What are the fees if you want to cancel or change an Avios flight? Today I want to run through how the process works.
The simple answer is that there is a £35 charge per person for cancelling an Avios flight booking. I will look at exactly how this works below.
It is smart to book with Avios if your plans might change
One of the key benefits of booking a flight using Avios points is that it can be cancelled or changed if your plans change.
This can often be a valuable extra benefit which you should think about when deciding whether to book a particular flight for cash or to use Avios. Even if you aren’t getting the best ‘pence per point’ value from a particular Avios flight booking, it still might be worth using Avios if you thought there was a chance you would have to cancel.
What are the Avios cancellation and change fees?
The good news is that you can cancel an Avios flight up to 24 hours before departure of the outbound leg.
Once you have flown the outbound, you cannot cancel the inbound flight for a refund. You can, however, still change the date or time of your return flight as long as Avios seats are still available.
(If you think there is a chance that you might need to cancel your return flight completely, it may be preferable to book your trip as 2 x one-way flights so that you can fully cancel the return.)
Do I get my Avios back if I cancel my redemption flight?
Yes, as long as you cancel your Avios flight within 24 hours of departure, you will get all of your Avios points back. They should return to your account immediately.
Do I get my taxes and charges back?
Yes, your taxes and charges are returned too, credited back to your original payment card. There is a deduction of £35 per person as a cancellation fee.
There is no discount on the cancellation fee for British Airways Executive Club Bronze, Gold or Silver members.
Here is one point to note: if the taxes on your booking were less than £35 (for example a one way flight to Berlin in Economy would be just £12.50 in taxes) you are not asked for any more money. In reality, your taxes are capped at the LOWER of £35 or whatever you paid in taxes and charges per person.
How do I cancel my Avios booking?
There are two options. You can either:
go into ‘Manage My Booking’ on ba.com and select the cancellation option, or
call your local British Airways Executive Club service centre
As you can see, cancelling an Avios redemption is quick and easy. You will get all of your Avios back and, on a long haul redemption, almost all of your taxes and charges back, less the £35 fee. On a short-haul redemption you will get all of your Avios back and any taxes if they were higher than £35 per person, which they usually are not.
The fees page of ba.com, which lists all of BA’s ancillary charges, is here.
PS. During the pandemic, the process has not been as easy as outlined here. A full cancellation has required a call to British Airways. Online cancellations are only allowed if you are willing to accept a Future Travel Voucher.
(This article is part of our ‘BA Q&A’ series which explains how British Airways Executive Club works. You can see all of our ‘BA Q&A’ articles here. )
(Head for Points is the UK’s biggest frequent flyer website with 2.0 million monthly page views. Want to learn more about earning and spending Avios? Click here to read our latest news stories, click here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (October 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
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.
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.
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.
There are also good bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These are available to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.