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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 ba.com 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.


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 (157)

  • Jim Paterson says:

    My original booking was a 2 for 1 business class booking LHR to Bangkok and returning Singapore to LHR. I telephoned this morning and tried to get an outward booking to Bangkok again for February net year. Their is no Avaios availability outward but no problem for the return from Singapore. I was told that as no availability is shown, I would have to telephone the commercial sales to get this done. I was transferred and then cut off. This was after 6 calls and just under 1 hour on the phone after I eventually got through. Will have to try again this afternoon.

  • jamesj says:

    I don’t really understand the article, I had a return leg ATL-EDI cancelled when I was out in the US in March, having already flown out there.
    I got a voucher and BA told me I had to lodge a complaint if I want the avios back instead, they told me I could use that voucher for anything. Not much benefit to me to get a return flight ATL-EDI now?

  • Dave T says:

    Our flights to SIN were cancelled, the return was due tomorrow but we get no options in MMB it always says to call – we havent been able to get through for 2 months – its concerning that all the reward seats will be gone by the time we get through, we dont even get put on hold just cut off

    Its great to hear that any cash seats could be used with this 241 voucher but our third person is on a lloyds and they have just said to me that there must be availability in rewards or they can book it

    any thoughts on why we cant select new dates without calling?

  • Reggie says:

    Appreciate all the great advise from the BA Avios Pros out there. As a newbie to this and having booked by first Avios flight with 241 Companion fare could I please ask some advice.
    We booked a Business flight MAN to Delhi return for Sept. Flight not yet cancelled but our trip has been. Not able to head back to the same destination within 18 months. Is there an advantage to wait until our flights are cancelled ? Is it possible to change destination and get companion fare voucher?

    • Genghis says:

      If you don’t need the avios or the 241 to rebook something else, I’d wait until BA (may) cancel and then you don’t pay your 2 x £35 cancellation fees. You’ve an option to cancel yourself for 2 x £35 until t-24h.

  • Ronald Ross says:

    Late last year I booked a BA Holiday, flight and car, from GLA to LAX via LHR. Travelling out 26 June and returning 18 July. I paid the full cost of £1509.36.

    Getting a bit worried about my holiday I called BA holidays on Monday 4 and the Customer Service agent advised me that my flights were still going ahead and he could not advise me any further. He advised that he could return the over payment of £1209.36 and it was back on my Amex BA premium card today, Tuesday 5 May

    I now have until 5 June to make a decision and I can either pay the balance if the flight is going ahead or get my £300 in vouchers if the flight goes ahead or £300 refunded if it is cancelled.

    • Paul says:

      So they let you have ‘the balance’ back and just held the original deposit? I think I’ll give that a shot, only paid an extra £300 on top of deposit, to collect bonus Avios obviously, but IF mine still isn’t cancelled by due date, SEA on 3rd June minus 3 weeks, then I’ll only be lumbered with the £300 in vouchers. Cash is king for me at the moment.

  • Ali says:

    So it’s definitive that we can’t get a refund for cash tickets even if we call in? My wife and I got 2 expensive tickets and upgraded ti business with avios. This was before we had earned our 2-4-1 voucher. I’ve been trying to call but just get hung up on.

  • Adrian says:

    BA have seemingly tightened this up a bit since this morning.
    I phoned up. I could book into any day (peak or off peak) and was able to use revenue booking classes but only to 12 months from the date they were originally ticketed (the CS advisor checked the date that I originally booked the flights). Very good service.
    Also my refund for my other flight was processed immediately as it was a “simple refund” so it did not have to go through the manual process that the last one did.

  • Callum says:

    If I book a 241 flight for this year which is likely to be cancelled, will this change allow me to book the date I want next year using the 241?

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