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How long does it take British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa to refund a flight?

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How long does it take British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Lufthansa to refund a cancelled flight?

Over the last few weeks I have had to cancel seven long-haul redemptions, racking up over £250 in cancellation fees.

Four were booked via British Airways with Avios, one with Virgin Flying Club miles and two with Lufthansa Miles & More miles.

How long does it take British Airways to refund a flight?

British Airways did an excellent job processing all the refunds.  Not all of the flights could be automatically cancelled online, but however it was done I always had the money back on my credit card within three days.

Lufthansa is not as good.  One refund hit after around 9 days.  I am still waiting on the second, with tomorrow being Day 7 since I cancelled.  The cancellation system is also a little odd – you must call and you must pay the cancellation fee separately before they will process the refund.

Virgin Atlantic has been poor.  10 days after my cancellation, I haven’t seen my money yet.  I also had to call to cancel as it was a Delta flight (BA lets you cancel partner redemptions online).

In all seven cases, my miles were returned very quickly.  It’s ‘only’ the money – £300+ each time – that often drags on.  Well done to BA for getting this right.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

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