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British Airways cancelled our flights. Can't get through on phone.

30 replies

couchparsnip · 04/05/2022 18:13

We booked to go to America in the summer, flying British Airways to NY. They have cancelled our flights and not offered to book us on replacements.

There's no way to rebook on the website - just nothing to click except 'contact us', so I've been trying to phone them. I can't get through at all. I just keep getting the same message saying all the options 'should' be on the website (which they aren't) and then getting I get cut off. So frustrating!
Has anyone got through to them lately? What time should I try? Why is their website so crap! Arghh!

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HolyMoly22 · 04/05/2022 18:14

Twitter for another number

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harriethoyle · 04/05/2022 18:24

Try either first thing in the morning (I think UK contact centres open at 7.30am) or one of the foreign ones, I've booked companion voucher flights through the Japan call centre before. Good luck!

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MikeWozniaksMohawk · 04/05/2022 18:26

Why do you need to speak to them? Have you had your money back? Can’t you book with another airline?

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zafferana · 04/05/2022 18:27

Tweet them. Someone always answers within a day or two. They'll ask for all your booking info and someone will get back to you.

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zafferana · 04/05/2022 18:27

By which I mean use the Twitter messaging service, not just send them a tweet (although that might work too).

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ZZTopGuitarSolo · 04/05/2022 18:31

I'm on some FB groups for Brits in the US and generally speaking BA are the absolute worst for cancelling flights. Most people are now avoiding booking with them, because it's so likely the flights will be cancelled.

Sorry...

You do need to keep on trying to call them. My parents eventually got the money back for their cancelled flights but NOT the extra fees they'd paid for things like booking seats.

They are a total shower of shite as airlines go.

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jackstini · 04/05/2022 18:32

Very very common topic in all the New York groups on social media in the past 2-3 days

Most people are being offered alternative flights automatically via email, usually around 12-24 hours after cancellation notification - there will be a link to click on to choose which alternative

Others have got through on phone but taken hours - same outcome with alternative

Most changes are for same day, within an hour or 2, some are 1 day different I've only seen a couple where no offered option

I know this doesn't solve it and it's a nerve wracking time but hope it helps

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Hopefulmove · 04/05/2022 21:07

Did they just cancel it today? This happened to us and then the next day or maybe 36hrs later they text me with a link for a few options - inc rebook on the closest available flight.

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couchparsnip · 04/05/2022 22:11

No I haven't had my money back.

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couchparsnip · 04/05/2022 22:13

That's comforting. They cancelled it yesterday morning.

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ImInStealthMode · 04/05/2022 22:14

Same as above, we got an email Friday night, and the text yesterday afternoon. I selected 'book closest available flight' and now I expect I'll wait to hear for them to actually confirm that.

In the app and online it just still shows the cancelled flight.

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BritWifeInUSA · 05/05/2022 02:31

Did you book directly with BA or through a travel company? If you used an agent or travel company then they will handle the rebooking for you.

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BookwormButNoTime · 05/05/2022 11:56

They are consolidating flights where they have several flights on the same day on the same route. Whilst their lack of communication with you is shocking, it does mean that them doing this now means no last minute changes. They also code share with another airline (I think American Airlines) so some passengers are being moved to flights at a similar time.

I know the not knowing is unbearable, but I would be extremely surprised if you haven’t just been moved to a same day flight at roughly the same time.

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ZZTopGuitarSolo · 05/05/2022 15:23

Just an FYI - BA has been doing this throughout Covid, since flights restarted. It's been a constant source of discussion on the Boston Brits FB group that I'm on, to the extent that at various times people have had a pretty good idea which flights are most likely to be cancelled, and hence to avoid booking.

BA has been by far the worst airline for this.

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ImInStealthMode · 05/05/2022 18:20

To be fair BA have probably struggled more because airlines in the EU and elsewhere got far more governmental support through Covid than they did.

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couchparsnip · 05/05/2022 19:33

I paid extra for seat booking too as DS is really tall and wants the legroom.
Still not heard and flights were cancelled Tues.
I tried on their Facebook page. Someone answered and said to message them all the details. I used the FB messenger on the page and a bloody bot answered telling me to go to the website. So crap!

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Letsnotargue · 05/05/2022 19:37

I pushed BA about not refunding my extra payments for seat bookings etc. They claimed it was non-refundable according to the T&Cs, so I asked them to confirm in writing that this was the case so I could claim on my insurance. In the end they refunded it just to make me go away. Sometimes it’s worth being a pain.

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ZZTopGuitarSolo · 05/05/2022 23:11

ImInStealthMode · 05/05/2022 18:20

To be fair BA have probably struggled more because airlines in the EU and elsewhere got far more governmental support through Covid than they did.

They were a truly shit airline long before Covid.

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ZZTopGuitarSolo · 05/05/2022 23:16

Letsnotargue · 05/05/2022 19:37

I pushed BA about not refunding my extra payments for seat bookings etc. They claimed it was non-refundable according to the T&Cs, so I asked them to confirm in writing that this was the case so I could claim on my insurance. In the end they refunded it just to make me go away. Sometimes it’s worth being a pain.

Oooh I like to read this! Good for you.

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1stWorldProblems · 05/05/2022 23:46

We had this for DD2 school trip to Barcelona. A group booking for 30 people cancelled on the website 24 hours before. No contact from BA despite the flights being booked directly through them & the teacher in charge spent about 6 hours on the phone & failed to get anywhere. As they had the coach booked & everything else arranged, they simply went Heathrow at the agreed time & explained the issue directly to staff.

They were moved to the next flight with seats all together - my feeling from this & the similar news stories, is that where they have two flights that aren't full, they're cancelling one & putting everyone on the one flight - saving them a plane & reducing the staffing numbers (as they are having problems with C-19 & people not returning after the Lockdowns). It makes sense but I think they'd have happier customers if they explained that it what they're doing, rather than scaring the bejesus out of lots of purple, who then turn up at the airport stressed & angry.

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ethelredonagoodday · 05/05/2022 23:48

We had the same situation, but there was a link we could click on to rebook?
As others have suggested, Twitter is my go to approach where resolution isn't easy...

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Stopsnowing · 05/05/2022 23:50

i Had this but there was a link in an email which showed me flights the same day and I just chose another one

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notimagain · 06/05/2022 11:17

my feeling from this & the similar news stories, is that where they have two flights that aren't full, they're cancelling one & putting everyone on the one flight - saving them a plane & reducing the staffing numbers (as they are having problems with C-19 & people not returning after the Lockdowns).

That's exactly what they (and some other airlines) do, it's happens all across the industry from time to time and it's known as consolidation.

Particular problem BA seem to be having is the communicating with those effected, it sure as heck shouldn't need a drive to the airport to sort it out, but as mentioned upthread BA/poor comms is not exactly something new.

FWIW routes where there are multiple flights a day (for BA Long Haul that would most especially be the likes of JFK and to some extent BOS) will be particularly prone to this in the current climate.

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couchparsnip · 07/05/2022 14:30

Finally got through and booked new flights. They are very helpful when you actually can speak to someone it's just taken this long of trying every day since I found out. They kept either saying 'we can't take your call' or I would be on hold for an hour and the call would drop.
I was given the option via text of let us rebook for you and we might not tell you what flight you are on for weeks or cancelling the flights.
I wanted to make sure we got reasonable flights and got our seat allocations we had paid for. All sorted on the phone finally.
Also the operator said they were training up new customer service people right now so they should all be starting soon.

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CurlyhairedAssassin · 07/05/2022 18:54

1stWorldProblems · 05/05/2022 23:46

We had this for DD2 school trip to Barcelona. A group booking for 30 people cancelled on the website 24 hours before. No contact from BA despite the flights being booked directly through them & the teacher in charge spent about 6 hours on the phone & failed to get anywhere. As they had the coach booked & everything else arranged, they simply went Heathrow at the agreed time & explained the issue directly to staff.

They were moved to the next flight with seats all together - my feeling from this & the similar news stories, is that where they have two flights that aren't full, they're cancelling one & putting everyone on the one flight - saving them a plane & reducing the staffing numbers (as they are having problems with C-19 & people not returning after the Lockdowns). It makes sense but I think they'd have happier customers if they explained that it what they're doing, rather than scaring the bejesus out of lots of purple, who then turn up at the airport stressed & angry.

Yes, they should be explaining exactly the reason for their decisions.

OP, I'm glad you got sorted. What date are you flying? We're going on the 21st July but I stupidly booked a 2 leg flight on one ticket to the US, from Manchester-Heathrow, then Heathrow to San Francisco (got about 2.5 hours layover in Heathrow) instead of putting those 2 journeys on 2 separate tickets. And only THEN did I realise they seem to be cancelling the same flight that we would be going on from Manchester nearly every day (the 10.50 one). The complaints on Twitter have really ramped up and my stress levels are through the roof, even though they haven't actually canclled it yet. It's the thought of having that tight deadline of the second main flight to catch at Heathrow and them fucking us up getting there. It's not even as if we can just do a last minute drive to Heathrow the night before if they cancel late on, because then we'd be classed as a no-show because we didn't turn up at Manchester and it's all on one ticket from Manchester Hmm. I just wished I'd booked 2 separate tickets instead of all in one.

Ideally I'd just cancel the Manchester-Heathrow flight now and drive down there the night before and stay in a hotel which is what we'd originally planned to do. But you can't do that online and have to phone them. And they say on Twitter that you should only phone if you're travelling in the next 2 weeks.

I'm not a seasoned traveller, we've never been to the US and this is the holiday of a lifetime for us. It's a road trip so if BA completely fuck up the start of it I will be absolutely livid.

I do feel sorry for them because of the pandemic losses but they need to work really really hard to earn people's trust back.

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