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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 7,933 posts

    @highflyer – your frustrations are familiar to everyone on here, but no amount of railing against BA is going to help! You want a CW trip to Japan in peak season, which is about the most difficult thing you could have chosen to try for.

    Plan B can take various forms, but not one-way cash flights as these are usually disproportionately expensive.

    Things change continually as these lengthy threads demonstrate. It could be that at some point BA will simply stop agreeing to add return legs/refund the 50% avios, which will mean a huge adjustment in strategy for many people. They are quite accommodating with 241 bookings but they’re not under any obligation to be, they could just say tough, you have a voucher which can only be used once.

    Have you read up on using the 241 on IB? Returning via MAD is certainly an option.

    You may also want to consider connecting to another city where you’re more likely to find award availability. Beijing/Shanghai might be the closest in terms of flights, although that might cause extra work with things like visas. Further away, you could consider Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

    I’ve been constrained by school holidays for many years but always managed to put a great trip together by being creative and flexible.

    NorthernLass 7,933 posts

    @highflyer77 – I’ve just gone back to your post from the other day and you seem to have 2 outbound seats booked but need a 3rd for your wife? Is the plan that she will travel with you? I don’t understand where you think another avios seat is going to come from?

    It would help if you could give some more detail about exactly what you’re trying to achieve.

    annabh 45 posts

    Can anyone manage to search for reward flights (any class) from HND to LHR for the T355 dates? (April 7/8th 2025?) It keeps erroring for me, tried on multiple devices. I can search for other dates or other city combinations, just not this one.

    Yes but you need to search initially for 06 April then can click forward on the calendar, looks like economy only left.

    zapato1060 696 posts

    After using one half of the 241 on an outbound one way LHR-MIA. Can I make the second half of the voucher MAD-EZE 6 months later? Or are BA strict in that it has to be INBOUND i.e. MIA-LHR? Taking into account the open jaw rules of course. TIA.

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    After using one half of the 241 on an outbound one way LHR-MIA. Can I make the second half of the voucher MAD-EZE 6 months later? Or are BA strict in that it has to be INBOUND i.e. MIA-LHR? Taking into account the open jaw rules of course. TIA.

    LHR MIA 279° (W) 279° (W) 4,425 mi
    MIA MAD 056° (NE) 063° (NE) 4,424 mi
    MAD EZE 222° (SW) 222° (SW) 6,252 mi
    EZE LHR 033° (NE) 042° (NE) 6,904 mi

    I suspect you fall foul of the rules due to the LHR-EZE distance.

    Probably works if you fly EZE-MAD though:

    LHR MIA 279° (W) 279° (W) 4,425 mi
    MIA EZE 160° (S) 167° (S) 4,406 mi
    EZE MAD 039° (NE) 048° (NE) 6,252 mi
    MAD LHR 010° (N) 010° (N) 773 mi

    JDB 4,516 posts

    In IATA fare construction rules, that isn’t a double open jaw journey but two one way trips thus not allowed on a companion voucher, so BA’s systems ought to reject it, but there’s no harm in asking just in case.

    JDB 4,516 posts

    @zapato1060 – I should have added that you don’t need to return from Miami, you can return e.g. to London (or another European city) from other cities in North, Central or South America that meet the open jaw mileage rule that the mileage of the surface sector(s) cannot exceed either of the flights. The issue with your original proposal is the direction of travel, even if the distances worked, so the EZE-MAD suggestion by @travelmonkey might hopefully work for you.

    totestornot123 49 posts

    Just wanted to confirm something here with regards to booking the inbound flight. We used our 241 on the outbound flight. Planning to ring tonight for the inbound. Are we asking to book the inbound flight using the 241 voucher from our outbound flight? (Thus a 50% reduction in avios points).

    We are not asking for the PNRs to be linked right? I wasn’t sure if this was when you booked online vs call centre

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    ed_fly 230 posts

    Just wanted to confirm something here with regards to booking the inbound flight. We used our 241 on the outbound flight. Planning to ring tonight for the inbound. Are we asking to book the inbound flight using the 241 voucher from our outbound flight? (Thus a 50% reduction in avios points).

    We are not asking for the PNRs to be linked right? I wasn’t sure if this was when you booked online vs call centre

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    if you add the return via a call centre, it should be on one PNR.

    If you make a booking online, then it’s in effect a separate one way ticket, on a separate PNR. Albeit with 50% avios cost.

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    Just wanted to confirm something here with regards to booking the inbound flight. We used our 241 on the outbound flight. Planning to ring tonight for the inbound. Are we asking to book the inbound flight using the 241 voucher from our outbound flight? (Thus a 50% reduction in avios points).

    We are not asking for the PNRs to be linked right? I wasn’t sure if this was when you booked online vs call centre

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    If you’re calling up, tell them you want to add return flights to a companion voucher booking and they should ask for the PNR for that booking. You’re modifying an existing booking, not creating a new one. Both flights should end up on that one, original PNR.

    totestornot123 49 posts

    understood, thank you. We booked our outbound via call centre and plan to book the inbound via the call centre too.

    MCO 72 posts

    I am currently abroad and don’t have a stable internet connection for a couple of days to make the Skype call. Can anyone kindly advise if I am able to do this?

    I have the outbound portion of the 2-4-1 booked for 26th April which is JNB-LHR. Can I book LHR-DXB or LHR-MLE for next April when it opens up tomorrow online and then call up once I have taken the outbound flight and am back in the UK or does the call for refund of miles need to be done before I take the outbound flight?

    Also is that a valid routing for the 2-4-1?

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    I am currently abroad and don’t have a stable internet connection for a couple of days to make the Skype call. Can anyone kindly advise if I am able to do this?

    I have the outbound portion of the 2-4-1 booked for 26th April which is JNB-LHR. Can I book LHR-DXB or LHR-MLE for next April when it opens up tomorrow online and then call up once I have taken the outbound flight and am back in the UK or does the call for refund of miles need to be done before I take the outbound flight?

    Also is that a valid routing for the 2-4-1?

    DXB wouldn’t be a valid open jaw as LHR-DXB is shorter than DXB-JNB. MLE is ok on that front, but is pretty competitive.

    I wouldn’t risk delaying the inbound refund if I were you… I think your position would be very tenuous if you’d already completed the companion voucher booking.

    MCO 72 posts

    Thank you so much for that.

    Another question on this. I called up to book the return.

    My outbound was booked 8th April 23 for 26th April. Can I not book a return on this for 11th April?

    Is it 1 year from ticket issuance or from 1st flight?

    MCO 72 posts

    Can I get around my question in the above post by booking a one way online and calling up to get a refund? I tried adding the return segment to same booking by calling them up.

    JDB 4,516 posts

    @MCO – you should be fine on the ticket validity front. I have copied the BA rule below rather than seeking to paraphrase it. Re your earlier question about getting 50% of the Avios back, I’m not sure anyone has a definitive answer, but on the basis that your ticket becomes non-refundable 24 hours before the first flight, I think you need to call at the earliest opportunity (when you can get access to communications) to avoid problems. You will probably have to use some good lines of chat anyway to get them to refund the 50% anyway with the flights a year apart as it is fairly non-standard.

    3b1) Unless it says differently on the ticket, in these conditions of carriage, or in any tariffs which apply, a ticket is valid for travel for:

    one year from the date it is issued or
    one year from the date you first travelled using the ticket, as long as your first flight took place within a year of the ticket being issued.

    JDB 4,516 posts

    Can I get around my question in the above post by booking a one way online and calling up to get a refund? I tried adding the return segment to same booking by calling them up.

    Further to my response above, it sounds as though BA refused you on the basis of ticket validity?? If they did it’s just someone being a bit thick, so you may need to call again. When people are booking outbound at T-355 and then adding a return to that booking at T-355 two or three weeks later, obviously that second flight will be more than 12 months after the original booking date, so it is relatively standard. That’s what I meant by some good lines of chat!

    ed_fly 230 posts

    Can I get around my question in the above post by booking a one way online and calling up to get a refund? I tried adding the return segment to same booking by calling them up.

    Further to my response above, it sounds as though BA refused you on the basis of ticket validity?? If they did it’s just someone being a bit thick, so you may need to call again. When people are booking outbound at T-355 and then adding a return to that booking at T-355 two or three weeks later, obviously that second flight will be more than 12 months after the original booking date, so it is relatively standard. That’s what I meant by some good lines of chat!

    I wonder whether the 12+ months since the first booking is the issue here? What was the expiry date of the voucher?

    totestornot123 49 posts

    Me and my fiancée both called the USA BA call centre this morning at 00:40am to book our inbound HND to LHR in CW. Went through the options and we were waiting for an agent to pick up. After after 6/7mins I decided to HUACA whilst my partner stayed on her line. At 00:55 the call ended with the usual ‘call centre closed message’.

    We decided to try online as well as calling the call centre in Japan which opens at 1am UK time. Online the CW seats had been taken for the later flight but available for the early morning flight. Unfortunately I didn’t have enough avios to book 2 CW online (and later get a 50% reduction). Booked Premium Economy instead online as we did not have that much flexibility in terms of return dates.

    Got through to the Japan agent after 5 mins, and we thought let me explain the situation and see if they can cancel my Premium Eco tickets (and assuming avios gets returned to account right away) , and rebook us on the CW inbound using the 241 voucher we used on outbound. Unfortunately the agent said they are having IT issues with their systems and to try calling again in a few hours.

    We decided to call it a night, and settled on our PE inbound seats. Just need to get in touch with BA now to get 50% of my avios back!

    JDB 4,516 posts

    Can I get around my question in the above post by booking a one way online and calling up to get a refund? I tried adding the return segment to same booking by calling them up.

    Further to my response above, it sounds as though BA refused you on the basis of ticket validity?? If they did it’s just someone being a bit thick, so you may need to call again. When people are booking outbound at T-355 and then adding a return to that booking at T-355 two or three weeks later, obviously that second flight will be more than 12 months after the original booking date, so it is relatively standard. That’s what I meant by some good lines of chat!

    I wonder whether the 12+ months since the first booking is the issue here? What was the expiry date of the voucher?

    The expiry date of the voucher shouldn’t matter as long as the outbound flight was within the validity, but when asking BA to do things which aren’t strictly permitted per the terms of the voucher, but usually allowed by concession, it’s fairly common to run into agents who say no particularly in this case where the use of the voucher is being stretched in different ways to its very limits with little time to resolve.

    MCO 72 posts

    My booking date was 7th April 24
    First flight 26th April 24.

    So technically isn’t my ticket valid till 25th April 25? So my return flight on 11th April 25 is within one year?

    It was a rude agent. You know when you get through and you can just tell they aren’t gonna be helpful.

    I have booked 2 one ways online now. Will try calling when in decent WiFi next and update.

    ed_fly 230 posts

    Can I get around my question in the above post by booking a one way online and calling up to get a refund? I tried adding the return segment to same booking by calling them up.

    Further to my response above, it sounds as though BA refused you on the basis of ticket validity?? If they did it’s just someone being a bit thick, so you may need to call again. When people are booking outbound at T-355 and then adding a return to that booking at T-355 two or three weeks later, obviously that second flight will be more than 12 months after the original booking date, so it is relatively standard. That’s what I meant by some good lines of chat!

    I wonder whether the 12+ months since the first booking is the issue here? What was the expiry date of the voucher?

    The expiry date of the voucher shouldn’t matter as long as the outbound flight was within the validity, but when asking BA to do things which aren’t strictly permitted per the terms of the voucher, but usually allowed by concession, it’s fairly common to run into agents who say no particularly in this case where the use of the voucher is being stretched in different ways to its very limits with little time to resolve.

    Voucher expiry is specifically mentioned in the T&C’s – “25. Outbound travel must take place before the expiry date of the Companion Voucher however inbound travel can take place after the expiry date of the Companion Voucher, provided it is booked at the same time as the outbound travel.”

    JDB 4,516 posts

    @ed_fly that is one of the terms I was specifically referring to in my post! However, this whole thread is about booking a return at a different time to the outbound. It’s something BA allows and has allowed for years as a matter of informal or unpublished policy even though not allowed in the published terms.

    I worry that with so many people now calling these overseas offices or calling after the event for 50% back this practice will be stopped as it’s so time consuming and burdensome for staff. It’s rather like a comment yesterday about the T5B lounge being rammed – with every pundit saying that’s the place to go, unsurprisingly it no longer is.

    ed_fly 230 posts

    @ed_fly that is one of the terms I was specifically referring to in my post! However, this whole thread is about booking a return at a different time to the outbound. It’s something BA allows and has allowed for years as a matter of informal or unpublished policy even though not allowed in the published terms.

    I worry that with so many people now calling these overseas offices or calling after the event for 50% back this practice will be stopped as it’s so time consuming and burdensome for staff. It’s rather like a comment yesterday about the T5B lounge being rammed – with every pundit saying that’s the place to go, unsurprisingly it no longer is.

    The two things are distinct and covered by distinct T&Cs, but anyway, in practice be interesting to hear from MCO what the end result is. As you’re rightly said BA policy doesn’t always reflect BA t&c’s.

    NorthernLass 7,933 posts

    I couldn’t be bothered doing the calling thing to book the return – at least with reclaiming the 50% avios people aren’t all going to be trying to do that at the same time. I agree it must be a huge amount of extra work for staff. The answer, of course, is for BA to tweak the IT so that the voucher can be used in 2 halves. It’s the opposite problem on VS, you can have half a voucher in your account, but need to call to use it!

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