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Confirmation that BA is now only charging 50p Avios cancellation fees on short haul!

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As regular readers will know, British Airways is currently running a trial on differential Avios pricing for short-haul flights.

As well as the usual option showing Reward Flight Saver taxes and charges of £35 in Euro Traveller or £50 in Club Europe, there are additional options which require less cash (as little as £1 return) and more Avios.

This was our full article on how they work.

What are the cancellation fees on an Avios booking?

There was some confusion about how refunds are treated.  What are the cancellation fees on an Avios booking?  I now have an example of my own for how it works.

It makes it clear that – irrespective of how much or how little cash you use on your short-haul Avios booking – the cancellation fee is the lowest cash option.

This means you pay 50p to cancel a one-way ticket and £1 to cancel a return ticket.

The ONLY exception is short-haul flights which you book on a 2-4-1 voucher.  If you use a 2-4-1, it seems that the BA website defaults to the old pricing system which a) forces you to pay £35 Euro Traveller or £50 Club Europe in taxes and b) takes the full £35 per person when you cancel.

Take a look at the screenshot below, from my own account.  As you can see, I was planning a little hop to Madrid on 1st October to try the new Club Suite.  Unfortunately my wife now has banking business in Frankfurt so I need to be at home.

This is how my cancellation looked on ba.com:

What are the cancellation fees on an Avios booking?

When I booked, I went for the ‘most cash’ option.  This meant paying 13,600 Avios plus £141 in cash.  The ‘traditional’ price would have been 25,500 Avios + £50.  The most extreme ‘low cash’ option is 35,500 Avios + £1.

In theory, the cancellation fee should have been £35.  This is under the rule that ‘the cancellation fee is the lower of £35 or the taxes and charges you paid’.

In fact, as you can see, I paid £1 to cancel the booking and got £140 back.

I’m not sure that British Airways will want to keep this going long term.  It is costing them money and, eventually, will start restricting availability if members realise they can basically have ‘free’ options on redemption flights.  Why not book five different breaks for Spring Bank Holiday next year?  It will only cost you £4 to drop the ones you don’t want.  Not sure when you want to fly home from a European trip?  Why not book every single flight that day?  You’ll only lose 50p (on a one-way redemption) per flight when you cancel the unwanted ones.

These are longer term strategic issues though.  In the meantime, we now have personal proof that – unless you are travelling on a 2-4-1 voucher – cancellation fees are going through at just £1 per return flight on short-haul Avios redemptions.

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Comments

  1. Is the £1 cancellation on all RFS tickets now ?

    I need to cancel a CE booking to Dalaman for next year which I booked two weeks ago paying £50 fees each, using a 241 voucher, from our household account, as a blue member. The website today still shows the £35 cancellation fee each when I go through the process.

    Have I missed something, luck of the draw, based on status etc. ?

  2. “Why not book five different breaks for Spring Bank Holiday next year? It will only cost you £4 to drop the ones you don’t want. Not sure when you want to fly home from a European trip? Why not book every single flight that day? You’ll only lose 50p (on a one-way redemption) per flight when you cancel the unwanted ones”
    I love this, if we all the abuse the system, it will be replaced by something less convenient and more expensive…yay!

    • It isn’t abuse. It is what it is.

    • No… I live overseas and have booked 5 one way flights into london. 4 into LGW and 1 into LHR. We will go somewhere long haul out of London, the where is yet to be decided.

    • The amount of miles in your account is not indefinite – this will serve as a natural cap for the number of bookings you can make. There are always extreme cases but an average BAEC customer will be able to make 5-10 bookings max. I guess the airline can leave with that

    • Sincerely hope people don’t start booking multiple flights. Would be very unfair on others needing those seats, often in an emergency. Like l did frequently when my mum was v ill.
      Definitely call that abuse.

    • I think Rob is pointing out the scope for abuse that will inevitably kill it , rather than advocating people actually do this. Just like 3V and loads of other things – people will inevitably get greedy and kill the opportunity.

  3. Bootlace says:

    O/T I don’t know if this has been covered already, but there is 3000 miles and more points currently on offer with Enterprise car rental from 1/9/19 until 31/10 minimum 3 day hire.

    Also Eurostar have £29 one way tickets to Paris, Brussels from today until the 9/919 for club Eurostar members.

  4. Bootlace says:

    ……..and 6000 miles and more points with National for a three day hire ( although they have far fewer rental locations in UK)

  5. OT- Is there any problem with BA’s flight cancellation system?
    I cancelled a ticket thinking I will get a breakdown of refund of Avios plus money on next page but instead it just said tickets cancelled with following message

    “We have received your information and are currently processing your refund.

    We will refund any money owed to the card used to make the
    booking and we will send you a confirmation email when it’s been
    done”.

    This is not normal AFAIK.

    • This wasn’t a cash booking where you had reduced the cost with Avios was it? You don’t get anything back on those. If it was an Avios booking where you had juggled the cash portion it shouldn’t be an issue. If you are not logged in when you cancel you often get this message.

  6. Do you get the Avios back as well on the cancellation?

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