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BA Covid-19 Flight cancellations, rebooking, and refunds | Help and advice thread

BA Covid-19 Flight cancellations, rebooking, and refunds | Help and advice thread

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Old Jan 28, 22, 9:19 pm   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
01 - If your flight is cancelled by BA:

Commercial booking: Your options are: cash refund OR Future Travel Voucher (FTV) OR rebooking OR Avios credit

Redemption booking: Your options are: full refund of cash and Avios OR FTV OR rebooking.

BA Holidays booking: You should be given a refund pro-actively.

If your flight is cancelled by BA - any flight in the PNR - you can get a full refund so long as you booked directly with BA. You can only get a refund by telephoning BA. Refunds are taking between a few hours to a few weeks to be repaid, depending on the sort of booking made. If you don't wish to travel you can opt for an FTV or eVoucher valid for travel until 30 April 2023 (now extended from April 2022 including existing FTVs), though flights more than 355 days away are not currently bookable - flights are enabled at 355 days before departure. Vouchers such as 2-4-1 are also thereby extended. You can do this even if the flight is operating. The best advice we can give is to delay opting for an eVoucher options until the last moment, since if BA cancel your flight you have more options. BA have also adjusted the Standard Customer Guidelines so that if BA cancel the flight you can be rebooked to anytime in 12 months after you originally bought the ticket, so long as there is space in the cabin - there is no need to have a fare bucket available or Avios availability. If you choose the Avios credit you will get between 108 to 126 Avios per GBP of your fare. If you us,ed an FTV to pay for this now cancelled service then you can have a refund back to the FTV's original booking.

Online forms: manual process which may take many weeks
link to webform to claim a refund (UK) or link to webform to claim a refund (US)

Paid Seating Refund:
link to webform to claim a refund (UK)



02 - If your flight is not cancelled but you no longer wish to travel

Commercial booking: If you are eligible for Buy with Confidence, you can have an FTV valid until 31 August 2022 (this has been extended several times). Rebooking may lead to a fare recalculation but no change fee. Travel must be fully completed by this date.

Redemption booking: Your can do the normal Avios refund, with the redeposit fee capped at GBP 35 per person. Alternatively for the same fee you can rebook to new dates subject to availability. Alternatively you can have an FTV.

BA Holidays booking: You may be get a refund proactively, otherwise you are looking at an FTV for at least the flight component of your trip, maybe for all components.

If all of the flights in your booking are still scheduled and you don't wish to travel then you best wait until a few days before departure in case there is a cancellation. As you can see above, a cancellation gives you better options. You are in scope with Buy with Confidence if you are flying between now and completing travel before 30 April 2022, also if you bought your ticket after 3 March and due to complete all flights before September 2021. The BA web page on this is: https://ba.com/confidence

Bookings made using Lloyds Upgrade Voucher
You should expect to receive:
A full refund of Avios and money paid plus a new voucher issued, which has validity for 6 months (from the date of issue, i.e. when you request the 'refund')

Lloyds Upgrade Voucher Notes
  • Flights can be used within 12 months, so it will be good for travel up until the end 6 months plus 12 months if you book just before the new expiry
  • It's been advised to take the voucher instead of rebooking as it gives me more flexibility.
  • The original expiry date of the voucher was irrelevant because the booking was cancelled.
  • You must book within 6 months of the voucher being issued and the ticket has 12 months validity so you can change flights after, provided the new flights are within the 12 month window.
  • You won't receive any email, only the refund and the miles.


03 - How to find out the status of your voucher and the amount it contains

Use the Qantas website and look back to your original PNR. Step by step guide by corporate-wage-slave


04 - Future Travel Vouchers versus eVouchers

FTVs cannot be used online (and are not really vouchers), whereas eVouchers, issued for simple bookings, can be used online.

BA are now issuing eVouchers directly in simple cases, and also proactively replacing existing FTVs with new eVouchers. These are usable online. Complex cases still get FTVs, which require a phone call to book. In both cases, you need to apply online through the Cancellation Options in MMB, and both will generate an email typically within a few minutes. This is how to tell the difference

1) eVouchers will get an email entitled "Your British Airways eVoucher"
This will then have a line like this and the online ability is mentioned in the email text:
Your eVoucher details
125-1234567890 / GBP48.87 / WAGE-SLAVE /

2) FTVs will get an email entitled "Your British Airways Future Travel Voucher"
The relevant line then shows:
Voucher code(s)
125-1234567890

It doesn't take much, by FT standards, to turn a booking too complicated for the automated eVoucher. POUGs, flight changes, TCP, seat payment, pay payment with Avios, UuA. 48 and 72 hour Hold bookings all stop it. But if you made a simple single or return booking, point to point, on BA.com and didn't change it, then you should get an eVoucher.

If you obtain an FTV, deploy it on a new booking which BA then cancels, then you can get a refund of the cash from the first booking that led to the FTV. Or an Avios refund without redeposit fees if it was a redemption.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 4:30 pm
  #3061  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Programs: AA (EXP), Hilton (Diamond), SPG (lowly Plat)
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Originally Posted by jakezim View Post
Hi all, apologies if some version of this situation was covered upthread and I missed it. I have a party of 9, originally booked in J, LAX-LHR-TLV return in March. With BA's most recent round of aircraft changes out of LAX (bye-bye A380, boo hoo), BA now has us booked on an impossible routing (the LAX-LHR flight arrives after the LHR-TLV flight departs). For whatever reason, the system has not yet detected this and rebooked us to something else automatically. I'd like to figure out my options before I call BA so I can have the best chance of getting the re-routing that we actually want. (The tickets were booked at very attractive prices, so simply refunding and rebooking the itinerary is not a desirable option.)

When I search ba.com as though I were making a new booking for our dates, the system will no longer offer any direct LAX-LHR routing, presumably because there is no flight from LAX that will actually connect in time to their TLV flight. There are only double-connecting flights through JFK and LHR.

In normal times, I'd have made lemonade out of these lemons by simply keeping LAX-LHR, asking for an overnight stopover for a night or two at LHR, take the family to London, and then proceed on to Israel. But given the current rules requiring additional COVID testing after 48 hours and the attendant bureaucratic hassle, particularly when traveling with a large multigenerational family, it seems to me that this is no longer a preferred solution. So before I contact BA, I'd welcome your collective expertise on the likelihood that they will be agreeable to any of the following alternatives:

1. rebook the entire itinerary on AA -- LAX-JFK on a plane equipped with flatbeds, perhaps break the journey with an overnight at JFK, and then continue JFK-TLV on AA.

2. rebook the itinerary from some city with BA service other than LAX (this would be greater than 250 miles away) which would permit a seamless LHR connection.

3. Some other clever solution which is more attractive than the 3-segment routing (LAX-JFK-LHR-TLV) which is currently the only itinerary ba.com will offer for sale on the routing.

All thoughts gratefully accepted!
I don't know your dates so I can't check for you, but if you have an Expert Flyer subscription, this is one of the situations where it comes in very handy. You can see flights on AA and BA that operate LAX-LHR and also LHR-TLV, to see if there might be an easy change to one or the other flight that would fix it. EF shows the number of seats available in each cabin, so you can make sure there is a flight with your required nine seats in business class. You could also see if there might be a flight on the previous calendar day that would still work. You could also check alternative routes such as LAX-SFO/SJC/SEA/PHX/LAS-LHR-TLV (that is, try adding a connection in one of SFO/SJC/SEA/PHX/LAS).

Last edited by anabolism; Jan 9, 22 at 4:41 pm
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Old Jan 9, 22, 5:05 pm
  #3062  
 
Join Date: May 2020
Posts: 9
Im so grateful to both CWS and Anabolism for your quick replies. As a lurker, Ive long found the BA forum to be the most helpful on flyertalk, and Im flattered and appreciative when folks like you are so quick to offer help to an infrequent poster.

Our dates are departing on March 20, currently on BA 280 from LAX, and returning on April 6 from TLV. If anyone cares to suggest what the wisest alternatives might be, I am all ears!

Thanks also to CWS for educating me about the ability to overnight at LHR without needing to test or isolate. That was news to me, and may very well be the factoid that saves the day here.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 1:35 am
  #3063  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA GGL, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 855
Originally Posted by StanStorby View Post
I think you'll be safe.
A cautionary tale - I wasn't! At Flight Connections they stuck to what they could see on their system. Showing them the Netherlands government requirements and my onward booking didn't get me anywhere. Lady called up a colleague who checked same. Another colleague she consulted with said could not override system.

Thankfully in my case all I've lost is 2hr 30m. My inward booking LHR-AMS was moved out and I moved back my inbound via free Same Day Change (SDC).

Lesson of the story - even if transiting through an airport it seems you must meet requirements for entry to the country. It's a new one on me. Perhaps because it is a separate booking is where the problem is.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 2:23 am
  #3064  
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Originally Posted by David_Doyle View Post
Lesson of the story - even if transiting through an airport it seems you must meet requirements for entry to the country. It's a new one on me. Perhaps because it is a separate booking is where the problem is.
The basic position is that if you are on two separate tickets, you are not connecting at that airport and you are not transiting through that airport. You are making one journey to that airport, and that journey ends there. You then have a separate and unconnected journey that starts at that airport. It should be no surprise if the requirements applied to the first journey are the same as those applied to someone who intends to travel no further from that airport. Sometimes, a more generous rule is applied to those with two tickets, but the starting point should always be that basic position.

It's the same for the perennial question about how much time to leave between two flights when they are on separate tickets.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 3:24 am
  #3065  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: BHX
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 141
Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
What BAEC / OW tier does each of you hold? There's a benefit for Golds that enables others travelling with them in the same cabin to be pre-allocated seats without having to pay. Otherwise, it's normal rules.
Slumming it in blue, stretch myself across too many reward schemes (and don't fly for work anymore!) - I'll see if the agent is willing to help when I do use the FTV and report back as a data point for others, but thanks for all your help on this one Globaliser
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Old Jan 10, 22, 3:38 am
  #3066  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: YYC-PRG/VIE
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Originally Posted by David_Doyle View Post
A cautionary tale - I wasn't! At Flight Connections they stuck to what they could see on their system. Showing them the Netherlands government requirements and my onward booking didn't get me anywhere. Lady called up a colleague who checked same. Another colleague she consulted with said could not override system.

Thankfully in my case all I've lost is 2hr 30m. My inward booking LHR-AMS was moved out and I moved back my inbound via free Same Day Change (SDC).

Lesson of the story - even if transiting through an airport it seems you must meet requirements for entry to the country. It's a new one on me. Perhaps because it is a separate booking is where the problem is.
What was your exact itinerary?

Were you travelling with checked luggage?
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Old Jan 10, 22, 4:40 am
  #3067  
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
The basic position is that if you are on two separate tickets, you are not connecting at that airport and you are not transiting through that airport.
I am not sure that, if this were to go to CEDR or a court in a Reg 261/2004 IDB challenge, they would necessarily agree with that (there is, AFAIK, nothing in the NL rules that requires both flights to be on the same ticket) but, practically, there is a genuine risk of facing a rejection by airline staff and this should be factored in into any plan. Also, I believe that David_Doyle was not transiting in AMS but rather turning around (traveling LHR-AMS-LHR rather than LHR-AMS-XXX), which is not exactly the same thing.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 7:18 am
  #3068  
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Originally Posted by jakezim View Post
Our dates are departing on March 20, currently on BA 280 from LAX, and returning on April 6 from TLV. If anyone cares to suggest what the wisest alternatives might be, I am all ears!

Thanks also to CWS for educating me about the ability to overnight at LHR without needing to test or isolate. That was news to me, and may very well be the factoid that saves the day here.
The most useful option, which is the direct El Al service from LAX to TLV, is not in scope for BA's policies, it is actually only LHR-TLV which moving to El Al would avoid an overnight stay. If you are going to call up about this, make it clear this is on the TLV specific policy updated on 23 December 2021. There is an AA routing which goes LAX-MIA (90 minutes) - TLV on 777s. That departs LAX at 13:00, the other AA based options are via JFK.

For BA then the two options are
BA280 departing 19:00 arriving 12:25 LHR
BA268 departing 21:50 arriving 15:10 LHR

BA280 does connect potentially on to the 14:20 El Al service which gets to Ben Gurion for 21:05. There is also a red eye El Al service departing LHR at 22:20 but that would be beyond exhausting to my mind. Now BA operate with a 90 minute connection from T5 to T2 and so that is within that, but if El Al had ticketed this they have a 2 hour minimum. So if you have elderly / less than mobile members of the group that may be a good reason to break the journey at London for the night.

All of the above is based on current knowledge of restrictions and Israel currently has very tight restrictions. If Israel reduces these restrictions it's possible BA will add services a few weeks thereafter.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 8:58 am
  #3069  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA GGL, HHonors Diamond
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Originally Posted by YYCCL3 View Post
What was your exact itinerary?

Were you travelling with checked luggage?
Ticket 1 : LHR-AMS
Ticket 2 : AMS-LHR-JFK-LAX-HNL-LAX-JFK-LHR-AMS
Ticket 1 : AMS-LHR

i.e. Ticket 2 nested inside Ticket 1

Handbaggage only. BA Twitter said I needed a test as I would need to collect and recheck in luggage i.e. go landside.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 9:13 am
  #3070  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Programs: AAdvantage GLD; AGR
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Originally Posted by David_Doyle View Post
Lesson of the story - even if transiting through an airport it seems you must meet requirements for entry to the country. It's a new one on me. Perhaps because it is a separate booking is where the problem is.
Such a shame you booked through AMS and not CDG. The French regulations specifically allow for connecting on separate tickets:

https://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/pass...correspondance

Self-connecting (two booking reference numbers, booked with two separate tickets)
You must fulfil all entry conditions on the French territory and be able to present all relevant documents, in order to collect your luggage and check it in with your next airline.
If you do not meet all requirements to enter the French territory, you will have to remain airside, and contact as soon as possible both airlines to make sure your luggage are rushed onto your next flight (including a possible RT-PCR or antigenic test, if required by your final destination, as you will not be able to carry your test out during your transfer at Paris Aroport).
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Old Jan 10, 22, 9:35 am
  #3071  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Originally Posted by David_Doyle View Post
Ticket 1 : LHR-AMS
Ticket 2 : AMS-LHR-JFK-LAX-HNL-LAX-JFK-LHR-AMS
Ticket 1 : AMS-LHR

i.e. Ticket 2 nested inside Ticket 1

Handbaggage only. BA Twitter said I needed a test as I would need to collect and recheck in luggage i.e. go landside.
Bizzare that they'd tell you to go landside to recollect hand baggage... oh well.

I think your downfall here was doing a B2B. LHR-AMS-LHR isn't a transit, transit is only if you're going onwards to a third country. LHR-AMS-DUB would likely have been fine. Like you said, lesson learned.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 9:55 am
  #3072  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Originally Posted by YYCCL3 View Post
Bizzare that they'd tell you to go landside to recollect hand baggage... oh well.
...
I think that is the reason as to WHY he is going HBO, so as not to have to go landside to collect and recheck HOLD baggage.

(At least that's my interpretation, YMMV, and probably did!)

rb211.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 10:06 am
  #3073  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Originally Posted by RB211 View Post
I think that is the reason as to WHY he is going HBO, so as not to have to go landside to collect and recheck HOLD baggage.

(At least that's my interpretation, YMMV, and probably did!)

rb211.
Indeed. Though the customs officer at JFK thought it was very weird just having hand baggage for a long weekend in Honolulu..... I mean I don't have budgie smugglers but even swimming shorts don't take up that much space Some people must pack a lot of unnecessary stuff.
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Last edited by David_Doyle; Jan 10, 22 at 10:30 am Reason: Corrected 'budgie'
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Old Jan 10, 22, 10:30 am
  #3074  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: London, UK
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
I am not sure that, if this were to go to CEDR or a court in a Reg 261/2004 IDB challenge, they would necessarily agree with that (there is, AFAIK, nothing in the NL rules that requires both flights to be on the same ticket) but, practically, there is a genuine risk of facing a rejection by airline staff and this should be factored in into any plan. Also, I believe that David_Doyle was not transiting in AMS but rather turning around (traveling LHR-AMS-LHR rather than LHR-AMS-XXX), which is not exactly the same thing.
Yeah, I'm quite sanguine about the experience to be honest. For all our faults here getting Covid tests done in the UK is far more accessible, being done in more places and a lot cheaper. In Honolulu only option was $175 with no booking. At JFK it was landside at another terminal, no booking option and $250 PCR or $80 antigen.

Anyway, and it's all a debate on semantics but here's the kind of detail on the Netherlands government website. To me a 'Journey' seems quite undefined but it's not bounded in the government requirements by 'Needing to be on same ticket' or indeed needing to stay airside at the airport. I took a flight to Amsterdam from a country not on the safe list and changed planes in the Netherlands to another flight.



But these could all be interpreted and assesed ad infinitum. I still take the lesson that having the test would have been safer, and that Visa/requirement checking systems probably start from the position that you will end a journey at a single tickets destination, with seemingly no leeway for anything like the above to be considered.
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Old Jan 10, 22, 10:40 am
  #3075  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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At JFK it was landside at another terminal, no booking option and $250 PCR or $80 antigen.
For future reference if you book two days in advance you might be able to get a free PCR test at the NYC Covid Express location in Jamaica which is presumably (never been there specifically, but judging by the name) not too far from the LIRR and AirTrain to JFK. They email you the results in 24hrs usually much faster (often in two/three hours)

edited to add: this is the address
90-37 Parsons Boulevard
Its one stop on the E/J train plus a v short walk


https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/covid/...d-testing.page
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