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British Airways passengers previously offered vouchers for Covid cancelled flights can now claim cash refunds - here's how

British Airways passengers who feel they were wrongly handed vouchers for cancelled flights during the pandemic may now be able to get cash refunds following a U-turn by the airline. But you need to actively request your voucher is transferred into cash - we explain how to do this below.  

Regulators the Civil Aviation Authority and the Competition and Markets Authority would neither confirm nor deny if they'd been involved either formally or informally in British Airways (BA's) change in position. BA told us it couldn't offer its "usual channels" to customers to request a refund during the height of the pandemic.  

It follows complaints from some BA passengers that they'd been "pushed" into taking vouchers. reported in November 2021 that reader Dr David Fotheringhame had successfully won his case at Croydon County Court after asserting BA was wrong to offer him vouchers. 

At the time, BA insisted it always offered customers on cancelled flights options including a full cash refund but David told us he was encouraged to apply for a cash refund online, yet there was no mechanism to do this, and when he tried calling the phone was never answered. 

The airline has issued more 3.3 million vouchers (alongside more than 4.2 million refunds) for flights cancelled due to Covid-19. 

See our Flight delays and cancellations guide for full details on your compensation and refund rights and our Covid travel rights guide for the latest on UK and overseas travel rules. 

Here's who can swap British Airways vouchers for a cash refund

Passengers who made flight-only bookings with BA, and who were due to travel between 9 March 2020 and 19 November 2020 on a flight that was then cancelled, can claim a refund. This includes where Avios was used as a partial payment. 

However, cash refunds can only be given for unused vouchers that are more than two years old. So it must be at least 24 months from the date of issue of your voucher to claim. BA said an email will be sent to you to inform you of when this is. 

Passengers whose flights were cancelled after 19 November were offered the choice of a cash refund or voucher, according to the airline. We've asked BA what the situation was for flights cancelled prior to 9 March 2020 but presumably these weren't pandemic related. 

You can't transfer vouchers issued before your flight was cancelled - though these can still be redeemed on flights that are completed by 30 September 2023.

Affected flight-only passengers need to submit a request for a cash refund online

Refunds for flight-only bookings can be requested via BA's online refund form. You need to complete a separate refund form for each voucher you hold.  

These will be paid to the original form of payment in approximately 30 days and any Avios credited back to your account. 

If your debit or credit card has since expired or been replaced, BA said it will contact you to request an alternative form of payment. Of course, you can also contact BA directly if you experience any problems. 

British Airways Holidays customers will get an automatic refund

When it comes to BA Holidays customers - those with a BA package trip - the airline said it is proactively refunding vouchers that are nearing two years or older. It says you don't need to contact it - it will automatically refund any voucher on your behalf and email you to notify that your refund is in progress. 

However, if you think you're due a refund but haven't received one, you can contact BA Holidays

Booked with BA via a travel agent or tour operator? You'll need to contact them directly for a refund. 

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