British Airways has made another significant change of policy in connection with vouchers issued to passengers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Monday 22 March, BA advised that passengers who had requested an eVoucher after a flight had been cancelled up to 19 November 2020 are now eligible for a cash refund.
BA has today, Wednesday 23 March, announced another change of policy.
Future Travel Vouchers
When BA first started issuing vouchers in exchange for the value of flight tickets, these were known as Future Travel Vouchers.
These could not be used to pay for flights online. Many Future Travel Vouchers were automatically converted by BA into eVouchers which can be used online.
Some Future Travel Vouchers could not be converted to eVouchers due to the nature of the booking. Passengers have found it difficult to contact BA to use them.
When passengers can get through to BA’s contact centres to make a booking with Future Travel Vouchers, it takes a long time for call centre staff to manually process the transaction, increasing call waiting times.
Unused Future Travel Vouchers Will Be Refunded
Any unused Future Travel Vouchers will now be automatically refunded by BA.
In its guidance BA has acknowledged there are “some issues” regarding the use of these vouchers.
Passengers do not need to take any specific action. Refunds will be processed by BA in date order.
BA will e-mail passengers to advise of their refund. This should appear on your statement within 30 days.
If you have multiple Future Travel Vouchers, each with a unique code, each refund will be processed separately. Any part used Future Travel Vouchers will also be refunded.
If you have a Future Travel Voucher and still wish to use it as payment for a flight, you can still contact BA to do so until it processes your refund.
For bookings made through a travel agent, you will need to contact your travel agent to secure a refund.
Full details are available on ba.com This guidance may be amended by the airline at anytime.
Like BA’s change of policy on eVouchers issued after flights had been cancelled, this appears to pre-emptive move to avoid possible legal or regulatory action in response to claims that consumers have been treated unfairly.
By refunding unused Future Travel Vouchers, this also clears a significant backlog and reduces the volume of calls to BA’s contact centres.
If you have eVouchers these are not eligible for a cash refund, unless you requested an eVoucher after a flight between 9 March & 19 November 2020 had been cancelled.