Workaround found! How to trigger an online British Airways flight refund using Google Chrome

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EDIT Monday 30th March – Some people are reporting today that this workaround is not working for them. If it does not work as described, it is probably not your fault!

Our main article today is about BA’s unwillingness to let you claim an online cash refund for an Avios flight.

We have now found a way of triggering a cash refund – as opposed to a voucher – without calling British Airways (and waiting hours in the queue …..)

This next chunk of text is for getting a refund of your taxes on Avios bookings which have not yet been cancelled by BA. 

For a refund on a CASH or Avios BA flight booking which has been cancelled, scroll down this page and read the PS. at the bottom.

If you have a CASH BA flight booking which is NOT showing as cancelled, do NOT follow any of the advice on this page.  You are not yet able to get a cash refund.  You either need to accept the British Airways travel voucher offered or wait until your flight is cancelled and then follow the steps above.

To be clear:

Got an Avios booking which is not yet cancelled?  Read on

Got an Avios booking which is cancelled?  Go to the PS at the bottom

Got a cash booking which is cancelled?  Go to the PS at the bottom

Got a cash booking which is not yet cancelled?   Sorry, there is no way of getting a cash refund.  You need to accept the BA voucher or wait for your flight to be cancelled.

How can you stop British Airways forcing a flight voucher on you?

A IT-savvy reader, Antonio, has found the solution.

In summary ….. if you turn off JavaScript in Google Chrome then ba.com will take you to the full cancellation page.

Here’s proof it works:

How to trigger an online Avios flight refund using Google Chrome

This is how to do it, using the Google Chrome broswer.

Go into ‘Manage My Booking’ on ba.com and select ‘Cancellation options for this booking’.  You must be logged in and using the BA account of the person who booked, ie the person who is named on the confirmation email.

You are taken to the ‘consent’ screen:

How to trigger an online Avios flight refund using Google Chrome

Do NOT continue the process, as you will only be taken to the ‘Future Travel Voucher’ page which you don’t want.  In order to cancel, you need to first disable JavaScript in Chrome.  (If you are not using Chrome, you need to find out how your browser handles JavaScript.)

This is how you do it:

Click the ‘three dots’ in the top right corner of Chrome

Scroll down to ‘Settings’ and click – this opens a new ‘Settings’ page

Click ‘Privacy & Security’ in the left menu – this brings the ‘Privacy & Security’ section to the top

Click ‘Site Settings’ in the ‘Privacy & Security’ section

Scroll down to the ‘Permissions’ section and click ‘JavaScript’

Turn off JavaScript by toggling the ‘Allowed’ button

Do NOT close the window as you need to turn it back on later.  Switch back to the window where you have the ba.com ‘Consent’ page open.  Tick the ‘Please tick here’ box and click ‘Continue’.

You will now be on the standard cash cancellation screen.

Turn JavaScript back on.

You can cancel your booking for a full cash refund of your taxes, and with your Avios returned.

But don’t forget …..

You will be still be paying the £35 per person cancellation fee on a long-haul booking.  If you want to avoid this, you need to wait until BA cancels your flight automatically, assuming it does not operate.

If you paid for seat selection, you LOSE this money if you cancel.  You may prefer to take the travel voucher as I believe the seat selection value is retained, either as part of the voucher or as a credit for free seat selection when you rebook.

PS.  How to get a refund for a CASH British Airways booking

If you are looking to refund a CASH booking which has already been cancelled, this is an alternative set of steps:

1) Go into Manage My Booking on ba.com and select the flight shown as cancelled

2) Go into your browser’s settings and disable JavaScript – for Chrome, follow the instructions I outlined earlier in this article for cancelling an Avios booking

3) Go back to ‘Manage My Booking’ and click on the ‘Cancel and Refund’ button which is just under the cancellation notice

4) Confirm that you now see the correct cash refund form and not the voucher refund form

5) Turn JavaScript back on in your browser settings

6) Click on the “Yes” radio button to select that you are a person in the booking

7) When nothing happens press “Enter” on your keyboard. (this works in Firefox and Chrome). The page refreshes and shows an error at the top of the page “email address invalid”

8) Click on the “Yes” radio button again

9) Complete and submit the form

You will see this screen:

British Airways cancellation

For absolute clarity, do NOT cancel a CASH flight if you have not received an email from British Airways saying that your flight is cancelled.  If your flight is still showing as operating, cancelling means you lose EVERYTHING except a nominal amount in taxes.

 

British Airways suspends all flights from London City Airport
Why is British Airways deliberately blocking online cash refunds for Avios flight bookings?

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Comments

  1. I have previously used the workaround in Chrome to get to the correct cancellation screen on 4 Avios flights for 3 people each. All cancelled by BA. It took 10 days but for 2 of those flights, taxes and airmiles just got refunded. Still waiting on the much larger ones which also involved a 2-4-1 voucher. Today notified of cancellation of 2 different May half term flights -when you go into MMB for the flight – it is now a different landing page to what I had seen previously , and like others on here – toggling on and off javascript makes no difference – it still takes you to a voucher page .

    So I guess a wait in the queue to BA then, Ridiculous waste of everyone’s time

    • Chris Norman says:

      I have found the same problem, I have got a refund for my outbound flight but I guess BA has realised what is happening and now with the same procedure you get the voucher page. I have been emailing customer services to see if that works. The phone lines are impossible.

  2. k takodra says:

    I called in and they cancelled, but be warned its been 34 days since I cancelled and although my Avios have been returned and I was told Id get my £2.5K+ back they haven’t bothered yet.

  3. Alan Chambers says:

    Well, using the technique described here I requested a refund on March 24th for a trip to Italy that had been cancelled. I got the confirmation e-mail and when I subsequently checked the flight on MMB it said they were processing a refund. However, four weeks on I still haven’t seen it in my credit card account.

    A much more expensive business class trip to SFO has just been cancelled, so I thought I’d better try and get through to BA’s call centre. I wasn’t too optimistic but after about 10 attempts, in which they basically said they were too busy even to put me in a queue, followed by a 20 minute wait in a queue, I got through to someone (with a British accent, so presumably not the Bangalore call centre) who arranged the SFO refund without fuss and checked the VRN refund, which he said had “got stuck between systems” but would now go ahead.

    I’m amazed I got through with relatively little trouble but disappointed the first refund wasn’t going happen as they’d promised.

  4. Romney Summers says:

    Hi,
    I have a flight for 5th May which I believe has been cancelled. The flight was booked with Avios and a companion voucher for business class to Larnaca from Heathrow for husband and I. I paid £100 cash tax etc. I was led to believe that I must take a voucher which I did. I tried to telephone them to rebook before the flight took off. I would really like to have a refund of the Avios, some of which were paid for, and my companion voucher etc. so I can rebook myself online when I know the country’s situation better. I have tried 55+ times to get through to BA and got cut off everytime. At least if I had a refund I would not need to try and phone. I use an Apple iPad and am 74 years old. I am finding the whole episode so confusing and stressful I am not sure what to do next. How can I get round this?

    • Hi Romney, sorry to hear you’ve been having a really hard time getting through 🙁 I couldn’t get through on the refund line (it hung up on me immediately without even putting me through to hold) but I kept pressing 2 on all the options given and eventually was put through to someone from the ‘packages’ side of the team. Although my flight was not a package, they still helped me out and processed a refund, so not sure if you want to try that and see if they’ll help you with your avios booking?

  5. Georgia Puckett says:

    Hi,
    I found out this: Java is a plugin and is not supported any more in Google Chrome.
    So how can I disable it?
    Secondly I managed to get to the page you mentioned re the cash refund, filled in but no one came back and I think know BA have shielded themselves from any more requests for refunds. I have got 2 flights booked with them. Impossible to speak to anyone really.

    • Hi Georgia

      This route no longer works unfortunately. BA shut it down a few days after our article appeared. Good luck on the phone!

      Rob

  6. Paul Penhey says:

    I am currently waiting in a queue, having been told several times when I called that they were busy and to call back later. I am also awaiting a refund….just managed to get through within 10 minutes and they are issuing the refund. What seemed to work this time was fir the first option or two I picked option 2 but then when it gave me another option to pick, I just didn’t pick anything. I then heard a dial tone and it went into the queue with the horrible music. Hope this helps. The lady seemed surprised I had managed to get through 🙂

  7. Paul Penhey says:

    She reassured me if you persevere you will get through in the end!

  8. Ian Cook says:

    Paul’s tip above worked for me too! Choose option 2 for first two questions, then don’t press any button on the third question. Was then on hold for just 5 minutes or so and refund now sorted.
    Thank you Paul!!

  9. Katherine says:

    I got through on attempt #3 this morning by choosing 2 for every option – think it is just luck if you dial when the queue can take another line on hold. Having already been declined a refund via the voucher system, declined a refund via email, declined a refund via Twitter DM (they actually told me i wasn’t entitled to a refund on Avios unless the flight is cancelled), i was relieved to get through. But the person i spoke with told me i have now joined a cancellation queue and that she thought i wasn’t entitled to a refund. Its a club class Avios booking – surely refundable? I fear i am in the usual voucher queue and the outcome won’t be good. I am now getting to the stage where i am worried i am not going to get my cash taxes refunded, let alone the xxx,xxx of airmiles i wasted. Not to mention the £00s a year i spend on BA Amex in order to earn these miles etc etc etc.

    • Rhys says:

      Yes, Avios bookings are refundable. Not sure why BA call centre think they aren’t – I had no trouble getting a refund for an Avios ticket recently.

      • Katherine says:

        Part of the problem is i think the call centre / refund queue is staffed by people not familiar with the normal process. The woman i spoke with said she was a volunteer, perhaps from BA ops.

        • Rhys says:

          Cancellation rights are in the terms and conditions of the fare so if worst comes to worst all you have to do is direct them to it.

  10. Tony Bath says:

    I just spoke with a v. helpful staff member (0825 this morning), using the Gold Exec tel number 0800 123 111 ignoring any Options (stay silent). After three-five minutes the process was completed, along with the cautionary advice that refunds are taking approx three weeks to reach the credit card account.

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