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British Airways / surprise! you owe $950!!

1 United States Review updated:

I booked a flight for my mother traveling from Prague to San Francisco on British Airways. She had a long layover in London (12 hours), and I intended to book a hotel for her. I changed my mind and called BA to see if she could get a shorter layover.

The customer representative told me that she could help me by "canceling the original return flight in the system." By doing this, she explained that I would NOT be charged the $200 change fee or the difference in fares. She advised me to then call back and just re-book, and reiterated that I wouldn't be charged any fees. I rebooked the ticket, and at no time did anyone ask for my credit card information, or request any payment whatsoever.

However, when my mother arrived at the airport, the BA representatives demanded more than $950 on the spot. With no other option, we paid this and have been battling to get it refunded from BA since then. A woman named Marcia Friedland from their Customer Relations department rejected the request for a refund. The whole thing is just RIDICULOUS. Had I known they were going to do this, I would have kept the original flight. This surprise fee almost DOUBLED the entire roundtrip ticket!

Shame on British Airways!

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  • Ma
      14th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    Hi Mark,

    I'm just handling the worst experience ever with BA and wish I had heard any of this before...
    I made a booking, economy class, and then upgraded with mile to Business.
    Few things happened, I had to change my flight (this was London - NYC - London by the way) but was told I could not cancel just the return flight as it was booked economy with restrictions, which I agree.
    So then I asked if it would be possible to cancel the upgrade just on the return flight (as I would not be taking this), the lady who I spoke with on the phone was not sure if she could do that without charging me a fee (?).
    For some reason, they cancelled my whole upgrade and she even "wrote on the notes" that I had been advised that I could not cancel upgrade in 1 way only; it had to be both ways or nothing.
    They are now refusing to give my seat back, unless I pay $7,000!!!!
    No one respond to email, some of the agents are really rude.
    Although I am a Silver Club Card Member, I will not travel BA ever again!!
    About the change of plans I mentioned somewhere above; my return will not be to London but to Buenos Aires. I called, made the booking, asked if they had any seats available for upgrading, was told no.
    I paid for my upgrade, and right after they had charge my credit card (nearly $3,000) they CANCELLED my booking (?).
    These are the most unreliable people in the world. The CEO, Willie Walsh, has no idea what so ever of what he is doing - not saying I would do a better job, but taking as an example AA - BA do not know how to handle complaints, nor how to handle important issues, this is one of the most unorganized airways company ever!
    ...But then, United Kingdon is the most unorganized country I've ever been to. Everything you do here, you need to send on paper, by post or courier, and also need a proof that it was delivered; and you still got to go to court sometimes to solve the matter.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

  • Ar
      10th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    Hi Mark,

    You will not get your money back by talking to BA. The only way is to take them to court. You can do it online. However, you should first write to BA formally explaining the situation and the amount owed to you. Do mention that you will take them court if you hear no response.

    In the worst case, if they do not respond, file your complaint online:

    You must have all supporting evidence (tickets, receipts,...) to win.

    Best Wishes,

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