BEWARE of British Airways Online booking and Cancellation Process and procedures.

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Apr 28, 2018
I have booked (5)tickets for my family to India for summer break for 05/29/18 and returning on 08/01/18 using BA website and paid USD 6320.85.

Email or Online Booking reference doesn’t show details about the booking class and amount for cancellation for these tickets. We decided to cancel tickets and book for later period. We know there is a penalty associated with cancellation.

Why BA offering online cancellation for tickets that can’t show refund amount on the site?

Here is the information found on BA site on cancellation page.
"We are unable to calculate your refund total prior to processing your claim. The refund amount will be based on our fare rules and the total refunded is final and non-negotiable. On submission of this form you are agreeing to the refund total that we calculate".

I have to cancel my trip due to family reason on 04/22/18 using BA site, assuming that there will be around USD 275(cancellation fee) and USD 10 (service fee for online) penalties per person. I.e. USD 1425.00 for all the 5 tickets. We are expecting a refund of 4895.85(6320.85-1425.00).

I have received email about refund request has been processed without detail about refund for this cancellation on 04/23/18. Two day later, I received email correspondence from BA stating that “We regret to inform you that due to an error on our part, incorrect receipt processed to you in the amount of USD 4895.85 instead of USD 2262.35.” BA can reverse their request and make correction.

I was shocked with USD 2262.35 refunded for 5 tickets for USD 6320.85 paid for 5 tickets. We spoke with BA CST and they stated that there are nonrefundable charges on the ticket. We requested BA CST to reverse my refund and process a credit for USD 4895.85 toward future booking.

Why BA accepts my reversal request and process credit for future travel?

I have request customer detail receipt for this refund and got automated response “Please be assured that your email is important to us and we aim to send your document(s) within the next 28 days.

Why BA needs such a long time to send customer detail receipt for processed requests?

BA withheld penalty for cancellation and refund USD 2262.35 from refundable portion of the tickets.

Where is remaining nonrefundable amount?

Is BA supposed to give credit to customers for nonrefundable portion for future travel?

There are lots of unanswered questions as stated above. BA CST is not ready to discuss on cancelled/ refunded tickets and requested to reach out to Customer Relations via email. I have send couple of emails to customer relations with no response.

We are family of six with one income and will not be able to afford loosing $4058.50 towards cancellation charges.

My case is active in Elliott direct advocacy department. I am looking for further guidance while you wait.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
Unfortunately, if you aren’t certain of travel dates, you should never buy tickets unless you buy refundable seats. They are often 40% higher than non refundable but meant for when you might have to change.

You tickets most likely say “nonrefundable” when you chose and bought them and nonrefundable means what it says- nonrefundable and non changeable.

Every airline sells tickets this way - if you book in your own vs. using a travel agent who could have explained this before you booked, you are responsible for reading and knowing the airline policies when you book.

I’m sorry you didn’t check everything before you booked but all airlines do this.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
This kind of travel would be best booked with an experienced travel agent, not an online booking service. It's vitally important to understand all the fine print ... and that fine print is written purposefully to be murky. A good TA knows this stuff up one side and down the other. If you booked non-ref tix, you will not get a refund (except for taxes and some fees), but you should be able to have a credit, less change/cancel fees, towards future flights.
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Apr 28, 2018
Good News, I have received $2500 eVoucher (valid for 1 year) for nonrefundable portion of my ticket from BA. I am very much thankful to Elliot Advocate for guidance and working on my case.

Neil Maley and Jsn55, I appreciate your responses. Lesson Learned and will consider your suggestion moving forward.