Your refund rights explained as British Airways cancels hundreds of flights

posted on 28th March 2023 by Eddie Saunders
Your refund rights explained as British Airways cancels hundreds of flights

By Milo Boyd Travel Reporter

British Airways passengers caught up in airport chaos may find themselves unable to claim compensation despite potentially significance disruption.

The airline has announced 32 flights a day will be cancelled over Easter as Unite workers at Heathrow Airport walk out in a pay dispute.

Thousands of passengers will be impacted by the hundreds of cancelled flights, potentially ruining their holiday plans.

British Airways is estimated to have cancelled around 5% of its flights as a result.

The good news for those affected is that if your flight is delayed or cancelled because of a strike, your airline must help you.

That can mean food, drink and an overnight stay if you’re stuck away from home.

It can also include booking you onto an alternative flight if there is a suitable one or refunding you.

A British Airways spokesperson said that the airline is offering customers a range of choices including rebooking onto a new flight with BA or a different airline, or being given the option to request a full refund.

They said in a statement: “Following Heathrow’s requirement for us to reduce the number of passengers travelling during the period of its employees’ proposed strike action, we’ve regrettably had to make a small number of adjustments to our schedule.

“We’ve apologised to customers whose travel plans have been affected and have offered them a range of options, including rebooking on to a new flight with us or another airline, or requesting a full refund.

“Our teams are continuing to work closely with Heathrow to ensure that our customers’ journeys run smoothly.”

The airline is also trying to merge flights on the same route on the same day to try and minimise disruption as much as possible.

However, impacted customers may not be entitled to any compensation.

That’s because the airline can claim extraordinary circumstances – ie a matter which is outside of its control.

As the cancellations are a result of strikes at Heathrow and limits on passenger numbers, British Airways’ cancellations fall under this.

It’s worth getting in touch with your travel insurance provider as they may be able to help you recoup some of the costs.

Your full rights can be found on the Civil Aviation Authority website.

In regards to the strikes, a Heathrow spokesperson said: “We will not let these unnecessary strikes impact the hard-earned holidays of our passengers. Our contingency plans will keep the airport operating as normal throughout.”