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Avios flight cancelled? You can rebook for ANY date, even if Avios seats are not available

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We haven’t covered the great British Airways refund saga for some time, but we are returning to it today.

There is some good, potentially great, news.

If your Avios flight is cancelled, you can now rebook your trip via for any date even if Avios seats are not available.

You can see confirmation of this here – see the 28th April update.  I admit that the wording is not clear, but this is what the terms mean.

Avios wing 14

None of the HfP team have any ‘cancelled but not refunded’ Avios flights at present so we haven’t been able to test this personally.  However, this is what we understand happens.

Simply go into ‘Manage My Booking’ and select the rebooking option.  You should be offered a flight on the same route on any day where a service is due to operate, up to 12 months from the date your ticket was originally issued.

This rule could catch you out, since you cannot move your flight more than a year from, give or take a few days, the day you made your booking. If you booked 355 days ahead then you’re stuffed.

We are still unsure of the exact rules.  However:

if you are using a 2-4-1 voucher, it seems that you must still be operating within the validity dates of the voucher

if your trip was on off-peak dates, you will only be offered off-peak dates to rebook

If you don’t see this for any reason, you will need to call up and potentially quote the rule change referenced above.

There must, obviously, be cash seats available for the flight you want.  You are rebooked into a cash ‘bucket’ which may even earn you Avios and tier points back.  A reader sent me an example where he was offered a BA codeshare on Loganair for rebooking, which cannot ever be booked with Avios.

Remember that this policy only applies if your flight is cancelled and you have not selected a ‘Book with Confidence’ voucher instead.   If your flight is not cancelled but you no longer wish to travel, your only option is to take the ‘Book with Confidence’ voucher or a standard refund, paying the £35 fee.

This new policy is obviously open to abuse but it is a generous move by British Airways and hopefully it will be used as intended.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points 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 (157)

  • David says:

    Meant to mention that the original flight I booked in April was for July.

  • Karen says:

    I have a one-way avio flight cancelled and there’s the ‘change date’ option. However, I tried to rebook to the dates that I know reward and/or cash tickets exist (checked on BA website) but it shows ‘There is no availability for selected date. Please change your date.’ Wonder why?…

    • steven says:

      Same. However, yesterday before it was actually cancelled I could move my flight to any date up to the expiry date of the 2for1 I was using. Today after cancelation that is not the case and the only option is to cancel.

      • babyg says:

        I asked the same thing on flyertalk, sometimes takes a while to reflect changes – if your flight was just cancelled i would wait another day or so, note i rang up today and had my AVIOS with 2-4-1 booking re-booked as it didnt quite work via manage my booking – i could only select up to 7 of APRIL 2021 – which i think was the original 2 year expiry of my voucher, and the MMB didn’t take into acc the 6 month extension), but its still possible to do if you phone up.

        • Karen says:

          How did you manage to talk to BA? When I selected avio ticket option over the phone it always says ‘we are unable to take your call ar the moment’ and automatically hangs up…

          • babyg says:

            I rung at 11.30 – 25 mins to get through, lucky im guessing…

  • LetDownbyBA says:

    Having booked 11 months out (Avios in F, 2-4-1) on a now cancelled flight, I’m told I can only rebook on any revenue ticket to the start of July…. Unlikely FCO will be recommending travel by then, nor will my destinations be open up by then. BAs policy is completely penalising those of us who desired premium cabins which are normally only available on long lead times. By the end of the summer (realistically the earliest anyone will be travelling) there is NO AVAILABILITY on my desired routes up to April 2021. My only option is to cancel my booking and take chances when May availability is issued. So basically delay by 12 months (which obviously may happen anyway due to pandemic, but would like to shoot for sooner). That is the price of advanced booking, and the uselessness of loyalty (BA Gold). VERY bad treatment by BA. I’ve flown a LOT with them, through good and bad experiences, and never been so harshly ‘computer says no’ treated before. I don’t know why I bothered to pay them £000 when I could have gone by Easyjet or Norwegian to nearly all of my destinations… Part of the reason is for the normally good recovery when things go wrong. Feel very very let down

    • babyg says:

      Not sure id agree you were let down, you are being offered better option than the terms of when you bought your ticket? Its not BA’s fault they cant fly, they have made their re-booking options MUCH better than they were 10 days ago, as in your case i believe BA are bound by IATA rules, where your ticket is only valid for one year from the date of issue. Had you flown one leg, it would be one year from the date you flew that first leg, so they are stuck.

      I think most people would choose to fly BA shorthaul if they were GOLD over Easy-jet/Norwegian (free lounge, free seat selection etc).

      BA were pretty poor at the start of this, but they have definitely turned a corner when it comes to their customers, shame the same can not be said about the way they are treating their staff/redundancies.

  • Ian says:

    1st Booked using 241 to US but cancelled by BA.
    Not able to book as no avios seats available in bc First only for cash.
    Does look like you can open seats online and not able to get through on phone

    • Ian says:

      Sorry. Does not look like you can open seats on line

  • IaN says:

    It is 1 year from the date the ticket was issued NOT the date of the flight As most HFP users book up to a year in advance this is not helpful
    I discussed and clarified this with BA this morning

  • Alex says:

    Would a cash ticket+avios upgrade fall under this policy?
    In other words, if I have a cash ticket now, I will upgrade it to Club with avios, and then if the flight is cancelled would I be able to rebook in Club for any date where no Club Avios redemption is available (but cash tickets in Club are available)?
    Or would BA ask me to pay for the difference in price for PE fares?
    Or would they not let me rebook at all in Club?


  • Gavin Taylor says:

    My AVIOS booking was cancelled, I tried using ‘Mange my booking’ but it wouldn’t allow access to the change flight option, so I called up BA to change the booking.

    BA would not let me book for any day and said there needed to be availability, so I took a refund instead.

    • Rob says:

      Not right. I know someone who rebooked 4 x First Class Kuala Lumpur tickets yesterday for prime dates with no availability.

  • Matt says:

    Flights to KL in June cancelled. Phoned up BA and got through in about 30 mins. I managed to rebook for Easter 2021 using 2-4-1 voucher. First out, Club back. No issues at all although took the agent about 20 mins to do and i had to use the reference to the BA update on 28 April as the garnet wasn’t aware. Very helpful and nice chap.

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