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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.


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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

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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 (156)

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

  • David R says:

    My 2-year voucher has been extended to 3 years – to 2024. (Wasnt wrapped in an FTV voucher.)

  • Vit says:

    Literally, just managed to add the returned flight from BKK (returning on my birthday) next year. 🙂 Still a very good move from BA as it has been a nightmare getting through to their CS!

  • ed_fly says:

    I think it’s a little shoddy that those who rebooked an FTV are now fixed into flights they’ve booked, with a cancel and lose the 241 situation. Whereas those who speculatively acquired an FTV now have a 241 with standard flexibility through to Sept 23.

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      That’s how it was designed to be and was obvious. Why would you book a ticket if you aren’t going to travel?

  • Nik says:

    Came too late for me but will save the pain for many trying to get through to the call centre. Took over two weeks and endless hours on hold but eventually got our flights using 2 x FTVs.

  • KevMc says:

    The problem with the FTV’s which encompass a companion pass has always been that you can’t use them online. I guess they’ve given up trying to rectify it after 2 years, and reverted back to what they probably should have done in the first place – keep extending vouchers.

    Hopefully this will mean that the phonelines start to get back to a useable means of contacting them!

  • NorthernLass says:

    It is great news that, in theory, using the 241s won’t now require spending hours getting through to BA on the phone, however some of us have got our avios and/or cash but no companion voucher as yet so hopefully BA is just refunding the individual elements separately and there’s not another IT hitch which means we’ll still have to call 🤦‍♀️

  • John T says:

    This way have been answered before but if you have a 2-4-1 in an existing booking you can’t take that would expire if refunded/converted into a new FTV, surely you can keep kicking the can down by the road by just rebooking new flights at a later date rather than converting to FTV, to keep the 241 alive?

    You’ll need to pay a change fee each time, but surely better than letting it expire, no?

    • ed_fly says:

      This is largely what I’m trying to work out. Though I’m not sure it’s possible. Be very happy to hear otherwise.

  • LondonFly says:

    When the 241 was tied up in a FTV you had to travel as the same 2 people. Now that it has been refunded are you able to use it for someone else?

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

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