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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 here.  Any policy updates, including refund extensions beyond 23rd February, are likely to go onto the same page.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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 with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

30,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel Read our full review

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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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.

Comments (132)

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

  • harry hv says:

    Slightly OT – where is the new IHG Pointsbreaks list? Will all the 5000 point hotels be in Wuhan?

    • Lady London says:

      It would actually keep our interest more if points breaks was a semi-permanent promotion that changed its list of featured hotels, say, once per month.

      Perhaps the current delay is for the addition of a few more China/Hong Kong hotels?

  • Dave K says:

    What’s QR’s rebooking policy for mainland China and Hong Kong?

    • Ilou says:

      I have a flight with QR to HK and was told that I will need to pay to change my waiver so far

      How likely is this to change over coming days ?

  • Tazzy says:

    So we are due to travel to HK on 9/3 and return from Bangkok on 25/3. Have booked domestic flights and various hotels paid for. Last Monday i cancelled my platinum business Amex and took out a new travel insurance for this trip. Our flights are using a 2-4-1.

    If FCO advice changes to not recommend travel to HK will insurance cover this trip? I’m getting rather worried.

    It’s a particularly important trip to us as we are in process of adopting from Thailand and we are going out to visit the adoption agency. We can reschedule if required but would rather not.

  • Russ says:

    NOW – China Eastern and Cathay can’t circle indefinitely Gatwick!

  • Ian Booth says:

    Please be accurate with your journalism
    Thus affects flights TO and FROM not just to
    Some people, myself included are currently in China

    “ we are offering any customers due to fly to or from China including Hong Kong until 23 February the option to refund or rebook. ”

    • Shoestring says:

      I’d stay off the bat soup for now 🙂

      • Rob says:

        I can tell you exactly how many daily page views we get from China, out of 50-60k, and the fingers and toes in the office can usually cover it. (I’ve never seen Sinead or Rhys toes but I assume they have a full set 🙂 )

        • Lady London says:

          Some of those might be using a VPN though? so you might not be seeing them as in China…

  • Ashic Mahtab says:

    We’ve got a flight to Shanghai on April 3. I’m guessing the 23 Feb deadline will be extended.

  • ee says:

    We flew back from Shanghai a couple of days ago. If possible I would advise people to cancel their trips and rearrange once this has passed. Even if you don’t catch the virus most major attractions closed their doors at the end of last week to avoid large gatherings of people. The other risk is that if you contract the virus and have symptoms you are likely to be quarantined by the Chinese authorities for a potentially extended period. I wouldn’t risk travel right now.

  • Jenny Cheung says:

    Very disappointed that BA have put out a misleading statement during the deadly situation of Coronavirus in China! Contrary to what their website says, BA are charging a cancellation fee and so are only offering a partial refund for flights to China and Hong Kong!

    • Rhys says:

      The refund is currently only available for flights up to 23rd February. If your flight is after that date you will still incur a cancellation fee, although BA are likely to roll over the full refund option if the situation continues in China.

      • Jenny Cheung says:

        My flight to Hong Kong departs before 23rd February and they still want to charge cancellation fees, so your statement is not correct.

        • Shoestring says:

          so quote their own rules at them:
          [China – Coronavirus
          Answer Id 7982 Updated 28/01/2020 09.45 AM (UK time)
          We fully understand that you may want to change your travel plans as a result of the recent coronavirus outbreak in China, and so whilst we await further advice from the Government and health organisations, we are offering any customers due to fly to or from China including Hong Kong until 23 February the option to refund or rebook.

          More information
          Can I rebook my flight?

          If you are flying between 26 January – 23 February 2020 you can rebook on to another flight operated by British Airways to the same destination.

          This must be in the same cabin class as the original flight or a lower cabin if available. This also includes any connecting flights that are operated by British Airways.

          To make this change please contact us. If you made this booking via a travel agent, please contact them to rebook your flight.

          Can I get a refund?

          If you are flying between 26 January – 23 February 2020, you can request a refund. This also includes any redemption bookings.

          To make this change please contact us. If you made this booking via a travel agent, please contact them to refund your flight.]

        • Rhys says:

          Did you book it via a travel agent?

        • TomB says:

          I would call British Airways (0344 493 0787 option 3, followed by option 3). They just gave me a full refund on our flights to HK on 7th February, but also gave options to rebook or take a flight to another destination.

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

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