BRITISH Airways passengers have been left fuming after their flights were cancelled due to upcoming strike action.
Many travellers were sent e-mails telling them their flight was not going ahead and to rebook – only to be told this was a mistake.
This led to many people paying for another flight which they didn’t need, costing some travellers thousands of pounds.
BA has been struggling to deal with the influx of complaints after nearly 40,000 calls were made to the airline in the first 24 hours – and the chaos is still ongoing.
We explain everything you need to know if you have had your flights cancelled by British Airways.
How to get in touch with BA
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.
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Can I get a refund or compensation if my flight has been cancelled?
If you’re due to fly in September and your flight has actually been cancelled, you can request a full refund.
Alternatively, you can re-book your flight for another time in the next 355 days – including more expensive dates such as Christmas and New Years – or use the value of your fare to fly to a different destination.
If you have a connecting flight on the same booking with BA, they will get you to your final destination.
But if your booking was through another airline or a travel agent, BA have advised that you contact them directly.
If you’re already on holiday and are planning to fly back on the affected dates, BA will refund you if you incur reasonable costs.
BA said: “If you’ve already travelled to your destination, and your return flight is now cancelled, payments up to £200 per night based on 2 adults sharing will be compensated.”
You should also keep any receipts for expenses incurred as a result of the cancellation, including for meals.
However, BA are not planning to offer compensation.
The airline stated on its website: “We wanted to give our customers as much notice as possible so cancellations were made as soon as we received dates from BALPA.
“As this was 14 days before the strike action starts EU261 compensation is not payable.”
You can, however, check whether you might be due compensation through your travel insurance provider if you have one.
Can I get a refund if I was wrongly told my flight’s been cancelled?
If you’ve already booked an alternative flight or made other travel arrangements when British Airways told you the original flight would still be going ahead as scheduled, you shouldn’t be left out of pocket.
A BA spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “We would encourage anyone who has incurred any expenses as a direct result to get in touch, and we will deal with each case on an individual basis.”
You can contact British Airways’ customers services on 0800 727 800 – just be aware that it’s “experiencing extremely high call volumes” according to its website so be prepared to wait – or alternatively try their web portal.
It’s likely that BA would refund any reasonable expenses.
Why are BA pilots going on strike?
According to the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA), discussions with the airline over pay stalled earlier this month.
A statement said that there was a gap between between BA and BALPA’s pay increase by “about £5 million”.
Pilots also claim that they have been forced to take pay cuts as well as give up holiday days and being paid less overall.
However, BA claimed they had offered a very “fair offer” with chief executive Alex Cruz saying captain’s pay would be over £200,000 per year.
The current strike dates have been confirmed as September 9, 10 and 27, although more could be announced up until January.
What should I do if travelling on the strike days but haven’t been told my flight is cancelled?
If you haven’t received an e-mail telling you your flight on or around September 9 and 10 is cancelled, you may be travelling with a code share carrier such as American Airlines.
In this case, your flights won’t be affected.
BA said that they would be in touch with customers flying out on September 27 in the “next few weeks”.
If you are worried, BA advises that you can rebook your flight for another time in the next 355 days.
What if I booked a holiday package with hotels?
A BA spokesperson told Sun Online Travel: “BA Holidays customers are being contacted with options, including alternative flights.
“Hotel bookings are protected if customers fly out with another carrier. “
However, passengers won’t be able to claim for unused flights until they come back.
Furious passengers have slammed BA for charging ten times the cost to rebook flights.
The strikes follow a summer of chaos for Brits travelling abroad.
A British Airways IT glitch left thousands without flights with the next available option a week later.