British Airways Refund refusal for Hurricane Victims!

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Dec 12, 2017
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Hello. We are seniors. My girlfriend and I could not get to our flight out of JFK on Sept. 12th 2017 with British Airways Flight 116 to Milan, Italy because we were leaving out of Guadalupe via Puerto Rico on Sept. 7th on Delta to connect up with our flight on British Airways to Europe due to being caught in the hurricanes in the Caribbean. There were no other flights we could get on because the airport was closed and would not be able to get on another flight until after Sept. 12th. due to all the damages. Phone service and internet was down, and it was a nightmare at the airport with the injured coming in. I was able to get phone and internet service for a moment, and did call to tell the airline of our problem and to cancel before the flight on BA was to leave. BA told me they did not care about my problem, and that I would have to pay for my flights anyway, plus have to buy all new tickets for all those segments again! My flights were going from the Caribbean to New York on Delta Airlines who canceled our flights and gave us a refund because of the hurricanes, but our flight from JFK on BA was going to Milan and back to San Francisco from Amsterdam on Oct. 3rd, 2017. We also had other flights to connect up with from Rome to Barcelona back to Milan then to Amsterdam and back to San Francisco. I have all the emails I sent, plus showing the airport was close and beyond my control. They refused to give me a refund, and said since I did not show up that they were also canceling my flight back home! I had to buy all those tickets again from another company which ended up being so much more expensive as last minute just to get out of Puerto Rico during the disaster. I had my credit card company take the BA charges off which they agreed due to the circumstances, but BA keeps putting it back on my credit card! This has been so devastating to me and ruined the trip. I need help! I have not authorized the charges from BA they keep putting back on my card, and have spent unbelievable time trying to deal with this matter. Please help, people should not be punished and injured more when they are in a hurricane or natural disaster beyond their control! Thank you for anything you can do. I have all the paperwork and emails. Booking was made through Explore Trips, but they told me I would have to get British Airways to take off the charges which they refuse to do.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
We have company contacts on top of our pages. Find the contacts for BA and start writing. State facts only and be polite. Start at Customer Service and give them a week to reply. If they don’t reply or say no, write to the first executive shown. Repeat weekly going up the chain. If you get to the CEO and he says no, come back here and we’ll tell you the next steps. You are asking for a favor- they did nothing wrong so you’ll have to beg for a favor and a possible credit.

Your issue is that BA doesn’t owe you anything- your flight wasn’t connecting or on the same ticket. You had separate flights leaving 4 days apart- the NY flight was not affected by the hurricane.

Your travel agency should also be helping.
 

ADM

Apr 10, 2017
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Were these booked as totally separate tickets on different PNRs? If so I am sorry to say that BA is under no contractual obligation to refund those tickets. On their end the hurricane had no effects on any of those flights and they operated as scheduled. But do take Neil's advice and perhaps you can find a sympathetic executive to assist you. I'm sorry for your situation and good luck.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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You had separate tickets correct? First on Delta out of Guadeloupe via Puerto Rico to New York. Then a few days later on BA flight 116 to LHR with a connection to Milan?

A flight on September 7th on Delta does not connect to a flight on September 12th on British Airlines. A connection is usually less than 24 hours.

Sadly From BAs standpoint you booked a ticket from JFK to Milan via London. The fact that you could not get to NY is out of their concern.

Did you actually cancel the BA flight?

What makes this worse is that you booked with exploretrip which is an OTA (online travel or booking agent) which has the customer service based out of India--

What is the resolution-- reasonable -- requested?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
9,738
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Oh my, what a disaster, I'm so sorry. Your first call should have been to the travel agency, you are their customer. Sounds like you booked with an online booking agency, so there's no customer service there. You were lucky to be able to contact BA and cancel your flights before you became a dreaded "no-show" and your tix became worthless.

You are now on your own with British Air, one of the most difficult airlines to deal with. While we on this forum appreciate your circumstances, BA has little compassion. For example, did you know that you can book a first class seat for cash and be charged extra for a seat assignment on British Air? They've been getting away with it for years and that's what you're dealing with here. We want to help you make your approach to them just right.

I'm guessing that you did not purchase travel insurance ... but does the credit card you used have any perks included? For example, Chase now offers several CCs with wonderful complimentary travel insurance.

Your problem is complex, so I would suggest making a concise list in chronological order of exactly what happened. Make it very businesslike and leave out all emotion. We will be glad to look at it before you send it on to BA.

When writing to the BA executives as Neil outlined, I'd suggest waiting two weeks between letters to the executives, since the holidays are upon us. It's important that your message be one of requesting a favor, a credit towards a future flight. Occasionally an airline will surprise us with a refund, but a credit is the usual solution. I would stop disputing the charges on your CC, the charges are all valid. CC disputes exist to solve problems with undelivered goods or services. Your issue needs to be solved between you and British Air.

I am presuming that your tix were not booked in a 'basic' fare which would make them worthless the minute you didn't show up at the airport, no matter what the reason.

I feel very badly for you and everything you've been through. While BA is difficult, we have seen miracles on this forum. Good luck, and please keep us updated.
 
Last edited:
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Dec 12, 2017
6
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Oh my, what a disaster, I'm so sorry. Your first call should have been to the travel agency, you are their customer. Sounds like you booked with an online booking agency, so there's no customer service there. You were lucky to be able to contact BA and cancel your flights before you became a dreaded "no-show" and your tix became worthless.

You are now on your own with British Air, one of the most difficult airlines to deal with. While we on this forum appreciate your circumstances, BA has little compassion. For example, did you know that you can book a first class seat for cash and be charged extra for a seat assignment on British Air? They've been getting away with it for years and that's what you're dealing with here. We want to help you make your approach to them just right.

I'm guessing that you did not purchase travel insurance ... but does the credit card you used have any perks included? For example, Chase now offers several CCs with wonderful complimentary travel insurance.

Your problem is complex, so I would suggest making a concise list in chronological order of exactly what happened. Make it very businesslike and leave out all emotion. We will be glad to look at it before you send it on to BA.

When writing to the BA executives as Neil outlined, I'd suggest waiting two weeks between letters to the executives, since the holidays are upon us. It's important that your message be one of requesting a favor, a credit towards a future flight. Occasionally an airline will surprise us with a refund, but a credit is the usual solution. I would stop disputing the charges on your CC, the charges are all valid. CC disputes exist to solve problems with undelivered goods or services. Your issue needs to be solved between you and British Air.

I am presuming that your tix were not booked in a 'basic' fare which would make them worthless the minute you didn't show up at the airport, no matter what the reason.

I feel very badly for you and everything you've been through. While BA is difficult, we have seen miracles on this forum. Good luck, and please keep us updated.
 
Dec 12, 2017
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Thank you all for your kind thoughts. I have been writing and writing to all concerned, but no luck. I am now going to try and appeal to the goodness of the CEO of British Airways. My girlfriend and I are so exhausted from this experience, and I had to close my credit card because with interest it was more than I could keep up with on a fixed income of $400.00 a month. Thanks for all of the suggestions, I guess when you are in your 70's you can not keep up the energy to fight for human compassion. They could at least have allowed us to use the ticket at a later date.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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Thank you all for your kind thoughts. I have been writing and writing to all concerned, but no luck. I am now going to try and appeal to the goodness of the CEO of British Airways. My girlfriend and I are so exhausted from this experience, and I had to close my credit card because with interest it was more than I could keep up with on a fixed income of $400.00 a month. Thanks for all of the suggestions, I guess when you are in your 70's you can not keep up the energy to fight for human compassion. They could at least have allowed us to use the ticket at a later date.
it's weird how everyone else can get a credit/voucher for future flights, minus a $200 change fee, when situations like these occur, but BA refused to issue you a voucher.

Also, what does your mounting credit card debt have to do with any of this since you were the one who elected to re purchase your tickets?

Which credit card allowed you to close the account with a balance outstanding? I've always had to pay mine off first, before I closed the account.

You do realize that interest will keep accruing on that outstanding balance, closed card or not, right?
 
Dec 12, 2017
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it's weird how everyone else can get a credit/voucher for future flights, minus a $200 change fee, when situations like these occur, but BA refused to issue you a voucher.

Also, what does your mounting credit card debt have to do with any of this since you were the one who elected to re purchase your tickets?

Which credit card allowed you to close the account with a balance outstanding? I've always had to pay mine off first, before I closed the account.

You do realize that interest will keep accruing on that outstanding balance, closed card or not, right?
Since I had to buy again very expensive tickets to get out of Puerto Rico to get back to the U.S. by way of Spain because there were no flights leaving at all back to the U.S. directly, that put my credit card at maximum, and then with all of the interest I could not keep up
 
Feb 9, 2016
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Since I had to buy again very expensive tickets to get out of Puerto Rico to get back to the U.S. by way of Spain because there were no flights leaving at all back to the U.S. directly, that put my credit card at maximum, and then with all of the interest I could not keep up
So you were able to close your credit card? Who was the issuing bank? you realize closing your credit card will not stop interest from accruing, right?

You bought non refundable tickets, so I would not expect a refund. I am surprised that British airways wouldn't allow you to receive a voucher and then apply it to the flight you could make, when you could rebook.

Have you actually written to customer service to ask for a refund? or are you doing this all by phone?
 
Dec 12, 2017
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So you were able to close your credit card? Who was the issuing bank? you realize closing your credit card will not stop interest from accruing, right?

You bought non refundable tickets, so I would not expect a refund. I am surprised that British airways wouldn't allow you to receive a voucher and then apply it to the flight you could make, when you could rebook.

Have you actually written to customer service to ask for a refund? or are you doing this all by phone?
I have all the emails and phone calls. I am going to try and contact the CEO of BA
 
Sep 19, 2015
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Question. This ticket was booked through an OTA (exloretrip). BA says all refunds etc for tickets booked with TAs and OTAs need to be referred back to the booking agent.

I am going to sound judgmental here but Exploretrip sounds awful. Dreadful wording on website:

"Refund
www.exploretrip.com reserves the right to determine the amount of refund value incase of cancellation and amendments. The decision on the quantum of refund will be final as that made by www.exploretrip.com ."

And

"All legal disputes will be settled under the laws of US courts subject to laws of Republic of United States of America."

And they charge to cancel a ticket within 24 hour period....

So should BA be handling this or should the OTA. Could the OTA have swallowed up the credit?