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In the past few days, southern England has seen a light dusting of snow and because most of the UK’s transport infrastructure is utterly incapable of dealing with any kind of weather that isn’t light rain, various services have been disrupted.
Among those disrupted services are flights in and out of Heathrow and BA is now offering some flyers the option to delay their departure out of Heathrow by up to 12 days without incurring any penalties.
Key points to note
This is only an option for flyers whose flights have not yet been cancelled. If your flight has been cancelled, other options (including refunds) are open to you.
Bookings that only include flights operated by British Airways
Routes affected: All British Airways mainline flights departing London Heathrow
Tickets: Only tickets issued by British Airways (ticket number starts with 125-) are valid for this option.
Booking dates valid for penalty free changes: Bookings made up to and including 12 December 2022.
Departure dates valid for penalty free changes: 14 December – 19 December 2022.
Dates for which travel can be re-booked: 20 – 26 December 2022.
Travel professionals and BA staff are being told that passengers who wish to be reaccommodated on a different flight should be booked onto a British Airways operated service on the same routing into the same class as the original flight or lowest available class in the same cabin.
Refunds are not being offered.
Note: Any changes to sectors outside of the sectors discussed above (i.e. sectors that involve travel inbound to London Heathrow) will be considered a voluntary change and so do not qualify to have fees and fare differences waived.
Bookings that include British Airways partners
Most of the points detailed above also apply here, but there are a few key differences.
If a booking includes a British Airways codeshare partner, any rebooking must include the same codeshare partner as the original booking and passengers can only be rebooked using the same routing and the same fare class as was originally booked.
**Any changes to flight sectors that are not being operated by British Airways will need to be requoted and any fare difference will be charged to the customer**
Please be very aware of this last point as it’s incredibly important. If your booking includes flights with an airline that isn’t British Airways, there’s a very good chance that any changes that you make to your booking will see you incur fees and a higher fare. Check all details with the booking agent before you agree to have any changes processed.
If you delay your departure from Heathrow and your trip is starting from the UK, you will still have to return on your originally scheduled flight if you don’t want to incur extra charges. BA has been very clear in saying that inbound flights are not covered by the fee waiver/fare difference amnesty.
Also, if you decide to delay your return (because you’ve delayed your departure and you’re happy to swallow the fees and fare difference from your inbound flight), keep in mind that UK Border Force officers will be going on strike between 23 and 26 December and between 28 and 31 December so try to avoid returning on those days if at all possible – Heathrow immigration can be a mess when there isn’t a strike in progress so there’s no knowing how bad things will be when most (all?) of the usual Border Force personnel are taking a few unscheduled days off.
British Airways is offering some passengers the opportunity to delay their departure from London Heathrow while the current weather conditions play havoc with some of its routes. The terms and conditions being applied to the changes that BA is permitting are quite strict and will not suit a lot of people so if you’re thinking of taking BA up on its offer, make sure you know what you’re signing up for.