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Exchange rate means reduced refund - what can be done?

Exchange rate means reduced refund - what can be done?

Old Oct 24, 20, 6:43 pm
  #1  
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Exchange rate means reduced refund - what can be done?

This is probably covered somewhere, but I couldn't find it, so forgive me asking a question which is probably not original...

I booked a ticket back in January for travel earlier this month. BA cancelled two of the four flights on the ticket, and were happy to give me a full refund. But the flights originated in the UK and I live in the USA and paid with an American credit card. As a result, while they refunded the full sterling value of the ticket, the difference in exchange rates means I have lost around $60 on the transaction. Can I do anything about this?
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Old Oct 24, 20, 6:51 pm
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No. That's the risk you take with paying in foreign currency.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:09 pm
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I do wonder about whether this is correct. Under the T&Cs under which I booked from the USA, it is clear that the circumstances warrant a full refund. BA certainly has a US bank account. That it chooses to bill me in (what to me is) a foreign currency is not, I would suggest, a factor in terms of my rights.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:13 pm
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Has nothing to do with the airline (who've refunded everything they owed) and all to do with your credit card provider and the exchange rate they're using on any given day when processing the refund to your account. They wouldn't have come after you had the exchange rate meant your £ based ticket gave you more $ than you originally paid. It's just something to be mindful of on future foreign currency transactions that exchange rates do fluctuate. And in both directions.

Last edited by 1Aturnleft; Oct 24, 20 at 7:34 pm
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:17 pm
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Unfortunately there’s really not much that can be done. BA and most airlines sell their tickets in the currency at point of origin and also depends on which ticket office location sold the ticket too that can determine the currency on which the ticket was issued.

Essentially when the refund is actioned, it’ll be done like for like, same currency and agreed amount. If you paid them £100 and now you’re due back the £100, BA will pay you £100 as agreed. How your card company deals with it, how the exchange rate market reacts is secondary and not the merchant’s problem. Conversely there are scenarios where the exchange rate might have worked in your favour another time and you gained money as a result when converting back to USD than what you originally paid.

Sadly the $60 will have to be something you’ll have to accept unfortunately (unless your bank/credit card company offer some form of “protection” out of their own pocket for such scenarios), I guess at least it’s only GBP-USD you’re looking at and not something like the Lebanese Pound which tanked tremendously in a very short period of time!
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Last edited by AirbusA350; Oct 24, 20 at 7:26 pm
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:45 pm
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When you bought the ticket did you buy it on the UK or USA site of BA? Was the charge originally in GBP or USD?

Many credit cards have a surcharge added for foreign exchange, and for a refund sometimes you can get that reversed - but you'd have to call your credit card company, as that's nothing to do with BA.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by Jagboi View Post
When you bought the ticket did you buy it on the UK or USA site of BA? Was the charge originally in GBP or USD?
Irrespective of the BA country website OP would have purchased it from, if his booking was indeed an ex-UK/Channel Islands/IOM/Gibraltar itinerary, it would have charged him in GBP regardless of whether that was booked through BA’s UK/US/Irish/Indian/Spanish/etc websites.

Only scenarios where it might’ve not have been charged in GBP would’ve been if the booking was made via non-UK BA phone lines/ticket offices or non-BA channels like travel agencies or an Avios booking.
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Last edited by AirbusA350; Oct 25, 20 at 3:25 am
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:57 pm
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Not sure why this is in the BA forum at all as it has nothing to do with BA.

OP chose to pay using a credit card which one presumes is a USD card issued by a US bank. He was charged whatever it is that the ticket cost in GBP converted to USD and when BA issued a refund it issued a refund of the full sum in GBP. Unfortunately the USD has apparently dropped against the GBP in the interim and thus his bank has credited whatever that amount of GBP are worth in USD today.

One trusts that if the USD had increased in value, OP would not be complaining that his currency arbitrage transaction was a success.

As others note, if there was a fee charged for the transaction (quite rare for a US-issued card), most issuers will refund that as a customer courtesy.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 7:58 pm
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Originally Posted by DominicB View Post
This is probably covered somewhere, but I couldn't find it, so forgive me asking a question which is probably not original...

I booked a ticket back in January for travel earlier this month. BA cancelled two of the four flights on the ticket, and were happy to give me a full refund. But the flights originated in the UK and I live in the USA and paid with an American credit card. As a result, while they refunded the full sterling value of the ticket, the difference in exchange rates means I have lost around $60 on the transaction. Can I do anything about this?
What if the FX rate had moved the other way, would you have been posting about what was easiest way to return the currency gain to BA?
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Old Oct 24, 20, 8:05 pm
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Originally Posted by AirbusA350 View Post
Irrespective of the BA country website OP would have purchased it from, if his booking was indeed an ex-UK/Channel Islands/IOM/Gibraltar itinerary, it would have charged him in GBP regardless of whether that was booked through BA’s UK/US/Irish/Indian/Spanish/etc websites.
Not necessarily, BA can charge you in whatever currency you want. I've had BA charge me for an Ex-Italy flight in Canadian Dollars for example.
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Old Oct 24, 20, 8:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Jagboi View Post
Not necessarily, BA can charge you in whatever currency you want. I've had BA charge me for an Ex-Italy flight in Canadian Dollars for example.
Oh really? I am curious how you managed to do this via the website? I have just made a couple of dummy searches on BA’s Italian and Canadian website for MXP - YYZ (searched both one way and return), on all occasions it shows up in EUR and not CAD or any other currency for that matter nor does it give me the choice as you proclaim. Of course if one called BA’s Canadian number or visited BA’s ticket office in YYZ, then I can totally see how and why a CAD transaction occurred.

Anyway, don’t want to veer OT. But I’m curious as if indeed one could pay in any currency they want via ba.com, all these years of ex-EU I would’ve happily chosen my home currency of GBP if I had the choice via BA’s website! Lol. But if indeed I’ve been missing something all this while, I’d be grateful for your insight and would happily stand corrected!
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Last edited by AirbusA350; Oct 24, 20 at 8:21 pm
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Old Oct 24, 20, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by AirbusA350 View Post
Oh really? I am curious how you managed to do this via the website?
Not the website, I had to call in. Possible on Expedia or the like, but not a BA website I don't think.

Mind you, the OP didn't say where he bought the ticket; if was from BA direct or a travel agent.
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Old Oct 25, 20, 1:45 am
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Originally Posted by AirbusA350 View Post
Oh really? I am curious how you managed to do this via the website? I have just made a couple of dummy searches on BA’s Italian and Canadian website for MXP - YYZ (searched both one way and return), on all occasions it shows up in EUR and not CAD or any other currency for that matter nor does it give me the choice as you proclaim. Of course if one called BA’s Canadian number or visited BA’s ticket office in YYZ, then I can totally see how and why a CAD transaction occurred.

BA APP, Accessing the BA Canadian Website from within Canada.


If you continue through to purchase, it will be billed in CAD Dollars.

James
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Old Oct 25, 20, 1:55 am
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post

BA APP, Accessing the BA Canadian Website from within Canada.


If you continue through to purchase, it will be billed in CAD Dollars.

James
i’m not sure what you are trying to show here? This merely echoes the point the message you are answering was making: that on the website, the default is always to bill all customers in the currency of the point of origin.

Jagboi’s counter example was not about a flight ex-Canada but a flight ex-Italy. However, as pointed out, this can only be done on the phone (or through otas) and in fact has to be done through the whole issuing process so you must specify you want to purchase in currency x at the start of the call.

note there is one exception which is avios tickets for which the default is to always charge in the currency of the baec account’s residence.
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Old Oct 25, 20, 2:04 am
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i dont see any problem here.

you are eligible for a full refund (X GBP). you got the full refund: X GBP.

you bought something in GBP, you got the GBP back. if you dont want the exchange rate risk, dont buy something in foreign currencies.
Sometimes you "win", sometimes you "lose". i kinda have the feeling that you wouldnt have opened a thread in the case of earning 60 bucks due to changed exchange rates.

for the record: getting Y dollars back today because you paid something with GBP earlier this year, isnt a full refund with same payment to me. Its not British Airways fault/error/issue that you dont have a GBP credit card, if you have to buy the GBP first, thats your issue. and sometimes you even have to pay a fee for that. thats the same problem I have when I buy domestic tickets with AA. sometimes i lose when i refund them, sometimes I win.
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Last edited by Nephoi; Oct 25, 20 at 2:10 am
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