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Can BA tie me to a voucher even if they told me I was ineligible?

Can BA tie me to a voucher even if they told me I was ineligible?

Old Sep 13, 20, 7:40 am
  #1  
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Can BA tie me to a voucher even if they told me I was ineligible?

My flight back to SJC was cancelled back in late April. I applied for a voucher but received an email to the effect that since I had partially completed my itinerary (i.e. with the flight to LHR), I was not eligible for a voucher. The email said that they were holding my ticket, and "simply contact us when you're ready to rebook". No mention of any further charges. I never received a voucher, and have no idea what it would have been worth.

I am now ready to fly - have to go to SFO since BA aren't flying to SJC at the moment, but if anything, that's a slightly shorter flight. They now allege that a voucher was issued, even though I never saw it. They haven't told me how much it's worth. They also say that since I applied for the voucher, I am bound by the terms and conditions even though I was told that I couldn't have one and never received it (which they acknowledge was their error).

I am waiting to find out how much extra they want to charge - I've been waiting for a response from them on this for 5 days.

Meanwhile, does anyone know if they can legally hold me to the terms of something that they never supplied me with? I'd appreciate any advice.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 7:55 am
  #2  
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FTVs were not available for part flown travel, and I guess BA will suggest that since the relevant screen said this quite clearly, you should not have applied for the FTV. But you aren't the only person in this position, there are a few other cases in the main Rebook thread on this forum.

What will be happening now is that you will end up with either an FTV or an eVoucher for the Involuntary Refund, the amount of which will depend on the fare basis behind your booking. If it was a straightforward return without complications such as vouchers and part pay, the refund will be half of the base fare, with a refund on unused taxes. This is complicated to work out but if you look at the email e-ticket you should find the relevant information (mostly) laid out there. Because over a million tickets are being manually calculated by a team working at only part strength, it may take some time for it to be calculated.

Welcome to Flyertalk and the BA forum, hopefully there won't be a next time, but at least you will be able to check things like this out in the ftuture.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 7:55 am
  #3  
 
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My understanding is that vouchers werenít previously available for part-flown itineraries but they are now.

its probably a case of your cancelled segment/itinerary showing as a voucher on the system which is your 125 ticket number although you never received one.

I assume they have asked the fares team to calculate the value of your part-flown booking. This will take some time, due to the back log.

however, given you received that email advising you a voucher is not possible, I would escalate and maybe send a DM on Twitter as your flight was cancelled.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 7:56 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by pgamse1 View Post
My flight back to SJC was cancelled back in late April. I applied for a voucher but received an email to the effect that since I had partially completed my itinerary (i.e. with the flight to LHR), I was not eligible for a voucher. The email said that they were holding my ticket, and "simply contact us when you're ready to rebook". No mention of any further charges. I never received a voucher, and have no idea what it would have been worth.

I am now ready to fly - have to go to SFO since BA aren't flying to SJC at the moment, but if anything, that's a slightly shorter flight. They now allege that a voucher was issued, even though I never saw it. They haven't told me how much it's worth. They also say that since I applied for the voucher, I am bound by the terms and conditions even though I was told that I couldn't have one and never received it (which they acknowledge was their error).

I am waiting to find out how much extra they want to charge - I've been waiting for a response from them on this for 5 days.

Meanwhile, does anyone know if they can legally hold me to the terms of something that they never supplied me with? I'd appreciate any advice.
Do you still have the email they sent to you?
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Old Sep 13, 20, 8:43 am
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Yes, I have sent them the relevant emails - they requested proof and have acknowledged that their communication with me was in error.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 8:48 am
  #6  
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Thank you - I don't remember that the screen said that I shouldn't apply - and honestly, if that was the case, it shouldn't have let me. They're putting a huge part of the responsibility for handling this on the passenger rather than on designing better systems!
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Old Sep 13, 20, 10:21 am
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Would they not automate the value calculation for 99% of uncomplicated fares ?
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Old Sep 13, 20, 10:30 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by pgamse1 View Post
Thank you - I don't remember that the screen said that I shouldn't apply - and honestly, if that was the case, it shouldn't have let me. They're putting a huge part of the responsibility for handling this on the passenger rather than on designing better systems!
Parts of BA, like many large organisations, are a bit of a monster to deal with, which I guess is one of the reasons there is such forum as this one. One aspect of that is not to wait for BA to call you back, this is also not one of their strong points, so there is every reason to call them for an update every 2 or 3 days. Given where fares are at the moment, it could be a non-problem, other than the fact that this could look like a single ticket. So you may need to watch that one, single fares can be very expensive, but there are ways an means around that (e.g. using Iberia fares or Avios). At this stage there are quite a lot of potential outcomes so by all means come back after BA have told you what they will offer.

Note that you are only allowed 5 posts on your first day of posting, this is a one off restrictions which expires 24 hours after the first post.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 4:35 pm
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Originally Posted by jeremyBA View Post
Would they not automate the value calculation for 99% of uncomplicated fares ?
Fare (re-)calculations are complex more often than you think, with a variety of different fares, taxes and charges that are applied based on country/airport of origin and destination, age of traveller, etc. Some charges are at document level (thus cant be pro-rated), others are at coupon level, and when you throw in other carriers it gets even more complicated still, given the mechanics of YR/YQ (non-)sharing, etc.

With this in mind, itís not something theyíve ever had to do before, as volumes have always been low. Of course now is showing the limitations of that, and Iím sure ideally they would automate a lot of it. BUT this takes time and (especially) resource, which they donít really have. The build would be done by the same people who are working flat-out to make the voucher proposition work, including converting the remaining FTVs to e-vouchers and providing the functionality to use multiple vouchers against one booking and through different channels (e.g. NDC). While you can buy-in IT resource relatively easily (if not cheaply), there just isnít a pool of people with knowledge of airline fares, IATA ticketing standards and Amadeus functionality sitting waiting in the wings to pick up a big new idea.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 4:49 pm
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BA's IT capabilities in the fare calculation and thus refund space were woefully behind the times when the pandemic hit. It was also way behind in moving its workforce to remote. A longer way of saying that this will not get fixed anytime soon.

Indeed it is not hard to build out a system which calculates refunds. AA has had one for 7+ years for all but the most complex issues. That left it in a good position when the pandemic hit.

The reality is that this is the way it will all remain for now.
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Old Sep 13, 20, 5:13 pm
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Surely if pgamse1 has an email from BA saying they'll re-book him/her, that is exactly what BA should do?

Irrespective of BA saying 'it was an error' (which sounds like porkies anyway, based on the experiences of others at that time), the OP has waited in good faith based on the information contained within that email and is now asking to be re-booked. Creating uncertainty and potentially shaking a customer down for extra cash at this point seems like pointlessly adding more work to the queue of fare calculations when the solution seems simple and obvious to everyone!
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Old Sep 13, 20, 5:34 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by NandoDave View Post
Surely if pgamse1 has an email from BA saying they'll re-book him/her, that is exactly what BA should do?

Irrespective of BA saying 'it was an error' (which sounds like porkies anyway, based on the experiences of others at that time), the OP has waited in good faith based on the information contained within that email and is now asking to be re-booked. Creating uncertainty and potentially shaking a customer down for extra cash at this point seems like pointlessly adding more work to the queue of fare calculations when the solution seems simple and obvious to everyone!
i agree. All my sympathy is with the op on this one. It is simply not on for BA to visit their changes in procedures on customers, and for all they know, the op might have had a different use in mind had s/he known a voucher would be issued.

The voucher was requested, then refused in writing with the op told they could be rebooked instead. If this is now the opís preferred option, then this is exactly what BA should deliver. Problems relating to BAís bureaucracy and it systems are none of the opís concerns nor should they be.
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Old Sep 17, 20, 10:12 am
  #13  
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Well, in all fairness to BA, I finally heard this morning that they are not applying any extra charges to fly me back to SFO. Which is great, other than that it took them 8 days to get to this decision (I am Gold level).

I do have a lot of sympathy for them - apparently there are currently 6 people in the Premier cabin at the moment (2 weeks out), but as others have said, they need to keep people who have been regular fliers happy. From what I've been reading here, I'll bring a lot of food as I'm not expecting to be offered anything edible on board.
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