BA Tickets Cancellation Policy

Aug 21st, 2009, 07:02 AM
  #1  
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BA Tickets Cancellation Policy

Hi, do people hve experience with this?

I'm checking prices of a ticket online and for the cheapest ticket, in the event of a cancellation, you only get taxes and fees back.

But there's an option that says "increase flexibility with $31." I click on that and in the event of a cancellation, there's a fee of $250.

I called BA to ask what this means. The agent says that you get your money back - $250.

Is this really the case? It's different from AA, say, which issues a voucher for the amount - cancellation fee.

Thanks!
111op is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 07:31 AM
  #2  
 
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Why not take out travel insurance to cover the flight in the event you have to cancel?
A lot of airlines offer low price tickets on a no refund basis. It is how they can afford to do it.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 07:44 AM
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If you are a leisure traveller, you have fixed itinerary and can accept the limitation of no refund ticket in exchange for a good price. Business travellers need flexibility and are willing (or their company is) to pay more.
Alec is online now  
Aug 21st, 2009, 08:05 AM
  #4  
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The problem is that someone else is supposed to pay for this ticket.

Ordinarily I'd not care about cost if I'll be reimbursed, but I'm feeling some uncertainty. I checked with them but they haven't gotten back to me, and if I wait until next week, the ticket is going to be even more expensive because the trip is quite near.

I think travel insurance only covers health issues, right? I'm thinking more about change of plans out of my control, and I don't get reimbursed for some reason.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 08:06 AM
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Seems to me that you want to purchase a ticket but, if you can find a better deal, you want to cancel the first one. Morally wrong, cheap and silly if that is the case. If you are just worried about your health, with a Dr.'s note and trip insurance you should get a refund, but not if a non-refundable ticket.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 08:07 AM
  #6  
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You are probably asking why someone can't just book this for me. I'm wondering the same thing. But here it is, and I don't have a good read for what their budget is. So I'm just inclined to go with the cheapest, but I need some flexibility just in case there's a last-minute change and I need to "eat" the cost of the ticket.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 08:10 AM
  #7  
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rogeruk, I think that your post exemplifies much of the mind-reading and finger-pointing that pervade these travel forums.

Why can't people take other people's questions on face value?

Our posts happened to cross, but if wanting a cheaper deal is my sole motive, what's "morally wrong, cheap and silly" about it?

Everyone is "cheap and silly" at one point or another in their lives. I'm happy for you as you're clearly rich and intelligent.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 08:15 AM
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Cost of a ticket large reflects how much flexibility you want/need. If you can accept fixed itinerary, go for the cheapest. If you want something back when you change your mind or plan, go for more expensive ticket. If you want/need total flexibility without financial penalty, you have to buy fully-refundable ticket, which costs top dollar. Insurance only covers unexpected and inevitable change of plan, which covers illness, death of a close relative, and often business emergency and jury service. No insurance covers you for non-inevitable change of plan or for disinclination to travel.
Alec is online now  
Aug 21st, 2009, 08:22 AM
  #9  
 
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I was assuming that that was the reason for the nervousness at a non refundable ticket - the unforeseen need to cancel it, which is why I suggested travel insurance. Never a bad thing to have in any case.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 08:22 AM
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I understand all that. But can you understand my dilemma? Someone else is picking up the cost of this ticket and didn't tell me what the budget is.

So I said, the cost is $X, but I should probably book it before the weekend.

Said person hasn't gotten back to me.

Should I book a fully flexible ticket at $100X (exaggeration) and stick said person with the cost?

Or should I wait until next week and book a ticket at $2X and stick said person with the cost?

What if said person backs out?

All of this is complicated by not wanting to piss off said person, and yet, I'm supposed to be somewhere at some specific time.

And no, telling them I don't want to be there is not an option, because I do want to be there. Though they are paying I don't want them to be annoyed that it's a financial burden.
111op is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 08:31 AM
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Yes. I am both wealthy and very smart. But what I don't understand is why you don't just ask the person or tell them what a ticket would cost and see if it is ok prior to making the purchase?
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Aug 21st, 2009, 08:34 AM
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Before I chew someone out, let me say one thing -- no one has really answered my simple question. Does someone have experience with cancellations with BA?

Clearly, rogeruk, you're wealthy and very smart so you don't run into people who don't return e-mails or phone calls.

I take it that you call and e-mail every single minute so that you annoy the hell out of people when they don't get back to you.

And if you're so very smart, why can't you read? Didn't I write this earlier? Get your eyes checked, mate.

"So I said, the cost is $X, but I should probably book it before the weekend.

Said person hasn't gotten back to me."
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Aug 21st, 2009, 08:44 AM
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In fact, rogeruk, just fyi and for the record, I wrote this as early as 11:05 am: "I checked with them but they haven't gotten back to me...."

You missed this not just once, but twice.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 09:04 AM
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The information provided on the website and by the agent seems very clear.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 09:09 AM
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Where's the website info?

The only thing I could find was right before I was due to buy the ticket when there's a note on a "refund."

I agree the agent is clear. She was adamant that BA never issues vouchers (unlike AA) unless in extenuating circumstances. In fact, BA's policy seems different from everyone one else's, as far as I know.

On the other hand, since I'm cheap (and evidently, stupid), I'm not going to gamble with $1000 for a trip I was asked to make.

Thanks!
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Aug 21st, 2009, 09:11 AM
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There is no simple answer because it depends on the type of ticket you buy. If you buy a ticket for a specific flight on a specific day then you can get a lower price but it cannot be changed and for the same reason there is no refund. Normally this is explained when you buy the ticket before they take your money. No refund means no refund. You can insure for the reimbursement of your ticket if you or a close member of your family is ill and other specific reasons such as jury service. At the extreme opposite end is the full price ticket which can be used on any flight and which can be reimbursed if not used, probably less certain deductions. In between is where different air lines may offer some partial reimbursement for cancellation.
helen_belsize is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 09:13 AM
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My reply was being written as your latest was posted. Would you not be better off asking on Air Travel forum?
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Aug 21st, 2009, 09:26 AM
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Now I do think I should have asked on Air Travel.

I posted in Europe because I was thinking that there'd be more traffic on the Europe forum. Now I realize I am attracting (with apologies) pointless traffic and adding to it.

As I explained, I was hoping for a simple answer/confirmation to what I got from the BA agent regarding BA's cancellation policy. I thought that this was quite reasonable, given that it seems different from anyone else's. I also thought that this was quite reasonable given that we have probably all had cases when we're told one thing but something else happens in actual practice.

But perhaps all these assumptions are just wrong. I certainly had not planned on launching into long explanations on why I was asking my questions and why I felt the need to ask my questions and why I'm not really doing something "morally wrong, cheap and silly."

I'll refrain from posting further on this topic, but I'll keep checking for responses in case someone has actual experience with BA's cancellation policy. Please, I appreciate no name calling or finger pointing in my absence.

By the way, on this note -- I should add that BA's default policy seems to be govt. taxes and fees back if you cancel (and nothing else!). In the case I looked at, you need to pay $31 to get the refund option (- cancellation fee). As far as I know, most other airlines issue a voucher as a default option.

Buyer beware.
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Aug 21st, 2009, 10:16 AM
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KLM, like BA do not offer vouchers for low price tickets. I'm not even sure they refund the taxes etc unless they can sell the seat on. It is very normal on a low price, fixed date and time flight to not offer a refund. It is clearly stated in the Terms and conditions of your ticket, which you can read before paying for it. I am actually surprised that there are airlines that will offer a voucher in such instances.
If someone else is paying for the flight why not arrange for them to book it for you, and pay for it directly. That way they choose the rate they wish to pay.
If they don't get back to you while the cheap ticket is still available then they will have to pay for the next one up. Send them another e-mail making this clear to them. Hopefully you will then get a speedy reply.
If you are not sure they will pay in the end, and you can't afford to make the flight otherwise then don't buy the cheap ticket, or indeed any ticket which offers you only a voucher instead of a full refund.

Good Luck.
hetismij is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 10:22 AM
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I don't think you should guess. You should round up the person the ticket is for and get a definite answer - and the money up front.

Why risk your own money for someone who's dithering - or worse - changing their mind and afraid to say so?
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