British Airways accused of ‘deliberately blocking online cash refunds for flights’ by ‘hiding’ the application form
- Frequent flyer website says British Airways is denying customers a legal right
- The issue is not arising when customers ask for refunds over the telephone
- An IT-savvy frequent flyer eventually found a workaround for the problem
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Times are undoubtedly hard for British Airways, but the carrier has seemingly stepped over the line in a bid to hold on to its bookings amid the coronavirus crisis.
The UK’s biggest frequent flyer website, Head for Points, has accused the airline of ‘deliberately blocking online cash refunds for Avios flight bookings’. That is, trips made using air miles.
Editor Rob Burgess wrote on his site that Avios bookings adhere to standard BA rules, which allow full cash refunds for taxes and charges and the return of the Avios points used if the flight is cancelled up to 24 hours before departure.
The UK’s biggest frequent flyer website, Head for Points, has accused BA of ‘deliberately blocking online cash refunds for Avios flight bookings’
However, he alleges that this week, when customers have tried to activate these refunds online, they’ve been automatically directed to an application page for a ‘future travel voucher’ and not the standard cancellation form.
The same problem has not been occurring for customers asking for refunds over the phone.
He adds in the piece that the issue has ‘dominated’ his inbox over the past two days.
Rob told MailOnline Travel that the issue is twofold – a denial of a legal right and something that impacts passengers with other problems.
He said: ‘Whether by accident or design, it is not acceptable that British Airways is denying passengers easy access to their legal right to a cash refund on cancelled Avios bookings.
‘It is also impacting other passengers who are trying to call BA with genuine travel concerns but who are being delayed because other passengers need to ring to obtain the cash refund they are legally due.’
The travel industry is facing a catastrophic loss of profits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and many who work in it are promoting the hashtag #dontcancelpostpone
Gilbert Ott, who runs the God Save The Points flight tips site, also levelled criticism at BA.
He wrote: ‘No one wants undue harm done to any airlines, but there are boundaries which should not be crossed in any aspect of life, and in my opinion, British airways has crossed one. They’re duping passengers out of refunds when they’re due, by pretending it’s not an option.’
Head For Points published a separate article detailing a workaround to the refund page issue discovered by an ‘IT-savvy reader’. Click here for more.
When MailOnline put the allegations to BA, it said: ‘Customers on cancelled flights can take a voucher for future travel up to a year or a refund.’
The travel industry is facing a catastrophic loss of profits as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and many who work in it are promoting the hashtag #dontcancelpostpone.