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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

  • NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    I’d probably drop to 1 BA trip per year via the US on a route where out and inbound were both available and use QR and VS for other long haul trips.

    totestornot123 49 posts

    Seems to be too much information in this thread to feasibly look through, hopefully someone can answer my simple question.

    I have the Premium Plus 241 voucher, along with around 200k avios points. Hoping to book CW return tickets from LHR to Tokyo next year, March/April time. I understand I can book my outbound journey when the seats are released 355 days in advance. I can do this on the phone to the USA call centre or just online. My 241 voucher will be used at this point along with some avios (for example, 100k avios + taxes).

    When I wish to book my inbound journey, I have to book this using avios only (at the full redemption cost) and then call BA / Twitter to get half my avios returned. My concern with this approach is, considering I only have 200k avios of which 100k is used for the outbound trip, I won’t have enough avios to book 2 CW tickets for the inbound journey as it stands.

    Is this how it is? I need to probably have 3-400k avios to begin with to make what I want feasable?

    many thank

    NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    Yes, you’ll need the full amount to book online. You must use the same ratio of avios plus cash on each leg, but if you’re really struggling for the avios, you might want to pick one of the other options than RFS. The only other way is to call BA. Or fly one of the legs in PE or economy.

    Scott 248 posts

    @totestornot123 you don’t have to book the inbound using full Avios. It’s an approach that would enable you to do it online, i.e. without phoning. And if you don’t have enough Avios then you won’t be able to do it anyway.
    The conventional approach is to phone up and the agent will book the inbound and tie it to your 241 voucher.

    NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    The last couple of pages of this thread are replete with examples from people who have called the US line to do this and been refused (and lost their seats) recently!

    Hence, it does actually help to read the thread, even if it seems arduous and time-consuming.

    Spike Spiegel 5 posts

    Hi everyone – I’ve just managed to find 4 Club Suite seats out to Singapore in March, flying a day before one of the 2 BA premium vouchers I used expires which was a stroke of luck! We’re all very excited.

    I’m now looking at the return and have tried various combinations of Qatar from Phuket, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur – nothing in a premium cabin. I’m resigned to returning in economy or premium economy but there is unsurprisingly no award availability however I might be able to fly back in Economy using Avios but I’d prefer to fly direct on the BA flight below.

    I’ve looked on the American Airlines redemption website and BA12 has 4 seats in premium which I’d like to tag onto the return flight of those two vouchers but when I try to book on the BA webpage they’re unavailable. Does anyone have any suggestions? Is it a case of ringing a call centre to ask about these and see what they can do as I’ve got the avios or do I just need to book a cash ticket at this point? Thank you for your advice in advance.

    totestornot123 49 posts

    Thanks guys. Yep I do intend to spend some time before I need to book my flights to have a good read over. Need to ensure I have enough Avios to book the inbound regardless, PE wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    ed_fly 229 posts

    The last couple of pages of this thread are replete with examples from people who have called the US line to do this and been refused (and lost their seats) recently!

    Hence, it does actually help to read the thread, even if it seems arduous and time-consuming.

    I’ve just been through a number of the previous pages of this thread and could only see two instances of people having issues adding a return via the US number. Both of which involved a Barclays voucher. One in the past few days and the other from 31 October. I don’t think I’ve misread the other posts? I’m planning on booking 4 seats for Easter 25, so going to keep a close eye on this in coming weeks.

    NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    I just wouldn’t have it as my only option.

    yarg 7 posts

    Hi All,
    A quick question please: we managed to secure companion voucher flights in CW from Geneva to Joburg at the end of this year, and are looking to come back from Cape Town in mid-January 2025. Am based in Geneva so stayed up til 1am this morning, got on the phone to the New Zealand callcentre as the US one was constantly engaged; that rerouted me to India, and I was on with the agent in good time, but they still never saw any Cape Town availability for 12 Jan (the new date that became available at 00:00GMT today) when the clock ticked round. I also had a ba.com webpage open and never saw any availability from Cape Town appear.

    There is currently availability coming back from Joburg on 12 Jan, and I’m debating just booking that so at least we have something (as our return date must be somewhere in that window of 12-19 Jan and I won’t be able to play the 1am game every night for the next week).
    If I do add a return from Joburg, and then a viable Cape Town return appears in the next week, would I be able to hop on that immediately and amend the booking online? Or would I have to phone a call centre as that would turn it into an open jaw flight?

    I’ve just got off the phone with the Executive Club number for Switzerland and the agent I had couldn’t tell me if I would be able to amend the booking online or would have to call back.

    Thanks!
    GJ

    NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    You can’t change the airport online; you would have to either call and ask BA to do it for you OR book it at the full avios price and ask BA to refund 50%. If you’ve already done this with your JNB leg, you would need to cancel that before requesting the refund as obviously you can only have one return portion for a 241 booking. Whether BA agents would be funny about refunding the avios a second time remains to be seen – however I think I have actually done this in the past when changing a return “half” from NYC to MIA, so in theory it should be possible.

    *And in the end we cancelled MIA and flew home on Virgin from MCO, which goes to show it can be advantageous to have separate PNRs!

    yarg 7 posts

    Ok thanks for your feedback NorthernLass!

    cwong 4 posts

    Hello

    We are looking to try and book 4 premium economy (as a family with two children) tickets to Tokyo for Easter 2025 by combining two vouchers but note they only guarantee 2 tickets 355 release.

    We have about 300 avios points

    Had anyone else booked similar flights and if so can advise roughly avios points or cash needed to book return flight in PE?

    Should we book 2 outbound PE with 1 voucher and pay for 2 cash PE then call up 2 weeks later to use the second voucher in same way?

    Such a minefield

    Thanks in advance

    ed_fly 229 posts

    Hello

    We are looking to try and book 4 premium economy (as a family with two children) tickets to Tokyo for Easter 2025 by combining two vouchers but note they only guarantee 2 tickets 355 release.

    We have about 300 avios points

    Had anyone else booked similar flights and if so can advise roughly avios points or cash needed to book return flight in PE?

    Should we book 2 outbound PE with 1 voucher and pay for 2 cash PE then call up 2 weeks later to use the second voucher in same way?

    Such a minefield

    Thanks in advance

    is 300 avios a typo? As that won’t get you anywhere. I’d strongly recommend that you read some of the HFP reference articles that go into great detail to cover off all your questions above.

    aq.1988 478 posts

    Hello

    We are looking to try and book 4 premium economy (as a family with two children) tickets to Tokyo for Easter 2025 by combining two vouchers but note they only guarantee 2 tickets 355 release.

    We have about 300 avios points

    Had anyone else booked similar flights and if so can advise roughly avios points or cash needed to book return flight in PE?

    Should we book 2 outbound PE with 1 voucher and pay for 2 cash PE then call up 2 weeks later to use the second voucher in same way?

    Such a minefield

    Thanks in advance

    Are both vouchers in the same name, or one per parent?

    davidstal 4 posts

    Have always booked outbound and inbound flights separately online and then called up to get 50% of inbound avios points refunded. Never been a problem until today when the agent said it cant be done because I chose two different combinations of avios and pounds for each flight and they must be the same.
    so I would need to cancel and rebook, with the risk of losing seats.
    Never heard or experienced this before, has anyone else ?

    aq.1988 478 posts

    Have always booked outbound and inbound flights separately online and then called up to get 50% of inbound avios points refunded. Never been a problem until today when the agent said it cant be done because I chose two different combinations of avios and pounds for each flight and they must be the same.
    so I would need to cancel and rebook, with the risk of losing seats.
    Never heard or experienced this before, has anyone else ?

    Yes, unfortunately that is correct. It’s probably been mentioned several times in this thread. If you booked within the last 24 hours, you should be able to cancel for no charge, and assuming you booked at T-355, I think there’s a good chance the seats will go back into inventory. Worst case, you book tomorrow instead, and choose the correct avios/cash option.

    davidstal 4 posts

    quick follow-up , rang again 2 hours later and spoke to a different agent, who refunded the avios without any problem. It explains why there are so many posts on this thread, the sheer inconsistency of the process.

    ed_fly 229 posts

    Have always booked outbound and inbound flights separately online and then called up to get 50% of inbound avios points refunded. Never been a problem until today when the agent said it cant be done because I chose two different combinations of avios and pounds for each flight and they must be the same.
    so I would need to cancel and rebook, with the risk of losing seats.
    Never heard or experienced this before, has anyone else ?

    I believe this has been reported numerous times, you have to have the same avios / cash mix for outbound / inbound to get the 50% refund for return flight.

    aq.1988 478 posts

    quick follow-up , rang again 2 hours later and spoke to a different agent, who refunded the avios without any problem. It explains why there are so many posts on this thread, the sheer inconsistency of the process.

    I guess I stand corrected to my above post! I think what the previous agent said was consistent with how most people’s experiences have been, I.e., you need to choose the same cash/avios level.

    NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    @cwong – it’s extremely rare for BA to release more than 2 PE seats on popular routes as peak times. Have you tried tracking award availability on SeatSpy to see whether this is likely to happen?

    You can find out the amount of cash and avios required by doing a dummy booking on ba.com.

    I don’t know what cash prices are like but consider booking 1 adult and 1 child with one of your vouchers and a BA Holiday for the other adult and child – all four of you will be able to use any accommodation booked, as long it sleeps 4 people.

    NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    I’ve been told 4 or 5 times that the cash/avios needs to match – every time I’ve spoken to BA about a 241 booking since RFS appeared on long haul. I think @davidstal must have got lucky with the agent the second time, but I wouldn’t rely on this happening again! I also wouldn’t like to risk someone noticing the anomaly and cancelling the flights – something similar happened with a reader who used a Mastercard to pay for their return leg instead of an Amex and a BA agent spotted it and they had to pay the full avios price for the seats or have them cancelled.

    Optimus Prime 64 posts

    Could we please have this thread pinned?

    Linky1996 9 posts

    I just booked the return leg for my open jaw flight (with 2-4-1) over the phone and the agent on the line said that the Amex card used for payment had to be a BAPP under the companion voucher holder’s name.

    We know that that’s not necessary for an online booking (and I’ve had other agents accept over the phone an Amex gold under someone else’s name for payment). I gave the agent the details for my Amex gold card without disclosing that it wasn’t a BAPP. They would not accept a card that wasn’t under my name!

    Just flagging this since it seems to be enforced based on which agent picks up…

    NorthernLass 7,993 posts

    Officially it does need an Amex (BAPP or free card) in the voucher holder’s name, it’s BA’s IT which makes it possible to use someone else’s or a different type online. But as you say, the agents can’t actually verify which card you use, for now, anyway!

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