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A disappointing number of global airlines have spent most of the past few months doing their best to avoid offering customer refunds when their flights have been cancelled. British Airways has been particularly poor at letting passengers know when they’re entitled to refunds (a lot of people have mistakenly accepted vouchers from BA because they didn’t know a refund was due) and, even when a refund was processed, the airline has been taking weeks and weeks to return customer funds. Those days may be coming to an end.
The Best Way To Request A British Airways Refund
British Airways removed the functionality to request refunds for cancelled flights from its website back in March and, even though we’ve seen some clever workarounds, a phone call has long been the only guaranteed way to request a refund that has a chance of being processed.
For most people, the issue with calling up British Airways has been that the phone lines are often so jammed up that they either have to sit on hold for an incredibly long period of time or they get cut off completely, so there has been a lot of justified frustration. Fortunately, there’s one British Airways phone number that seems to alleviate these issues – the “Gold” line number.
0800 123 111 or +44 800 123 111 (if you’re calling from outside the UK) is the phone line normally reserved for British Airways Executive Club Gold members, but most people who have called this number can confirm that (a) they were not asked to prove that they have Gold status with British Airways and (b) that hold times were relatively short (usually under 15 minutes). More importantly, the customer service agents manning this line are both incredibly courteous and willing to process refunds.
The “trick” to getting a helpful agent seems to be to select the option that most closely resembles “other issue” when the automated system asks you to tell it why you’re calling (continually selecting the last option offered often seems to work).
Two Recent Refund Requests
A little over a week ago, British Airways made some significant changes to its schedule (possibly as a result of the idiotic quarantine rules that have come into effect from today), and as a result, I saw a number of my July flights cancelled (the cancelations covered award bookings and cash bookings).
On 29 May I called up the British Airways Gold desk and, after less than 5 minutes on hold, I spoke to a very helpful customer services agent who was able to redeposit my Avios immediately…
…and who initiated a refund of my taxes/fees.
I was told to expect the cash refund to take up to 14 days (previous refunds I have requested have taken up to 22 days) but, a few days later, I noticed that my Amex Platinum Card had been credited the very next day:
On 31 May, I noticed that British Airways has cancelled one of the flights that was part of a cash booking, and, once again after a short hold on the Gold Line, I managed to request a refund back to my Platinum Card.
A few days later, I noticed that my Amex Platinum Card had been credited the full amount within 24 hours of my refund request:
Considering the length of time it has been taking for British Airways refunds to be processed up until now, this is nothing short of miraculous! 🙂
The British Airways Gold Line almost certainly offers the best pathway to requesting a refund for a trip cancelled by the airline and, if my recent experiences are anything to go by, there’s a good chance that your refund will now appear in your account a lot quicker than it would have done just a few weeks ago.
Has anyone else recently requested a refund from British Airways? If you have, were you refunded quickly or are you still waiting?
Featured image courtesy of British Airways