Not many people are aware that British Airways operates a ‘best price guarantee‘. The airline has recently made a change to how it pays you out if you make a claim so I thought we would take another look today.
British Airways claims that, if you find the identical flight cheaper on a competing website to ba.com, they will refund you difference.
Whilst I have never made a claim myself, the general feedback we see is that British Airways does pay up without much difficulty. There was one exception we saw this week, where a reader had bought a World Traveller Plus ticket which he had then upgraded to Club World using Avios. British Airways is telling him that, because he has upgraded his ticket, he has given up all his rights under the ‘best price guarantee’.
It is worth noting that 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 selling a room for £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, airline price promises are different. A flight is a flight is a flight and, as long as you bought the cheapest non-refundable ticket available, it is very clear if another website is selling the same ticket for less.
Following the recent change, the BA guarantee – which you can see here – says:
“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 give you a voucher for the difference. Even better: if you’re a member of our Executive Club, we’ll give you double the difference.”
Note the last sentence:
You no longer get the actual cash back but rather a voucher for ba.com which will be valid for one year. This has been changed recently.
However, if you are an Executive Club member, you will receive double the difference. On paper I reckon this is good enough to make up for the switch from cash to a voucher.
There is a catch to ‘double the difference’ though. Looking at the T&Cs, Executive Club members will only get a maximum of £100 as the ‘double’ element. Say the price difference is £100 you will get £200 – but if the price difference is £150 you will also get £200. If the price difference is £240 you will get £240 with no bonus.
How do I claim a refund under BA’s best guarantee?
BA will need you to send a screenshot showing
• Date and time the screenshot was taken;
• Full itinerary (including all flight numbers);
• A full breakdown of the individual fare for each passenger including credit/debit card charges and booking fees; and
• Website name/logo
You can only make your claim online and not over the phone.
You can find full details, and a claim form, on this page of ba.com. The price guarantee is only valid on BA operated flights, including CityFlyer and Comair in South Africa, and not on any flights operated by partner airlines.
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