Delays and cancellations
Helping you when things don’t go to plan.
We are fully committed to helping each and every one of our customers enjoy the best possible experience, wherever you might be travelling. This page sets out the levels of service that you can expect when travelling with British Airways, as well as relevant information on how we can help, should things not go according to plan:
Whilst it is sometimes unavoidable, we understand that flight delays and cancellations can be extremely frustrating and can disrupt your travel plans. In these situations we are committed to providing you with the best level of service and information possible.
Ensuring that your baggage is carried safely with you to your final destination is very important to us.
However, in the event that your checked bags do not arrive on your flight, we will make every effort to ensure that they are returned to you within 24 hours.
We provide customers who require special assistance with a professional and courteous service at all times.
More information about the disability and mobility assistance we can offer you on your journey with us. This may be managed through a third party agent.
More information about travel assistance, including young flyers travelling alone and travelling with pets.
In order to minimise the effects of customers who book for travel but do not turn up, British Airways, like most major airlines, may overbook flights.
In extremely rare circumstances where more confirmed customers are present than there are seats available, a customer may not be able to travel on their original flight and will be moved onto the next available flight. In the unlikely event that this occurs, customers will receive compensation.
Your eligibility for a refund and the refund amount on unused or partially-unused British Airways tickets is dependent on the type of ticket you bought.
For tickets bought on ba.com or over the phone with British Airways, you may be eligible to apply for a refund using Manage My Booking.
We aim to resolve your refund claim as quickly as possible, but some complex refunds may have a longer processing time, and please allow for your bank’s processing time.
For tickets bought from a travel agent, please contact them directly to arrange your booking cancellation and refund.
If you have booked directly with British Airways and you notice a mistake with your booking after you have paid for your ticket(s), you can cancel your flight booking and claim a full refund without penalty, up to 24 hours from when you make the original booking. Refunds under these circumstances can be requested by calling our contact centres, with the exception of Avios bookings, which can be managed online.
We try to provide you with as much information as we can on the policies and procedures that may impact your journey. Below are some of the key areas to consider when making your travel plans. For further details please check our Information pages.
We provide world class service in all cabins, to all customers - delivering what our customers value most, where they value it most.
Please remember that lower fares can have restrictions and changes may incur further charges so please check the conditions of the ticket you are purchasing. If you would like greater flexibility with your travel plans please ensure you select a flexible fare that meets your needs.
No show policy
The fare you've paid is for the specific flights, route and dates as shown on your e-ticket receipt.
It's important to note that these flights listed on your e-ticket receipt can't be used out of sequence: this means that if you don't tell us in advance about the change you need and you choose not to travel on one of your flights (known as a "no show"), it will 'invalidate' all the remaining unused flights in your journey and they'll be automatically cancelled.
So, if you need to change all or part of your journey and if your fare type allows it, we can recalculate the new fare for your proposed change. (However, for customers who booked their ticket with a travel agency/online travel site we need to refer you back to them to make your change.)
Most spelling corrections or amendments of a name on a ticket purchased directly with British Airways can be made by contacting us by phone. Please note this may incur charges and you may be asked to provide supporting documentation. If your itinerary includes other airlines, the process may be more complicated.
If you booked through a travel agent or on a travel website, please contact them directly. We can't change tickets they have issued.
Please be aware that it is not possible to update/correct a name on a ticket simply by entering the corrected name/spelling in the Advance Passenger Information, as this information doesn't actually make any changes to their e-ticket.
Outside of our 24 hour cancellation policy (outlined above), it is not possible to completely change the name of the person booked to travel as tickets are non transferable. A new booking would need to be made in the name of the new person wanting to travel.
When travelling, it is your responsibility to ensure you have all the correct and valid documentation.
We will not be liable if you do not have all necessary passports, visas, health certificates and other travel documents required.
It is always recommended to check what terminal your flight departs from prior to leaving for the airport. It is your responsibility to ensure you arrive at the terminal and have your boarding pass before the check in desk closes.
At certain airports, you may also need to have cleared security within a designated time to be accepted for travel. Find more information about specific airports.
We really value your cooperation getting to the gate with plenty of time for your departure. If you arrive after the gate closing time you may be denied boarding. We cannot hold the flight for late arrivals.
To get the best choice of seats and to make sure your party sits together, it’s best to reserve your seats in advance, for which you might have to pay.
Whether seat selection is free or costs extra depends on a number of factors, including the type of ticket you purchase, your class of travel and your personal circumstances.
There are occasions when due to an aircraft change, operational or safety reasons, we may have to change the seat you have paid to reserve. We will make every effort to find an alternative that meets your preference however if we cannot, you can request a refund.
You can continue to request a special meal to meet your dietary requirements on all our long haul routes and when travelling in Club Europe on our short haul routes. Whilst we provide an extensive range of meals, we cannot offer every type on all flights. To request a special meal or read more information on the meal types available, please refer to special meals.
If you need COVID-19 travel insurance, you can find out more from our partner Europ Assistance.
We are continuously improving our products and services that we offer you and your feedback is invaluable.
If your experience with us does not meet your expectations our Customer Relations team are on hand to resolve any issues as quickly as possible.
We strive to meet the level of service set out in Our Customer Commitment, however it is not legally or contractually binding. For full details of your rights and obligations when you enter into a contract with us, please refer to our General Conditions of Carriage.