Home Airlines British Airways Is Now Issuing Some Refunds Within 24 Hours

British Airways Is Now Issuing Some Refunds Within 24 Hours


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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! 🙂

Bottom Line

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 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. I requested a refund on the 3rd of May.
    I called British Airways yesterday 7th June.
    Still not processed by their back office.
    Refund therefore not yet authorised.
    Informed the refund will take 3 weeks after authorisation.
    Should that be the case I will have waited over 2 months. Probably closer to 3 months.
    As this was 3 First Class tickets it is over ÂŁ10,000.

  2. Refunds are processed either straight away by the contact centre agent if the system will allow. However if there has been any changes to a booking, redemption of Avios and other things… these sometimes need five queued to a robotic to attempt and process and if needed, a dedicated Refunds support team.

    • The odd thing is that my Avios redemption refunds from 29 May (and which took just 24 hours to refund) were identical in every way to some refunds I requested back in April and which took over 3 weeks to process.

  3. Some weeks ago I called the BA US number, which disconnected me due to excessive calls, and I used Skype to call the UK number and waited for about 25 minutes. I requested a refund for a flight + avios upgrade and for a cash fare, and was told three weeks for processing.

    The cash fare was refunded within a couple of days. For the avios upgrade refund, I waited 5 weeks, then called the BA US number and waited about 5 minutes to speak with someone. She noted that the UK queue was unusually slow, placed my request on the German “priority” queue, and said it would be 1, or possibly two weeks for it to be processed. It took about 5 days.

  4. My flight was cancelled by BA on 16th April, same day I called the UK number to request a refund as due to being heavily pregnant I would not be travelling within the next year anyways. No avoid points were needed to be refunded just a cash refund of ÂŁ824.24 which the service agent confirmed I would get back in full. It is now 9th of June and I am still awaiting a refund. BA have just said on twitter it is taking longer than normal and as soon as it is processed/authorised I will receive a notification. I am awaiting clarification on why I haven’t received a notification about it nearly 2 months later. Absolutely shocking service.

  5. Just used the ‘Gold’ number to contact British Airways. Answered after 2 rings by a very helpful representative, even though she must have known we were only Blue exec club members. Refund on its way.
    Many Thanks

  6. Back in March 2020, I filed a claim for refund for seat selection fees. My flight was canceled due to tour company canceled the tour.

    About 2 weeks ago, I finally got an email that BA was not going to refund me my money I paid to reserve seats for me and my cousin for two flights. Last week, I filed a complaint with BA to do the right thing and refund md my money and re deposit my AVIOS back into my account.

    Prior to finally hearing back from BA, I had called three times to inquire about the status of my refund request. Two BA customer service reps insured me I would receive a full refund and my AVIOS would be re deposited back into my account. April 9th customer service rep created a case number and forwarded my information to the refund unit and told me I’d would receive my refund in 10 to 14 days!!! Obviously, that never happened. O feel like I’m getting the round around from BA.

    I have been waiting almost 3 months now for a full refund.

  7. I called the standard 0800 727 800 number on 5th June and got through to a very helpful customer service lady.
    My refund was credited on my card on 7th June.

  8. I reside in the US but was to travel to Australia in July (which you can no longer do). The problem is I used Avios points for a Melb to Brisbane flight and BA will only refund the points but not the US$156 of taxes. They will only do that if the flight is cancelled. But, I can’t physically get to Melb to even take the flight. Very unfair.

  9. Just called BA on the number above and got hold of customer service agent in minutes. Refund is processed! Super! Thanks for tip.

    • Congrats! Always good to hear a success story. I just had to do exactly the same thing (for what feels like the billionth time!) as another flight bit the dust, and it was nice not to be cut off or be left on hold for hours (6 mins this time).

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