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British Airways allowing outbound flight changes this week – but you can’t move your inbound

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With an eye on the weather and on strike action across the rail network, British Airways is offering free rebooking on all flights due to depart Heathrow up to 19th December.

What it is NOT doing is letting you change your return date. This means that the benefit is relatively small, unless you’d like to spend less time with your in-laws.

Full details are on the BA travel trade website here.

BA allowing free outbound flight changes this week

Here is a summary of what is possible, but do check the official guidelines too:

  • you must be flying from, or connecting in, Heathrow between 14th and 19th December
  • you must have booked your ticket by 12th December
  • you can rebook for dates between 20th and 26th December
  • you cannot change your destination, except where a city has two airports served by BA
  • no changes can be made to your return flight date
  • redemption flights are included – changes presumably do not require Avios availability
  • if your ticket involves a non-BA flight (excluding codeshares) then you may be subject to change fees for that leg

The inability to change your return flight – and the fact that you need to push out your departure until at least 20th December – means that very few people will see any benefit from this policy.

If BA is really concerned about the situation at Heathrow during the rest of the week – note that Gatwick is not included – then it really should be more flexible.

If you want to change a flight it must be done by telephone, not via Manage My Booking, on 0800 727 800 from the UK or +44 203 250 0145 from abroad.


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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

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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

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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

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The Platinum Card from American Express

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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.

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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

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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.

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American Express Business Gold

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Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

Comments (41)

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

  • Josh says:

    Only BA could create such a badly contrived idea.
    From the airline that has its JFK premium lounge run with a 1980s Granada service station menu.

    • Save East Coast Rewards says:

      Does that mean in a few years time it will be replaced with a KFC and a Greggs?

  • PH says:

    Cities that have two airports served by BA…just NYC and Milan now? Tokyo Narita and Paris Orly stopped for a while. What others am I missing?

  • Ruben says:

    I have an inbound flight BA this Sat 17 Dec. As there is the rail strike and have not been able to make an advance Addison Lee booking or any other taxi firm. I’m expecting there to be a surcharge and long wait to use / get a taxi. Does anyone know if I can make an insurance claim due to this travel disruption? I have a platinum Amex.

    • BA Flyer IHG Stayer says:

      Many of the train operators are actually operating some services on strike days so don’t discount the train. Best check national rail enquiries.

      As to Amex coverage this best check the policy though they may exclude it as the strikes are a known event.

  • Alan says:

    Imagine if they actually spent some money on their IT so people didn’t have to phone the call centre to move flights? Or even trained staff at LHR so they also didn’t have to phone a call centre…

  • IG says:

    Think they would change a EDI-LHR-SIN flight to just LHR-SIN?

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

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