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BA: 'We will work with affected agents'

BA: 'We will work with affected agents'

Bowen said the fares were available for advance bookings to Tel Aviv at the same low rate up to, and including, the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah in December, when availability is limited and air fares usually double or triple in price.


The issue was exacerbated, said Bowen, by news of the mistake spreading overnight through travel blogs, mail shots and social media.


“The word got out very quickly,” said Bowen. “Had this happened between 9am and 6pm, it wouldn’t have been an issue. It was only in the morning agents realised something had happened.


“By cancelling these tickets, BA is taking a stand here. They don’t want to honour fares where people are clearly taking advantage of a mistake. They wanted to nip it in the bud.”


BA is though understood to have honoured a number of fares for flights departing within two to three weeks of the error, which Bowen said was BA “taking a hit on EU261”.


The regulation states EU compensation rights, of up to €600 (£529), do not apply where airlines provide more than 14 days notice of a cancellation.


Because both Dubai and Tel Aviv are outside the EU and more than 3,500km from London, passengers would have been due €600 compensation each on both the outbound and inboard flight, therefore making it cheaper for BA to simply honour the fares.


A BA spokesperson said: “We’re very sorry and have fully refunded these tickets, as well as offering a voucher to apologise for the inconvenience. While we are unable to honour these bookings, we are encouraging customers to contact us to discuss reimbursement.


“We have apologised to all the agents involved and are doing everything we can to support them. We will work with them on a case by case basis to resolve any outstanding issues.”

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