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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club BA 2-4-1 voucher open jaw issues

  • ROC 6 posts

    Following on from today’s post I was advised to bring this to the forum…

    Background:
    I wanted to use a 2-4-1 to fly london (LHR) to sao paulo (GRU) and then back from rio (GIG) to london (LHR). When I tried to book this open jaw the taxes were far greater with the phone agent than booking two separate legs online. The agent advised me to book those two legs, using the 2-4-1 voucher for one of them, call back and then i’d get the refund for half the avios on the one leg that didn’t have the 2-4-1 applied.

    Avios details:
    this flight would cost 210k avios without the 2-4-1 (therefore 105k with the 2-4-1). The outbound leg (LHR-GRU) is 100k and the inbound (GIG – LHR) 110k.

    I booked both flights separately as reward flights. one using the 2-4-1 voucher (GIG-LHR) for 55k avios and one without the 2-4-1 voucher (LHR – GRU) for 100k avios. This therefore cost 155k, needing 50k avios to be returned. I called up BA and the agent refused to give me the 50k avios back and put it on the one ticket (as outlined in today’s post https://www.headforpoints.com/2024/03/21/booking-open-jaw-redemption-flight-using-avios-points-2/comment-page-3/#comment-889350).

    They also refused multiple times to let me speak to a supervisor and just told me to make an online complaint if i wasnt happy. I did this 6-8 weeks ago and still no reply to my complaint

    Any advice on my next options/what I should do next?

    kind regards

    R

    yonasl 987 posts

    Have you tried calling again? Maybe another person will refund. Just don’t tell them the whole story and only focus on getting the Avios back.

    Also, did you book both legs on the same avios/cash bracket?

    NorthernLass 8,493 posts

    Are you saying that you used the 241 to book the inbound leg? If so, this is where you have gone wrong. You need to book the outbound leg with the 241, then sort out the inbound, whether by calling to book, or booking it at full avios and requesting 50% back.

    BA will now view the inbound GIG-LHR as the start of your trip and that’s why they won’t refund the 50% avios. They are quite right about this, and I can’t see them changing their minds, to be honest. All the advice on this site tells you to book the outbound leg with the 241!

    Your best option might be to cancel your bookings and start from scratch, though this will cost you £35pp per booking, unfortunately. When requesting 50% avios back, BA will look at the other part of the booking and see that it’s for an earlier date, so I don’t think it will be possible to do what @yonasl recommends.

    Finally, when you do get the avios refunded, the trip remains on 2 separate PNRs, so it just muddies the waters even further if you ask BA to do any kind of linking or merging of the bookings.

    NorthernLass 8,493 posts

    Further to this – you will now probably need to get BA to make any new booking by phone in one go, because they will also normally only refund the 50% avios if the inbound leg was not available to book when you booked the outbound. Clearly this isn’t the case for you now, unless you change your travel dates.

    Did they give you a reason for refusing the refund?

    As per Rob’s article:

    “It is possible to use a 2-4-1 voucher and still benefit from the low taxes out of Hong Kong, Sao Paulo or Rio.

    ***You need to book the outbound flights as a one-way using your 2-4-1 voucher as usual.”***

    BA Flyer IHG Stayer 2,391 posts

    I booked both flights separately as reward flights. one using the 2-4-1 voucher (GIG-LHR) for 55k avios and one without the 2-4-1 voucher (LHR – GRU) for 100k avios. This therefore cost 155k, needing 50k avios to be returned. I called up BA and the agent refused to give me the 50k avios back and put it on the one ticket (as outlined in today’s post

    R

    Firstly these separetly booked flights would never be put on one ticket as it’s not possible. Today’s article doesn’t say that anyway. It ways they will be ‘linked’ which is not the same thing at all.

    But on the booking side this is the 2nd time in a couple of weeks that someone has tried to book flights out of order using a 2-4-1 and expecting BA to refund the avios.

    And whilst the agent was correct in their advice to book these as two separate tickets (as per the article) I am sure they didn’t say book the return leg first and use the 2-4-1 on it. But if you’re sure they did then you’d need to ask for a copy of the call recording and then cite an agent giving incorrect advice to you.

    ROC 6 posts

    appreciate the responses – yep i thought that I may have used the 2-4-1 for the wrong leg here… i guess i dont want to risk cancelling and rebooking in case those flights dont become available.

    And whilst the agent was correct in their advice to book these as two separate tickets (as per the article) I am sure they didn’t say book the return leg first and use the 2-4-1 on it. But if you’re sure they did then you’d need to ask for a copy of the call recording and then cite an agent giving incorrect advice to you.

    no, but the agent didnt tell me which leg to book using the 2-4-1 – that I am certain of.

    All the advice on this site tells you to book the outbound leg with the 241!

    haha that may be the case but I clearly hadn’t read this site before i did it….

    NorthernLass 8,493 posts

    You’ll know in future!

    If you decide to leave things as they are, you can still use the “other half” of the 241, as long as it’s within 12 months of the outbound leg, subject to the relevant rules, so it may not be lost.

    ROC 6 posts

    oh interesting, so i can book a leg from London to anywhere one way?
    how would i go about booking that? over the phone or book online and get them to apply the avios refund?

    ROC 6 posts

    oh no wait, i would need to book a flight back to GIG from somewhere that fits within the open jaw distance (i.e. somewhere that is shorter in distance from LHR to GIG) ?

    NorthernLass 8,493 posts

    You’ve used the voucher for GIG-LHR so the “return” element would be going in the opposite direction, within the open-jaw rules. If you have chance, have a look at Rob’s excellent series of articles on avios and the 241, plus this thread:

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/booking-return-leg-with-companion-voucher/

    JDB 4,853 posts

    You’ve used the voucher for GIG-LHR so the “return” element would be going in the opposite direction, within the open-jaw rules. If you have chance, have a look at Rob’s excellent series of articles on avios and the 241, plus this thread:

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/booking-return-leg-with-companion-voucher/

    The OP doesn’t need to use their voucher in the “opposite direction”. It can equally well be continued from Rio to Tokyo and then back again with stopovers in London both ways as long as it complies with the IATA maximum permitted mileage rules, so you couldn’t, for instance, do GIG-LHR-LAX.

    Michael C 727 posts

    You’ve used the voucher for GIG-LHR so the “return” element would be going in the opposite direction, within the open-jaw rules. If you have chance, have a look at Rob’s excellent series of articles on avios and the 241, plus this thread:

    https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/booking-return-leg-with-companion-voucher/

    so you couldn’t, for instance, do GIG-LHR-LAX.

    …although you COULD do GIG-LHR-MIA: I believe it justtt fits in! (been playing with these options for summer ’25)

    ROC 6 posts

    appreciate the all the help, but apologies as im a tad confused.

    In this scenario the ‘outbound’ flight is now GIG-LHR (my bad). which means I can now technically book another ‘inbound’ flight (within a year of this outbound flight) with avios, then link it to the 2-4-1 voucher and get half the avios refunded.
    Are we saying above that the new inbound flight could be the “opposite” direction. So i could book a flight from london to Tokyo (or as Michael C says – Miami) and link that leg to the 2-4-1?
    or are you saying JDB that I would need to book Tokyo to GIG, which then stops over in London and then I could just get off there at heathrow and leave the airport?

    Also Im assuming I would I need to make this return booking before Ive flown the outbound leg or it doesnt matter?

    NorthernLass 8,493 posts

    You need to make it before you fly the outbound AND it will need to be something that wasn’t available when you booked the outbound. BA expect you to request the avios back asap, so book as near as possible to the flight being released, and contact BA within a couple of days.

    Forget about “linking” bookings, this will only confuse the issue further and won’t make any difference to the 2 separate bookings you are left with. Just explain that you’ve booked your outbound leg with the 241, then booked the inbound when it became available, and would now like the 50% avios refunded.

    The open-jaw rules are easy to look up – e.g. see the original article by Rob which brought you here initially. I was trying to keep it simple but as long as you keep the distance requirement in mind, you have quite a lot of scope for destinations.

    My own feeling is that trying to do something like TYO-LHR-GIG might cause complications if you get an inexperienced BA agent who doesn’t understand the complexities.

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