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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.

British Airways BA Amex American Express

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

There are two official British Airways American Express cards. Both have increased sign-up bonuses until 2nd November 2021:

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review

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

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

The 30,000 points bonus on Amex Gold runs to 9th November 2021. The 60,000 points bonus on The Platinum Card runs to 2nd November 2021.

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:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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. This card has a limited time offer of 60,000 Avios when you sign up:

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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 (873)

  • ChrisBCN says:

    Thanks for keeping us all up to date Rob and team!

  • Anne says:

    Any thoughts on how this affects redemption bookings, in particular 2-4-1 flights where the companion vouchers are due to expire soon? My May flights to SFO were booked using an Amex companion voucher that expires in July. I know I can cancel the flights with little to no penalty, but if I want to travel later in the year my voucher will have expired.

    • AJA says:

      Anne phone BAEC and ask for extension to 2-4-1 voucher if you cancel. I think unofficially they will extend it but only if you’ve used it ie no go if you have an unused 2-4-1 expiring shortly.

      • GB74 says:

        For reference, I completed the online contact form asking for an extension due to being not happy to book travel this summer and they responded in a couple of days with a 6 month extension. Was due to expire end of September.

      • Anne Ticehurst says:

        Thanks. I’ll wait a while to see what happens over the next few weeks, but that sounds like a good option.

  • Pascal says:

    I have a BA holidays flight on Tuesday (already flew outbound, this is the inbound back to UK). You state it must be cancelled “within 48 hours” , so I can’t cancel before Sunday or is it “up to 48 hours before departure”?

    • Anna says:

      It says you can’t claim if you’ve started your journey, presume this means if you are in the middle of a trip?

      • Pascal says:

        Thanks! Yes I am
        I’m German and we got WFH at my office in London, so will likely stay in Germany with family and would cancel/delay the flight back to the uk

  • Courtster says:

    Holiday booking, balance approaching. I took the deal.

  • Jody says:

    How does this work with avios and a 2 for 1 companion voucher? We’re booked using them for a trip to the West coast in April/May. Our 2 for 1 voucher was only valid until July.

    In other news we’re currently stuck in Santiago with the cruise we were due to get on tomorrow cancelled. Awaiting news from travel agents on flights home. We made sure we got trip disruption as part of our insurance, but any idea what happens in terms of refunds when you’ve already flown out somewhere a couple of days prior to the cruise and then the cruise is cancelled? Obviously the cruise part will be fully refunded, but we wouldn’t have flown out here if it wasn’t for the cruise.

  • Anna says:

    If BA cancels our Easter flights in the next 4 weeks, are they still going to be obliged to re-route us? Going to sit it out as long as possible as it’s an Avios booking so presumably we can cancel up till 24 hours before in anyway.

    The HFP team has been a godsend in the past few days, you must all be working round the clock!

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      Agree with the tremendous amount of work put in to keep us informed.😀✈️ Many thanks. HfP.
      I’ve got until Wednesday to make a decision, but it seems very simple to claim the voucher. On the other hand, my OH will be expecting a mega birthday present if I get the cash back in the event of actual cancellation ! Don’t think I would apply for the EU261 compo. in this case.

    • Lyn says:

      Also thanks to HfP from me for all the hard work We’ve got flights back to the UK from the US on the 30th of March, fingers crossed, so I’m also trying to keep up with your articles as you publish them.

  • Aa says:

    I have two flights coming up, do you think it’s possible to combine two vouchers towards one more expensive flight?

  • Clive says:

    Any idea what the situation will be regarding Reward flights booked with Avios?

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