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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 actually has boxes where you input voucher codes, even the lack of online functionality is unacceptable.

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Comments (160)

  • Ed says:

    Same here, got the 7day email, 10 days ago.

  • Monika says:

    I just got my voucher too. My concern is that I’d booked my flight with 11k avios & £250. Is the voucher for £250? No way to tell. The only thing I see is that those 11k Avios didn’t reappear in my BA account, so I wonder if I’ve lost them now?

    • Rob says:

      The voucher is for 11,000 Avios and £250.

      • Flo says:

        And do you know how to redeem it? If I book with avios there is no field where I could enter an eVoucher code. Can I only book through the call center in that case?

  • Rich says:


    I have received my Future Travel Voucher … I was due to go to Miami, booked for 2 people paid with 147,500 Avios and *241 companion voucher* – I paid around £1,300 taxes.

    Any guesses what my voucher is worth?

    • Rob says:

      Your voucher is worth 147,500 Avios, a 241 and £1300. The problem you have now is putting a new trip which utilises all these elements. You may regret not taking cash, Avios and the voucher back in your account.

      • Rich says:

        Thanks Rob. Yes, I wish I’d done a bit more research.

        • Rob says:

          I doubt that would have made a difference. I didn’t know it would end up like this – I genuinely thought you’d get the Avios and 241 back and just a voucher for the money.

          It is actually worse than you think. Others have been told that vouchers with a 241 can only be used for new trips in the same zone. If you’d used a 241 for Amsterdam but, due to the 6 month extension, can now fit in a trip to NYC, you can’t. The voucher (with the embedded 241) is only good for Zone 1 Europe.

      • Daniel Terestenyi says:

        Unfortunately cash is not always an option. You have 24 hours to cancel your flight, and via phone, this is not an option. The only option to cancel now is via web site, which only gives the option of a 12 month valid voucher, so in fact requesting cash is not a current option.

  • AJ Jones says:

    I have received an e-voucher and tried to redeem in on, but it doesn’t work! The web site pre-fills the first 6 characters as 125-82, but the voucher actually start 125-87. You can’t change or overtype those first characters.
    Replied to my e-voucher notification email as such, but suspect it will be another 3-4 weeks before I get a response

    • Rob says:

      Vouchers can only be redeemed by calling. They were never meant to work online.

  • Rachel Sherwood says:

    After spending an hour trying to figure out how to use my vouchers to book a flight online for later this year, I’ve given up. There is NOWHERE on the BA site to enter the voucher number as none of them start with 125-82. I have 4 vouchers, have no idea which flights they apply to, how much they’re worth and can’t use them without spending half of my day holding for BA on the phone. What a mess.

  • Mikaila says:

    I received my BA voucher this week by email after I applied for it 3 weeks ago. It was for a flight costing £191 + 3200 avios points (worth £20). When I called them up they said the voucher was worth £211 , so I guess they add the £ value of the avois points to the final value of the voucher.

  • Heather K. says:

    I am somewhat relieved that others are going through this. We applied over 20 days ago for a voucher. We have not received a confirmation. Our flight was to leave next week (April 16th) to Ireland and we already emailed them a week ago with no response. I can’t get through on the phone lines. 4 days after we applied for a voucher, they cancelled our flights. I now wish I would have just waited those 4 days. I hope this works out for all of us. I will be so upset if I am somehow out $1800. I thought about calling Discover to see if there is any type of charge back if we have no response by the time our original flight was to depart.

    • Ian Morriso says:

      Hi Heather, did you ever get your voucher from BA or have you managed to contact anyone?

  • Ian Morrison says:

    I was due to fly on 9th April 2020 and when our flight was cancelled, we had the option of a refund or applying for the voucher. I submitted a voucher request and received an email back on 31st March advising they are processing this and would get the voucher within 7 days. Over two weeks later I have still not received this voucher and am unable to get through to anyone on their phones. I too am not worried they have cancelled the flight and cancelled our booking and will not get vouchers to rebook later in the year.

    • Paul says:

      Hi we waited 3 weeks before the voucher arrived. Using the voucher is another issue to as the article alludes to.

    • Graham says:

      I was due to fly to Cape Town on March 17th. Offered a voucher which I accepted, and received an e-mail stating I would receive the voucher within 7 days. That was 4 weeks ago and still no voucher. Managed to get through to customer services two weeks ago who said the voucher was being processed.
      Even if you can get through to customer services it will be a waste of time as they can tell you nothing.

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