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British Airways will refund ALL flights to 31st May for a voucher – but should you say no?

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Finally ….. British Airways has seen the light and is now allowing you to cancel ALL flights up to 31st May, in return for a travel voucher.

However …. I am not convinced you should accept.

Let me explain.

Here is the British Airways ‘Book With Confidence’ website.

British Airways BA 777X 777 9X

These are the new rules:

If you are travelling between 14th March and 31st May, you can refund your flight for a British Airways e-voucher irrespective of when you booked.  No refunds are on offer for flights beyond 31st May.

If you are travelling between 1st June and 31st December 2020, you can refund your flight for a British Airways e-voucher if you booked between 3rd March and 31st May

The voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of your original flight

The voucher can be used on any route, not necessarily the one you originally booked

This applies to both British Airways marketed flights and BA Holidays bookings, although Comair and SUN-AIR are exempt

You cannot claim if you have already started your journey

Flight cancellations can be made until the close of check-in, whilst BA Holidays bookings must be cancelled within 48 hours of departure

Anyone who has already cancelled their booking and lost money cannot retrospectively request a voucher

You can also change your flight dates without any change fees, although you have to pay the fare difference.

The small print on how the voucher works is on the ‘Book With Confidence’ website.

British Airways Book With Confidence

But … but … but … perhaps you should wait?

I know this sounds contrarian.  Many of you have been on tenterhooks waiting for a decision like this to allow you to cancel your trip.

And yet ….

The EU has agreed the terms of a deal to allow airlines to cancel flights without losing their slots.

Next week, British Airways is likely cut anything from 25% to 100% of its scheduled flights – probably around 50% given what Lufthansa is doing.   If your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund IN CASH.  No messing around with e-vouchers.

By taking the refund now, you are also giving up your right to potential EC261 compensation if you were due to travel within 14 days of the cancellation being made.

Unless you are travelling in the next 4-5 days, you might want to think about waiting in case you end up missing out on a full cash refund.

Of course, there is also a risk that British Airways withdraws this offer and you can no longer refund your ticket at all.

It’s up to you.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

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

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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

We also recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company 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.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (873)

  • Nielsen Rodrigues says:

    Dear All,
    After a bit of research i found this guide to help you with your full refund without having to be forced down the route of a cash voucher.
    I have got a confirmation email from BA stating that my money will be refunded to my card which i used for booking.
    Best of Luck and I do hope it works for you as well.
    Please click on the link below for a step by step guide

    https://headforpoints.com/2020/03/19/how-to-trigger-an-online-avios-flight-refund-using-google-chrome/

    • Joanne W says:

      Hi, I received an e-mail on 15th March saying my trip on 3rd & 4th April was cancelled and I would receive a full refund within 7 days which may take a further two to show up on accounts. nothing received as yet.

  • Anne Carss says:

    Superb advice and crystal clear instructions. Thank you so much and I hope that everyone awaiting refunds is similarly successful.

  • charles speas says:

    I have booked BA flights Australia to Dublin in middle May and then return middle June am l entitled to a refund

  • GW says:

    Just received a voucher code but no indication of its value. Anybody else had this problem?

  • Bryant Woodard says:

    I bought my tickets with points an paid cash for and upgrade. Should I take the voucher or what is my best option?

  • David says:

    I booked a flight to New York in December 19. Me and my partner are due to fly out on the 6th June. I’ve paid a deposit of £700 but still have £1400 to pay. This is due by the 17th April. BA have no information on their website other than their current policy is up-to the 31st May. I know full well we won’t be traveling because of the FCO guidance and restrictions America have placed on overseas travel. Should I still pay for the rest of the holiday, knowing we won’t bevgoing, and will I get a full CASH refund? I do not wish to get a voucher for future travel.

  • CB says:

    Hi, this is mad. We have a flight Madrid to LHR cancelled for this Friday. We cannot even leave our house in Madrid anyway. The return Flight LHR to MADRID has also been cancelled but they have put us on another flight in the same day.
    We don’t want a voucher! We just want our money back, yet BA makes it impossible to request this. Now we are really concerned that if we don’t accept the voucher we won’t get any refund at all. Calling their help line is impossible. As we booked using a CC, I have queried the total amount but it will take at least a month to get processed and by then we may have lost our money…

    • Gillian Doe says:

      Last year we had to re-schedule flights due to life saving treatment. BA kindly agreed for us to change the dates providing we paid the difference on the flight which we thought was fantastic. Unfortunately at the time flights for this year hadn’t been released.
      At the time of release the BA web site were offering the flights at £1555 for an adult £1226 for a child. Yet customer services wanted to charge us way over £2200 per adult and £1800 for a child. It cost me over £160 pound in phone calls to get this rectified. Eventually the uk phone centre advised me that the other operatives in south Afica had upped their commissions despite the flights being clearly advertised on the BA web site at the lower price. Now say that they can’t just take your money . Fyi I could only claim £50 compensation for the phone calls, tears and time. And if I had coughed up what was initially asked it would have been £900 extra per adult and £800 per child. Nearly the cost of the original tickets. I think it’s called extortion and playing on the vulnerable.

  • pete says:

    I booked, through BA, a trip to Brisbane via Hong Kong for travel on 27th February with return, same route, on 25th April.
    BA has cancelled both legs and even though they appear to be reinstating the HKG to LON leg there is no way I can get to HKG from BNE.
    I can get to SYD from BNE for onward travel with BA from SYD via SIN to LON but at what cost?
    Would the BA voucher scheme be the best answer?
    Many thanks in anticipation of a coherent reply.
    Pete

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