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Had a British Airways First Class ticket cancelled or need to change one? Call “You First”

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“You First” is a dedicated call centre set up to help anyone holding a British Airways First Class ticket.  Not many people know it exists, which is a shame because – irrespective of the wait times at the main British Airways call centre – telephone calls to “You First” are generally answered quickly.

The last time I used it, back in August 2020 at the height of the pandemic, I got through within 30 seconds and within five minutes my tickets were changed following a cancellation.

Whilst it may be busier this weekend after the problems yesterday, it is by far your best opportunity to get an affected flight rebooked or refunded.

British Airways You First telephone number for first class passengers

The British Airways “You First” telephone number is 020 7949 3055.  If you are in the UK, there is also a free version which is 0800 408 7667.

‘You First’ is open 24/7, although if you call outside UK office hours you may be diverted to an offshore call centre and the service level may be different.  It is, I believe, the same team that look after Gold Guest List members.

You can ring this number to make a First Class booking, for cash or Avios, as well as call to make any changes or cancellations.

What else can “You First” do for you?

The British Airways website is rather vague about what “You First” offers.  On the webform for contacting “You First” it suggests using them for:

  • Travel queries
  • Journey disruption
  • Mishandled bags

To be honest, I don’t think I have ever used it for anything other than flight changes.

British Airways You First telephone number

One reason to call “You First” is to pre-book the cabana relaxation rooms in The Concorde Room lounge at Heathrow Terminal 5 and New York JFK.  These are still closed due to covid restrictions, but you used to be able to reserve one up to a year in advance.

The cabanas have never appealed to me personally but they are good for connecting passengers who want a nap and a shower.  I saw them described as resembling “a disabled bathroom with a daybed” which is about right!  Sitting in the lounge itself is far preferable.

The British Airways “You First” service is NOT meant to be a concierge service.  They will, however, answer the telephone quickly and deal efficiently with the basics such as ticket changes – although you could justifiably argue that you shouldn’t need to have a First Class ticket to get this level of service!

There isn’t much about “You First” on the British Airways website, but the little there is can be found here.

Don’t forget that we have a full guide to redeeming Avios for British Airways First Class seats which you can find here.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (May 2023)

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard is doubled to a crazy 50,000 Avios! Apply here.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 30th May, the sign-up bonus on the free Barclaycard Avios Mastercard is doubled to 10,000 Avios. Apply here.

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

CRAZY 50,000 Avios for signing up (to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (only to 30th May) and an upgrade voucher at £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 famous annual 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.

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 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.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.

Comments (52)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 1ATL says:

    Didn’t you used to cat Quintessentially concierge service 30 days in advance of travel at some point when flying First? Presumably that feature has gone by the way side…. I can’t say I ever had a need to call on Q

  • Nick says:

    You First came to the rescue yesterday as my short hop to Iceland was cancelled, unfortunately they still couldn’t deal with BA Holiday side of things. Shame no one other than BA Holidays can amend flights etc especially when they don’t open till 8am. Their 24hr Holiday line refers to an email address. Not very helpful at all when you’re trying to ring someone at 5am

  • Colin MacKinnon says:

    Tip on comments a month or so worked for me….

    Called YouFirst to change a LAX to LHR ticket in business to come back from Denver in F – even though I knew Denver no longer had F.
    Agent said let me check F, then said they were sorry it was no longer offered, would CW do.
    Previously had held on regular phone for the max one hour for three days in a row.

  • Steve says:

    Can this be used for First class flights booked with miles? What about reward flights in first class booked through BA on another carrier?

    • Chrisasaurus says:

      Yes to first question for sure

    • Anne says:

      Definitely yes for BA First tickets booked with Avois. I used YouFirst the other week to sort reticketing for an involuntary downgrade LHR-DXB booked with a 241 – sorted in minutes by a very knowledgeable chap. And best of all, no wait at all to get through.

    • AJA says:

      As Chrisasaurus says yes definitely works for reward flights booked in F. I used You First to get a refund in June 2020 of my cancelled reward trip to TLV in F. Very quick to answer the phone and very swiftly sorted.with companion voucher and Avios back in my account while still on the call. Cash back to Amex within 3 days.

    • Lady London says:

      Yes see my reply below.

  • Peter says:

    Wish I had known about this a few weeks ago. I had a journey that included First LHR-SIN that I booked in a sale last year. I was moved to a later flight that meant my connection in SIN no longer worked. I tried changing the flight on-line to the previous day but was asked for another £2,400. I tried calling BA several times but either waited an hour on hold or got the recorded message to call back later before the line went dead. In the end I cancelled on-line and got my money back but lost a bargain First fare.

    • Secret Squirrel says:

      You cancelled online & got your money back? Did you take a FTV do you mean?

      • John says:

        If your flight is cancelled you can get a full refund online most of the time – you only get forced into FTV if you voluntarily cancel

      • Peter says:

        As the flight I booked was cancelled I got a full refund even though the automatically re-booked flight was only 1 hour 45 minutes later. I cancelled as it was impossible to contact BA to ensure I arrived in Singapore in time to connect to my next flight.

        • Lady London says:

          Sorry but I guess you know now that you took the worst outcome.

          Tip: whenever BA offers a full cash refund, consider that they are only doing it so that they can remove rights you have to something much more valuable.

          The easier they make it or the quicker the agent tries to refund or says this is all you can do, be sure there is a big stinky rat sitting on BA’s shoulder.

          If your flight number changes, or same flight number but a different day this counts as a cancellation. Even if the different flight number is a short time later or earlier. This gives you full cancellation rights to choose any other time or date you choose to travel instead. Your choice not the airline’s. If the airline that cancelled your flight says they can’t do this for any reason, and note that any reasons are their problem not yours, you are fully entitled to get a free replacement ticket under s75 from your UK credit card if you paid with one, or to purchase your own replacement ticket elsewhere and have them reimburse a raft of costs for the ticket and quite possibly other things.

          This, regardless of the cost of the new ticket and no admin charge or cost to you allowed.

          This, for BA any other UK or Europe based airline on any journey even multistop or connecting from or to UK or Europe at either end, and on any other airline’s flight departing UK or Europe if not a UK-based or Europe-baser airline.

          Watch carefully if your airline advises only a schedule change. Check the flight number. Easyjet made a practice in Covid of emailing people mentioning only a time change in Covid. Whereas they had in fact cancelled all flights on the same day except one, movef everyone onto that one flight, and sent cheery little emails about how they were doing everyone a public service by trying to fly as many people as possible and so it was only a different flight departure time. Whereas they’d cancelled the person’s flight and moved them to another flight. Ie a cancellation with full cancellation rights that Easyjet went to considerable lengths to conceal.

          • mecrash says:

            I thought you could only do this within the 14 days before a flight.
            Are you saying we can do this if the flight is months away if BA cancel your flight and try to consolidate on to a later flight. ?
            Normally I just take the cash refund

          • Lady London says:

            Mecrash the 2 weeks notice ahead, or exceptional circumstances only lets the airline out of compensation amounts.

            There is no exemption for duty of care. Not even if the flight is cancelled 355 days ahead. The airline owes everything which comes under duty of care with no getout if the flight/airline comes under EU261 or its UK equivalent. So your choice to reroute (rebook) now or later date, or refund. Not the airline’s choice. Additionally all meals at local rates, accommodation if needed due to the wait for soonest available reroute, transport to and from the accommodation, internet. No cost and no admin charge to you. Ask them and if they don’t provide you buy and reclaim (a tedious process but you’ll win).

  • Tracey says:

    I have a companion voucher about to expire. I wonder if booking a F flight then immediately cancelling for FTV would mean I could rebook using You First?

    • AJA says:

      I don’t think so. You could phone You First to re-book if the flight in F was cancelled or disrupted or you want to make changes to it.

  • Andrew J says:

    If you have a BA Holiday with a flight in First which you need to cancel/amend – still call You First and start the enquiry with them, they won’t be able to help but will put you through at the front of the queue to the Holidays team, with an introduction so you don’t even need to explain yourself again.

  • Ishan says:

    YouFirst were great in helping with a BA Holiday booked in F. Couldn’t get through to pay my balance using an e-voucher but they did it for me.

    Curiously, I could use an e-voucher generated before I made the holiday booking and paid my deposit but not an e-voucher generated a couple of weeks ago (ie well after the holiday booking was made). Told that had always been the rule but hadn’t heard that before. It will get used elsewhere so I didn’t quibble.

    • Tracey says:

      Also had this problem!

    • ChrisC says:

      That has always been the rule and quite clearly elucidated in the voucher T&Cs.

      Yes some people may have gotten lucky but that doesn’t mean it applies to anyone else.

      I’ve certainly had a “new” voucher declined for use on an. “old” booking,

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