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GAME OVER: You can no longer extend 2-4-1 vouchers by claiming a Future Travel Voucher

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In October 2021, British Airways started expiring American Express 2-4-1 companion vouchers again, after a number of pandemic extensions.

Luckily for Head for Points readers, we found a way to stop them expiring. You could book a random short haul flight using your voucher and immediately cancel it for a Future Travel Voucher.

This had the effect of ‘freezing’ your 2-4-1 voucher, allowing you to rebook for your choice of route at any point to 30th September 2023.

No more.

British Airways tailfins

You can no longer get a Future Travel Voucher for an Avios booking

British Airways has, with no notice, made two changes to Future Travel Vouchers.

The key one is that you can no longer get a Future Travel Voucher on an Avios booking. Your booking will be automatically refunded instead.

This is what you now see on ba.com if you request a Future Travel Voucher:

Extending 241 voucher via Future Travel Voucher

If you have a 2-4-1 coming up to expiry, use it or lose it

This change of policy means that there is now no way of protecting a companion voucher which is approaching expiry.

You need to start looking for somewhere to fly to, or accept that it is going to be lost.

On the upside, online Avios cancellations are now possible

There is some upside here, of course.

For the first time in almost two years, you can now cancel an Avios booking online without having to speak to the BA call centre.

This only applies to travel up to 30th September 2023, however.

‘Book With Confidence’ is extended to 30th September 2023

There is some other good news.

British Airways has extended its ‘Book With Confidence’ deadline to 30th September 2022.

Book with Confidence extended

The previous deadline was 31st August 2022. If you book any British Airways travel for completion by 30th September 2022, you can cancel it at any point for a Future Travel Voucher.

The voucher will act as credit against a new booking which must be made for travel by 30th September 2023. Your Future Travel Voucher will be sent as an eVoucher, as there won’t be any Avios element, meaning that you can use it online at ba.com without having to call.

Summary

To summarise these changes:

  • If you have a 2-4-1 companion voucher coming up for expiry, it now appears to be too late to artificially extend it by turning it into a Future Travel Voucher. This game is over.
  • There is good news for everyone else – you can now cancel Avios redemption bookings online again, at least for travel before 30th September 2023, and the ‘Book With Confidence’ guarantee has been pushed out to 30th September, allowing you to book cash tickets for travel in September with no worries.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2024)

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

Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up 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 £15,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 16TH JULY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points and a huge range of valuable 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 10,500 Avios.

Capital on Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,000 points bonus – plus an extra 500 points for our readers 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 sign-up bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (208)

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

  • Jerry says:

    I’m doing a CEDR with BA over denied UK261 rights. Having a live chat transcript email and 2 customer service emails all denying my rights have been useful. If your flight is cancelled and you want to be rebooked under UK261 set up a paper trail. Case not ruled on yet. It takes a while.

    • Lady London says:

      Good tip Jerry please let us know what result you get

    • LS says:

      I would echo this – but also make sure you have i) raised a formal complaint ii) received a final position letter. Following several of the ‘live chats’ you may feel you have put a formal complaint in, but you may well have not.
      I use resolver as a website: It allows me to put a contemporaneous note for calls (which I note date, time, telephone number dialled, and person spoken to), and it also stores all correspondence. Very easy. I have a UK261 claim over denied re-routing. Took 5 mins to set up resolver claim, and a few minutes to note the calls. It also puts formal complaints in for me, and structures the complaint letter if I need it. The system prompts me when it is time to escalate to CEDR. In total it will take < 1h for me to claim £3.5k for a replacement flight, which BA will lose – it is open and shut. Unless BA are sensible and book me on the flight I want in the complaint process.

  • doctorbee says:

    If you cancel a reward flight online now, does “Book With Confidence” apply and no £35 fee is levied, or is it still deducted from the taxes?

  • Sean Mc says:

    I see exactly the screen you see so cancelled an avios “cancelled flight” to get a refund – have received an email saying i have an FTV. Not what i wanted at all as it is in a mates name.

  • YH says:

    I have a 241 booked with the extension hack but it has not been ticketed because of an issue with the payment card. I do have a reservation showing in my account with PNR and seats allocated. BA have asked me to call them to use another card.

    Do you think I will be able to make the payment after this change and keep the booking? Thanks.

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

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