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You’re Not the Only One Who Can’t Get Through to British Airways

You’re Not the Only One Who Can’t Get Through to British Airways
Taylor Rains

If flight cancellations and delays were not bad enough, it appears the British Airways is having trouble handling the volume of calls and award requests from its Executive Club Members. If you haven’t been able to get ahold of British Airways via the Gold or Silver Line, or are having trouble finding your award bookings, you’re not alone. It seems like coronavirus-related requests are intermittently overwhelming the system. 

Continually Missed Connections

If the discussions on the FlyerTalk forum is any indication, many British Airways flyers are having trouble getting through. The Gold and Silver Lines seem to be particularly afflicted. On March 7th, this FlyerTalk thread–“I’ve been trying to get through on the helpline for about a week now but am constantly getting cut off during the intro message (right when the guy is talking about getting more details about the conditions of carriage)”– was met with several FlyerTalkers facing the same problem:

  • “I have been having a problem on the US Gold Line for a couple of days – selecting option 3 leads to a call fail.”
  • “I was disconnected 7 times on Thursday morning before finally managing to keep the call alive.”
  • “I’m having the same problem too tonight on both Gold and Silver line – cuts out at same point mid-sentence.”

Just today, another thread asking if anyone has had any success ringing the Gold Line recently–“I’ve tried ringing about 20 times over the last week, each time it cancels automatically during the data protection announcement. Also had no success on the silver line (times out at the same point), and pressing keys to access menu makes no difference”–was met with similarly frustrated FlyerTalkers.”

“There was a problem with your request, please try again later.”

The Gold and Silver lines aren’t the only ones under stress. Lots of FlyerTalkers are having trouble with Book With Avios. Some are having trouble making bookings. Others can’t access existing bookings. One FlyerTalker even found that his booking had been spontaneously “updated:” “I now have a flight leaving JFK 11 hours before I arrive at JFK.”

One abandoned ship altogether: “I’m glad it’s not just me. I was (unusually for me with BA) trying to buy an F return HKG to LHR and I get the same message, ‘please try later.’ It looks good value against CX’s now very expensive business class fares. But I’m giving up tomorrow if the same problem persists and buying the Finnair connection instead, which is very competitive.”

Success Stories

Not everyone is having trouble all the time. Some FlyerTalkers were able to get through on the first try, others finally had their issues resolved after considerable hold times. The difference between a success story and a missed connection? It seems to be luck of the draw.

Why? FlyerTalk British Airways moderator oxon flyer suspects that the trouble is due to a spike in activity related to covid-19, which makes sense considering the airline recently announced the cancellation of all flights to Italy.

What to Do?

While it looks like intermittent phone interruptions and website glitches may be a regular side effect of the unprecedented number of cancellations and changes that come with the spread of the coronavirus, you can always head to the British Airways Issues, Bugs, and Glitches site to see when British Airways is overwhelmed, and when the coast is clear again.

That’s thanks to a FlyerTalker on the inside who’s been jumping in to give everyone a heads up on when the system freezes up and when it’s good to go again.


View Comments (3)


  1. Redheadpeter

    March 11, 2020 at 5:01 am

    I couldn’t get through on the UK Blue line to get some reward seats (open jaw not bookable online with 2-or-1 voucher) just terminted the call repeatedly even before I got to choose an option. so I used the number listed when calling from overseas – got straight through, helpful lady, bagged business class seats to and from the Caribbean. Result!

  2. edgewood49

    March 11, 2020 at 6:53 am

    These days issues like this are more the norm frustrating absolutely but then I am not sure of any public carrier that isn’t having an issue handling the volume of calls. I just cancelled a AF trip to Italy I like many tried to call in lines and waits times long so switched to public medical, PM and the rest was flawless.

    I think we all should step back take a deep breath and give everyone a chance. Remember there are a lot of calls that someone could simply find their answers online instead of criticizing. Not personal just saying having been through times like this before

  3. edgewood49

    March 11, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Interesting enough “Lucky” AKA One Mile at a Time posted on Boarding Area about his recent experience entering the US being made to put on a mask, to his credit his lead in stated ” US Immigration Forced Me To Put On A Face Mask

    This is not at all intended to be a complaint, or a criticism of their procedure (well, other than… Read More

    I would hope that this passes through to all the bloggers to lessen things

    Just saying

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