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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

  • Colin MacKinnon 305 posts

    Have a 241 just issued a few days ago.

    Booked Finnair EDI-HEL-HND and now thinking about the return.

    If I booked the return on a 241, what would be a good use of the “other half” – and when would I need to book? Would it be before the outbound, so the voucher was still “open”? Or could I phone in 23 months time and say: by the way, I only used half a 241 on a trip home from Japan in May 2025…

    I could do with a flight to the USA (Washington/New York) to see family. So can I book TYO-EDI – a land sector – DUB-WAS to save UK APD, or would it be TYO-EDI, EDI-DUB-WAS is OK?

    Or, if trans-pacific LAX-TYO is less than both TYO-EDI and TYO-LAX, can I book a return from LAX to EDI?

    ps. For information:

    The BA flight back with a 241 would be 100k avios plus c£200. (so £1,000 for 1p Avios + £200 + £300 BA PP fee = £1,500 – £750 each)

    But Qatar/JAL Japan-DOH then Qatar DOH-EDI is 160k plus c£300 for two. (£1,900 – £850 each) But keep the 241!

    And Finnair is 161k avios plus c£250 for two. (£1,610 + £260 = £1870 – £935 each) But worried about Finnair’s flat bed, and a 2.5 hour Hel -Edi in a short-haul seat. Maybe leave it for the next time!

    ps In May there seems to be loads of Business Class NRT, HND and KIX with Qatar and Finnair to Edinburgh – and open for booking a week or so earlier than BA?

    NorthernLass 8,480 posts

    You need to fly the return within 12 months of the outbound, and you have to book it before you fly the outbound, but there’s plenty of scope with this, within the open jaw rules. If you have a scroll through the last few weeks of this thread there’s quite a bit of discussion on this.

    Also with RFS, saving on APD in CW and PE isn’t that big an issue these days. Best savings are in F (until that goes RFS as well!)

    cfnbennett 6 posts

    @NorthernLass it was like winning the lottery. Yes we booked/changed the return leg on the day I posted (28th May). Re viewing availability, because we’d ‘used’ the companion voucher we couldn’t view availability saved specifically for companion vouchers via the website (voucher used so not there to be checked when searching for reward flights). However, we were checking daily just in case regular avios reward flights became available that we could snap up. Interestingly at the beginning of the bank holiday weekend there were 7 reward seats (over two flights on the same day) in J available which is what prompted our daily efforts to book because there was no other reward flight availability in the 6 weeks prior to that date or on the few dates thereafter. When we called on the Tuesday for the third time in as many days the agent grabbed them immediately because he could see that they were the only two left! Fate was truly on our side that morning!

    cfnbennett 6 posts

    @cfnbennett, that does sound like the trip of a lifetime! I bet you were giddy about getting those HND seats, lol. Do you mean you booked them today? Had they reappeared in the inventory, or were they “extra” availability that the agent could see?

    .


    @NorthernLass
    it was like winning the lottery. Yes we booked/changed the return leg on the day I posted (28th May). Re viewing availability, because we’d ‘used’ the companion voucher we couldn’t view availability saved specifically for companion vouchers via the website (voucher used so not there to be checked when searching for reward flights). However, we were checking daily just in case regular avios reward flights became available that we could snap up. Interestingly at the beginning of the bank holiday weekend there were 7 reward seats (over two flights on the same day) in J available which is what prompted our daily efforts to book because there was no other reward flight availability in the 6 weeks prior to that date or on the few dates thereafter. When we called on the Tuesday for the third time in as many days the agent grabbed them immediately because he could see that they were the only two left! Fate was truly on our side that morning!

    zapato1060 719 posts

    So can I book TYO-EDI – a land sector – DUB-WAS to save UK APD, or would it be TYO-EDI, EDI-DUB-WAS is OK?

    Or, if trans-pacific LAX-TYO is less than both TYO-EDI and TYO-LAX, can I book a return from LAX to EDI?

    No chance.

    HND EDI 340° (N) 348° (N) 5,768 mi
    HND IAD 028° (NE) 036° (NE) 6,782 mi
    DUB IAD 283° (W) 285° (W) 3,404 mi

    The middle sector cannot greater than out or inbound. Use flightconnections for BA routes and gcmapper to map distances for your open jaw.

    HND LHR 336° (NW) 344° (N) 5,974 mi
    HND SFO 054° (NE) 062° (NE) 5,160 mi
    SFO LHR 033° (NE) 020° (N) 5,367 mi

    The above is fine for example.

    SandsofEss 38 posts

    … and now I wait.

    I called the Australia line to add my return booking (sadly not enough Avios to book and refund 50%).

    The agent said she’d held the seats, but that the transaction needed to be processed by the pricing team which could take up to 48 hours.

    So now I’m on tenterhooks waiting to see if I’ve actually got the seats. Argh!

    1958 74 posts

    @SandsofEss – Don’t wait 48 hours. Get on the phone to BA well before the 48 hours are up.

    SandsofEss 38 posts

    @SandsofEss – Don’t wait 48 hours. Get on the phone to BA well before the 48 hours are up.

    Thank you. I rang a day later, but was told to chill – it was all in the works.

    A few anxious days later, it’s now been fully ticketed. I’m off to Tokyo!

    Very grateful to all here for the generous and sage advice.

    Cat 140 posts

    Hi all,

    Sorry if this has been asked before (I’ve waded through pages and pages, but haven’t found it, if so!) – I’ve booked the outbound at T-355 using my 2-4-1 voucher Madrid to Tokyo with Iberia. Can I book the return leg as Hong Kong – London when it becomes available, and get a refund on the Avios via Twitter? The times just work loads better than any of the options to Madrid.

    Thanks!

    NorthernLass 8,480 posts

    Hi @Cat, yes, we’ve had a few examples of people doing similar since the changes to the 241 were introduced. There’s a slight chance you might get an agent who doesn’t know this is possible, in which case HUACA, or the Twitter equivalent!

    Cat 140 posts

    Brilliant, thanks @NorthernLass!

    kelliea1 95 posts

    Can you use a 241 for 2 different airlines for example Iberia out and BA back? Thanks

    e14 295 posts

    Yes, why do you think you couldn’t ?

    It will probably then go to a two carrier award booking so might not be the best use of Avios

    steve1203 1 post

    Hi @Cat, yes, we’ve had a few examples of people doing similar since the changes to the 241 were introduced. There’s a slight chance you might get an agent who doesn’t know this is possible, in which case HUACA, or the Twitter equivalent!

    Considering to do a similar route but in reverse, right now looking at outbound NRT-MAD-LHR with connecting (overnight?) and hoping to book inbound LHR-HND before I fly outbound. However I am not sure if it works 1) with the MAD-LHR in my outbound and 2) refunding the avios for inbound given my outbound is slightly complicated. In theory it should work however not seeing successful case mentioned in 39pages so far. So wanna seek your great advices. Thanks in advance!!

    NorthernLass 8,480 posts

    We could probably do with an Iberia forum since the changes to the 241, but if you have a scroll through (probably) the BAEC section, or possibly just Google, there are threads discussing the use of the voucher on IB which may help.

    Cat 140 posts

    Hi all, just reporting back – I booked our flight outbound from Madrid to Tokyo with Iberia in Business for the start of May half term with my companion voucher, then booked the return from Hong Kong to London when it appeared, got on Twitter and sent a quick message asking for a refund of the Avios for the inbound leg. Half of the Avios were back in my account within the hour (so it didn’t price as a two carrier award booking). The taxes and fees amounted to about £133 per person altogether, which is brilliant.

    Now to book the positioning flights…

    Also, what are the odds of Club Suite appearing on the Hong Kong route in the next year?

    Thanks for the help all!


    @steve1203
    – give it a go and report back. I hope it works out!

    chrisw1983 55 posts

    Good evening all. I think this is correct but wanted to check with the experts. We want to use our BA 241 to fly LHR to PVG but come back HKG to LHR (we are going to go to Japan in between on a cash ticket). We have seen available flights on the dates we want. Do we need to call BA to do this or can it be done online?

    Thanks

    NorthernLass 8,480 posts

    You may as well call and ask them to do it on one ticket. You can’t book an open jaw reward flight in one go online, and as both legs are available, BA might be unhelpful about adding the inbound or refunding any avios.
    IIRC the surcharges are lower one-way from HKG, but you’d only be able to take advantage of this if you booked the inbound separately with full avios, which would probably work out worse value.

    kelliea1 95 posts

    I was told by a BA agent that I couldn’t fly out on IB and back on BA on a 241 last year?

    NorthernLass 8,480 posts

    It’s fine as long as it’s within the rules, e.g. open jaw distances. As in @Cat’s case above, plenty of readers have booked similar itineraries since the 241 was enhanced to to be used on IB and EI as well.

    chrisw1983 55 posts

    So on the back of the trip we called BA gold line today to book our 241 lhr to Shanghai and Hong Kong back to lhr. However because the flights are all available they are quoting £700 more in tax and charges vs booking two one way flights. They said they can’t do it as 2 one ways and refund the avios as the flights are all in date, this seems counterintuitive and BA again ripping you off. Any ideas?

    NorthernLass 8,480 posts

    You have to book the inbound at T-355 and retain 2 separate bookings to take advantage of the lower return taxes – it’s been discussed here and elsewhere numerous times. You didn’t mention that being your aim in your original post so I thought you were just asking about open-jaw bookings with the 241!

    However, you should only be charged the RFS fees for each leg so £700 more sounds like a lot – sometimes agents do quote these things incorrectly so work it out for yourself then call back and make sure their figures match yours.

    sm 195 posts

    Good morning. Just wanted to check best way to succeed in getting 50% Avios back from an inbound 2-4-1 booking at T-355 is still via twitter? Has there been any refusal to do it? Last time I did this 2 years ago the telephone agent and twitter agent said it wasn’t possible to do so I pressed the twitter agent who eventually relented! Thanks so much in advance.

    supergraeme 146 posts

    I’ve asked in the Chat Thread but this may be the more approriate place…..

    Just tried to book an open-jaw trip with a companion voucher over the phone (my first with the new version). Wasn’t allowed to book as neither of us have an Amex – I was under the impression that it could be an Amex in any name now? A non-travelling friend (who was definitely in the room, oh yes) was going to pay.

    Having now read some of this thread I think the best solution might be to book the outbound online with the voucher, then book the return online as well, then contact BA on Twitter to get them ‘joined’ so we get the Avios back. The only drawback is that they’ll be separate PNRs, right?

    My first thought was HUACA – or get a new Amex.

    NorthernLass 8,480 posts

    All the answers are in the chat thread now!

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