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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)

  • Anon says:

    Im also grateful that the actual number hasn’t been posted on here, as along with staying up til midnight to call it, this is one of the parts of this hobby where we seriously do some graft to bag the benefits.

    • James67 says:

      Talking of numbers, I’m a bit curious about the gold and silver lines. I always imagined that it would just be some call hold management system that prioritised elite status progression to the same CS staff. However, I’m no longer sure because after calling the silver line recently I complained about the long wait to which the CS agent responded I might be better calling the blue line. I tried it immediately after my call and got to speak to somebody in about 3 minutes compared to over 20 on the silver line. What happened next was an even bigger surorise: “Sir, I’m not allowed to accept your call, please call the silver line…”

      • Brian says:

        I assume you addressed your query when you finally got through to the silver line, James, so what were you actually going to ask the blue agent???

        • James67 says:

          Seat assignments on Inverness flight, was nothing urgent but served the need. Anyway, still not resolved so if they don’t unblock the front half of the plane by September I will have to call somebody again.

          • Barry cutters says:

            t-72h is standard

          • James67 says:

            @Barry, I have disability so can select after booking so jyst windered why half the plabe was blocked out.

  • Mark says:

    I was recently trying to get business class flights to CPT 355 days before – week before Christmas 2017. I waited each night until midnight and the flights showed, I clicked on flight went through to payment and each time when trying to reserve system threw up an error message. I was able to get some economy tickets in the end. I assumed heavy competition for the flights and others faster somehow online! (Over a few nights I managed to get my booking time down to seconds but still lost out!). Is it because the call centre can book the flights quicker / reserve them? Any insights would be great as to how I can do this better.

    • Ben E says:

      I had a similar experience trying to a book a table at the Test Kitchen at 0600 on New Year’s Day!! Sickeningly frustrating, particularly given how hungover I was.

  • HV says:

    I grabbed some J class tickets LHR-NRT on the 15th November for t-355 using the 241 voucher. Phoned BA 2 weeks later to add the return leg. I can see the return leg on my booking, BA have debited the additionally 75,000 air miles but they have still not – 5 weeks later – taken the additional £365 odd pounds worth of taxes. Is this normal or sometime I should worry about that may come to haunt when I try to get home?

    • Liz says:

      This is normal – it took 3 months for my payment to go through last year. it gets processed by the back office staff – if the flights are way in advance it can take a while before it gets processed.

      • Mikeact says:

        Happened to us last year flying back from Sydney……payment hadn’t gone through while in the UK. A note at check-in requested payment before boarding! No big deal.

      • rams1981 says:

        Does it normally take time to deduct the miles? My avios balance is unchanged after adding the second leg of a 2 for 1

        • Liz says:

          My points were deducted straight away – I would maybe give them a call and check they definitely made the booking. I’m sure the booking was in Manage My Booking – I just didn’t receive the email or have the payment taken for 3 months.

    • James67 says:

      Yes, as Liz says, it’s normal. It has happened to me several times as I often change tickets. I’ve never had a problem so don’t worry.

      • Peter K says:

        What if the card it was originally booked on is cancelled so they can’t take the payment? This is a concern for me. Do they contact you and you can use another card?

        • James67 says:

          Just call CS and give them a new card number to put in the system.

        • Pol says:

          I had this very problem. Changed flights in August (to a later departure), for flights in March, as of last week still waiting for ticket reissue. Calling didn’t help so tweeted them. Received an instant reply asking for DM with details and someone phoned me immediately after providing them. Told them I was waiting to cancel CC as didn’t want to pay Amex fee for second year. Twitter lady said she’d phone ticketing and see what she could do. 10 minutes later she called back and flight had been ticketed. Very impressed.

  • James67 says:

    Very useful little post Rob thanks. Perhaps it could go in the favourites? Considering getting the BAPP card for first time in March so benefited from both points of the article.

  • Kinkell says:

    Don’t worry. It usually takes a few weeks for BA to get round to sorting the financial bit depending on when your trip is. Just keep a close eye on it.

  • Keith says:

    what is the best way to find reward availability the site on BA seems down and I can’t get the app to work?

  • Phillip says:

    My experience fresh from last night:

    I called the US call centre at 23:45. The system seemed to fail to recognise the numbers I pressed for the various options. In the end I got through to a call centre in India after 10 minutes who connected me to the reservations team. 30 minutes later I was through to the UK call centre. I gave them my booking reference and as the operator loaded it up, she said “Oh is this a U.K. Account? I can’t service it”. I was told to call the UK call centre in the morning. I said it was disappointing as I would probably lose the seats. She said they have too many US calls to handle and have been told not to service any other calls! I then tried the Tokyo office which was also open, but the line would ring once and then cut out. I gave up and went to bed! What I hadn’t realised is that the UK centre actually opens at 06:00! Which is when I rang, got straight through and thankfully the seats were still there.

    What’s disappointing is that, had I been temporarily working in the US, or even on holiday there, I would still be expected to call the UK at UK times. More than anything, this seems to be a way to reduce their call volumes given how bad their waiting times are!

    • Jane says:

      This is pretty worrisome, I need to add a flight to my booking and planning on staying up till midnight to do so. Should I be phoning the US and hope for the best? Or India?

    • Anon says:

      Same experience just now, total PITA.

      Wont be paying £190ish for a BA PP Amex anytime soon until this new “Enhancement” is reversed.

      Still don’t know why you can use the Companion Voucher for a return online, other than that would be BA applying simple common sense….

  • Jamie says:

    If you call the New York number you get redirected to Warrington, Cheshire anyway. The agent told me that you can also ring this number to make changes until 1am… 0800 597 7580

    • Anon says:

      that number isn’t open at 1am GMT

      Voice message says “this number is closed and will reopen at 06:00-20:00 daily.”

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