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Community / BA confirms £57,000 refund for jarl squads’ cancelled trip to New York

Lerwick Jarl Liam Summers and his squad during the morning procession at the 2020 Up Helly Aa. Photo: Chris Brown

THREE Shetland jarl squads are set to be refunded over £57,000 in long overdue travel fares from British Airways after local press highlighted their case.

The group of 116 were set to travel to New York on 1 April for the annual Tartan Week but eleven weeks after the trip was cancelled due to coronavirus the families were still waiting for £57,382.82 from the airline. A deposit of £4,412 was paid back on 17 April.

Jarl squads still waiting on refunds of over £50,000 from airline for cancelled New York Trip

One of the trip’s organisers Martin Summers said that while the group understood the tough circumstances airline staff are working under, the situation was “not helpful for some families in our group who have been laid off from their work and struggling at this time”.

“We never expected the refunds to be sorted straight away – everyone in the party understood the need to deal with the immediate fallout of the pandemic, and that industries across the world had been turned upside down with loss of income,” he said.

“However, 11 weeks on we feel it’s time for British Airways to settle the refund with our booking. We have spoken time and time again to their group sales team, and formally written to them.”

However, when the case was picked by the local press in Shetland, British Airways responded quickly.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We have apologised to our customers, and are in contact with them to resolve this issue.”

Summers confirmed on Thursday afternoon that he had been contacted by a BA sales representative and received assurances that the “refund should be processed within 24/48 hours”.

He added: “Thanks to Shetland News for your help to progress this.”