British Airways, perhaps in an attempt to see off legal action, has made a change to its policy on eVouchers for certain passengers.
Anyone who received an eVoucher for a cancelled flight between 9th March and 19th November 2020 can now insist that the airline refunds it in cash. ba.com has the details here.
This is because British Airways was deliberately encouraging people to take a voucher during this period, removing all online methods of requesting a – legally allowed – cash refund.
Perhaps I’m being cynical, but British Airways seems to be making the process more complicated than is necessary.
For a start, you cannot cash in your eVoucher until two years from the date it was issued. This is a totally arbitrary rule as far as I can tell.
Secondly, it is important to note is that your flight must have been cancelled. If you voluntarily chose to take an eVoucher for a flight which was operating, you are not entitled to cash in your voucher.
(What is not clear is what happens if you voluntarily chose to take an eVoucher at a point when your flight was still operating, but the flight was later cancelled.)
Thirdly, anyone whose flight was cancelled after 19th November 2020 does not qualify. This is because:
“At the time of your flight being cancelled you would have been offered the choice of a refund through ba.com or an eVoucher for future travel. Prior to 19 November 2020 we couldn’t offer all the usual channels for a customer to request a refund.”
To be honest, I can’t remember how difficult it was to access a cash refund via ba.com after 19th November 2020. Let’s be honest – if you had gone on to ba.com and been give two options:
- a full cash refund, straight into your bank account within a few days, or
- a Future Travel Voucher which will expire in April 2023
….. I would assume 99% would have taken the cash. Were passengers really given the two options like this, side by side?
On the upside, for anyone who cannot cash in their eVoucher under these rules, British Airways eVouchers are fully transferable. If you don’t think you will be able to use it before 30th September 2023, you can always sell it to a friend or on eBay. The only snag is that you can’t use them to pay taxes and charges on Avios redemptions.
Intriguingly, if you used Avios to part-pay for your flight or to pay for seat reservations, BA is now saying that you will get your Avios back. The previous policy had been to refund the full original cash price (ie before you reduced it with Avios) and not return the points.
Anyone who booked via a travel agent or tour operator is not able to participate in this scheme. You must contact the company who handled your original booking.
PS. None of this has any impact on Avios bookings because no Avios bookings were refunded in the form of eVouchers. You would have received a Future Travel Voucher instead. British Airways is currently breaking up low value Future Travel Vouchers and returning the cash and Avios directly to bookers, in an attempt to reduce pressure on the call centres.
PPS. Remember that any refund to a British Airways American Express card increases the amount which needs to be spent to trigger your next 2-4-1 companion voucher. The ideal time to request a refund would be in the gap between triggering your current voucher and the end of your card year. If you don’t, you will need to spend more than you think to receive your next voucher because it requires £10,000 or £20,000 of NET spending.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 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:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
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.
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
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.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.