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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

BA Holidays refund guarantee

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 points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (August 2022)

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

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

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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

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

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 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, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa 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 and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios 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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.

(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 (91)

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

  • Chris Heyes says:

    This at first glance looks very good, but looks can be “Very” deceiving
    I Can never understand why Rhys (or Rob) would hide away the bad bit ?
    Please put the downside in the headline as well ?
    *Only up to 21st April 2021* I’m sure most readers will be very disappointed as they read on !
    Rhys delete this post if you alter your headline

    • Chris Heyes says:

      30th April 2021 (was asleep lol)

      • The Original David says:

        Doesn’t seem particularly noteworthy – how many people are making bookings for more than 10 months out anyway?

        • Andrew says:

          I’d have thought a lot of people at the moment will be taking a chance on a late summer holiday. To not be able to use any voucher on at least an early summer holiday next year is a bit of an own goal.

          • Richard says:

            The article says the voucher is valid until April 2022.

        • Paul says:

          Me! Booked LAS next May for my wife and I, want to go with good friends, but no ‘reassurance’ available on their booking (we’re on a 2-4-1 Avios). Was considering using my Avios to book for them but combined price of Avios and fees, at my Avios valuation at least, is more than cash price, though would of course be ‘refundable’, which is, I suppose, the point. Shame though…

    • Andrew says:

      What are you going on about Chris? How is that a “bad bit” and “hidden away” and why are you “disappointed” – seems a perfectly reasonably timescale.

    • Rhys says:

      The voucher is valid until April 2022. If we put all the T&Cs into every headline we wrote you’d never get to the article!

  • David Perl says:

    That may be the case for people booking with British Airways holidays now. However we booked the flights and car hire to Miami last year and have now cancelled our trip as the wedding we were due to go for has been cancelled due to Covid.

    They have given us a voucher for the flight but refused to give us any refund on the £500 car hire so much for BA. Every other supplier we have booked with where our plans have had to be changed has given us a refund or a voucher. Not sure I have the confidence in British Airways to give them any more of my money

    • Rhys says:

      When was the trip?

      • Chabuddy geezy says:

        From what I can see in the terms and conditions you only get a credit for the flight element. Anything non-refundable like hotels and car hire gets forfeited.

        • jc says:

          Anything fully non-refundable gets forfeited. The vast, vast majority of rooms sold by BA are refundable!

          (If the cancellation chart allows you to cancel after paying a deposit, and only lose the deposit, it’s considered refundable)

          • jc says:

            So in virtually every case the hotel and car hire are NOT forfeited.

    • Anna says:

      Are you saying the flight and car hire were booked together as part of a BA holiday booking? Did BA cancel the flight?
      If so, you are entitled to a voucher or refund for the full amount. I have had one of each for 2 holidays I haven’t been able to take this year with no quibble. This is your legal right when booking a package holiday.
      If BA didn’t cancel, and you were unable to travel due to COVID, your travel insurance should cover this if it was purchased prior to a pandemic being declared.

    • ChrisC says:

      If BA cancel then you can get a refund of everything

      If YOU cancel then you get back whatever it says in the policy for voluntary cancellations.

      In fact getting a voucher for the flight element is way better than if they didnt have the voucher policy in that you would have only got the APD and airport fees back.

  • Charlie T. says:

    Glad that BA are automatically refunding packages. Expedia are simply ignoring or denying their obligations over a package I have long had booked with them to Portugal next week which has had its flights cancelled (please speak to EasyJet sir and we certainly won’t refund you the hotel in full unless they agree). I had hoped that having formally booked a package (ATOL certificate was provided at the time) would have made life simple but no. Anyone got any experience of MCOLing them? Or any sense of how long that process is taking at the moment in general? I don’t see why my insurer should pick up the tab because my agent has the ability but not the inclination to pay.

    • Lady London says:

      I believe they can lose their licence to sell holidays for that. Advise both that you are aware the regulations require them to refund you within two weeks of any element of your holiday being cancelled by the provider

      Look for a reference to ATOL or package holiday regulations in your documentation. If its not there Expedia sold you a holiday but did not actually arrange it as such and should still be pursued.

      Once you’ve found confirmation that its covered by ATOL then send both provider and Expedia a formal email demanding full refund in 14 days
      otherwise you will take action

      You could also try chargeback on your card or Section 75 if credit card, but i have a feeling they might try not to process it until after the date of your departure has passed.

      I would defo report them (i think there’s a phone number for ATOL) and would go to moneyclaim if I had to but moneyclaim takes time for the case to be dealt with and if the provider is liable that time exposes to any insolvency risk. So by the time to they process it even if you get judgment yoi could get nothing.

      MSE has started keeping a list of the worst offenders in travel, you might find others’ experiences there.

  • King says:

    I have been incredibly impressed with BA Holidays over the past few years. During the flight sales, holidays/packages are consequently cheaper, we once booked Intercontinental Estoril for ~£80pp for 2 nights incl Flight + Hotel.

    Its a shame the Monaco trip has been cancelled albeit with an automatic no hassle refund.

    • Anna says:

      Agreed, we generally book at least one BA holiday each year – you don’t even have to include flights to get the benefits, you can have hotel + car or even 2 separate car hire bookings qualify. We usually have 2 of us using a 2 4 1 and the third person on a BA holiday booking to cover the 3rd flight, car hire and a night’s accommodation near the destination airport so we don’t have a long transfer after a long flight.

  • Eli gold says:

    I wonder if they’ll do this for past bookings too.
    Although I won’t really have any use for a voucher if I cancel, I’d rather wait for them to cancel and get a refund
    I’m booked for a Monaco December holiday + helicopter ride. What are the chances?

    • AJ says:

      I’m in the same position. Booked a holiday to Madeira for the end of October having made the booking at the end of December 19.

      As things stand, there is no way I’m wanting to take my family away on holiday this year so my question is, would BA at least provide a travel voucher for the value of my deposit for future travel if asked, especially when they have this in place for bookings made at this time?

      Unless the flight is cancelled I’m aware if I choose not to travel that will be disinclination so I would lose the deposit in normal circs.

  • Ashish says:

    “voucher for travel up until 30 April 2022” kindly confirm date please.

    • Andrew says:

      Confirmed. The policy is for bookings until end of April 2021 and then the voucher is valid until end of April 2022

  • Cheshire Pete says:

    As others have mentioned, what about all the people who booked before 1st March, who are left in limbo. It’s obvious BA Holidays just want cash flow, so those already booked are left to a waiting game of uncertainty.

    You should glance through BAs twitter feed, especially since they pinned this up yesterday. It’s created a mass of fury from people with long standing bookings.

    • Rhys says:

      If you booked before 1st March you still get a full refund under UK package holiday law.

      • Cheshire Pete says:

        “You can cancel” is the key word here, you can’t do that for long standing bookings. You have to wait for ‘them’ to cancel. Surprised you don’t get this actually.

      • Rhys says:

        The package holiday rules don’t say you can cancel whenever you want and get a full refund. They DO say that if the holiday is cancelled then the company has to refund you the full amount within 14 days.

        That is very different to specific coronavirus flexibility rules, which obviously vary company to company.

  • Jo says:

    @AJ I wouldn’t hold your breath, I’m still waiting for a refund for a flight ba cancelled, BA authorised in may, phoned again yesterday and they’re not denying it was agreed and it has been escalated.

    • Brighton Belle says:

      +1. Mexico City cancelled in May by BA. Several phone calls “it’s in the refund queue”. Might as well go straight back to Amex and a chargeback and BA can pay the chargeback fee. Being reasonable with BA doesn’t work.

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