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How to get a refund from British Airways during pilot strike

Patrice Kelly
Aug 28, 2019

British Airways has shafted tens of thousands of hard working holidaymakers thanks to an ill-timed pilot strike.

This seems to be the theme now: Is there a major popular event going on? STRIKE! And the summer holiday season is no different.

BA's pilots are taking industrial action - because clearly they need a larger detached house and more money in the bank so Horatio and precious little Matilda can go to an even better private school.

The strikes will take place on the 9th, 10th and 27th of September.


And to top it all off, loads of British Airways travellers were told there holidays were cancelled when it turned out they were among the few lucky ones who WEREN'T affected! 

They received emails that were sent in error that advised customers to rebook or get a refund.

By the time the airline apologised for the mistake and contacted its passengers to confirm their flights were actually scheduled to go ahead, some of them had already shelled out for replacement fights.

Below we round-up your rights to refunds and compensation.

Can I get a refund if I was wrongly told my flight's been cancelled?

If you'd already booked an alternative flight when British Airways told you the original flight is still scheduled to go ahead, you shouldn't be left out of pocket.

You have the right to get a refund of the original ticket, although this amount may be less than what you paid for the new ticket.

You can contact British Airways' customers services on 0800 727 80 - just be aware that it's "experiencing extremely high call volumes" according to its website so be prepared to wait.

You can also contact online complaints tool Resolver, who will help you claim the refund for free.

Can I get compensation if I was wrongly told my flight's been cancelled?

Even if you spent more money than your original British Airways ticket cost, you may struggle to get compensated for the hassle.

This is because passengers are legally only eligible for compensation if they have been given fewer than 14 days' notice before a cancelled flight.

So whether you can claim compensation depends on when your original flight was scheduled to depart.

A spokesperson for the airline has said that anyone who went on to spend money on alternative arrangements should contact British Airways "and we will deal with each case on an individual basis".

You can find more information on the airline's website.

Can I get a refund or compensation if my flight has been cancelled?

If you're due to fly in September and your flight has actually been affected, you can request a full refund.

Alternatively, you can rebook your flight for another time in the next 355 days, or use the value of your fare to fly to a different destination.

If you're offered an alternative flight then you are entitled to free meals and refreshments which are appropriate to the delay.


You should also get free hotel accommodation and transfer if there's an overnight stay.

If you booked through a travel company they are also liable to arranging your travel.

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