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Cancelled British Airways flight

Woke to a message that my flight between London and Rome in a few weeks in cancelled. Hoping that the LA to London portion of my flight doesn't also get cancelled.

The message and web site gave no direction about rebooking or refund. The call center said that due to heavy call volume, my call cannot get through!

What have other people experienced? Will the airline issue a refund or do I need to submit something? I may proceed to book a flight with ITA but will have a 5-hour layover in Heathrow getting me into Rome late.

UPDATE: Both flights were booked together for same day. I booked though Travelocity and when I called them (got through immediately), they said the only way to get refund for cancelled portion was to cancel the entire itinerary and rebook the trip. I'm considering doing this as it means I can travel on an airline that's not having such dramatic problems.

Posted by
3979 posts

When BA cancelled my flight to London in February it automatically rebooked me on a flight out of a different airport 1.5 hours from my house. I didn’t need to do anything except accept the change.

Posted by
709 posts

Claudia, Were those two flights on the same ticket? It would be very odd for one leg of a ticket to cancel without the itinerary being re-booked into… something. (Likely something unsatisfactory, but still…)

Posted by
5106 posts

My advice is to keep calling. You will eventually get through.

I am a little confused from your post. Were both these flights on one ticket? That makes a difference in the final resolution.

Posted by
2285 posts

Here's a post I started a couple of years ago. It's WestJet, not BA, but the message is the same. DON'T ASSUME. You'll need to be the agressor, no matter how painful that can be.

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/transportation/don-t-assume

Canceling one leg and not the other does happen. In the same link above, scroll down in the comments to an update I had made. A WestJet rep explained how it happens. DON'T ASSUME.

Posted by
7167 posts

I'm considering doing this as it means I can travel on an airline that's not having such dramatic problems.

They all seem to have sudden cancellations nowadays. When my flight was canceled I got the refund and rebooked with another.

Posted by
709 posts

Both flights were booked together for same day. I booked through Travelocity and when I called them (got through immediately), they said the only way to get refund for the canceled portion was to cancel the entire itinerary and rebook the trip.

This is more on Travelocity than BA. They likely did some kind of back-handed separate ticketing—even though you thought it was, because they presented it as, one ticket.

Get it in writing that you can REALLY get a refund for the standing leg. This happened to a friend, and only after he paid for new tickets was his refund offer retracted.

Posted by
5106 posts

It is absolutely true that once BA cancelled the one leg on the same ticket you are eligible to cancel the entire reservation for a full refund. I have done this in the past and no difficulties getting the refund. If you had mentioned at the start that you had booked this through travelocity, I would not have directed you to BA. When you purchase through a 3rd party, the 3rd party is who you need to contact.

The one caveat here is that there are no guarantees that another airline won't cancel flights as well. Make sure you have a good option that you like before you cancel the first reservation.

Posted by
3979 posts

To me, this is a reminder to book directly with the airline. It helps when trying to resolve issues like this one since you cut out the middleman (Travelocity). I too have had problems getting through to BA on the phone. Hope everything gets worked out to your satisfaction.

Posted by
709 posts

It is absolutely true that once BA canceled the one leg on the same ticket you are eligible to cancel the entire reservation for a full refund.

Carol- The crucial, but nearly invisible, detail here is that they have to be on the same ticket number, not just the same record locator/PNR. This is a dirty trick that the OTA's have been using. Fine if nothing goes wrong, but a mess when there's any cancelation in the chain.

Posted by
34 posts

Looking at my travel document, there is only one ticket# for all legs of this trip. Now, I'm just wondering if British Air will also refund me the $ I paid directly to them for reserved seats.

Posted by
8588 posts

Now, I'm just wondering if British Air will also refund me the $ I paid directly to them for reserved seats.

That is something only BA knows and can do

https://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/seating/seating-changes-and-refunds

Refunds
When you can claim a refund

You can claim a refund for seats you paid for within 30 days of the completion of the last flight in your itinerary where:
we change your seat to an alternative seat and you are unsatisfied with the alternative seat;
we cancel your flight;
you become ineligible to sit in an exit row and you inform us at least 48 hours in advance of scheduled departure of your flight; or
you have paid for a cabin upgrade and do not wish to pay the difference to select your seat in the alternative cabin.
If your flight has been cancelled and already rebooked by British Airways within 48 hours of departure, there is no need to apply for a refund for your seat as this will be processed automatically. If you do not receive a refund within three weeks of your flight being cancelled, please fill in the ‘Refund for paid seating’ form.

Posted by
204 posts

same ticket number

Correct ... the same ticket number is 1 trip, so if one leg of the trip cancels, the airline will work out a new trip for all legs ... different ticket numbers are different trips, so if one trip cancels, the airline will fix just that one trip ... the other(s) are not connected with the cancelled trip so you are on your own to change them, probably with a change fee ... the third party doesn't get involved in flights cancelled by the airline.

Companies like Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, etc ... are like pre-prepared meals you get at your local grocery store ... pure convenience ... they exist because we don't have the time to do the work due to all the other needs that pull us in different directions and suck up our time ... if possible, do your own leg work and book directly with the airline, staying on the same carrier for the entire trip ... I realize you may have to change carriers to get from Point A to Point B, but hopefully that connection is with a partner airline (preferably with one they have a codeshare agreement with ... it looks like your airline flies that route but it is actually another carrier's metal with the first airline's name and usually a large 4 digit number) ... this way if one leg cancels, the airline should rebook the entire trip.

Posted by
658 posts

I hate to say it, and I don't want you to feel bad, but for other readers, this is a reason to always book directly with the airlines—never a third party (Expedia, Travelocity, Kayak, etc.). I can't imagine reaching someone on Travelocity for a resolution by phone, and besides, they don't even fly planes.

Posted by
34 posts

However, I was able to reach Travelocity rep within minutes both times I called today. They are processing the cancellation. All my calls today at all hours to British Air resulted in a recording that said that due to high volume they would not answer and to call back. Their email (and web site) gave no direction for rescheduling the flight or seeking refund.

Posted by
5106 posts

You should get your seat assignment money back if the reason you cancel is because they have cancelled one leg of your trip. This fee is not usually refundable, but I have received it back in this circumstance.

It would not have done you any good to get through to British Airways anyway since only Travelocity could deal with this ticket.

Posted by
3979 posts

If you reschedule with BA, what you paid for seats will transfer to the new booking, if not, it’s a toss up. Since BA cancelled the flight you should at least get a credit. If you cancel the flight then it’s pretty much lost money.

Posted by
13041 posts

BritishAirways has been canceling a number of the short-haul flights between London and cities on the Continent, consolidating them into fewer, fuller planes. It may be a staffing problem or other reason, and I assume other airlines are doing it too. I noticed this for BA flights to Milan and Venice last spring—-only about 1 out of 3 flights shown on the schedule actually flew on some days I watched.

For bookings made with BA, one should be able to go into “Manage My Booking” using the PNR code and choose a different flight to Rome, and the seat reservation fee would roll over to the new flight so you could select new seats. But I don’t know that this will work with a booking through Travelocity. You could try on the BA website if you have booking code. But maybe it has to go through Travelocity—-I don’t know how that works as I have only booked directly with BA.

If you cancel the whole booking for a refund, you will not get a refund for the seat reservation fee for the flight from LA to London. And you may face significantly higher prices to book a new flight with someone else. So your best option, if you cannot use the BA website and Manage My Booking to get a new flight on the same ticket, is to get Travelocity to book a new flight to Rome. Look on the BA website at the options and have something in mind to request when you call Travelocity.

Posted by
4653 posts

However, I was able to reach Travelocity rep within minutes both times I called today. They are processing the cancellation. All my calls today at all hours to British Air resulted in a recording that said that due to high volume they would not answer and to call back.

British Airways have shot themselves in the foot. They cut huge numbers of staff during the pandemic and failed to act appropriately to ensure that there were sufficient staff numbers when air travel resumed. They are cancelling flights left, right and centre and it's not just cabin crew that are affected. You will struggle to find someone to talk to on the phone, even their Gold Member number, which is always answered almost immediately, took over 1/2 an hour to be answered recently. All I can suggest is to persevere and if able to, try and call at a time when call volume is going to be less busy (UK time).