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My British Airways Houston-London (Heathrow) flight has been "delayed" 24 hours.

I have 2 questions:

  1. What rights to compensation or rebooking do I have, since this was a flight booked in the UK and starting in the UK? Would this flight be covered by EU passenger rules?

  2. I am automatically being rebooked on the same flight the next day, though I apparently can rebook. They are calling it a delay, but isn't it in effect a cancellation? Can I request to be rebooked onto another airline to arrive at the same day and time of my original booking?

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    How is it starting in the UK if its from Houston to London? – Burhan Khalid Jun 30 '15 at 7:00
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BA are good at rebooking especially from North America. If you need to travel today I would examine the alternatives, find some combination of flights you'd be happy with (without regard for the price) and then telephone BA with your preferences in hand. They should accommodate you for free, but you will waive your right to compensation if you agree to a rebooking under your own preference.

The UK line is more reliable than the USA line. If your mobile telephone provider charges you extra to make international calls, consider using Skype-call instead.

BA will cover you onto American/US Airways/another BA flight/Iberia/Finnair without difficulty. They won't cover you outside that group without a lot of pushing (and to be honest it won't happen for a 24 hour delay).

In terms of compensation, yes it will be due (unless you negotiate your way out of the situation). They are also liable to cover your hotels/meal/local transportation. Personally, I find that BA is quite reasonable; I usually just submit a photocopy of my expenses and it gets paid back to me within a few weeks. We are talking Holiday Inn territory though, not Four Seasons. If you don't want to take the risk and have some time to kill, the check in desk should give you a pre-paid card to make such arrangements.

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Yes, this case is covered under EU passenger rights, as British Airways is based in the EU:

Secondly, you also have rights in case things go wrong. This concerns delays, cancellations and overbooking that prevent you from boarding and applies if you are:

  • departing from any airport situated in the EU, or
  • arriving in the EU with an EU carrier or one from Iceland, Norway or Switzerland.

The only exception would be if the flight is codeshared and actually operated by a non-EU/EEA/CH carrier.

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