2 Wednesday, August 14, 2019 13:13

ASK TONY: BA offered £66 for £1,181 flights after my cancer diagnosis

 I booked a family holiday to Greece for myself, my husband and three children going out with British Airways and returning with easyJet.In late March I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and told I could not travel abroad in the summer as I would be undergoing chemotherapy. EasyJet was amazing, offering a voucher for nearly the full cost of the flights and emailing it to me while I was on the phone.

BA has been a different story. I went on the website and phoned. However, it said I had made a normal cancellation, with no special circumstances taken into account.It gave me a £66.20 refund on flights costing £1,181.20. The cancellation fee alone was £75.I provided my medical records and chased it up, but finally got a response saying BA could help no further.

Mrs N. R., Kent.

One reader forced to cancel a trip to Greece after a cancer diagnosis was offered a £66.20 refund on flights costing £1,181.20 and charged a cancellation fee of £75 by BALooking at the email trail you sent me, the responses appear almost to have been done on a cut-and-paste basis.

And BA contorted the English language horribly.I quote: ‘I’d like to inform you that all the refund of your ticket have been done as per the fare rules, we are unable to assist you with this any further.’ RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next
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I think you were trapped in a cycle of ‘computer says no’.BA says that when a customer processes a refund online, it automatically refunds in line with the terms and conditions of the ticket. However, if a customer contacts it first, it will try to help on a case-by-case basis and can offer various options.

You cancelled online before phoning, and it seems no one had the wherewithal or authority to override the computer.However, you told me you searched the website and struggled to find a number to call for cancelling under special circumstances. The good news is that you have now been contacted by a senior customer service manager who has refunded the entire cost of your ticket.

A BA spokesman says: ‘When customers tell us they are unable to travel due to serious illness, we do all we can to help them. We’re very sorry to hear that Mrs R is unwell and have processed a full refund of her ticket.’Can I add a plea to anyone reading this column to buy travel insurance at the time they book a holiday or to make sure you have an annual policy in place.

.It’s not enough to buy it a week or two before you go, because the insurance is there to cover you if you are forced to cancel because you or a relative.....

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