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British Airways Compensation

British Airways is the largest international carrier in the UK, flying to more than 80 countries worldwide. According to its fact sheet, “A British Airways aircraft takes off from somewhere in the world, every 90 seconds.” That’s impressive!

But running such a large airline isn’t without complications. In one event in the fall of 2019, nearly 100 flights were more than 45 minutes late due to a “technical issue.” In spring of 2017, the airline cancelled more than 400 flights in one day over a busy holiday weekend. Luckily for passengers, they’re not without rights. EU 261 allows travellers to make a British Airways compensation claim in certain circumstances.

British Airways Refunds

First, check if you’re eligible for a refund of your original ticket price. This refund is separate from compensation you may be owed under EU 261. If the airline cancels your flight, they must offer you a full refund of your ticket price or offer to re-route you on the earlier available flight. If the next flight doesn’t work for you, you can choose to receive a refund instead.

This British Airways refund is available to you regardless of the reason for your flight cancellation. Even if the cancellation is due to circumstances outside the airline’s control, you’re still entitled to a refund. You’re also entitled to “assistance” while you wait at the airport. These accommodations include refreshments, as well as a hotel and transportation if you need to wait overnight.

When Are You Eligible for BA Flight Compensation?

On the other hand, your eligibility for BA compensation under EU 261, that is, money in addition to a refund of your ticket price, depends on several factors. To be eligible, your British Airways flight must meet the following qualifications:

  • The flight happened no more than 6 years ago.
  • You have a valid ticket and booking confirmation for your trip
  • Your flight was cancelled or delayed with less than 14 days notice.
  • You checked in for your flight on time.
  • Your flight takes off from airport in the EU or lands at an airport in the EU.
  • The reason for the cancellation or delay is within the airline’s control.

Whether the cancellation or delay was within British Airways’ control is determined by something called “extraordinary circumstances.” You’ll be entitled to compensation as part of your British Airways refund due to causes like:

  • Mechanical issues
  • Staffing problems
  • Lack of passengers
  • Overbooked flights

However, you may not be entitled to BA compensation due to reasons like:

  • Weather
  • Airport closures
  • Airspace restrictions
  • Employee strikes
  • Political instability
  • Birds flying into engines

British Airways Delay Compensation

Beyond the above requirements, there are different rules for eligibility depending on whether your flight is delayed or cancelled outright. If your flight is delayed, you’ll be eligible for BA compensation if you arrive at your destination at least 3 hours later than planned. The timing is calculated based on the time of arrival at your destination airport, not the time of departure.

It gets even more specific than that, however. Courts have determined the actual meaning of he word “arrival” in terms of EU 261 compensation, ruling that a plane has arrived when it opens at least one of its doors.

You’ve determined that you’re eligible – but how much British Airways delay compensation are you entitled to? That depends on the length of your flight as well as how long you’re delayed.

  • 3 hours or more, flight less than 1,500km: € 250
  • 3 hours or more, flight between 1,500km and 3,500km: € 400
  • 3 hours or more, flight more than 1,500km and within the EU: € 400
  • 3–4 hours, flight more than 3,500km, between an EU and non-EU airport: € 300
  • 4 hours or more, flight more than 3,500km, between an EU and non-EU airport: € 600

British Airways Cancelled Flight Compensation

The requirements to be eligible for British Airways cancelled flight compensation are more straightforward. If your flight was cancelled with less than 14 days notice, you may be eligible. And while your British Airways refund will depend on how much your ticket cost (as the refund amount is equal to the ticket amount), your cancelled flight compensation is based simply on how long your planned flight was:

  • Up to 1,500km: €250
  • 1,500km–3,500km: €400
  • More than 3,500km: €600

Again, this compensation is in addition to any refund you may have received for your ticket price. Accommodations you receive in the airport, like vouchers for food, drinks and hotel, also don’t count toward your BA flight compensation. Also keep in mind that if you choose to cancel your own flight, for example due to illness or change of plans, EU 261 does not cover you. The regulation only covers flights cancelled by British Airways.

What to Do If Your British Airways Flight Is Delayed

Unfortunately, flight delays and cancellations are a part of travel – but they are still inconvenient. Here are the best ways you can be prepared and claim the BA compensation that’s rightfully yours.

Try to Be First in Line

By getting to your gate early, you can be on the lookout for any suspicious activity that could indicate a delay or cancellation. And when they make the official announcement, you’ll be among the first to know – and therefore you’ll be able to beat the line and more quickly get on the next available British Airways flight.

If you want to try to get on the next available flight, staying on top of your flight delay is vital. You may also want to call the airline, in addition to getting in line at the desk, to maximize the chance that your travel plans won’t be too affected.

Know Your Rights

You may want to get on the next available flight, but keep in mind that if your flight is delayed more than 5 hours, you can choose not to take the next available flight. You can ask the airline to provide alternative transportation, such as by train, or to fly you back to your origin point, both of which they must do free of charge.

Save Your Documentation

Save your boarding pass and booking confirmation, as they may be needed to make a claim. Also save any receipts for money you spent on food, refreshments or lodging while you were waiting for the next flight. If the airline didn’t provide you with vouchers, you may be able to get reimbursed later.

You should also ask for the reason for the cancellation or delay. Extraordinary circumstances are one of the most important parts of British Airways delay compensation guidelines. While they don’t allow British Airways a “get out of jail free” card – they may still owe you a ticket refund and airport vouchers while you wait – they can be used as an excuse to avoid paying you your rightful BA compensation.

How to Make a British Airways Compensation Claim

Communicating with the airline regarding your British Airways compensation claim – and fighting to determine the correct reason for the delay – is just one of the ways a professional company like TravelRefund can help you. We’ll ensure you have a smooth experience.

As soon as you make a claim, we’ll review it and contact the airline to proceed. From that point on, you don’t have to deal with the airline directly. We’ll fight for you and even take your claim to court if necessary. If you win compensation, we’ll take a small amount. If you don’t win, you don’t pay.

Still have questions? Contact us today. We can answer all your questions about BA compensation for both delayed and cancelled flights.