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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  1. Trevor Bateman says:

    Hi Becca
    I am in same position as you. Applied for voucher 3 weeks ago. Got through on the phone yesterday and was told all was in order and should get voucher within next 2-3 days. Fingers crossed!

    • Has you booking disappeared from when you login? I applied for voucher couple of weeks ago also, hasn’t received anything yet but when i login to my BA account, the booking has already disappeared.

      • Becca says:

        Hi CY, mine is the same as well, no sign or trace if the booking! Just my email that has said the flight has been cancelled.

    • Becca says:

      Hi Trevor,

      I hope I’ll be in the same boat in that case. I haven’t been using the number as I can appreciate they must be extremely busy, however if nothing happens within the next few days I’ll have to try and get through. I sort of wish I’d waited for a cash refund, however I understand that if we all do that then the company will really suffer in the coming months.

  2. Trevor Bateman says:

    Hi CY
    Yes, booking has disappeared. It disappeared over a week ago.

  3. Paul Poulos says:

    We bought tickets for mid June travel in October of last year. By the sounds of it, if they issue travel vouchers, then it would only be good for one year from the purchase date which only gives us a FOUR MONTH window. What if the travel ban is STILL is in effect in October. They should just do what Delta just did… give a 2 year window to rebook. This is a mess.

  4. Erica says:

    I got the email message that I should receive my voucher within 7 days. It’s been 14 days & no voucher yet. My parents got theirs (same flights) 5 days after the “voucher is on it’s way” email. I’ll hold off from calling for another week but am concerned. Glad to see I’m not the only one though.

  5. I cancelled a BA flight from BCN to LHR and received the voucher 8 days later. The second BA flight from LHR to CDG was cancelled by BA. Like others here the booking reference has gone and no email regarding vouchers. Seriously though, a 12 month expiry date on a voucher that at best may only be able to be used 6 months from now if that and thew fact I’m in Australia and have only travelled to London once… the chances of using my vouchers, if I even see the second one……FA!!!

    By the way, TAP did the same thing although vouchers have a $ value on them. Again, almost zero chance of using them

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

  7. 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?

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

      • 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?

  8. Hi,

    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?

    • 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.

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

        • 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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