Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: What does BA owe me for my snow-bound hell at T5?
Every day our travel guru answers your travel questions
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Tuesday 22 January 2013
Q. I was one of the many hundreds of people who had to sleep on the floor at Terminal 5 last Friday night. Because of the snow – and a whole sequence of problems – we sat on the plane to Houston for hours and then ended up going back to the terminal, where we were told there were no hotel rooms for us. What does British Airways owe us?
A. Beyond an apology, probably nothing. While BA was technically liable to arrange accommodation for every passenger who was obliged to stay overnight, the sheer numbers meant that it was unfeasible for the airline to do so – and to organise the necessary transport. The EU rules say the airline must meet the cost of the accommodation – but if it was zero, then I understand BA has no liability.
If you had out-of-pocket expenses for items bought during your stay at Heathrow, then it is likely that you can claim them back. It is also possible that BA may make an ex-gratia award of cash or Avios points. But if you have decent travel insurance, about the best you are going to get is the standard £25 or so for each 12 hours of delay.
Click HERE to email Simon.
You can also tweet him your questions @SimonCalder
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
Dramatic GoPro video shows backpacker Alexander Hennessy warding off armed robber in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Best Place To Be Today shows 365 of the world's most amazing places - and the perfect time to visit them
El Caminito del Rey
Pakistani passenger power forces two politicians off plane
Best airports for a layover
- 1 Mario Balotelli: Staff at arson-hit Manchester Dogs' Home convinced Liverpool striker is behind five-figure donation
- 2 There is literally not a single woman in this iPhone 6 queue
- 3 Scottish independence: Tory revolt against 'devo max' grows as Rail Minister Claire Perry joins
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Scottish independence referendum: JK Rowling, Russell Brand, Nigel Farage and more react to the 'No' vote
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...
Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...
£20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...
£15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...