What will British Airways do about status extensions and expiring BA American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers?

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One of our other articles today looks at the new Virgin Atlantic policy for extending your Virgin Flying Club status and vouchers due to coronavirus – read here.

We have, unsurprisingly, had a lof of emails and discussion in our comments section about what is happening with British Airways Executive Club status years and British Airways American Express 2-4-1 vouchers.

There is no official publicly-stated policy as yet.  However, I wouldn’t be too concerned.  British Airways is going to need every bit of customer goodwill it can get when flying starts to return to normal.  It would be foolish to remove status from good customers and give them an excuse to run off to Virgin Atlantic, Star Alliance or SkyTeam.

Will British Airways extend your American Express 241 voucher?

Will British Airways extend your American Express 241 voucher?

I have been told, unofficially, that there is a policy in place to extend 2-4-1 vouchers by six months on request.

A reader sent me in some proof (click to enlarge):

Will British Airways extend your American Express 241 voucher?

In this case, the reader had a voucher due to expire in November 2021.  It will now expire in May 2022.

(This seems ludicrously generous, frankly, given that our reader already had 18 months to use it.)

He contacted a specific email address to get this done.  I am NOT sharing the email address because, frankly, you should be ashamed of yourself if you are planning to waste the time of BA Customer Services today with a query over a 241 voucher which isn’t going to expire for months.

There are literally thousands of people who desperately need to contact BA at the moment and 99% of them have a more pressing need than the extension of a 241 voucher.

In any event, I fully expect that, at some point, British Airways will automatically extend all unused 241 vouchers by six months.  As well as being the right thing to do, it will take the pressure off the call centre.  Like Virgin Atlantic, I imagine that an email will pop up out of the blue at some point.

Will British Airways extend your Executive Club status?

Will British Airways extend your Executive Club Gold, Silver or Bronze status?

This is a little trickier, although it should not be a hugely difficult IT task to extend all current membership years by a few months.

If you are at risk of dropping at the end of March, remember British Airways has a soft landing policy.  A Gold will only drop to Silver and a Silver will only drop to Bronze.

Again, please do not call British Airways to discuss this.  Frankly, it doesn’t matter if your status drops at the end of March because you are unlikely to be doing much flying in April anyway.

I fully expect British Airways to make a formal announcement soon.  For now, don’t worry about it and don’t block the telephone lines with questions about it.  Rest assured that British Airways will need your custom more than ever once things return to normal.

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Comments

  1. An article on Business Traveller suggested the Executive Club status policy that was used for those with travel to China, HK, South Korea and Italy scheduled was essentially that, if your already-booked flights had been due to put you over the line, BA will effectively credit the renwal/upgrade of tier anyway, even if trip is cancelled due to coronavirus:

    https://www.businesstraveller.com/features/coronavirus-which-airlines-have-changed-their-frequent-flyer-policies/

    Hopefully, they apply this worldwide, if not just a blanket 6-month or 1-year tier renewal automatically.

    • Hello,
      This is true, I was on the phone with BA about an hour ago and was cancelling my flight for tomorrow morning, after they helped me with the voucher etc, I asked the question: I’m only 15 tier points away to reach silver and tomorrow’s flight would have upgraded my status. (My deadline is 8apr) the gentleman on the phone confirmed that they will honour the status as if I was flyin tomorrow but I won’t be getting the Avios points.

  2. Adrian says:

    OK update for anyone with a 2-4-1, fresh off the phone with BA. I’m supposed to travel Thursday.
    BA will only re-book you to the 1st August (no exceptions) and if Avios seats are available, which for most of us they won’t be, they will not use “A” class for First for example, there have to be avios seats available, which quite frankly is laughable. I had managed after searching for months on a daily basis and paying change fees to upgrade both the o/b and return to find 3 F tickets into LAX and out of LAS, this was in April last year. The call centre said the seats will go back into availability (which is irrelevant anyway as the dates are different and no-one can fly), when when i said it was F then she did agree that BA don’t open up F on all flights. I would have been happy to take PHX, they have A9, F9 and no seats allocated, but there is no avios availability.
    YOU HAVE TO PAY THE £35pp CHANGE FEE IT IS NOT BEING WAIVED. The advice was phone tomorrow it might be different.
    If your 2-4-1 voucher has expired it will come back to your account, but you have to ring the accounts team and they will breathe life into it for 6 months. If your voucher is still in date it will come back automatically and you can use it soon as, as mine was dated until next year, they will not add 6 months on to the expiry.
    Voucher was offered as a form of refund, but must be used within 12 months, even though they have no idea when they will start flying again. Word of caution, the fees and avios are held in suspense and any not used will expire. I specifically asked as the best i can hope to do is find 3x CW seats, so this would be less than the 470k avios i have shelled out, if i take the voucher and only spend 370K for example i will lose the rest of the avios they will not be returned!
    My take on it, BA are in difficult spot but have literally done nothing to help me, i’m only gold, but my status did not help and given the volume of calls a manager was not available (which if fair enough).

    • Gin and Tonic Please says:

      I’m just off the phone too. Was due to fly to Buenos Aires on Fri, but the flight is now cancelled. Booked with Avios and 241 voucher. If I tried to use links in MMB to get the refund, it just took me to the voucher request form (as others have reported) So after a long time on hold, I got the full refund of the fees, Avios and voucher but no extension. Mine is still valid until Sep, though – and the BA advisor said (without me asking) that I could ask to speak to the Accounts team in the future to request an extension if I needed it.

  3. Adrian says:

    (which is fair enough)

  4. Renaud says:

    I have a 2-4-1 booking (so far just one way, return not added) on May 31st.
    It looks like the epidemic will still be in full swing by then, so I’m going to cancel.

    When would be the best time to do it ?
    I could wait until the day before, but wouldn’t I miss the 6 months automatic extension on unused vouchers ? This voucher expires in October I think, so that would definitely be useful.

    If I cancel now so the voucher goes back to the account, I’ll secure the automatic extension but I’ll pay the 2x£35 fee. Is there any chance this might be waived soon ?

  5. Zander says:

    Slightly off topic……………
    Has anyone any idea how BA or Avios will treat expiring Lloyds upgrade vouchers?

    Thanks

    • I’ve just been in touch with Avios and they will extend your Lloyds voucher for 6 months if you want. Mine was expiring this month and they have pushed it to Sep. They wouldn’t allow me to book any flights with it at this moment in time anyway.

  6. Hi!

    I posted earlier in this forum about a way to get in touch with British Airways, because I tried calling them for the last 2 weeks and haven’t been able to get through, along with countless emails that have gone unanswered. I had a companion voucher which expired on the 8th of March,because of the CV situation and being unwell myself I was unable to travel, been looking for a way to contact british airways to see if they can extend my voucher but when I call the number it auto disconnects after 30 seconds! If someone has an email where I can get in touch and actually get a reply because I don’t want the voucher to be wasted :(.

    Thank you so much everyone!

    • Leave it. You’re not booking anything for a while anyway. I am sure that BA will look at extending it if you speak to them in a month or so although – to be fair – if you hadn’t book anything by the time CV started being an issue it is possible that BA will take the view that you weren’t going to use it anyway.

      • I did contact them before saying i was struggling to find reward availability because it was all booked up and they said to keep an eye on it and that if I didn’t find anything to contact them, I once even spoke to a member of staff who told me that as long as i booked the journey before the expiry date, even if the outgoing leg was after the expiry date it would be fine but it just needed to be booked before the expiry but i found out this wasn’t true just on month before expiry and by then i was ill and the CV was in full swing, so I thought you guys would probably give me the best advice needed on the issue.

  7. Daniel Evans says:

    For those people with Avios.com / Lloyds upgrade vouchers:

    I got through to Avios in a few minutes. Very helpful.

    They will extend the voucher by 6 months from orginal expiry date but that may not be of use to some people whose voucher was close to expiry when the booking was made.

    Also you have to wait for the voucher to be reprocessed by their accounts team which may take up to 28 days. They will not let you know when it’s been processed so you need to keep calling which seems like an odd way to relieve pressure on their call centres.

    There is no cancellation charge.

  8. HFP guy you’re tone is bit rude no? People have different circumstances in life! Get off your high horse mate.

  9. I am a Silver BAEC member and have 590 tier points with membership year ending 8 April. BA cancelled the flights I had booked next week which would have enabled me to get the tier points needed to retain my silver membership. I emailed BA asking if it was possible to extend my membership year, they responded giving my a TWO WEEK extension, so I have to fly somewhere by 22 April! I have pointed out that Virgin is automatically giving everyone a 6 month extension…. I was flabbergasted by BA’s response, has anyone else had this?

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