British Airways - Handling Delays and Cancellations
History and recent development
British Airways (BA) is Great Britain‘s flagship airline and the largest British airline in terms of both fleet size and international flights and destinations. In terms of total number of passengers, BA comes in second place with EasyJet leading the way. The company was founded in 1974 as a merger between four state-owned airlines: British Overseas Airways Corporation, British European Airways and the regional carriers Cambrian Airways and Northeast Airlines. In 1987, British Airways was privatized during the Conservative Government under Margaret Thatcher. Soon afterwards, the company expanded and now operates a fleet of 263 aircrafts, which consists of an almost equal number of Boing and Airbus aircrafts. British Airways is also known for its 1989 “Face” advertisement campaign created by advertising agency Saatchi&Saatchi, a campaign which counts among the “classics” in advertisement history.
British Airways’ main hub is London Heathrow Airport (LHR) where it owns 40% of the slots available, but it also holds bases at Gatwick Airport and London City Airport (LCY). It currently serves some 150 destinations in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, which makes it one of only a handful of airlines serving all six inhabited continents. The airline also serves many major international destinations daily from London Heathrow, like Sydney (SYD), Beijing (PEK), Rio de Janeiro (GIG) and Accra (ACC), just to name a few. Major business destinations are served more frequently, like Hong Kong (HKG), twice a day, and New York with – including code-sharing flights with American Airlines – 14 connections each day to John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK).
Services and quality of service
British Airlines is a founding member of the Oneworld Alliance, alongside Air Berlin, American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Quantas and other major international airlines.
Established in 1999, Oneworld Alliance has more than doubled the number of its members since. British Airlines’ loyalty program is known as the “Executive Club”. The airline has a four-star rating on SKYTRAX. While the performance of onboard services is generally appreciated by customers, passengers criticize a lack of cleanliness in the cabin and washrooms as well as the quality of food. Inflight entertainment, however, is generally regarded as good, resulting in a four star rating in all classes of long-haul flights. Customers are only partly satisfied with airport services and baggage handling, as well as how BA deals with delays or cancellations. The airline offers to claim refunds and compensation for cancelled or delayed flights via an online form or by mail. In case the booking has been conducted through a travel agency, refund claims in case of a cancellation need to be made through the same travel agent.
British Airways – cancellations, delays and safety
British Airways has been awarded a seven-star safety rating by airlineratings.com, and it came in 10th in the list of the world’s safest airlines established by the Jet Airliner Crash Evaluation Centre based in Germany. The on-time performance of British Airways is in an acceptable range, with an on-time arrival rate of 74%. However, 13% of flights have a delay of 15-44 minutes, and another 9% are excessively delayed by more than 45 min. While this may seem like a lot, delays in departure vary greatly by departure airport. As an example, the rate of delayed departure is a high 40% in Manchester, while the on-time departure is 100% in Gatwick Airport or New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. With a cancellation quota of 2%, cancelled flights remain a rare exception.
If you or someone you know has experienced a flight delay or cancellation with British Airways, click below to see how much you might be entitled to claim from the airline!