Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

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)



    • Sean says:

      At the moment if you cancel all you will get back is taxes (if it is a cash flight) or avios and taxes less admin fee (if it is an avios booking). At this stage i would wait for BA to either cancel or extend voucher period.

      You can always chase insurance as approriate.


    Ban on entry to UK travellers. US border closed to non-essential travel from 20 March (midnight EST). Some flights suspended. UK travellers that wish to leave are advised to consider leaving as soon as possible, to ensure travel plans can be met.


    • Lady London says:

      Your nationality or visa status is not the airline’s problem.

      Suggest you follow the advice above to make the best of things.

      Or, you can panic and pay cancellation fees now or get nothing back if your ticket was nonrefundable. And you are likely to any voucher as well.

      Or you can follow advice and watch and wait as your chance of a change having to be made on the provider’s side near the time of your flight looks very high. In that case as your booking departs from Europe you are covered by eu261 meaning a cancellation or flight number change anywhere on your booking, or a significant reschedule anywhere on your booking, means you would be entitled to a full cash.regund (and not be obliged to accept any voucher).

      You choose.

      • Lady London says:

        *likely to *lose* any voucher as well. Such as Lloyds or 2-4-1.

        text editor ate the ‘lose’

  • Sw11_01 says:

    I have flights from London to Bordeaux with EasyJet on 10 April. Does anyone know if I can get a refund yet or if I need to wait it out?
    Any help much appreciated.

  • Michael says:

    I have a flight booked to Vietnam (operated by Qatar Airlines but with a BA flight number and booked on BA site) departing 30/3 via Doha the first part of my flight to Doha is still operating but the connection to Hanoi is cancelled same applies to the return 07/4 can someone please advise where I stand with regard to refund/voucher?

  • Anton says:

    How do we apply for a cash refund? There’s no option for this anywhere and they say call centre is only for those flying in the next 72 hours. Do we call anyway or is there another way to apply for it?

    • Rob says:

      If your flight us cancelled and you have been emailed to say that, the route in the article works.

  • jamie says:

    But what about subsequent flights in the same booking that aren’t cancelled, like domestic transfers, do you have to call??

    The biggest problem with calling BA is that you get cut off quite frequently.

  • makrxx says:

    So if I’ve flown LHR-SIN, and the return leg of SIN-LHR I need the date changed, I can only get an e-voucher instead of a change of date, correct? But wouldn’t one-way ticket be generally a fair bit more expensive than the individual leg of a return journey? So in that sense I’ll have to top up.

    • Lady London says:

      To change existing ticket read the conditions to see if it’s possible. It will either be a nonrefundable ticket or changeable for a fee plus fare difference. Some can be changed after flying the outbound, some can’t.

      I suggest you do that this then work out which flight you prefer to change it to then –
      do absolutely nothing.

      Reason : in these times there’s a really good chance the airline might want to change your return flight. At that time you have choices.
      If it’s a European airline reject any offered change and say you’d like the rest of your ticket refunded. Or, ask for your preferred date and flight instead. Neither of these will cost you anything.

      So prepare and watch the booking in MMB and on the schedules/see if your current flight becomes unavailable in the booking engine
      Particular times to check your booking are 13 days ahead, 6 days ahead and just inside 72 hours ahead. Give the flight every chance to change or cancel : but not by you. If you get to too close (and mine would be 12 hours ahead ) then call and make your change. But you causing it may not be possible (nonrefundable no changeable ticket) or could cost just £35 or or £35 plus massive fare difference.

      Whereas if it’s their change then it’s all free, nonref can get refunded, no changeable can get changed. In these times could be be worth your wait.

      • Lady London says:

        Ps if it’s not a European airline and if your ticket did not start in Europe then you are instead, only allowed to use the airline’s (and possibly agent’s) terms and conditions that you bought the ticket with and not the wider rights above.

        For clarity, even a non-European airline has to do the above for any change on the ticket, if the starting flight on the ticket departed from Europe

      • NSIDHU says:

        i have booked BA flight London gatewick to Torronto Canada on 20th of june. am i entitled to get a refund due to covid-19 if our flight cancelled by BA

        • NSidhu says:

          i have booked BA flight London gatewick to Torronto Canada on 20th of june. am i entitled to get a refund due to covid-19 if our flight cancelled by BA


    • Lady London says:

      One way tickets very expensive usually. For SIN check out Scoot from Germany? which may be an exception. If you have lots of miles one ways can be a good use of them

  • janie says:

    Does anyone know what Expedia are doing?
    Have flights to Canada on BA booked via Expedia.
    If BA cancel can I only get credit like Expedia state or am I entitled to a full refund?
    Whilst I booked through Expedia the charge on my AMEX was to ‘ British Airways PL, WW London’
    The flights cost almost £4K so I really can’t afford to have this as credit when out of work.
    It’s giving me sleepless nights and no one has any answers.
    I do have travel insurance.

    • janie says:

      Also travel insurer states no claims will be paid if the airline cancels the flight.

      • Lady London says:

        ? Travel insurer may say that now but check the terms and conditions from when you originally bought the insurance. Those are what apply for the duration of insurance that you bought. That’s the point of insurance.

        So go check and you may well find there’s nothing about that not being covered in the terms you signed up to. In that case you are covered and the insurer cannot deny your claim.

        If any insurer ever writes to you trying to change terms midcontract or put restrictions or new things that didn’t apply in the terms you purchased originally then assuming there isn’t fair scope in the original terms for you to have to accept this then it can strengthen if you communicate back to them by any means that you reject this change – although it should not be necessary might be useful.

        Who would buy any insurance if the terms say the insurer can decide at any time that they’re not going to cover the set of things you agreed and paid for up front? That makes insurance worthless. It’s a contract and you can enforce it i.e.they have to cover the loss you signed up to have covered and that you paid the offered price for.

        • janie says:

          Well the policy states it covers me if I cancel my trip, and of course this would be BA cancelling my fights not me cancelling, so I guess that’s why they won’t pay out as it is for the airline to reimburse in the event of cancellation.

          There must be other people who have booked via Expedia, but I can’t seem to find any info as to whether they are refunding or just offering vouchers.

          • Lady London says:

            Hi Janie

            I suggest you read the original terms again, would be surprised if there’s not something about airline cancelling or failing to transport you. Even though I know there are a lot of travel policies around that are basically useless I hope you haven’t got one.

            Otherwise if it does cover you cancelling for certain reasons then you know what you have to do.

        • janie says:

          I have a Bupa business and leisure complete policy so it’s meant to be quite comprehensive but it excludes the failure of any provider to provide part of the trip, so it’s not covered. It would cover industrial action, causing delay but not this.
          So have to wait for BA to cancel the flight.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.