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a frustrating scenario (BA)

London, United...
posts: 2
a frustrating scenario (BA)

I booked a package holiday through Hayes and Jarvis that included 3 flights LHR to SFO, SFO to LAX and LAX to LHR, the flights are through BA and AA (who I believe are the same operator) and the holiday was for myself and my sister due to depart on 02/05/14. Now here is where the frustration begins ... for the last 3 weeks my sister had been critically ill in ICU and although she is now on the road to recovery she will not be well enough to fly. Being the idiot I am I did not take out travel insurance planning to arrange it through my bank the week this happened so I will not be able to claim the cost of the holiday back. My second option was to change the name and take my brother instead, now I have been told that under NO circumstances will BA authorise a name change and my only option is to cancel the ticket and re purchase flights at today's cost, I was happy to do this until they told me there was no seats available on the same flight and as my brother is a first time flyer he will not go on a plane on his own do if we want to fly together I will beed to purchase new flights too, all of this without getting back any kf the initial cost (yes, I know that part is my fault for not getting insurance ad soon as I booked such an expensive trip).

I understand BA's stance and that they can't make exceptions to the rule however what I don't understand is why I can't just purchase my sisters seat once it is cancelled (I'm the lead passenger as I paid all costs) so we can be on the same flight? Because yes the flights are booked up but I have one of those seats so when I cancel it will no longer be booked up so why am I being told it's not possible to go on the same flight? Sorry about the rambled message but I'm frustrated and confused. Many thanks.

33 replies to this topic
Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Sydney
posts: 14,514
reviews: 34
1. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

It is all of this is on one ticket, you can't cancel one half of it, that's why they've advised you you have to cancel the lot.

But once that's taken place, the ticket is released back into the system and there's no guarantees you'll get them - it's available to the world. That's probably why they're saying it's not possible.

Mind you I could be way off the mark

Edited: 7:02 pm, April 01, 2014
UK
posts: 41,013
reviews: 85
2. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

Because yes the flights are booked up but I have one of those seats so when I cancel it will no longer be booked up so why am I being told it's not possible to go on the same flight?

--------

Because it's not as simple as the flight has 300 seats and they've sold 300, cancel one and it's 299 so now have space for 1.

It will be more like, the flight has 300 seats, they have sold 320, on the grounds that some will no show and some will be bumped up to other classes. 320 is the oversell limit, they don't sell any more, but they will have a lower limit, let's say 310, unless it drops below that, they won't start reselling.

Obviously these aren't real numbers but will give you an idea.

Can you move to a flight another day or a different routing?

Romford, United...
posts: 2,065
reviews: 23
3. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

Firstly welcome to the T/A forum, secondly hope your sister makes a full recovery and thirdly it's not exactly clear who you have spoken with Hayes and Jarvis or BA or both?

Vancouver...
posts: 8,011
reviews: 24
4. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

And next time, deal direct with the airlines when you buy a ticket. Chuck.

UK
posts: 41,013
reviews: 85
5. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

That's nothing to do with what caused this issue.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 7,101
reviews: 85
6. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

Joe gave you an excellent explanation and a good suggestion. See if you can pay the change fees and any difference in fares and switch your flight dates.

Best wishes to your sister.

Vancouver...
posts: 8,011
reviews: 24
7. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

"I booked a package holiday through Hayes and Jarvis". If OP reserved direct with the airline and bought separate tickets, things MAY have turned out different. Chuck.

Manchester, United...
posts: 291
8. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

" they told me there was no seats available on the same flight and as my brother "

There is availability on both BA flights to SFO on 2nd May.

BA285

F9 A9 J9 C9 D9 R5 IC W8 EC TC Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V2 S1 NC QC OC G0

BA287

F6 A6 J9 C9 D9 R9 I2 W9 E1 TC Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L7 V1 S1 NC QC OC G0

It might look a bit like gobbledegook if you have never seen it before, but it essentially means that on both flights, BA will sell 1 seat at Tarrif S, which is one of their cheaper fares (but not the cheapEST).

What I think you have been told in reality is that BA will not let you buy back the seat at the exact same fare you paid before.

What you are asking for is technically possible. However, it is something that is seldom done. If this was a scenario where it really was the very last seat available, possibly they would be more flexible. However, given that there are still many seats being sold, I don't think you will have much option but to pay the current fare.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 46,390
reviews: 14
9. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

As an addendum to PinkAardvark's post, for BA285 on 2 May it's W5, E0 T0 then Y9, B9, H9, K9, M9, L6, V2, S2, Q0, G0, N0, O0. BA287 shows W9, E1, T0 and then Y9, B9, H9, K9, M7, L1, S0, Q0, G0, N0, O0. (these are fare buckets for WT and WT+, but please let us know if you booked Club World [or First])

Both flights are fairly well sold in WT+ with only one slightly discounted seat available on BA287 (WT+ is almost sold out on BA285), and the WT cabin selling faster than that cabin on BA285.

With a month left until travel I suspect that BA may well sell every available seat for WT and WT+, so have another word with BA sharpish as if the deeply discounted fare buckets sell out there will be little to no impetus for BA to put more availability into those fare buckets.

This information is available at the 'Flight availabilty' link at www.flightstats.com so you may check it yourself if you wish to watch the progress. There will never be more than nine seats showing in any fare bucket (even if there are more seats in that fare bucket available) but once the number drops below nine that is a real-time value.

What happened is very unfortunate, but if you want to travel with your brother you will have to pay the change fee and difference in fare. I hope you will ultimately be able to look forward to a holiday in future with your sister, after she has had a full recovery.

Manchester, United...
posts: 291
10. Re: a frustrating scenario (BA)

The slight difference between the two availability results is that Flightstats gets its data from an American Point of Sale. There can be subtle differences between US/UK/EUR and elsewhere. BA is one of those carriers which can have the most varied results depending on POS.

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