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Angry With British Airways  
User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Posted (4 years 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5053 times:

So basically a long story short I booked with BA to fly originally in December of 2008 which was a Premium Economy return ticket flight to Bangkok but due to many reasons I could not fly on that flight and I have been trying to travel to Thailand for a long time but I have simply not been able to go so consequently I have been changing the dates of my original booking since December 2008.

Anyway I have finally been able to get the time off to go on the holiday so I needed to change the dates for this September. I tried to do this online as I had done in the past but was unable to do so I rang British Airways
where I was told everything's fine and we have booked you on the new dates you require in September and you are reserved on those flights. Anyway, today I have received an email from British Airways saying due to a technical fault with their website I have been able to change my flight dates past the time I should have been able too (the limit is apparently 12 months from the original booking) and that although they will honour the dates that were booked I cannot now fly on the new dates in September I was told I had been re-booked on.

I find this disgraceful...I was told by them I was reserved and booked on the flight and now they turn around say well,actually you cant fly on those dates anymore and if you want to you will have to buy another new ticket! I have already paid for around 1,700 pounds for the current ticket and have paid for about 500 pounds of non-refundable hotels and tours in Thailand and have also booked the time off work and quite frankly I am disgusted at the way they are treating me.

I am now faced with the prospect of having to buy a whole new ticket..... 

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4963 times:

I would contact them by phone and illustrate your point; that on the basis of them reconfirming your dates over the phone you have made a considerable outlay and that the time to inform you about the 12 month rule was back when you were talking to them. They will no doubt be able to review the call, most major call centers record everything for precisely this reason.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1326 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4933 times:

Very unlucky situation indeed. Yes, it is true, the maximum ticket validity with almost every carrier on this world is 12 months, and you need to rebook in that period. You are not entitled to travel 2 years later, but the should have told you this right away. Maybe they can issue you a travel credit or something and you will be able to buy a new ticket.

User currently offlineoa260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26844 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 4931 times:

If they have accepted the booking and its their error then they should honor it. Call customer relations and stand your ground. Ask for a supervisor.

User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4875 times:

Thankyou all for your replies.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 3):
If they have accepted the booking and its their error then they should honor it. Call customer relations and stand your ground. Ask for a supervisor.

Yes I have tried to ring them up and reason with them. I have told them again and again that the reservations agent I called confirmed that my flight had been re-booked and I was confirmed on the new flights but they say because I was not charged for the changes at the time (because they said the sales team will have to price up the cost changes and call me back) that I have no case against them. I really think that is a shocking way to treat customers.


They let people believe that they are booked on a flight and then turn around and say" well,unfortunately you can't fly those dates we booked and confirmed you on now". I tried to find an address to write a letter of complaint to but as far as I can see they don't have one,only an email complaint form which I expect is answered by some un-interested clerk more worried about painting their nails than helping me out....

I will call again and demand to speak to a supervisor.


User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4754 times:

Was looking for some more advice if anyone has any please..

Basically BA are refusing to budge on the matter and quite frankly don't want to know but I think I may have them on something...

When I changed my flight to the current dates they are on now the "fare terms and conditions" for the new flights clearly stated that "changes to flights dates allowed for a 50 pound fee and any price difference in fare". Now they have turned around and said you can't change your flight dates surely they are in breach of their own Terms and Condition's aren't they?

I have no experience in law but surely that's not allowed is it?


User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4706 times:

Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 5):
I have no experience in law but surely that's not allowed is it?

The tickets you booked had a limit on them (12 months) for change of dates. You exceeded that limit therefore you don't have any legal backing, it's like a car's waranty.

When it says 'I agree to these terms and conditions' and you ticket the box, you agree to all that is said, ofcourse very few people bother to read it but are then surprised later when something like this comes up ( i'm sure companies know people don't read it, much like most people don't read the instruction manuals and then act surprised when something doesn't work/ breaks/ they can't figure it out and have to call an engineer).

As such unfortunately, from what i've understood of this case, BA are in the right. Someone verbally telling you something is not legally binding, only agreeing to terms and conditions is (similar to signing a contract vs being told on the phone you have the job...only one guarentees it !). Any hard evidence may help your case but legally it's not really concrete.

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4652 times:

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 6):

Thanks for your reply.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 6):
Someone verbally telling you something is not legally binding, only agreeing to terms and conditions is (similar to signing a contract vs being told on the phone you have the job...only one guarentees it !).

But thats the point I make later on. When I purchased the current ticket the new fare rules for the ticket state "flight date changes allowed for a fee and any fare difference"...so they did not only verbally tell me over the phone,they entered into a contract with me when I paid for the current flight and the terms of that contract clearly stated "flight changes allowed".

To explain about 2 months ago I changed my flight dates to August. The fare rules for this flight were as explained above - flexible. Now I need to change it to dates in September and they say I can't....how can that be right?

The case also raises another question for me if as you say I dont have any legal backing as the ticket has expired. I have paid BA roughly 550 pounds in fare differences and about 200 in fees to change the booking dates in the past which were also made well past the 12 month expiration date so they been taking payments from me for an expired ticket. Would I therefore have any grounds to claim that money back..?

Cheers


User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4628 times:

Hi there, happy to (attempt) to help !
There might be stuff i've missunderstood etc so just correct me if i'm wrong

Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 7):
But thats the point I make later on. When I purchased the current ticket the new fare rules for the ticket state "flight date changes allowed for a fee and any fare difference"...so they did not only verbally tell me over the phone,they entered into a contract with me when I paid for the current flight and the terms of that contract clearly stated "flight changes allowed".

To explain about 2 months ago I changed my flight dates to August. The fare rules for this flight were as explained above - flexible. Now I need to change it to dates in September and they say I can't....how can that be right?

Airlines reserve the right to change terms and conditions as and when accept for those they have already honoured (bookings already made - so for example they can't suddenly jack up the price 2 weeks before you fly !).

In your case though, you changed the booking. You are in theory changing the date you 'sign up' to the 'contract' and starting a fresh.
As such any changes made to T&C's are now as of date of change. - Same as a job contract, if wages lower and you sign a new contract the prices adjust, even if you originaly applied for a different wage. You have changed the goalposts as such, and so the company can likewise do so. If i signed a contract then defered it for 50yrs, it would be silly to then demand the same wage as defiend 50yrs ago, I have changed the start date (in your case, your start date = flying date) and so I have basically opened myself up to the company's whim, which you have with regards T&C's

Quoting SpeedBirdA380 (Reply 7):
The case also raises another question for me if as you say I dont have any legal backing as the ticket has expired. I have paid BA roughly 550 pounds in fare differences and about 200 in fees to change the booking dates in the past which were also made well past the 12 month expiration date so they been taking payments from me for an expired ticket. Would I therefore have any grounds to claim that money back..?

I doubt it's a solid case, besides if BA choose to ignore you, the only option is Court which is a rather costly and pointless process. Ultimately, you have changed dates beyond the preagreed limit and as such, BA will claim you are in the wrong because you've exceed that predetermined limit. The only thing you have is the technical fault on your side of the argument but that's a long shot in terms of legality (proof for example).

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11611 posts, RR: 60
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 4593 times:

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 8):
I doubt it's a solid case, besides if BA choose to ignore you, the only option is Court which is a rather costly and pointless process. Ultimately, you have changed dates beyond the preagreed limit and as such, BA will claim you are in the wrong because you've exceed that predetermined limit. The only thing you have is the technical fault on your side of the argument but that's a long shot in terms of legality (proof for example).

If BA have continually taken monies for deferring a ticket which was already expired, then they have already set the precedent themselves. I've lost count of the number of times I've fought similar corners, and 100% of the time I have come out with a satisfiable result - that is to say, winning. Have they any record of the phone call in which you were verbally reconfirmed? If so, then you have a very good case, even if they say they haven't I'd recommend you contact trading standards ASAP and present the case to them. They will then be able to advise you on a course of action, and hold a lot more clout when it comes to tackling consumer rights. If they told you the wrong thing, the onus is on them - I would suspect the content of the email you were sent is enough proof.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 4581 times:

Thanks again guys for both your inputs...much appreciated.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 9):
Have they any record of the phone call in which you were verbally reconfirmed?

I dont know to be honest. I wrote them a very long email explaining the call and even writing out what I said which was clearly "Please can you rebook me on to these new flights" to which the ticket agent replied "ok then,we have re-booked you and reserved you a seat on those flights...all you have to do now is wait for our sales team to call you back so you can pay for the price of the changes" I explained this to their customer help lady who sent me an email back saying "You have queried a change with us but you have not confirmed it as no charges have been discussed or agreed". I took a bit of offense to that answer really as I hardly call what was said between me and the agent merely "querying a change"

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 9):
If so, then you have a very good case, even if they say they haven't I'd recommend you contact trading standards ASAP and present the case to them

Ok I will contact trading standards as I don't see how it can do any harm. As you say they are much more likely to take notice of them than me.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 8):

Thanks for your help and you could well be correct but I will see what trading standards say. Like you say though if they refuse to budge on the matter then it would be a court case which as you say is probably not worth the time,hassle and money.

Cheers guys..will let you know what happens....


User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4541 times:

http://www.britishairways.com/trade/texctc/public/en_gb

This link has various contact details of different departments, which may be useful to you ?
A written letter may also help to one of the departments.t
Think outside the box too; customer relations, Reservations and General Enquiries, Head Office and Fares Audit are one of many you could contact.
Finally, as my military training instilled in me, if in doubt; go up the Chain fo Command ! (i.e. speak to a manager, then ask for contact detials of someone higher up if not satisfied).

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineSpeedBirdA380 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2008, 539 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4528 times:

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 11):
This link has various contact details of different departments, which may be useful to you ?

Yes indeed thanks very much.

It think it would be a good idea to write a proper letter and hopefully recieve a proper letter back. With email's you can tell the person has just "copied and pasted" most of their reply and like I said I get the feeling I am being fobbed off the few people that have dealt with my case so far.

I am not sure whether to write to Head Office and Sales or Customer Relations.

Cheers for providing me with the link.

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 11):
Finally, as my military training instilled in me, if in doubt; go up the Chain fo Command ! (i.e. speak to a manager, then ask for contact detials of someone higher up if not satisfied).

  

[Edited 2010-07-14 09:45:18]

User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (4 years 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4347 times:

No worries, I hope you battle goes well and update us on how it goes !

Wrighbrothers



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineAT From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 999 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 4332 times:

Quoting Wrighbrothers (Reply 11):
This link has various contact details of different departments, which may be useful to you ?
A written letter may also help to one of the departments.t
Think outside the box too; customer relations, Reservations and General Enquiries, Head Office and Fares Audit are one of many you could contact.
Finally, as my military training instilled in me, if in doubt; go up the Chain fo Command ! (i.e. speak to a manager, then ask for contact detials of someone higher up if not satisfied).

Wrighbrothers

Yes I agree. In general,unless you are being unreasonable or are clearly in the wrong, I find that the higher up you go, the quicker and easier it is to resolve an issue.


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