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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.

  • Joan says:

    OT but I had a result the other day with two single flights I had booked to Malaga and back for September for a wedding that’s now been cancelled . I paid 50p and 10k avios each way .
    I rang to see what my options were – I thought they’d charge me £35 for each separate booking if I cancelled. But I got a funny old bloke who seemed like a newbie and was huffing and puffing and checking his manual – anyway I got to cancel with only having to lose my £1 and of course got my avios back .
    In the spirit of optimism I have now booked flights for my Christmas visit to family in Switzerland 🇨🇭

  • James says:

    BA burned a lot of goodwill earlier this year with the fiasco around disabling JavaScript to receive a (proper, cash) refund on my redemption tickets. You could have a member of staff personally appear in front of me, spend an hour building rapport and explaining the cast iron legal guarantees in place for BA Holiday, shake my hand with a smile, and I would still be wondering what trick corporate would try to play to get out of commitments if there was a second flare up. Sadly I think that for the foreseeable future, I won’t be risking any of my own money at BA. By contrast both Hyatt and Hilton were very reasonable in March and I can’t wait to make bookings once international travel is back open again.

  • Dawn says:

    I’ve got flights to Miami this November, returning December on a 2-4-1 which I booked last Nov/Dec. I was going to add a car through BA, would this mean I am covered if I find I can’t fly in November?

    • Dawn says:

      ** sorry that wasn’t very clear – would I get a voucher for the cost of the car if I can’t travel?

      • Rob says:

        I don’t think so, because you haven’t booked the two elements at the same time and therefore I don’t think it counts as a package.

        If this worked, everyone would be adding cars months after their original booking in order to ensure that BA had to refund them promptly!

    • Anna says:

      You could book a car plus one night in a hotel and it would count as a package, unless BA has changed this recently. However, it’s not certain that the US will be accepting UK visitors by then!

    • Charlieface says:

      I thought you have 24hrs to book the extra element on the same site. Could be wrong

  • B says:

    Does this mean that if I postpone the trip for a voucher, I only pay for the voucher 3 weeks before I actually travel with said voucher? It seems a little unclear, but if so this is really quite good.

    Or do I have to pay for the voucher first and then the voucher runs to 30 April 2020?


    • Rob says:

      I assume that the voucher only covers what you have paid so far, and when you rebook the value of the voucher would be taken immediately towards the new holiday (and there is no point not doing this, as you can’t access the money on the voucher for any other purpose anyway).

      • jc says:

        You assume right. If you’ve only paid a portion you get a voucher for the amount paid, to redeem against future flights or holidays.

  • Peter says:

    I simply do not trust BA.

    If you do, after reading all these horror stories about denied refunds, never ending queues to get a call answered, passengers having to take legal action against BA to get their refunds, limited usability vouchers etc etc – then go ahead and book.

    • Steve says:

      I don’t understand the issues with getting through, I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes and yesterday it was answered before it even rang. Either I’ve been very lucky or others are just very unlucky. And trust me when I say, I am never lucky!

    • Paul says:

      Perhaps you’d like to share which airline you do trust? Or are you never going to book a flight again?

      • Rhys says:

        All things considered, BA were one of the better airlines with regards to refunds. Air France and KLM outright refused until mid-May as I recall, and I don’t think Lufthansa were much better. German, Dutch and French governments were all lobbying Brussels to suspect refund rights!

        • Lady London says:

          Lufthansa did it by saying “The Refunds Department is closed”. Which is kind of quite German (almost Russian?) way of doing it?

          But I was very surprised LH, as a major German flag-bearing company, actually flatly refused when the law was against them.

      • Matthew says:

        I had refunds from BA after a letter to legal department outlining they were out of order, and with the threat of legal action. LH have been terrible. I would never use them again. had to do charge back on credit card. I also read somewhere ( Loyalty Lobby) if they go bust and you did charge back, then under German law you have to refund the charge back, and then become a creditor, so no hope of seeing your money.So much for EU wanting a level playing field, as long as they can break the rules.
        At least with BA you would fight them in a UK court. I would book BA again.

    • Ian says:

      I’ve had to call BA a few times over the last month or two. With the exception of being put through to the call centre in India, who were absolutely useless, one time I found they were superb. The phone was answered almost immediately and a friendly, helpful assistant resolved my issue straight away. Credit where it’s due – well done BA.

      • Lady London says:

        That BA Call Centre in India has cost BA at least £2 million in refunds passengers have probably got off BA that they didnt know they could get.
        Helpfully advised by me after repeated bad experiences with them when they were incompetent, unhelpful and obdurate and finally had me in tears.

    • ChrisC says:

      I agree with you to a point but that point ended ages ago. The situation is a lot,lot better than it was.

      Like all sorts of other companies BA had to react very quickly to a massive change in their operations with in essence with very few staff able to work in call centres to answer calls and process refunds so of course there were long wait times.

      Since this all started I’ve had to call twice for refunds and whilst there were waits to get through (30 and 20 mins respectivly) in my eperience they weren’t excessive

      I called on Monday to get a refund for a flight they cancelled on Monday. All done and dusted in 21 minutes of which 18 were in the queue. The refund was back onmy card late last night. There was no pressure to take a voucher.

      And whilst vouhers may not be ideal they are better than people just cancelling flights and losing basically everything

      I cancelled flights in March (positoning flights to an ex EU departure), In normal circustances I would have got around £50 back (APD and airport fees) of a £250 fare. Becuause of the voucher scheme I essentially got it all back.

      Have BA dealth with this perfectly? Of course not but a lot of the criticism against it is unwarrented.

    • Lady London says:

      Peter I’m with you on BA’s selfishness in taking specific actions to block customers from receiving refunds. Actions were taken by BA that are easily provable and I hope the regulator levies a meaningful fine on BA for this in due course.

      However what has been consistently reported by posters on HfP for months now, is that everyone that booked as a BA holiday got all their money back from BA Holidays within 1-2 weeks of any element of their holiday being cancelled by the provider *without* needing to chase or call BA.

      This is why booking as a BA Holiday is well worth considering even if you just want the flight. You can add the smallest possible car, hotel to qualify it as a holiday going through BA Holidays. Technically you wouldnt have to use car or hotel if you dont want to.

      My annoyance with this is that as a solo traveller BA Holidays is not worth considering price-wise. Reading Rhys’s article I’d have already booked my next 2 trips this morning before posting this if all my previous checks hadn’t told me BA Holidays is a waste of time for a single person.

      For those whobtravel in pairs, as Rob has said, even if you just want a flight, always check pricing on BA Holidays as it can work out very well.

      Meanwhile, as a single person, grrr.

      • PJJ says:

        We solo travellers also get clobbered for booking hotel with breakfast as it covers 2
        And as much as I try I can’t eat 2 breakfasts !

      • Anna says:

        I don’t find that, LL. We often book 2 of us on a 241 and the third person (which will be either me or my OH depending on who’s using their 241), on a BA holiday and always save money on the price of separate bookings, with the benefit of having much longer to pay the balance.

      • Matthew says:

        I booked a single night in DUS with hotel before Christmas with BA Holidays. It was booked 3-4 days before travel for a meeting. The Flight and hotel were less expensive in total than the flight, by some way. Also my return flight was cancelled due to late arrival, and missing night time curfew, so BA paid for a hotel, dinner and EU compensation to boot. it cost BA for me to take the trip. All refunded very quickly so no complaints there.

    • Harry T says:

      I’ve had multiple BA flights cancelled. Securing refunds has been easy. I initially used IT work arounds with some chasing up from the refund helper on flyertalk. I’ve never been on hold for longer than 30 mins when ringing.

  • FionaW says:

    We have a BA holiday booked to Faro. Our flights were GLA-LGW-FAO. The first leg has been cancelled and we now have a new LHR-FAO flight within 30 mins of the original time. Not got a new GLA-LHR flight yet…. Heathrow’s not exactly next door to us!

    • Anna says:

      Hi Fiona – I would do some digging about whether there be actually GLA-LHR flight running
      which be feasible for you. If there isn’t (as in the case of all the LBA flights being cancelled), you can ask BA for a re-route on another direct service.

      • FionaW says:


        I did put it into Google yesterday and there were flights available. It just seems a bit surprising that, given it was all booked as one package, they have only rescheduled the LHR-FAO flight and cancelled the first leg with no substitute. I’ll give it a couple of days before contacting them.

        • Lady London says:

          It’s best to look up flights you would find acceptable instead before you call them.

          However I think in this case this is just a change of the Faro flight from LGW to LHR, which I would view as a positive if it’s just a connecting airport for me. I am sure BA would get aroubd to booking you GLA-LHR by about two weeks before your flight. EDI adds a useful backup option but I am certain you will be ok.

          However if you would prefer INV or ABZ now is your chance to find a flight that suits you from o e of those to LHR – if there is one. Bear in mi d ABZ and INV flights more likely to disappear si take a squizz at GLA and EDI flightd you could live with as a backup so you can be prepared for any surprises when you call them.

          Good luck but I think you will be OK.

    • Andrew says:

      If flights are operating, are you able to get to EDI from Paisley instead?

      • FionaW says:

        I can do GLA EDI INV or ABZ! The latter 2 I can get free parking! I am nr Perth so in the centre of all Scottish flight operations!

        • Andrew says:

          Oh, Perth. that’s far more sophistiated than Paisley. I’m a Perthshire man myself.

          I’d always choose EDI over GLA.

        • Lady London says:

          this is your excuse to change your departure to INV or ABZ if you can find a flight. Go for it.

  • mark says:

    Hi Rob, we booked our first package holiday last November and it will be the last. Our normal route is to book everything on our own. So far the hotel money is back in my bank, the car hire money is back, car parking as well….in fact the only thing we are waiting for is the Virgin Reward flights.

    With respect to the package holiday……not a penny back, no info or communication from the holiday company at all.

    think before you jump.

    • Lady London says:

      that was Virgin Holidays who under ATOL should have refunded you within two weeks or they’re at risk of losing their licence to sell holidays and it’s strictly enforced. However Virgin Holidays is very integrated within Virgin and they may have been a bit distracted at the time as Virgin was going bust so losing their licence might have been less of an issue.

      I suggest you contact them now quoting their ATOL number and demand the completion of the return of all monies still due to you within 14 days as required by the package holiday regulations otherwise you will report them to the regulator and will take other action as necessary.

      We dont know if the reconstitution of Virgin will still leave you a party to sue so I would make a Section 75 claim on your credit card for the parts you are still owed.

      • jc says:

        Are you guessing that it was Virgin Holidays, or do you know mark’s situation?

        • Lady London says:

          Virgin Reward flights were referred to and so was booking a Holiday so I assumed there was some sort of price mitigation by miles on a Virgin Holidays booking, which I remember reading about 2/3 years ago.

          if OP “composed’ their own holiday and did not book as a Virgin Holiday thus gaining package holiday regs protection then they would be in the same position as anybody else with a flight-only booking.

          But other than sending them notice to abide by the package hol regs/ATOL then the courses of action available would be similar.

          • jc says:

            If I’m reading right, paragraph 1 was about how they usually do things – buying everything separately, including the Virgin Reward flight, and easily getting money back. Paragraph 2 was about when they tried as a package, and doesn’t make any mention of Virgin Holidays – I assumed a smaller/local company, given it’s referred to as “the holiday company”.

  • Sunguy says:

    There is one major downside to a package holiday booking…..and that is (at least the way I understand BA operate) and that is you don’t have 24hrs cooling off/cancellation – once its booked, its booked…..

    Also, if I recall correctly, (I could be wrong with this) – you cant lower the price with avios and you cant upgrade with avios either…..

    • ChrisC says:

      It’s the same with on line holiday bookings whoever you book with not just BA

      It’s the law that permits no refunds within 24 hours. It’s a specific exemption from online shopping regulations.

      Book by phone and you do get the ability to cancel within 24 hours. Again because that’s the law.

    • ChrisC says:

      but you are correct you can’t use avios to reduce the price but you can use them to upgrade your flights (assuming you are in the correct fare bucket and there is availability).

    • Lady London says:

      @sunguy between booking BA Hols by phone and online one of those gets 24hrs cooling off one doesnt but I forget which is which. Could be worth Rhys adding the answer to the article if someone knows

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