On the day British Airways canceled more than 120 other flights to and from its main base, London Heathrow, the airline denied a claim for the grounded flights.

BA has serious supply problems resulting in daily cancellations of many domestic and European flights.

The airline says that most passengers are notified in advance. But if travelers are given less than two weeks’ notice, under European air passenger rights rules, they are entitled to cash compensation ranging from £220 to £520 – depending on the length of the flight.

The only ground on which the carrier can deny a claim is if “extraordinary circumstances” are liable.

Nick Goodess will be flying from London Heathrow to Hanover on April 24. His flight was canceled with a week’s notice and he has filed a statutory claim.

But the passenger was told: “Your request has been denied as flight BA978 on April 24 was canceled as a result of the global pandemic caused by Covid-19.

“The Covid-19 pandemic is an external factor, beyond the control of the airline, and an ‘extraordinary situation’.

“That is not something inherent in normal airline operations and cannot be foreseen.

“As the flight cancellations are due to restrictions imposed as a result of the global pandemic, under the provisions of EC Regulation 261/2004, I am afraid this will mean you are not entitled to compensation. of the EU on this occasion. ”

Lawyers contacted by The Independent expressed skepticism towards British Airways’ aviation. The staff shortage is not considered an “unusual case”.

A legal expert said the statement that “the cancellation of the flight was due to restrictions imposed as a result of a global pandemic”. On the day Mr. Goodess had his flight canceled, dozens of other services operated between the UK and Germany.

A British Airways spokesperson said: “We regret that in this case we incorrectly denied the claim and we are contacting our customer to apologize and resolve the issue. solve the problem”.

While easyJet operates around 30 flights a day, other competitors – including Jet2, Ryanair and Wizz Air – are maintaining their normal schedules.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Administration said: “If customers are concerned that airlines are not properly protecting their interests, they should file a complaint with their airline. If they are not satisfied with the response, consumers can request resolution through an approved Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) service. ”

British Airways is registered with CEDR. Another service provider, AviationADR, sided with Ryanair in a recent denied boarding case – although the airline offered no defense.

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