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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 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 without having to call.


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 (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 (208)

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

  • Russell says:

    I have had a few ftvs over the last year or so. I can’t remember the details and expiration. How can I find these out? Anyway without calling BA?

    • Rob says:

      No – expiration for all is now 30/9/23 irrespective of what the expiry was at the time it was issued.

  • Ian Ene says:

    My voucher will expire unused thanks to BA’s dreadful availability for reward seats to Asia. They are an increasingly irrelevant carrier given the high price, poor availability, and stratospheric taxes.

  • Andrew B says:

    Mine and my wife’s vouchers will unfortunately expire unused. Our plan was to use them on 1st class flights but I’ve never managed to find any that suit. I use Rewardflightfinder.

    Our premium BA Amex’s are up for renewal next month and I can’t see the point of paying to keep them.

    Also BA is not what it was it seems. So many horror stories. I’m not overly keen to fly with them.

  • Alex W says:

    B******s. I’ve now lost a 241, Lloyds upgrade and 2 IHG free nights. Cheers Covid

    • Russell says:

      Many have lost more than that

    • Jonathan says:

      Many people have been far more unlucky, including losing loved ones without being able to give a proper goodbye, being made bankrupt, becoming alcoholics among many bad life turnarounds, so just be lucky that what you never got to redeem through simply using credit cards is the (presumably) the worst of your loses

    • Mike says:

      Alex – my thoughts are with you at this difficult time

  • Terry S says:

    Recently made a booking for an outbound next year (return not avail yet) using a 241FTV. Weirdly, the lady made the change to my FTV in seconds (ie changed it from its original LHR-MAN to the new booking LHR-MCO), I then got cut off, rang back to confirm it and pay the extra taxes etc. The guy said the previous agent did made the change and she’d blocked those seats indefinitely until I ring back in the future to add the return. What I mean is I could pay the additional taxes/Avios when I eventually add the return. I couldn’t quite believe this so I said I would pay the taxes/extra Avios now for the outbound, then add the return in the future and the taxes/Avios would then readjust……

    That’s a new one on me – I think

  • AlisonH says:

    Hi Rob, I have a 241 wrapped in a FTV. My originally booking was just a short haul in order to extend my soon to be expiring 241. When I phone to rebook will I be able to do a long haul and just add the extra avios? Thanks.

  • Peter Taysum says:

    I’ve got an old voucher, that expires in June, so guess New York, or short haul to not lose it! Do I have to just complete outbound; or return, I’ve forgotten!

    Also BA are being a pain with FTVs. I have two or three. One, small amount was from holiday, and they are saying can only be used for holiday. Does that mean the two flight FTVs can only be used for flights?


  • Stephen says:

    The claims form still only goes up to the end of August! So much for the extension to end September???

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

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