British Air flight arrived 3+hours late but no compensation!

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Jul 2, 2016
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Why is British Air refusing to compensate me for a missed flight when they were more than three hours late on arrival?

I was on flight BA6282 from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Johannesburg, SA on June 4, 2015. The flight was scheduled to depart at 1355 and arrive at 1535 but, because of mechanical problems was delayed and did not arrive in SA until about 1900.
Overseas Adventure Travel tour booked the BA 6282 flight. I booked a Virgin Atlantic flight (VS0602) with a scheduled departure time of 2010. A 4.5-hour lay-over in Johannesburg should have been enough of a cushion. I understand British Air's policy of taking no responsibility when the flights booked have no connection, but I believe that British Air is liable in this case because of the excessive time delay and lack of follow-through on promises made.
After a number of delay announcements, a few of us went to the BA office in the Vic Falls Airport so that we could call our airlines to advise them of our situation. There were a number of people waiting to use the one phone that was available – and I was not one of the ones who got to use the phone because we got the announcement that the plane was boarding.
I was hopeful that I still could get my plane although not comfortable without being able to notify Virgin Atlantic of the tight – but possible – missed connection.
We boarded BA6282 at 5pm but then sat on the tarmac for over ½ hour because “the temperature was too high and the plane had a heavy load.” I’m not sure why it was OK to take off after waiting about ½ hour but I was happy we did as I was thinking that it would land in time for me to make my connecting flight.
The crew made an announcement that they understood that a number of people had very tight connections because of the delay so they would have ground personnel helping to expedite our transfer. I checked with the stewardess to confirm that there would be assistance for those of us not on a BA connecting flight and she assured me that there would be. Not only were there no ground personnel to help out but my luggage took 45 minutes to get to the baggage carousel. As a result, I missed my connection.
Because I had not contacted Virgin Atlantic and was a “no-show”, the remainder of my ticket was cancelled and I had to purchase another one which left the next day. That meant another night in a hotel and many phone calls at the cost of about $150 from the hotel trying to sort this all out.

British Air claims no responsibility because, according to Natashia Schoeman, Comair Customer Relations "Your flight was delayed due to Rotational reasons, meaning that the earlier flight that had the mechanical problem affected your flight departure time. Your flight was delayed for 2 hours and 38mins which means that no compensation is due as compensation is only awarded from 3 hours of more."
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
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Sorry you had all those problems. At least Victoria Falls must have been amazing!

This is going to be difficult to resolve. The flight was a BA "codeshare", and the actual aircraft and crew were Comair, a South African airline. (I know you're aware of this, I'm mentioning it for others reading this thread). On top of all this, the flight was international from Zimbabwe to South Africa. I would speculate that South African regulations about flight delays and compensation are what applies.

Have you contacted Overseas Adventure Travel? They "owned" your reservation and may be able to get better results with the airlines.

The last issue is time- it's been over a year....even if the airline truly wanted to assist, the records are long gone! Hope this helps, let us know any other info you have.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,899
113
New York
This appears to have occurred a very long time ago. I'm not clear on the itinerary but under what theory do you believe you are entitled to compensation? Not under EU compensation, bc you were in Africa. Where is this 3 hour rule from?
 
Jul 2, 2016
4
2
3
77
Sorry you had all those problems. At least Victoria Falls must have been amazing!

This is going to be difficult to resolve. The flight was a BA "codeshare", and the actual aircraft and crew were Comair, a South African airline. (I know you're aware of this, I'm mentioning it for others reading this thread). On top of all this, the flight was international from Zimbabwe to South Africa. I would speculate that South African regulations about flight delays and compensation are what applies.

Have you contacted Overseas Adventure Travel? They "owned" your reservation and may be able to get better results with the airlines.

The last issue is time- it's been over a year....even if the airline truly wanted to assist, the records are long gone! Hope this helps, let us know any other info you have.
Sorry you had all those problems. At least Victoria Falls must have been amazing!

This is going to be difficult to resolve. The flight was a BA "codeshare", and the actual aircraft and crew were Comair, a South African airline. (I know you're aware of this, I'm mentioning it for others reading this thread). On top of all this, the flight was international from Zimbabwe to South Africa. I would speculate that South African regulations about flight delays and compensation are what applies.

Have you contacted Overseas Adventure Travel? They "owned" your reservation and may be able to get better results with the airlines.

The last issue is time- it's been over a year....even if the airline truly wanted to assist, the records are long gone! Hope this helps, let us know any other info you have.
Sorry you had all those problems. At least Victoria Falls must have been amazing!

This is going to be difficult to resolve. The flight was a BA "codeshare", and the actual aircraft and crew were Comair, a South African airline. (I know you're aware of this, I'm mentioning it for others reading this thread). On top of all this, the flight was international from Zimbabwe to South Africa. I would speculate that South African regulations about flight delays and compensation are what applies.

Have you contacted Overseas Adventure Travel? They "owned" your reservation and may be able to get better results with the airlines.

The last issue is time- it's been over a year....even if the airline truly wanted to assist, the records are long gone! Hope this helps, let us know any other info you have.
I made an error on the date -- it was Sept 3 so less than a year. I have been in contact with Overseas Adventure Travel but they didn't help.
I still have the email from Natashia Schoeman ([email protected]) where she says "Your flight was delayed for 2 hours and 38mins which means that no compensation is due as compensation is only awarded from 3 hours of more." While she admits what their policy is, she dismisses the fact that it ARRIVED more than 3 hours late.
 
Jul 2, 2016
4
2
3
77
This appears to have occurred a very long time ago. I'm not clear on the itinerary but under what theory do you believe you are entitled to compensation? Not under EU compensation, bc you were in Africa. Where is this 3 hour rule from?
The email from Natashia Schoeman ([email protected]) says "Your flight was delayed for 2 hours and 38mins which means that no compensation is due as compensation is only awarded from 3 hours of more." While she admits what their policy is, she dismisses the fact that it ARRIVED more than 3 hours late.
 
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kenish

Sep 1, 2015
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@jd324 Your situation interested me into doing a bit of research. First, there are few if any consumer regulations imposed by ZA's government. Policies for delays, canceled flights, etc. are up to the individual airlines.

The airline you flew, Comair, is one of the oldest airlines in ZA. A portion of their fleet is under agreement with BA...the planes are painted in BA livery but the crews and operations are Comair. (This is very similar to feeder airlines in the USA....e.g. "United Express" regional jets are operated by another company such as Skywest).

Comair's contract of carriage for the BA-branded service is what counts: http://www.comair.co.za/conditions-of-carriage/british-airways-operated-by-comair-limited (Google is your friend, BTW). To save reading, Section 9.b.3 covers compensation due to delays. The delay was less than 5 hours, and you stated that the next flight was a separate ticket and not a connection. Even if it was, Comair's CoC is similar to other airlines- they would refund the fare but no other expenses.

Unfortunately, I don't see any recourse through government or Comair channels...and I'm sure there's good reasons but 8 months is far too long to wait to take action on any consumer matter. The only possible avenue I see is the tour company.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,899
113
New York
The email from Natashia Schoeman ([email protected]) says "Your flight was delayed for 2 hours and 38mins which means that no compensation is due as compensation is only awarded from 3 hours of more." While she admits what their policy is, she dismisses the fact that it ARRIVED more than 3 hours late.
Thank you for clarifying. @kenish provided amazing research with the answer. It looks like agent you spoke with had it wrong anyway. You can write the contacts and see if they will throw you some miles for the inconvenience, but understand it would be a courtesy as there is no basis for compensation. I hope you had an amazing trip though!
 
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Aug 28, 2015
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Perhaps someone could look up the on time history of the route on that airline and if it shows its routinely delayed by 2 hours, then perhaps the LW can take that to the tour company who booked the travel and request $ as it possibly booked too tight a connection based on its experience with delays. I'm just brainstorming here.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
Why is British Air refusing to compensate me for a missed flight when they were more than three hours late on arrival?

I was on flight BA6282 from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe to Johannesburg, SA on June 4, 2015. The flight was scheduled to depart at 1355 and arrive at 1535 but, because of mechanical problems was delayed and did not arrive in SA until about 1900.
Overseas Adventure Travel tour booked the BA 6282 flight. I booked a Virgin Atlantic flight (VS0602) with a scheduled departure time of 2010. A 4.5-hour lay-over in Johannesburg should have been enough of a cushion. I understand British Air's policy of taking no responsibility when the flights booked have no connection, but I believe that British Air is liable in this case because of the excessive time delay and lack of follow-through on promises made.
After a number of delay announcements, a few of us went to the BA office in the Vic Falls Airport so that we could call our airlines to advise them of our situation. There were a number of people waiting to use the one phone that was available – and I was not one of the ones who got to use the phone because we got the announcement that the plane was boarding.
I was hopeful that I still could get my plane although not comfortable without being able to notify Virgin Atlantic of the tight – but possible – missed connection.
We boarded BA6282 at 5pm but then sat on the tarmac for over ½ hour because “the temperature was too high and the plane had a heavy load.” I’m not sure why it was OK to take off after waiting about ½ hour but I was happy we did as I was thinking that it would land in time for me to make my connecting flight.
The crew made an announcement that they understood that a number of people had very tight connections because of the delay so they would have ground personnel helping to expedite our transfer. I checked with the stewardess to confirm that there would be assistance for those of us not on a BA connecting flight and she assured me that there would be. Not only were there no ground personnel to help out but my luggage took 45 minutes to get to the baggage carousel. As a result, I missed my connection.
Because I had not contacted Virgin Atlantic and was a “no-show”, the remainder of my ticket was cancelled and I had to purchase another one which left the next day. That meant another night in a hotel and many phone calls at the cost of about $150 from the hotel trying to sort this all out.

British Air claims no responsibility because, according to Natashia Schoeman, Comair Customer Relations "Your flight was delayed due to Rotational reasons, meaning that the earlier flight that had the mechanical problem affected your flight departure time. Your flight was delayed for 2 hours and 38mins which means that no compensation is due as compensation is only awarded from 3 hours of more."
So sorry to hear your story, jd. If you booked your BA ticket through an OTA, they're the ones you need to deal with on a refund. I hope you can get them to help you after all this time. If not, please come back to us and we will see if there's another avenue towards solving this problem. Good luck!
 
Jun 29, 2016
99
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18
Silicon Valley California
Perhaps someone could look up the on time history of the route on that airline and if it shows its routinely delayed by 2 hours, then perhaps the LW can take that to the tour company who booked the travel and request $ as it possibly booked too tight a connection based on its experience with delays. I'm just brainstorming here.
Flight Aware is a great resoruce for this. I am not guaranteeing it works on all airlines but it does work for 99 percent of flights that users want to track. For the OP If you sign up for the free account they give you a pretty good history that dates back to at least a month if I am not mistaken.
 
Aug 28, 2015
3,729
2,899
113
New York
Flight Aware is a great resoruce for this. I am not guaranteeing it works on all airlines but it does work for 99 percent of flights that users want to track. For the OP If you sign up for the free account they give you a pretty good history that dates back to at least a month if I am not mistaken.
Good call!
 
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Jul 2, 2016
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Thanks! I signed up for the free account which gives 4 months of data and my late flight showed -- but, while it was often late, it was seldom late more than an hour.
 
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Oct 5, 2015
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My comment is addressed to others and not to the original LW.

If there is a lesson to this case, it is one about how not to book flights.
Simply stated if you want some protection, then you must insist that both or all flights be on the SAME ticket. If they aren't, then you do not even have the right to complain.

Use a good travel agent or consultant to get this done for you.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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So good to see you back, Fly. You are absolutely right ... I had no idea that this kind of ticketing is so important and I'm sure this advice will save me big time at some point.
 
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Oct 5, 2015
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So good to see you back, Fly. You are absolutely right ... I had no idea that this kind of ticketing is so important and I'm sure this advice will save me big time at some point.
Thanks. I just arrived in Southeast Asia, the other day after about a 13 hour delay.
I do not ask for compensation because there is no need to. Asiana put us up on a 4-star hotel due to the misconnection caused by the delay. Our own hotel easily agreed to change our reservation one day later with no penalty. We are staying here 11 days with 3 rooms, so they are nice to us. I think the point I want to make is even if the flights get screwed up to no fault of yours, there still are a lot of good companies and people who genuinely care about you and who want you to enjoy your trip. Just choose your airline and travel provider well.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
It also helps when you understand s*** happens and remain calm and not screaming in the faces of the people trying to do their jobs. It isn't like hotels have never heard of flight delays before. You just have to know how to handle them.
 
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kenish

Sep 1, 2015
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One technique that works well for me in various customer service situations..." I know you're trying to help but we're getting nowhere. This situation isn't your fault personally but it's unacceptable. I need you to <insert request here>"
 
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