Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

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

  • NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    It’s been posted (over and over in the last couple of weeks, including by me, a few posts upthread on this page!) that you don’t ask BA to merge or link bookings, just to refund you 50% of the avios used for the inbound leg.

    sythai 4 posts

    Thank you so much NL, appreciate your speedy reply and help…. re-read some of post above
    Got back on to BA, got my ‘wording’ correct this time round.
    30mins on phone and 20 mins later now have 100,000 avios credited back in my account
    sorted

    davet 107 posts

    Scanned through this thread but wasnt sure of the answer, cant seem to get through on the phone within an hour or if i do both times they have hung up citing poor line (despite being a call centre line I am using at work)

    Is there an online method to request the 50% refund for the inbound leg?

    Also I didnt realise with seperate PNR’s I would not be able to benefit from the free seat selection my partners PNR gets due to the under 2 on the booking, any idea if they would let me request to sit next to them without paying for seats because we are in a household account?

    smblcklck 64 posts

    In case helpful, this is where Rob wrote about the HKG quirk, but he suggests making the full payment with Avios and then calling for the refund. Let us know if you manage to skip that step and have the agent book your one-way HKG-LHR-NCL with the voucher!

    Oops, missed this response to my query. Yes, this is exactly what I would do, except I can’t, because the return availability disappears without the 241, due to the extra flights it opens up. It’s specifically a 241 extra availability problem, not a 50%-avios-return problem

    The surcharge difference is £400 so not insignificant.

    I am on hold with the exec club line as I type, so will report back soon…

    smblcklck 64 posts

    Can’t be done, apparently, for the reasons stated:

    – without the 241 that J availability is not accessible.
    – 50% avios refund applies only to the case of outbound booked before inbound is available.

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    @davet, chat or Xtwitter can do this, takes a few days with the latter though.

    I’m not aware of free seat selection with an infant, but BA will probably say you’d have to pay. How are you on 2 separate bookings if you’re using a 241?

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    Can’t be done, apparently, for the reasons stated:

    – without the 241 that J availability is not accessible.
    – 50% avios refund applies only to the case of outbound booked before inbound is available.

    There are several instances here where readers have reported that BA agents can indeed see the extra availability for the inbound leg, without the voucher.

    ed_fly 235 posts

    @davet, chat or Xtwitter can do this, takes a few days with the latter though.

    I’m not aware of free seat selection with an infant, but BA will probably say you’d have to pay. How are you on 2 separate bookings if you’re using a 241?

    “When you travel with an infant on your lap, you can choose a seat for yourself and everyone in your booking, free of charge, for up to a party of nine. https://www.britishairways.com/content/information/family-travel/seating if you’re on a separate pnr that might well cause issues. Might get a friendly agent, but might not be possible? Though as per @northernlass if you’re on a 241 how are you on separate pnr to your partner?

    Wonder what issues someone might encounter adding a ‘lap infant’ to their booking, who subsequently is unable to travel? Not something I’d engage in.

    smblcklck 64 posts

    Can’t be done, apparently, for the reasons stated:

    – without the 241 that J availability is not accessible.
    – 50% avios refund applies only to the case of outbound booked before inbound is available.

    There are several instances here where readers have reported that BA agents can indeed see the extra availability for the inbound leg, without the voucher.

    Indeed, and the agent knew exactly what I was trying to do and did get as far as ‘looking’ for the flights, apparently unsuccessfully. But I can only report what I was told. Who knows what specific set of circumstances might affect this. I might HUACA but I really find dealing with this sort of stuff with BA very stress inducing!

    jordinhooo 1 post

    Hi All,

    My first post on here but have been following this thread for a number of weeks and it has been very informative.

    I need some help with a hopefully straightforward query.

    I have booked an outbound flight Manchester to Mumbai in CW using 100,000 Avios plus cash (£450.00) and my companion voucher. I have since booked the return leg which has only just been released for Mumbai to Manchester also in CW paying the same cash amount (£450.00) but double the Avios (200,000).

    My question now is- Which exact department within BA do i contact to ask them to refund half of my avios (100,000) back to me given the return leg couldn’t be booked at the same time i booked the outbound leg ? Do i need to call or can i request this online ?

    Any help much appreciated.

    davet 107 posts

    @davet, chat or Xtwitter can do this, takes a few days with the latter though.

    I’m not aware of free seat selection with an infant, but BA will probably say you’d have to pay. How are you on 2 separate bookings if you’re using a 241?

    “When you travel with an infant on your lap, you can choose a seat for yourself and everyone in your booking, free of charge, for up to a party of nine. https://www.britishairways.com/content/information/family-travel/seating if you’re on a separate pnr that might well cause issues. Might get a friendly agent, but might not be possible? Though as per @northernlass if you’re on a 241 how are you on separate pnr to your partner?

    Wonder what issues someone might encounter adding a ‘lap infant’ to their booking, who subsequently is unable to travel? Not something I’d engage in.

    Two 241 vouchers, myself and my son are one and my partner and baby are 50% off on the other – the system wouldnt allow that to go through as one booking as its not paying individuals so I had to book seperately, my partner has been able to book the seats with the bassinet but I cant sit with her because of the separate booking – would rather not loose the basinet but that wouldnt be great to be sat separately either its over £1000 to buy seats together :/

    ed_fly 235 posts

    Hi All,

    My first post on here but have been following this thread for a number of weeks and it has been very informative.

    I need some help with a hopefully straightforward query.

    I have booked an outbound flight Manchester to Mumbai in CW using 100,000 Avios plus cash (£450.00) and my companion voucher. I have since booked the return leg which has only just been released for Mumbai to Manchester also in CW paying the same cash amount (£450.00) but double the Avios (200,000).

    My question now is- Which exact department within BA do i contact to ask them to refund half of my avios (100,000) back to me given the return leg couldn’t be booked at the same time i booked the outbound leg ? Do i need to call or can i request this online ?

    Any help much appreciated.

    hi, welcome to the forum. If you review the recent posts in this thread, it will explain all you need know. Twitter is a good option for this, but read the thread to check the wording of your request and implications of having 2 PNR’s for your booking.

    nikjanwri 1 post

    Hi all, apologies if this has been asked elsewhere but I can’t find an definitive answer. I have, for the past 4 years always booked the outbound and inbound as separate bookings online at T-355 and then calling at a later date to get them to apply the 2-4-1 to the inbound leg. But they are refusing to do it now (I’ve called the Gold Exec number twice, and both operators have said they can’t (albeit for different reasons) and the last one chided me for calling again on the same issue!). We are a family of 4 using one 241 BAPP voucher.
    I booked for 2 of us to fly out on the 241 voucher (and my husband booked with just Avios for him and my other kid) as the 241 voucher wouldn’t let me book 4 tickets with just one voucher. However on the return, I booked for all four of us as I was using the Avios. This is how I had done for a trip I had previously booked for March this year and when I called up BA they refunded the Avios no problem. This time, for a trip in December they are refusing to do so, saying that they can’t because there are 4 on the inbound booking – even though 2 of those passengers are the same as the 2 in the outbound 241 booking. I don’t understand why they were fine to do it in March, but are now refusing to do it December? (They have also said that even if I cancel 2 seats from the return leg (so that I try and rebook as separate booking), they can’t guarantee they would be added to the inventory so would risk losing the 2 seats).
    Are they right (ie was I just lucky when they did link my previous booking in March) or should I keep pushing?
    (And is it still the case that you can only book a maximum of 2 seats when using one voucher – this definitely seems a new rule as in previous years I’ve always just booked for 4 of us with one voucher on the same booking).
    Thanks in advance

    JDB 4,641 posts

    @nikjanwri – unfortunately I think BA is correct as you should have booked the return flights as two separate bookings. You were lucky someone made the necessary adjustment in March. In the current situation, you might be able to ask them to split the booking so that the two voucher travellers are on one booking that could then be linked to get the 50% back. The issue of how many people you can have on one booking is complicated by whether you are using the additional availability or not. You can’t mix ordinary Avios availability seats and the extra ones in the same booking.

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    Another data point re mixed cabins and booking the return (and open jaws!) I called the Silver line earlier to add CW inbound to our F flight to MEX in November. The lovely agent was happy to help but said he had to send the booking off to back office to recalculate the taxes, which would take up to 72 hours. Not wanting to lose the seats, and suspecting the recalculation might prove expensive, I swiftly booked the return online while I was still on the phone discussing the options and he then refunded half the avios. 30 minutes on the phone in total, very happy.

    So total cost for DUB-LHR-MEX in F (off-peak), then MEX-LHR-MAN in CW (peak) was 194k avios plus £933 for 2.

    davet 107 posts

    Can’t be done, apparently, for the reasons stated:

    – without the 241 that J availability is not accessible.
    – 50% avios refund applies only to the case of outbound booked before inbound is available.

    There are several instances here where readers have reported that BA agents can indeed see the extra availability for the inbound leg, without the voucher.

    For those that are interested twitter was really efficient, took a few hours no silly questions

    nbaguette 5 posts

    Hello,

    I just wanted to say thank you to all the posters on this thread as it helped enormously with us securing 3x CW tickets for LHR -> JNB return for the Christmas period later this year (husband and daughter on 241 BAPP companion voucher and me on Barclays Upgrade Voucher). I thought I would share my experience in case it helps someone else.

    We secured the outbound tickets online at the second attempt with us both logged into our accounts and ready to go at midnight and everything pre-filled. On the first night, I actually got the single ticket with BUV but my husband didn’t get the two tickets with the 241. I cancelled my ticket and was refunded the voucher, avios and taxes immediately at no cost because it was within 24 hours. I noticed that the seat went back into inventory. Second night of trying we got the three seats we wanted and then it was a two week wait to try get the return flights.

    On the first night, we tried calling the US number at 23:45-ish. Although I was confident we could get the refund of 50% avios from booking online with the 241 (thanks to this thread), I wasn’t sure about getting a refund for the difference in avios for the BUV flight if we booked the return online, as I couldn’t find an example of anyone having done this on the forum. Therefore, I thought we needed to try the phone option. I got through almost immediately to what sounded like the Indian call centre. I told the woman what I wanted to do and she asked for the booking refs, so I assumed it was all fine. However, she then claimed I was not authorised on my husband’s account even though I am. He was awake anyway, so he was able to do the security questions but she then told us that we couldn’t add on a return due to “ticket validity”. She claimed that because we booked the outbound on 1 Jan 24 (the booking was made on this date, but the date of travel was December 2024), we couldn’t book the return for any date after 1 Jan 25 and we were looking for 4/5/6 Jan. After a minute or so of arguing that this was nonsensical, I hung up. However, by this point, it was nearly midnight and by the time we got through again on the US line, the tickets were already gone.

    I didn’t want to have to deal with the lottery of the call centre again so decided we would try online the second night, paying the full 100% avios, and if we weren’t able to get a refund of the difference in avios on the BUV ticket, then so be it. We were slightly short the amount of avios needed to pay for 3 x 100% tickets, so used the avios booster to get up to what we needed. I thought that paying 0.92 per avios for a small amount of avios would be well worth it for this trip! Online at midnight, I once again got a single ticket, but my husband didn’t manage to get the two tickets on his account. Once again, I cancelled my ticket, had the avios back immediately and the seat went back into inventory.

    For night number 3, we were successful in getting all 3 seats at full avios price! However, the next day came the fun of trying to get the avios refunds. I phoned the call centre twice and thought I would try the 50% refund on the 241 booking first and then ask about the BUV. The first agent I spoke to told me it wasn’t possible to do the 50% refund and it was only possible to add the return by calling them. This is despite that fact that I was very careful not to mention anything about linking the bookings as advised in this thread. The second time, the agent said she would find out how to do it and then I got cut off. By this point, I was fed up with the call centre so decided to try the chat function. This was useless as it kept assuming I wanted to cancel the flight and I couldn’t get past the chatbot. Finally, we tried X/twitter using the wording from earlier on in this thread. My husband had to provide some follow-up info, but within about 12 hours of contacting BA, the 50% avios refund was showing in our account which no quibbles!

    I then thought I might as well see if I could get a refund for the difference in avios on the BUV booking. I adapted the wording we had used to ask for 50% refund and instead asked for a refund of 32,500 avios which was the difference between the WTP and CW avios price, which is what would be saved from using the BUV. Again, it took about 12 hours from when I first contacted BA on twitter, but they refunded the avios with no difficult questions.

    Overall, I would not have known how to do any of this without this forum, so thank you. Also, based on my experience, if you have enough avios, buying the 100% ticket online at midnight is better than the call centre and then use X/twitter to request the refund. Of course we do now have 4 PNRs but I don’t think this is a big deal. Seat selection will be a bit of a gamble, but we should both be bronze at the time of flying, so we’re prepared to take our chances a week in advance of flying.

    Greygoose 20 posts

    Well done nbaguette, your persistence paid off!

    Forgive me for what may seem a basic question but I don’t, generally, use social media. Am I able to contact BA using X/Twitter without actually having a Twitter account myself?

    Just planning my strategy to try to use a 241 to obtain return flights for Chile at end of next Jan.

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    You need a X/Twitter account. But you could try chat first as you can do that via your BAEC account.

    ukpolak 73 posts

    Blimey. When I started this game, friends / colleagues with previous experience advised that they had pulled out because of the cognitive load to make it all work out. I’m reasonably well organised / particular about things, but that account above would have probably led to a heart attack in my case.

    However – pleased to have used the advice albeit in a v straight-forward 4 x CW booking for Christmas (my wife + 1 child, me + 1 child on two separate bookings all made online in a stress-free fashion) but thankfully on the plentiful supply of availability to US East Coast for Christmas, so no rush needed.

    I really dread when my time comes to try to book Florida, SA, Singapore or the Maldives.

    Greygoose 20 posts

    Thanks Northern Lass, I’ll try that when the time comes – much appreciated!

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    @ukpolak, there must be a personality type that sticks at this 😂. But I’d rather jump through all the hoops than travel in economy every time!

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    Well done nbaguette.
    Confirms just how stupid this whole process is in order to try and get seats to popular destinations.
    There surely has to be a better way of implementing this.

    NorthernLass 8,246 posts

    Making the voucher so it can be used in 2 parts would resolve all this, and save a lot of time for BA phone agents. However, I suspect instead of changing the way the voucher works, at some point they’ll just be told to stop refunding the extra avios, so people will either have to gamble on both legs still being available or just use the 241 on the outbound leg.

    Aston100 1,449 posts

    Making the voucher so it can be used in 2 parts would resolve all this, and save a lot of time for BA phone agents. However, I suspect instead of changing the way the voucher works, at some point they’ll just be told to stop refunding the extra avios, so people will either have to gamble on both legs still being available or just use the 241 on the outbound leg.

    Thing is, the price difference between BA WITH a companion voucher and a regular reward seat with Qatar on some routes isn’t that large once you factor in all the taxes and charges.
    If BA stop refunding the 50% after the inbound leg is booked, that’ll be it for me and I will just look to book Qatar thereafter without bothering with BA at all.

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.