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British Airways will refund ALL flights to 31st May for a voucher – but should you say no?

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Finally ….. British Airways has seen the light and is now allowing you to cancel ALL flights up to 31st May, in return for a travel voucher.

However …. I am not convinced you should accept.

Let me explain.

Here is the British Airways ‘Book With Confidence’ website.

British Airways BA 777X 777 9X

These are the new rules:

If you are travelling between 14th March and 31st May, you can refund your flight for a British Airways e-voucher irrespective of when you booked.  No refunds are on offer for flights beyond 31st May.

If you are travelling between 1st June and 31st December 2020, you can refund your flight for a British Airways e-voucher if you booked between 3rd March and 31st May

The voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of your original flight

The voucher can be used on any route, not necessarily the one you originally booked

This applies to both British Airways marketed flights and BA Holidays bookings, although Comair and SUN-AIR are exempt

You cannot claim if you have already started your journey

Flight cancellations can be made until the close of check-in, whilst BA Holidays bookings must be cancelled within 48 hours of departure

Anyone who has already cancelled their booking and lost money cannot retrospectively request a voucher

You can also change your flight dates without any change fees, although you have to pay the fare difference.

The small print on how the voucher works is on the ‘Book With Confidence’ website.

British Airways Book With Confidence

But … but … but … perhaps you should wait?

I know this sounds contrarian.  Many of you have been on tenterhooks waiting for a decision like this to allow you to cancel your trip.

And yet ….

The EU has agreed the terms of a deal to allow airlines to cancel flights without losing their slots.

Next week, British Airways is likely cut anything from 25% to 100% of its scheduled flights – probably around 50% given what Lufthansa is doing.   If your flight is cancelled, you are entitled to a full refund IN CASH.  No messing around with e-vouchers.

By taking the refund now, you are also giving up your right to potential EC261 compensation if you were due to travel within 14 days of the cancellation being made.

Unless you are travelling in the next 4-5 days, you might want to think about waiting in case you end up missing out on a full cash refund.

Of course, there is also a risk that British Airways withdraws this offer and you can no longer refund your ticket at all.

It’s up to you.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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 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

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 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 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.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

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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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

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.

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.

Comments (872)

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

  • Des King says:

    We have / had a BA flight to Phoenix ex-LHR on Saturday 4th April; return 14th. BA seem to be waiting until 48 hrs porior to departure to make announcements. The outward flight has now definitely been cancelled. Our travel was booked through a local travel agent; in turn they booked the flights through JetSet, who have offered a credit voucher valid until 31 December . Booking must be completed before the end of June,, otherwise voucher is forfeited.

    We have quoted your advice that BA has to offer a refund, but to no avail. Our travel agent says that: “since this blanket travel ban by the FCO all the’ rule books’ seem to have been ripped up so to speak and I have had very few cases of a cash refund being offered” and is advidsing we either accept the offer or else try to secure a refund through our travel insurance or credit card company. Can you advise soonest?!

  • Jason says:

    Got flights booked for June – No policy (voucher) or Cancellation currently announced. Think it’s a game of wait and see…

    • Stewart says:

      Sure you would have got email today about being able to,reschedule or get voucher for anything until 31st July

      I am booked for 25th June But would rather have my £5k back rather than voucher so think will just hold off and see if they cancel then ask for refund

  • Bob says:

    We have a BA holiday booked to Croatia in June . Already paid a deposit. BA schemes not offering anything by way of voucher or refund. Balance of holiday due on 14 May.
    What’s the betting BA will cancel my holiday if I with hold final payment, or take my full payment and then offer me a b****y voucher.

    These companies need to:think whether they expect customers to remain loyal after this pandemic.

    • No lockdown for moi says:

      BA have only cancelled stuff up until mid May so far.

      You need to hold steady & not blink – yes, it may mean paying the next instalment.

      Wait for the cancellation if you want your money back 100%.

      Plus – it may not get cancelled after all & you can go on your hols!

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

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