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TL;DR

  1. I booked flights mid-2016 (with British Airways via Tripsta)
  2. I became pregnant
  3. I was advised by doctors not to travel (see Zika virus)
  4. I cancelled booking (note: flight wasn't cancelled)
  5. I received written promise of refund (from CEO's complaints team)
  6. I get passed to-and-fro between British Airways and Tripsta, none of which claim responsibility for refund
  7. no refund materialises
  8. I give up mid-2017

That was 3 years ago:

  • how can I get British Airways to follow up on their written promise of a refund?
  • Is there an ombudsman? (UK)
  • Is there an official body that I can complain/escalate to? (UK)

Details

Back in the summer of 2016, we booked a flight from UK to Mexico via Tripsta. Both the outbound and inbound flights were with British Airways.

We became pregnant, and became ware that Mexico was considered one of the at-risk regions for the Zika virus, which presents a threat to the development of foetuses in-utero. Therefore, we were advised by our doctor not to travel.

The flights were cancelled on medical grounds, an explanation given to British Airways, and a written promise of a full refund (inc. taxes) was given, direct from the British Airways CEO's complaints team.

But since late-2016, I was passed to-and-fro between British Airways and Tripsta who both were passing the responsibility onto the other: British Airways would say that Tripsta originally took the payment and so would have to pay the refund; Tripsta were saying that the money would have eventually gone into the British Airways coffers, and so they would have to pay the refund.

After about a dozen calls, 4 letters and all the time that entails (and now with a newborn), I just couldn't muster the energy to pursue this. So I temporarily left it there.

Now my boy is 3 years old, so I have a bit more time on my hands. So I'd like to try again and get my £500+ back!

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    This question is probably better fit on Law Stackexchange. If you haven't followed up your claim for about three years, I would assume the claim is time-barred, but someone experienced with UK law will be able to tell you for sure. FWIW, I find it quite odd that BA promised a refund in this case, since a pregnancy usually does not allow for a ticket refund and since you mention "we booked", most likely only one of you were pregnant and the other could have flown? – jarnbjo Jul 14 at 17:09
  • British Airways, along with many airlines, is being castigated for failing to pay refunds to customers who have much better claims than yours. This is down to the difficulties caused to the site travel industry by the Covid-19 pandemic. You probably need to consult a lawyer, but even if you can win your chances of seeing any money are remote. – CatchAsCatchCan Jul 14 at 19:54
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    I’m voting to close this question because it's more a Law Stack Exchange question than Travel – Midavalo Jul 15 at 0:26
  • Talk to a lawyer or consumer advocacy group. – BlueDogRanch Jul 15 at 16:28
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  1. Take your complaint directly to British Airways (BA) again. Provide them with the written evidence of the refund promised.
  2. If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you can complain to BA's chosen alternative dispute resolution body, the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).
  3. If that does not resolve the issue, you can take BA to court.

You have six years from the matter to pursue things in court under the Limitation Act 1980, however I am dubious about the success of this claim – it would depend on the terms of the original contract with BA, the exact wording of the promised refund letter, and the exact nature of the medical advice you received.

If you wish to take legal action against BA, consult a qualified solicitor.

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