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The ‘How to book the return leg with 2-4-1 companion voucher’ thread

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  • emma1234

    Hi all – I’ve booked an outbound flight for 2 people next December using avios & one companion voucher and am waiting for the return leg in January to become available later this week. I know the wait time to speak to BA can be huge at the moment… I have enough miles & another companion voucher that I could use to book the return leg online as a stand-alone booking to secure any reward seats that I see. Does anyone know if I would then be able to call BA and ask them to combine the 2 bookings into 1 booking (and refund me the second voucher – plus any excess taxes etc paid if applicable?)

    NorthernLass

    Another one which needs a dedicated master thread!

    Yes you can book the inbound online and ask BA to refund half the avios later. They won’t combine the bookings though, you will be left with 2 single journeys but this doesn’t need to be a problem (just if you cancel you’ll have to pay 2 lots of fees). They WON’T make any adjustment with the cash element though, which will leave you substantially out of pocket if you’re going to somewhere like the US and want to come back in CW or F. It can work out better for other destinations though.

    tonyflyer

    Anyone have experience if BA have a limit to when they will apply this?

    We booked flights back in October expecting this but every time my other half tries to call the waits seem to be huge… (my silver status expired before the first extensions…!)

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    Another one which needs a dedicated master thread!

    Done. Apologies to Emma for changing her thread title.

    NorthernLass

    Anyone have experience if BA have a limit to when they will apply this?

    We booked flights back in October expecting this but every time my other half tries to call the waits seem to be huge… (my silver status expired before the first extensions…!)

    I have done this via Twitter, at first they said they couldn’t do it but I pushed back and said I’m sure they could refund just avios and they did it after that!

    tiriavpo

    I have enough miles & another companion voucher that I could use to book the return leg online as a stand-alone booking to secure any reward seats that I see. Does anyone know if I would then be able to call BA and ask them to combine the 2 bookings into 1 booking (and refund me the second voucher – plus any excess taxes etc paid if applicable?)

    You don’t use another 241 voucher when booking the return leg – you book it as a full avios redemption, then you call, have the 2 bookings linked to the original 241 voucher and get half the avios for the second booking refunded. So you need enough avios to book the return leg at full rates.

    As above, the tickets remain as 2 separate bookings, and the taxes are 2 lots of one-way taxes – this may be ok or substantially worse than a return – you need to specify where you are going. You can check the taxes by doing dummy bookings as returns and one-ways and work it out.

    twiglet

    double post sorry

    twiglet

    Hi everybody. Quick question about this topic if anyone who has done it can weigh in.

    Obviously for busy routes it’s impossible to wait for the return leg to become available, and when I booked my tickets the BA call center was in meltdown.

    So I booked outbound with Avios and 2-4-1 voucher. I then waited and booked return entirely with avios.

    BA are now telling me they cannot simply refund half of the Avios. They must cancel the booking and rebook, with no guarantee the seats remain available.

    From my twitter conversation with BA:

    I understand you have 2 Club World seats booked anyways, but these would be released into availability and we can’t guarantee they will go back in as a reward seat so it is up to you whether or not you want to take that risk.

    and after pushing back…

    Its how the systems are built, I’m afraid. There’s no way to directly transfer the seats from one booking to another. Officially when you make a return booking, both dates are meant to be within system range. It is already more of a gesture of goodwill that we allow you to add the return on without any change fee being charged when its release

    Are they talking nonsense?

    JDB

    Hi everybody. Quick question about this topic if anyone who has done it can weigh in.

    Obviously for busy routes it’s impossible to wait for the return leg to become available, and when I booked my tickets the BA call center was in meltdown.

    So I booked outbound with Avios and 2-4-1 voucher. I then waited and booked return entirely with avios.

    BA are now telling me they cannot simply refund half of the Avios. They must cancel the booking and rebook, with no guarantee the seats remain available.

    From my twitter conversation with BA:

    I understand you have 2 Club World seats booked anyways, but these would be released into availability and we can’t guarantee they will go back in as a reward seat so it is up to you whether or not you want to take that risk.

    and after pushing back…

    Its how the systems are built, I’m afraid. There’s no way to directly transfer the seats from one booking to another. Officially when you make a return booking, both dates are meant to be within system range. It is already more of a gesture of goodwill that we allow you to add the return on without any change fee being charged when its release

    Are they talking nonsense?

    Strictly speaking BA is correct as the 241 terms state the voucher must be used at the time of booking and the Avios terms that also govern the voucher say the outbound and return must be booked at the same time. However, in practice BA has generally allowed what you are trying to do but some have recently reported resistance. I think doing this has always been a process more likely to be problematic (and administratively awkward) vs calling to add the return leg.

    twiglet

    Hi everybody. Quick question about this topic if anyone who has done it can weigh in.

    Obviously for busy routes it’s impossible to wait for the return leg to become available, and when I booked my tickets the BA call center was in meltdown.

    So I booked outbound with Avios and 2-4-1 voucher. I then waited and booked return entirely with avios.

    BA are now telling me they cannot simply refund half of the Avios. They must cancel the booking and rebook, with no guarantee the seats remain available.

    From my twitter conversation with BA:

    I understand you have 2 Club World seats booked anyways, but these would be released into availability and we can’t guarantee they will go back in as a reward seat so it is up to you whether or not you want to take that risk.

    and after pushing back…

    Its how the systems are built, I’m afraid. There’s no way to directly transfer the seats from one booking to another. Officially when you make a return booking, both dates are meant to be within system range. It is already more of a gesture of goodwill that we allow you to add the return on without any change fee being charged when its release

    Are they talking nonsense?

    Strictly speaking BA is correct as the 241 terms state the voucher must be used at the time of booking and the Avios terms that also govern the voucher say the outbound and return must be booked at the same time. However, in practice BA has generally allowed what you are trying to do but some have recently reported resistance. I think doing this has always been a process more likely to be problematic (and administratively awkward) vs calling to add the return leg.

    Thanks. Do you think the whole part about needing to cancel the seats and that there is no guarantee they will remain available is true? Is this just simply how it is?

    NorthernLass

    They are definitely still refunding the 50% avios – I managed this on my last 2 bookings, the first via Twitter and the second via You First. It does sound like some people are now being told this can’t be done by CS agents who either don’t know about it or don’t want to do it for whatever reason. It’s not true that you’d need to cancel the seats, though if you did, they wouldn’t be guaranteed to reappear. Try again with a different agent as you’ll probably get a better response.

    *It is a goodwill system though, so it’s always better to approach it like you realise they are doing you a favour rather than expecting it to be done automatically.

    JDB

    @twiglet strictly speaking BA is correct but in practice many agents will do what you ask (link the bookings behind the scenes to apply the companion voucher and refund ½ the Avios to the return rather than starting from scratch) but others won’t and there generally seems to be more pushback now. As it is a concessionary practice, not something provided for in the terms BA isn’t obliged to do it and it apparently causes administrative issues applying the voucher to two bookings.

    It appears safer to call and add the return (also not provided for but something BA is more willing to do) as reclaiming ½ seems a bit unreliable.

    There is unfortunately no definite answer that anyone can provide to your question!

    twiglet

    Thanks both, I will take another crack at it. I would rather eat the Avios cost than risk losing my seats at this stage though.

    defender90

    @twiglet just stick it out on chat. Had this exact issue 2 weeks ago and had to go through 6 chat agents to finally get sorted. Each time when the agent said they weren’t able to for whatever reason you just need to exit the chat and start again. Worth it for 75000-100000 back!

    jintycat

    Hi

    I am looking to book a flight with outbound and return a month apart. The outbound is about to be released. From what I can understand from this thread is that I book the outbound with my 241 voucher and then in 1 month I phone (if I can get through) and book the return and they will link the return to my 241 voucher??? I will not have enough avios to book the return and then phone and ask for a refund of the avious

    rashomon

    Hi @jintycat – that’s the right process.

    I did the same recently – rang up the call centre T-355 and booked outbound to Singapore. Then rang two weeks later and booked the return and the agent tagged this to my 241 so I only used half the Avios amount.

    If you are planning to fly a popular route – try and be connected on the call around 10 minutes before the tickets get released is my advice so that the agent can use the time before 01:00 AM to prep. I ended up calling around 12.45 AM and got lucky and was through to someone in 5 minutes.

    jintycat

    Thanks @rashomon. singapore is where I am hoping so will need to be quick

    iplaypoker

    Question with the clocks change is it now midnight I need to be calling or still 1am.

    Also which call centres do people tend to use the US or Japan?

    NorthernLass

    Midnight (GMT) until the clocks change again next March!

    iplaypoker

    Thanks a lot

    Midnight (GMT) until the clocks change again next March!

    eppleby

    Slightly off topic! My wife and I want to get to Fort Lauderdale next year. We will have the new 2-4-1 voucher. My question is am I able to book, say LHR to PHL on BA and, say, PHL to Fort Lauderdale on, say AA, using the 241?

    Scott

    Slightly off topic! My wife and I want to get to Fort Lauderdale next year. We will have the new 2-4-1 voucher. My question is am I able to book, say LHR to PHL on BA and, say, PHL to Fort Lauderdale on, say AA, using the 241?

    Unfortunately, with a 241 you can only book for a BA service.

    NorthernLass

    Slightly off topic! My wife and I want to get to Fort Lauderdale next year. We will have the new 2-4-1 voucher. My question is am I able to book, say LHR to PHL on BA and, say, PHL to Fort Lauderdale on, say AA, using the 241?

    Wouldn’t the easiest way to do this be to use your 241 to MIA? Then it’s just 30 mins or so to Fort Lauderdale, in a taxi if you’re not hiring a car.

    iplaypoker

    Just coming back managed too get my flights using the US number and 1,1,1 and then 1 again. No queue got through quickly and lovely person was happy to hold on for 5 mins till the flights were released.

    I did try the 1,1,2 that was suggested but that gave me a message saying that office was closed at 15.

    Japanese office was closed as it opens at midnight I didn’t want to take the risk.

    Thanks for the help all.

    eppleby

    Slightly off topic! My wife and I want to get to Fort Lauderdale next year. We will have the new 2-4-1 voucher. My question is am I able to book, say LHR to PHL on BA and, say, PHL to Fort Lauderdale on, say AA, using the 241?

    Perhaps I should have qualified my question! I am looking to book a first class flight as a special treat (to celebrate my wife’s retirement) and there does not appear to be first class availability to Miami!

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