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Had a British Airways First Class ticket cancelled or changed? Call “You First”

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“You First” is a dedicated call centre set up to help anyone holding a British Airways First Class ticket.  Not many people know it exists, which is a shame because – irrespective of the wait times at the main British Airways call centre – telephone calls to “You First” are generally answered quickly.

I found this out yesterday.  British Airways has just scrapped flights to Abu Dhabi, which meant that my First Class Avios seats for October half-term were cancelled.

I called “You First”.  The call was picked up within 30 seconds and within five minutes my tickets were changed.

British Airways BA 777X 777 9X

I was moved to a British Airways flight leaving from Dubai.  There was no First Class available so I took a downgrade to Club World and received 72,000 Avios and £40 of taxes back.  This worked out well for me – I got to swap a 2am departure from Abu Dhabi for a 10am departure from Dubai.  Losing First Class is not a concern, as I wasn’t bothered about it in the first place.  I only booked it because I couldn’t get four Club World seats!

(For clarity, if BA cancels your Avios flight, the call centre will rebook you irrespective of whether Avios seats are available.  As long as seats are available for cash, you can have them.)

The British Airways “You First” telephone number is 0161 448 3013.  It is open 24/7, although if you call outside UK office hours you may be diverted to an offshore call centre and the service level may be different.  It is, I believe, the same team that look after Gold Guest List members.

For clarity, you CANNOT ring this number to make a First Class booking.  However, once you have your booking you can call to make any changes or cancellations.

British Airways You First telephone number

What else can “You First” do for you?

The British Airways website is rather vague about what “You First” offers.  On the webform for contacting “You First” it suggests using them for:

  • Travel queries
  • Journey disruption
  • Mishandled bags

To be honest, I don’t think I have ever used it for anything other than flight changes.

One reason to call “You First” is to pre-book Elemis spa treatments and the cabana relaxation rooms in The Concorde Room lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5.  

These services are not currently available due to coronavirus, but as I think you can book cabanas up to a year in advance you may still want to lock one in.

The cabanas have never appealed to me personally but they are good for connecting passengers who want a nap and a shower.  I saw them described as resembling “a disabled bathroom with a daybed” which is about right!  Sitting in the lounge itself is far preferable.

Spa treatments can be pre-booked 28 days in advance of travel.

The British Airways “You First” service is NOT meant to be a concierge service.  They will, however, answer the telephone quickly and deal efficiently with the basics such as ticket changes – although you could justifiably argue that you shouldn’t need to have a First Class ticket to get this level of service!

There isn’t much about “You First” on the British Airways website, but the little there is can be found here.


how to earn avios from credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 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:

British Airways American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and a companion voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

BA Premium Plus American Express card BAPP

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 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 – 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

30,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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.

If you have a small business, we especially recommend Capital On Cap’s Visa card which comes with a generous bonus worth 10,500 Avios:

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard for a limited company Read our full review

(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 (94)

  • Larry Collier says:

    Just used the dedicated first class phone number to trace missing points and buddy ticket from a cancelled First class rewards flight (cancelled by me).
    Very efficient and friendly staff member found both and credited these back to my account whilst I waited.

  • Vincent Teo says:

    Hi Rob

    ThanIs for this information. I used it this morning after our First class Dubai trip in November was cancelled.
    I quoted your message “if BA cancels your Avios flight, the call centre will rebook you irrespective of whether Avios seats are available. As long as seats are available for cash, you can have them.)”
    However I was told that there was a -3 day and +14 day time limit otherwise I would have to find a flight with Avios. Is that time limit correct?

    Ultimately there is loads of First class availability next year so we may take a voucher to book flights when we have more travel certainty. Our 2-4-1 voucher expires in December and they’ve offered to extend to April 22 which seems generous.

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