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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.


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Comments (160)

  • Debra gunning says:

    The telephone lines are currently a l one wait due to corona virus.
    When will BA update their on line booking please.? Or provide the telephone number for clients who wish to book in their flights please?
    BA should advise this on their BA “take a voucher” rather than a refund. Lots of people taking vouchers to help BA out in the current situation so it can help with BA casflow

  • Luke Whelan says:

    How long do the vouchers take to arrive? I applied for mine last Monday and it is meant take UP TO 7 days :-/

    • Suzanne Backes says:

      Hi,
      I’ve been waiting for a voucher for two weeks now and I also received a reply saying it will be sent to me within 7 days! Obviously I don’t want to spend ages on the phone so hopefully BA will sort themselves out and get more staff to sort these problems out.

  • Becca says:

    I applied for a voucher with BA almost 3 weeks ago, was told that they would be in touch and not to amend my booking further, and yet I have heard nothing. There seems to be no way to get in touch apart from one phone number, which it says not to call unless it is 72 hours before the flight. My actual flights have been cancelled, so when exactly am I supposed to chase this up? It is a value of £600+ and I am getting anxious I will not see the voucher.

    Does anyone have any advice or find themselves in the same situation?

  • 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!

    • CY says:

      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.

  • Trevor Bateman says:

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Tim says:

    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…..so 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

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