Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

(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

British Airways BA A350 in flight

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 ….

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.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Run your own business?

We recommend Capital on Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (85)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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.

          • Alan says:

            Ah yes, good point!

          • Katy storie says:

            Thank you for your replies. I’ll give it a go and worse case will have to go via Dublin spending a day at the airport.

  • 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!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.