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I was travelling from JFK to WAW through LHR. My flight was operated by BA and was booked under one booking. The flight from JFK was delayed by 1.5 hour due to fuel pump problems and as the result I’ve missed my connecting flight to WAW.
BA rebooked me to next available flight operated by LOT. Unfortunately this flight was also delayed by 10 hours due to issue with a wheel. As the result I’ve arrived to my final destination with over 12 hours delay.

I’ve raised the claim to BA but they’ve refused it saying that the flight from JFK to LHR was delayed less that 3 hours. They said that I should reach out to LOT and claim compensation for their delay.

Is the BA correct saying that?

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  • If the LOT flight had not been delayed, how much later would you have arrived in Warsaw than originally scheduled?
    – Doc
    Jun 13, 2023 at 1:02
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    Unfortunately the answer here is "unknown". The law is well intentioned but poorly written and doesn't cover a lot of practical cases (like yours) in enough detail to answer your question with confidence. This, off course, gives a lot of loopholes to the airlines and you'll find lots of finger pointing if multiple airlines are involved. In many instances that needs to be decided by the courts. Your best shot here may be to engage a EU261 collection company, who have a strong track record of bringing cases to court. Of course, they'll take a cut for their troubles.
    – Hilmar
    Jun 13, 2023 at 13:00

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Whilst attempting to claim against LOT is likely going to be the easier option, they will only be liable for the 2nd leg of your journey. LHR-WAW is 1,474km, which means it's considered a "short-haul" flight under EU261 legislation, and thus only eligible for the lowest level of compensation - a maximum of €250.

Whether BA is liable or not is a tricky situation - or perhaps it's not. UK261 (the UK's equivalent of EU261, which is basically an exact copy of the law that was put in place after the UK left the EU) states that the delay is considered based on the arrival time at your final destination. But is BA really liable for a delay on a 2nd flight on a different carrier? That's hard to say...

I think there's 2 possible scenarios here, based on when the flight that BA rebooked you onto was was DUE to arrive in Warsaw (ie, not including the 10 hour delay).

If that flight was due to arrive more than 4 hours after your initial scheduled arrival time into WAW, then BA is absolutely liable. The initial delay was theirs, and they rebooked you onto a new flight that was due to arrive more than 4 hours after your planned arrival. The fact that delay actually became 14+ hours isn't relevant - it's still more than 4 hours! Under UK261, they are liable for compensation of £520

If that flight was due to arrive less than 4 hours after your initial scheduled arrival time, then it becomes a more complex situations. Personally I would argue that they are responsible for triggering the entire delay, but I think you'll have a hard time getting them to agree in this situation. If it were me, I've probably just go after LOT in this case.

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    Vase law makes it clear that the whole trip is considered a single unit so wherever the delay happens, compensation is due on the basis of the whole trip, not just the leg involved. What is not clear under case law (as far as I know) is who is responsible in these situations. It is “the operating carrier”, but which one…
    – jcaron
    Jun 13, 2023 at 1:38
  • My oryginal flight from LHR was BA846 and it supposed to be in WAW at 11 am. The flight I was rebooked to was LO282 with the arrival time 1:50pm. It means I would be delayed by lass than 3 hours.
    – Olo
    Jun 14, 2023 at 10:44
  • @Olo Unfortunately that removes the "simple" case. It's clear you are due compensation, but I suspect you're in for a lot of finger-pointing as to who is at fault. Getting 250 euro from LOT should be easy, but getting the higher £520 from either will likely be near impossible...
    – Doc
    Jun 14, 2023 at 15:16
  • I was thinking of getting back to BA and saying that they need to pay me difference between €250 that LOT will cover and £520 that I'm entitled to as it was long haul flight. Any thoughts?
    – Olo
    Jun 14, 2023 at 19:33
  • I did some additional research and come across the following case: travellawquarterly.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/…
    – Olo
    Jun 15, 2023 at 6:47

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