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Last week I was booked on a British Airways flight one morning - after being sat on the aircraft for well over an hour, the captain informed us that the technical problem holding us back could not be fixed, and that as far as the airline were concerned, the flight was cancelled. We were all offloaded and had to rebook later flights etc.


As I ultimately arrived at my destination over 3 hours late, I thought I had good grounds for a compensation claim (after all, the delay had cost me money) under EU Regulation (EC) 261/2004.


However, on using the on-line claim form at ba.com I was told the claim was not valid as the flight was not cancelled! Indeed looking at flightstats.co.uk, the flight is indeed marked as "Delayed 404 minutes". Sure, the aircraft would have been flown back to Heathrow (the destination) eventually, but by this tactic it seems they could argue there are never any cancellations!


I will be writing to BA formally, but in the meantime, are there any views as to whether I have a case for compensation?





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  • 2 weeks later...

It is not for BA to define cancellation. They are trying to skirt around the EC regs by playing with semantics. Look at the regulation EC 261/2004 and work out what you would be entitled to for cancellation and send a letter before action. It would be helpful if you could collate any evidence you can on that flight. Scheduled airlines cannot argue the same point as charter airlines in respect of cancellations. Did the flight actually go with passengers? Do you know that? Seems that there is a good case if you can get enough info together to claim for compensation under the regs. As a matter of interest are you in touch with anyone from the "original " flight who may recall what the pilot said? Maybe even willing to put a very brief witness statement together for you?

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Many thanks for the response, Grumble Weadle. That was certainly my feeling about "cancellation" definitions. The EU regs do seem to contain a definition - it is true that all passengers were offloaded after the captain made his announcement; whether subsequently some passengers did eventually travel on that aircraft that day and with that flight number, I cannot tell. And no, unfortunately I am not in contact with anyone else from the flight - I dare say if I was really desperate, I could make an appeal through a local newspaper.


I have sent BA a letter requesting compensation; would I be better waiting to hear from them, and perhaps contact the AUC before getting to the letter before action stage?

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