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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

25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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.

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

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

50,000 points bonus until 2nd October – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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 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.

  • Magda Chrysaphiades says:

    Last time I travelled was September 2019. Flew to Larnaca, 3 weeks holiday, then back to uk. Tried to book September 2022, 4 weeks. Refuse to take my Avios points, as they say there vouchers 🤣 i had accrued points. Looking at Aegean now. Stop over 1 hour, Athens.

    • ChrisC says:

      Some of this dosen’t make sense

      If you are saying you tried to book a BA Holiday and to use a voucher containing avios then they are correct.

      You can only pay for a BA Holiday with cash and / or a cash only voucher.

  • idrive says:

    for option 1, do you need availability for redemptions if YOU want to change date on another flight/date or you can book anyway?

  • Niall says:

    It will be good if this is enough to sort the capacity problem for BA. Hopefully without many cancellations.

    I guess people will only be taking advantage of this flexibility if they wanted to move their flights anyway? As if anything, those of us with flights booked I’d hope will have a nicer time at Heathrow with a few less other passengers.

    • Martin says:

      Agreed Niall

    • Brian78 says:

      “I guess people will only be taking advantage of this flexibility if they wanted to move their flights anyway?”

      I’m not sure they will. If you’re taking a holiday now, you’ve probably got school age kids so September is no good to you

  • Lisa says:

    Has anyone else received the email from BA offering these flexible rebooking options, only to have BA refuse to make the change?
    Our Avios flight is flying into LHR on 20 July, so we thought we’d take advantage of the flexible options and fly back to LHR later. Wrong! The email is only valid for outbound travel from LHR so the emails have been sent to thousands of customers in error. Not only have we had the email but the details of the flexible offer appears on Manage My Booking and our flight is highlighted red.
    BA said sorry, nothing we can do. How can they make these offers to customers and then not honour them?

    • meta says:

      My partner can change his flight back into LHR in MMB for this Sunday. Not sure why you can’t? Have you actually tried clicking all the way through. I guess if the flight is full for when you want to come back, then you can’t. It does say everywhere, subject to availability.

      • Lisa says:

        When we click on change my booking it says we have to call BA. There’s plenty of availability on the flight we chose to fly back into LHR. The issue was that BA said the flexible options only appear to flights outbound from Heathrow, not inbound. Makes a mockery of sending us an email offering flexible options.

  • Mongezi says:

    My wife and two kids have a flight LHR-JNB on 12th October which we now need to change. Any chance the 30th September date will be extended out to October so we can get a voucher?

  • Justin Petersen says:

    Off to Denver next week for a holiday and starting my trip in Dublin to go back via London as the ticket was much less than direct from London (in Club World) and my flight to Dublin was cancelled – so couldn’t find another seat out of Heathrow on the app so now going to Dublin via London City – they asked if I wanted to cancel Denver but I had all my arrangements made, frustrating but par for the course I suppose, not looking forward to a very hot trek across London next week – as I live 15 minutes from Heathrow.

  • Fred S says:

    Slightly O/T: my exec club membership year ended last Fri, 8/7. Homepage says I’m still silver. Print card shows card expiry Aug 2022. Am I Silver until next July/Aug or only until Aug this year?

  • Jeff says:

    I’m getting old and clearly becoming a bit vonfused. I have return flights leaving from LHR to VIE leaving 29th August and returning 2nd September. My 241 expires 31st Ausgust. The booking was made in March 2022.

    The BA site says

    “If you have an Avios Reward Flight Saver, Reward Flight, Companion or Gold Upgrade Voucher booking, please note that by submitting this form you will be given a refund and your Companion or Gold Upgrade Voucher will revert back to the original expiry date.”

    Am I right in saying that if I wish to apply for a voucher or to change my flights I will lose the 241.



    • Rob says:

      If you apply for a refund your 241 will come back with the same expiry. You can move the flight to a later date though.

      • Jeff says:

        Many thanks Rob …..

        Following up …. I’ve just tried to change the booking but it does state clearly that the outward date must be before the expiry of the original Amex 241 expiry.

        Oh welll … it was worth a try!


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

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