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

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  • NorthernLass

    In that case you’d need to book the 241 flight and onward flight separately. As long as you leave plenty of time between connections (maybe have a city break at either end), this shouldn’t be a problem. If you have enough avios, you might be able to get redemption flights on AA between cities, which can be a good deal.

    eppleby

    Northern Lass
    Thankyou for that advice! I didn’t know that it was possible but I just tried a dummy booking and it worked – no problem! Thanks again.

    tom_russ

    Having read through various other threads and researched both Open Jaw and Stopover bookings I have formulated a plan to generate best value from my Companion Voucher. Looking to travel in Q1 2024 so will be booking in the New Year.
    At its simplest I plan to book an Open Jaw from London (LHR) to -Sydney (SYD) and then returning from Santiago (SCL) to London (LHR), for two travellers using a Companion Voucher.
    LHR-SYD is 17,019km and SCL-LHR is 11,653km. Whereas the SYD-SCL is only 11,340km. The fact that the 11,340<11,653<17,019 means this routing is eligible for an Open Jaw booking I believe.
    My understanding is that in order to have the best chance of securing these seats I should book the LHR-SYD route as soon as tickets go on sale (355 days in advance) and then once the SCL-LHR tickets go on sale I should call up to add this flight to my booking, is this correct?
    In an ideal world I would like to break my LHR-SYD leg at Singapore (SIN), potentially for 10-14 days, would this still be possible all in one ticket (ie using my Companion Voucher throughout)?

    Anna

    You’ll need to be on the phone at midnight to get SYD seats in CW, especially if you’re travelling over Xmas, and even then there’s a good chance someone will be quicker than you. Have a look at the many articles and threads on here about the best way to do this.
    There is a way to build in a stopover but I don’t know if they would do this on the phone, I’m not sure whether it’s technically allowed or just a BA IT glitch!

    tblank19

    Hello – quick question with regards to booking the return leg of a companion voucher (pre September 2021 issued).

    I have booked the outbound leg of a London to Cape Town trip for 2 in Club World online using a companion voucher 355 days out from release. We will look to call up BA in a few weeks once the return flight becomes available. However, doing some searching for return flights on different dates has made it clear that availability to Cape Town is much better when using a voucher, as opposed to when doing a standard (non voucher) booking. It seems that when doing a non-voucher booking, even 355 days out it can be difficult to find 2x club world seats on the CPT to LHR route.

    I am wondering whether when we call the BA office 355 days out to book the return leg and merge with the companion voucher, will it show availability for a standard booking or the enhanced availability you get with a companion voucher booking? Note also that we may not be able to call at Midnight/1am on release so a chance we have to call around 8am instead.

    Additionally, if it does not show companion voucher availability and no seats are available 355 days out, would it make sense to use another, seperate companion voucher to book the return leg (if seats available when using a voucher) and then call BA to see if they will merge the bookings and refund one of the companion vouchers?

    Many thanks for any help in advance!

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    The four seats are there in CW – they may get taken at midnight but are there.

    You raise interesting points and I don’t know the answers. However, I would say that it is unusual for I-class seats to be made available 355 days out (you don’t see cheap long haul flights 355 days out for cash) so it may not be an issue.

    ferrinha

    Hi there,

    Looking for some help.

    I have a 2-4-1 BA plus voucher and I`m looking to use the recent changes allowing us to use the vouchers on IB flights to book a flight to SCL. I did some comparisons and flying via MAD means a huge saving in avios and specially in £.

    We were looking to fly business with IB from MAD to SCL and then return business on a BA direct flight to LHR. Doing a simulation I can book LHR-MAD-SCL both segments in business and then SCL-LHR, but as I don`t really need to fly business to MAD, I was wondering if there is a way of booking economy LHR-MAD, business MAD-SCL and then business SCL-LHR when using a 2-4-1 voucher without the need of doing separate bookings.

    Thanks in advace

    NorthernLass

    Are you getting a “stopover” option when you do the dummy booking? If so you can put in your travel dates and select which cabin you want to fly in, on BA flights, anyway. I don’t actually know if this is possible with mixed carriers but it’s worth a try.

    Do you not incur extra charges departing from London on one PNR, or has that gone with the new RFS pricing? I’m still trying to get my head round it all!

    Scott

    In my testing with a new style 241, although the BA website offers a mix of its own and partner airline flights for your chosen dates, if you select mixed carriers, it returns an error at the pricing stage.

    I’ve tried with stopovers and without. Maybe phone agents can do it, or maybe it isn’t possible at all.
    The complicating factor may be that the new RFS pricing only applies to BA flights. As today’s article on First Class bookings points out, trying to mix RFS and non-RFS has unintended consequences.

    At this point, with no real data points on the new pricing structure, the lowest cost approach is probably to book the return from MAD on Iberia, and find yourself a separate flight to get you there and back.

    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.

    Just an update on this, it took a lot of persistence and a call to the bronze number, but I finally got through to BA, and the agent was very helpful and has merged my two bookings and refunded half the Avios. There was no mention of “cancel and rebook” or the risk of losing the seats.

    So I can confirm this method does work, it just depends who you speak to. I would also recommend calling as soon as possible after booking.

    lastcall

    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.

    Just an update on this, it took a lot of persistence and a call to the bronze number, but I finally got through to BA, and the agent was very helpful and has merged my two bookings and refunded half the Avios. There was no mention of “cancel and rebook” or the risk of losing the seats.

    So I can confirm this method does work, it just depends who you speak to. I would also recommend calling as soon as possible after booking.

    I can also confirm that it’s still possible to link the bookings and have half the Avios refund. I got through on the silver members line (I’m not silver!) after several failed attempts and a long hold. I explained the situation and pointed out how frustrating it was to call them and get cut off so many times. The agent was then extremely helpful and promised he would sort it all out for me. It took about an hour and I could see the refund in my account before I hung up. It does take a lot of persistence, but it pays off in the end!

    ringingup

    I saw it mentioned in another thread. When I called to merge my bookings, I was told it wasn’t possible because I’d chosen different combinations of avios and taxes. What I chose were the amounts based on standard pricing, before the changes were introduced. Basically he saying it’s only possible if you choose the first, second, third, etc option that is the same for both flights.

    Luckily, he was able to test whether releasing the seats would put them back into inventory and therefore cancelled my second booking and added the inbound to the same reservation of the outbound, which was a good outcome overall.

    However it was all quite stressful. On top of that, I was trying to book the inbound over the phone, but I didn’t get through to anyone until 00:25. Hence why I had to book the inbound separately.

    NorthernLass

    There’s no actual linking or merging of bookings, it’s much more straightforward to simply give the booking details and request the return of the avios.

    ringingup

    There’s no actual linking or merging of bookings, it’s much more straightforward to simply give the booking details and request the return of the avios.

    That’s correct, but it’s the language that the representative was also using.

    Gary

    he was able to test whether releasing the seats would put them back into inventory and therefore cancelled my second booking and added the inbound to the same reservation of the outbound, which was a good outcome overall.

    This is an interesting data point. Did the agent get into how this was done?

    ringingup

    he was able to test whether releasing the seats would put them back into inventory and therefore cancelled my second booking and added the inbound to the same reservation of the outbound, which was a good outcome overall.

    This is an interesting data point. Did the agent get into how this was done?

    Sadly not. TBH, I was surprised, as for years I’ve assumed (as so have many others) that it would be a gamble to cancel hoping that seats would go back into inventory. Maybe something has changed, but the agent put me on hold to talk to someone else and he said “we tested and we were able to see that the seats would go back”.

    FarAway

    What’s the best number (and IVR options?) to call at midnight to book the return 241 flight?

    FarAway

    Apparently 1-800 number cannot be called from UK so I am looking for alternatives.

    ringingup

    Apparently 1-800 number cannot be called from UK so I am looking for alternatives.

    Use Skype. The call is free.

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