(help) My Rights and Corona Virus? Uk to Spain

Travel Forums Europe (help) My Rights and Corona Virus? Uk to Spain

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1. Posted by Philtravels (Budding Member 4 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Hi all,

My girlfriend recently booked a flight from the UK to Spain.

due to restrictions in Spain she didn’t think she’d be able to travel to her home down from the main air ports. Because of this she booked a flight from London Heathrow- Barcelona then Barcelona - Burgos.

The Heathrow flight has been cancelled - however the connecting flight from Barcelona- Burgos has not and we can’t seem to find anywhere that has an article on this issue.
From what we’ve read so far we are quite confident we’ll get the money back for Heathrow flight (or at least vouchers and the same value) however we have no idea where we stand with the connecting flight.

Would anyone be able to advise where we would stand on this or if there is anyone who has had the same issue, what was the resolution from the airline?

also might be worth noting the flights were booked using skyscanner. The first flight is with British Airways and the connecting flight is with ibiria

2. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2171 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

As I understand it, rather than "connecting flights" you have bought two separate tickets which are each separate contracts, and one doesn't depend on the other being fulfilled. You have taken a risk in buying the segments individually and so I don't think the other company is in breach of contract.

However, as British Airways and Iberia are the same group of companies, it's possible you booked a through-ticket that is being fulfilled by different arms of the airline group. If that was the case, yes it would be their reponsibility to compensate you for being unable to provide the service.

Did you book it as one LHR-Burgos ticket?

If not, to cancel your second flight you'll need to either see what cancellation terms are in their contract, or ask them to let you cancel over and above their terms as a matter of goodwill.

I hasten to add, I'm no expert, just a traveller, and others may know legal aspects better than me.

3. Posted by Philtravels (Budding Member 4 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the fast response Andy!

The flight was booked for Heathrow - Burgos through skyscanner.

It would be nice to think BA would do that but We did fear what you mentioned in the latter could be the outcome (and probably would in normal circumstances)

with previous flights using this method skyscanner does state you should plan connecting flights accordingly and may not be compensated if you do miss a connecting flight due to a unforeseen delay or poor booking (I.e not giving time to actually meet the connection). However with coronavirus restrictions changing I’d like to think there would be a different approach.

As you can imagine getting through to airlines is really difficult and we’d like to go in with some knowledge before waiting hours just to be hung up on (already happened)

4. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1888 posts) 3d 1 Star this if you like it!

As Andy says, much depends on whether you booked a through ticket Heathrow > Burgos with BA or two separate tickets.

Much also depends on whether you booked directly with the airline or through a third-party agency (see below). Booking through a third-party always causes additional difficulties because your contract is with the agency concerned rather than the airline.

If you booked a through ticket on the airline's own website you're automatically entitled to a refund or voucher for both flights. If you booked two separate tickets on the airline website/s you're automatically entitled to a refund or voucher for the cancelled flight but not for the second flight.

When you say you booked through skyscanner I assume you mean via one of the travel agencies they link e.g. Expedia? As far as I'm aware skyscanner itself does not offer booking facilities.

https://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/holidays/article-8203941/What-rights-booked-holiday-party-booking-site.html

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/holiday-rights/

[ Edit: Edited on 14 Jan 2021, 12:45 GMT by leics2 ]

5. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1441 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Read the change and cancellation policy at the Iberia Web site.

Going forward it's best to book flights directly with the airlines. But read the change and cancellation policy first. It's also wise to book nonstop flights or try to keep connections to a minimum.

Also, with so many airlines making route and schedule changes (and frequently) it's also prudent to have alternative flights in mind. This requires a bit of advance planning.

Finally, install the apps of the airlines you're using on your smartphone. It makes changes and rebooking easier. In the case of some carriers, this all can be accomplished via the app instead of calling reservations or standing in line to see an agent.

6. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 2171 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Yes, people often advise on here to book direct with the airline rather than a 3rd party, because the game of chinese whispers is so difficult when things go wrong.

I imagine (without seeing the paperwork) that Skyscanner sold you separate tickets despite you searching for the complete route.

Good luck. As you say, it may be that during covid the airlines are being more helpful over changes, and in this instance you could always plead that it is their sister company's cancellation / increased government restrictions which have screwed up your schedule.

I think your best bet may be throwing yourself on their mercy and getting lucky in finding a person at the other end who is willing to be kind. Perhaps others have more to suggest on the rights and contract terms side of things.

7. Posted by Philtravels (Budding Member 4 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the responses people!

looks like we’re going to have to battle this one out a bit then :/

it’s not even the money she just wants to see her family it’s been over a year for her and she usually visits 3-4 times a year.

Would be keen to hear of anyone experiencing similar problems and what the outcome was

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1441 posts) 3d Star this if you like it!

I find that I'm using online travel agencies less and less, preferring to book directly with airlines, hotels, etc. There are exceptions.

To research flights I use google.com/flights. It doesn't list all flights but you get a good idea of what's available. I used to use Kayak.com (owned by Booking Holdings, based in Norwalk, Connecticut) and Skyscanner.com (owned by Trip.com Group, based in Shanghai). To easily find nonstop flights I use FlightConnections.com.

Some travel agents that I've worked with continue to provide excellent service, so I'll stick with them.

I continue to suspect that travel will remain difficult this year with many restrictions remaining in place. Some may even be toughened. My strategy is to plan shorter, less complicated trips with increased flexibility. It might mean booking flights closer to time of travel instead of months in advance.

9. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 1888 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

>looks like we’re going to have to battle this one out a bit then :/

I'm afraid so. Even in normal times, if you booked two separate tickets directly with the airline/s concerned only the cancelled flight would be eligible for a refund.

The first thing to do is to contact the third-party agency through which the ticket/s were booked. Read through their terms and conditions before you make any contact. As I said above, I don't think Skyscanner actually sell tickets so I'm guessing you clicked through to and booked with e,g, Expedia?

As the links I posted underline, your contract is with that third-party agency rather than with the airline/s concerned. I'm afraid you may gave to do a fair bit of emailing/phoning to get a refund or voucher.... and, ultimately, may find you only get a partial refund/voucher.

If all else fails your final option, assuming you paid by credit card, might be to raise a Section 75 dispute with your card provider. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/section75-protect-your-purchases/ but there are still potential issues related to using a third-party agency.

Good luck!

10. Posted by Philtravels (Budding Member 4 posts) 2d Star this if you like it!

Thanks!

@berner Not bad advice to be honest, especially during these times. These flights were booked about 7 months ago really didn’t foresee this happening...but you live and you learn I guess.

Personally I’ve never had a problem booking through these brokerage type websites managed to get some great deals even a luxury villa that worked out cheaper than any hotel in the area.

@leics2 Thanks for the links will go through them now. Will report back if we get a positive outcome but if not we’ll be driving out there if restrictions allow us.

once again thanks for kind help/advice people