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With a lot of people about to fall foul of a ban on travel between most European countries and the US, we’re starting to see airlines updating their waivers to include transatlantic travel and British Airways has been one of the first out of the blocks.
Despite the fact that the US hasn’t included the UK in the list of countries from which travel to the US is not permitted, British Airways has announced that it will be waiving change fees for customers who have travel to/from the US booked through 11 April 2020.
Here’s What You Need To Know:
- All bookings made through British Airways as a BA flight or BA codeshare and that were made by 11 March 2020 are covered by the new temporary waiver.
- The waiver covers travel booked through 11 April 2020.
- New travel must take place between 12 April and 1 August 2020.
- Only one change is being permitted.
- Customers who are in the middle of a trip, as well as customers yet to start their trips, are covered.
- The new waiver permits changes to where customers are starting and ending their trips
- Award bookings are covered by the new waiver policy
- Refunds will not be offered but customers who have yet to start their trips can request a voucher (valid for future travel with British Airways) to the full value of their flights.
- Change fees are being waived but any fare differences will have to be paid by customers changing their flights.
It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out because although Donald Trump announced that the ban on travel from select European countries will last for 30 days, there’s nothing in the presidential proclamation that introduced the ban to suggest that the ban is limited to that time frame.
According to the wording of the proclamation (see more here) the ban stays in effect until the president removes it.
It’s also worth noting that we don’t yet know what conditions will be attached to any travel vouchers that are issued as a result of customers canceling their plans (I have enquired and I’ll update this post when we know more).
Hopefully the voucher won’t be limited to the same dates that British Airways is limiting flight changes to (12 April – 1 August) as that would leave a very small window in which people with kids of school age will be able to travel.
A lot of schools don’t break up for summer until 15 July so if BA was to limit the use of vouchers to the period 12 April – 1 August, a lot of families would be forced to find a way to squeeze their travel plans into a two week period…and that wouldn’t be very fair.
It’s good to see British Airways leading the way with a change fee waiver for travel to/from the US but we’ll have to wait and see what restrictions are placed on the vouchers that will be issued for cancellations before we know exactly how generous (or not) the airline is being.