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 wanted to support BA by not calling for a cash refund and opted for a voucher refund. However, I just got the voucher only to see that I have to call the contact centre to use it. Its very annoying that I can’t use it online and I’m not impressed with BA. Even in non-crisis situations, it takes ages to get through to speak to someone and calling reduces the flexibility to make a booking anytime I like. I will never support them again at my expense.

  2. Still trying to get my cash refund. I used the Gold membership telephone number & got through straight away, but as I’m Bronze, the lady would not serve me. She did explain that the reason we can’t cancel online to claim a cash refund, is because it was BA that cancelled the flight, not the passenger. She said the process & software was different. I told her I was sceptical, & that more likely BA just wanted to conserve cash, but she thought that unlikely. Just in case people are unaware, the number 0800 727 800 is open 24 hours (centres around the world) & the UK office’s opening hours are 5.30am to 21.45.

  3. Cancelled an Avios booking using this process exactly 48 hours ago, the refund is now in my Amex account! – Brilliant! Also I will now contact Amex and arrange a for that money to be transferred to my normal current account so you actually have the money rather than a large credit on your Amex. I have done this on another very large refund but it takes Amex at least 7 day.

  4. Graham says:

    Hi, does anyone know if you will get a cash refund if only the outward leg of teh journey has been cancelled please?

    Thanks

  5. R Ellis says:

    I have flights booked for euros in June which are no longer required. The flights are cancelled but I am being offered a voucher. Does this seem right? I would be happy just to get taxes back.

  6. Rob Cornelius says:

    BA have changed the web page again, so the above work around no longer works. Only the travel voucher option appears now. They have obviously cottoned on to what customers were doing. I wonder if their behaviour is actually criminal. I will never fly BA again if I can possibly help it.

    • Shoestring says:

      this seems to work: log into BAEC/ Manage My Booking and try this link https://www.britishairways.com/travel/webforms/execclub/_gf/en_gb?eId=120001&wfpId=mmb_ticket_refund

      • Rob Cornelius says:

        Thanks Shoestring, but the problem is, that page is ‘cancel my booking’. I am nervous that this might deemed to be me cancelling (even though I have had an email from BA saying the flight is cancelled), because it also says tick this box to confirm you agree: “We are unable to calculate your refund total prior to processing your claim. The refund amount will be based on our fare rules and the total refunded is final and non-negotiable. On submission of this form you are agreeing to the refund total that we calculate.”
        BA are up to dirty tricks and I don’t trust them one iota, can easily imagine them just paying me the taxes and saying: “You elected to cancel the booking, we have proof from the online form you signed. and you agreed to accept our refund amount unequivocally”. How unfair is that?!!

        • I agree and have the same issue. I’d be interested to know others experiences!

          Thanks!

          • Shoestring says:

            it’s not risky because you know the terms already:

            you have to be very clear about whether you booked an Avios/ reward flight OR a cash flight

            An Avios/ reward flight can also be + Money (to reduce the Avios)

            A cash flight can also be + Avios (to reduce the cost)

            All cancelled flights can use this no problem and you’ll get a full refund

            If BA did not yet cancel the flight, again all flights can be cancelled by you

            BUT
            -Avios/ reward flights only pay a small fee generally £17.50/ £35 return in Europe
            – cash flights YOU LOSE EVERYTHING SO DON’T CANCEL

    • Lady London says:

      It’s illegal. The EC has even issued a specific clarification that airlines still have to give cash refund for flights the airline cancelled and cannot issue a voucher if the customer wants a refund.

      I can understand the regulators holding off punishing airlines at this difficult time. But would be great if they could be required to pay a turnover levy in future to let them know they can’t disobey the law with impunity and not pay the consequences. Alternatively a massive, massive fine for systematically not giving consumers rights would be nice. Otherwise guess what? BA’s egregious and systematic denial of customers rights in future would get even worse.

      Whether the regulator has the b*lls to inflict punishment on the airlines for this, or the means, for those that restructure and lose the previous liabilities including for misdemeanours, we will have to wait.

      But at least hopefully this will tell the regulator not to allow any current legislation to be weakened in favour of the airlines as they’ve proved again and again that they intend to continue abusing consumers whenever they can.

  7. mthants says:

    Has anyone had a voucher declined? I had an email telling me a flight on 1st June has been cancelled so I went through the process to request a voucher and now have an email saying

    “Thank you for contacting British Airways. Unfortunately, your booking is not eligible for a Future Travel Voucher .

    We apologise for the inconvenience.

    Warm regards,
    British Airways Customer Service ”

    That’s a bit more than an inconvenience!

    • Lady London says:

      Don’t even bother going back to the airline to say “that’s all right I’ll just take the full refund I was always entitled to anyway then”.

      Life’s too short, take that email straight to your insurer Otto your credit card and request s75 refund, or to charge card and request chargeback.

  8. its crackers they have stopped a cash refund for a cancelled flight via their website, they have setup their systems so all paths lead to no refunds…

    1>Ring BA for silver members = please ring “0800 727 800” and then hangs up

    2>> Ring “0800 727 800”

    3>>> option 1 = if you press 1 about a refund they say wait longer and hang up on you
    or
    3>>> press nothing to get to the next step

    4>>>>option 1 (avios booking) – they are too busy and hang up on you
    or
    4>>>>option 2 (cash booking) – after 30mins you get through, but they cant help you and they hang up on you.

    basically no matter what i do they hang up on me…

  9. THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS! I recovered 125,000 Avios and $1000 in fees thanks to you. I used the method above just now to cancel an upcoming LHR-LAS business class booking for two that I wouldn’t have been able to use. Worked like a charm.

    I found your method after BA last week cancelled an LHR-MEX economy class Avios flight and this morning I was e-mailed that the voucher I had “requested” – ! – was available for use. No way to find out how much the voucher was for. No refund of Avios. So I wanted to avoid that fate for the upcoming LAS flight. Thank you again!

    • I’m pleased this worked for you! Did you go through the form and accept the terms saying ‘ “We are unable to calculate your refund total prior to processing your claim. The refund amount will be based on our fare rules and the total refunded is final and non-negotiable. On submission of this form you are agreeing to the refund total that we calculate.”’

      This is my worry that they won’t refund all the money and avios back, but i’m pleased to hear you had a positive experience!

      • Lady London says:

        If it came to it, EC261 is a statutory right. You are not allowed to sign away your statutory rights by way of a contract. So whilst not being a lawyer there is this and other reasons why they would lose in court.

        At this point I wouldn’t be using any links I would send recorded delivery letters demanding cash refund u set EU261 to BA’s registered address. Get, and keep, proof of receipt from the Royal Mail as soon as delivered because it’s not unknown for Royal Mail to be unable to provide proof later even if you paid the higher charge for Recorded Delivery or Signed-for.

  10. This is still definitely working for future avios bookings on flights which have not yet been cancelled. I have just refunded one in June for Club Europe, avios back immediately, expect the cash refund on my card in a couple days (like the last time I did this).

  11. Got through finally at 5.05 am this morning on the phone (0800 727 800) , then waited for 45 minutes to speak to someone. Claimed cash refund which they say will take 2- 4 weeks to process. Made certain note was attached to booking. Fingers crossed.

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