How one passenger was able to get flight delay compensation, even after being told she wouldn't by British Airways...

AuthorAda Kozłowska

Sarah Taylor, is a seasoned traveler and lover of life! And as any seasoned traveler does, she travels often. After a travel journey that lasted three months last year, Sarah was eager to get home. However after getting to the London Heathrow Airport on time and ready to go, she found out her flight was going to suffer a short delay. What happened next astonished her!

So Sarah, tell us more about the flight delay?

I remember going to the airport, and checking in. Everything seemed fine. Then we were told our flight was delayed for about 2 hours. I thought that was weird at the time but I didn’t think about it too much. After that initial delay, we got through security, boarded the plane, and waited for take off. 

Delayed!

After a while the captain came on board and told us we had a couple more checks. People were visibly upset and some started groaning and complaining. Throughout the airline staff were very gracious and kind but it was obvious people were not very happy.

“…About a half an hour later the pilot came back on to tell us that there would be a few more checks done on the plane!”

At about a half an hour later the pilot came back on to tell us that there would be a few more checks done on the plane! By then everyone’s starting to get a bit anxious. They kept having a “few” more checks to the point where I was able to watch TWO WHOLE MOVIES while sitting on the tarmac.

“…I was able to watch TWO WHOLE MOVIES while sitting on the tarmac.”

 

Stuck on the Runway

I really just wanted to get home. I was okay with a delay for safety reasons, but really confused as to what was happening and hoped at least for a flight credit.

 

How did the airline handle the situation?

We were flying British Airways and they treated us well the whole time. They were very polite. But after I had already watched two movies they came back on to tell us that they’d have to fix a part on the plane. They had to unload us, a plane of maybe 300 or so people. We all had to go back through security and collect our bags. And we got put up in a hotel overnight.

 

De-boarding Plane

“The next day…our flight was delayed…again.”

By the time I got to the hotel, I was exhausted, and being fed a buffet meal with strangers made me uncomfortable. We couldn’t order meals we wanted, only what they served. Even worse, the next day our flight was delayed!

When did you eventually get home?

I eventually got home more than 24 hours after my scheduled arrival time. But what was even more problematic is they hadn’t rebooked all my connecting flights. So I had even more trouble! I got home even later because of that.

“I got home more than 24 hours after my scheduled arrival time!”

What did you do when you got home?

When I got home I contacted British Airways asking for compensation. They treated us really well, but at the end of the day, I got home 24 hours later than I should have, so I didn’t think compensation was a lot to ask. This issue disrupted my whole plans! At the end of the day, British Airways ended up refusing to compensate us. And after that I kind of gave up.

“I contacted British Airways asking for compensation…and after that I kind of gave up.”

How did you end up getting compensated?

A few months later I saw something in Real Simple magazine about the AirHelp app and I thought, why not? I had nothing to lose. British Airways had already turned me down, so I just tried and I got my compensation, and I was thrilled!

“I thought, why not?…British Airways had already turned me down”

What bothered you most about your experience with the airline?

I think what really bothered me was that they weren’t willing to do anything. They just said pilot error and that they didn’t have a part.I was stuck on the runway for hours and I got home 24 hours later! Putting me up in a hotel room, by myself, isn’t compensation.

“Putting me up in a hotel room… isn’t compensation”

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