- Holidaymakers left ‘high and dry’ after British Airways cancel cheap tickets
- Airline claim it was a mistake to sell return fares for as low as £167 online
- But furious passengers who have booked accommodation want compensation
- Have YOU been affected? Contact Sam.Tonkin@mailonline.co.uk
British Airways has been accused of leaving customers high and dry after cancelling thousands of flights before hiking up their prices.
Passengers snapped up bargain fares earlier this year after tickets to Dubai and Tel Aviv were being sold for as low as £167.
But the airline claims the cheap offers were a mistake and sensationally cancelled all tickets on Friday – prompting fury among customers.
British Airways has come under fire after it cancelled the tickets of passengers who managed to book cheap flights to Dubai and Tel Aviv after an online glitch
MailOnline has been inundated with devastated passengers who have been left out of pocket after booking accommodation and car rentals overseas.
Online manager Joshua Freudiger, 24, from Gateshead, booked return flights to Tel Aviv in July for £268.
He said he believed the price was reasonable and other tour operators were offering flights for around about the same figure when he booked, three months ago.
Suddenly out of the blue on Friday he noticed BA had deleted his booking from the App and he was told his ticket was cancelled.
Within hours he says flights to Tel Aviv suddenly shot up to £600 and now a return for the dates he was booked to travel are costed at £834 – almost four times the price.
He told MailOnline: ‘I have spent hours and hours on the phone trying to sort this out meanwhile the price of tickets is going up and up. It’s a nightmare.’
Meanwhile Mr Sadler, a property manager from north west London, said he is furious at the ‘disgusting’ way he has been treated by the airline.
He was due to travel to Tel Aviv with his wife and their two children in July for a family wedding.
‘I am a Club World Executive member but it is pretty shocking the way we have been treated. It’s been an absolute disaster,’ he told MailOnline.
‘We have booked accommodation, car rentals and suddenly flights for our family of four are cancelled and now the prices are astronomical. They have us backed in a corner. It will cost £2,000 for us all to fly out.’
Furious: One unhappy customer had booked a hotel and cars to go alongside his flights, which were subsequently cancelled by British Airways
He blasted the £100 voucher offered by BA which he said is ‘impossible’ to use due to very specific terms and conditions.
The father of two’s said his message to BA is simple: ‘You are supposed to be an honourable company, do the honourable thing and give us all back our tickets.
‘You’ve ruined many families holidays and it’s just not fair. I had booked my seats, my meals, it’s just not on.’
Another customer Anthony Vale, 48, of Cheshire, booked four return tickets from Manchester to Dubai over Christmas and New Year.
He spotted them on Skyscanner for £289 per person and clicked through to Netflights.com to book the tickets.
He received his e-tickets on 11 June – but was told on Monday his flights had been cancelled.
He told Money Supermarket: ‘At the moment I don’t know what I am going to do. My family still want to travel, but all they have offered is £100 per person, and it now costs over £800 per ticket… I booked the BA tickets in good faith and I’ve been left high and dry.’
Mr Vale, who has worked in the travel industry for 20 years, said he knew £289 was a very good price for the flight, but as the next cheapest return flight listed was £325 with a longer stopover, he just assumed he had found a good deal. He believes BA should honour his tickets.
Another was a passenger only known as Joseph, of London, who booked four return tickets to Tel Aviv on 11 June.
He noticed on Friday they had disappeared from his BA app, but it wasn’t until Monday that he was notified his flights had been cancelled.
He had even reserved seats and made his meal choices with BA.
He said: ‘I had booked accommodation and car hire – at what stage are you safe to book anything if they have always got the option of cancelling?’
The airline realised that the cheap online offers had been a mistake and decided not to honour the tickets
Guy Anker, deputy editor of MoneySavingExpert.com, added: ‘BA’s slogan is “To Fly, To Serve”, but in this case it’s refusing to fly these passengers and is refusing to serve their best interests.
‘They’ve bought these tickets in good faith at a believable price – it’s not as though the tickets cost £5, which would clearly have been a glitch. Many have budgeted accordingly and booked accommodation and now face big fees to go ahead with their holiday.
‘While this may have been a “rare” error, it’s not the passengers’ error. So come on BA – do the right thing and let them fly at the price they booked.’
A spokesman for British Airways said: ‘We’ve contacted the small number of travel agents who were able to access the incorrect fare for the short period it was available to advise them and apologise.
‘We are fully refunding the tickets that were booked.’
‘Errors like this are exceptionally rare, and if they do occur, under contract law, there is no binding contract between the parties.’