British Airways has amended its rules on eVouchers and Future Travel Vouchers.
If you received an eVoucher or Future Travel Voucher for a cancelled flight, or if you voluntarily chose to cancel, your voucher is now valid until 30th April 2023.
This represents a 12 month extension on the previous deadline of 30th April 2022.
Remember that 30th April 2023 is the day by which your travel must be completed. It is NOT a ‘book by’ deadline.
What is the difference between a Future Travel Voucher and eVoucher?
Initially, all British Airways refunds which were not paid in cash were issued as a Future Travel Voucher.
The FTV is, literally, your ticket in a frozen state. The voucher number is the same as your old ticket number.
When you come to rebook, you need to call British Airways. They will reopen your old ticket and make any necessary changes.
The problem with the FTV is that it is inflexible:
- you cannot change the passenger names
- you cannot change the ticket type (eg an Avios ticket cannot be turned into a cash ticket)
- you need to call British Airways to rebook
British Airways was also failing to tell people how much their voucher was for – or what vouchers or Avios were rolled up in it – and it was not possible to find out online. You needed to call the overstretched call centre to find out exactly what you had got, and when it expired.
BA stopped issuing FTV’s for cash tickets
Late last year, British Airways changed its policy. All refund requests for cash tickets, which did not qualify for a pure cash refund, started to arrive as an eVoucher.
The eVoucher could be used online and was not tied to a particular person, making it easier to spend.
British Airways also started the long process of automatically turning Future Travel Vouchers for cash tickets into eVouchers.
I understand that any Future Travel Voucher with an Avios element, however, will remain as a Future Travel Voucher. In terms of expiry it makes no difference as both types of voucher have been extended to 30th April 2023.
Will anything happen to British Airways American Express 241 vouchers?
There is no announcement yet, but I would expect to see something happen.
Remember that, in any event, you can artificially extend your unused 241 vouchers to 30th April 2023 anyway.
All you need to do is book a simple return flight from, say, London to Manchester for two people using your companion voucher. Once booked, cancel it and take the Future Travel Voucher option.
When you want to use your 241 voucher, you simply ring up British Airways and pay whatever extra Avios and cash are required to change your Future Travel Voucher into the redemption you want. You cannot change the passenger names. Travel must be completed by 30th April 2023.
That said, I strongly recommend that you do NOT do this until the very last minute before your 241 voucher is about to expire. I expect British Airways to extend them anyway, and your 241 voucher is far more flexible when it is completely under your control.
Extending outstanding vouchers to 30th April 2023 is a sensible move by British Airways. Even if short haul travel opens up this Summer, many favourite long haul routes are likely to remain closed for longer.
BA is also seeing off the possible threat of legal action to force it to turn unused vouchers into cash. The European Union has already told airlines in member countries that they should cash out unused vouchers at expiry.
The updated rules regarding Future Travel Vouchers can be found on this page of ba.com.
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:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points, such as:
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:
(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.)