British Airways Refund DilemmaBack to Forum
In October 2021 we booked return flights in J with BA from Sydney to Heathrow via Hong Kong for a Christmas trip back home once the Australian borders reopened. The Sydney > Hong Kong leg was with Cathay.
Needless to say these flights were cancelled due to the quarantine requirements on air crew in Hong Kong.
At the time BA were unable to offer a rebooking option so the only course of action was a refund. We then rebooked with Singapore Airlines. The issue is almost 8 weeks on we are still no further forward with our refund. Emails go unanswered and on the last two phone calls I have been assured the money will be with us in a few days only for it to not arrive. I submitted a formal complaint via email and received an automatic reply and nothing more. I appreciate this is a bit of a first world problem but the sums are not insignificant.
Any suggestions on my next course of action?28 Jan 2022
I think they know it – it’s just what they are going to do about it.
Sean Doyle aims to fend off low-cost rivals and restore airline as main driver of IAG profits
If you read the comments at the bottom of the piece everyone is making the same points that we have been making here – and first and foremost it is that it is almost impossible to get through on the phone if you have anything that can’t be sorted out on the website or app.28 Jan 2022
This afternoon I received the following message from BA, out of the blue:
“You accepted a Future Travel Voucher however we know there are some issues regarding the use of vouchers associated with Reward Flight bookings, so to offer you maximum flexibility we’ll be cancelling it and refunding you in full.
You don’t need to do anything. We’ll automatically credit the Avios back to your account and refund the money to your original form of payment. We expect this to take approximately 4 weeks and it means you’ll be able to use your Avios as you wish, to book a new trip on ba.com or however you choose when you are ready to return to the skies“.
I have so many vouchers from cancelled flights, I missed this one altogether. It was from a cancelled flight 18 months ago. I expect some of you may be in a similar position.28 Jan 2022
May be I was lucky but it certainly should NOT be necessary for this to work…
I flew BA on Friday and was talking to the CSD (or whatever they are called now) about the customer service issues. It is now so bad that BA F check in and Customer Services in the T5 lounges (both upstairs and up up stairs), refused to accept a letter about delayed refunds “we have no way of getting it to the right department”.
The CSD insisted on making a report into her iPAD, I did stress that the refunds/issues were small and I was happy to wait as there were clearly more urgent matters to process for other pax. Within 30 minutes of landing, I had an email confirmation that the CSD’s report had been received and by close of business yesterday, both issues had been fully resolved.
And…. the CSD, only knew I was a status passenger, when I told her her. She commented that her iPAD info was hit and miss when showing the passenger BAEC status.
Certainly not suggesting everyone needing a refund or issues responded to, should go and book a flight…..but……. it did work (for me)…..28 Jan 2022
BA is one of the worst when it comes to refunds and might subtly pocket the amount as well. Customer service is nonexistent
………………… well, I have received a further (unsolicited) email this morning, advising me that my refund has now been processed to my Amex card (although it’s not actually in my Amex account at the moment).29 Jan 2022
My typical route is this:
EMail the airline several times (turn on read receipts) and keep a copy.
If no reply:
Submit a claim to the credit card company – including the emails you sent.
If the credit card company can’t help, or you used a debit card and you are in the UK:
Submit a claim using the UK small claims court https://www.moneyclaims.service.gov.uk/ – this can be accessed online and it’s very easy to submit a claim. In this situation, the airline tends to pay up, but also says something like ‘as a gesture of goodwill’ so as not to set any precedent.29 Jan 2022
Submit a claim using the UK small claims court https://www.moneyclaims.service.gov.uk/ – this can be accessed online and it’s very easy to submit a claim. In this situation, the airline tends to pay up, but also says something like ‘as a gesture of goodwill’ so as not to set any precedent.
As I explained in detail on the Forum some time ago, I went don this route with EasyJet. However, I only needed to send them a necessary “Letter Before Claim” – which oulines the facts upon which one id relying – before they caved in. A four-figure sum was reimbursed within 12 hours of the LBC being submitted by email. There were no court fees.
Whilst actually fighting it in court may result in the airline caving in “as a gesture of goodwill”, this will be because the claim is less than their legal fees and so it’s not worth their while fighting. It’s nothing to do with precedent; outcomes of small claims courts decisions do not create legal precedents.29 Jan 2022
As way of an update BA emailed overnight to tell me that I along with a small number of other customers have been identified as waiting longer than usual due to receive a refund due to a systems issue. Unfortunately BA neglected to include a timeframe for resolution.
Thanks for the tips around the small claims court, will give it another week then go from there.30 Jan 2022
Thanks for the update. To prevent any confusion, I have just noticed that I referred to a “Letter Before Claim” , which is incorrect. It should be “Letter Before Action” and must be headed as such, if you do action this through the court.
1 user thanked author for this post.30 Jan 2022
I fully sympathise with all of the problems my fellow travellers are experiencing with BA. However to put into perspective how bad is the current level of BA service – in the past year I had to cancel two sets of return Business Class flights from LNR to BNE due to the issues arising from the Covid restrictions. In both cases the cancallations were made by phone within minutes and accepted without any debate and the money was refunded to my credit card within 2 to 3 days. The airlines concerned were Etihad and Singapore Airlines.
I wish Sean Doyle all the best in his mission to sort out the current situation at BA which is clearly unacceptable.30 Jan 2022
During the past year I have cancelled three flights BA and in every case the money was refunded to my credit card within a matter of days – it all seems very hit and miss.31 Jan 2022
During the past year I have cancelled three flights BA and in every case the money was refunded to my credit card within a matter of days – it all seems very hit and miss.
……………. and my refund was posted to my Amex account last night, less than 48 hours since they informed me that they were cancelling my (unused) voucher and refunding me in real money.31 Jan 2022
I cancelled TWO different BA bookings recently.
Both had avios elements to these bookings.
One was a cash boking on BA metal and used avios to upgrade to J. (upgrade costed 100k avios)
Second was a full avios booking on AA (booking cost 30k avios plus some small cash amount as is normal)
Bothe were cancelled online and I received the usual emails etc.
8 weeks later an no sign of the re-credit of the AVIOS.
I issued two complaints on the BA website using the standard form.
The 100k avios was recredited within a week (incl email from BA)
I received an email about the 30k avios saying that “BAEC does not handle avios refunds and You need to contact my nearest Contact Centre”
Same Channel, same issue, 2 different outcomes.
In the past these avios refund used to automaticallt be recredited. Am not sure how CORONA has affected the BA IT programming ? ? ?1 Feb 2022