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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.


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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

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

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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.

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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.

  • Craig says:

    Hello from 3A on my way to Shanghai. The cancellation policy came too late for me but I have cancelled the one night I was supposed to spend at the Waldorf Astoria on the Bund. £120 to bring my connection to Hanoi forward 24 hours, that was supposed to be flat bed on an A350 but has been downgraded to an A321 with Vietnam Airlines. First World problems and all that.

    • Gen says:

      Crazy Craig! You’re even missing out on the Maglev into town!
      Seriously, one day you’ll wake up and think, “What a daft eejit I was!”

  • TNorrington says:

    Currently in BKK. But due to fly back home on 7th February with BA from HKG to LHR (had booked this as a separate leg using 241 voucher)

    Do you think there are chances that BA are willing to rebook the flight leaving from BKK instead of HKG to avoid the airport as alternative route home? However, I know there are few cases of the virus in BKK..

    Thanks

    • Mark says:

      The options from what I saw yesterday were rebook on a later flight with the same routing or refund, the latter not normally being possible on a redemption once you’ve taken the outbound.

      That probably doesn’t help you much. Rob did a piece last year about cancelling a return redemption leg during a trip – the conclusion was it’s not normally possible to cancel, only change the date and time. However it didn’t say anything about reroutes, which would be worth checking.

      I know from looking yesterday thought that there are currently no flights with a pair of J redemption seats available any time soon from BKK (though there were some from KUL and SIN). If there is availability from somewhere that works and a reroute is not possible you could cancel and rebook of course, but you’d almost certainly lose the benefit of the 241 on the return leg.

      • Tnorrington says:

        Thanks for your reply Mark! Will give BA a call as I’m curious to know if any changes can be made. There are availability of J seats on 5th & 6th from BKK, so I would consider leaving a few days earlier to save the inconvenience of re-checking in at HKG to fly back home.

    • marcw says:

      Don’t think you are able to change route.

    • John says:

      You can but ask BA. No particular worry about transiting HKG at the moment.

  • Qwertyknowsbest says:

    Finnair issued statement along BA’s policy on this –

    Due to the corona virus cases in China, we have made changes to our cancellation and change policies for our flights to and from China during 25 January to 23 February 2020. We continue normal operations to and from China, but if you have a Finnair ticket issued before 25 January 2020 to or from Greater China for travel between 25 January and 23 February, 2020 you can, if you so wish:

    change your travel until 31 May 2020 orcancel the booking and apply for a refund

  • Shoestring says:

    OK here are some stats to cheer you up

    [In 2012, of the 28,952 deaths from pneumonia, 12,239 were males and 16,713 were females. The total number of deaths was down from 32,282 in 2008.] – so that’s about 85 deaths/ day.

    So please give this pussycat virus some perspective? It’s a serious virus – affecting the lungs – & will kill some vulnerable people – the old, the young & the sick. But we already get a daily pneumonia death rate here in the UK that is equal to all the deaths from the pussycat virus so far (or maybe a week’s worth of UK pneumonia deaths if the Chinese under-reported it).

    • marcw says:

      Plus, if you add influenza virus in the mix, it gets higer. I think, overall, in the uk in the 18-19 fly season, about 30k people passed away.

    • Callum says:

      There’s a difference between having perspective and shoving your head in the sand. Public health experts do not mobilise in this way against a “pussycat virus”.

      Pneumonia is also one of the worst comparisons you could have made. It’s not a contagious virus, it’s a lung condition generally caused by infections. So not only is it not comparable whatsoever (you might as well compare it to cancer mortality rates), a large proportion of people dying after infection by this coronavirus die of…. pneumonia!

    • Paul Pogba says:

      SARS infected 8000 in 8 months, this is close to 3000 after 6 weeks with predictions of between 132,751 to 273,649 by 4 Feb: https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.01.23.20018549v1.full.pdf

      This is different already and we haven’t even established a true mortality rate.

    • John says:

      Please would you shut up when you obviously know nothing about public health and most topics other than Spain or Avios.

      • Shoestring says:

        Total deaths reported so far from the pussycat virus are 100.

        In the UK, 80 people a day die from pneumonia – and we don’t get too stressed by that.

        Typical massive public over-reaction and media seeing a chance to sell a few more copies or get some page views.

        I know personally that you can’t reason with an irrational wife in similar circumstances – but some people will try and use reason & the facts to work out a logical response instead of going into blind panic.

    • Tom says:

      You are of course correct!

      I would have no issues visiting either country.

  • Andrew says:

    Oxford City Council have cancelled the Chinese New Year celebrations in the Town Hall this Sunday as a precaution.

    • Shoestring says:

      council employee = jobsworth

    • TGLoyalty says:

      A precaution from what exactly?

      As stupid as the people running round tell people not to eat Chinese food.

      • Russ says:

        May not be so stupid, have had to pull all hotels stays and flights from LHR until further notice. That includes restaurants close by.

      • Callum says:

        You GENUINELY think that it’s just as likely to catch coronavirus from a plate of British/Chinese food (I make the distinction as I assume you’re not going to be eating wild bats in an Oxford takeaway!) as it is from being in a crowd of people with direct links to China?

        A perfect illustration as to why people should listen to experts and not random posts online!

        • Dr Doo says:

          Experts yes, mainstream news outlets no, unless its actually an expert interview!

        • TGLoyalty says:

          Direct links to China based upon what? The country their parents/grandparents came from and they probably haven’t visited for years let alone weeks? How many of them would have had contact with one of the 2000 people (We don’t know their ethnicity either) who flew from the wuhan area in the past few weeks visit them?

          Me and you have probably had the same chance in coming in contact with one of those 2,000 and I have no Chinese background.

          Listen to actual experts not sensationalist media

          • callum says:

            1. I think it’s quite unlikely that the Chinese population of Oxford is exclusively second and third generation immigrants without links to China. I didn’t attend Oxford university, but I know the majority of Chinese students I interacted with at my own one were living in China and moved to the UK just to study.

            2. I don’t think it’s very likely that the virus is currently spreading around the Chinese (or any) community in Oxford. I said it’s more likely than catching it from a plate of food – which was just a ridiculous comparison.

            3. From what I can see, the council haven’t cancelled anything – the Chinese Community Advice Centre have. Maybe you can lecture them about how their community has little to do with China and get them to reverse their decision?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            1) see above re 2k people. But granted students may have been home in the past few weeks. Are all oxford education establishments shut?
            2) I said they are both as stupid as each other. Also it’s the people who serve the food not the food itself these types of online posters are worried about
            3) whoever it was they have reacted to sensationalist media reporting.

  • Anna says:

    I know so many people who are laid low with winter bugs at the moment I’m not sure we’d even realise it if corona virus was here. They’ve had to repeat the mock GCSE’s at my son’s school as so many kids and teachers have been ill.

  • Brian says:

    OT:

    Have IHG Creation started to charge cash advance fee if I top up Monese through Curve now?

  • PaulC says:

    We were lucky or unlucky, made it back from Hong Kong last Monday and visited all the places that are being closed. Is it 14 days it can go undetected? I certainly feel ok…

    • Dr Doo says:

      Come back in two weeks

      • The Original David says:

        Hong Kong is lovely today! All very quiet – there were a total of 8 other passengers on my Star Ferry this morning…

    • John says:

      It’s not about feeling OK.

      If you have it, you are spreading it around and you wouldn’t know.

      If you are young and healthy it is unlikely to make you seriously ill, but you could be dooming several elderly or immunocompromised people.

      • callum says:

        While true, they’re incredibly unlikely to have it – so unlikely that quarantining is a slightly absurd overreaction.

        If they had just got back from Wuhan that would be another matter of course.

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