British Airways claims that, if you find the identical flight cheaper on a competing website to ba.com, they will refund you the difference.
Whilst I have never made a claim myself, the general feedback we see is that British Airways does pay up without much difficulty.
It is worth noting that the big hotel chains offer similar guarantees. In general, with exceptions, these are worthless. They are marketing gimmicks which ignore the fact that many franchised hotels are quietly selling spare rooms behind the back of the chain and hoping that no-one will notice.
The hotel chains want you to do their work for them by sniffing out these hotels. They are desperately keen not to pay you for your trouble, however, and will do everything they can to avoid paying out. If cheapobeds.com is selling a room for £95 with a 3pm check-in and chainwebsite.com is £125 with a 3.30pm check-in, you can be fairly certain your claim will be rejected as the deals are not ‘comparable’.
In theory, airline price promises are different. A flight is a flight is a flight and, as long as you bought the cheapest non-refundable ticket available, it is very clear if another website is selling the same ticket for less.
The British Airways Best Price Guarantee – which you can see here – says:
“If you book flights directly with us, you deserve the very best deal. Which is exactly what you’ll get with our Best Price Guarantee.
If you book with us, but find a qualifying British Airways flight for less elsewhere and let us know on the same day as you book, we’ll give you a voucher for the difference. Even better: if you’re a member of our Executive Club, we’ll give you double the difference.”
Note the last sentence you don’t get the price difference in cash. You receive a voucher for ba.com which will be valid for one year.
However, if you are an Executive Club member, you will receive double the difference as long as your claim (including the bonus) is for no more than £200. This isn’t a bad deal.
The £200 limit means that Executive Club members will only get ‘double the difference’ if the difference is £100 or less. Claims of £100 to £200 will hit the £200 cap. Claims above £200 are not doubled.
When won’t British Airways pay up?
On top of the restrictions in the official rules, which we cover below, reader feedback suggests that you will struggle to get a refund in the following situations:
when you bought a ticket and immediately upgraded it using Avios
when the cheaper seat is being sold by a codeshare partner under a different flight number
when the cheaper flight is priced in a different currency to the currency you used to purchase your ticket
when you used a discount code or any other BA voucher to reduce the cost of your original purchase
How do I claim a refund under the British Airways price promise?
British Airways needs you to send a screenshot showing:
- Date and time the screenshot was taken;
- Full itinerary (including all flight numbers);
- A full breakdown of the individual fare for each passenger including any booking fees
- The fare rules and conditions; and
- Website name/logo
You can only make your claim online and not over the phone.
British Airways promises to respond to your email within two business days. Claims under £100 will be paid immediately whilst large claims may take up to 28 days as additional verification checks are done.
The price guarantee is only valid on BA operated flights, including CityFlyer and Comair in South Africa, but not on any flights operated by partner airlines. You cannot claim if you used Avios to reduce the cost of your ticket or if you have a fully flexible ticket. With the latter, you are expected to cancel and rebook and get the lower price that way.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.
(Want to earn more Avios? Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)