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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.


HFP-Barclaycard-Avios-Card

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.

  • Ralph says:

    I cancelled Cape Town with a 2 4 1 over two weeks ago, on the phone. The booking vanished within a few days, it took nearly two weeks for the refund to go on my credit card and I’m still waiting for the return of my 137000 Avios and my 2 4 1 voucher.
    Does anyone know how long this should take please?

    • Harry T says:

      Voucher and Avios return should have been instant. Unfortunately, BA IT is from the Stone Age. I’ve had to chase this for months before, admittedly before I had status. I would ring BAEC.

  • David says:

    I cancelled my 241 booking last week and have had the voucher redeposited into by BAEC account with the original expiry date. I have also been refunded 2 x £50 on my credit card as I booked in Club Europe and this is the amount I originally paid to secure these flights. Should I have received the full cash amount back or a lower amount due to fees etc. ?

    • NorthernLass says:

      You should only have received £15 x 2 back (unless cancelling within 24 hours), so you’ve done quite well!

      • Thegasman says:

        If the flights were eligible for BWC then would have qualified for FTV & therefore full cash refund?

  • AJA says:

    I noticed online on the BA website there is now a £15 “Additional Service Centre fee for date/time changes, cancellation and Avios redeposit¹”

    This is in addition to the usual £35 cancellation fee.

    There is apparently “No charge for Gold Members.” for the £15 fee, whole the £35 fee is waived where “No charge for changes to Gold Priority Reward bookings.”

    https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/spending-avios/booking-and-service-fees

    • Harry T says:

      I think this has been there for a while tbh. Rarely seems to be enforced. The Gold Priority Rewards exception is just for hooking made with double the usual Avios. Fees are only truly waived for Gold Guest List.

      • AJA says:

        My point was that the additional £15 fee would explain why people cancelling CE RFS Reward seats where they paid £50 are not being refunded the £15. Especially if cancelled over the phone. But you would think it should still be refunded if done online.

        • Harry T says:

          👍🏻

        • Stu N says:

          This is the long-standing fee for telephone services, it’s never enforced for things you can’t do online or that you’ve tried online and don’t work.

          • AJA says:

            But that fee would apply now if you follow Rob’s advice: “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.

          • Rob says:

            Extra call centre fees are waived if the website isn’t working properly.

          • Lady London says:

            No the important problem here is BA have snuck in “for avios redeposit” which they never had before.

            This means that even if you couldn’tbdo your change or cancellation online so you had to call, so they should waivw the £15 telephone service fee, now they can take your £15 for avios redeposit if you’re cancelling a booking wirh avios paid towards it. Potentiallly in addition to a £15 phone service fee in the future.

            This is the thin end of the wedge. BA is opening up another revenue-increasing category of fees. Having sneakiky devalued avios and increased prices by massive rounda of co-pay increasew for the past three years or so, BA, leaving nonstone unturned, has now introduced an avios redeposit fee. This is what’s going on.

            BA may leave that new texr lying there for a while potenrially up to 2 yeara, then one day we’re going to wake up to BA applying it.

    • Peter K says:

      That’s a fee for “service centre” use, that is, calling and talking to someone. Cancelling online of course doesn’t involve this so the fee shouldn’t be applied.

      The £15 fee is waived if you have to call because you can’t do something online as BA IT can’t do it, or an error message is thrown up when trying it online.

      • AJA says:

        Yes but now that you can cancel online would you not be charged the fee if you followed Rob’s advice and called instead?

        • Stu_N says:

          You wouldn’t be charged the £15 when the online option isn’t working properly. If you cancel online you’re apparently being charged £50, cost should be £35 and only way you can resolve this is to call.

          There are plenty of other things you won’t be charged the telephone fee for – these include open-jaw redemptions, adding returns to a 2-4-1, booking connecting flights or multi-city trips that fail online or come back with ludicrous prices and amending bookings that you can’t do online.

          • Thegasman says:

            Strictly speaking the £15 telephone service fee should only be waived for things you can do online but the online option isn’t working.

            For things like open jaw redemptions, adding inbound to a 241 etc where there is no online function then you are supposed to pay. Getting it waived is dependent on CS agents good will.

  • NorthernLass says:

    As Rob mentioned, I cancelled RFS seats from ORD – the avios appeared immediately but the refund details were that I would get £0 back when I’d paid £50pp. Like Rob, I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to call BA so just accepted the refund as it stated. BA is breaching its own Ts and Cs if I don’t get £15 pp back, but I’m going to wait a while and see if it does turn up on the card before chasing.

    • AJA says:

      See my post above for a potential explanation of why you aren’t being refunded the £15.

      • Quark999 says:

        That’s not the reason as that’s only ever charged when you call.

        • Bagoly says:

          “Should only ever be charged when you call” – yes.
          “BA’s IT only charges you this when you call” – less certain.

          • Stu_N says:

            From conversations with phone agents it is a manual charge so it is down to the agent to add it, or not, onto price you are charged.

  • Gerry Howe says:

    Got to add here that 4 calls to the call centre last week all got through within 5 minutes and one of them was less than a minute. I too was preparing for the phone to just ring for ages but I was stunned at the change.

    • JDB says:

      I understand the call centre is the only function that is currently fully staffed. They are making progress but still quite a long way off on ground staff, baggage handlers, cabin crew.

    • Harry T says:

      What’s your BA status? I’ve had very little difficulty getting through recently but I’ve recently changed status and wondered how much it’s status Vs better staffing.

      • JDB says:

        I’m only Silver – only usually pay for my four qualifying flights – but my comment came from the top… we haven’t found it very difficult to get though during the pandemic.

  • Tony says:

    Does anyone know if avios bookings qualify under BA’s free 24 hour cancellation policy? Or are you still charged the £35 pp?

    • John says:

      Yes and you should be refunded everything in full

    • memesweeper says:

      For free you *have* to call – sub 24h online will be charged £35

      • Lady London says:

        Used to work free of charge online if you cancelled within 24hrs of booking and both cash and money came back instantly

  • Gordon says:

    I’m still waiting for a reply from over 2 months ago when I complained when I could not cancel an avios booking online so called CS and they charged me an additional £15 pp on top of the £35 pp cancellation fee,
    I Keep getting emails saying please bear with us we know it’s been a long time etc etc.

  • Vic says:

    Have just tried to cancel our flights London to Johannesburg and return from CapeTown online which was made using a 241 voucher, avios and cash and the on-screen message stated “Sorry, we can’t cancel your booking online. Please get in touch”.

    • NorthernLass says:

      Sometimes anything other than a completely straightforward online booking does throw up this problem – anything with a domestic connection, for example, often can’t be cancelled online. I imagine you booked this as an open jaw by phone, which might be the issue here!

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