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.
(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 1.5 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 get 20,000 Avios from Amex Gold or 30,000 Avios from Amex Platinum (August 2021 offer)
The sign-up bonus on American Express Preferred Rewards Gold converts to 20,000 Avios and the card is free for the first year.
You don’t qualify for the Amex Gold bonus if you have a British Airways American Express card. You DO qualify for the bonus on The Platinum Card, which converts into 30,000 Avios – find out more here:
If you have your own small business, the best way of earning Avios is via the Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa. It has a sign-up bonus which converts to 10,000 Avios:
You can find out more about ALL UK credit cards which offer travel rewards in this article, updated monthly.