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BA extending 2-4-1 vouchers to 30th September 2023 – but only if you wrapped them in a FTV

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We recently covered the news that British Airways was planning to break up Future Travel Vouchers, returning the underlying cash, Avios and vouchers to the holder, in order to reduce pressure on its call centres.

In the last few hours this has started to happen. There is some good news though.

British Airways has decided to extend the life of 2-4-1 vouchers wrapped up in Future Travel Vouchers.

British Airways extending 241 companion vouchers

Here is the email being sent out to some holders of Future Travel Vouchers:

“You accepted a Future Travel Voucher for this booking, however, we know there are some issues with vouchers associated with Reward Flight bookings, so to offer you maximum flexibility we’ll be cancelling it and refunding you in full.

“You don’t need to do anything. We’ll automatically credit the Avios back to your account and refund the money to your original form of payment. We expect this to take approximately 4 weeks and it means you’ll be able to use your Avios as you wish.

If you used a Companion Voucher on this booking, we will add it back to your Executive Club account with a new expiry date of 30 September 2023. If your original Companion Voucher had an expiry date beyond 30 September 2023, that same date will apply when we add the voucher back to your account. This will be done automatically by us and added back to your Executive Club account once your refund has been completed. Please allow approximately 4 weeks.”

This email represents a change of heart by British Airways. The original messaging was that Companion Vouchers would be returned with their original expiry dates, or expired if that date had already passed.

This may be down to HfP pressure, since we had been actively encouraging readers to turn their expiring 2-4-1 vouchers into Future Travel Vouchers in order to keep them alive. There would have been a lot of frustrated customers if those Companion Vouchers had been expired.

What can you do about an expiring 2-4-1 voucher if it wasn’t wrapped in a Future Travel Voucher?

Nothing, unfortunately. You are going to lose it if you don’t use it. British Airways started expiring 2-4-1 vouchers again on 1st October 2021 and it won’t stop now.

It is too late now to turn it into a Future Travel Voucher. As we covered last week, BA is no longer accepting Future Travel Voucher requests for flights which contain an American Express voucher. You will automatically receive a full refund instead which won’t change the 2-4-1 expiry date.

BA has done the right thing by extending 2-4-1 vouchers wrapped in Future Travel Vouchers. These people had taken advantage of a loophole, albeit one created by BA, to extend their Companion Voucher and it would have been wrong to withdraw it.

By cashing in these Future Travel Vouchers, the pressure on BA call centre will be sharply reduced – it takes around 20 minutes to make a booking using a Future Travel Voucher – which will benefit everyone.

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (April 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 – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes 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

Huge 30,000 points bonus until 12th May 2024 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 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 (156)

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

  • Sarah B says:

    Hi.. I think there was a window of time that if you cancelled a booking after they weren’t issuing FTV, just cash/avios refund etc they are NOT extending the companion vouchers. I have cancelled two trips in last few months, first one was cancelled in Dec and I took FTV. They have just this week refunded the avios, cash and companion vouchers. However, another trip was cancelled on 2nd March and they automatically said they’d not issue a FTV but refund cash/avios/2-4-1. which they have – however they have NOT extended the expiry dates of 2-4-1

  • Lee Curtis says:

    Hi. I have a 2/4/1 voucher that I have redeemed recently. I was able to book the outward journey 355 days prior to holiday but now have to wait to book the inward journey as it has not reached the 355 days as yet. Q: is it possible to expedite a call to BA on the day the flight becomes available prior to the gold card service centre opening at 07:30 when I guess everyone tries to call ? Hope this makes sense? Thanks

    • Rob says:

      Yes, you can call the US call centre at midnight UK time and they can do it.

  • Adam says:


    I have used a companion voucher to book flights to the US in July (First out, CW back). I’m hoping that US testing requirements have relaxed by July, but does anyone know what happens if one of us tests positive within 24 hours of the outbound flight? Testing rules state that the test must be conducted within 24 hours, but by that time it’s too late to cancel an Avios booking. Do BA offer flexibility?


    • Rob says:

      Until 30 September you can take a Future Travel Voucher up to 1 hour before departure. BA is now not issuing FTVs for Avios bookings, so you’d get a full refund. Effectively the Avios cancellation deadline is now 1 hour and 24 hours.

      • A says:

        Thanks Rob. On the phone they said I’d need to cancel no later than 24 hours for a refund. Could be that they missed the FTV (which isn’t an FTV) 1 hour deadline.

        Of course we all hope that testing won’t be an entry requirement by the summer!

  • mhuk01 says:

    I have a 2-4-1 voucher expiring this April. Can I still do the trick of buying a cheap flight using the 2-4-1 and then cancel for the travel voucher?

  • Linda P says:

    Had the email from BA about refunding FTV and returning Avios all back in account by Monday. This is good as it will save ringing up call centre.

    We are off to vegas in 10 days time and was wondering has anyone used the Terminal 4 Express test as this seems to be the most convenient for us then staying overnight nearby. Also do we have to download the assertation form or do BA provide it?

  • QwertyKnowsBest says:

    Help needed.

    I have a FTV but can no longer see this in my BA account. Where does this normally show in case looking in the wrong place? I have not rec’d any email or cash returned. Any idea how I can check the status? Thanks.

    • Rob says:

      It doesn’t show online.

      The FTV number is the same number as your ticket number from the original flight.

      You don’t get any cash returned – it is all wrapped up in the FTV, waiting for you call BA and use it. However, if you wait, it will be broken up – BA has now decided to scrap all FTVs and give people back the component parts.

      • QwertyKnowsBest says:

        Thanks Rob,

        I thought BA had emailed all with FTV but I guess you are saying that they are still working through?


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

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