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British Airways giving passengers extra flexibility as Heathrow caps numbers

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British Airways has unveiled a number of flexible rebooking options for people travelling over the next few weeks in order to comply with Heathrow’s new daily 100,000 passenger cap.

Fortunately, unlike mass flight cancellations, these changes are optional and could even be beneficial if you are reconsidering upcoming travel or are changing your plans.

Whilst Heathrow has asked all airlines to stop selling seats for flights until mid September, British Airways seems to be intending to hit its quota of passenger reductions via additional flight cancellations and voluntary passenger rebooking. It doesn’t want to miss out on the revenue from last minute ticket sales at full fare.

British Airways Heathrow cancellations

Do you have a BA Heathrow flight on or before 25th July?

If you have a British Airways flight from Heathrow on or before Monday 25th July that was booked before the 10th July you now have several options available to you:

  • You can rebook onto another British Airways flight to the same destination free of charge within 12 months of the original date of travel. You can also choose to depart from another London airport, such as Gatwick, or fly to an alternative airport in the same destination (eg. Newark instead of JFK).
  • Alternatively, if you no longer wish to fly, you can request a Future Travel Voucher, valid until 30th September 2023. This freezes the value of your flights and can be used towards a future booking.

The changes apply to all long and short haul bookings from Heathrow until the 25th July, including redemptions, and can be made from Manage My Booking. Flights from other airports are not included.

If you have a connecting flight with one or more non-BA sectors then you may be on the hook for a fare difference from the other airlines on your ticket when rebooking.

If your flight is cancelled by British Airways then you are entitled the standard EU261 rights, including a full refund or rebooking, as per our recent article here.

British Airways Heathrow flight cap

Flying between 26th July and 30th September?

Anyone with a booking up to the 30th September is eligible to cancel and request a Future Travel Voucher for free. This voucher is valid for travel until the 30th September 2023.

Booked before the 8th June?

If your trip was booked before the 8th June, for travel by 30th September, BA’s ‘Book With Confidence’ policy applies.

BA is adding further flexibility for anyone travelling by the 30th September 2022 who booked on or beforethe 7th June. As per this page on the BA website, you can change your dates, destination or cancel for a future travel voucher for free. All travel must be completed by the 30th September in order to benefit from these changes.

Note that, unlike customers with flights on or before the 25th July you WILL be on the hook for any difference in fare if you choose to rebook. However, British Airways will waive the change fee.

You can also choose to cancel your booking in return for a future travel voucher valid until the 30th September 2023.

For redemption bookings made before 7th June for travel by 30th September you’ll also be able to cancel this for a full refund – the cancellation or change fee will be waived. Any companion or upgrade vouchers will revert to their original expiration date.

How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (September 2022)

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

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Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

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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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways American Express

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You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

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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 a long list of travel benefits 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 (117)

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

  • Tariq says:

    So if I have a 241 voucher that expires in Feb and I can find Avios seats from LHR before 25/07/22 to the destination I want to fly to, I can call up and rebook up to Sept 2023 without charge?

    • Rob says:

      Seems so 🙂

      This plan does seem open to abuse I agree. Perhaps we should have a HfP party in the Maldives over Christmas …..

    • numpty says:

      Had a 241 voucher expiring next week, found avios availability for Saturday (!) and booked. As soon as i went to MMB was given the option to change date for free (and rebook for up to a year in future).

      • Johnny5a says:

        I have the same situation. Now I need to get move on to find a destination

      • YC says:

        Was this booked prior to 10th july?

        • numpty says:

          Booked this morning. To be clear, MMB only then lets you change the date and not the destination or class. But works for me as its saved a 241 voucher i was going to let expire.

          • Rob says:

            To date with Avios availability or a random date?

          • numpty says:

            not all flights show up, and not on all days, so i assume it is still based on avios availability.

  • Andrew J says:

    Do you get a Future Travel Voucher or eVoucher?

    • John says:

      I suspect you get the former for redemptions and the latter for revenue bookings.

      • G says:

        Sometimes you get an FTV; I paid for a date change on a booking and I got an FTV. The phone agent sympathised with my pleas for an e-Voucher but she couldn’t do anything except explain the situation and why my FTV was £30 less than the total amount I originally paid. 🙂

  • Thegasman says:

    “You can rebook onto another British Airways flight to the same destination free of charge within 12 months of the original date of travel.”

    But I thought BA could only rebook within 12 months of ticketing due to IT issues & IATA rules…

    Shows their line on EC261 claims to be a load of tosh & I’d definitely be siting this new policy in any CEDR/MCOL claim.

    • numpty says:

      I had the 12 months from travel date applied to a rebooking without any issue. IIRC this was an update sent out to customer services – in my own experience the CS agent refused to believe me and honour it for a rebooking – after a while of both of us being polite but stubborn they then went and checked with their supervisor and came back and told me i was correct! Rebooked.

      • meta says:

        Once and for all, there are no IATA rules on ticket validity for irregular operations. In fact, IATA has a built-in system for overriding the normal ticketing rule in case of irrops. Every time you flight gets cancelled, you should be issued with a new ticket number with new 12 months validity.

        BA choses to ignore this.

    • SummerSkies says:

      BA manages to overcome these rules/it issues if they want.
      They did exactly this for about 3 weeks last July
      Very kind of them as were able to rebook our 50% avios sale 2 for 1 flights for 11 months later
      BA then kindly gave one of us Avios and Tier points for one leg

  • Martin says:

    So I’m travelling to Prague on 2507 and Cyprus on 0808. Time to get excited that both will go ahead or still live in fear of cancellations?

  • KS says:

    I have travel booked on a 241 in August. Do we think I can cancel that and by doing so, get the 241 extended until Sept ‘23?

  • Letsfly says:

    What about a BA holiday on QR flights? Any option or just a voucher?

  • Gavin says:

    ‘ The changes apply to all long and short haul bookings from Heathrow until the 25th July, including redemptions, and can be made from Manage My Booking. Flights from other airports are not included.’

    I’m flying LCY>BER today; BER>LHR on Monday; both legs were covered by this (ie I could move my LCY flight to another date, flight… or even airport, for free). Was tempted to get out earlier today from Heathrow (one of the options BA’s surprisingly functional IT offered me).

    • Rhys says:

      By ‘other airports’ I meant flights originally from City, Gatwick etc where no passenger cap is in place.

      • Gavin says:

        Yep. My flight originally was from City though. Don’t think what you’re saying is wrong – just a data point that mixed legs (ie out from LCY and back into LHR) also qualify for the policy.

        A better way to put it might be that a booking which involves any LHR sector is eligible for the change.

        • Rhys says:

          Possibly true in practice, I was relying on the official BA docs!

    • Lady London says:

      Curious. Wonder why some other bits of BA’s IT seem so difficult for BA to make work then. Such as the return of the functionality that let us very simply cancel avios bookings online.

  • G says:

    Of course, they could just permit BwC until the end of this calendar year.

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

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