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 had an Avios flight on 25th May from Lyon that was just cancelled. The Manage My Booking page is completely different from anything I’ve seen before, just a white page and saying you can apply for voucher or cancel. I tried the workaround before clicking and it’s not working. Looks like it’s dead for cancelled Avios bookings.

    • Steve says:

      Exactly the same here. Definitely doesn’t work for cancelled flights on Avios bookings.

      • Same here too – there’s a new splash page for disruptions and JavaScript disabling does not help anymore unfortunately. For flights that are not yet cancelled, it still works though. What a great way to make people call their CS even more! -_-

    • Jonathan Blake says:

      Agree. This no longer works for cancelled Avios bookings. The only way to get a refund of Avios and Taxes is to call BA, but when I’ve tried. I don’t even get into the queue. Does anyone know what the Travel voucher is for an Avios booking? Is it a cash value or an Avios value?

    • Grant H says:

      Agreed, BA have sneakily stopped this from working by removing the consent page entirely once your booking has been confirmed as cancelled. I managed to do it last week using the method above but not for a booking that was cancelled today.

      • Ariff R says:

        So I guess we just got to accept the vouchers? How does it work? I will get Avios returned plus the tax as a cash voucher? Does ringing up the call centre get me anything?

        • No, call BA and get a proper refund, although I tried just now and the lines appear to be busy.

          • Ariff R says:

            Ok – ‭0800 727800‬ seems to be the consolidated phone number they’re working on, unless there’s another I’m missing…

          • Yep that’s the one – don’t select any of the options, just wait. You should (unless the lines are very backed up) hear the usual BA hold music after all the options are given.

      • I posted last night that I could get as far as the refund page, although its not obvious you are on the refund page at first as most of the form is hidden, and the trick is to press enter, not use the mouse. I have just tried again and its still working!

        But I have not submitted the form as mine is an Avios booking and I am confused by the last line in the Ts and Cs which states…. If these items were booked with Avios and you are an Executive Club member, follow the ‘View my bookings’ link from your account home page.

        This suggests to me that I have ended up on a form which should not be used for Avios bookings!

  2. Peter S says:

    After receiving BA’s cancellation notice on March 25 for both of my one way reward flights, I immediately tried this work around on the same day. My flight was scheduled to leave on Apr 3 and I received the refund for one of my one way flights after the scheduled departure time. Hopefully my other one way gets refunded on the same day too. Many thanks!!!

  3. Simon says:

    I got 5 emails about cancelled flights yesterday, 4 I’d already cancelled. The 5th was an Avios booking and still showed as operating in Manage My Booking, I cancelled it straight away using the workaround, given the 50p cancellation fee that seemed a much more preferable route to go down.

  4. just worked for me!

    • Richard Relief says:

      yep most of the people saying it doesn’t work any more are just user error people

      well, all of them, actually

      of course it still works, just read the thread through start to finish properly and follow instructions carefully

      • Waribai says:

        I can envisage this working for bookings that are not yet cancelled but are you saying that this still also works for bookings that BA have already cancelled? Those seem to go to a new landing page after you click MMB……..

      • Steve says:

        That’s an incorrect statement. Numerous people have mentioned that it does not work for avios bookings on cancelled flights.

  5. Ian W says:

    Maybe I’ve missed this somewhere but…
    I have a 2-4-1 booking in First to SJC, flying 22nd May 2020. If a take the cash and Avios refund my 2-4-1 will be extended to Feb 2021. If I take the voucher I get the option to rebook upto 12 months from original flight so 22nd May 2021.
    My questions
    Is the voucher an option on 2-4-1 booking?
    If so what do I get? Is it the equivalent cash value of the two return flights?

    Apologies if someone else has asked/answered this before.

    • Steve O'Harat says:

      Ian I had exactly the same query. It almost makes sense to take the voucher in this situation as it would appear we would have longer to use it compared to using a 241 refunded voucher.
      The replies I got said that it’s a legal right to request to have exactly the same flights rebooked for you at any point in the future – thereby having nothing to do with vouchers or refunds at all.
      The danger of accepting the odd voucher from BA was that we’ve no idea what format it takes, whether it will be a massive load of avios that we can use on a reward flight within the next 12 months (would need to be worth double the avios we actually booked with seeing as we used a 241!) and a cash element to it which will cover the taxes and charges we paid when booking? Further concern would be if BA decide to change how many avios it costs to redeem for reward seats. This concern will be valid no matter what way you get refunded though, other than getting BA to rebook you as mentioned at the beginning.

      • Steve
        Did you manage to get an official response from BA?
        I have tweeted them to see if I get a definitive answer, but I don’t expect a quick response.
        My thinking is that a 12 month voucher would be better than the 6 month extension, as we would like to replan our trip at the same time of the year.
        It was a 30th wedding anniversary trip, with the plan to be away on our anniversary.

  6. I was able to use this method on April 5th for an Avios booking which was on AA metal. I was automatically put on a different flight leaving the same day. Although I receive the cancellation confirmation, none of the Avios have been returned to my account. Those who have had success, were Avios redeposited immediately?

  7. Trudie Tebbutt says:

    Thank you, I have just used the above to cancel Avios flights to/ from Italy online and only been charged to 50p per person per booking. I was given the option of using the old style web page or new and chose the old style, not sure if this made a difference.

  8. Kbuffett says:

    I have an 2-4-1 Avios booking. I can’t get this Javascript disabling method to work.
    I can’t get through on the phone. The flight was supposed to be tomorrow, but I received flight cancellation emails a couple of weeks ago.
    What is the best way for me to proceed?
    It really is scandalous for BA to restrict refunds like this.

    • Kbuffett says:

      Their recorded message says “we must put the safety of our colleague first’
      If that’s the case, why not offer a cash refund option on the website.
      Very disappointing (but I guess not surprising) behaviour by BA

  9. Trudi says:

    To reassure others who were in the same position as me: I used the workaround to request a full cash refund on 23 March for a cancelled flight. The flight refund finally appeared back on my card account yesterday. There was no email from BA, I just have been checking my online account a lot.
    It didn’t include the seat booking cost though so I still have to chase them more for that.

  10. Sabine says:

    The proposed work around to get a refund rather than just a travel voucher does not seem to work anymore? Has anyone any other ideas?

    • Only other option is to call BA.

      • Jack Polish says:

        It would seem that BA has completely shut down the ability to contact them by phone, all attempts on any number with any type of work around always ends with the the call being disconnected. Good luck everyone.

        • Kbuffett says:

          I concur. I cannot get through at all.

          • KBuffett says:

            I just called the 0800 number (after 9pm). All done and dusted in 6 mins. Quoted 30 days for Avios and money to be refunded.

  11. Tricky says:

    Hello everyone.

    Sorry if this is a basic question. I tried the JavaScript instructions but the screen goes blank when you disable and will not download any BA content until you re-enable.

    I had my cancellation through today for our family trip in May using Avios. I cannot re-book as the travel date is for May half term so more than a year away. I am assuming a voucher is NOT a guarantee for Avios space being available on the date you wish to travel in May 2021?

    That being the case, I would like to get a refund of taxes/avios. My flight shows as cancelled in MMB. The page I am taken to has a blue box that states ‘cancel booking’. if I click on that I am worried that it will treat me as someone cancelling and potentially hit me with penalties, or will it offer to provide me with a full refund of taxes/avios? Has anyone done this?

    Hoping I might be able to save a call to BA…although you just get disconnected anyway as they are too busy to take calls right now, understandably I guess.

    Thanks in advance if anyone knows.

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