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. jamesj says:

    How will I know this voucher when I see it – does it appear in my account, or just an email???

    What does it say?

  2. Elaine says:

    BA are no longer giving the option of Cancel and Refund only Cancel which takes you to the form for a voucher

    • Amy BL says:

      This is the same for me unfortunately. Only the option to ‘Cancel Booking’. No Refund option appearing.

      They must have discovered the workaround on their site. 🙁

  3. My flight was canceled by BA and when I spoke with a BA agent, they said only flight vouchers would be offered, which (not knowing about the deception of withholding cash refunds under the airline’s cancellation/refund policy), I accepted and only covered the actual flight cost, minus seat selection (which would have been around $300 additional). Can I still opt for a cash refund even though a travel voucher has been provided (by email only)?

  4. TSully says:

    Having used the work around to get a refund a week before my flight I received a confirmation email saying it was being processed. I’ve had nothing since (now 10 days ago) and despite multiple calls have yet been able to speak to a person and always just get told they are too busy and an auto hang up. Today I got a new one: ‘If you are waiting for a refund please wait 14 days for it to be processed.’
    I still don’t trust it will happen. Has anyone actually had a refund come through yet?

  5. How far in advance are flights being cancelled by BA at present? I’m due to be v busy for the couple of days before next BA flight and literally won’t have time to queue on the phone for hours if they announce cancellation at short notice…

  6. Publius says:

    I have a couple of Europe flights booked at £17.50 + 6500 avios.
    The usual workflow online to cancel these is now forcing me into a voucher.
    Why on earth would BA be trying to encourage me into a voucher? Clearly this is inferior (expires in 12 months whereas aviod don’t) so now i’m just going to have to call and put more pressure on their phones. Total insanity.

  7. Is there any working number even available for BA at the moment? I’ve tried several times today to get through as I have a cancelled flight and want to ensure I get a refund. All options end with just cutting me off, it doesn’t even place me in a queue. It feels like We’re not being provided any realistic or viable option at all to get refunded.

  8. Lady London says:

    Guess BA wants to keep access to all of the $9 billion cash they now have access to.

    By denying customers they didn’;t provide with the flights those customers paid for, a refund.
    How can a business not provide what was paid for and yet refuse to give the customer his money back?

    How many of BA;s customers also have access to $9 billion BA has access to? Correction : guessing that’s $9 billion plus what? a further USD 1 billion of their customers’ money, customers who paid for a service BA has not provided? Customers who may be out of a job?

    Who’s worse off in this situation? Who has the $9 billion plus money owed to customers?

    I really, really want to see BA fined heavily by the regulator in a way that will drag on their profits, and especially on any dividends paid out, when this settles down.

    • Milleriom says:

      That will mean next to nothing to them. Accordingly I wish much more – that they go under so that then a customer focused competent airline or airlines can be formed and deliver what we the public deserve and want. I really hope that BA fails. They deserve zero loyalty and are hugely despised. If it was not for our Avios (with or without 241 or upgrade vouchers) countless nos of us would surely want nothing to do with them. They have treated customers with extraordinary contempt, inflexibility and mega arrogance for decades. And as regards their countless customer-hating ‘rules’, why have they been allowed by Governments and by us to get away with so many like forfeiture of all subsequent flights and monies paid when a customer missed any leg in the itinerary no matter how large and complex. As for the outrageous seat charges what did we buy when we booked out tickets – floor space? I sat good tjddance to them even if I lose my many Avios.

    • Tim Hewson says:

      Write to your MP asking them to vote against any rescue package BA asks for. I don’t see why they should be handed our money twice against our will – first as customer and then as taxpayer

  9. Vanessa says:

    Huge thanks for posting this. The process worked. Its totally illegal for BA to prevent cash refunds as they state that when you book. One ticket I booked on Saturday and then decided to cancel and it said the usual about a full refund up to 24 hours before. I am so grateful to you for posting this solution. Shame on BA

  10. Sorry if this has been answered somewhere in the hundreds of comments above, but what happens if your flight is cancelled and you take no action? They can’t just keep your money, can they?

    • roberto says:

      No, they cant..
      You will get a refund eventually.
      You have up to six years , so no real rush.

    • Tim Hewson says:

      You ought to get a refund. But who knows if they go bust

  11. Data point: Avios flights in April cancelled today and the web trick didn’t work. Called BA Hong Kong customer service and waited for 5 mins, avios returned right away and I was told the money may take up to 4 weeks.

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