British Airways Extends “Confidence” Policy To Existing Bookings Due To Fly By 10 January, 2021

British Airways has extended their Confidence policy allowing passengers who hold older tickets with flights due to be started by 10 January 2021, allowing for date changes or a voucher request.

This policy extends to customers with bookings made prior to 3 March 2020 for journeys due to have started by 10 January 2021 and a more generous allowance for bookings made from 3 March 2020 onwards for journeys that are due to have been completed by 31 August 2021.

As we’re getting closer to the winter travel season people are concerned about not being able to travel due to the ongoing entry restrictions and the general health situation worldwide.

British Airways is also cancelling plenty of flights following their most recent losses, streamlining their schedule further since many if not most countries have introduced entry restrictions, making most trips obsolete. Some of these cancellations are government mandated and some are actually voluntary by BA.

You can access British Airways website with the Confidence Policy here.

Remember: You need to differ between flights the customer cancels proactively because the intent to travel is no longer there or it’s no longer possible to enter the destination country based on entry requirements and an actual cancellation of the entire flight by British Airways.

Only when the airline cancels your flight are you entitled to a refund of your money in cash (credit card refund), if the flight still operated all you can do is request a date change or a voucher.

Here is the important part of the most recent update (23 October 2020):

You can claim a voucher to the value of your booking, valid for travel until 30 April 2022, if:

  • You booked prior to 3 March 2020 for travel due to have started by 10 January 2021
  • You booked from 3 March 2020 onwards for travel due to be completed by 31 August 2021

Vouchers can be used as payment, or part payment, for a future booking. Your new trip booked with your voucher must be fully completed by 30 April 2022 (departure and return). You will receive your voucher by email within seven days of your application.

If you booked via a travel agent, please contact them directly to discuss cancelling your booking.

For date / destination changes the following rules are valid:

If you want to change the destination and the dates of your booking

For bookings made prior to 3 March 2020 for journeys due to have started by 10 January 2021 or bookings made from 3 March 2020 onwards for travel completed by 31 August 2021, please complete the online voucher form to change both your destination and dates. We will cancel your booking on your behalf and email you a voucher to the value of your booking, valid until 30 April 2022.

Vouchers can be used as payment, or part payment, for a future booking. Your new trip booked using a voucher must be fully completed by 30 April 2022 (departure and return). You will receive your voucher by email within seven days of your application.

IMPORTANT: Please do not amend or cancel your booking in Manage My Booking – we will do this on your behalf.

How does this look like?

British Airways will then send you a voucher and you can make new bookings. From what I heard you can’t use these vouchers online but have to call BA which might not be a pleasant experience (I hate calling airlines).

For cancelled flights the same applies, you have to call them in order to get a cash refund:

If your flight was cancelled

If you do not wish to rebook, claim your voucher or claim Avios (if you an Executive Club Member), you can contact us on 0800 727 800 from the UK, or +44 (0)203 250 0145 from outside the UK, to discuss your refund options. Please contact us on 877-767-7970 if you are calling from the USA or view worldwide contact centre details here.

Call volumes are high at the moment so please bear with us if it takes some time for us to help with your booking.

I find it grotesque that BA makes people call in and sometimes wait forever on the phone instead of offering a refund button to quickly refund the ticket in cash as they are obliged to do.

The same is still the case for Avios bookings – you can only cancel for a full refund in miles and cash for the paid taxes by calling BA. Ridiculous!

Conclusion

It’s good that British Airways has extended their policy to allow customers to cancel their bookings if they don’t see any possibility to fly on their upcoming trips.

Passengers who have travel insurance and are affected by entry requirements effectively banning them from entering the destination might want to contact their insurance and explore if it’s possible to receive a full cash refund through them.

It’s a popular misconception that passengers think the airline is responsible for a refund if the passenger can’t enter the destination country anymore but that isn’t the case. The carrier is only responsible for the transportation as booked, the formal entry into the destination country is the passengers responsibility. As long as the airline operates the flights they are under no obligation to process a cash refund and there are ample reasons to keep flights going such as there are still plenty of passengers eligible to enter the U.S. for example (U,S, citizens, lawful residents, spouses of citizens, service members and diplomats).

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