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

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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?

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Comments (89)

  • fbrj says:

    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!