Why did BA take off with my £2,000 double payment?

I was forced to pay twice due to a website error, and I’ve been told a refund will take six weeks

At the beginning of June I used the BA website to book £2,000 worth of flights, but received an email the next day asking me to contact customer services as “something” had gone wrong with the booking.

When I called I was told that the e-tickets had not been issued as the payment had not gone through. I attempted to pay twice using the same credit card, but the bank declined the transaction. I was informed I had no tickets and so felt obliged to try my debit card. I was debited the amount for the tickets that day. Two days later, the credit card was debited the full amount for the flights as well.

Ever since then, I have been trying to get my £2,000 second payment back. I was reassured that the return of my money would be done in five to seven working days, and it was being prioritised.

After seven days of waiting I called customer services again and was told that the local BA office in Germany would process the refund rather than the overall Indian refunds department.

This did not happen and I have now been informed that it will take four to six weeks, which is ridiculous. Please help.

HR, Spain

An almost identical letter to yours arrived this week, involving the sum of €390 (£345), which suggests there has possibly been a problem in recent weeks with double bookings at BA.

Not many of us would like to give the airline a free £2,000 loan for six weeks but that is what BA is seemingly asking for. A spokeswoman for the company says there was a “booking issue”, which had led to these problems. The airline says both cases are now being refunded and that any delays will be down to the banks.

It is baffling that an airline can take a payment in seconds, while refunds take a matter of weeks.

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions: http://gu.com/letters-terms


Miles Brignall

The GuardianTramp

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