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Bits: check the expiry of any new BA 2-4-1 vouchers, Rhys wins an award, Midpoint winners

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News in brief:

Check the expiry date of any new BA Amex 2-4-1 vouchers

The Avios IT migration is 95% complete and you should now be able to log in to your account (unless your password includes an ‘&’ sign) and complete most tasks. Just don’t try anything radical such as booking a redemption on American Airlines or moving your Avios from Iberia to BA.

There is a bug with newly issued British Airways American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers.

Until 31st December 2021, all new companion vouchers come with an additional six months of validity. Vouchers on the free British Airways American Express come with 18 months validity which those from the Premium Plus American Express come with 30 months.

(You may want to bring forward your next voucher to trigger it before 31st December to maximise its validity, but this is a discussion for another day.)

Unfortunately, someone forget to tell the computer about this.

Here is a ba.com screenshot showing a newly issued companion voucher:

British Airways companion voucher

As you can see, the latest voucher has only been issued for 24 months and not 30 months. I know at least two other HfP readers are in the same boat.

Hopefully BA pick this up after reading the above and make the necessary adjustments before people feel the need to start calling up.

Business Travel Journalism Awards

Rhys wins an award!

I’m delighted to say that Rhys has won ‘Best Newcomer To Business Travel Journalism‘ in the 2021 Business Travel Journalism Awards.

The judges said that:

‘Rhys’ great passion for aviation and in-depth knowledge of the industry are reflected in his well-informed pieces peppered with detailed statistical insights and analysis’.

Many of you will know that Rhys has also started to contribute aviation pieces to The Sunday Times travel section in recent months, although the award was based purely on his HfP writing.

It’s an especially good result because, for half of the judging period, Rhys was running our commercial activity during Sinead’s maternity leave and had to cut back on his writing.

Sadly covid restrictions have meant that the lavish in-person awards ceremony was replaced by a series of tweets for the second year. You may question how we are meant to give confidence to the travelling public when a group of business travel writers are not allowed to come together for an evening ….

Anika won the same award back in 2017. The benefit of having a small team, and the fact that my role has become more admin and desk based as the years have passed, is that our young writers have the chance to get stuck into the big stories of the day from Day 1.

Well done Rhys.

Earn Avios with Midpoint

Our Midpoint competition winners revealed

We recently ran a special bonus Avios promotion with foreign currency transfer specialist Midpoint.

As well as getting bonus Avios for making a transfer during the promotion, five lucky new Midpoint customers were chosen at random and given 10,000 bonus Avios.

(When I say ‘given’, they will turn up whenever the Avios IT migration sort itself out.)

The winners were:

  • Yuval L
  • Jonathan S
  • Scott S
  • Irene F-S
  • Daniel T

Congratulations to the five of you.

If you want to earn Avios on your next foreign currency transfer – as well as paying tiny fees and getting the interbank FX rate – take a look at what Midpoint can offer you by reading this article.

Comments (91)

  • Lyn says:

    Congratulations for a very well-deserved award Rhys.

  • Iain miller says:

    On a 2-4-1 voucher.
    I have one which expires in February.
    Is it still possible to extend them with a cheap booking and an FTV?
    I know the previous advice was to wait till it was about to expire before doing so…but I presume the chances of it being extended again are zero?

    • Dave says:

      Yes I’m pretty sure this is still live. I have two related questions though if anyone can help:
      1) does anyone know what the best options are to keep the taxes low when doing this? Is it possible to not put in £70 by choosing a destination with taxes lower than the RFS cap? Main reason being uncertainty as to whether the FTV would in reality ever be used…
      2) do people sense there is any risk of BA pulling the FTV option in the near future – it would seem crazy in light of the current situation, but still…

      • AJA says:

        In reply to both of you there’s realistically no chance of BA extending validity of 2-4-1s again and yes the booking and cancelling for FTV still works. To keep the cost down just book a one-way in economy eg LHR to MAN which limits the Avios and taxes you wrap up in the FTV. There is a very small likelihood of BA stopping the FTV route while travel is still subdued but there is no guarantee that it will still be there in Feb 2022 so if there’s no chance you want to use your 2-4-1 before it expires naturally and you want to extend the 2-4-1 I’d do it sooner rather than later.

        • Dave says:

          Thanks AJA that’s helpful. One way seems obvious now you say it!

          • Coogan says:

            How does the FTV actually work? I’ve got 2 2-4-1’s expiring in the next 2 months.

            Anyone able to explain the details (or point me on the direction of a guide somewhere?) How does it work in practice? What the FTV gives and why booking something random like a one way to Manchester recommend? Or should I just let both vouchers expire in this crazy times we are living where travel is getting riskier again?

          • AJA says:

            @Coogan The FTV is essentially a manual voucher that contains your normal booking. So you

            1) initially use the 2-4-1 in the normal way ie book a flight online on BA eg one way LHR MAN in economy for 2 passengers which costs 4,500 Avios +£35 RFS fees for 2 passengers..
            2) Then you cancel the flight but instead of getting everything back less the £35 you opt to receive a FTV. You can do this online via the Covid advice pages.
            3) The FTV suspends your booking for use by 30 Sep 2023. It uses your existing PNR booking ref eg AJA001. 4)You don’t actually get anything back but it is held offline in BA’s system essentially as a pending future flight. 5) When you want to use it you phone BA and say I want to use my FTV AJA001 to book LHR-JFK in Club on 1 Sep 2023 returning 7 Sep 2023 which costs 75,000 Avios +£655 taxes (made up as I can’t remember actual figures). BA says that’s fine you owe an extra 70,500 Avios + £620 taxes.

            Upside is you extend 2-4-1 for use by 30 Sep 2023.
            Downsides are:
            1) You have to PHONE BA to use the voucher,
            2) you CANNOT redeem online so no good if you want to fly a route with limited Avios availability
            3) it is travel BY 30 Sep 2023. You cannot use it to book a return flight beyond that date

        • Iain says:

          Thankyou. Very helpful

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