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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.

  • Jill (Kinkell) says:

    Read Lady London’s reply above to someone else.

    • Jill (Kinkell) says:

      That was for Andy

      • Andy says:

        Thanks Jill, I didn’t quite understand her reply but will read it again. No point me getting moved onto JAL or anyone else as Japan won’t be open. I guess I’ll phone up again and see if they’ll move me till later this year…no luck just now!

  • Namaste says:

    Hi, advice please:
    I’ve used FTVs and 2 CVs for an outbound booking to Orlando (4 pax) in October. Have not booked return leg yet.
    We can no longer travel to Orlando in October, but maybe able to use it during the summer school holidays.
    Can anyone tell me, can I cancel the outbound and use it instead for a completely different destination and date? And any fees/ charges incurred?
    Thanks in advance.

    • NorthernLass says:

      You can cancel as per BA’s Ts and Cs – you’ll pay £35 pp (which will be deducted from the refund of your surcharges). I think you still have to call to do this but it seems to be changing almost daily! You’ll get your companion vouchers back with the original expiry dates, which might be an issue with re-booking (unless you mean you’re planning to go this summer).
      Once you’ve got the avios and vouchers back (should be immediate but sometimes needs chasing up), you an make a new booking from scratch.
      Go to MMB and look at your cancellation options carefully, if it says you will receive a voucher for your cancellation, you’ll need to call BA to get a refund.

  • Jen says:

    Have received the email and voucher back on account but showing as used. Has anyone had theirs changed from used to available yet?

    • NvT1115 says:

      Mine shows as available and new expiry date

    • NorthernLass says:

      Yes – mine is showing as available but OH’s is showing as used. A few other people have mentioned this. I think it’s going to take manual intervention by BA to resolve. I’ve tweeted but not sure if I’ll get a response as the system doesn’t recognise what I’m asking about!

      • NorthernLass says:

        Spoke too soon! OH’s voucher now showing as available to use. So I don’t know if it happened on its own or it was the Tweet that did it!

  • Gav says:

    Unfortunately I just missed the FTV voucher as I tried the loophole cancellation on the 2nd of March, was offered the full refund and the 241 voucher reinstated at the original expiry date. I went on the chat last week and was advised that I had to call to re-book and they would allocate the voucher and Avios then.I’ve checked recently and the voucher is still showing as used. Do you think this will be reinstated to allow use online

    • NorthernLass says:

      See above, there might be a glitch in the system with this which may resolve itself.

  • Clare says:

    I’m still waiting for return of avios and voucher for 241 return flights cancelled by by BA last November for a flight that would have left last week. Cash returned after about 6 weeks. Manage my booking still says BA is processing the refund. I have had it with BA and will fly with other airlines in future even though I have 2 unexpired 2 for 1’s and likely to get another one shortly.

  • Jen says:

    I can happily report that whatever glitch it had is now resolved as the voucher is showing as available to use. Thanks all

  • Dave says:

    Any advice on how to trace my wife’s 2-4-1 that was converted to a FTV in Oct 2020 but is not appearing in her account ?

    • Rob says:

      It doesn’t appear in your account. Your FTV reference number is the ticket number of the trip that got cancelled (not that you can look it up even if you have the number – only the BA call centre can do anything with it).

  • rebecca says:

    What should you do if you have not received this email from ba yet and you have an ftv with a companion voucher inside? Are ba contacting customers on a rolling basis?

    • Rob says:

      It’s not clear how many will be broken. The more cash, the lower the chance.

      • roro says:

        Really – is that even legal – surely a refund of even one FTV with 2-4-1 extended must be applied to everyone in that position regardless

        • Rob says:

          BA can do what it likes. You accepted the FTV on the terms offered. Whether BA improves those terms for some people is irrelevant unless you can prove sexual or racial discrimination in who is being refunded.

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

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