Airline website performance in these troubled times.Back to Forum
Hats off to BA for managing their website so well in these crazy times. Much maligned as they are, they have done a stellar job of allowing cancellations and voucher requests to be made effortlessly online, without any need to call them. I had 5 cancellations to make, and was done in under 10 minutes. Confirmations have been received, and I have been promised my vouchers within a week. I also received a pretty prompt response to a refund query that I submitted via their online form.
Others have been struggling. SQ messaged me to say that my flight was cancelled. When I checked on their website, they were still selling that flight, and my itinerary was unchanged. Surprising that their different platforms are not integrated. SQ does allow an online form to be submitted for rebooking, but I haven’t submitted one yet, so can’t say what that experience is like. Generally, their website is a little temperamental.
The real shocker is LH, who seem to have gone into meltdown. Their website allows you to do absolutely nothing. The COVID-19 waivers haven’t been implemented online, so one has no option but to call in. As a result their call centres are swamped. I sent in a request via their online form 6 days ago; the flight is 2 days away, and they still haven’t replied. I didn’t think that the Germans were so weak on the IT front. They’ve now thrown in the towel and said that all tickets will remain valid, even in the case of no-show. I’m a little worried as I have some interline sectors where this might not hold good, and am waiting on the phone as I type!
Croatia Airways didn’t offer an option to cancel online, but were extremely prompt to respond to an e-mail request for cancellation. They are providing a non-transferable voucher valid for a year.
It would be interesting to hear of other experiences.25 Mar 2020
Lufthansa are hopeless. I have 3 seats booked on FRA to BRS 9th April. In manage my booking it states flights cancelled. I have had nothing to inform me direct from the airline. I have looked to cancel on line and will only receive a small portion of the fare as a refund, not 100% as required. The phone line does not work, or is simply melted.
I am contracting my credit catrd company for a recharge to my visa.( literally waiting on the phone, it is ringing but a long wait)
I have to say, I too am very unhappy with LH, and would think twice about boooking with them again.
However annoying though, we must all keep in perspective, the situation, and follow the guidelines and stay safe and well.
1 user thanked author for this post.25 Mar 2020
KLM have changed their website to be far more user friendly – I think they were struggling to cope with demand so they now have a more automated approach.
So far for me, easyJet has been the easiest and quickest to cancel with refund within 5mins!25 Mar 2020
I agree that BA site has been excellent. 4 flights cancelled easily and the first of the vouchers has now arrived. That, plus extending Amex 241 voucher validity unasked, is something good from BA.25 Mar 2020
I found easyJet to be quite easy, for an online reschedule.
Ryanair excellent for online cancellation and refund request. However, if you try to anticipate and do this through Manage my booking, even if it says flight cancelled, it won’t work, just wait until you receive an e-mail informing you of cancellation then it is 3 clicks.
LH I found difficult as the online process really did not work. Phoned yesterday to +49 6986 799 799 and waited about 20 minutes then a friendly lady made the cancellation and said it should take 7 days, but her opinion is that it will take longer.
TAP is cr*p. Have spent 3 x 40 minutes on the phone then they answer and, after a few minutes, they cut you off.
M’OL made a very valid point in his statement yesterday when he said please don’t phone. Ryanair are trying to save phone line capacity for repatriation requests and pointed out that their call centre capacity had been forcibly reduced by 50% because of social distancing in the call centres.25 Mar 2020
I have cancelled three official airport Valet parking bookings. The one at Gatwick was refunded immediately. The two at Heathrow have been pending refund for 6 days now. Has anyone had a similiar experience ?25 Mar 2020
LH update. I spoke with the credit card company and raised a file with them. I have sent a screenshot of manage my booking, showing flight cancelled. They will now within 10 days deal with it. Hopefully a full refund.
I have been spending days cancelling bookings, many non refundable, with success. Frankfurt airport parking, Park Tiger at Vienna Airport, H Hotel, in Leipzig, train tickets on OMIO ( who I recommend as they have a small fee scheme to allow cancellations and refunds), and various hotels through Hotels.com, Booking.com and direct with Hilton, and Accor.
Airlines seem to be the worst. Just had another BA cancels, FRA-LHR, on manage my booking only option seems to be a voucher, when it should also offer cash.
Flixbus in Germany seems unhelpful, as offiing a voucher and €5 fee if you want to change or cancel, non existant service.
When travel starts up, I will remebr those that helps, and avoid those that did not play the game.25 Mar 2020
Sorry, I disagree. British Airways has been woeful with three of my bookings. Out of the major airlines with UK bases, they were one of the slowest to allow passengers with non-refundable bookings to exchange them for future travel. In British Airways’ case a voucher for future travel, some other airlines allowing dates of travel to be altered without having to pay a change fee.
Also where British Airways have cancelled flights then passengers still booked on that flight have a legal right to a full refund based on EU/UK law. Regardless of the reason for the cancellation. With the refund back to the original form of payment credit card, debit card etc. British Airways has hidden the ability to obtain a full refund online. So to exercise that legal right to obtained a full refund it is necessary to telephone British Airways. Putting even more pressure on their telephone support lines having to handle requests which could previously have been performed on line.
It is a matter of opinion as to whether they have done this deliberately to hold onto the money, or an foreseen consequence of introducing the voucher option. Either way it doesn’t look good.
There is another web site which has published a work around to this restriction. If you disable Java script in your web browser at a particular point in the online cancellation process then it is possible to avoid being directed to the voucher application form and reach the old page to obtain a full refund. How long that work around will be available to use remains to be seen. I was able to use that work around for two of my cancelled flights. However, on a third I could not get it to work because British Airways had provisionally booked me onto an alternative flight and the navigation flow through the pages was different. So in that case I had telephone to obtain a full refund. They had disabled the tier status priority telephone number. Once I got to speak to somebody a full refund was promised, but has yet to reach my credit card.
To be clear, entitlement to a full refund requires British Airways to cancel the flight first. Then can you request a full refund of a non-refundable ticket. If you have a non-refundable ticket and British Airways does not cancel your flight then you can take a refund of just the taxes and charges less an admin fee, or currently request a voucher for the full value of the ticket.
The regulations are different where the flight has hotel or car hire included on the same booking reference.26 Mar 2020
Just an update on my earlier post on 25 March.
I received a follow up e-mail from Ryanair apologising for the delay with the refunds, and asking for patience.
Still waiting for LH refund, but it is only 10 days.
Finally got through to TAP on 31 March and was told that I can only have a voucher. Said EU261 required a refund but told no. Only a refund. Was told it will take 2 weeks for the voucher which will be valid for 12 months, and for travel up to 12 months after booking. As the booking was economy upgraded to Biz using miles was told that I must make another phone call to TAP Miles, which I did, and the miles were returned quickly. Unfortunately I had been obliged to buy Miles for the UPG, but life is too short to debate this with a TAP call centre.
Realised at the weekend that I also had a BA car hire booking so waited until the 72 hour window and phoned on 30 March. Spoke to a very helpful lady who agreed the refund and it hit my Amex within 48 hours.3 Apr 2020
BA is fine if booking is totally straightforward – however you are out of luck if there is anything unusual, like having used an e-voucher. Then you cannot do that online.
Most sensible would be to do blanket change of all bookings so they can be changed online – for my “normal” booking that could not have been easier – what it might cost them in not policing changes to make sure all the rules were met pales in comparison to the shutdown of the industry and would mean less calls to handle.6 Apr 2020