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You can now cancel British Airways Avios bookings online again …. after two years

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Good news! With the pandemic-era ‘Book With Confidence’ refund guarantee coming to an end last Friday, British Airways has brought back the ability to cancel Avios flights online.

The situation is now back to how it was pre-covid.

I had a booking which I had been putting off cancelling due to my lack of enthusiasm for ringing the call centre, so I was keen to give it a go.

How do you cancel an Avios booking online?

How do you cancel an Avios booking online?

The first step is to bring up your Avios booking on the British Airways website.

Scroll to the bottom and you see ‘Cancelling your booking’:

How do you cancel an Avios booking online?

Click through and you get the consent page which is, oddly, still in the format of the old BA website:

How do you cancel an Avios booking online?

You then get to your refund breakdown:

How do you cancel an Avios booking online?

In theory, the cancellation fee is £35 per person. In my case, because the taxes and fees on this one way European flight are under £35, they are capped at what I paid. I get no money back but I am not on the hook to pay more.

You are shown this policy in writing – it is not an IT quirk:

“Where the standard cancellation fee is greater than the amount due for a refund, it will be reduced to reflect this amount. You will not be charged any extra amount for this cancellation.”

I will, of course, get back the 39,000 Avios used.

Confirm the cancellation and you’re done. My Avios were refunded instantly.

As well as making life easier for those of us who need to cancel bookings, this welcome change will reduce the pressure on the British Airways call centres for people who do still need to ring.

PS. In our forum, there are two reports (click here) from people who have tried to cancel Club Europe bookings with £50 of taxes and charges and have been told that there is no cash coming back. This is wrong as £15 per person should be returned. Check the refund amount before you confirm the cancellation, and if you don’t agree with the cash element then cancel by phone instead.


How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (February 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:

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:

SPECIAL OFFER: Until 21st February 2023, the sign-up bonus on the British Airways Premium Plus American Express card is increased to 35,000 Avios from 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

35,000 Avios (ONLY to 21st February) 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.

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

30,000 points and unbeatable 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 10,500 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 sign-up 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 (110)

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

  • Swiss Jim says:

    Excellent. Expectation though is it won’t work for Gold Priority bookings when no fee due. So I’m still likely to be holding on the phones some time soon….

  • Wotsit says:

    Rob, You say “my lack of enthusiasm for ringing the call centre”. Is this because of the expected wait time? If so, how can it be possible to ring an overseas call centre just before the release of new reward flights at 1.00am BST? If you’ve got to wait half an hour it’s “game over”. How do you personally get over this problem? Thanks. thanks.

    • John says:

      It’s because I hate calling anybody on the phone

      • TimM says:


        • meta says:

          At that hour the pressure is probably less on the phone lines. I doubt your average person is calling at 1am. I certainly have stopped calling at 1am. I am not interested in booking too far ahead and from the introduction of new style vouchers, I am only booking ex-UK, so there’s usually plenty of seats available during the day.

    • Rob says:

      I have a long list of things I need to do but cannot summon up the enthusiasm for! I imagine you do too.

    • VerdantBacon says:

      Who’s calling at 1am to cancel fights? It probably would be a shorter wait to do so, but who’s enthusiastic about doing that

  • Michael C says:

    Just to confirm you can get as far as the “refund breakdown” screen without definitively cancelling? Just in case you DO disagree with the amount!

  • Jonathan12345 says:

    Is the process the same if you have booked with a companion voucher ?

    • memesweeper says:

      When I last cancelled a booking with a companion voucher it never came back. Be prepared to call and chase it up!

      • Rob says:

        This was happening a decade ago and still isn’t fixed. It seems there are multiple ways of cancelling a booking and if the call centre agent does it in some of those ways the refunds are not triggered properly.

  • KevinS says:

    A good day for u turns!

    • Harry T says:

      Personally still relieved noone voted for chaos with Ed Miliband…

      • Rui N. says:

        Or that the pound didn’t crash like it would have happened with Corbyn.

      • RussellH says:

        9,347,273 people voted Labour in 2015, and the country would have been in a vastly better economic situation than we are now if the Tories had lost that election. And the Tories then were, I accept, significantly less obnoxious than what we now have.

        And almost certainly we would have a much fairer, more balanced country too.

        Never forget that the vote for the three next largest parties against the “winners” (with just 36.8% of the vote) of that election amounted to 43% of the electorate.
        Frankly, I consider that scandalous.

        • MrVine says:

          This is so funny.

          What will all this people cry about when Labour win the next election or worse still lose it!!!!

        • Mike says:

          Firstly, you don’t know what the state of the country would have been under Labour.

          On our electoral system. The people had the opportunity via a referendum in 2012 to adopt a different electoral system, they decided they preferred the current system.

          • RussellH says:

            I do know that there would never have been a referendum about the EU. Leaving the EU has cost us massively in terms of GDP.
            As for anything else, the country could not have been in a worse mess under Labour, who at least care something for the condition of those who have been struggling for years just to survive.

            As to the 2012 referendum on the voting system, that was as much of a con as the EU one.
            If we are to use referendums in this country, and I accept that there is a good case for that in some situations, then we need to learn from how the Swiss run their referendums. Each side has to present a complete case, not a vague wish, with arguments both for and against sent to each voter in a single document well in advance of the vote, giving plenty of time for voters to study it.
            And rules on the media to deal with the lies they regularly perpetrate, such as front page acknowledgements of errors.

          • Callum says:

            A minority of the population decided that they preferred FPTP above the specific system of AV that was selected by the Conservatives, who refused to allow any other options. Hardly conclusive.

            Not to mention plenty of people would have changed their minds by now anyway. I know I certainly have (I remember being coerced by the constant arguments that it would get the BNP into power, right when they were growing disturbingly quickly).

    • Rob says:

      Do you genuinely care? I was embarrassed to have a huge sum of borrowed money pushed at me.

      • Harry T says:

        I think the energy bills support should have been targeted at lower income households and involved actual cash payments. Regarding the 45% tax rate, a better target for simplifying taxes and making them fairer would have been abolishing the marginal tax rate.

        • Rui N. says:

          Hear hear.

        • Callum says:

          Am I reading this right? You saw how the country reacted to the scrapping of the 45% rate yet feel it’s even slightly plausible to target scrapping all higher rates!?

          The idea this “simplifies” taxes is beyond ludicrous. I’d be concerned if it took you much more than a minute with a 99p calculator to calculate your tax level in each income band. The complexity is from the (literally) thousands of pages of carve outs, exemptions and loopholes – if someone genuinely wanted to “simplify” the system they should be starting there. I have no idea why you’re repeating the line, but it’s very clear that politicians are using it because “I want the rich to pay less tax and the poor to pay more” is political suicide – as we’ve seen.

          • RussellH says:

            I recall reading somewhere that this current government want to scrap the Office of Tax Simplification in order to save money.
            I fully accept that they do not seem to achieved much during their existence. They probably need much sharper scissors in order to remove some of te pages you refer to.

    • Panda Mick says:

      “U turn if you want to”

      I’d expect this to be ringing in the halls of westminister today…

      • KevinS says:

        Thick Lizzie hasn’t even been in the job a month. Reckon she’ll booted out by her own party by Easter

        • RussellH says:

          But unless there is a General Election soon, we just get yet another extremist nut-job from the Tory party.
          They all need to be thrown out, painfully, for a VERY long time.

          • Lady London says:

            No the party needs to be dismembered and cease existing.

            Time was when Tories had a very considerably higher standard of competence and ethics.

            Not that I am a fan of Labour, or of the unproportional representation of the current electoral system

    • BuildBackBetter says:

      No one seems to talk about how regressive the NI rates are! 12% for middle class and 2% for the rich (yes, the rich will pay 12% on a small part of income, but that’ll be peanuts for them).
      Someone should petition for a 5% rate on everyone above the personal allowance!

      • Callum says:

        A very good point – while the jump from 20% to 40% seems large, in reality the two rates are actually 32% and 42%.

        We would be much better off just scrapping NI and merging it with income tax. I don’t see any rationale for keeping it.

        • RussellH says:

          The rationale for for not scrapping NI and merging it with income tax is that the right wing press will call it a 12% increase in income tax.
          Many people believe that NI is a fund dedicated to their state pension and the NHS, to benefits such as Universal Credit and Personal Independence Payments, among other, rather than general taxation, and therefore a “good thing”.
          Again, we could learn something from the Swiss, where their equivalent of NI is a dedicated fund.
          However, the Swiss need to learn from us too, and give up the idea that non-payment of income tax is not a crime.

          • Callum says:

            Why would the “right wing press” do such a thing (and why wouldn’t the left wing press do the same)?

        • Rob says:

          No NI on savings income, which is the key income stream for many Conservative voters.

          • Callum says:

            How does that require the existence of NI? If you wanted to retain that then simply change the rate of income tax charged on savings income.

          • Lady London says:

            Well the increase in NI Boris pit through, so-called for “social care”, was actually to be levied on dividends which was new.

      • Stu_N says:

        That’s because NI is to all intents and purposes another income tax.

        Basic rate =20% income tax plus 12% NI = 32%,
        Higher rate = 40% + 2% = 42%

        I mean, it’s slightly more complex than that but means higher rate isn’t that much higher than basic in the round.

        • KevinS says:

          “I fully accept that they do not seem to achieved much during their existence”

          Highest inflation and the only country amongst the G7 (excluding Russia who don’t really count anymore) to have an economy smaller than pre Covid levels (despite having lifted restrictions than most others) is quite an achievement to be fair!

          • Callum says:

            No need to exclude Russia given they aren’t in the G7, nor have they ever been. You’re probably thinking of the brief existence of the G8, which reverted back to the G7 about 8 years ago after Russia was kicked out.

          • KevinS says:

            Good point Callum!

  • To dare is to do says:

    I cancelled club Europe flights on Saturday and didn’t get the £15 back so cost me £50 not £35 I’ve also cancelled several club Europe flights on chat and phone and not got the £15 I’ve queried it but told it’s the correct amount. It might be correct by this article it’s £35 but trying getting the extra back is another matter.

    • Andrew J says:

      But the cancellation fee is £35, so how can they say it’s £50? A £800 Club World flight has the same £35 cancellation fee or are they trying to say it’s £800 to cancel?

      • meta says:

        They always tell it’s the phone cancellation fee to me, but then after 3-4 weeks I got £15 back.

  • Andrew H says:

    You’ve been able to cancel on the chat for the last two years.

    • Rob says:

      Chat isn’t available in the UK unless you use a VPN to trigger it.

    • SamG says:

      Chat recently for me had been saying couldn’t touch Avios bookings

      Haven’t waited long on the phone recently though!

  • Mart says:

    How long for a Barclaycard voucher to get refunded?

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