure you'd be entitled to a refund as the flight, whilst an aircraft type change, has not been cancelled, Happened to me a few months ago when I'd booked the flight months in advance then government advice was implemented against travel to my destination unless essential. BA hadn't cancelled the flight so they offered a voucher and not refund equivalent to the flight cost. Whilst Aer Lingus are also part of the IAG group it may be that their flight booking system is completely separate from BA's hence not being able to use the BA voucher.for Aer Lingus.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 20:49
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Can you actually enter the USA from the UK at the moment?

The FO and US Embassy web pages would suggest not.
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Old 5th Aug 2020, 22:35
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I think we all have to accept that, in the current national emergency, getting your preferred seats on a flight which is still being provided is pretty well down the list of priorities.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 06:42
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Aer Lingus 360

I loved the Aer Lingus 360, one of Belfast's finest!
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 08:16
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Originally Posted by kildress View Post
I loved the Aer Lingus 360, one of Belfast's finest!
And it wouldn't have given rise to the OP's complaint - two-thirds of the seats were window seats, and two-thirds were aisle seats.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 08:25
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Booked 2 seats on BA, LHR-LAX late last year.
My wife suffere from MS but was determined to make the journey for the wedding of the daughter of a friend !
She needs to move around during the flight as I do ! (Old Codgers pushing 70)
We specifically booked the 2 seats, window and aisle upstairs on the A380. We booked and paid early to avoid any hiccups !
A frw weeks ago the advised us of change of seating. Window and centre on a 787-9.
This of course was utterly hopeless ! We asked several times for a solution. None was forthcoming !
The option arose of flying an Aer Lingus 360 with the required seating config.
BA however refused a refund, only a voucher !
As this was a one off trip, a voucher was of zero value !
What we bought and paid for, is no longer available.
Can anyone advise me of my rights and how to proceeed.
I have spent countless hours on the phone listening to their elevator music and promotions , even when I get to speak to someone, I am met with a brick wall.
No refund means no rebooking with Aer Lingus !
Always thought I was protected by the various bodies against this kind of thing !!

El Grifo
Alas you wouldn't be entitled to a refund for a change of A/C type or seats, your purchase was for travel LHR/LAX/LHR and that is what BA are providing you with, even under normal circumstances a shange of A/C type can occur at any time even at the last minute when a planned aircraft may go technical or whatever, unfortunate given your best planning but alas sh!t happens sometimes.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 08:35
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The two major issues are, that due to her Multiple Sclerosis, my wife is now unable to fly. It is a medical issue !
The last 2 Long Hauls have only been possible in the aforementioned seating config.
The other issue is that we would be turned back at US immigration. We are currently not allowed entry.
I assume It would be the responsibility to return us to the UK immediately !
I have offered BA proof of my wife's condition, but it is falling on deaf ears !
El Grifo
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 08:39
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Can you actually enter the USA from the UK at the moment?

The FO and US Embassy web pages would suggest not.
Yes, but in the case of non US nationals the list of who is allowed is pretty small.
wiggy is online now  
Old 6th Aug 2020, 10:59
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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So I although I sympathize with the situation you are up against with BA, just really a few points that BA might have and hence why you are having issues...
  • Your contract with BA is to fly you from LHR-LAX and simply that is it
  • They can change the aircraft at any time (check your T&Cs)
  • They can change your seat at any time (check your T&Cs)
  • The airline is not at fault if you book yourself on a flight to a country you are inadmissible for (you will be denied travel)
  • The airline is not at fault for extra requirements by every passenger
To put it simply, it is not the airlines fault you are unable to travel, on a flight that will still go. I'm sorry that's a bit blunt, but that is genuinely the way that an airline will see it, and that is what you are up against. The direction you should really be going with that in mind is your travel insurance, as that is really what it is for. Any past experience etc. will be down to an airlines goodwill, rather than legal requirement.

Hope that helps
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 11:22
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Thanks Gulf Julliet Papa !
A couple of things !
The destination was available at time of booking, so I did not book a flight to a destination that was unavailable !
It became unavailable many months later.
If I were to turn up for the flight, how would BA handle things in respect of being unable to board us due to entry restrictions in the US ? Any clue ?
Whilst I accept your points, I guess that I was expecting a bit of compassion and goodwill from BA.
Sadly, it appears to be in short suppy against the background of 100% refunds from all if the other elements of the planned trip, Iberia, Hyatt and Hilton !
Thanks
El G
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 11:56
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Thanks Gulf Julliet Papa !
A couple of things !
The destination was available at time of booking, so I did not book a flight to a destination that was unavailable !
It became unavailable many months later.
If I were to turn up for the flight, how would BA handle things in respect of being unable to board us due to entry restrictions in the US ? Any clue ?
Whilst I accept your points, I guess that I was expecting a bit of compassion and goodwill from BA.
Sadly, it appears to be in short suppy against the background of 100% refunds from all if the other elements of the planned trip, Iberia, Hyatt and Hilton !
Thanks
El G
If you paid with a UK Credit Card, you may be able to get a refund via the CC company. I would stick to the line "Travel to the US was OK when I booked but now the FCO/US Government state it's not" or words of that nature.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 12:06
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Cheers for that Compton 3 !
Spanish Debit Card unfortunately !
I asked BA what would happen If I turned up for the flight when both sides knew that they would be unable to take us to the US.
Despite couching the question in several different ways, all I could get was " well the flight is still going"
Would it illegal for BA to board us knowing that we would be denied entry to the US ?
El G.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 12:21
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Your case is complicated, and so it's difficult for us from different countries in different legal areas to help you. You combined different flights on your own? You booked in Spain? Via BA website or a travel agent or any other booking site? What law applies then? EU law might help you.

And if your wife has special needs, you should take care of ways to ensure those needs before booking. I'm sure european airlines usually support many ways of transporting passengers with restrictions.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 12:23
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Would it illegal for BA to board us knowing that we would be denied entry to the US ?
BA will be aware that (currently) if they carry you to the USA, they will be obliged to fly you straight back to the UK when you're not allowed in.

If their reservations people are pretending otherwise, they are either stupid or disingenuous. Should you show up at LHR with your ticket, you will be denied boarding - but it shouldn't be necessary to go to those lengths in order to secure a refund.

You are unlikely to be alone in this situation - there must be thousands of passengers currently holding UK-US tickets who are unable to fly.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 13:30
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Fair Comment DaveReid !
Thousands indeed ! Probably why they are making it so difficult.
Encouraging me to continue on my longish journey from the Canaries to LHR under false pretences is downright fraudulent in my view !!

Regarding the latter part if your comment Ray_Y, either you did not read my original post, or failed to comprehend !
The steps I took to cover the "special needs" of my wife consisted of finding an airline that flew the route and had seating configuration suitable for her needs and booked 8 months in advance !!
I have done this for the last two long haul flights !!

El G.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 13:43
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Cheers for that Compton 3 !
Spanish Debit Card unfortunately !
I asked BA what would happen If I turned up for the flight when both sides knew that they would be unable to take us to the US.
Despite couching the question in several different ways, all I could get was " well the flight is still going"
Would it illegal for BA to board us knowing that we would be denied entry to the US ?
El G.
During normal times if an airline transports a passenger to a country without the right of entry to that country, no visa or similar, then the passenger gets returned to sender and the airline gets a hefty fine, that is why the staff can be so stringesnt at check-in, but quite how things are being played at the moment I am out of touch with.

But even some loco's, normally totally non-refundable etc., during these times are allowing cancellations and refunds, surely somewhere on the BA website should be posted revised procedures for this ever changing set of circumstances that we currently find ourselves in, as an example I know with Expedia Group that if one booked non-refundable accommodation before 20 March then they can cancel in return for a voucher valid at the same accommodation for 12 months, if you haven't done so already go searching on the BA website for any flexibility to their normal terms and conditions.

One would have thought 'goodwill' but these airlines need every penny they can get their hands on during these times, I'm still waiting for 4 refunds dating back to flights that became cancelled during March and April.

Good luck though.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 13:54
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Fair Comment DaveReid !

The steps I took to cover the "special needs" of my wife consisted of finding an airline that flew the route and had seating configuration suitable for her needs ...
And I'm afraid that's not what guarantees you anything special. I bet it's different when you tell the airline/request special needs during booking about it. Will they charge you a higher fee for that? Who can answer this?

I looked up. I couldn't find any advice for people who booked long time ago, flight uncancelled, but immigration impossible at destination due to COVID-19. For me it looks like it's the passenger's risk (not passengers fault). Airlines voluntary policy to offer voucher or free rebook. They don't have to offer even that?

Maybe it's seen similar like you turn sick before flight. It's not your fault, but it's your risk.

One travel agent told me once "We don't earn a lot on straightforward travel. We earn money with plan changes"
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 13:59
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Thanks Gulf Julliet Papa !
A couple of things !
The destination was available at time of booking, so I did not book a flight to a destination that was unavailable !
It became unavailable many months later.
Try think of this the other way round. The destination still exists, as does the flight, and like every flight (in good and bad times), passengers that are eligible for entry at the destination can still get on it. It's your eligibility for entry that has changed (I know outside of your control but still), not the airline or the flight.
If I were to turn up for the flight, how would BA handle things in respect of being unable to board us due to entry restrictions in the US ? Any clue ?
Again, as in normal times, the procedure remains the same for passengers that are not eligible for entry at the destination. If you were allowed to board you would get as far as passport control, at which point you will be denied entry, and placed in a waiting room until the next flight back to your origin, you will likely miss the return sector, so 24hours in a waiting room. The airline will have to fly you back, and be liable for a (I believe) 5 figure fine. To mitigate this they will stop you at check-in unless there is a chance that you will eligible by boarding time, but either way, you will not get anywhere near an aircraft.
Whilst I accept your points, I guess that I was expecting a bit of compassion and goodwill from BA.
Sadly, it appears to be in short suppy against the background of 100% refunds from all if the other elements of the planned trip, Iberia, Hyatt and Hilton !
Thanks
I am not saying you do not deserve compassion or goodwill, but can you imagine the number of sob stories that customer services have heard over the last few months. Sadly all goodwill may of been used up by those that don't really deserve it.
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Old 6th Aug 2020, 14:04
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Originally Posted by El Grifo View Post
Cheers for that Compton 3 !
Spanish Debit Card unfortunately !
I asked BA what would happen If I turned up for the flight when both sides knew that they would be unable to take us to the US.
Despite couching the question in several different ways, all I could get was " well the flight is still going"
Would it illegal for BA to board us knowing that we would be denied entry to the US ?
El G.
Based on past experience, if an airline boards a PAX that doesn't have the necessary paperwork, visa, passport with sufficient validity etc, they will not only have to repatriate you at their cost but will also be fined. Hence they are very careful not to board PAX that don't meet the entry criteria. I would approach BBC Watchdog and CC the BA and IAG CEO's as well as getting on their social media channels. I will take 10 minutes, so not much to be lost and everything to be gained...
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