What happened to my flight?

Published by on 10 November 2010.
Last updated on 05 October 2011


Q: At the start of August, I was booked on a flight from Cardiff to Edinburgh with bmibaby for £55.99. I got as far as departures and even went through security with my bmibaby boarding pass, only to learn that my flight had been cancelled at the last minute due to "technical difficulties" with the plane.

By the time I returned to the check-in area there was a huge queue at the desk and only one assistant. There was no information available anywhere else, and it was only by using the internet stations at the check-in that I managed to secure an alternative flight with Flybe for £104.49.

I wrote to bmibaby the next day, but haven't had a reply.

Moneywise says...

A: On its website, bmibaby warns that due to a backlog of customer queries stemming from the ash cloud, customers will have to wait up to 45 days (this has since reverted to the standard 38 days) before receiving a reply.

When Moneywise spoke to bmibaby, it was keen to stress that this is 45 working days, and also that it had sent a letter, dated 30 September, informing Janet she would get the full refund. However, she hadn't received the letter and the money hadn't been put back onto her credit card.

A couple of emails and a phone call to the press office later, a new letter was sent to Janet and, most importantly, the £55.99 refunded.

However, bmibaby has refused to recompense Jean for the difference in the price of her new Flybe flight, meaning she has spent an extra £48.50.

Bmibaby claims that the technical error with its plane was "out of its control", and since it wasn't the airline's fault that its own plane couldn't fly, it wasn't responsible for covering any extra costs incurred due to the cancellation and was not obliged to provide alternative flight arrangements.

Here at Moneywise we are still scratching our heads over this.

If you have a problem you would like us to sort email us at fightback@moneywise.co.uk.

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