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. Luke Ozade says:

    Works for me. Really appreciate you posting.

  2. My reward flight to Venice in late April has just been cancelled – but I can’t seem to get this to work.

    When I switch off Javascript on the Manage my Booking page and click on “Cancel and Refund” I get taken to a security page which asks for my credit/debit card number. Whether or not I switch Javascript back on – this page just reloads when I click on continue. (I’ve double checked I’m putting the right card number in!).

    If I reload the page with Javascript on – I get taken to the refund voucher page.

    Any ideas?

    • Shoestring says:

      maybe forgetting to press Enter on your computer keyboard? try again:

      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

      • Michael Fisher says:

        Brilliant, I have the email confirmation and printed each page as back up in case of problem.
        I just found that when you get the ERROR page you have to click yes on the are you a passenger to get the question Did you pay. Then it worked..

        Many thanks and good luck everyone

    • Hi Tony

      Leave the Card Number box blank. When I did this I could go on to the next stage. Inputting the correct card number still brings up an error.

  3. This process worked for me. Well, I have a confirmation email at least. Still waiting to see precisely what will be refunded, as the final screen didn’t specify.

    Thanks very much, Rob, Rhys and Shoestring for all of your excellent help!

    I hope everyone is holding up in these weird times.

  4. Hi – seems to work for cash booking cancellations, but if trying this for cancelled avios booking it doesn’t seem to work with chrome – disabling javascript brings up a page for you to confirm you are a name on the booking but then no button to click through to the next screen

    • Shoestring says:

      press Enter on keyboard

      scroll up to see detailed instructions

    • Jeff,
      You need to turn JavaScript back on at that point, then click one of the buttons about whether your name is on the list. Page should refresh and off you go.
      Worked for me – thanks to all the clever folk who figured this out
      Tim

  5. Judith says:

    AMAZING! This totally worked and was so easy! Thank you so much. Glad I can avoid the hassle of trying to get through to BA. It’s appalling that BA don’t make this form available automatically.

  6. Hello all

    I really don’t want to be the bearer of bad tidings here BUT

    I followed this process exactly for two Avios Bookings and received the cancellation email.

    When I called up to query something else, I ask about these two bookings and was told that despite following this process that the cancellations had been queued to get a Voucher.

    When I checked further, the Avios had not been refunded to my account and no refund of the cash element has been made.

    Just to warn you…

    Davis

    • Shoestring says:

      I guess that’s possible and mine are still being processed, ie no refund yet

      but don’t people asking for a voucher get the voucher reference mail fairly promptly?

      when you check your ex-reference in Manage My Booking, what does it say?

      mine says We are currently processing a cancellation and refund for this booking. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this booking.

    • It will take a couple of weeks.

  7. This is an amazing hack to get around BA’s attempt to hold on to customer’s money. I had a Avios booking and received the cancellation email today. I followed the instructions and have now received the cancellation request confirmation email. I’ll let everyone here know once I’ve received the avios in my account and cash (for taxes et all) on my card back.

    More power to #HeadForPoints!

  8. errythroidd says:

    Thank you so much for this. I was able to cancel my reservation.

  9. Sonny Krag says:

    Brilliant! It worked….or at least I got a request send.
    I don’t know if I get anythingv yet!?
    Find it to be a really strange policy to agree to the term:*
    “We will calculate your total after you have submitted the form, when we process your claim. The refund amount will be based on our terms and conditions and is final and non-negotiable.”
    In other words I agree, before I know the amount they’ll refund, that I accept whatever amount they refund!!!?
    I’m glad I have a travel-insurance, so my claim is essentially for may insurance company to save money…
    Thank you very much for the Hack however…

    • Shoestring says:

      for Avios bookings, that’s not a problem

      – Avios/ cash bookings cancelled by BA – always full refund
      – cash bookings NOT cancelled by BA but cancelled by you – full refunds minus small fee eg £17.50 single RFS flight/ £35 return (or lower if you paid less than these amounts)

      as mentioned prominently: don’t under any circumstances cancel cash bookings NOT cancelled by BA

      • Shoestring says:

        ***– ***AVIOS*** bookings NOT cancelled by BA but cancelled by you – full refunds minus small fee eg £17.50 single RFS flight/ £35 return (or lower if you paid less than these amounts)

      • That’s really useful to know, do you know if you get back the money you spent to book your seat in advance too?

        Thanks

  10. Seems to have worked for me – got the cancellation email confirmation. The writer is a star!

  11. Once we followed the intructions properly this worked, but before we pushed the button we phoned BA just in case as we prefer to speak to someone if possible. Took about 15 minutes to get through and the chap said we need to call back when our flight is 72 hours or less away.

    We then asked about the car hire. He tried to put us through to BA holidays and we lost the call. He then phoned us back – what a result! put us through and they have agreed to refund the car hire and when I was on the phone with him, he said he would refund the flights no questions asked.

    We haven’t had confirmation yet, but the Avios and 2 4 1 voucher are back on the account.

    Given the current situation, we think they deserve a pat on the back!

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