Have you been abused by British Airways?

Modern air travel is stressful enough without the abuse that some airlines inflict on passengers. If you are a legitimate victim of airline abuse and reasonable attempts at redress have been ignored or refused by the airline, I encourage you to submit a complaint via the CEDR to send a clear message to the airline that this behaviour will not be tolerated. The process is free if you are successful or £25 if you are unsuccessful. Please let me know about your success stories!

Legal Advice

If you need legal help, I haven't used Bott & Co Solicitors personally but they have some good advice on their website about claiming compensation from airlines and have a no-win no-fee no-risk guarantee.

Frequently Asked Questions

2. How do I make a claim for lost or damaged luggage?

The most up to date information is on the British Airways Lost and damaged baggage page.

3. British Airways Customer Relations won't respond and/or aren't taking my claim seriously. What can I do?

From a practical point of view, and maybe by design, BA's "customer service" department may as well be non existent. Even if you do have the stamina to stay in the phone queues long enough and get in contact with a real person, their standard operating procedure seems to be to wear claimants down until they give up on their claim.

Once reasonable attempts at a claim through the BA Customer Relations department have failed, and assuming you have documented your attempts, consider submitting a claim through the small claims court (or similar). This hurts BA as contesting the claim presumably costs BA hundreds of pounds an hour in legal services (whether they are successful or not) and not contesting the claim means you will likely receive a settlement. Using the small claims court, you represent yourself and the cost to submit a claim is minimal.

Alternatively, submit a claim via the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution. The CEDR independently resolves disputes between passengers and subscribing airlines including British Airways and successful claims are certainly possible and maybe simpler this way.

Calling BA out on social media might also help especially if you are famous or have a large following.

I am not a lawyer and you should consult a legal professional qualified to advise you on your exact situation.

4. How long do I have to make a claim?

According to the December 2015 version of the BA "General Conditions of Carriage for Passengers and Baggage":

  • 16 (b) Complaints about damage to checked baggage must be made in writing within seven days of receiving the baggage
  • 16 (c) Complaints about delay to checked baggage must be made in writing within 21 days of the baggage being made available to you
  • 17 Actions for damages must be brought within two years

It looks like the statute of limitations in England is six years so a court may have a different view about how long you have to make a claim.

I am not a lawyer and you should consult a legal professional qualified to advise you on your exact situation.

5. In which jurisdiction should a claim be made?

According to the December 2015 version of the "BA Website Terms and Conditions":

Your use of this website, any Material accessed or downloaded from it and the operation of these Terms and Conditions and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with such matters, their subject matter or formation (including but not limited to non-contractual disputes or claims) shall be governed by, construed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and You agree to submit to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the English Courts.

The BA "General Conditions of Carriage for Passengers and Baggage" does not seem to have an equivalent clause but your ticket or other supplied documents may do.

I am not a lawyer and you should consult a legal professional qualified to advise you on your exact situation.

6. Can I submit a claim from outside the UK?

It seems that you must be resident in the UK to pursue a legal claim in the UK or at least have a UK address for the service of documents.

I am not a lawyer and you should consult a legal professional qualified to advise you on your exact situation.

7. BA are telling me I should claim against another airline who operated the flight instead of BA?

You should probably claim against the party you had a contract with. If BA then wish to make a claim against their sub-contractor they are entitled to do so but this has nothing to do with you.

I am not a lawyer and you should consult a legal professional qualified to advise you on your exact situation.

8. British Airways are a pain to deal with. Where else can I make a claim?

There are two avenues where you may be able to recover some or all of your money if your airline ticket was purchased using your credit card.

1. Travel Insurance

Many credit cards have basic Travel Insurance included "for free". Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to submit a claim. Ask your credit card company for details.

2. Refund for a product or service that was not delivered

I'm not sure if this applies in every jurisdiction but you can often claim back money for a product or service that you paid for with your credit card if the product or service was not delivered.

In the UK, this is known as a "Section 75 refund".

9. I became sick after flying with British Airways. What can I do?

You may be suffering from aerotoxic syndrome. See http://www.toxicfreeairlines.com for the latest information.

10. I'm really angry at British Airways. What can I do to make them suffer?

One suggestion was emailed to me recently as follows:

I've been driven to my wits end by the morons on the phone at BA. I've got something that all readers of your web site can do to help get some 'payback' from BA. I've been searching for other travel on my pc and because I've flown on BA in the past, ads for BA come up on Google Chrome. I clock on every ad, which may end up costing BA anywhere from about a quarter to $10 for each click-through. I'd really like you to suggest this to your readers- that we all keep doing this. It's not going to get me back the money that BA cheated me out of, but it helps. I really hate BA!!!

Even though the "Click fraud Wikpedia article" seems to suggest small scale click fraud mostly goes undetected, I can't endorse this as it seems to be illegal.


Your Stories

Thursday, 31 January 2013 01:03 Death of BA Pilot Richard Westgate instructed his lawyers to sue BA for alleged health and safety breaches. BA Pilot Karen Lysakowska also wrote to BA threatening to take legal action over ongoing air contamination ...
Leonard Lawrence
I flew BA 13 days ago from Rome to London to Los Angeles. The flight attendants where disgusting to the passengers, rude, obnoxious, no respect. The second flight the TVs were the size of an iPhone, it had very low quality head sets (AF has better ...
Robert Jhadi
By the time you spend your points and pay the cash fees, you are better off paying cash to fly on another airline.
Bob Ainge
I tried to change my return flight from Australia to UK but was told their systems were down so they couldn't change it, tried for 2 days and had no joy eventually got through to London Cust Services and the price had gone up by 4x. On my ...
G Philips
British Airways air hostess seems to be the worst especially from Bangalore to London ...absolutely unfriendly without helping old people to keep their luggage on the top. They only worry about their make up and hair style that is it. They are end ...
BA lost my luggage. Found it a few days later after I was constantly on the phone demanding them to call the baggage handling department. Once they had found it, they wouldn't get it on the next available flight. I am still waiting! Customer service ...
I traveled from Hong Kong to LHR on BA in bsuiness class. During the flight my suitcase was damaged. I filed the complaint upon arrival at LHR. It's been over a month and i finally got contacted by BA, after having hounded them for weeks. I have ...
A terrible airline that treats customers like units, takes greed and rudeness to another level, and their so called customer relations managers are an utter disgrace, to think they are Britains flagship carrier is a very sad indictment as to how ...
simon holmes
I'm in Heathrow Airport. Just arrived from San Francisco, waiting for my connecting flight to Milan, which of course, is late. Just few considerations regarding the 10 hours San Francisco - London flight: 1) Very full, fairly old and slightly dirty ...
Enrico R
I flew BA from Atlanta to Heathrow with my 11 year old daughter. We had to sit in different areas - no attempt by BA to sit us even remotely near each other. OK seating is sometimes difficult.The real issue is that BA cabin staff were sweetness ...
John Weir

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