Booking number L2YLBY
Order number L2YLBY
Original departure date 03/17/2020
Dear sir or Madam,
case number [protected], GoToGate Reference: L2YLBY British Airways Reference: L9MJNT
A few weeks before my scheduled flight to Valencia (booking number L2YLBY), the number of coronavirus cases was quickly multiplying in Spain. I called you to say it was no longer safe or socially responsible to take this flight.
Due to the ease with which air-borne pathogens are spread on airplanes, with the recycled air ventilation system and being in close proximity to travellers who may have already contracted the illness, I said I thought if this flight has not already been cancelled, it should be. There was a tangible risk of contracting the illness and passing it to people both in Valencia and back in London, and I do not want to endanger anyone.
You said over phone that under the extreme circumstances, I am entitled to a refund and would need to contact British Airways directly to go about receiving this. I tried to, but did not have the British Airways booking reference (L9MJNT). So I contacted you online, and received this information from you.
I applied for a refund for the flight ahead of schedule and was told by British Airways over phone 16th March that this would be transferred to my account on Tuesday 24th March. This date came and went, without result. When British Airways became unreachable by phone during the first UK lockdown, I contacted them online again and again.
I was getting increasingly hopeless, writing to their customer service things such as:
“I can only imagine how inundanted you have been with requests such as this, and I have seen on the news how dangerous the financial situation is for BA. I really feel for all the staff who are under stress about their job security and increased workload.
But I am also just one person, who is now receiving regular automated adverts from the British Airways Executive Club such as ‘time for an escape’. This has only served to sharpen the stress of not having received my refund after so many months, and being in such dire financial straits that I cannot afford to even imagine being abroad. I am disappointed that after following the BA refunds guidelines as prudently and conscientiously aspossible at the start of UK lockdown, I have still not received my refund.
Please, please, confirm when the refund will be transferred. It is an increasingly desperate situation.”
On 17th November I finally heard back from British Airways, who said that because I made the booking under GoToGate, British Airways will only process the refund through GoToGate. The customer relations person I spoke to said it was not the procedure to have been informed I needed to handle the refunded cancellation myself, and said to explain that I have been told by British Airways to receive my refund through GoToGate. She said it should be quite straightforward for GoToGate to be able to secure this refund, and that it was they were obliged to arrange this under the terms of payment.
I want to explain that I really appreciate how much stress companies in the travel and tourism sector are under. It must be an ongoing desolate situation for companies such as GoToGate and their staff must have to work really hard to keep things afloat during such uncertain times. But I need to pursue receiving the refund for a flight that later transpired to be between two cities so affected by coronavirus they were in lockdown.
I thought I was doing the right thing by cancelling my holiday, after looking forward to it for several months, but it is like a punishment to have my reasonable refund request unheard for 9 months under increasingly extreme financial strain.
It has been further disappointing to have received no acknowledgement or response from GoToGate during this time, and for British Airways to take months only to state this problem with their flight had nothing to do with them.
Please help me to get my refund.
I hope you all can keep safe and well during these difficult times, and I thank you for your time.