Help with refund/voucher from British Airways

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Oct 14, 2018
8
1
3
72
#1
On April 22, 2018, I booked a multi-city flight with BA, the flights beginning on August 7, 2018. On July 30th my 95 year old mother fell and broke her hip. It was a severe break and with her age and frailty, the prognosis on August 1st was poor. I immediately called BA to cancel my flights and ask for a refund due to the nature of my inability to travel. I was told that was impossible but I would receive a voucher for further travel through my date of booking which was in April.

Since I was involved with my mother I didn’t really think much more about it. A couple of weeks ago I realized I never received any confirmation of the voucher. I called British Airways and after several frustrating misdirections, I was told I would have to submit a “case” through their Customer Relations portal. I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a refund. I filled out the form and submitted it.

I then received another email saying the cancellation and refund were in progress. (Ref # Vxxxxx which was my original booking number.) Since I wasn’t comfortable with the response, I again sent through their portal another email asking for the explanation, stating that I was to receive a voucher. The next email from them said they’d created another case number (18xxxxxx.)

Today I received confirmation from Capital One that a refund in the amount $121.45 was posted to my account from BA. The original cost I paid for the flights was $3,568.55. I think this refund is inappropriate as I was told I would get a voucher for a bit less than my original booking cost.

Edited by a moderator to remove case numbers and booking number.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
7,317
7,139
113
San Francisco
#2
This is awful; you've been refunded the taxes only. Go back to your original request for a voucher and follow up with that case number. Compose a concise, polite email explaining the situation and ask again for the voucher towards a future flight. Instruct them to take back the credit they gave you and issue the voucher. Submit to customer service and wait two weeks. If no response, or you don't like what you hear, use our company contacts to submit your email to each executive, starting with the lowest and waiting a week between submissions. Good luck and please let us know the outcome. I hope your mother is recovering satisfactorily.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#3
Did you have travel insurance? Thats what you need to make you whole and why airlines sell insurance. They get thousands of requests every day from folks with emergencies like yours that didn't buy insurance and want refunds. They can't possibly provide refunds to everyone who didn't buy insurance, regardless of the reason. You might have a credit with BA for the remainder of the fare less a cancellation fee depending on your fare type that you would be able to use a year from the date you originally booked the tickets.

Contact BA and ask them if that is the case here.
 
Likes: krisseye
Oct 14, 2018
8
1
3
72
#4
This is awful; you've been refunded the taxes only. Go back to your original request for a voucher and follow up with that case number. Compose a concise, polite email explaining the situation and ask again for the voucher towards a future flight. Instruct them to take back the credit they gave you and issue the voucher. Submit to customer service and wait two weeks. If no response, or you don't like what you hear, use our company contacts to submit your email to each executive, starting with the lowest and waiting a week between submissions. Good luck and please let us know the outcome. I hope your mother is recovering satisfactorily.
Thank you for your response. I wish I could follow up on the case number but the email says if I need to follow up, please click the CONTACT link. When I do that it goes right back to the place where you first lodge your problem. That's what happened the first time I tried and they issued me a new case number. I have emailed one of the executives for British Airways (in a very polite message) not asking for a refund because I know that's impossible, just the voucher their representative promised when I cancelled the flight. Thanks for the wishes for my mother, she is slowly regaining strength and although the road is long, we are optimistic.
 
Oct 14, 2018
8
1
3
72
#5
Did you have travel insurance? Thats what you need to make you whole and why airlines sell insurance. They get thousands of requests every day from folks with emergencies like yours that didn't buy insurance and want refunds. They can't possibly provide refunds to everyone who didn't buy insurance, regardless of the reason. You might have a credit with BA for the remainder of the fare less a cancellation fee depending on your fare type that you would be able to use a year from the date you originally booked the tickets.

Contact BA and ask them if that is the case here.
No, I did not purchase travel insurance and I regret that now; however at the time it was costly and I fly other airlines often and have on a couple of occasions had to cancel my flights for non-emergency reasons but were always issued a travel voucher. That is all I'm asking from British Airways. My initial call to BA was made under a lot of stress and although I did ask for a refund just in case, I knew I'd receive a voucher.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,173
4,347
113
48
#6
Oh my. What were the fare rules of the ticket? Could you actually get a voucher or was it a BA use it or lose it fare? And if you wanted a voucher why fill in a form for a refund? You kept asking for a refund and if it was not a fully refundable ticket no refund would be made.

Problem is you filled in a form asking for a refund and they gave you what you asked for.

All you can do is write a polite letter to the contacts and consider travel insurance for the next trip.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
Again- call BA and give them the reservation number - ask if you have been given a credit for a new flight less the cancellation fee.

Travel insurance for a flight isn’t that expensive especially if you purchase it directly through the airline and it’s far less then losing your money when you book a nonrefundable fare. You may have simply been lucky up to now.

We have company contacts for BA on top of our page that says Company Contacts. Read how to write on the bottom of the page and then start your writing campaign.

If you don’t opt in to buy travel insurance you are gaming the system and hoping you don’t need to cancel for a covered reason. You also take a chance of losing everything sooner or later. You take your chance by opting out.

We have a thread on our airline forum that tells you what to do:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/refunds-for-non-refundable-tickets.3304/
 
Oct 14, 2018
8
1
3
72
#8
Again- call BA and give them the reservation number - ask if you have been given a credit for a new flight less the cancellation fee.

Travel insurance for a flight isn’t that expensive especially if you purchase it directly through the airline and it’s far less then losing your money when you book a nonrefundable fare. You may have simply been lucky up to now.

We have company contacts for BA on top of our page that says Company Contacts. Read how to write on the bottom of the page and then start your writing campaign.

If you don’t opt in to buy travel insurance you are gaming the system and hoping you don’t need to cancel for a covered reason. You also take a chance of losing everything sooner or later. You take your chance by opting out.

We have a thread on our airline forum that tells you what to do:

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/refunds-for-non-refundable-tickets.3304/
I will follow your instructions and let you know what happens. Thank you for the information. I understand the airline has no obligation to help; however on the day I cancelled my flight I was told I would receive a voucher. That is what I'm upset about. If I'd been told on that day there was nothing they could do, I'd have accepted it without quibble. Yes, I also understand I should have purchased travel insurance (which I did for the cruise I had to cancel), and have learned my lesson.
 
Oct 14, 2018
8
1
3
72
#10
You might very well have a voucher on your account that you don’t know about. Let us know.
Since I am registered in BA's Executive Club, my account there shows nothing. In my first follow-up call to BA when I finally got someone on the line the representative had no idea what I was talking about. That's when she told me to start the online process through their portal.

I have been trying to call BA for the last week. Their message says (as it did in early September) that due to a large volume of calls, they cannot accept any more calls. Please do not chase a response unless it is urgent.

I will start another very polite writing campaign. And by the way, all my conversations and emails to BA have been conciliatory and polite.
 
Oct 3, 2018
11
5
3
62
#11
First of all let me say how sorry I am to hear about your mother. I do hope she is getting along better now with good medical treatment and loving care. I also think it sad that you have had to endure such a horrible experience. I personally do believe you are entitled to a full refund of your airfare. I think it is a matter of connecting with the right people at BA along the the appropriate US government agencies concerning your complaint to get a resolution. Are you a US citizen or European? It is possible and even helpful to email the appropriate department and person at the FAA as well as the FTC regarding this issue as they investigate and make determinations concerning such practices especially if you are a US Citizen; however, as British Airways flies out the US, they are certainly would be interested in the business practices of BA. I wish you and your mother well and that you do receive a full refund for your flight in the near future.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
14,700
13,757
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#12
First of all let me say how sorry I am to hear about your mother. I do hope she is getting along better now with good medical treatment and loving care. I also think it sad that you have had to endure such a horrible experience. I personally do believe you are entitled to a full refund of your airfare. I think it is a matter of connecting with the right people at BA along the the appropriate US government agencies concerning your complaint to get a resolution. Are you a US citizen or European? It is possible and even helpful to email the appropriate department and person at the FAA as well as the FTC regarding this issue as they investigate and make determinations concerning such practices especially if you are a US Citizen; however, as British Airways flies out the US, they are certainly would be interested in the business practices of BA. I wish you and your mother well and that you do receive a full refund for your flight in the near future.
If insurance was not purchased and the flight is a nonrefundable fare - there is likely no required refund of the airfare. For BA to refund it would do so as a courtesy. We don't want to get hopes up for a nonrefundable ticket. The thread in post 7 is applicable to this situation.

I urge our consumer to use our company contacts for BA and write - we have seen well written letters asking for an excpetion to the rule land on the right Executives desk and a no turned into a yes.

Please let us know how you make out using our BA contacts.
 
Oct 3, 2018
11
5
3
62
#13
Neil is correct in his response about your not having insurance and a non-refundable fare, which means you really are not entitled to a refund; however, as a courtesy to you their valued customer, they might want to do something to help you to keep you as a customer in the future. And definitely check out post #7 by Neil for more helpful information.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
Sep 19, 2015
3,173
4,347
113
48
#14
First of all let me say how sorry I am to hear about your mother. I do hope she is getting along better now with good medical treatment and loving care. I also think it sad that you have had to endure such a horrible experience. I personally do believe you are entitled to a full refund of your airfare. I think it is a matter of connecting with the right people at BA along the the appropriate US government agencies concerning your complaint to get a resolution. Are you a US citizen or European? It is possible and even helpful to email the appropriate department and person at the FAA as well as the FTC regarding this issue as they investigate and make determinations concerning such practices especially if you are a US Citizen; however, as British Airways flies out the US, they are certainly would be interested in the business practices of BA. I wish you and your mother well and that you do receive a full refund for your flight in the near future.
Again with the FAA complaints? And FTC? If someone wants a good will gesture a good way to destroy good will is to complain to any and every regulatory agency just to harass the company.
 
Last edited:
Jun 30, 2017
849
785
93
Maui Hawaii
#15
First of all let me say how sorry I am to hear about your mother. I do hope she is getting along better now with good medical treatment and loving care. I also think it sad that you have had to endure such a horrible experience. I personally do believe you are entitled to a full refund of your airfare. I think it is a matter of connecting with the right people at BA along the the appropriate US government agencies concerning your complaint to get a resolution. Are you a US citizen or European? It is possible and even helpful to email the appropriate department and person at the FAA as well as the FTC regarding this issue as they investigate and make determinations concerning such practices especially if you are a US Citizen; however, as British Airways flies out the US, they are certainly would be interested in the business practices of BA. I wish you and your mother well and that you do receive a full refund for your flight in the near future.
Sure you can complain to the FAA, FTC, Congress and any other body you wish to bother. This is a simple issue: the airlines have fare rules. You may or may not agree with them but once you book your ticket you are bound by the rules whether you like them or not. Once you book a non-refundable fare and choose to have no travel insurance, if you cancel you are owed nothing. You may get a voucher for future flights, with restrictions, but that is it. Why waste the time of busy Federal agencies with frivolous complaints.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,173
4,347
113
48
#16
HollyM please do not complain to the regulatory agencies. This issue is not something that they would be interested in and you run the risk of destroying any good will; same with threats to post negative reviews on various travel websites, another tactic that rarely leads to a positive resolution. As weihlac pointed out, tickets come with restrictions unless a fully flexible ticket was purchased. It does not matter who thinks you should get a refund the fact is that one is not due. But many airline tickets do allow for a traveler to receive a credit minus some service fee and use it within a year of the original booking date.

What you should do is write a concise and polite letter such as:

Dear BA Exec

On April 22 I booked a ticket from X to Y on Z date and the reservation number is XYZ123 and ticket number (if you have it) 125-XXXXXXXXXX and BA executive club number XXXXXXX.

On August 1 I called to cancel the ticket as my elderly mother suffered a serious fall. I was told that my fare restrictions made the ticket not eligible for a refund but that I would receive a credit voucher.

As I was distracted by the health of my mother I did not notice that I did not receive any further correspondence about the voucher.

After several calls I was directed to submit a complaint “case” through their Customer Relations portal. I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a refund. I filled out the form and submitted it. I understood that I was to fill out this form to receive the voucher, but instead it appears that the taxes were refunded to my credit card.

It seems that there was a misunderstanding as I very much wanted to reschedule the trip and use the voucher. I would be very grateful to have the voucher restored and so on.


Do not go into unnecessary detail on the health of your mother, the letter needs to be short so the reader does not loose interest in helping you.

I am sure others on the forum can improve on the letter, this is just to give you a direction.
 
Apr 3, 2016
102
243
43
#17
"I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a refund."

I would suggest changing this to
I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a credit for future use.

If you use the term refund, it suggests you were looking for money back, not a credit for future use.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,173
4,347
113
48
#18
"I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a refund."

I would suggest changing this to
I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a credit for future use.

If you use the term refund, it suggests you were looking for money back, not a credit for future use.
Good point, and I am sure the OP would welcome any and all improvements to the letter.

I use the term refund as that is what the OP said -- I have never canceled a BA ticket so I do not know what the link says -- maybe it is referenced in the email the OP received?
 
Jul 27, 2016
1,054
1,251
113
#19
"I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a refund."

I would suggest changing this to
I did so and received a case number (18xxxxxx) along with an email with a link to apply for a credit for future use.

If you use the term refund, it suggests you were looking for money back, not a credit for future use.
This is actually a key issue - if you ask for a "refund," you'll get whatever cash back you're entitled to, which is essentially just the taxes. If you ask for a "credit," you'll get the bulk of the ticket price (minus a fee) in a credit which you can use for a limited period of time. It sounds like the OP may have gotten a refund, which isn't what she wanted.
 
Sep 19, 2015
3,173
4,347
113
48
#20
This is actually a key issue - if you ask for a "refund," you'll get whatever cash back you're entitled to, which is essentially just the taxes. If you ask for a "credit," you'll get the bulk of the ticket price (minus a fee) in a credit which you can use for a limited period of time. It sounds like the OP may have gotten a refund, which isn't what she wanted.
This is what I think happened -- miscommunication/misunderstanding of the terms.