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British Airways changes its ‘Book with Confidence’ policy (again)

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British Airways has once again changed its ‘Book with Confidence’ policy

This latest change covers bookings made before 3rd March.  There are no new changes for bookings made on or after 3rd March.

Full details are on ba.com here.

British Airways Book with Confidence extended

What has changed if you booked before coronavirus?

If you booked before 3rd March 2020, you can now change your booking for another date, or request a Future Travel Voucher, as long as your outbound flight is due to be taken by 10th January 2021.

The previous deadline was 31st October 2020.

You will need to pay any fare difference if you change your dates.

What is the position for other travellers?

The current policy waives the change fee for new bookings made from 3rd March for travel due to be completed by 31st August 2021

You will have to pay any difference in fare, however.

Alternatively, you can exchange the value of your ticket for a Future Travel Voucher valid until 30th April 2022.  Remember that, for bookings made purely with cash and with no Avios element, these vouchers now come as an eVoucher and can be used online without having to call British Airways.

British Airways book with confidence extended

Note that there is a difference here:

Booked before 3rd March?  You can change your flight, or request a voucher, if you are beginning your trip on or before 10th January 2021

Booked on or after 3rd March?  You can change your flight, or request a voucher, if you are due to complete your travel by 31st August 2021

In reality, the gap here is now very narrow.  The only people in limbo are those who booked in the final few weeks before 3rd March for travel right at the edge of the 355 day booking window.

The number of people in this position holding cash tickets (Avios tickets are refundable anyway) will be tiny.  So tiny, in fact, that I don’t understand why British Airways doesn’t merge the two policies into one.  The situation is more complex now than it needs to be.

Remember that British Airways is legally required to offer a full cash refund if it cancels flights.  Before requesting a refund via a travel voucher, you may prefer to wait to see if your flight is cancelled, allowing you to ask for cash.

Full details of the ‘Book with Confidence’ guarantee are on ba.com here.

Comments (40)

  • Martin says:

    Thanks for this. I booked return to Iceland in February outbound 2610 returning 3010. Avios out, cash return and hoping it’s cancelled but I guess it would have been by now. I really want a cash refund as when I re book I’d like to book both ways Avios. The cash flights are a lot cheaper now as well so I fear I’ll lose out with an e voucher. I wonder if my credit card will pay out based on fact I can’t travel due to quarantine rules and Government have advised against travel unless essential? Or can I request a cash refund from BA? Anyone know please?

    • Jonathan says:

      Your credit card won’t pay out unless it has travel insurance included (eg. Amex Platinum). I think you’re at the stage now where you have to suck it up & take the vouchers.

      • BS says:

        Even then, the insurance will not pay out if you are given a voucher. The insurance companies have unilaterally decided if you have a voucher you have no material loss, so they will not pay out. You would need to challenge this in the courts to decide otherwise.

        You would have been able to claim this cost off insurance when BA were not offering vouchers for the early bookers. Now they are, you have lost your chance. Take the voucher, you have 2 years to use it.

        • Martin says:

          Thank you, I appreciate the replies and sound advice.

          • Lady London says:

            @ChrisC amongst other things I think the argument that a voucher is the same as cash falls apart in temporal grounds. We cant just stroll onto any flight with our ticket it’s been bought for a flight at a time. In fact if we want to change which flight we fly on then this may not be possible or may incur a charge. So I really canni

          • Lady London says:

            …cannot see how an insurance company can claim the airline can force a voucher and the customer has suffered no loss.

            Gotta say this, and offloading travel insurance risk they’ve been paid money to take, onto credit card companies, is really plumbing some depths if this is what insurance companies are doing now.

        • Lady London says:

          Seems a bit scabby of insurance companies forcing someone to go to court to create a test case on that which I believe they ought to lose.

          Is delay a common insurance company strategy as a means of keeping money owed in their business for longer and leveraging it as well as earning interest on it?

          • ChrisC says:

            Insurance is there to cover a loss. Their argument will be is that you haven’t suffered a loss by being given a voucher rather than a refund.

            It’s why they insist that you try and recover as must as you can from the airline if you can’t fly because of e.g. illness.

            They expect the airline to reimburse you for government taxes and fee so they will exclude them if you do make a cliam. Same as if you fall ill they won’t pay out a fill claim of any part of it could have been covered by EHIC – even if you didn’t have one in the first place.

    • PaulC says:

      Do we know what happens with Lloyd’s Upgrade vouchers yet? I had one that expired Jan 2020 and have used it for a flight departing 30th Dec 2020.
      What happens to the upgrade voucher element since it’s way past it’s expiry date?

      • PaulC says:

        Sorry wasn’t meant to be a reply to your comment Martin

      • Reeferman says:

        Mine was extended to (book by) 30th November – despite also having expired almost one year previous.
        As that date gets closer, it’s possible new cancellations will see an extended date – the AVIOS agent hinted to me that if I ask nearer the time, my voucher may also be extended (but no guarantee).

      • GeorgeJ says:

        Paul,

        I had one that expired (for second time) 30 September and a quick call resulted in it being extended a further three months.

    • ChrisC says:

      You won’t lose out with an evoucher as it is for exactly what you paid for the original flight.

      If the flight you then buy with it costs less than the voucher value they give you another voucher for the difference to use on another flight,

  • Craig Edmunds says:

    Hi, I have two return tickets, Avios + a 2 for 1 voucher, originally in first, London to Vegas in late November for a conference. As the 747 got canned we were moved to business.

    Whats our best option at the moment? Does the future travel voucher make sense and if so how would it work with the 2-4-1?

    • Jonathan says:

      Did you get a refund for the downgrade? Did you accept it?

      You can take an FTV which is essentially just the booking put on hold. Everything is included, Avios, the cash element for Taxes & Fees, the 241 & the passenger names. You can use this only for another Avios booking not cash. Any extra Avios or fees if you choose a longer route are payable & any spare if shorter are refundable. I believe BA will say the passengers must be the same but you might get away with changing the 2nd passenger (not the 241 holder).

      • Darren says:

        regarding extra avios, if the booking was during the recent 50% avios sale I believe no extra avios are required if its on the same route.

        • Craig Edmunds says:

          It wasn’t – the booking is from late March.

        • ChrisC says:

          Only if BA cancel your flight and you rebook to another date will no extra be required.

          If you cancel and take a voucher then you will have to pay the amount needed when you come to use the voucher.

    • Lady London says:

      Are you eligible for the 75% refund of your First ticket value if you end up being forced to fly in Business by a downgrade?

      • Craig Edmunds says:

        I did mention the 75% discount to youfirst, the response was somewhat cryptic “Should you wish to see whether a higher portion of refund is eligible for your booking, this would be done post travel. However, we wouldn’t be able to refund the aforementioned Avios and taxes at this point in time.”!

        So basically, I’d have to fly, on what now aren’t conventient dates, and when I get back they’d tell me if I could get the 75% refund!

        • Lady London says:

          Erm… the loss of class hasnt crystallised till you’ve flown.

          Make it clear at every contact this isnt voluntary.

          No point till you have the boardingpass and based on reports you’d probably have to mcol it after getting no action or 3 refusals or no resolution after about 8 weeks or them saying final answer.

          But it does sound like 2* 75% of the value of ypur First Class seats is worth a look at claiming.

  • TGLoyalty says:

    What’s more interesting is that BA have moved their significant changes policy, where they offer a refund if your flight was moved significantly, from 2hrs to 4hrs!

    • BS says:

      This does not strike me as unreasonable, especially for long haul

      • TGLoyalty says:

        The length of travel is irrelevant it’s 4 hours regardless.

        For short haul and move of 4 hours each way could drop 8 hours off your 2 day break. That is unreasonable.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          But what’s worse is they are implementing it based upon what the policy is when you travel and not when you booked.

          While you’ll still be able to argue any major change is unreasonable for your personal circumstances it does make it much harder to get a refund.

    • Lady London says:

      +1 totally unreasonable.

      There is a really big difference between arriving somewhere at 7pm and arriving at 11pm as well in many places, in termsof facilities available and even safety. Half your day is gone which can mean really the day is wasted.

      An airline should not be able to inflict that on you unilaterally if you booked something else.

  • Stanley says:

    Does a BA holiday booking deposit, made recently for February travel, create an evoucher too if we chose to cancel?

    • AJA says:

      You can get a Future Travel Voucher for the value of the deposit. I think you have to phone BA to redeem it though. I don’t think you can redeem it online but it’s better than losing the deposit.

      • ChrisC says:

        Yes you get a voucher but you can’t use it online like an evoucher.

        Best way to use it is to to book your new trip online (as normal) and then either call and have the voucher applied or reply to the voucher email and ask for it to be applied to your new booking.

      • Stanley says:

        Thanks v much

  • Ben says:

    I have avios booking for December 2020. At present I can refund for £35 per ticket (I would have to pay this 4 times). Is the choice between paying £35 x 4 or accepting a FTV or is there any way in which BA will waive the £35 cancellation charge?

    • BS says:

      They will waive if the flight is cancelled.
      Depending on where you are going it may be worth waiting to see if it is cancelled (they will generally do this about 3 weeks out). If not, you can just get the FTV in December, or just cancel and pay your £140. Depending on values, I would just pay the cancellation fee.

  • Hana says:

    I would like to book flights using avois points, have the cancellation policy for these flights also changed?

  • Geoffrey Lambert says:

    We have a cash flight to Barcelona 3 November for which we can now obtain FTV. We will be looking to book Avios + 241 in the future can the FTV be used in payment of taxes/fees, or does it have to be a cash booking. Thanks

  • PeteFT says:

    Anyone know if a Future Travel Voucher issued for a flight, can be used for a BA holiday?