What is your experience with the British Airways ‘Best Price Guarantee’?

Not many people are aware that British Airways operates a ‘best price guarantee‘.

They claim that, if you find the identical flight cheaper on a competing website to ba.com, they will refund you difference.

All of the big hotel chains offer similar guarantees.  In general, with exceptions, these are worthless.  They are marketing gimmicks which ignore the fact that many franchised hotels are quietly selling spare rooms behind the back of the chain and hoping that no-one will notice.

The hotel chains want you to do their work for them by sniffing out these hotels.  They are desperately keen not to pay you for your trouble, however, and will do everything they can to avoid paying out.  If cheapobeds.com is £95 with a 3pm check-in and chainwebsite.com is £125 with a 3.30pm check-in, you can be 90% certain your claim will be rejected as the deals are not ‘comparable’.

In theory, the airlines should be different.  A flight is a flight is a flight.  The airline cannot wiggle out of the guarantee by claiming, for example, cheapoflights.com promises a 6′ bed in Club World whilst ba.com offers a 6’2′ bed.  That wouldn’t wash.

The BA guarantee says:

“We believe that if you book flights directly with us, you deserve the very best deal. Which is exactly what you’ll get with our Best Price Guarantee. If you book with us, but find a qualifying British Airways flight for less elsewhere and let us know on the same day as you book, we’ll refund the difference.”

You can find full details, and a claim form, on this page of ba.com.

A reader sent me a complaint he has forwarded to the Advertising Standards Authority about the guarantee.  He paid £1,069 for a British Airways flight but then found it selling for £966 (plus a £20 booking fee) at Omega Flight Store.

The reader felt that BA deliberately delayed the handling of the claim to avoid paying:

The reader submitted a JPG file showing the cheaper price but, a day or two later, British Airways responded saying that they were unable to open JPG files (!) and could only accept a PDF

Luckily the flight price had not changed so the reader was able to take a new screen shot, in PDF format, and send that to BA

A few days later, BA followed up again saying that the reader had not enclosed a shot of the final payment page showing the booking fee charged by the agent.  By this time, the flight had gone up in price at Omega Flight Store.  However, the reader sent a screenshot showing the £20 booking fee which would have been added, albeit now added onto a higher base fare.

British Airways declined to pay the claim on the grounds that they did not have a PDF screenshot showing the lower price and the booking fee together.  This is despite the fact that they had been provided with both pieces of data separately, and the reader could have provided such a screenshot had he been told in the initial feedback email it was required.

I genuinely have very little feedback about the BA Best Price Guarantee.  If you have ever used it, please let us know in the comments below.  Did you feel that British Airways was deliberately dragging its heels or not?

If you need to submit your own Best Price Guarantee claim, the form is here.

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Comments

  1. one spicy chai says:

    Simple fix to get around BA’s silly request for a PDF – use the “print to PDF” print option that’s pretty much available on all systems now…

  2. Antoine Gerard says:

    I claimed and won my BPG a couple of weeks ago. I made a word document with different screendumps of all asked information and got a possitive response within 48hours. Cheaper price was on budgetair.pt

  3. Anyone else trying to book BA and having a nightmare ?
    Discount finishing and website crashing and unable to book all evening :-(

  4. OT

    Does anyone know if Hiltons Diamond membership would grant you access to W&A New York Exec LoInge?

  5. I had an almost identical experience with Hotels.con just yesterday (I wonder whether they all compare notes to see who can come up with the best ways to p*ss off their customers?). After numerous successful BRG claims in the past, this time they wanted a different file format, claimed the required information wasn’t shown (it was) and required a screen grab of the final step of the booking process rather than the usual proof-of-lower-price. I resubmitted the same screen grab and it was accepted – although they’re now saying they’ll refund the difference as a coupon rather than the usual cash-refund-to-original-payment-method. On top of which, despite it being a prepaid non-refundable rate, they’re saying I have to wait until after check out before they’ll process it. Oh and they want me to send in a printout of their email (!) and the receipt (which is from their own web site)… What annoys me most is the complete lack of consistency in handling BRG claims (this is the latest in a long line of different excuses for non-payment and delay). I suspect the front-line staff are under-trained and/or have no standard process to follow. Resubmitting as a new claim (rather than replying to their response) seems to be a quicker way to get a positive outcome.

  6. Sondos Arafa says:

    Hey

    I used the best price guarantee and they refunded me with money with no issues. There was about a £46 difference between BA and Omega Store so it was good service.

  7. I had my first – and successful – experience with a BRG recently, with Starwood. They offer to beat a competing rate by 20%, and did so for a 5 night stay at the Westin in Mauritius. The rate I’ll be paying is exactly half what was advertised on the Starwood website!

  8. I had the exact same issue! I thought I was the only one!

    I had found an economy discounted flight to HKG for £393.65 on TravelTrolley and at the time of booking, the flight was for £454 on BA. I therefore made the booking for two tickets on my AMEX, totalling £908, and submitted the claim to BA.

    A few days later, BA has refused to pay out on the basis that I didn’t include the final credit card surcharges as the TravelTrolley site required me to register and input all my details before I got to that page. I had only taken a screenshot of the fare and fuel surcharges and they had said if I booked it on my VISA debit, this wouldn’t be an issue. But since I used an AMEX, there are specific additional surcharges that would’ve been charged by TravelTrolley.

    I looked up the cost and it appears to be 2% of the flight cost, I submitted the screenshot and happily asked for them to deduct it off the difference in fare. They have now refused to pay out as they need the screenshot to reflect both of the information on the same page, otherwise, according to their strict T&Cs, they do not have to pay out.

    I felt like a total idiot and have tried to reach out to them but they have now closed the case and claim which took weeks for them to reply. They also purposely do not have a phone helpline so people are unable to call them. The BA price guarantee is strictly an online team and no one at BA customer service / sales team can assist.

    I looked up at refunding the discounted tickets but I would get pennies on the dollar. I felt I have been tricked into this guarantee and don’t know what to do.

  9. Slightly non current thread but was not really aware of BA’s BPG until this article. Found a cheaper BA fare on Omegaflightstore. Bought ticket through BA, followed instructions to the letter (but never submitted screenshots/time stamps etc pdfs). Within 24hrs BA confirmed a refund of £46 – on a £550 fare!