Know your refund rights: TPG reader success story

Jun 28, 2020

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community — even if you’re not travelling right now.

Refunds for cancelled flights are a hot topic right now as people continue to cancel their summer travel plans — either because their airline cancels their flights or they do not wish to travel. TPG U.K. reader Natalie emailed me with her experience standing her ground and knowing her rights.

“We had a one-way ticket for the end of this year’s Italy trip departing from Naples (NAP) connecting through Gatwick (LGW) back to our home in Tampa (TPA), Florida with BA. We used Avios plus cash for four seats, so it was 180,000 Avios plus £1,030 for four people in World Traveller Plus premium economy. I also spent around £400 for seat assignments for the flights.

Because of coronavirus, we were no longer planning to go to Italy this year and started looking into our cancellation options. British Airways offered to give us back the Avios and all the fees in a Future Travel Voucher valid until 30 April 2022. Even this long expiry date was a bit worrying to us —  if there isn’t a vaccine by next summer, I’m not sure we would even make the trip by April 2022. I read a guide on The Points Guy that if an airline cancels your flight before you do, you can then get a full refund.

Rather than accepting the Future Travel Voucher, I waited it out. Lo and behold, BA cancelled our flights. When I reached out to British Airways (via Twitter, as it seems the only way to get an answer these days!), the agent who responded stated I could either pay around £40 each to have the miles redeposited or accept the Future Travel Voucher to be used by April 2022.

I wrote back questioning that based on the TPG guide. A few hours later, another agent responded stating that the first agent was incorrect and since our flight was canceled we could get a full refund of all money paid (including the seat selection fees) and all the Avios redeposited at no charge.

Thank you again for your guidance! I hate to think of all the people who do not know all the ins and outs of flight cancellations agreeing to vouchers, etc. Having said that, we are so hopeful we can reschedule this trip and make it to Italy next summer.”

If an airline cancels your flight before you do, you are entitled to a full refund (including any additional fees like seat selection or extra baggage). British Airways has been strongly encouraging customers with cancelled flights to accept Future Travel Vouchers rather than refunds by making it quick and easy to accept a voucher online versus the time-consuming steps to call up for a refund.

Related: 8 ways British Airways could improve its Future Travel Voucher process

Stand your ground and know your rights if your flight is cancelled!

Featured image by Gettys Images

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