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What does it cost to cancel an Avios redemption flight?

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What does it cost to cancel an Avios redemption flight?  How do you do it?  These are the questions I want to look at in this article.

One of the key benefits of bookings flights using Avios points instead of cash is that your flight is cancellable and refundable.

You need to follow a couple of rules though, as I will explain.

What does it cost to cancel an Avios redemption flight?

How do I cancel a flight booked with Avios?

Log in to your British Airways account and go to ‘Manage My Booking’.  Bring up your Avios redemption flight details.  In the options at the bottom of the page is one for cancellation.

Sometimes this does not work properly for reasons no-one understands.  If this happens you need to call British Airways Executive Club.

Note that, during the pandemic, British Airways suspended the abilty to cancel flights online for a full refund.  The only option available, unless you call the airline, is a refund for a Future Travel Voucher.

How late can I cancel a flight booked with Avios?

An Avios redemption flight can be cancelled up to 24 hours before the outbound departure.

Once you have flown the outbound flight, you cannot cancel your return.  More precisely, you can cancel it but you won’t get anything back!  You can change the date and time of your return Avios flight, however, as long as Avios seats are available and you are willing to pay the £35 change fee.

Are there different rules if I booked on a partner airline instead of BA?

No

What does it cost to cancel an Avios redemption flight?

What does it cost to cancel a flight booked with Avios?

The cost is £35 per person OR the taxes and charges, whichever is lowest.

In 95% of cases, you will pay £35.  The only occasion when your taxes are likely to be lower than £35 would be if:

  • you were cancelling a one-way European flight, where the taxes will be just £17.50 in Economy or £25 in Business
  • you were cancelling a flight on some partner airlines where taxes are very low – domestic flights in Japan on JAL have virtually no taxes, for example

Note that it is ‘per person’, so the cost of cancelling a flight for a family of four will be £140.

If your outbound and return flights were booked separately (ie you have different booking references and separate tickets) then you will need to pay two lots of cancellation fees.

The fee is deducted from the taxes and charges before it is sent back to you.  The refund will go to the credit card used for the original payment.

Do I get all of my Avios points back when I cancel a flight?

Yes, you get 100% of the Avios points returned to your British Airways Executive Club account immediately.

(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 storiesclick here to join our email list and click here to read our ‘Avios Redemption University’ series.)


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

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:

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 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 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 Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points (SPECIAL OFFER), £200 travel credit and unbeatable 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

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

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.

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.

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