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 September 2023.
This represents a five month extension on the previous deadline of 30th April 2023, and indeed a 17 month extension to the original deadline of 30th April 2022.
Remember that 30th September 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 failing to tell people how much their voucher was for – or what vouchers, Avios, seat selection or baggage fees 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 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 September 2023.
‘Book With Confidence’ has also been extended
British Airways has also extended its ‘Book With Confidence’ guarantee.
This means that, for any flights you book for travel by 31st August 2022, you can change the date for any reason without paying any fees. Any fare difference will still be due.
This represents a four month extension to the previous travel deadline of 30th April 2022.
Will anything happen to British Airways American Express 241 vouchers?
I feel that we are now due a further announcement on extensions to unused British Airways American Express 241 vouchers, given that there is little sign of long haul markets opening.
Remember that, in any event, you can artificially extend your unused 241 vouchers to 30th September 2023.
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 September 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 September 2023 is a sensible move by British Airways. Even if short haul travel opens up fully this Autumn, many favourite long haul routes are likely to remain closed for longer.
The updated rules regarding Future Travel Vouchers can be found on this page of ba.com.
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 generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open 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.