Join 3,417 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Can an airline cancel a series of tickets due to a no show?
January 7, 2011 2:11 PM   Subscribe

Airline "no show" cancellation filter: my friend and his family missed a flight last night from Montreal to London. The airline, British Airways, have told them that not only have they forfeited those tickets as a result, but also all the tickets on their numerous connecting flights. Is there anything they can do to salvage their tickets?

This is quite a serious situation for them as the connecting tickets are for a family of four and span three continents over the next 4 months.

BA seem to be acting particularly unreasonable to me. My friend was actually on a flight from Miami to Montreal which was rerouted to Ottawa due to a technical issue on the plane and slightly icy runways in Montreal. And therefore, he missed his flight. BA don't seem to be interested in the reasons why and are simply stating that he's a no-show and all tickets are forfeited.

Any advice?
posted by HopStopDon'tShop to Travel & Transportation (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
If you don't get a satisfactory response here, the veteran flyers at Flyertalk.com forum would be a great resource to use to get the best advice from people who have been there.

But yes, the airlines can and do cancel due to a no-show. They do this to discourage people from taking their inventory and not using a seat they could have sold to another customer.
posted by inturnaround at 2:26 PM on January 7, 2011


Everytime I fly there's a disclaimer on the confirmation email saying this will happen. I copy/pasted this from my flight at Christmas:

Failing to show up for the first segment of a scheduled round trip or multi-segment reservation will result in the return segment or remaining segments being cancelled automatically. The fare paid for these cancelled segments will be forfeited and compensation will not be issued.

posted by mannequito at 2:31 PM on January 7, 2011


That first flight wasn't a BA flight, was it? Also, do they have travel insurance?
posted by soelo at 2:31 PM on January 7, 2011


By first, I mean the Miami to Montreal flight.
posted by soelo at 2:32 PM on January 7, 2011


Travel insurance? If they didn't specifically purchase travel insurance, but bought the tickets on a credit card, they should check to see whether they get automatic travel insurance through their card.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:35 PM on January 7, 2011


Which airline flew them from Miami to Montreal? I would seek recompense from them.
posted by muddgirl at 2:41 PM on January 7, 2011


The first flight was American - which is somewhat associated with BA but I don't believe the tickets were 'connected' in that way. Although I understand that they can be linked in a similar fashion when being booked by travel agents (and these flights were all booked by a travel agent).

And no, I don't believe they had travel insurance. Unfortunately.

Muddgirl - have you ever had success seeking recompense through that avenue?

Thanks inturnaround, I'll get onto flyertalk soon...
posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 2:54 PM on January 7, 2011


and these flights were all booked by a travel agent

OK, what does the travel agent say? This is pretty much the textbook case for why travel agents are still necessary - if the agent can't help your friend then he or she doesn't really deserve to be getting a commission.

Muddgirl - have you ever had success seeking recompense through that avenue?

There are clearly a lot of variables here that none of us know - it's possible your friend doesn't even know them. Please have them call the travel agent ASAP.
posted by muddgirl at 3:15 PM on January 7, 2011


If you book flights through a travel agent, in most cases the airlines won't really work with you directly. I mean, they'll try to get you to your destination or whatever, but if you try to reschedule things, they'll not do much.

Your best bet is to call the travel agent. They have both the access and the resources to at least try and do something--much more so than one person directly.
posted by criacow at 3:25 PM on January 7, 2011


Encourage your friend to give some heck to the travel agent who let them book a trip like this if the agent did not also suggest travel insurance.
posted by soelo at 3:40 PM on January 7, 2011


BA seem to be acting particularly unreasonable to me.
Not to me. The weather is not their issue unless you were flying to Montreal on BA, which seems unlikely as it's a domestic flight. This is why travel insurance exists.
posted by dougrayrankin at 3:49 PM on January 7, 2011


American Airlines and BA codeshare through OneWorld and usually any problems with a flight on one airline will not affect travel on the other. If their luggage was booked all the way through to their destination, as is the usual for codeshare flights, then I think BA is acting pretty unreasonably.

They might want to try asking over at Christopher Elliot's consumer advocate website, he usually has good ideas and resources about stuff like this.
posted by elizardbits at 3:55 PM on January 7, 2011


This a response from the no-show in question. My America Airlines flight from Miami to Montreal was rerouted to Ottawa due to Tech issues with the wing flaps. Should have got in to Montreal at 16:35 leaving plenty of time for connecting flight to London with BA at 19:45.
We were kept on the plane 'til 19h, as AA didn't know whether they would fix the tech prob or bus us back to Montreal (turned out to be school buses). I did speak to BA but only at 19:20, and that call was only about trying to come up with an alternative that night. I should mention that through the travel agent, our Miami-Montreal tickets turned out to be seperate from Montreal-London. Unfortunately during my call to BA, though mentioning my situation, I was never asked my passenger and ticket details. I should have given all that info from the start but somehow I didn't. There is no record of that phone-call.
The extenuating circumstances are not being taken into consideration by BA, that is to say; I was in bloody Ottawa not Montreal. I wish I wish I`d known how everything hung on simply giving BA a ring. My rudeness is going to cost me about $6000 (we`re a family of 4) My ticket is linked to a series of other flights over the next 3 months, one of them isn`t until April 11, it`s not even a connecting flight, but I`ve forfeited that one too. We do have insurance and have started a lengthy claims process.
BA`s line right now is very unsympathetic, a no-show is a no-show. They are not even verifying or confirming the circumstances. In the meantime I repurchased all my tickets today, we`ve taken a year off and as this only the 2nd leg of our trip we decided to just pay it. We`re in Montreal now and couldn`t get a flight before Sunday.
Thanks to all the answers prior to this attempt to fill in the gaps.
posted by jdcasey at 7:50 PM on January 7, 2011


I'm so sorry for you and your family -- and BA is being very unreasonable.

my husband very nearly missed his BA flight once, and it was entirely his own fault (forgot his passport in another city). And the BA people promised to get him on another flight, no charge. (a friend saved the day by driving me and the passport there, with 15 minutes to spare).

Please let us know what happens -- if only so I can personally boycott BA if they continue to be so unreasonable. ( they were my preferred transatlantic airline, but not if they treat people like this).
posted by jb at 7:58 PM on January 7, 2011


The delicious irony here is that in my eagerness to continue the trip I rebooked and am indeed flying again with BA. That way they get my money twice!
posted by jdcasey at 8:03 PM on January 7, 2011


I'm sorry to hear this. I once missed a connecting flight with a different airline due to delays with the first airline (i.e it wasn't my fault). I also had to pay for a new ticket for the next one, and could get no compensation from either the first airline or the second one. They told me that if I had had travel insurance it would have covered it, and if I had booked through a travel agent, instead of myself online, there might have been other ways to deal with it, but as it was, I was screwed. I always try to book all legs of flights on the same carrier now, as I think that makes a big difference.
posted by lollusc at 8:11 PM on January 7, 2011


Your travel agent should have booked the entire flight on one PNR (even though multiple carriers are involved), which would have prevented this from happening. If they did it on multiple PNRs for a reason, they should have explained the risk of this happening.
posted by grouse at 9:13 PM on January 7, 2011


BA`s line right now is very unsympathetic, a no-show is a no-show.

Obviously BA's policy is their policy, but this doesn't sound right to me. I once missed a flight due to circumstances completely within my control - the airline (not BA, probably Delta, American, or US Airways) put me on standby for the next flight out. It was a pain in the ass, but I eventually got where I needed to go. I think I was even able to make my connection as planned, so no, they didn't cancel all legs of travel out of spite. And this was something that was totally my own fault.

I would definitely try to escalate this further up the food chain.
posted by Sara C. at 10:27 PM on January 7, 2011


Your travel agent should have booked the entire flight on one PNR (even though multiple carriers are involved), which would have prevented this from happening. If they did it on multiple PNRs for a reason, they should have explained the risk of this happening.

Yup. Sounds like a massive travel agent screw up here. I use travel agents for all my corporate travel for this reason, and this reason alone.
posted by wingless_angel at 3:08 AM on January 8, 2011


« Older I'm living a life of lonelines...   |  Gift ideas for a dear friend o... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.