Reader Question: British Airways Flight Cancellation In 2020 & Forced Voucher

2 Comments

A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question regarding a British Airways flight cancellation in 2020 (eligible for a refund), but when phone lines were busy, and the website didn’t offer a refund option, the reader had agreed to a credit.

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You can access BA here.

Here’s an email from the reader:

Can you advise me please?

I accepted vouchers totalling £2141 due to cancelled flights last year as could not do otherwise on their web-site.  No refund button to click onto and of course could not get through via phone.

We had intended to travel again this year but my husband has now been taken ill and advised not to travel at all so the vouchers are worthless to us.  I have requested BA to refund my payment which they have refused point blank.  I gave them full details regarding the current situation we find ourselves in but this has had no effect at all.

As we are elderly and this was to be our last year of travelling I find this very distressing indeed.  Not to mention the stress of dealing with illness and fighting with BA.

Can you advise as to what my action should now be?  Would be grateful for any help.

British Airways, on purpose, did not have a REFUND option available on its website, and not enough employees operating the phone lines forcing many to choose a VOUCHER instead of a cash refund to which they were eligible.

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The reader has two choices:

Either open a case with:

1. MCOL – Money Claim Online that is a low key HM Courts and Tribunals process for small claims

or

2. CEDR – mediation service that British Airways is part of.

I would choose the MCOL; BA doesn’t control them and would be very clear that BA didn’t give any other option than the voucher on its website when they should have offered a cash refund and that the airline was impossible to reach by phone.

Conclusion

I was stressing last year, and still do, that you should NOT choose a voucher or credit when you are eligible for a cash refund.

You can use the cash any way you like, it doesn’t expire or come with T&Cs, unlike various airline-related vouchers that are sometimes difficult to use, and airlines know this. They count that majority of these vouchers and credits expire unused – breakage.

British Airways, on purpose, had disabled the refund option on its website, implying incorrectly that a voucher or credit would be the only option. This was to lower the cash burn for the airline that should be of no concern for the consumer.

I hope that the reader follows our suggestion and opens a case against British Airways through Money Claim Online (MCOL) and gets their money back.

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