The ‘How to book the return leg with 2-4-1 companion voucher’ thread
18th April 2023 at 16:50salbags
Panicked trying to book quickly and hit the wrong combo option 🤦♀️
You are now locked into this combination on your return. If you want to change you have 24hrs to cancel the booking without penalty.
I did this about a month back on a set of return tickets from CPT and each time (I did it three times) the seats immediately returned to inventory and the Avios credited. It’s a risk, but you would be unlucky to have someone looking for the same seats when only you know when they would be released.
There is of course the chance that they don’t come back. Depends how risk averse you are.
Actually that is incorrect.
Have just spoken with BA and rules with new voucher is that you can use any cash/avios combination and it can be paired with your outbound flight even if it is not the same configuration.18th April 2023 at 16:53Anna
That’s not the experience of numerous HFP readers recently, myself included. It may well depend on who answers the phone, as with many BA issues!18th April 2023 at 17:30No Longer Entitled
Have just spoken with BA and rules with new voucher is that you can use any cash/avios combination and it can be paired with your outbound flight even if it is not the same configuration.
I hope that is correct. Be sure to report back once you have tried an actual booking to provide a data point for others.20th April 2023 at 11:21Nath4n
Can confirm a couple of data points if useful after adding a return HND-LON to an existing 241 avios t-355 last night:
– My experience with the US call centre agents has been fantastic. They’re usually British, very well clued up with the systems and processes and used to doing 12 GMT/1am BST bookings. They finish their shift shortly after 8pm ET (1am UK time), but will stick around for 15-20 minutes after this time to finalise bookings. Any pending calls in the holding queue will cut off automatically at 8pm ET so you’ll need to be through to them before then, otherwise taking your chances with the Asian/Australasian lines, or booking online with the Plan B.
– Hold times can vary considerably, on my outbound flight and last night after navigating the automated system (took approx 1.5 minutes) I went pretty much straight through to an agent at 12.45. The day beforehand, I called at 12.40am and was cut off at 1am before speaking to an agent. This was likely a combination of it being post-Easter Sunday flights, and a poorly timed 1am BST Executive Club planned maintenance which temporarily took avios bookings down. For some reason they regularly undertake these maintenance breaks at 1am BST, so keen an eye.
– I did not receive any indication that there has been any policy shift around UK customers calling this line, but YMMV.
– My 241 CV expired DURING the gap between outbound/inbound. Although there is a clause in the T&C’s that gave me minor cause to worry on this, it was not an issue.
– Again YMMV but I found that any lines open post 8pm ET will put you through to the Indian call centre, and my brief experience with this line was pretty awful, and meant I missed my desired return date by a day. The staff were rude and abrasive and I found out last night that they use a different IT system to the US call centre (seemingly staffed by UK agents), which can create issues with complex avios bookings. Plus they also apparently receive limited training. I would rather take my chances booking online fastest-fingers-first than rely on these agents.
Much of this information is reiterating existing information in this thread, but may still be helpful.20th April 2023 at 15:41Nath4n
Oh and one other point to add:
– I’ve seen conflicting reports on ‘price option x’ avios/cash requirements for tacking on a return. I was told last night that it absolutely needed to be the same pricing option. Again YMMV, but just reiterating what I was told.20th April 2023 at 15:56craiguk58
Anyone know if you can add an Iberia return onto a BA outbound flight with no issues getting half the avios back?20th April 2023 at 16:06JDB
Anyone know if you can add an Iberia return onto a BA outbound flight with no issues getting half the avios back?
You can do this, but it may completely throw out the taxes/surcharges when they link the bookings if you are talking about long haul and particularly if you are starting your journey in Madrid and ending it in the UK.20th April 2023 at 17:22craiguk58
Anyone know if you can add an Iberia return onto a BA outbound flight with no issues getting half the avios back?
You can do this, but it may completely throw out the taxes/surcharges when they link the bookings if you are talking about long haul and particularly if you are starting your journey in Madrid and ending it in the UK.
Thanks, outbound is in First and starting in Dublin so no RFS. Hopefully it won’t mess up the taxes.20th April 2023 at 17:24kelliea1
I was told that if I flew out on IB and back on BA I could not link them with a 241 voucher. Needs to be same airline.20th April 2023 at 17:26NorthernLass
Not true – people have reported here being able to mix and match with the new-style 241. Typical BA BS!20th April 2023 at 17:42Reney
@Nath4n thanks for the update.22nd April 2023 at 10:14Reney
Thanks all for the advice here. I have now booked the out and inbound. For the inbound I called about 2 minutes too early so had to hurry and put the phone down and dialled again (the agent has launcher in her voice whilst I hurried but politely end the call). The second agent told me he couldn’t sit on the line and do nothing so looked up some hotels for me. I am surprised that if I book hotel via phone they would waive the phone book charge and I can earn 15 avios per GBP, that is almost 1.5 nights free on the booking we discussed.
Anyway, I think I got the flights, the right points have been deducted, the flights are loaded on my app. BUT there is not yet a pending charge on my Amex and no email yet (outbound booked at 1am this morning). There is no ticket number on the return flight. Should I be worried??
P.S this booking at 1am thing was really stressful, I don’t want to do it again. It was not first time.22nd April 2023 at 10:39marks7389
Not true – people have reported here being able to mix and match with the new-style 241. Typical BA BS!
However, there is a catch…
I’m looking to book for two of us LGW-CUN and MEX-MAD-LHR on BA for the outbound, IB return with a 2for1 in business class.
It appears that mixed bookings result in the BA sector(s) being charged at maximum Avios and full taxes and fees – i.e. the RFS benefit is lost but, worse than that, you pay the new highest rate of Avios – 90K one way in this case.
This looks to be the same issue that makes mixed F/J bookings more expensive than an F return.
I’m wondering if it is possible to get around it by adding the return later, or calling for a 50% Avios rebate on the return. Sounds like that may be hit or miss at best though and by that time we’re probably tied into flying back with BA requiring more Avios and cash if it doesn”t work – if there is even availability.
Otherwise it will be two separate bookings using our Barclays voucher on the outbound, but not only does that use the extra voucher, it also adds another 5K Avios.
Would be interested to know if anyone has successfully got around this issue.22nd April 2023 at 10:50NorthernLass
If you look back through this thread I think people have posted that they still got stiffed on the “taxes” doing this, but the point remains that you CAN mix and match airlines with the new 241.
If you used your BC voucher outbound, and your 241 inbound, you could use the other half of the 241 to start a similar trip at a later date, treating it as the “return” portion of the trip. I’m planning to do something similar, e.g. MAN-ATL with the Virgin (or BC) voucher, then ATL-LHR-MAN with the 241, then do it the other way around a few months later, so MAN-LHR-ATL (or similar) with the other half of the 241 then ATL-MAN with another Virgin voucher.22nd April 2023 at 11:08marks7389
We’re looking to book as far out as possible for April next year. Do you know if there”s any restriction around when the return can be flown, relative to the booking date for the “outbound”.
Would obviously be subject to open jaw distance rules as to where the “return” could be used to go, but almost certainly allows a wide range of options throughout that part of the world.22nd April 2023 at 11:13NorthernLass
You have to return within 12 months of flying the outbound so you have a fair bit of leeway. I did this with a short haul redemption recently to use up an expiring 241. Outbound to GIB last week, inbound to AGP next Feb half term. Took me 2 goes to get the 50% avios back but Silver line did it without quibble once I got through.22nd April 2023 at 19:30Reney
still looking for an answer to this:
Anyway, I think I got the flights, the right points have been deducted, the flights are loaded on my app. BUT there is not yet a pending charge on my Amex and no email yet (outbound booked at 1am this morning). There is no ticket number on the return flight. Should I be worried??22nd April 2023 at 19:54Gary
@Reney Should all be fine. Sounds like you “added” your inbound flight to the same booking ref via BA call centre at 1am, and this is now sent off for ticketing. The process took 5 days last time for us.
You will in a few days receive an email titled “BA changed e-ticket receipt XXXXXX” stating the extra charges/Avios debited along with the new ticket numbers.22nd April 2023 at 21:19Nath4n23rd April 2023 at 00:52Reney
Thanks both!23rd April 2023 at 10:19davet
I only managed to bag 2 of 4 return seats at 1am last night in J, booked the other 2 in PE but as these are to be stitched together onto 241 vouchers I wondered if there is any way to track if more J seats come up on the extra availability in the next year?23rd April 2023 at 10:26NorthernLass
Unless you have an unused voucher you can’t check for the extra availability, annoyingly. A plea on here will sometimes result in a current voucher holder having a look for you!
BA agents can “see” the extra availability when booking your return, but it’s not clear if this is still the case once the voucher is fully used, so that might be an issue. I don’t recall anyone posting that they’ve done this yet.23rd April 2023 at 10:27davet
Sounds like I’m best of accepting life as it is23rd April 2023 at 17:54lonflyer02
Despite trying to book return tickets at 1am, I keep getting beaten to it. I am trying to book during the Easter holiday period, for 4 business class seats using two of the new amex companion vouchers. I didn’t realise it was so competitive! Looking for some advice:
1. Does BA always release I class tickets closer to the flight departure – when might these be made available? (I am trying to work out whether to hold on to my outbound hoping something later appears)
2. If I bought return tickets flying from an alternative airport (open jaw) return, would it be possible to rebook from my preferred airport should reward availability come available later in the year using my voucher and keeping the outbound? Kids are early school years, so would like to avoid in direct flights if possible
Thanks23rd April 2023 at 19:20NorthernLass
What destination is it? Online or by phone?
BA will only release extra seats if they think they can’t sell them for cash, so if you’re going to a very popular place at peak time, you might be out of luck unless you change your trip to go from a regional airport which might open up more availability but would be extra hassle with your children in tow!
The new people on here are starting to realise just how difficult this can be and how flexibility is so important! Always have a plan B. I’ve often built trips around what’s available rather than getting stressed about whether I can get seats to a specific destination, though my son was about 10/11 by the time I got into this game so easier to travel with than small ones.
I’ve lost track a bit but I think you can actually change the airport on an avios booking by calling BA as long as you get an agent who knows what they’re doing. Unfortunately as I pointed out just before, it doesn’t seem possible to identify “extra” availability after you’ve used your 241 – you’ll need to ask someone with an unused one to search for you, or work out how to search for I class availability on the internet somewhere, as far as I can gather!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
New to Head for Points?
Welcome! We’re the UK’s most-read source of business travel, Avios, frequent flyer and hotel loyalty news. Let us improve how you travel. Got any questions? Ask them in our forums.
Latest Forum Posts
- NorthernLass on New Rules for BA Holidays/Double TPs – Read Before Booking!
- Aston100 on Harvey Nichols – Ideas
- alig4th on Harvey Nichols – Ideas
- Michael C on Harvey Nichols – Ideas
- ZoeB on New Rules for BA Holidays/Double TPs – Read Before Booking!
- ajayr on Virgin Atlantic flight marketed by Delta/AF/KLM
- JDB on Chat thread – Saturday 30th September
- meta on Harvey Nichols – Ideas
- Richie on New Rules for BA Holidays/Double TPs – Read Before Booking!
- Spaghetti Town on Chat thread – Saturday 30th September
Check reward flight availability instantly for free!
Booking a luxury hotel?
Our luxury hotel booking service offers you GUARANTEED extra benefits over booking direct. Works with Four Seasons, Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz Carlton, St Regis and more. We've booked £1.7 million of rooms to date. Click for details.