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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.

British Airways best price guarantee

Hotel chains have worthless Best Price Guarantees

It is worth noting that the big hotel chains offer similar guarantees.  In general, with exceptions (Marriott is seen as OK), 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 desperate not to pay you for your trouble, however, and will do everything they can to avoid compensation.  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’.

The British Airways guarantee is good

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 paragraph: 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 best price guarantee

When won’t British Airways pay up?

On top of the restrictions in the official rules, which we cover below, reader feedback over the years 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 you used a discount code or any other BA voucher to reduce the cost of your original purchase
  • when the cheaper flight is priced in a different currency to the currency you used to purchase your ticket

The last one is often the issue. Some travel agents outside the UK do have lower pricing on BA fares but are banned from selling outside their home country. These tickets would not be priced in Sterling and so not valid for a claim.

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
  • 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, 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

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2024)

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:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (43)

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

  • Rogern says:

    Hilton price promise is a SCAM. I am Diamond for Life and hence have used Hilton a lot. The usual excuse for refusing runs as believable as this….the cat ate my homework….
    As for BA save the precious minutes of your life for other things, time is precious and trying to extract even your own money they owe you is usually complete purgatory. Last year they even conned me out of Gold Guest List even though a was a couple of points short due to their own flight cancellation. Scam hotels and scam airlines make life a nightmare. My new policy is to know what I want and get it using the cheapest I can regardless of which frequent stayer/flyer group they are in (excepting of course the really pond life airlines). Loyalty is just a delusion to extract your cash……none of them give a monkey’s toss about you, only what’s in your pockets.

  • Richard Winslow says:

    Howdy, does this include flights booked at ba.com/holidays

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

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