How to get hold of British Airways, American, Finnair and Virgin Atlantic to book, change or get a refund

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One of the most common complaints I see in the comments here and in my Facebook groups is customers trying to get hold of BA, Virgin Atlantic, and other airlines. Here are some tips to help you get in contact. One universal tip is that if you happen to be traveling from an airport where the airline are operating, you can always try the ticket desk in the terminal. 

 

British Airways

 

Phone

  • Try to call when they open or last thing before they close
  • If you are having trouble and being hung up on – don’t press any options, just wait
  • Try not using the freephone number but use 0203 250 0145 for the general number (but be aware of charges for it mounting up)
  • Try calling another English speaking country’s BA number such as the US which is often quieter. Again be wary of the cost – a Skype cash account is great for these type of calls. 
  • All the relevant contacts are on this page

 

Social media

At the moment having a Twitter account can be very useful to get through to companies even if you never use it for anything else. BA’s Twitter is  @British_Airways.

You will need to follow them and have them follow you in return by tweeting them and tagging them. Do not give out any booking details until you have got to the direct messaging stage. 

 

Other

If you have a booking in First that you wish to change or refund you can use the YouFirst service which is there to assist First passengers only. 

You can call them on

– In the UK – 0800 408 7667

– From overseas – +44 161 448 3013

Or use the contact form on this page.

 

Virgin Atlantic

Virgin A330

Phone

I have generally failed to get through by phone but the same tips apply as for BA:

  • Try to call when they open or last thing before they close
  • If you are having trouble and being hung up on – don’t press any options, just wait
  • Try calling another English speaking country’s number such as the US which is often quieter. Again be wary of the cost – a Skype cash account is great for these type of calls. Technically it should be for flights departing that country but it is worth a try.
  • You can find all the numbers on this page.

 

Other methods

The 2 options that have worked well for me are text and What’s app. The numbers are text on +44 (0)7481 339184, or 97634 from the US. You can also WhatsApp  on +44 (0)344 8747747.

They are unlikely to reply immediately but recently it has only been a few hours and means it does not disrupt your day like hanging on the phone. Be prepared to have all your booking details to hand as they will ask for them before speaking to you.

 

American Airlines

American Airline B777-200

Surprisingly I have found AA to be very quick to respond. They will allow you to refund some flights online but if it does not work you will need to call. I recommend calling in the morning UK time on the UK number and I have never waited long to get through. If you can’t refund on line they will normally do something to your ticket and then ask you to submit the refund request online again. I did this and had the refund within about 3-4 days!

You can also email them which is a handy option. You can find all the contact details on this page. 

 

FinnairFinnair a350

For Finnair, I find online chat the easiest option. However, you may be thwarted by the chatbot at the first attempt! If so, try again but just type a nonsense answer which then confuses it and you will connected to customer service within a few minutes usually. 

You can find all the contact options here. The chat appears automatically on the bottom left of the Finnair website.

6 Comments on "How to get hold of British Airways, American, Finnair and Virgin Atlantic to book, change or get a refund"

  1. BA cancelled Cape Town flights I had at Christmas. I called them twice the other day to get a refund and both times the automated system said they were so busy, that I needed to call back at another time. So I downloaded the app ‘We Q 4 U’ – typed in BA’s number and although I was waiting for about 15mins, I got through to them and they processed the refund straight away.

  2. Charles Crawford | 13 August 2020 at 1:35 pm | Reply

    BA Holidays are impossible to access by phone and no Gold number.

    It’s also for normal flight issues seems almost impossible to find the BA Hols number. It’s not on the link you shared

    But as ever, helpful article

    • The BA holidays details are: Telephone:
      0344 493 0787 option 1
      (calls charged at local rate)
      Daily: 07:30-20:00

  3. Journeying John | 13 August 2020 at 8:20 pm | Reply

    Useful info but only if the corporation at the other end is behaving honestly and within consumer law…
    Certainly the deceptive practices and intentional removal of online functionality are sailing very close to the law if not breaking it, but let’s say sharp practice. Oddly most of the low costs and Star alliance /sky team brands whilst far from perfect and difficult to contact are working more clearly within current consumer law.

    • I’m not sure about Star Alliance. Both Swiss and Lufthansa were telling customers their refund department was closed! For me, I agree removing the refund function online is poor but many airlines did it including Virgin. As long as there was an option to phone them for a refund then it’s legal if not very upfront.

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