Even more things you need to know about the BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher!

Yesterday I ran a long article entitled ‘Everything you need to know about the BA Amex 2-4-1 voucher’ which attracted a lot of feedback.

Looking at the comments during the day, it was quite clear that it was NOT everything you needed to know!

I updated the article during the day but if you read Head for Points by email or only saw the article in the morning then you would have missed the additions.

Here are some of the additional comments asked by readers, together with my replies:

Are there any easy ways of reducing the taxes payable?

Not easily, because you must start a 2-4-1 journey in the UK and thus incur Air Passenger Duty.  There are two options though:

Start your trip in Jersey, because Jersey is outside the UK for APD purposes but inside the UK for 2-4-1 purposes.  If you fly Jersey – Gatwick – Heathrow – XXXXX your taxes charge will be a lot lower.  You cannot stopover in London for more than 24 hours or full APD is charged regardless.

Start your trip in Inverness.  There is no APD out of Inverness.

There is also no APD out of Newquay but as BA does not fly there this does not help you.  On a standard (non-241) Avios redemption, flying Newquay – Gatwick (Flybe) – XXXXX (BA) would avoid APD.

What small print do I need to know?

I added the following:

There are no circumstances under which you can ask BA to extend a 241 voucher.  Don’t waste your time.

You cannot use ‘part pay with Avios’ in conjunction with a 2-4-1 voucher.  Your booking must be ‘100% Avios’.

‘Gold Upgrade For Two’ vouchers (issued when you earn 2,500 tier points) can be used in conjunction with a 2-4-1 voucher.

You will not earn Avios or tier points on your redemption flight in line with standard Avios redemptions.

Your flights will not be cancelled if you cancel your BA Amex card after making your 2-4-1 booking.

You can fly a different class on the outbound to the return.  However, both passengers must travel together in the same class.  You cannot fly in First and book your companion in Club World if there is only 1 First reward seat available.

BA Amex - NEW

Can I travel with an infant or book without my baby being born yet?

Ye.  For infant (under 2) bookings you pay 10% of the Avios and 10% of the taxes of an adult passenger.  This can be booked online.

If your child is not yet born, book for the two adults and then call to add the baby when it has arrived and has a name!  These rules apply to standard Avios redemptions as well.

If I cancel my BA Amex card after earning the voucher, is it lost?

No.  It is not clear if you would lose the voucher if you booked a redemption and then cancelled it – would the voucher be reissued if you no longer had a BA Amex?  A recent HFP reader who did this found his voucher was returned.

If I downgrade from the Premium Plus to the free card after earning my voucher, do I retain the 2-year expiry period?

Yes.

Can I change my class of travel if seats open up in a higher class after I’ve booked?

Yes.  Standard Avios change fees apply of £35 per person, plus of course the additional Avios.  You need to call BA to do this because of the 2-4-1 voucher being involved.

Conclusion

As I wrote yesterday, there are still two weeks left to apply for the British Airways American Express cards before the sign-up bonuses drop.  If the idea of earning a companion voucher appeals, this is as good a time as any to apply.

The bonus on the free card is increased from 3,000 Avios to 9,000 Avios points.  £1,000 of spending within three months is required.  The application form is here.

The bonus on the Premium Plus is increased from 18,000 Avios to 25,000 Avios points.  £3,000 of spending within three months is required.  The application form is here.

If you have any further questions about the voucher, please ask them in the comments.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Quote “If I cancel my BA Amex card after earning the voucher, is it lost?

    No. It is not clear if you would lose the voucher if you booked a redemption and then cancelled it – would the voucher be reissued if you no longer had a BA Amex? A recent HFP reader who did this found his voucher was returned.”

    I was told by BA that under no circumstances should the card be cancelled as it would invalidate the voucher or be lost! I have just booked Club for August using a 241 earnt on the card and was told that it could be downgraded to the free blue one but must be kept ubtil the flight has beeb used!!??

    • Yup – as you’ll have seen from all the comments over the past few days that’s what Amex CS keep telling folk. It’s wrong but it’s up to you to decide how risk averse you are. I couldn’t ever see the booking itself being cancelled, the risk is only around what would happen to an unused voucher or if you cancelled the booking. Personally given experience to date I’d be pretty relaxed.

  2. Raffles, in your follow up article you stated:

    “There are no circumstances under which you can ask BA to extend a 241 voucher. Don’t waste your time.”

    This is at odds with this post here on FlyerTalk although it may just have been a GGL thing?

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/27815373-post5.html

    • the real harry1 says:

      already been established here that GGL are special & can get an extension; so too if you have a very serious medical condition; I daresay that if you had a bereavement of an immediate relative you would generally also get a sympathetic response – all other people WON’T get an extension

  3. PhilM123 says:

    Hi!

    I’ve searched for the answer to this to no avail. I want to fly return from LHR-BOM. The only availability on the outbound leg is in economy, and in first for the inbound.

    The interface on the BA website only lets me see either Econ – Business, OR Premium Econ – First. I therefore cannot seem to book this combination of flights.

    Can anyone advise how I can proceed?

    Thanks!

    • Nate1309 says:

      Probably have to ring them. Explain you can’t do it online and they will likely waive the fee.

    • This is stupid functionality of the website and defies belief that this has got passed usability testing. The worst thing is that it’s been like this for years.

      Sure, it’s an outlier scenario and I’m sure customers travelling F one way and Y the other are a very, very tiny proportion of passengers, but they do exist.

  4. I’ve been trying to use a couple of 2-4-1’s for a while now to get to California but have been put off by the high taxes. So I thought Jersey/Inverness could be exactly what I’m looking for but I seem to have the opposite experience. For LAX or SAN, the taxes are actually a few pounds higher when departing from JER (without a stopover) than from LHR. And there’s no availability for any months I’ve looked at from INV.

    What am I doing wrong?!

    Thanks

  5. Thanks for this very informative article Rob. there’s one particular scenario which I was wonder if you know the answer to:

    If I downgrade from the Premium Plus to the free card after earning my 241 voucher, then make a booking and subsequently cancel the booking, is the voucher returned?

    • Definitely no problem if you hold the free card.

      • Many Thanks Rob. I was just looking at how many comments these two BA articles had generated. There’s a distinct reader interest in avios and BA news. I Definitely think there’s scope for another blog to add to your portfolio, one that focuses specifically with BA and avios news/deals only? Anyway, keep up the great work.

        • Nope, because they all interact. Interest in cheap Qatar deals is directly correlated to Avios tax levels. Hotel reviews are linked to destinations BA flies. Reviews of other airlines help you make clearer decisions about BA. Hotel promos may drive where you go with your Avios. It all loops in.