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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)

  • Frank says:

    Hi I applied for Voucher Flight, Car hire LHR-BHD 3 weeks ago, got confirmation email from BA to say voucher would be received in 7 days. Flight departure date was 23rd March, BA did’nt cancel flight but offered voucher if we didn’t want to travel.

    Cannot get through on phone lines, as

    Nothing from BA since, anybody any experience of this , any advice welcomed

  • John says:

    Cancelled BA PNR , LHR/YYC/DFW/LHR this morning. Took 14 a minutes to be dealt with, so far so good.
    Have since checked PNR, The DFW/LHR still shows live with a check in date and time as 18.30 on 17 Sept. PNR shows departure as July 6th which is correct. All other sectors removed from PNR. Chaos again from BA

  • Germain says:

    I dislike the whole voucher situation. I booked a flight from A to B for an X amount of money. Understandably it was cancelled and got a voucher (not even an offer for cash) I understand now the voucher will be for the money paid minus extra costs?? (I heard that includes bookings for extra suitcases??) That means that when I book the same flight again for a later date I have to pay the extra costs again and the flight is almost certainly going to be more expensive. I don’t really care if I can use my voucher to go somewhere else. I want it to be good enough to get to the same destination without any extra costs. I can’ find any good information on the internet about this. Anyone knows how it really is?

    • Rob says:

      Don’t think so. Your voucher is your frozen ticket (the voucher number is your ticket number, check it) so I think you’ll get 2 free suitcases when you rebook and the cash element is just the cash you paid for the flight.

  • Mike says:

    Had a trip planned to Munich coming from Seattle Washington for May 4th. Cancelled it in March as the travel restrictions started coming through. Took almost a month to get my voucher. Like everyone else I have no idea what was actually in the voucher. I paid for seats for my wife and I on two different flights, as I found out after I had booked premium economy that BA is sneaky in that they don’t let you just pick your seats you have to pay extra for that. Will that cost be part of my voucher? Nobody knows because to be quite frank British Airways is quite embarrassing as far as their website and overall service period is concerned. It’s like someone let a high school student from 1996 design a website and they said “Good enough”. The whole experience with BA has been nothing but a giant pain in the ass and unfortunately unless I’m willing to just eat all of the money I spent on our flights I’m gonna have to use them before May of next year.

  • Yanan says:

    Booked the flight from London to Beijing and received a cancellation letter yesterday. I don’t want the travel voucher as I have booked another flight. I just want cash refund. I tried to contact BA but couldn’t get through on phone lines. Is there anyone in the same situation as me? What should I do?

    • David Marshall says:

      I contacted BA using the executive club form and asked for a refund on a cancelled flight. They responded a couple of week later asking me to confirm my full name, address, etc and then replied to confirm the cancellation. I am a silver member and don’t know if that helped.

  • Carl Crome says:

    they just dont answer the phone so its impossible to use the voucher at the moment !

  • alan says:

    Today we tried yet again to contact BA customer service about our flight and hotel refund/voucher. We cancelled back on the 15th March with a reply saying wait 7 days for the voucher. To date 28 April we have hear nothing and cannot get in touch with anyone at BA. Have they forgotten about us with people getting refunds / vouchers for travel dates way after our request.
    6 weeks and nothing ….
    poo,r poor, poor, BA.

  • Tony Glaser says:

    I applied for a voucher about 2 weeks ago and was turned down, but then I just applied again and it was accepted. The booking was for myself and my wife – I got 2 emails, both addressed to me, both with the same two voucher numbers. However our booking was a roundtrip from the US to the UK and then Johannesburg and back – plus a BA-ticketed and BA-flight numbered flight on Comair (a BA subsidiary) from Jo’burg to Durban. Have they included the cost of the Comair flight in the voucher? I have no way of knowing, but the BA website says “Vouchers can’t be used for bookings on our Comair and Sun-Air franchise airlines” – which is not the same as saying they have not issued a voucher for the cost of that flight! And all Comair will say is “If you are not sure of when you want to fly email the airline you are flying with once the lockdown for the Aviation sector is lifted and your flight will be put on hold.” So perhaps I have been credited with that cost, even though I then won’t be able to use that credit to rebook . . . or perhaps I haven’t, and will need to keep watching the South African press and then email Comair and my “flight will be put on hold” (whatever that means . . . by the time the SA lockdown is over my flight will likely have been cancelled!) What a mess, and an avoidable one too

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