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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

  • highlander61 7 posts

    Update on my 241 booking !!
    I eventually got message from BA on X and they advised it was a tricky one but doable, They can add my inbound flights once they open for sale as they are currently outside of date range – either by calling them, or by booking my inbound flights online and then contacting BA to advise that I have an American Express Companion voucher from my booking XXXXXX, and BA will then refund the additional Avios and update the new booking to say it’s part of my Companion booking. All subject to availability. But it gets tricky with my overnight stay. As they don’t want me to risk losing the chance of the Avios Reward flight availability, I can go ahead and book the Male to London Heathrow flight and then once the London Heathrow to Inverness opens for sale too contact BA to add this flight (again subject to availability) as part of your American Express Companion Voucher booking)

    Hi folks, I phoned earlier this morning, 00:51, via skype to the US number and got a very helpful agent who got me sorted out with my 2 x CW seats MLE to LHR.
    Many thanks to @northernlass for advice on choosing the option to change booking, agent was very helpful & knowledgeable and knew exactly what was required.

    What was the actual number you called? I tried similar last night – 1-800-452-1201 using Skype and after going through the telephone tree I was told that this line was now closed. Can’t find anyone else having this issue so I am quite confused. Was this because it was A Saturday morning?

    Yes that was the number I called

    qc 238 posts

    Hi all! I read through this thread, thank you for all the info (especially those posting their success stories it gives me hope!). I couldn’t find answers to two (hopefully) questions

    1. I have set up household account for my and wife, the companion voucher is on her account but I’m set as the head of household account – planning to call at midnight, does it matter if it’s her or I that book it? (She’d prefer I did it, I’m worried as voucher on her account they won’t let me)
    2. I’ll add return leg by calling in a couple of weeks time to add it. But is the tax bill not a lot higher as this ends up being two singles rather than a return? (Or have I got the wrong end of the stick completely ?)

    Thank you for your help and patience!

    I make all the bookings on our household account and if it being booked using a voucher on my husbands account they just ask to speak to him and when he goes through security I take over.

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    For standard RFS there’s no difference in the cash element. Make sure you pick the same ratio of cash & avios on each leg.

    Get your wife to set you up as an authorised person on her account – it saves time and means you don’t both have to stay up till 1 am!

    totestornot123 50 posts

    For standard RFS there’s no difference in the cash element. Make sure you pick the same ratio of cash & avios on each leg.

    Get your wife to set you up as an authorised person on her account – it saves time and means you don’t both have to stay up till 1 am!

    Off topic but how is that done? I just need to call up BAEC? My partner has a supplementary BAPP card, I am the main cardholder. When it came to booking our outbound flights to HND, we both rang at 00:45. However the agent she had said she was not authorised to make a booking and to get me on the phone. I was also speaking to an agent (which resulted in success) so couldn’t speak to the agent she was on the call with.

    nectar collector 285 posts

    For standard RFS there’s no difference in the cash element. Make sure you pick the same ratio of cash & avios on each leg.

    Get your wife to set you up as an authorised person on her account – it saves time and means you don’t both have to stay up till 1 am!

    Off topic but how is that done? I just need to call up BAEC? My partner has a supplementary BAPP card, I am the main cardholder. When it came to booking our outbound flights to HND, we both rang at 00:45. However the agent she had said she was not authorised to make a booking and to get me on the phone. I was also speaking to an agent (which resulted in success) so couldn’t speak to the agent she was on the call with.

    You can set up 3rd party nominees on your BAEC account online – this article covers what you need to do

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2024/04/06/how-can-you-manage-someone-elses-british-airways-executive-club-account/#:~:text=To%20add%20a%20third%20party,quote%20when%20calling%20British%20Airways.

    jht1990 3 posts

    Hi everyone! It’s first time booking a flight with a companion voucher by phoning the BA Executive Club and will be calling next week to attempt to book an LHR-HND flight so expecting it to be competitive! If we have 2 people calling to try to secure the tickets on the same executive club account, would BA lock one person out. I.e. can 2 different BA agents access one account at the same time?

    Just wondering whether it is worth having my travel partner also phone up separately. The companion voucher is only on my account so they can’t use their own EC details.

    Thanks in advance!

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    Probably a better strategy would be to have one of you on the phone and one online to try and book the seats if you’re struggling to get through before 1 am.

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    SeatSpy is showing 2 x J to HND on Feb 4th.

    DA 9 posts

    I’d like to thank NorthernLass for her remarkable patience, knowledge and diligence throughout this thread.
    Having used around 30CVs since they were introduced, I thought I knew everything. I was wrong. Thank you.

    A quick question: what is HUACA?

    yorkshireRich 224 posts

    I’d like to thank NorthernLass for her remarkable patience, knowledge and diligence throughout this thread.
    Having used around 30CVs since they were introduced, I thought I knew everything. I was wrong. Thank you.

    A quick question: what is HUACA?

    im pretty sure it’s “hang up and call again”.

    ThM27 1 post

    Hi – am about to make my first booking with companion voucher for April 2025 – from Madrid to South AMmerica (open jaw) and back.

    Just to be sure that I get this right (after reading hundreds of posts): The strategy is to either call (trying to avoid that and I have some flexibility) or book online T-355 days out and then call when return inblund leg becomes available.

    Does that mean that for my outbound online booking I will tick the box “one way” – and hope that when the inbound becomes available 2 weeks later that I will get through to a call center and that I get an agent that will let me add a return flight to the existing one-way booking?

    Thanks for your help

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    @DA, you’re welcome!


    @ThM27
    – IB operate slightly different from BA in terms of when/how many award seats they release, I can’t remember exactly when but there are articles and threads here about using the 241 from MAD.

    But yes, you need to book the outbound when it appears then either call to add the inbound or book it online & request half the avios back.

    Easter falls towards the end of April next year so I imagine there will be a lot of demand for award seats in the preceding fortnight.

    wandou2012 1 post

    Hi, I had very similar experience to @toekeenheart – phoned 1-800-452-1201 via skype last two days midnight at approximately 00:45am, after going through the telephone tree and listening to the music for about 10 minutes, at 00:55 I was told the phoneline was closed. I checked the BA contact us page and it states that the US call centre operate until 20:00 Eastern time, which is 01:00 BST – I wondered how others have not had issues with this, or was it because I phoned in too late and the system kicked me out before I got to an agent.

    Was thinking of alternatives, but then Japan opens up from 09:00 onwards which is 01:00 BST again and possibly too late.

    Appreciate if anyone or @northernlass has further details or alternative strategy on this.

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    I’ve never called at T-355, I’ve always got my first or second choice of seats online.
    I think the issues with the US number are quite recent from posts on this thread and elsewhere.

    e14 272 posts

    @DA, you’re welcome!



    @ThM27
    – IB operate slightly different from BA in terms of when/how many award seats they release, I can’t remember exactly when but there are articles and threads here about using the 241 from MAD.

    But yes, you need to book the outbound when it appears then either call to add the inbound or book it online & request half the avios back.

    Easter falls towards the end of April next year so I imagine there will be a lot of demand for award seats in the preceding fortnight.

    CS can see Iberia at 359/360 but you need to phone in – the seats for IB aren’t released at midnight.

    There are only 2 seats released in IB J for the most popular routes (they may add more but it’s IB so ??)

    ed_fly 235 posts

    With recent reports of issues with the US line, wondering whether anyone has any experience they can share regarding the Australian exec club line? Thanks.

    SusieQueue 9 posts

    @ed_fly I have been lurking on this forum for a few months, in hope of securing flights for a group of 7 people for flights over Easter 2025. Outbound, I was happy to book 7 economy seats but my husband and I had companion vouchers so it needed to be three bookings total 2 x 2 adults with the vouchers, plus a 3rd booking for my 3 teens. I did my research, test called the US number fairly late at night using Skype, paid to credit Skype for calls to Aus if needed. So 1am Sunday, hubby and I both up, I did a test call to ask a couple of questions at midnight – got through easily, all fine. 12.45am, hubby and I both called US number – both got cut off at 12.55 as the call centre closed. Panicking, rang Aus – could not get through. Watched clock tick down to 1am and seemingly no flights appeared. I couldn’t believe we could not see anything across any class as the clock struck 1am. I stayed up til 3.30am hoping something would change, realised I couldn’t see any availability on inbound or outbound flights across the Caribbean for the date just released (outbound would not be weird but inbound all gone? made no sense). Anyway, during all that I phoned the Aus number twice. Got put through an Indian call centre both times, both agents said they can’t help with reward flights and that was that. I obviously chose best options I could through the call tree. So, don’t hold out much hope for Australia, to answer your question! Although others on here have reported positive experiences.
    There was some weirdness going on with BA systems yesterday because the flights I had been hunting for at 1am, appeared at some point during the day and when I despondently checked for the billionth time yesterday afternoon, could not believe my eyes. Got what I wanted but also with sinking heart for how this is going to go down when I try and snag 4 x CW and 3 x WT return flights in a fortnight.

    FWIW, these are the numbers I am aware of:

    1-800-452-1201 – test calls put through to UK staff each time I did test calls but cut off when it mattered. Free on SKype
    1-800-2479-297 – I haven’t tried this one but read yesterday (post-crisis) that it has worked for others in the 1am dance
    61 – 1300-767 177 – could not dial from my mobile although did work on husbands, 24p per minute on SKype, connected to India commercial team both times who could not help.

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    So what did you book, 3 x WT and 4 x CW? Which destination?
    There has been a glitch this past week with award seats being released so maybe it worked in your favour?!
    My advice is always have a Plan B for your return leg. If you can’t get seats directly to the U.K., you have a relatively simple back up via the US from most Caribbean islands.

    SusieQueue 9 posts

    I booked London to Tobago, 7 x WT total. It’s a daytime flight and everyone happy with that. Coming back, I’m hoping for 3 x WT and 4 x CW. I was busy looking at plan B routing when I realised there wasn’t any availability anywhere. I think yes overall the glitch probably did me a favour – made me realise I need to call a bit earlier than 12.45am to get my return CW seats, anyway!! 3 x WT I can do online but haven’t got spare avios to book CW online and call later for refund with 2 x CV. I’ve booked the outbound using option 1 / max Avios so know I need to do that for return leg.

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    You may be lucky again, but I would also look into whether you can connect to NYC or similar where you will easily find 7 seats across cabin classes. I know there may be time constraints but a couple of days in a US city can be a fun end to a holiday.

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    Edit – flight connections is saying there is a direct flight to JFK on Caribbean Airways?

    SusieQueue 9 posts

    Thank you Northern Lass – I also spotted that Caribbean Airways flight… the holiday is a big deal of a trip for my parents and we have 3 days spare before kids go back to school so definitely worth considering a short stop en route home if needs be!

    NorthernLass 8,221 posts

    I love turning a challenge into an opportunity! Some of our best holidays have been when we required some flexibility to go somewhere in the school holidays; we have actually visited some great places as a result of having to go with 2nd choice at T-355. A couple of those trips ended up being in F as well, so were even more fabulous than if we’d got our first choice in J.

    jakals92 4 posts

    Just wanted to say thank you to NorthernLass and everyone else on this thread for sharing experience/advice.

    Confirmed the addition of my return leg just now with BA (1-800-452-1201 via skype) for London-Tokyo and feeling great. Called around 12:30 at first as I was fearing the lines cutting but got through to an agent around 12:40 who said I would have to call back as they couldn’t stay on. Re-dialled at 12:45ish and got through a couple minutes before 1:00 and managed the secure 2 CW seats with my CV.

    Good luck to everyone on securing flights!

    highflyer77 3 posts

    I am in total despair with this process. I managed to book 2 seats for an outbound in business and have been trying and failing to book a third using another companion voucher for my wife. As it is Easter 2025 I guess it is very competitive. However I have tried all week and failed every night. I have dialled the US call centre as well as trying to book online and have failed to get through each time as it is clear now that they cut off the call at 00:55 if you have not got through.

    I am really in despair about this whole thing, it’s stressful and ridiculous to be doing this night after night, they really need to come up with a better way of doing it.

    I have my booking process down to under 20 seconds but I am still not fast enough to get the seat. I could try to phone the US even earlier but how long will they allow you to hang on the call for, half an hour seems crazy but that seems to be what it will take as phoning 20 mins before is just not cutting it.

    As things stand it seems just too ridiculous – and this is even before I have to try and get return legs in 2 weeks time. I can quite see I will end up with 2 outbound business class tickets I cannot use unless I fly back economy or pay.

    Any other ideas? I wonder if it would be possible to get someone to code an automated bot to make the booking or something I am that desperate for ideas on this!

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