British Airways cancellation

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Nov 10, 2019
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#1
We had 2 round trip tickets booked on BA for Sept 11, (Boston to Jordan/ Egypt to Boston)which were canceled due to the pilots' strike in September. BA refunded us the cost of the 2 tickets MINUS the change fee of $550 we had paid several weeks earlier when we learned we needed to fly home 2 days earlier than we had planned. They have refused to refund the change fee --stating that we knew that fee was "non-refundable". We filed a complaint on September 2 (ref #19565302). We heard nothing and filed a followup complaint 10/1 (ref # 20476529). Nothing. The customer service number has a message--basically "we are too busy to answer" with no way to leave a message or get through to a human. What are are options? THANKS!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,723
20,274
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New York
www.promalvacations.com
#2
Nov 10, 2019
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#3
First flight was cancelled-- they gave us the option of cancelling all 4 legs for refund, which we did immediately and rebooked on different airline. We would have tried to rebook with BA but their numbers were impossible to get through to, and we had a whole tour arranged in Egypt which we were anxious about not getting to.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,568
2,807
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#4
Technically, the airline is correct. You booked the change for a non-refundable fee before they cancelled the flights. BUT do not give up hope. Try writing to the execs, one at a time waiting one week for a reply before moving to the next name on the list. Do not write to them all at once. You can find their email addresses in the link at the top of the forum called Company Contacts.

When you write, be brief, polite and acknowledge you are requesting an exception to the rule. While the change fee is in fact, non-refundable, it is a moot point since you weren't able to take the flight due to the pilot's strike. If you are okay with this, ask for a voucher to use toward a future flight rather than a refund as they will be more willing to offer you that.

Good luck, please let us know how it goes.
 
Likes: VoR61
Nov 10, 2019
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#6
Here is my attempt at a letter to the primary BA contact--- any advice?

Dear Ms. Martinoli,

My wife and I had tickets booked with BA for Sept 11, round trip to Egypt from Boston— the first leg was canceled in late August due to the impending pilots’ strike. We were offered the option of canceling or attempting a rebooking. We were unable to get through to a BA agent and thus elected cancel/ refund, and we booked on another airline in order to get to our tour on time. BA quickly refunded the cost of the tickets MINUS a change fee we had paid, of $550, several weeks before when we learned we needed to come home 2 days early for a family event. We spoke with an agent who said we were not entitled to the change fee refund as it was “non-refundable”. We filed a formal complaint on Sept 2, and a second one on Oct 1, and have heard nothing. We can’t get through to the customer service line— always has a message saying “too busy”, and no way to leave message or check the status of our claim. While we understand that technically it was indeed “non-refundable”, BA canceled our flights. We respectfully request refund of the $550 change fee.

Thanks you for your attention.

Joel E******, BA Blue exec Club member #*********
Claim Ref # *********and (followup) #**********
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
20,723
20,274
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Your letter is good except that I would reword that your requested a refund and get rid of formal complaint. BA did nothing wrong- you changed your flight because you had to change your dates and that had nothing to do with the strike. That isn’t BAs problem and their refusal is correct. What I would say is you are requesting an exception to the rule. Taking responsibility for the change fee you incurred sits better and you are in fact asking for an exception. Just say you requested a refund and were denied. Make sure you follow our guidelines on writing- one at a time with a week in between emails:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/resolving-consumer-complaints-and-developing-a-paper-trail.8903/

The worse they can do is stick to their policy and the best is that they make an exception and might give you a credit for a future flight or a refund. It is more likely you would receive a credit if you ask than a refund.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
1,568
2,807
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#9
Personally, I would shorten it even more by taking out superfluous facts. May I take a crack at it?

My wife and I had tickets booked with BA for Sept 11, round trip to Egypt from Boston— the first leg was canceled in late August due to the impending pilots’ strike. We were offered the option of canceling or attempting a rebooking. We were unable to get through to a BA agent and thus elected cancel/ refund, and we booked on another airline in order to get to our tour on time. BA quickly refunded the cost of the tickets MINUS a change fee we had paid, of $550, several weeks before when we learned we needed to come home 2 days early for a family event. We spoke with an agent who said we were not entitled to the change fee refund as it was “non-refundable”. We filed a formal complaint on Sept 2, and a second one on Oct 1, and have not received a reply. We have been unable to get through to the customer service line— always has a message saying “too busy”, and no way to leave message or check the status of our claim. While we understand that technically it was indeed “non-refundable”, BA canceled our flights so the change of flights becomes irrelevant. We respectfully request an exception to the refund rule for flight change fees.refund of the $550 change fee.
 
Nov 10, 2019
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#11
A step forward.... will post when I hear more.





Dear Dr E*******

Thanks for contacting Carolina Martinoli, Director of Brand and Customer Experience.

Our Global Engagement Executive Team are reviewing your Customer Relations case and will be in touch. Please note that when they do call, this will show as a withheld number. Please also be aware that they’ll need to ask you some security questions before discussing your case. Alternatively, they may be in touch via email.

In the meantime, if you need to get in touch, please use the blue link below my name to reply to this email, or contact the team by emailing [email protected]. If you use the reply function on your personal email settings, it will not be received.

Thanks for your patience, and our dedicated team look forward to speaking to you.



Best regards

Sophie Gray
British Airways Global Engagement Executive Team
Your case reference is:19*********
 
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