Don't miss out! Join the thousands of people who subscribe to our once-daily email with all the best travel news

This morning’s reader question about getting compensation for a missed connection on a flight from Dublin to Hawaii (via San Francisco) got me thinking about my own experience with a canceled Aer Lingus flight.  Back in September, Carolyn and I were all set to fly our first ever business class flight (from Boston to Dublin)

These were the seats we were enjoying.... until our flight was canceled!

These were the seats we were enjoying…. until our flight was canceled!

when our flight was CANCELED after sitting for 3 hours on the tarmac.

Getting compensation from Aer Lingus

aer-lingus-1306We were put up in a hotel and then eventually rebooked in economy class the day after.  It took a TON of wrangling

but I eventually got a check for $1306 from Aer Lingus (2 people * 600 Euros converted to dollars).  The trick was figuring out that the correct place to submit an EU261 claim for Aer Lingus was the Commission for Aviation Regulation website.  Once that happened, it just took time but that’s it.

The check finally came in early February 2016, a cool 5 months later

Getting compensation from British Airways

But that is only half the story.  I view Aer Lingus as “responsible” for the cancellation, and had I been rebooked into business class on the next flight, the story would be over.  But we were rebooked in economy class.  At the time, I was happy to get on ANY flight going into Europe, but the fact is that I paid 50,000 Avios for 2 business class tickets and only received 2 economy tickets.  I understand why that happened – the next flight’s business class cabin was probably already full, and as award tickets on a partner airline, we were probably pretty low down the priority queue.

But Aer Lingus can’t refund Avios (even though they’re owned by the same company), so I have to take that up with British Airways.  If BA wanted to try and get compensation from Aer Lingus for this, I’d be TOTALLY on their side.

I have called, emailed, called, called more and done just about everything I can think of to do.  And now, 8 months after my flight, I am still fighting through this!

Apparently the hangup has been that folks at the BA call center have been trying to go through official airline channels to get confirmation from Aer Lingus that the flight I was on was actually canceled, and Aer Lingus has been ignoring them.  Yesterday, after being on hold for over 30 minutes (of course), I got an agent that seemed to want to go the extra mile.  She contacted the British Airways Executive Club department, and then THEY called regular Aer Lingus customer service.  Then, the BA agent said that Aer Lingus would be emailing me within 48 hours and all I needed to do then was to forward that on to my BA customer relations case and they would refund my 25,000 Avios

Aer Lingus comes through!

This morning I did get an email from Aer Lingus

Dear Mr. Miller:

Thank you for contacting Aer Lingus.

Passenger Names:


Original Travel Itinerary:

 EI 0138 – BOS DUB  15/09/2015 2100 0805

 The EI138  BOS-DUB on the 15th September 2015 was cancelled and the passengers were changed to following flight:

 EI 0138 – BOS DUB  16/09/2015 2100 0805 these seats were 10D & 10E in economy class.

Please advise us if there is any further information you require.


Guest Services Center Agent

Now technically I think that I was not on the EI0138 flight on the 16th because we got put on the earlier flight (EI136 I believe) but I am hopeful that this is what British Airways needs to finally close this case.  Whenever things like this happen, I am always of 2 minds.  On the one hand, I’m glad when I’m able to get resolution to something, but on the other hand, it frustrates me how much work it is, and how people who are less persistent (annoying) probably have these big companies walk all over them.

Ever had to be persistent to get a refund from an airline or other large company?


Sign up for our once-daily email with the latest tips and tricks on how to travel for free / cheap. 

You have Successfully Subscribed!