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How does the British Airways Best Price Guarantee work?

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Not many people are aware that British Airways operates a ‘best price guarantee‘.  

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.

British Airways BA 777X 777 9X

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.

British Airways BA A380 flying

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.

You can find full details, and a claim form, on this page of ba.com.

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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

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.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

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.)

Comments (39)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Barry cutters says:

    Totally off topic but could do with some help .

    I’ve got 250,500 virgin miles. No idea what to do with them – wanted to use originally for a ANA business or1st redemption but there’s never 2 seats available .

    Anyone got any good price points for 2 people using 125k each ?

    I’m based in the north but happily go anywhere inc Europe for a good redemption in J .

    I’ve been looking for redemptions from Man and LHR and the availability is shocking

    Thanks

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      There’s a daily chat thread for these types of questions. You’re more likely to get help there

    • YC says:

      If you are non-London and have to connect anyway, Air France/KLM redemptions ex europe are good options (and low tax)

    • Morris Steinberg says:

      I have found 2 first class as well as 2 biz class on ana from nyc, ord to tko, nrt in the past. I book what is available an set an alert on Expert flyer. (or just check often). The space opens up closer to departure. If there is 1, I book that and wait. I even book 1 way, if that is all that is available. In my experience , I always get my family of 4 award tickets with virgin miles on ana . Expert flyer is what I use, but you can always keep checking if you do not use that service

      • Qrfan says:

        Do you have to call virgin each time to book? The phone queues last time I called them were horrendous.

  • Gavin says:

    I’ve found that they round-up small claims to a £20 voucher. So it’s worth claiming even for a small price difference. I’ve had several £20 vouchers from cheap flights booked at say £80 vs. £75 at an OTA.

  • Olly Loosemore says:

    Is anyone still waiting for Avios and tier points to post from flights? I took one last Friday and still hasn’t posted

    • Qrfan says:

      My last outbound on the 22nd didn’t post until the 29th. Still waiting for a flight that arrived on the 29th. I didn’t have to chase/claim though, it’s just taking extra time from what I can tell.

  • Max says:

    Does this apply to prices quoted by third-party booking agents, ie. the ones that get listed on Skyscanner? And do they factor in pricing differences as a result of luggage, seat reservations etc.?

    • Rob says:

      As it is only third party booking agents who would be undercutting BA directly, yes.

      • Alekun says:

        do they match £200 per ticket or per claim regardless of how many tickets have been bought.

        • Asim says:

          Per claim. I have purposely bought separate tickets on separate PNRs to stay within the limit

  • LDTx says:

    Funny, I don’t find the big hotel chains’ best price guarantee worthless at all. For several years I have routinely managed to get the guaranteed 20% or 25% off the advertised rates with two of the larger hotel chains by exploiting cross-market inefficiencies.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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