Extending Frozen Flight with 1 Year Expiration Date

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Feb 3, 2016
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#1
I just read your article answering common flight questions and I wanted to say thank you for providing both me and the internet with really great advice. Before talking to the airline again I wanted to consult you on a problem I'm having. This past summer I had an incredible study abroad experience in Europe and In order to stay longer I froze my reservation (A round trip ticket Philadelphia to Prague ~$1500) and bought a new ticket, thinking I would be back to Europe (I definitely caught the travel bug) another time. I am hoping to intern abroad with the US State Department in Germany this summer or possibly next fall and I was informed that the ticket expires one year after the purchase date (april 23rd) rather than the flight date (August 15). I call BA customer service asking that they extend the one year expiration date even by just one month as I will most likely be flying in May and the customer service man said that he could only do so if I could prove that I was unable to fly up until then and the refund for the ~$1500 flight would only be from the tax (apprx. only $100 back) he also said that I could not transfer the ticket to someone else but if I activate the flight before or onApril 23rd I would have the 2nd flight of the round trip to use for up to another year.
I am a student and cannot afford to waste this flight money, are their any loopholes I can use to my advantage or anyway I can negotiate for British Airways to extend the expiration date on the flight? I would be willing to pay the flight change fee but wish to avoid this if possible. Also of note, my flight was part with American Airways and part with British Airways if that changes anything. Thank you so very much for your help and advice.
 
R

Realitoes

Guest
#2
Welcome Andrew,

It is standard industry practice that if you do not use a non-refundable, but changeable airline ticket, you will have a credit with the airline for one year from the date it was ticketed (purchased), minus any change fees. This of course is only true if you cancel your reservation prior to departure. Airlines will rarely provide extensions, except in cases where the individual is able to provide medical documentation that they were unable to fly during that period. It is even rarer that they will for any other reason, but it does happen.

What we recommend is writing to the airline and ask for an exception, using the company contacts provided by this site. Keep the email short and factual, without emotion. Remember you are asking them for a favor! You want the individual reading it to help you. I would start off with the customer service webform, giving them a week to provide a response. If you don't get a satisfactory response (or no response), move up the chain to the executive contacts starting with the primary, giving each a week to respond before moving up to the next. Please keep copies of all your correspondence, and if you don't get a satisfactory result, come back so we can advise further.

Good Luck.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Aug 28, 2015
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#3
When you froze your roundtrip, you had already used the outbound ticket, right? So you only had a one way back to the Stated remaining?
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#5
Although AA and BA flights were both on your ticket, the expiration date of 1 year from the *ticketing* date is standard for both, and almost every other airline. You need to work with the ticketing airline (that charged your credit or debit card) Or, look at the 13-digit ticket number; it begins with 001 for AA tickets and 125 for BA tickets. This is not the 6-character confirmation or locator code.

Contact the airline using the process @Realitoes explained in post #2 above. Don't delay since the expiration date is coming up in 7 weeks.

A few questions....What is the remaining amount of your credit? It's a stretch to think they will both extend the expiration AND waive the international change fee. The latter is around $200 and can easily erase the residual balance. Also, why did you purchase a new ticket back to the US instead of rebooking the ticket you put on "hold"? (just curious)

Suggestions:

- Can you use the amount for a domestic trip instead, before the expiration date? The change fee is lower for domestic reservations. It sounds like you're a student and spring break is coming!

- Can you commit to a travel date and flight(s) back to Europe? Your request for an extension of the expiration date will be much better received by the airline if you are ready to use the funds for an immediate reservation on a specific date/flight.

Let us know how this plays out....and we kindly request that you respond sooner than last time....3+ weeks went by for your response and time is definitely not your friend in this situation!
 
Feb 3, 2016
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#6
Hi Kennish, thank you for your reply, this is all still very confusing, I've been trying to work this out for months now, I'm still not even quite sure if I should be dealing with US Air or British air, and there are so many different flight numbers and reference numbers it is hard to keep track of. As to why the booking wasn't just changed, It was my parents who did it and I was pretty stressed the time trying to figure it all out, I knew that I wanted to study abroad in Germany to improve my language skills so I thought that I would be able to use the ticket later for that purpose, when I discovered it expires on April 23rd that's when I got a bit anxious, I suppose I'll send a message to both the US Air and British Air Customer Relations addresses. I have a date now, September 23rd. And yeah, a $200 could easily erase the residual balance so that's not ideal either. Since it's with British Air (I think) I'm not sure if I could make a domestic flight although I do have a week of spring break so I wouldn't mind using it if I can. Thanks for getting back to me so promptly, and please let me know if you have any more advice, there's so much going on in my life right now, anything yyou can do for me would be much appreciated
 

kenish

Verified Member
Sep 1, 2015
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#7
this is all still very confusing, I've been trying to work this out for months now, I'm still not even quite sure if I should be dealing with US Air or British air, and there are so many different flight numbers and reference numbers it is hard to keep track of.
As mentioned in my earlier post, you *must* figure out which airline issued the ticket. How did you (or your parents) book the original ticket, and/or which airline posted the charge to the credit or debit card? Or look up the ticket number prefix as explained. This is very important, because going to any airline other than the "ticketing carrier" is wasted effort. The airline(s) on the ticket are irrelevant to your situation. (BTW, US Airways is totally merged into AA). It will help eliminate a lot of "chaff" you don't need right now.

Once you figure out the ticketing carrier, find out your balance and how much you will "net". If it's a small amount you will have to decide whether it's worth your time and effort to pursue. If you decide to proceed, use the contact list and escalation process recommended on this site. Start at the bottom and wait a week. If you receive no response or a denial, contact the next level up and repeat the process. Remember, you're asking them for a favor, so be polite but clear and concise. If you want to post a draft, we can help you edit it before you email it. You should only use email; stop calling them on the phone!

Hopefully AA is the ticketing carrier; if you're in the US there's obviously more ways to use the credit before April 23rd than there is with BA. Requesting to use the credit to book a specific flight will greatly increase your chance of success compared to asking for an extension of the expiration date
 
Likes: Realitoes
Feb 3, 2016
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#8
BA got back to me....

Dear Mr Hirsh,


Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


I have reviewed your case and unfortunately, as I can see you have already been advised, we are unable to further extend your ticket validity.


I am sorry this is not the answer you were hoping for.


Kind Regards

Denize

Do I have any options left? Additionally, if I can't have my flight extended until september do you think they might be willing to extend my flight a mere matter of 15 days for a domestic flight to new orleans? Does BA fly to New Orleans and if not is it possible that they could commission American Airlines for the flight? I only say this because on my return flight over the summer I flew halfway with BA and the other half with AA.
Thank you for your advise.
Best wishes,

Andy
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
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#9
Andy, probably not. I think you are going to have to deal with what you have. Remember, you did buy a non-refundable ticket and the airlines don't have to offer you anything at all. So for them to give you one year to use the ticket they are being more than reasonable.

If you want to ask if they can extend it two weeks, you can certainly try but I don't see a positive outcome. But again, if you don't ask, you'll never know.

And they won't let you book with AA - then they'd have to pay AA for that flight and that isn't happening.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#10
I just reread this thread. I think since you flew the outbound of the roundtrip before cancelling the return, you do have one year from your travel date to use it, rather than the issue date.
 
Aug 28, 2015
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#11
You sill have a few months if you can squeeze in a trip to London but the leftover credit at most could only be @$300, so you would have to spend more just to use it. It probably makes the most sense not to throw good money after bad here and write that off. Perhaps it's easier to digest the loss by remembering the enhanced value of staying longer.
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#14
You are very confusing. Please answer the questions below.

You bought a ticket last 23APR 2015 for PHL-PRG-PHL.
What were the flight dates on that ticket?
Which ones have you flown?

You bought another one or are you thinking of buying another one.
Tell us more when you bought this other ticket and what the flights are.
Have you flown any of the flights on this second ticket?

Thanks
 
Feb 3, 2016
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#15
I just reread this thread. I think since you flew the outbound of the roundtrip before cancelling the return, you do have one year from your travel date to use it, rather than the issue date.
It says 1 year from the purchase date rather than the flight date/cancellation, had it been the date of use or cancellation date there would be problems
 
Oct 5, 2015
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#18
Taking a domestic flight to New Orleans is not gonna work.
Right now the only thing that has value in your ticket is if you fly the return sector PRG to PHL. If you reroute then fare will reprice with PHL to PRG possibly charged as a one way fare of at least $2K. Wrong advice, sorry.
 
Mar 4, 2015
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#20
As @AAGK alluded to -- why doesn't the second bullet point of rule 3b1 of British Airways' contract of carriage apply here?

http://www.britishairways.com/en-us/information/legal/british-airways/general-conditions-of-carriage

3b) Ticket validity period
3b1) Unless it says differently on the ticket, in these conditions of carriage, or in any tariffs which apply, a ticketis valid for travel for:

  • one year from the date it is issued or
  • one year from the date you first travelled using the ticket, as long as your first flight took place within a year of the ticket being issued.

@Andrew Hirsh , has BA disclosed any special fare rules on your ticket that state differently from what their contract says?

Have you exhausted appeals to all the BA contacts up to the CEO? If not, appeal to the next executive. If you have already tried all the contacts, do still reply to the last contact and recite their own contract and ask them why the validity doesn't extend to the "date you first travelled using the ticket" per 3b1. And additionally, fill out the Help form again to circle back to Chris to let him know that you've exhausted all your appeals to the company contacts and see if he is able to mediate further:

http://elliott.org/help/
 
Likes: AAGK