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BA Holidays guarantees you can cancel new bookings for a voucher …. no questions asked

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If you are keen to book a holiday at the moment but are worried about what would happen if you voluntarily changed your mind about going, BA Holidays has got your back.

BA Holidays has just updated its ‘Customer Promise’ to offer increased flexibility if you book between now and the end of August, for travel into 2021.

You can see the new guidelines on the BA Holidays site here.

BA Holidays guarantee

Here are the key takeaways:

We’ll let you change your plans
If you book a holiday before 31 August 2020 for travel up to 30 April 2021, we’ll let you amend your booking for free (just pay the difference in price) or cancel it and get a voucher for travel up until 30 April 2022.

We’ll let you manage your payments flexibly
Secure your booking with a deposit from as little as £75pp, pay off the balance in instalments, and your final payment is not due until three weeks before your holiday starts.

We’re here for you when you need us
We have a 24-hour holiday helpline for any issues whilst you’re away, and if your plans change or the unexpected happens, we will prioritise getting you home as soon as possible.

We’ll act responsibly and without delay
In the event that we cannot fulfil your holiday package, in keeping with our obligations under the Package Travel Regulations, you will receive a full refund within 14 days.

One of the key benefits of a BA Holidays booking is that you only pay a deposit at the time of booking, with the balance normally paid five weeks prior to departure. This has been reduced to three weeks in recent months and it looks like this will continue under the new ‘Customer Promise’, as British Airways hasn’t given an end date.

The deposit you need to pay on booking is:

  • Flight + hotel and flight + car holidays between £300-£999:  from £150 deposit per booking
  • Flight + hotel and flight + car holidays between £1,000-£2,999:  from £300 deposit per booking
  • Flight + hotel and flight + car holidays between £3,000-£3,499:  from £400 deposit per booking

A package holiday may be the safest option right now

If you are thinking of booking a holiday but don’t want to deal with the hassle of refunds or vouchers in the event of a cancellation, a holiday package is one of your best options.

In the event that your flights are cancelled or your hotel is closed, BA Holidays MUST process a full refund within 14 days.

The laws governing package holdays are SUBSTANTIALLY stronger than the laws governing flight-only or hotel-only bookings.  Unlike flight bookings, we have seen BA Holidays refunds being made automatically, which saves you the hassle of having to call British Airways.

An added benefit is that your flight and hotel or flight and car rental booking is wrapped up in one, so you don’t need to chase separate companies whose refund requirements may be very different than those required in UK law.

A ‘package’ holiday with BA Holidays isn’t a ‘traditional’ package holiday

The phrase ‘package’ holiday still throws up visions of two-star hotels in Benidorm for many people.  This is NOT the case with BA Holidays.

You can create your own ‘package’ on by booking a flight and adding either a hotel or a car hire to it.  This may actually be cheaper than booking a flight on its own, weirdly, because British Airways often quietly offloads flights via BA Holidays at a discount where you can’t see the underlying price of each element.

Not only may you save money compared to booking each element separately, you get improved refund protection AND you don’t need to pay the bulk of the cost until three weeks before departure.  The only downside is that you won’t earn any points or status benefits from the hotel as it will be treated as a third party booking.

Earn bonus Avios with BA Holidays

There is also a permanent Avios incentive for booking with BA Holidays.  You earn a bonus 1 Avios per £1 you spend when booking with BA Holidays.  You can find out more on here.

This bonus is on top of the Avios and tier points you will earn from the flights which are the same as you would get for booking a ‘flight only’, and whatever miles you will earn from your credit card spend.

You should also remember that that BA Holidays spending earns you double Avios (3 per £1) if you charge it to a British Airways Premium Plus American Express card.

You can see the full ‘Customer Promise’ including the T&Cs on the BA Holidays website here.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review

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, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and FREE for a year 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.

Comments (91)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Michael C says:

    …but if I, say, book a flight with BA today for late Oct. (US in my case), I can still cancel for no reason and be given a voucher, right?

  • old bob says:

    When are most people going to realise that the flying/ holiday industry is down the proverbial Sh!tter. for the foreseeable future?

    Save yourselves the heartache, frustration and inconvenience of the tortuous refund game. Lets face it all airlines and travel companies will be holding on to your cash for as long as they think they can get away with it, so take my old mate Geoffs advice and don’t bother booking a holiday until at least the spring of 2021, enjoy a socially distanced pint from Saturday instead.

    • marcw says:

      Agree with most of what you say. I think long haul tourism is pretty much impossible until Spring 21. Europe should be fine though, but I’m only contemplating last minute plans. I’ve got leave in August, and even though I have ideas, I won’t book until 1 week before. Can’t be bothered with all the refund/voucher game…

    • Harry T says:

      There’s a good chance intra European travel will explode over the next few months. The economic and political incentives to open travel up are profound. Plus most human beings don’t actually care about other people suffering from coronavirus (unless related to them or friends with them), and the rest will have compassion fatigue soon enough. As a good example, look at how everyone clapped for the NHS and gave discounts. Now people are more concerned about getting to go to the pub than taking precautions to protect the NHS.

      • Chris Heyes says:

        Harry T @Good point but we have “NO” intention of booking any Flights/Hols until next Aug/Sept
        (well i mean flight/hols then, not book lol)
        Don’t see the point unless sure we’ll enjoy every part of it

      • Jeff 99 says:

        “ Now people are more concerned about getting to go to the pub than taking precautions to protect the NHS.”

        People also said that when the shops opened things would be back to normal. Whilst there were some losers queuing outside Nike town etc high street football was down over 50% in the first week.

        A lot of people I know who go to the pub 4/5 times a week won’t go when they first open as they think they’ll be full of morons who can’t handle their drink etc. We’ll have to wait and see whether “super Saturday” is actually a damp squib.

        • Jeff 99 says:

          How will travel “explode” when some of the biggest airlines are only running 30/40% of their flights?

  • uk1 says:

    I’m sure most already know, but once a customer agrees to accept a voucher they lose the protection and reassurance of both ATOL and Section 75. They only enjoy protection once they have rebooked a flight/holiday.

    Many might find accepting a voucher an unacceptable risk considering BA’s challenges.

  • uk1 says:

    …….. and I should add .. that Section 75 is untested waters with respect to a voucher paid for flight or holiday …..

  • Neil Murray says:

    Does this apply to holidays booked just before this announcement was made? As mine was….
    Does anyone know?

  • Wayne says:

    I booked a trip with BA and have been told that it will take 8 weeks for the refund.

    I booked the trip in August last year, but they cancelled it at the beginning of June this year.

    I paid the credit card off just after booking. They’ve told me “legally” they have to pay it back to the card, but this will put me into credit, as my balance is zero and don’t want it back this way. What are rights here?

    • Rob says:

      BA is correct, it must go back to your card. Your credit card company can transfer the balance to your bank account.

  • Lisa says:

    So anyone who booked pre 3rd March doesn’t have the option if travelling after 31 August. Thats just a great way to treat the customers who booked in advance. Yet those who know coronavirus is here have an out. Am i missing something here.

    • Rob says:

      Yes, if you booked before March then you must travel if your flight goes and the hotel is open.

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