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Your BA flight delay compensation rights

Don’t let the British Airways IT failure leave you out of pocket

British Airways (BA) passengers experienced delays and cancellations over the bank holiday weekend after a major IT systems failure caused global flight disruption.

On Saturday morning, BA cancelled all flights leaving London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, and disruption continued into Sunday as services continued to be delayed and cancelled.

If you were affected, did you get what you were entitled to?

Compensation for delay and cancellation

Depending on the distance your flight, and the length of and reason for your delay, you could be entitled to claim up to €600 (£520) in compensation.

You can use our free compensation for flight delays tool and our compensation for cancelled flights tool to start your claim.

You can use the flight distance mileage calculator to help you work out what you are eligible to claim.

What you’re entitled to while stranded

Under the Denied Boarding Regulation, what you’re entitled to when you are experiencing a delay or cancellation depends on the length of your delay and the duration of your flight.

You’re entitled to meals, refreshments, phone calls and emails if:

  • a flight less than 932 miles (for example, London to Venice) is delayed for at least two hours or you arrive at your destination at least two hours late
  • a flight within the EU that is more than 932 miles (for example, London to Athens) is delayed by at least three hours or you arrive at your destination at least three hours late
  • a flight that isn’t within the EU but is between 932 and 2,174 miles is delayed for at least three hours
  • any other flight is delayed for at least three hours.

Providing you meet the criteria for one of the above categories, you are entitled to:

  • two free phone calls, faxes or emails
  • free meals and refreshments appropriate to the delay
  • free hotel accommodation and hotel transfers if an overnight stay is required
  • the choice between being rerouted or reimbursed in the same manner as if your flight had been cancelled, if your delay is more than five hours.

Claiming back reasonable costs

If you were eligible for but didn’t get any of these entitlements free of charge, you can claim back reasonable costs.

Hold on to any receipts for costs that you incurred and contact BA’s customer relations team to claim compensation.

BA has advised that customers displaced by flight cancellations can claim up to £200 a day for a room (based on two people sharing), £50 for transport between the hotel and airport, and £25 a day per adult for meals and refreshments.

Were you affected by the British Airways disruptions? Share your experience with us on Which? Conversation.

If your bag goes missing

BA’s major IT systems failure on Saturday also led to passengers arriving at destinations without their luggage.

BA is still working to reunite customers with their luggage, but there are some steps you should take if your baggage didn’t fly with you.

In most cases, the airline will quickly trace your bag and deliver it to you, free of charge, in the next day or two.

If you’re stuck without your bag, buy only the essentials that you need to get by. Keep receipts so you can claim these reasonable costs back from BA.

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