If British Airways was being graded on their handling of cancelled flights, refunds and vouchers thus far, a parent-teacher web conference might be the best place to start. They’re trying, but some more work certainly wouldn’t hurt anyone.

The good news is – that work is happening, and there’s a positive trend.

Those extra tutoring sessions have worked, and the airline is in the process of massively improving vouchers issued, and continuing to be issued to customers, with greater flexibility of use and ease in booking. For starters, you’ll be able to use them online.

British Airways Voucher Changes

British Airways is making really positive changes to flight vouchers issued to customers during the unprecedented air travel slow down, including the ability to redeem vouchers online. Previously, all customers were told they’d need to phone up the airline to redeem a voucher, and given recent wait times, that was less than ideal.

Updated expiry dates and extended range

British Airways is in the process of coding the vouchers for online use, and that up to three vouchers may be combined for future use. In a further update effective April 28th, 2020, voucher validity will be extended for use up to April 30th, 2022.

In addition, greater flexibility is being added to the ‘book with confidence‘ policy, which will begin to address cancellations for flights beyond May 31st.

Being able to combine vouchers gives customers flexibility to “upgrade” their next trip, rather than being forced to burn through any voucher amounts slowly, which is particularly handy if multiple trips are now just the one.

For customers whose Avios bookings were held on a voucher, any new bookings will refund the difference in miles or taxes, if the amount of either is less. Obviously, if you choose to redeem Avios for a more ambitious trip, you’ll still be on the hook for more Avios Points, cash, or both.

Worth The Wait?

British Airways is  in the middle of re-coding vouchers for online capability, but when the process is done, it will be a massive step up for passengers, given the extended validity. Being able to combine up to three into one makes things even better.

No specific date for the functionality has been specified, but estimates suggest a few weeks at most. It’s not like anyone has anywhere to be in that time, so short of a fantastic sale which would merit calling in to cash in any current vouchers, sitting tight #stayinghome and waiting for the good news is probably best.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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29 Comments

  1. What a parasite. Stating the obvious and getting freebies for what being a poser travelling for free.Stop fuelling these hedonistic egos and do the research yourself and put an end to these ponces.

  2. Hi are british airways refunding? I booked flights for June in Barbados I booked & paid in December I used mastercard to pay obviously won’t be going now but worried won’t get money back.

  3. Hi Gilbert, I was due to fly with AA (booked through BA using Avios), and cancelled my trip. I’ve been issued with a voucher, but what happens to my Avios points (which haven’t been credited back to my account)?

  4. Will the vouchers start including their £|€|$ value and Avios (if from an award)? That basic bit of information would be a no-brainer but I guess the geniuses at BA hadn’t fathomed we’d like these numbers on our vouchers vs having to waste several hours calling in to some over stretched call centre!

  5. Voucher improvements won’t change the fact that customers have a legal right to a refund and BA are ignoring it. Having a partial Uturn from simply screwing your customers to mask the fact you’re breaking the law. Trying to increase income from this crisis by holding customers funds and then adding “fare difference” and other charges to redeem of a voucher is surely the same business model as the excessive surcharges BA make on BAEC redemption flights.
    These changes will also do nothing to adequately resource their contact centres, or improve the service actually experienced when we return to the skys.

  6. I had a flight from the US to LHR and back from OSL and waited until one segment had been cancelled before calling BA around 9am EDT on a Friday. The call to the US line was immediately disconnected “due to high volume”, and I was able to connect to the UK line with Skype ($0.023/minute).

    I multitasked for 23 minutes while on hold, then spoke to a cheery agent who chuckled that the US and UK were calling each other’s lines, since they weren’t able to get though on their own!

    He verified my identity and flight info, sent the refund request to someone else to process (an Avios upgrade made it too complex to be done automatically), noted that the funds should appear within 3 weeks, and explained that the Avios would be credited as well, though not necessarily at the same time.

    He then verified my partner’s identity (who was conveniently standing next to me), then refunded the flights that she’d purchased for this trip, too. We had a nice chat about his area (Durham, UK), and he offered some advice on visiting the Scottish Highlands for whenever we’d be able to reschedule this vacation.

    Really quite a quick and pleasant experience.

  7. Voucher improvements won’t change the fact that customers have a legal right to a refund and BA are ignoring it. A partial Uturn from simply screwing your customers doesnt mask the fact you’re breaking the law. BA are also trying to increase income from this crisis not only by withholding customers funds but then adding “fare difference” and other surcharges on redemption… The same business model as the excessive surcharges BA make on BAEC redemption flights.
    These changes will also do nothing to adequately resource their contact centres, shift the perception of customers as cash cows to be screwed for additional income or improve the service actually experienced when we return to the skys; Broken IFE, dirty cabins, inadequate catering and borked IT systems anyone? (Oh and please do the airport work for us as staff are too expensive.

  8. Just a refund would be fine. I actually got through on a phone number, the helpful lady said ‘Yes, I’ll see if yours is one I can refund you immediately’ (!) ‘No sorry its not’ (!) (!) I said to her,another thing while I’m here , I’m still waiting for the money you owe me for a 15 hour flight delay you agreed I’d get my expenses and downgrade flight I took, this dates to beginning of Feb. ‘Oh yes, I can see that, blah blah blah….. I’m still waiting, and have had another flight cancelled in the meantime. Give me my money! I’m self employed and locked down, I want to buy groceries not ‘fabulous vouchers’

  9. Please advise if the value of the voucher on original flight ticket which included booked and paid for specified seats will be included when re-booking on next flight.

  10. Id say its a minor improvement only – Ill still be seeking a cash refund from BA.

    Qatar is the only airline that I’m considering taking a voucher for, not only can I book online (coming apparently) they are giving a 10% bonus if you take a voucher, and Ill be able to fly the identical legs (ARN-MEL, AKL-ARN) in the future (next 12 months) and wont have to pay any fare difference – im hoping to take advantage of this feature assuming NZ/AUS are open in December (peak season flight at discounted season cost)

    Wish BA would do the same.

  11. I had booked flights to Chicago for myself and two granddaughters for the 8 th April, about three weeks before hand. I rang BA about a refund and was told to wait until 72 hours before the flight time to call again. I did so on the 5th got through within 6/7 minutes and the refunds were promised but I might have to wait a month. Nine days later £4090 was credited to my card. Well done BA

  12. British Airways is a sham. They promise refunds and produce dates that never materialized weeks on end. Beware! Do not buy any ticket with your own credit card on a promise of a refund. They did that to us and could not even care that we fly Business and First. There will be only extra ordinary circumstances that they will see me back on their awful 3rd rate airline

  13. My daughter and I were traveling to Peru for my 60th at the end of March but a week prior our flighs were cancelled. Peru closed it’s doors to European and Chinese travelers. The Foreign Office advised against travel to Peru. Initially, we were only offered vouchers but we were worried BA might go bust. Eventually, my daughter found a way through using Chrome to get a refund. It about 2 weeks to get a refund. We are both glad about this. Thank you British Airways. We hope to resume our Perú trip in the future.

  14. We all understand that it is an unprecedented tine we are facing. But BA is not taking us serious. Voucher improvements won’t change the fact that customers have a legal right to a refund and BA are ignoring it. We had a flight booked for Spain on the 5th of April. The tickets were bought a year ago. We tried a week before the date to call BA, because we were worried about the Coronavirus in Spain. Waiting more than 30 minutes and sometimes the line been cut off without been helped, we decided to call back on the 3rd of April. Up to now we have not got through to BA. But ironically, we received an email just few days before the planned flight date, wishing us a wonderful holiday. We replied back to that email which never arrived, because we got a reply saying, “the server can’t deliver this email.” We just want our money back, because a voucher with a year value date is not good. A month has already gone and we don’t know when things would normalize. BA, you need to improve your service. We need our hard worked money back.

  15. I had my flights booked for April which have been cancelled due to the coronavirus which in turn I’ve received vouchers to use when I next fly on British Airway, I booked my flights on line which I do every time but now we are told that we have to phone up to book flights let’s hope that British airways make that decision to change this and let people book on line, all they need is a box where you put your voucher number to claim you’re voucher, phoning to book flights would be a total nightmare which has been proven to to and get a refund, come on BA step up it’s the only way to do this, I look forward to seeing this for future bookings dont let people down otherwise you will lose customers 9n there thousands! do the right thing!

  16. I called BA and was ready for a long flight, from dialled to end of call was 4 minutes all in. The operator was great and offered voucher when I advised I wanted a full refund it was no problem. I was told due to circumstances that it could take 2 weeks for money to go into bank. Received money next day. 5 star BA

  17. There is currently a box for an e voucher. All they need to do is tweak the payment page to include 2 extra boxes, and then you can use the vouchers. Its not an onerous IT adjustment, really.
    It’s actually a huge step up improvement on their website. People won’t be so spooked, if they can afford to leave the money in BAs coffers for now.

  18. I hope they are in fact in the middle of putting the process in place. For a cancelled flight in May I have received an Emea in with a voucher code but a) it doesn’t say what the value is, and b) it won’t let me use the voucher online as the the numbers don’t match with what’s required.
    So it remains a shambles in my view. Oh and now the cancelled flights doesn’t appear anywhere in my account so will be difficult to trace.

  19. Hi
    I booked with a travel agency how will I get my refund I’m suppose to travel to jamaica in may and I know that’s not gonna happen I would like an update thank you.

  20. I would be happy to support any airline in current situation if they offer voucher which is valid at least till the end of 2021 ( like Emirates ) and no fare difference. I guess it’d be fair for the customers and the airline. Vouchers valid for a year are not attractive and good enough as we don’t know when we can fly again, when borders will be open again etc.

  21. Hi
    Received an email from BA on 28th April stating that I would be given a Future Travel Voucher within 7 Days to compensate for return flights to Istanbul. As yet there has only been silence. Tried ‘phoning but no reply and eventually cut off. Have sent an e-mail to the Executive Club but only a holding reply. Should I just continue to sit tight and hope that one day someone will reply?

      1. Agree. I received an acknowledgement for a future travel voucher on 9 May but haven’t seen anything yet despite being told that I should hear from them in 7 days. Are they trying to lose customers?

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