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British Airways will now offer refunds via a voucher

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Last week, British Airways launched its ‘Book with Confidence’ guarantee in an attempt to drive bookings.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough.  I even gave it a hard time during my BBC World TV interview last week.

British Airways has now made it better AND extended it to cover bookings made to the end of March.

For clarity though …. anyone who booked before 3rd March is still stuffed.  On the majority of routes, they must travel if their flight is still operating or lose their money.

Full details of ‘Book with Confidence’ are on this page of ba.com.

British Airways Book With Confidence Guarantee

This is how ‘Book with Confidence’ now works:

For NEW bookings, and ONLY new bookings, made from Tuesday 3rd March to Tuesday 31st March for travel up to 31st December 2020, you will be able to:

change your flight to any future date without paying any change fees, or

request a full refund in the form of a British Airways voucher, valid for 12 months from the date of the first flight in your booking

This applies to all cabins on all routes.   You can trigger the change or voucher right up until the close of check-in of your originally booked flight.

Here is some small print:

It is only valid for British Airways marketed services, excluding Comair and SUN-AIR

If the flight you book with the voucher is cheaper than the value of the flight you cancelled, the extra can be carried over to another booking – you do not lose it

Multiple changes are allowed to the same booking – you can change the date and then decide to cancel the whole thing if you wish

If you change your flight, you must pay the fare difference if you want to move your flight to a date which is more expensive than the price you paid

Note the any money you pay for extra baggage or seat selection will NOT be refunded as part of the travel voucher.  However, your additional baggage and seating will be carried over to whatever flight you eventually book with the voucher.

The voucher is not transferable

You can find out more on ba.com here.

Comments (71)

  • paul says:

    Still not good enough in my view. The deck is stacked against the consumer here.

    You are being expected to book a flight that may or may not operate with an airline that may or may not be around (unlikely I accept) to a destination that may or may not allow you in.

    I won’t buy high street vouchers for £30 now a days as the holders are always the first to lose their money when businesses go bust.

    But, and I think this is the most important issue; if you change your flight and the fare is higher you are on the hook for the extra before you can travel. You have no control over what BA will be charging in the future and current evidence is that it could be a great deal. There are few deals despite empty plans filling the skies today and there are no guarantees on future fares.

    The need to offer unfettered refunds, free changes and no fare differences within a defined period. For example booking today till end of April could be free to change till the end of May and could be refunded within the same time frame. Indeed the refund could be conditional on the fare being higher.

    • Nick says:

      I think the chances of my booking any BA flight within the next 12 months are pretty high. And this allows BA to offer flexibility for consumer confidence while not introducing a whole lot of risk to forward revenue (as they get the money anyway). I think it’s both generous and smart.

      • Alex Sm says:

        But this is a bit odd and harms their reputation and their customers’ loyalty.

        Crudely speaking, this is like as if an insurance company would offer BETTER terms to a person with a pre-existing condition (and more likely payout) than to a healthier person who bought a policy in good faith.

        Is it fair?

    • Ayyaz says:

      They need to stay operating somehow. Give them a break. If BA folds tomorrow due to consumer demands, then we are pretty much consigned to this island for a while. For them to waive the cob fee (which can add £60 to shorthaul and £150 – £500 longhaul), is a big step. And I’m quite sure they won’t only have the higher fares available after the deadline for this offer, because if they did, they would see a huge drop in sales for the next 11 months. Doesn’t make sense…

      • Thomas Howard says:

        If BA or anyone else goes into administration we won’t be stuck on our island, the runways and planes will still exist. They’ll be utilised by a new or surviving business. The worst that will happen is that our Avios and FC miles will become wumpam.

  • Lady London says:

    They’re tinkering round the edges hoping it will go away.

  • Vit says:

    Dear Rob et al, not sure if I was going to change my existing flight, would it become eligible? or only for new booking? 3 friends got return flight LHR – INV in 2 weeks. Their plan has changed now due to the outbreak and are keen to shift toward June instead. Looking at the changing fees is almost as much as booking a new flight. Thinking of cancelling it now and book later at a nearer date. Not sure if any of you got any advices in this situation. Obviously we’re gonna lose money — just try to keep it to the minimum honestly.

    Many thanks,
    Vit

    • Rob says:

      Wait. Once the slot waiver is approved by the EU I reckon BA will cancel up to half its flights so you might get lucky.

  • memesweeper says:

    That just moved the dial for me — from ‘no way am I booking anything’ to ‘let’s have a serious think about this’. If the flight is cancelled a refund is always an option anyway, it protects me from changing my mind.

  • Oliv says:

    In their FAQ, it is not very clear if the policy applies to Avios bookings:

    Are Avios redemption and part payment bookings eligible?

    If you’ve made a part payment with Avios, simply complete an application form which you can find here. Please call our Avios contact centre if you booked using an Avios redemption payment

  • mr_jetlag says:

    bah too little too late. booked Emirates F to asia specifically because they offered refunds. BA as usual lagging behind the ME3.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      And that’s with 0 Emirates points / status ( although looking at Alaska for some tasty mileage )

    • Ayyaz says:

      F on BA is a fully flexible, fully refundable booking class anyway. Unless you meant you travelled First class using a good value fare which was given flexibility due to the situation. And tbh, if the consumer got their own way all the time, airlines would fold very quickly.

      • mr_jetlag says:

        I meant the latter, in much the same way that J is shorthand for the class of travel and not the actual fare basis in 80% of threads.

        “if the consumer got their own way all the time, airlines would fold very quickly.”

        You haven’t made a CW avios redemption and paid obscene YQ lately, I take it. Few people would argue that consumers > airlines. I see this as a brief yet welcome reprieve from the near constant shafting I get from airlines.

      • Ricatti says:

        That’s not always true.

        Airport BA ticketing agents can sell First in classes that are not refundable.

  • Andy says:

    Rob you make it sound as if you’ve personally influenced BA to release this policy…

    If any customer was allowed a full refund for any flight booked at anytime, there wouldn’t be any airlines left! This, in conjunction with the change fee waiver, at least offers some flexibility if you’re uncertain where and when you’d like to travel. Certainly seems a lot better than what many other carriers are currently offering.

  • CH says:

    They are not really showing any care for people who booked a while ago and have been completely stuffed through no fault of their own.

    • Shoestring says:

      that’s just not realistic, though – (generally) if there’s no FCO advice not to travel – and BA is still flying – then your possible decision not to fly is because you are irrationally worried

      so why should an airline offer you an easy get out because of your irrational fears? when you will cause them financial damage?

      • ChrisBCN says:

        I’m assuming you don’t know CH’s medical background, yet you say they have irrational fears. You really must stop pretending to be a doctor.

        It’s one thing providing your welcome advice on how various schemes and such like work, but you really have been commenting inappropriately on the coronavirus issue.

      • Mikeact says:

        Rubbish….where does it imply a doctor’s viewpoint ? He’s correct, and if the destination is not on the Foreign Office hit list, then why should BA offer a refund ? There’s going to be enough people trying to make the most out of a bad situation without BA willy nilly offering refunds to one and all.

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      But no fault of BAs, either