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  • Kagowa Kuruneri

Have you had flight delays over the long weekend?

Bank Holiday Weekend plans were quickly disrupted for many passengers travelling from either Heathrow or Gatwick on British Airways. Thousands of travellers had their flights delayed or cancelled following a massive IT failure on Saturday 27 May 2017. Today (30 May 2017) the airline has finally been able to resolve its issues, but unfortunately this has come at a high price for many passengers. Those who were lucky enough to have their flights rescheduled arrived at their destination after lengthy delays and some further inconvenienced by a lack of baggage.

BA has set up a compensation scheme whereby passengers who required accommodation as a result of delays can reclaim the money spent on hotel stays, transfers and on food and refreshments. Reimbursements have been capped at the following rates:

  • Up to £200 a day for hotel stays (based on 2 people sharing)

  • Up to £50 for taxi transfers between the airport and the hotels

  • Up to £25 per person per day for food and refreshments

Additionally, passengers could receive up to £540 in compensation for the inconvenience caused, depending on the type of flight that was cancelled. Some may be happy to receive any form of compensation, but is this enough considering the costs of flights and the nature of consequences faced by individual customers whose flights were affected?

It is also unclear whether additional inconveniences caused from missed or rebooked flights will be compensated under this scheme. Although the airline have said that they will honour any claim for compensation, this is neither guaranteed nor will compensation be automatic. You must formally apply for compensation and don’t forget that EU compensation rules may apply.

You may recall from an earlier article that the EU rules are as follows:

  • Short-haul flights must be delayed by at least 2 hours

  • Medium-haul flights must be delayed by at least 3 hours, and by 4 hours for long-haul flights

  • Accommodation and transfers must be provided for overnight delays

  • Full refunds are to be given (within 7 days) for cancellations, OR re-bookings must be made for flights cancelled at short notice

  • Passengers may receive cancellation compensation, the value of which is determined by the length of the fight

  • Passengers may receive further compensation for reaching their destination more than 3 hours later, the value of which is determined by the length of the flight and the delay

  • Compensation will only be provided for flights departing from or arriving in EU airports, as well as Norway, Switzerland or Iceland

UK laws also state that compensation should be awarded where delays have been caused as a result technical faults, which clearly appears to be the case where BA is concerned. It is also one of BA’s policies that compensation claims can be brought for any qualifying flight delays or cancellation that have arisen within 6 years of the incident.

If you would like to speak to someone about what may be done to help you regarding delayed or cancelled flights, contact me via email or through LinkedIn to find out whether you may be owed compensation.

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