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British Airways evouchers for cancelled flights are arriving – and it’s a mess

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You will remember that British Airways has been allowing people to cancel forthcoming flights in return for a British Airways travel voucher for a number of weeks.

(It has also been ‘encouraging’ people with cancelled flights to take a voucher instead of their legal right to a cash refund, but that is another story.)

The vouchers have started to arrive.  This is what they look like:

British Airways coronavirus voucher

Can you see the problem?

You are not told how much your voucher is for.

When you cancel your booking for a voucher, you are not told how much you are getting back.  Everyone assumed that the voucher would come with a note of how much it was for and a full breakdown of how it had been calculated.

It seems not.

The only way to find out how much your British Airways voucher is worth is to ring the overstretched call centres.

Even if you call, I imagine that the only thing they can tell you is the total.  I doubt they can see the calculation to explain how they arrived at that number.  You don’t know what fees you may or may not have been charged, and so you can’t tell whether those fees are correct.

There aren’t even full instructions for using the voucher.

We know that you need to ring the call centre to use it.  It doesn’t explain:

whether the voucher is transferable (I honestly don’t know)

whether it can be used against multiple trips (it can – the references to ‘part payment’ in the email are misleading, to the extent that you do not need to spend more than your original trip cost in order to use it)

How do British Airways evouchers work?

The voucher doesn’t even include the expiry date.

In a few months time, you may have lost track of the date you were originally meant to fly.  It is also isn’t clear if you need to take outbound flight by the 12-month cut-off or complete your entire trip.

I know that the whole British Airways team is under a lot of pressure at the moment, but none of this stuff requires any great insight to put together.

If anything, it requires a certain sort of genius to send out a voucher which accidentally (?) misses out ALL of the relevant information on:

  • what it is worth
  • what deductions have been made
  • when it expires, and
  • who it can be used for

To be honest, given that ba.com actually has boxes where you input voucher codes, even the lack of online functionality is unacceptable.

Comments (160)

  • Richard G says:

    Wait… deductions?

    They cancelled my flight, not the other way around. Surely I get back what I paid, just in voucher form?

  • IslandDweller says:

    And why on earth is it only redeemable by phone? This is amateur hour.

  • Novice says:

    Seems BA are using this opportunity to lose future business.

  • SmS19 says:

    I imagine I’m one of the few people to have actually used one of the vouchers already, as had to get home from somewhere this week. The people at the call centre were pretty good and seemed quite on it, but even then it took about 2 days to actually get ticketed using it.
    Mine was for a reward flight (as had to cancel within 24 hours of original flight so couldn’t take usual Avios refund route), but the system was only set up for usual Avios change rules (ie no allowance made for the fact is was a voucher) so tried to prevent me from using it on a different route and in a different travel class, hence why it took so long to get sorted. Hopefully they address all this soon as otherwise can see absolute carnage when thousands all trying to redeem.

  • Harry T says:

    Literal shambles.

  • Keith says:

    All intentional

    It’s plainly obvious

    • Lady London says:

      Kicking the can down the road.
      That’s about all they can do right now, probably.

  • Vit says:

    I claimed voucher for LHR – INV flight as the flight was operated but still not received voucher yet. Was going to do the same as BA just cancelled my ABZ – LHR flight, thought this would help out there business a bit but based on this article it is rather pointless. Will try to claim back my full (cash) refund. Wish me luck!

  • planeconcorde says:

    The BA online information did say from the start that redeeming a voucher would only be possible by phone. Question: Will they charge the phone booking fee, or will that get waved because the voucher cannot be used for an online booking?