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You can now refund British Airways flights to China or Hong Kong due to coronavirus

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If you had been due to travel to China or Hong Kong over the next few weeks but had been concerned about Coronavirus, British Airways is now allowing you to request a refund.

The guidelines are simple and straightforward.

If you are due to fly on British Airways to China or Hong Kong before 23rd February then you can request a full refund.

British Airways refund policy to China and Hong Kong on Coronavirus

If you booked via British Airways you can contact the airline directly.  If you booked via a travel agent, you will have to discuss it with them as British Airways cannot deal with you.

The only grey area would be if you had any onward connections on the same ticket which were not operated by British Airways.

Even if you are still willing to travel, this may be an opportunity to refund your existing ticket and rebook at a cheaper rate.  However, any fresh booking is likely to put your travel insurance at risk as this would be seen as a known issue at the time of booking.

You can find out more about the British Airways refund policy on ba.com here.  Any policy updates, including refund extensions beyond 23rd February, are likely to go onto the same page.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2022)

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. 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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

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

The Platinum Card has doubled its sign-up bonus to 60,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert to 60,000 Avios, if you apply by 1st June 2022.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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American Express Platinum card Amex

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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 10,000 Avios.

Capital on Tap Visa card

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You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

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

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (132)

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

  • Alex says:

    I’m due to fly to HKG on 1st March – What do you think are the chances they’ll allow a refund on that…

    • Rob says:

      Zero now, potentially yes next week. Although, realistically, either a) this goes away quickly or b) we’re all stuffed and it won’t matter if you’re in Hong Kong or Huddersfield.

      • Aston100 says:

        I’m already thinking of training to fight against monkeys riding on horses.

        • Mr(s) Entitled says:

          If you are only thinking about it it is already too late. It’s at least 3mths training just for a basic monkey. Throw in a horse? Good luck fella.

          • Alex M says:

            To marcw: batteries won’t help against the virus either, but what I listed will help you survive (i.e. die little bit later) when the western civilization is brought to its knees by the virus.

        • marcw says:

          Antibiotics ain’t going to help agains viruses.

        • Nick_C says:

          Already stocked up on emergency supplies ready for Brexit. The world is ending on Saturday anyway, so who cares about snake flu?

        • ankomonkey says:

          Is this for Brexit?

      • Rooster says:

        Seems like another Birdflu load of rubbish, perhaps the big pharma needed a stock boost

      • u07ch says:

        That is a tad alarmist : it has a 4% death rate. Much lower than even Sars.

        • Rob says:

          I’m not saying you’ll die, I’m just saying your chance of catching it won’t be much different.

        • Pangolin says:

          4% is high enough; the normal rate for influenza is 0.1%.

          And its asymptomatic nature (people can be infectious without symptoms) and long incubation period (up to 14 days?) means it has the potential to spread much further.

          • marcw says:

            But it’s not the same. There’s an actual annual vaccine against influenza, which is given to some people (elderly, teachers, hospital workers,…), so we can’t really compare like for like.

          • Charlieface says:

            @marcw The figure of 0.1% would be for people who were actually infected, so the vaccine is immaterial. The incubation period and the lack of a vaccine are very concerning, .

          • marcw says:

            @charlie, but with the vaccine you are removing the part of the population most susceptible to the influenza virus. I am in my early 30s, if a get influenza it’s likely i’ll survive. My grand parents, in their 80s – if they get influenza, they’re likely to pass away. But with the vaccine, you fix that, and indeed you never know whether they’ll get “infected”, since they’re immune already.

          • Lady London says:

            What a cheerful lot you all are today ! 🙂

          • Lady London says:

            PS I thought vaccines don’t work very well, anyway, once someone is 60/65 years old?

          • marcw says:

            @Lady London, ther´s no scientific evidence that prove your statement. However, what IS known is as we age, our immune system degenerates (essentially, less white blood cells) – aka immunosenescence. Regardless, vaccines still generate efficient immunity in the elderly. Vaccines is the greatest (and indeed cheapest) measure used to control disesases and improve pubilc health (otherwise, 75% of us would have passed away already).

          • Lady London says:

            Could mutate as well, I suppose.

        • Farid hagmil says:

          The peak of the new disease is expected to be mid March..this won’t go away till summer I am afraid

      • Callum says:

        I know that was just an off-the-cuff remark, but it’s not remotely true. There is in fact an ENORMOUS middle ground between “going away quickly” and major global pandemic -Ebola being a good example.

    • u07ch says:

      China has given some hint of what they think will happen – they have currently banned all (sports) events til the start of April at the moment.

      • Russ says:

        Oh well if China says……

        • John says:

          More like, if the Chinese Communist Party have gone so far as to say or do something, it’s already much worse than they will ever admit.

          • Rob says:

            Didn’t 15m Chinese die of starvation due to bad Govt planning one year in the 60’s, but it was covered up for decades?

  • Alex M says:

    That’s really nice of BA, I have to say.

  • shane says:

    I’m due to fly in to Hangzhou on 23rd Feb with Vietnam airlines, and then back home from Hangzhou to Europe a few days later with Qatar on the return leg of a double open-jaw ticket. What are the chances that QR will allow me to change my return flight from Hangzhou to say Hanoi or Da Nang?

    • Lady London says:

      Pedantic point:. how can it be DOJ if you’re returning from Huangzhou as well? OJ, or ROJ maybe?

  • Dr Doo says:

    Am I sick?
    Do I directly know anyone thats sick?
    Do I know anyone who knows anyone who is sick?
    If the answer is no then I don’t spend anytime thinking about it further.

    • Russ says:

      You’re missing the point. Relevant airlines are offering refunds and postponing flights not because of the actual danger but the perceived danger by the fare paying public. This is a stitch in time saves nine fix.

      • Dr Doo says:

        Yes your right the public general opinion by OTT news outlets has caused this

    • Alex M says:

      The answers may change to Yes for all 3 questions after you visit Wuhan…

    • Aston100 says:

      ‘Not In My Backyard’.
      Do you read the Daily Mail and deny Climate Change too?

      • Dr Doo says:

        I don’t read the newspapers it helps not get distracted with temporary fads.

  • Bentoni says:

    Just out of curiosity, in the event that things escalated in the next few months and I decided to cancel the trip to China, would I be able to claim with Amex’s Plat Insurance?

    Thanks

    • Rob says:

      Not if you booked after the virus broke out – I would suspect that your insurer would ignore you on the grounds that you knew what you were getting into. If you booked before it started then you should be fine.

      • Russ says:

        Just to add, if you forgo a refund and opt to take a future flight that flight may not be covered either.

      • Benilyn says:

        Under what pretense would you cancel? Is there something official that needs to come out from UK Gov / WHO before we can go through that route? I have HSBC Premier Travel Insurance.

        • Rob says:

          If the Foreign Office officially says you should not travel then insurance kicks in. However, most airlines are now letting you have refunds.

      • Bentoni says:

        Thanks Rob.

        Just checked my email. I booked on 12th .. I don’t think there was any warnings regarding the virus at the time … I guess I will have to keep an eye on the travel warnings for now

  • Alan says:

    We are booked ot go to Hong Kong on 13/02 with VA. Hoping they will follow suit as we areunlikely to be going due to the current situation.

    • MarcusK says:

      Are Qatar Airlines permitting refunds on flights to Hong Kong yet (does anyone know)?

    • Alan says:

      When I write VA obviously I mean VS

    • Daft says:

      Why? Whats happening in HK? You’re just getting silly now. Have you started walking funny, a la John Cleese?

      • Don says:

        Hong Kong closes Disneyland, declares state of emergency as coronavirus spreads

      • Alan says:

        No, I am not walking like John Cleese. Our trip to Hong Kong was supposed to be a family holiday, my wife is immunosuppressed and so at higher risk, my daughter was keen to visit Disneyland while we were there and that is closed. We would have liked to have gone to see the night racing at Happy Valley but that is unlikely to be going ahead.

        If the things you want to see and do are not going to be happening what is the point of spending the money and taking a risk with my wife’s health?

        There are plenty of apparently brave, healthy people on this site that are very gung-ho when they aren’t even traveling.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          I think things being closed after booking is sort of the unfortunate reality of travel.

          However, with a wife who would be at risk herself it would not be a good time to travel to China/HK/Macau, regardless of the official travel advice. If you booked prior to the virus news and this isn’t excluded because she has a preexisting condition (or you are covered anyway) then your insurance will probably look after you, let’s be honest any claim would be far larger if you went and someone did get ill.

          I think most comments about not worrying are made on the basis that there’s a lot of over reaction (everywhere) from what people perceive to be otherwise healthy people.

          • Alan says:

            Our hotel is booked with points so I can get those back. Flights are reward flights so its only £30 each but, as it happens, Virgin are refunding on cancellations now anyway so I should even get that back.
            We booked many months ago and have been looking forward to it but we will just have to go at some other time instead.

          • TGLoyalty says:

            That is indeed the massive positive of points bookings 🙂

            Considering you have all those points back I’m sure you will have a great holiday in HK at some point in the future.

        • Anuj says:

          How are your taxes only £30 each?

    • Tom says:

      From the VS website…
      “For customers booked to travel to China, including Hong Kong, who would like to discuss their travel plans further, we would invite them to contact our customer care team via”… (not sure if I’m allowed to post the phone number, but it’s easy to find).

  • Mark says:

    Lufthansa are likewise offering refunds, or rebooking up to the end of September (though it’s not 100% clear whether that includes Hong Kong).

    We’re due to fly Saturday with an onward flight to Vietnam on HK Express (2 stop days each way in HK). Minded to go at the moment, unless the FCO advise is not to travel to HK, but we’re obviously taking some risk that it gets worse whilst we’re out there.

    • Mark says:

      Just looked again and it now says it does not apply to Hong Kong or Macao (Macau?).

      So I guess we’ll see…

      • Nick_C says:

        Both spellings are correct

      • Alex says:

        I believe Hong Kong has declared a state emergency now, closing disney land etc so it’ll be interesting to see if this changes in a day or two

        • Russ says:

          Indeed. We’ve 11 days booked on points at the Ritz HK. Was waiting for nearer the time to switch to a cash booking as prices keep steadily dropping. Keeps on this way and Marriott will be paying us to go to China!

        • Lady London says:

          Hold on. I am sure I just saw someone say state of emergency=closing Disneyland

  • Vit says:

    Due to fly Air China just after Easter to PEK for a 5 days then HKG for a few day. I am not panicking (yet)… 🙄

    Booked via Amex blue just before upgrading to Bapp.. Don’t think I will be covered somehow. Appreciated any comments / feedback.

    Cheers,
    Vit

    • Shoestring says:

      A cool head only goes so far. With SARS and bird flu, I was unlucky enough to get the timing ‘perfect storm’ wrong both times, with 3 weeks, twice, in Thailand lined up with our very young first 2 kids.

      Whilst I assessed the risks and judged them to be so small as not to warrant ruining 2 holidays in paradise, my wife was not as rational. It was a terrible time of tears & arguments. Enough said.

      • Vit says:

        With young kids, I bet that must not be a nice experiences.

        We only try to take advantage of the free-visa transit via China. Hotel in Beijing has free cancellation and cheap Airbnb in hkg. With reward flight booked from HKG to BKK with Eva air, we should be able to bring the flight forward assuming any availability.

        Will see. At least it is safe now in ABZ. Just! 😊

      • mutley says:

        Did common sense prevail or did she listen to you?

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