British Airways accidentally cancelled an unknown number of tickets that had been legitimately booked and paid for through third-party travel agencies in what appears to be an embarrassing ticketing issue for what was once the world’s favourite airline.
The problems first started to come to light on Wednesday as passengers with flights in the very near future went to check in online only to find that their tickets had disappeared into the ether.
Other passengers only discovered there was a problem when their travel agents got in touch to tell them that BA had, without warning or explanation, cancelled their tickets.
The airline did not directly get in touch with passengers to tell them that their tickets had been cancelled and provided and initially didn’t offer proactive help to recover the tickets or rebook them onto alternative flights, according to some people caught up in the fiasco.
According to BA’s own web support service for the travel trade, the error could have affected tickets for flights booked through to 15th February 2022. It remains unclear exactly how many passengers have been caught up in the latest fiasco.
Sources claim that the underlying issue has now been fixed, although travel agents have been left to fix bookings that were caught up in the error. In some cases, travel agents have told to rebook their customers onto different flights if seats were sold by BA to other passengers.
The ticketing debacle comes a little more than a week after British Airways told employees that it had employed a team of 200 people to fix its error-plagued website and mobile app that has become the bane of frequent flyers.
British Airways said it hopes to make its website and mobile app much more useful, with integrated self-service options that will make it easier for customers to manage their flights when faced with disruption.
In a statement, the airline told us: “We’re sorry to any customers that experienced an issue with their third-party booking. Our teams have worked hard to resolve the matter and all customers will travel as planned.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.