Flexibility When Travelling Part 2

 Flexibility When Travelling Part 2

Two weeks prior to flying from Austin to London-Heathrow to Oslo, Norway (AUD-LHR-OSL) we made the decision to upgrade our son to seats with extra legroom. The upgrades would apply to the longer legs between AUS and LHR.

Surprise at the Ticket Counter

British Airways Boeing 777

We checked into the flight online. When we reached the ticketing counter, to check a bag, we found that his seats had been changed. 

For many US flights the cost to improve legroom is often $20 to $30. For these two flights the charge was $217. 

We "negotiated" with the agent at the counter and a new seat assignment was set. 

Surprise Part 2

Normally British Airways lands at Terminal 5 at LHR. Our son was travelling alone for the first time so we coached him about security, customs, and transfers. Again - a twist. The flight landed and taxied to a different terminal. Our son had to leave the terminal, catch a shuttle bus and re-enter though security in Terminal 5. 

Return Flight - Same as the Outbound Flight 

OSL to LHR was no problem - until it landed at the wrong terminal. Our son departed the secure area, catch a bus, and go back through security again. And, just like the outbound flight - his seat assignment changed. 

Escalation Process

British Airways has a simple form to complete on their website. We added our details (dates, flight numbers, details about the seats). Now, we wait for "up to 28 days", for a response.

Key Lessons

Keep your boarding passes and any receipts or confirmation email messages until your trip is complete. We had to scramble to find the upgraded seat assignments, then the actual seat assignments in order to make the claim. 

The form allows a small space for a note: Be polite, ask specifically for your preferred resolution. We asked for a $217 refund - not a flight credit. 

Update --> 

June 22. British Airways did the right thing (and did it pretty quickly).