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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

British Airways A350

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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 2021)

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

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

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

Comments (85)

  • zark says:

    Once you have booked the one way on an Amex 241 redemption as described, I do not believe it is possible to book the return on line when it becomes available. Hence I do not believe BA will charge the £35 ‘change’ fee as it cannot be done on line.

    • pointsarb says:

      Yes, I can confirm that I was not charged the £35 (x4 for a family of four) fee when adding the return legs to 2 * 241 redemptions in F. Ba’s U First call centre sorted this for me quickly and efficiently.

      • Anon says:

        Agreed this is my experience too, never paid the £35 to book rtn leg of a 241 over the phone.

  • aliks says:

    I think they will waive the upgrade cost in this instance.

  • Mark Phillips says:

    BA has a special code that they use which waives the amendment fee in this scenario when the inbound flight is added to an outbound flight booking that had been made previously before the inbound flight is available.

  • Barbara says:

    This is very useful, planning on booking a first class trip to Abu Dhabi, for august ’18, what’s is the likelihood there will be seats available?

    • Genghis says:

      Likely if you’re up at t-355 both times

      • Rob says:

        Not for First Class. There are no guaranteed F seats released and, if they keep a 787-9 on the route, there are only 8 seats in F so little chance of much coming up. Usually LOADS of F into Dubai, though, so may be better to go there and pay £40 for a taxi.

      • Brian says:

        Bit late for that, I guess… :))

    • Barbara says:

      What a shame, I was hoping to try out the 787-9, guess I will save the points and go via Dubai.

      • Rob says:

        Club World is freely available and, if you book Row 6 or 7, you are in the mini-cabin at the front which is just 2 rows of seats and very private. Not bad at all. I did a review of it if you search (link should be on the Favourites page).

      • Yuff says:

        Barbara,

        I got 4 seats, in F, to Abu Dubai for October half term this year.
        I didn’t want the return flight as it was overnight and tried to get Dubai flights on BA and virgin but none came available so booked Etihad flights.
        I think you have a good chance in August 18, at T-355, of bagging some F seats.

  • Martin says:

    I have booked 241 tickets several times grabbing first sectors ar t-355 and then adding subsequent sectors as they became available, once even using USA BA EX call centre and I have never been charged for the service. They do not charge to perform any changes that cannot be done on line. You just need to give the booking reference of the first sector, the ticket then goes to the ‘back office’ to marry up with new sector, which takes a couple of weeks usually. Apparently they are dealt with in order of departure date.

  • Steven Hannah says:

    I called the NY call centre at midnight UK to book return flights from Sydney as soon as they went on sale. I couldn’t get through on my Uk phone as it knew I was in the UK and would not permit the call, so had to call on skype instead, which worked fine

    • Waribai says:

      I’m 99% sure that when I tried this, I was told to contact the UK call centre….

    • Anon says:

      I found it ironic and amusingly comforting that phoning the BAEC USA call centre at 23:55 GMT routes you through to a friendly Geordie on Tyneside. Hoooawwaaay. 🙂

      • Rp says:

        Especially when you live down the road from the call centre! My agent kindly called me back (I couldn’t be bothered to Skype!)

    • Yuff says:

      I turn phone ID off on my phone and call the number used, whilst abroad, and get through no problem;)

    • Grimz says:

      I also called the USA and the guy refused to take my booking and said I had to call the UK and book from there. I called back 20 mins later and got the same guy and refused again saying I must call UK at 7.30am.

  • Martin says:

    As for Abu Dhabi I picked up two first tickets for Feb. Only last week so they appear wide open, good availability to Qatar also.

  • Martin says:

    I thought the call centres are all in the UK, just changing numbers and opening hours to accommodate time changes.

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