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How to find a British Airways office open at any time (eg midnight for 241 bookings!)

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(EDIT:  the tool described in this article has now stopped working, sorry!  The link has therefore been removed.)

I get a constant stream of emails asking for advice on booking British Airways redemption flights using the British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher.

If you want to be 100% certain of getting the flights you want, you have to follow a very strict routine:

You need to book your outbound flight 355 days before you want to travel, which is the time that tickets become available for sale and BA releases the guaranteed two Business Class and four Economy Class seats

You need to call at midnight (1am during British Summer Time) because the flights do not drop into the online system until later

Book the outbound flights you want as a one-way booking

When your return flights become available at 355 days before departure, you need to repeat the process – and usually paying a £35 per person change fee (EDIT: comments below suggest that BA is now waiving this) – to get the return added on to your outbound

The snag here is that the UK BA call centres are not open at midnight ….

British Airways A350

Which British Airways offices are open now?

A few years ago, Flyertalk member dunk created a website which lets you bring up a list of which BA call centres are open at any particular time.

You can access the tool here.  It will show you which of the UK, German, Japanese, Hong Kong or Indian BAEC service centres are currently open, as well as other general BA numbers.

I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this tool but I’ve never seen any complaints about it.    There is one bug – I couldn’t get the ‘give me a number which is open when my local time is XX:XX’ button to work, so you are reliant on looking at the site at the time you need to call and using one of the ‘currently open’ numbers.

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Comments (85)

  • Peter says:

    I will shortly have two 241 vouchers and whilst I know it will be tough am looking to use them for 4 business class seats for the family. Possibly on the London to Singapore route.

    One voucher is in my BAEC account and the other in my wife’s. Is there any way to simplify the booking procedure so that I don’t have to make 2 separate bookings? In particular if I need to do the outbound by phone rather than online as they come up more quickly, this would then presumably involve my wife also staying up to 1am which is going to be a trickier prospect.

    Any advice appreciated.

    Thank you

    • Anon says:

      If you hoping to use for 4x CW you may find yourself out of luck, IIRC only 2x CW are released each day and on the route booking at this time of year they are usually gone in 60 secs..

      If you ate Gold, you could call BAEC and ask them to see if you could force availability but that’d negate the advantage of 241.?

      PS just to clarify its 12 midnight GMT/UTC/Zulu when they are released so 1am BST

    • Anon says:

      That said if its a quieter time of year, more availability my get added later, just had a look for 7th Dec next year, 8x CW seats showing, that’s incredible!

      • Katy storie says:

        OT: I am due to fly back into Dublin at the end of a trip to the US (I booked from Ireland as was much much cheaper for Business Class flights) but the connections on the return back to Newcastle are dire. If I do not catch the final connecting flight from Heathrow to Dublin what is the likelihood I will face a penalty and what might thy realistically be?! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

        • Alan says:

          Realistically if you don’t do it repeatedly you should be fine.

        • Yan says:

          You are most likely to have difficulties short-checking your luggage to LHR, especially with US agents who are generally tough on this matter, without a lengthy layover or overnight connection.

          You would most likely to be fine if doing hand baggage only.

  • Chris says:

    As a beginner at this, can I just check I understand. Do I need to phone say Canada from the UK, just after midnight our time, to be sure of grabbing the redemption seats I want?

    • John says:

      For your return journey, yes. Outward is booked online as normal, then phone an open call centre as soon as the return seats become available. This is an amendment to the original booking. The call centre staff are usually very familiar with what you are doing! Good luck!