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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 (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 (156)

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

  • Doc says:

    Several of my extended vouchers have “changed” to regular rather than “plus”, despite all being earned on the paid for BA Amex card. This means that availability is SIGNIFICANTLY lessened. I wonder if anyone else has had this happen?

    • pauldb says:

      Lessened in what way. For pre-Sep-21 vouchers, I thought the only difference was being able to combine them 442 on the Plus vouchers. (Old basic vouchers should be restricted to economy, and old Plus vouchers shouldn’t – but might? – see I-class availability).

  • Stephen says:

    Has anyone established what happens to GUFs combined with the 2-4-1 vouchers that are now being converted?

  • James says:

    Does anyone know if the below (taken from the FTV Q&A page) applies to bookings made with 2-4-1 vouchers?

    Will travel vouchers that have already been redeemed be eligible for travel up until 30 September 2023 if you want to change your booking again?

    Yes. Travel vouchers that have already been redeemed can either be exchanged for another voucher valid for travel up to 30 September 2023 or, for journeys that are due to have been completed by 30 September 2022, you can change your booking in line with book with confidence commitment.

    • Rob says:

      I don’t think so. I think what the question is saying is ‘can a booking made with a voucher still be eligible for a new voucher?’. If you asked they would tell you that Avios tickets no longer get vouchers.

  • Marie says:

    Just had a refunded 2 for 1 voucher, very grateful but it now means I have used my vouchers out of order. Can I ring and “swap” it for a more recent voucher I have used for a booking ?

  • Bob says:

    What are my rights on cancelled flights with 2-4-1 voucher?
    I had a Japan flight last year, It was cancelled, I’ve rebooked it to March 2022, now it’s cancelled again.
    BA says I can only rebook it for free if I can fly until June. Which is not possible as Japan will be still closed, probably.
    My original 2-4-1 voucher expiry date was passed a few months ago. What are my rights now? Since this was cancelled by BA, is it possible to get an FTV and keep 2-4-1 some way?

    • pauldb says:

      I don’t think the booking history should matter too much. Regardless of it being a reward booking, you are entitled to rebooking at your convenience. For a while BA tried to restrict this to ticket validity (1yr from booking) but have since relaxed that to 1yr from departure date. I would expect them to offer the same to you.

    • Beardysuhz says:

      If BA cancelled your flights then you had the right to rebook at a date of your convenience, regardless the expiry of the voucher…(posted earlier by Mouse)

    • Lady London says:

      You now have a seat. So the rights you have are for the seat(s) you have. Even the companion seat has seat rights of its own now.

      The fact that you may have paid for any of your seats with any sort of voucher even a 241 voucher, or bought them in a sale whose on-sale dates finished ages ago or bought them with avios at a 50% rate, is all totally irrelevant even if whatever you bought with is expired. You now have a seat and the voucher is gone.

    • Jerry says:

      I’m going through CEDR with BA over exact same issue. Result due within 15 days. Do not take a FTV.

      • Bob says:

        Thanks for the all replies. But in terms of my rights, is there a date limit on how far I can rebook my ticket? I cannot find any reference online.

        • Rob says:

          Strictly not but you could find CEDR throwing out your case if you were having a laugh. Cases do not set precedent.

  • Ashraj says:

    No email from BA but mine was a larger monetary amount i guess

  • oxforddoc says:

    Am intrigued as to what ‘high value’ is classed as. Have a Heathrow-Delhi club ticket that has been rebooked three times now, currently in a voucher. Each time understanding the amount in the voucher and extra required has been v complex.

    Know BA may like to keep the £1k ish tied up in the voucher, but have to say that it must have used up a fair chunk of that in their staff’s time faffing about with the ticket changes!

  • Andy says:

    So my Japan flight has been cancelled for May. It’s a rebooking of a booking from last year using a now expired Companion voucher. It won’t let me rebook online (says no availability)

    Do I have to just accept my companion voucher is dead in the water? If so seems a bit unfair that I could have cancelled for an FTV a while back and it would have been extended!

    Anything I can do?

    • Jerry says:

      Andy – same as my reply to Bob. Ask BA by Live chat. They will refuse your EU/UK261 rights to rebook. Do not accept an FTV. Then when you have written proof your rights have been denied take them to arbitration CEDR. This is what I have done. No workarounds required. BA is the wrong side of the law.

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

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