British Airways flight 2036 had a two-day delay that left 200 passengers stranded at New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. The flight, which was scheduled to leave Orlando for Gatwick Airport last Thursday, was canceled due to mechanical issues. The passengers were then sent to a hotel. The next day they were flown to JFK but once again due to delays they were forced to sleep at the airport.
Only a few passengers were put up in hotels since the airline claims there were only a limited number of rooms available in New York City since the marathon was held this weekend. Others, however, sought their own hotel rooms. Meanwhile, passengers claimed that the airline failed to hand out vouchers for food or drinks.
John Chapman posted a picture online of his seven-year-old daughter, a cancer survivor, sleeping on the floor of Terminal 7 in JFK, while, Casey Wilson, wrote, "Imagine having a little daughter spending their birthday in a terminal, sat on a rock hard floor and not knowing when they’re going to eat, sleep or have a safe place to stay."
According to British Airways, “Our aircraft diverted to New York on Saturday morning as a precaution, following a minor technical issue. We are sorry to our customers for the delay to their travel plans. We sent a relief aircraft out to New York on Saturday morning to get customers back to London Gatwick as quickly as possible.”
The airline claims that their teams on the ground cared for customers, arranged hotel rooms, blocked off the first class lounge and provided meal vouchers, adding that customer and crew safety is their priority. Fortunately, the 200 passengers arrived in London on Sunday — three days after leaving Orlando, Fla.
British Airways has released a statement saying, “We appreciate that this was an exhausting and frustrating experience for our customers, and we have apologized for the long delay to their flight,” the statement said. “Customers were rebooked where possible and while there were limited hotel rooms available, our teams on the ground cared for customers in our first class lounge providing bedding, food and drinks to ensure they were comfortable during their stay.”
According to the airline’s official flight delay/cancelation policy, if a flight gets delayed or canceled, passengers may be eligible for compensation of up to £530, for flight delays lasting more than 3 hours, or cancelations without prior notice of at least 14 days. Passengers are asked to fill out an Online British Airways Claim Form, which is available on their website. The form also allows passengers to estimate the applicable claim amount for their delay or cancellation.
Also, for delays of more than two hours at departure, passengers are eligible for free meals, telephone calls, and email access, and for delays of more than five hours, passengers can request a refund of their ticket cost. The airline also promises hotel accommodation and transport facility for overnight delays.
Based on news reports for November 2017, British Airways, the second largest airline in the world with 29,448 flights had 5006 flights delayed. Airline delays of more than three hours or cancellations without prior notification are covered by EU 261/2004 rule, which entitles passengers to compensation from British Airways of up to 600 euros.