BA offers refunds amid terminal 5 chaos

28 March 2008
British Airways says that customers whose flights are cancelled between 27 and 30 March can rebook their flight for free or receive a full refund.

The opening of terminal 5 at Heathrow on Thursday 27 March started well enough, with the first flights of the day on time. However, chaos ensued after hold-luggage services were suspended. This resulted in a massive baggage backlog, the cancellation of 34 flights and long delays for people waiting to reclaim their luggage.

A further 36 flights were cancelled today (Friday 28 March) and more are expected over the weekend.

If your flight is cancelled between 27 March and 30 March, then BA says you can either:
  • Rebook to the same destination within the original validity of your ticket.
  • Rebook to the nearest city to your original destination within three days of your original departure. However, onward travel from this city to your original destination will be at your expense.
  • Receive a full refund to your original form of payment.
BA has apologised to customers affected, but says flights from other Heathrow terminals are running normally.

It says customers flying from terminal 5 this weekend should check arrivals and departures information for flight information before they travel to the airport.

You can also contact the airline on 0800 727800 (in the UK) for further information.

Find numbers for British Airways offices around the world

If your bag is delayed:

BA says that it is working to process delayed bags and customers should check the baggage tracing system on its website

If your flight is delayed:

Peter McCarthy, senior lawyer at Which? legal service says people whose flights have been delayed should know their rights.

He said: “If your flight is delayed or cancelled, you are entitled to assistance.

“This can include free meals and refreshments depending on how long you are waiting. It also includes free hotel accommodation and transfers to the hotel if the re-routed flight means you have an overnight stay at the airport.

“You are also allowed two free phone calls, faxes or e-mails and you may be entitled to financial compensation if your flight is cancelled, depending on the circumstances.”

If your flight has been cancelled:

BA says that customers whose flights are cancelled can rebook for a different date or obtain a refund.

You may be able to do this via its website

Or you can call the airline in the UK on 0800 727 800.

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