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. My cash ticket YYZ-LHR on april 9th just got canceled. Also for me the refund option wasn’t available online. I reluctantly phoned the call centre, expecting having to wait a good amount of time. After three minutes I got to speak with a friendly chap, who processed my full refund quickly. Pretty happy (and positively surprised) with the outcome.

  2. Judith De Witt says:

    And the alternative number tells you to try again later.
    I think you were really lucky.

  3. DERMOT B DOBSON says:

    I used the trick above to request a refund of an already cancelled cash ticket on the 20th – received a confirmatory email immediately, but no actual refund as yet.

    Anyone using this trick actually had the money back yet, and how long did it take?

  4. Managed to get it to work yesterday and fill out the form for a refund. However, I just received another flight cancellation email today and following the steps now brings the following:

    ‘Sorry, there seems to be a technical problem. Please try again in a few minutes, and please contact us if it still doesn’t work.’

    However, the voucher option is working just fine!

  5. Oswald Quek says:

    Hmm the “How to get a refund for a CASH British Airways booking” section doesn’t work

    • DERMOT B DOBSON says:

      Worked fine for several people, but you do have to follow the destructions *exactly*

      • Shoestring says:

        you can’t cancel for a refund unless you are logged in

        please follow my instructions very closely

        quick reminder: most people failing forget an important step (Enter or restart Javascript)
        Full sequence:
        Google Chrome
        MMB, logged in as a/c holder who paid
        Find booking (put in reference & name)
        Turn off Javascript
        Click ‘Cancel & refund flights’
        New page ‘Are you a passenger on this flight?’
        Turn Javascript back on
        Tick ‘No’
        Hit Enter button
        New page ‘Error please enter a valid email address’
        A new option now appears below ‘Are you a passenger on this flight?’
        New option is ‘Did you pay for this booking’, tick yes
        Fill in details to claim refund

    • It does, if followed exactly and if your flight is actually cancelled and you’ve had the cancellation email. Did it myself.

      • Louise Nobbs says:

        I have had the email but it’s still not working in the way it has been explained, very frustrating!

      • I think BA must have caught on to this because I only got my cancel email today and it doesn’t work. As this step:

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

        It doesn’t happen anymore. I just get a “Cancel and refund your flights” page with details of my flight, and a question “Are you a passenger in this 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”

        This doesn’t happen either 🙁

      • Sorry, I spoke too soon. After some perseverance, it worked!

  6. Charlotte Dexter says:

    BA cancelled my BAHoliday flight (flight only so far, I guess; car still ‘pending’ so not a total cancellation??) May 11 LHR/Pisa return 18th. I have done the work around for Java but do not see the ‘Cancel and refund’ button. Perhaps does not work for BAHolidays?? Anyone willing to help me by phone? 07767420943 I am not too tech savvy but with a helping hand I hope to get my cash back vs a voucher. It was flight (cancelled now) and Avis car.

  7. Hi I’ve just processed a refund request for a cancelled flight to KL using the instructions here, all went through and I received the confirmation email from BA telling me they’re looking into the refund.
    Now I just realised that the return leg (KL->LHR) has NOT been cancelled; I had booked both flights as Avios redemptions using the 241 Amex voucher, but only added the return leg later on when flight availability opened up. So what happens now to my return leg, do I have to cancel that myself (paying the £35 fee)? But most importantly, what happens to my 241 voucher (which should still have around 1y validity left, as it was a 2y one)? When will that be returned to my account?

  8. Just worked for me. Cash booking refunded. Thanks!

  9. Just worked for me – you have to say NO to the passenger bit even if you are.

  10. Antony D'Emanuele says:

    BA still not fixed this, flight just cancelled and only offered a voucher unless javascript disabled in Safari

  11. TorresLondon says:

    Both my outbound and inbound flights (LHR-LIS) were cancelled. I used the work around and received a confirmation email that my refund is being processed (followed steps exactly as posted by Shoestring at 14.56 on 25 March).

    Firstly HUGE KUDOS to those that worked this out. Cannot for the life of me imagine how you even got started.

    Secondly, big FUCK YOU to BA. This is just appalling. They cancelled my flights. I understand that they are trying to hold on to as much cash as they can, but breaking the law is unacceptable. BTW, it is not just EU rules regarding cancellations which apply here. So, Brexit or no-Brexit when the carrier cancels your flights they are obliged to offer you a refund. BA is not doing this online and making it nigh on impossible to do it over the phone (as you wont get through). This is sharp practice and that’s putting it mildly.

    • Shoestring says:

      I think Antonio realised BA IT had put in a script to change one of the steps in the refund process, ie get to point 3 (say) and instead of clicking and going to point 4, the script sent you to voucher page instead. By stopping the script (turning off Javascript), he found a way to manually move the process to point 4 instead – before turning on Javascript again so that you can complete all steps

      not an IT guy myself so guessing it was something like that

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