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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club The ‘How to book the return leg with 2-4-1 companion voucher’ thread

  • cooks19 1 post

    Re calculating the 355 days to book outbound leg today being 28/10/23 if I add 355 days this would be 17/10/24, however the ba site will only let me book up to 16/10/24. Would someone be able to clarify if this is correct please or if I am missing something. Thanks

    Rob
    HfP Staff
    2,176 posts

    Re calculating the 355 days to book outbound leg today being 28/10/23 if I add 355 days this would be 17/10/24, however the ba site will only let me book up to 16/10/24. Would someone be able to clarify if this is correct please or if I am missing something. Thanks

    2024 is a leap year.

    dachan 1 post

    Hey, just thought I’d share my experience of booking the return leg of a trip from London to Tokyo using a Barclays Upgrade Voucher, as I found this thread really useful for a first time booker. Last night I phoned the north American call centre at about 11:40pm and got through pretty much straight away (to an agent based in India). However, they were entirely unhelpful and as per previous reports refused to add a return flight to my booking. I pushed them several times on this without success, and they kept on stating I had to have booked both legs at the same time. They also incorrectly told me if I cancelled my existing outward flight to Tokyo although the points would be refunded, I would loose the upgrade voucher. I ended the call around midnight, so decided to book a one way flight from Tokyo to London using Avios (thankfully I just had enough points to complete this) and try and claim 50% of the points back. In the morning I used the online BA chat and they also categorically refused to help, saying that it was not possible to refund the Avios as I should have booked both legs together. Feeling a bit of despair, I called the UK call centre and after a half hour wait spoke to a really helpful agent who totally understood my request and refunded 50% of the Avois without any discussion. She said this was totally normal and an expected way for me to book using a voucher, and also that the American / India call centre should have accommodated my request to add a return leg to my existing booking. Anyhow all a bit frustrating, but got there in the end. I definitely wouldn’t bother with the American call centre. From my experience likely the easiest thing to do is make your return booking as a separate reservation and then speak with a UK agent the next morning to get your points back. Hope that’s helpful to someone!

    1958 51 posts

    Hey, just thought I’d share my experience of booking the return leg of a trip from London to Tokyo using a Barclays Upgrade Voucher, as I found this thread really useful for a first time booker. Last night I phoned the north American call centre at about 11:40pm and got through pretty much straight away (to an agent based in India). However, they were entirely unhelpful and as per previous reports refused to add a return flight to my booking. I pushed them several times on this without success, and they kept on stating I had to have booked both legs at the same time. They also incorrectly told me if I cancelled my existing outward flight to Tokyo although the points would be refunded, I would loose the upgrade voucher. I ended the call around midnight, so decided to book a one way flight from Tokyo to London using Avios (thankfully I just had enough points to complete this) and try and claim 50% of the points back. In the morning I used the online BA chat and they also categorically refused to help, saying that it was not possible to refund the Avios as I should have booked both legs together. Feeling a bit of despair, I called the UK call centre and after a half hour wait spoke to a really helpful agent who totally understood my request and refunded 50% of the Avois without any discussion. She said this was totally normal and an expected way for me to book using a voucher, and also that the American / India call centre should have accommodated my request to add a return leg to my existing booking. Anyhow all a bit frustrating, but got there in the end. I definitely wouldn’t bother with the American call centre. From my experience likely the easiest thing to do is make your return booking as a separate reservation and then speak with a UK agent the next morning to get your points back. Hope that’s helpful to someone!

    I had a similar issue when I used the USA call centre to book a return trip in Club on my Barclays voucher. The BA person told me that Premium Economy must be available, then also an upgrade to Club must be available. I waited whilst he booked the seat – and in the end, all is well – although his description of the process was wrong.

    suziwozi 3 posts

    Stayed up tonight trying to make my booking at midnight – got an error at the last step, presumably someone else snapped up the tickets i was after ☹️
    What would be the recommendation: try again online tomorrow or call instead?

    wilde09 1 post

    Hey, looking to book a return leg from Singapore to London but as I’ve already used my voucher on the outbound booking I don’t have the extra availability. If someone can see and wouldn’t mind, is there any business availability during the final week in August 2024? Thanks!

    NorthernLass 6,769 posts

    If you call BA, they can “see” any extra availability which your voucher would unlock.

    Michael C 646 posts

    Hey, looking to book a return leg from Singapore to London but as I’ve already used my voucher on the outbound booking I don’t have the extra availability. If someone can see and wouldn’t mind, is there any business availability during the final week in August 2024? Thanks!

    Is that right, you can still use the return, even though you’ve already flown the outbound without booking anything?

    NorthernLass 6,769 posts

    I read this as @wilde09 has booked the outbound, not flown it!

    Michael C 646 posts

    @NorthernLass it was a vain hope, as I have a rando unused SIN-LHR!!

    t0m 59 posts

    Hey, just thought I’d share my experience of booking the return leg of a trip from London to Tokyo using a Barclays Upgrade Voucher, as I found this thread really useful for a first time booker. Last night I phoned the north American call centre at about 11:40pm and got through pretty much straight away (to an agent based in India). However, they were entirely unhelpful and as per previous reports refused to add a return flight to my booking. I pushed them several times on this without success, and they kept on stating I had to have booked both legs at the same time. They also incorrectly told me if I cancelled my existing outward flight to Tokyo although the points would be refunded, I would loose the upgrade voucher. I ended the call around midnight, so decided to book a one way flight from Tokyo to London using Avios (thankfully I just had enough points to complete this) and try and claim 50% of the points back. In the morning I used the online BA chat and they also categorically refused to help, saying that it was not possible to refund the Avios as I should have booked both legs together. Feeling a bit of despair, I called the UK call centre and after a half hour wait spoke to a really helpful agent who totally understood my request and refunded 50% of the Avois without any discussion. She said this was totally normal and an expected way for me to book using a voucher, and also that the American / India call centre should have accommodated my request to add a return leg to my existing booking. Anyhow all a bit frustrating, but got there in the end. I definitely wouldn’t bother with the American call centre. From my experience likely the easiest thing to do is make your return booking as a separate reservation and then speak with a UK agent the next morning to get your points back. Hope that’s helpful to someone!

    Good report. When booking to go to Tokyo earlier this year I booked the return leg as soon as it went on sale and then asked BA customer service on Twitter to refund the 50% on the return leg. Took a few days but they came back positively with no debate.. so all in all pretty easy.

    Steve100 3 posts

    Hi folks, as a newbee I’ve just received my BA Amex companion voucher and hope to book return flights to Cape Town. Two BA agents have previously told me over the phone that I should book the outbound flight online when they are released and ring in later to book the return. However, I was surprised to read in the email notifying me of the voucher that ‘Return flights must be booked at the same time as the outward journey is booked.’
    I rang BA again and at first was told the same as before – book outbound online then call to book the return.
    When I read the email to the agent, she backtracked saying that she had been confused and that outbound and return flights do have to be booked together at the same time.
    The BA Amex Companion Voucher terms and conditions don’t mention this requirement. Does anyone know if it is a rule or is it just a question of luck and getting through to the right helpful agent who will make the booking?

    NorthernLass 6,769 posts

    As a newbee you will find the numerous HFP articles and forum posts (including in this thread) very helpful and containing all the information you need to make the most of your companion voucher.

    For example: https://www.headforpoints.com/2022/08/28/how-to-use-a-british-airways-american-express-241-companion-voucher-2/

    RK228 186 posts

    Hi folks, as a newbee I’ve just received my BA Amex companion voucher and hope to book return flights to Cape Town. Two BA agents have previously told me over the phone that I should book the outbound flight online when they are released and ring in later to book the return. However, I was surprised to read in the email notifying me of the voucher that ‘Return flights must be booked at the same time as the outward journey is booked.’
    I rang BA again and at first was told the same as before – book outbound online then call to book the return.
    When I read the email to the agent, she backtracked saying that she had been confused and that outbound and return flights do have to be booked together at the same time.
    The BA Amex Companion Voucher terms and conditions don’t mention this requirement. Does anyone know if it is a rule or is it just a question of luck and getting through to the right helpful agent who will make the booking?

    In theory, I think you must book outbound and inbound at the same time; in practice, what the agents initially advised on the phone will usually apply and many of us have booked our companion-voucher flights this way.

    Personally, I would not go highlighting discrepancies in the rules or discussing booking procedures with the BA phone agents and would instead read the links and info on this site, as @Northernlass suggested, to understand how to use and maximise vouchers.

    Steve100 3 posts

    Excellent guide Northernlass. A really useful guide for anyone starting out!

    eshaq786 20 posts

    Anyone else had any success getting the return leg refunded for 2for1 voucher via the web chat?

    I get through to someone who says they can do it but right at the end, they then say they cannot recalculate the refund required as they do not have the access and/or training to do so. They then say I must call to do this.

    Whats the most reliable way to get this done without having to call? With a busy lifestyle, I am finding it difficult to call during the hours that the executive club is open.

    Anna 458 posts

    It can be done via the chat facility but not all agents are willing/able to do it. Some Twitter agents will also do it but you may need to be persistent and patient as it can take a few days to complete the process! Other than that you have to make the dreaded call.

    spidey_sense 1 post

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve just been through the process of using an Amex companion voucher to book return flights to Tokyo.

    Thank you

    Firstly, thanks to everyone contributing to this thread – the feedback and tips were very helpful, so I want to ‘pay it forward’ and add a recent data point in case it’s helpful to anyone.

    Getting the outbound tickets

    I managed to secure the outbound flights on my second go. The first time round, I wasn’t quick enough, despite going through the whole process in less than a minute. I had pre-saved all the necessary info including my payment card to my Executive Club account and checked out as quickly as I could, but I got an error at the last step.

    The next day, I practiced going through the checkout steps so I knew where to click once midnight rolled around. I also used a desktop PC with a mouse (instead of a tablet). I managed to get through the process in around 30 seconds and bagged the tickets.

    Getting the return tickets

    I didn’t have enough Avios to book the return myself and then request a 50% refund, so had to go through the phone process.

    I first called the US Exec Club Blue line (+18004521201) around 11.45pm. Got through almost immediately to a friendly, helpful agent who knew exactly what I wanted to do – but they said I was too early and to call back around 11.55pm instead, as they weren’t allowed to keep me on the phone (I’m guessing there’s more of a queue at busier periods, so if I were to do this again, I would still call at 11.45pm to start with just in case).

    I called the same number back at 11.55pm and ran into problems. The options had subtly changed and after going through them I was added to a queue. After a couple of minutes, my call was dropped with the message that lines were closed.

    I then tried another of the numbers shared in this thread (+18002479297). This was a bust – I got through immediately but the agent said they couldn’t help and that I had to call the Executive Club. When asked for the best number to use, they gave the Exec Club Blue line.

    Feeling slightly panicked at this point, I immediately dialled the Blue line back (this was around 00.02am). Miraculously, I got through. Again, the agent was friendly and immediately knew what I was trying to do. The whole process then took about 15 minutes. The morning after, my booking had been updated with return flights added and the payment was taken.

    A fairly stressful experience all in all but not as bad as I had feared!

    FatherOfFour 255 posts

    Congratulations @spidey_sense and thanks for reporting back. I agree that trying to get through at the “right” time is more luck than skill. Often too early, but also can take too long as you experienced. My worst instance was when I was queuing past midnight on the phone and watched “my” tickets slip away 2 minutes before my call was picked up. Coincidentally, I had audio issues on the laptop and the agent couldn’t hear me anyway, so it obviously wasn’t to be on that occasion.

    Molly 86 posts

    Do I need an Amex payment card to book the inbound flight

    Booked my outbound flight using an Amex no problem and now looking to book the inbound in the next couple of weeks. Do I need to use an Amex to complete this transaction? I’m not sure if I will call at midnight or book with full avios and claim the 50% back later. Will the agent insist on an Amex payment if I call?

    NorthernLass 6,769 posts

    If you book it on the phone they will want payment by Amex. If you book online and don’t use an Amex, there’s a high level of possibility that they will clock this and refuse to refund the 50% avios so personally I don’t think it’s worth it. Even if you managed to get it booked with a non-Amex, you could end up getting your ticket cancelled, or charged the extra avios, as a reader posted a few months ago.

    *They could well also insist that you need to use the same Amex as used for the outbound booking, though I don’t know if this is covered by the new Ts and Cs.

    CaptainRockNRoll 1 post

    Hi guys,

    Long time reader, first time poster, so I apologise if this has been asked before.

    I’m hoping to travel to Sydney late next year/early 2025 with my American Express BA 241 voucher, and will be calling to hopefully book the outbound leg in the coming few months. However, for the return journey from Sydney, we would actually like to spend 3 or 4 days in Singapore before heading back to London.

    I’m guessing if I wait the 4 days for the return journey from SIN to LHR to be available to book, the availability for SYD to SIN will probably be gone, so should I book SYD to SIN when it becomes available, then SIN to LHR a few days later, and then contact BA in the hope of combining the booking and receiving half the Avios back?

    Many thanks in advance.

    NorthernLass 6,769 posts

    They won’t do this as it would be 2 separate bookings; you would only get half the avios back for one of the legs (if it complied with the open jaw rules). You could ask them to cancel and hope both seats become available to rebook immediately.

    Another option would be to call BA when the SIN-LHR flights become available as they will be able to “see” the extra availability the voucher unlocks now. You won’t be able to see it once you have used the 241 for your outbound leg, but it still applies.

    If you have time to trawl through the forum (and possibly this thread), quite a few people have tackled this exact type of booking previously! I think there’s even a thread somewhere with it in the title. IIRC @ColinMcKinnon was one of the people who managed it successfully.

    Remember as well for SIN and SYD there can often be more seats available if you start and finish in a UK region.

    bellap 7 posts

    Hi everyone, quick regional question? I’ve booked outbound Man-LHR-BGI at t-355 using a 241. I’ll be booking the return date by phone in the next few days ( not enough Avios to book online).
    Issue I see is that when the BGI-LHR leg opens up, the LHR-MAN leg is still closed for another 24hrs
    Can BA add the shuttle leg at a later date as part of the total 241 booking ?

    HampshireHog 59 posts

    Hi everyone, quick regional question? I’ve booked outbound Man-LHR-BGI at t-355 using a 241. I’ll be booking the return date by phone in the next few days ( not enough Avios to book online).
    Issue I see is that when the BGI-LHR leg opens up, the LHR-MAN leg is still closed for another 24hrs
    Can BA add the shuttle leg at a later date as part of the total 241 booking ?

    yes if you call in but I would call within a day or two as I was refused the free add on when I forgot and left it a month

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