BRITISH Airways have been accused of not booking passengers on other airlines if their flight has been cancelled due to the strike.
This in spite of the law which states they have to do so.
Hundreds of passengers have had their flights cancelled due to the BA pilot strike, which will see them walk out on September 9, 10, and 27.
However, Brits have complained that the airline is not offering alternative flights for them with other airlines if they are on the same day.
Emma Johnson tweeted: “@British_Airways why are you still insisting you can only use partner airlines which are not ‘comparable’ to the original flight when non partners have ‘comparable’ options available? The regulation is clear on this. Why are you flouting it? @UK_CAA”
Emma Bennett wrote: “I am shocked at how @British_Airways are treating their customers over the #bastrike I am due to go on my honeymoon and you have cancelled my flight!
“Only option is to rebook with another airline for £3500! I’m guessing that you are going to cover this @British_Airways?
Another passenger asked if they would be given compensation as their “only alternative is to cancel & rebook w alternative carrier” which was much more expensive.
Adrian Nott and his partner Julie Mann were told their flight from London Gatwick to Malta was cancelled on September 10, and that they were not able to fly out with alternative airlines.
They were offered a BA flight the next day, meaning they would lose a day of their holiday, despite other airlines such as Jet2, easyJet and Ryanair having same-day flights.
They told the Independent: “I pointed out to the BA rep that under EU law they should get us on an alternative flight with a different airline. I was told that this was not BA policy.”
Does an airline have to rebook your flight if they cancel it?
According to the Civil Aviation Authority, airlines should rebook passengers on the next available flight, even if it is not with the same airline.
They explain: “If you still want to travel, your airline must find you an alternative flight. It’s up to you whether to fly as soon as possible after the cancelled flight, or at a later date that suits you. Airlines often refer to this as being ‘rerouted’.
“Although most airlines will book you onto another of their flights to the same destination, if an alternative airline is flying there significantly sooner then you may have the right to be booked onto that flight instead. You can discuss this with your airline.”
British Airways is partnered with other airlines such as Aer Lingus and Vueling, as well as Qatar Airways.
Richard Stephenson, Director at the UK Civil Aviation Authority, said earlier this week: “We have been in contact with the airline to determine what has happened and are seeking an explanation to confirm how it complied with its re-routing obligations to consumers.
“Passengers who have seen their flights cancelled should be offered the choice of reimbursement for cancelled flights, alternate travel arrangements under comparable conditions at the earliest opportunity which includes flights on other airlines, or a new flight at a later date at the passenger’s convenience.
“We also expect airlines to proactively provide passengers with information about their rights when flights are cancelled.”
He also explains that any passengers who were incorrectly told their flight was cancelled should be offered “reasonable costs of re-booked flights” from the airline, although is being done on a case-by-case basis by BA.
PILOT STRIKE British Airways strikes – When are they, why are pilots striking and will my flight be cancelled?
A BA spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “We appreciate the frustration and inconvenience that this strike action has caused our customers and our teams are working tirelessly to help them.
“As soon as we were issued with dates, we contacted airlines across the world to support with rebooking agreements, and since Friday we have been providing customers with the option to travel on other carriers.
“Our contact centres are operating 24/7, and we have brought in additional resources, with over 500 colleagues working to support customers during this time.
“Our teams are providing customers whose flights have been cancelled with options to seek a full refund or rebook, including to a different date of travel, or flying with an alternative airline.”
How to get in touch with BA if you have been affected by the strike
British Airways’ customers services can be reached on 0800 727 800 for passengers who booked directly with the airline.
For Brits who are struggling to get through to the airline via phone, they can try the British Airways portal instead.
You can use it to claim for both delayed or cancelled flights, or if you’ve been left out of pocket because you’ve been wrongly told your flight has been cancelled.
Passengers can also check the current status of their flights through the Manage My Booking feature on BA’s website or app.
However, the airline advises passengers who have booked through their travel agents to get in touch with them instead.
Some passengers have accused the airline of selling tickets for ten times the cost during the strike.
One man found his £340 flight was cancelled, and to rebook would cost over £3,000.