A travel industry couple have spoken of their frustration after they fell foul of British Airways’ decision to cancel thousands of incorrectly priced tickets.
Anthony Vale, international account director UK and Ireland at Movenpick Hotels and Resorts, booked tickets with Netflights earlier this month to travel to Dubai from Manchester on December 21 with his travel agent partner and children.
Vale said the tickets cost £289 each, “a good but not unreasonable” price given he had previously flown with Emirates to Dubai in May for £270 per person.
“I certainly didn’t think it was an irregular fare,” he told TTG. “A couple of hours after we booked we were sent our e-tickets. Four days later, they were cancelled because BA said they hadn’t supplied the correct seasonal air fares.”
Vale said while he was sent compensation vouchers by BA to the tune of £100 per person, he admitted he was “no longer confident in booking a BA flight”.
“That same flight is now £800 per person,” he added. “I don’t want a refund or a voucher, I want them to honour my booking. Netflights have been very sympathetic but they can’t do much."
Vale said he had contacted Abta, the CAA and Iata, with the latter advising him to go through an Alternative Dispute Resolution.
However, Vale said he “remained in limbo” as he understood conversations were now ongoing between Netflights and BA which he was waiting to assess the outcome of.
In a statement, Netflights said: “For a short time, overnight, at the beginning of last week, British Airways incorrectly filed some fares to a small number of long-haul destinations.
“As these fares were automatically loaded into the system, they would have been immediately available to book, through no fault of Netflights.
“These fares were manifestly incorrect and were removed as soon as British Airways became aware of the issue the following morning.
“We’ve apologised and have refunded the customers affected. A gesture of £100 for future travel will also be offered for affected customers to book via Netflights.”
A BA spokesperson added: “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.”