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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

  • ed_fly 213 posts

    T&c’s were changed to remove that requirement, any Amex card is permitted.

    “15. The Cardmember is responsible for paying any Taxes, Fees and Charges relating to their Companion Voucher booking. All Taxes, Fees and Charges must be paid for using an American Express Card.“

    JenniferReed 12 posts

    I tried to book the return leg last night. Called the US call centre and was put through to someone who understood what I needed and was happy to help. The agent secured the seats in the basket but then the call got cut off. I couldn’t get reconnected so I ended up cancelling the outbound flights I’d booked two weeks ago. However, I haven’t received a refund of the Avios used or the voucher back, so now I’m stuck unable to book anything. Does anyone know how long it normally takes to get them back? I had to cancel such a booking a few years ago and it was almost immediate.

    focusonskill 18 posts

    If I see award space for the inbound flight I want but not the outbound, could I book inbound first using the 241 voucher and later on call to book outboud when seat is available?

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    @focus, previous experience here has been that BA will only make adjustments to the inbound (I.e. refund avios), and then only if it was booked separately due to not having been released at the time the inbound was booked. You could possibly get a very cooperative agent but I wouldn’t risk it. Most likely your “inbound” leg would be viewed as the “outbound” sector of the trip.

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    @Jennifer, if they haven’t reappeared within 24 hours it’s possible something has gone wrong – chat or X/Twitter can usually help here.

    focusonskill 18 posts

    @focus, previous experience here has been that BA will only make adjustments to the inbound (I.e. refund avios), and then only if it was booked separately due to not having been released at the time the inbound was booked. You could possibly get a very cooperative agent but I wouldn’t risk it. Most likely your “inbound” leg would be viewed as the “outbound” sector of the trip.

    Thank you! Does that mean I should book outbound first at a date/class I don’t want to travel with inbound using 241, and make change when seat I want is available?

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    You could try this, however you would need to book the entire itinerary and then also cancel the whole thing to make any changes, which risks the seats you actually want to keep not going back into the inventory.

    What is your destination/travel dates? Have you tried searching with the 241 to see if it opens any extra CW availability, even if from the regions?

    Thaliasilje 12 posts

    Good evening.

    I have a one-way F booking to LAX and looking to add a BOG-MAD or BOG-MAD-LHR.

    Is it better to book the IB seats separately and contacting BA or call and have them add the flights?
    I’m assuming it might be more cost-effect booking separately myself.

    Thanks!

    zapato1060 639 posts

    Is this correct TIA.

    1. On ba.com book outbound MAD-MEX one way for 2 people using 241 voucher 355 days out
    2. Call to book inbound 355 days out MIA-MAD one way but pay full Avios
    3. Next day, call/twitter to get half Avios for not having used the 241 in step 2?

    Joe 1990 6 posts

    Just booked redemption with a BAPP 2-4-1 companion voucher in CW to GIG – popular route I understand (new to this still so may be wrong) and wanted to get booked the moment seats released so not to miss out.

    Outward 2 February 2025. Booked online at the strike of midnight going into 14 February 2024 (355 days prior to outward travel). Used companion voucher and paid half the usual Avios for the outward leg.

    Return 13 February 2025. Booked online at the strike of midnight going into today (355 days prior to return travel). Paid full Avios and made sure to select the same Avios price band as the outward leg. I.e. outward was 100,000 Avios with the voucher, therefore made sure to book the 200,000 Avios option for the return leg.

    Called BA this morning to ask them to refund half the Avios paid for the return, as this flight wasn’t available when booking the outward leg on 14 February (reading the forums here, asking to refund half the Avios and not mentioning ‘linking the booking’). Once the call was answered, it was no more than 10 minutes to call ending and the additional Avios paid for the return flight being back in my account.

    Hope this experience is useful for those, like me, who are new to this and about to book their first BAPP 2-4-1 redemption on a popular route! Of course, you need to have sufficient Avios in your account to fund the return flight for this option to work.

    zapato1060 639 posts

    @Joe 1990. Beautiful. You literally answered my question and very in depth for your first go. I had booked 241 but never open jaw or 355.

    GibFlyer 37 posts

    There are a few mentions in here about “linking” the bookings. There are also comments saying this doesn’t actually happen. Does anyone know if “linking” is actually a thing and what does it mean? I presume it helps if there are delays to connecting flights etc?

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    There’s a misconception that after you book the return online, BA can add it to your inbound leg, leaving you with one booking for the whole trip. This doesn’t happen and requesting it can confuse the agent, who might then refuse to do what you actually want, which is to return 50% of the avios you spend on the return leg.

    You will retain 2 separate PNRs, a situation which has pros and cons, but doesn’t cause any major issues.

    It’s nothing to do with connecting flights, that’s a whole other issue!

    zapato1060 639 posts

    There are a few mentions in here about “linking” the bookings. There are also comments saying this doesn’t actually happen. Does anyone know if “linking” is actually a thing and what does it mean? I presume it helps if there are delays to connecting flights etc?

    The comment literally just before yours reads.

    “Called BA this morning to ask them to refund half the Avios paid for the return, as this flight wasn’t available when booking the outward leg on 14 February (reading the forums here, asking to refund half the Avios and not mentioning ‘linking the booking’). Once the call was answered, it was no more than 10 minutes to call ending and the additional Avios paid for the return flight being back in my account.”

    GibFlyer 37 posts

    There are a few mentions in here about “linking” the bookings. There are also comments saying this doesn’t actually happen. Does anyone know if “linking” is actually a thing and what does it mean? I presume it helps if there are delays to connecting flights etc?

    The comment literally just before yours reads.

    “Called BA this morning to ask them to refund half the Avios paid for the return, as this flight wasn’t available when booking the outward leg on 14 February (reading the forums here, asking to refund half the Avios and not mentioning ‘linking the booking’). Once the call was answered, it was no more than 10 minutes to call ending and the additional Avios paid for the return flight being back in my account.”

    Thanks, there were a few previous mentions of linking however and I wanted to make sure.

    I’m almost ready to attempt my first “busy route” T355 booking. I was watching the availability on the route last night at midnight, they went in a few minutes. I’m thinking I will have the laptop open AND call the US line. Is the US one the best to call?

    Also, one thing that seemed to happen last night, I was refreshing the app to see the available flights, but it wasn’t until I logged out and back in that they appeared. Is that expected behaviour or just a coincidence on timings?

    Cheers all
    GF

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    I’ve never booked from the app but the system should refresh on your laptop each time you search. I would definitely be trying to book online at the same time. A few people have said on here recently that the US line won’t do these bookings any more – I think Japan and Australia (?) have been more successful.

    GibFlyer 37 posts

    A few people have said on here recently that the US line won’t do these bookings any more – I think Japan and Australia (?) have been more successful.

    Now I’m even more anxious! Will look at the Japan & Aus options but feel that I’ve only got one shot at it.

    Also worried hearing some people waiting an hour before the call gets answered etc.

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    That’s why you need to be prepared to book online. And have a Plan B! But isn’t it PUJ, and seats are still showing for most of this year?!

    GibFlyer 37 posts

    That’s why you need to be prepared to book online. And have a Plan B! But isn’t it PUJ, and seats are still showing for most of this year?!

    It is PUJ, but February and there’s nothing in the return leg from Nov onward. It doesn’t help that we’re 3 people too. 🙁

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    SeatSpy is showing a fair bit of PE availability in Jan and Feb. It’s honestly not a bad choice – you save avios and cash on a (presumably) overnight flight where there may well not be a lounge and you’ll be trying to sleep so not really making the most of the F & B.

    If you book in PE, you can always try and upgrade to CW if more availability appears through the year. There are quite often cancellations as well.

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    *Apparently there is a lounge – I would check out any reviews and see if it’s going to make a material difference to your return experience!

    GibFlyer 37 posts

    It is indeed an overnight flight, I can’t sleep unless horizontal though! Will check out that lounge, but fully hoping to be full of booze ready for a sleep once we get on.

    cc 18 posts

    Today I used companion voucher for 2 on Iberia MAD – MEX Bunsiness, and wanted to return BA MEX – LHR in first. Didnt have the Avios to book return online and then call to do the 50% refund, so when I called up to add the return the fees went from a total of £744 to over £1000.

    I was told that as I added the return I was getting fees from 3 seperate countries now – Spain, Mexico and UK.

    Explained that if I had the Avios I could have done what others do, and he agreed that is the case but wouldnt budge on fee reduction.

    In this suituation is just the complaint route to get the overcharge of fees refunded?

    Thanks

    NorthernLass 7,573 posts

    I don’t think it’s to do with separate countries. It’s quite well known here that if you mix business and first cabins it messes up the surcharges and you have to pay a lot more. You can get away with this with separate bookings, but I suspect that BA are technically within their rights to charge you the higher amount as that’s the way the system would price it up if you booked it all in one go.

    I’ve done something similar for November, DUB-LHR-MEX in F then MEX-LHR-MAN in J. By keeping the bookings separate and starting in DUB I’ve paid around £930 in surcharges for 2 of us. I did call initially call to ask the return to be added but the agent said the taxes would indeed need recalculating when I mentioned it, whereupon I made a separate return booking and just asked him to refund the 50% avios. As you point out, though, you do need to have the avios to do that.

    Crazy that our F outbound was 94k avios plus £483 and the inbound in J was 100k avios (peak, sadly) and £450!

    cc 18 posts

    Ok thanks. If I had booked the return in first class online and then called and added the outbound in business it wouldnt have made a differnce to total price you think?

    Probably been mentioned but the person I spoke to said that they are currently working on it being possible to do it all online without having to call but wont be a while before its intergrated into system.

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