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Forums Payment cards Barclaycard Avios Do I get my voucher back if BA downgrades me?

  • Jan M 61 posts

    BA downgraded me from WTP to WT on the red eye back from the US over the weekend. Galling on a number of levels but especially because I had used my Barclaycard upgrade voucher (which is why I thought I’d ask it here). Will I get this back? They only downgraded the return flight, but arguably that’s the only one that matters.

    Be grateful to hear of any precedents on here. I read Rob’s article about the Amex companion voucher but hard to argue in this instance that an upgrade voucher has no value. Even for BA.

    Sorry if this has been asked before I did try searching the forum!

    zio 257 posts

    Sorry to hear of your experience. I had the same, though in a different cabin. I’m going to feel horribly guilty if I ended in “your” seat.
    Thread here which might be worth reading regarding reimbursement: https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/downgraded-at-gate-or-not/
    Following the advice I am claiming 75% of the full avios amount (for the downgraded leg) as if I hadn’t used a voucher, and I am not expecting the voucher back. I did get the value from the voucher on the outbound after all.
    Your experience is unfortunately another data point suggesting BA is picking on bookings made with a BUV as an easy option when they have oversold a flight.

    PeteM 737 posts

    I wouldn’t say they necessarily pick on people who’ve used the Barclays voucher – they simply pick whoever will be cheapest to downgrade, which will on most occasions be people paying with Avios and more so those using companion vouchers (AmEx or Barclays). This has been the case for as long as I can remember and sadly makes business sense, as crappy as it is for the customer.

    Out of interest, do either of you have status with BA/OW?

    zio 257 posts

    I don’t have status.

    Jan M 61 posts

    I don’t have status either. I can see how there is a plausible argument about the 2-4-1 voucher not having any monetary value, but the value of an upgrade should be easy enough to establish. If they won’t give me back the voucher, then I will take them to court to get at least the points back that a WTP flight with full Avios would have cost. (And incidentally, I would have booked in Business if they had any Avios availability at the time of booking, and that cabin also turned out to be overbooked… So perhaps they would have doubly downgraded me following the logic above…)

    PeteM 737 posts

    You should absolutely pursue this, my point simply was that you were sadly prime candidates for downgrading as having no status + paying with Avios and a voucher. Even if they provide the required compensation it will still be way cheaper for BA than if you’d been cash-paying customers. And I imagine a lot of people won’t follow through…

    NorthernLass 7,985 posts

    You won’t get the voucher back – the reimbursement for downgrading is clearly set out in the regulations. You should be able to get 75% of the cost of the downgraded leg back, either in avios, money or a combination of both.

    There have been several cases now where BA has paid out downgrade reimbursement to people using 241’s and both travellers receive it, so in theory the same principle should apply to bookings made with the upgrade voucher, I’m just assuming that it’s not been tried yet.

    JDB 4,536 posts

    If you don’t get the voucher back (which apart from anything else is administratively difficult, may anyway be half used and closer to expiry than desirable) you will nevertheless get the value of the voucher back as it is simply another form of consideration that needs to be reimbursed for the downgrade. In the early 2000s the legislators/draftsmen didn’t really have the complications of vouchers or multi class downgrades in mind.

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