Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Calling BA at midnight to add inbound to a 2-4-1 – still the best way pls?

  • Pug206 4 posts

    Am using a companion voucher for first time in a couple of years. Have outbound booked for Christmas and can book the inbound tomorrow or Wednesday.

    Want to maximise chances of getting Club seats on return too, do I still have to call BA to do this or is there any online way of doing it now at all please? Also, which is best call centre to use to do this and assuming I’ll do at midnight UK time?

    Many thanks.

    marks7389 425 posts

    You will need to call, however if you have enough Avios in your account you can book the return online and call afterwards to get the 50% Avios returned.

    In most cases now the one-way cash element is exactly half the return so this won’t affect what you pay.

    Personally I would do it online if possible, but if it is a popular route where tickets get snapped up quickly, make sure all your travellers and payment method is set up ready to go, and do a dummy run through the process on a previous night.

    Pug206 4 posts

    marks7389, thank you. Helpful tips.

    NorthernLass 8,490 posts

    You don’t actually need to call to get the 50% avios back, most chat agents will do this for you.

    Biki 122 posts

    I just called BA to get a refund of half the avios points on a return leg of a companion voucher booking, after booking it on the website at midnight last night. On the retun leg i chose a different mix of avios/fees compared to the outbound, so the agent said they weren’t able to combine, you have to use the same number of points as the outbound.

    Luckily there were still 2 seats available for the return flight, so she just added those onto the original booking and cancelled last nights flights. If they hadn’t have been available it might have made things a bit more tricky though, so thought it was worth letting you guys know so you don’t run into the same problem!

    MadeUpName 12 posts

    If you book online and then get them combined later do they also get merged into one booking reference?

    marks7389 425 posts

    I just called BA to get a refund of half the avios points on a return leg of a companion voucher booking, after booking it on the website at midnight last night. On the retun leg i chose a different mix of avios/fees compared to the outbound, so the agent said they weren’t able to combine, you have to use the same number of points as the outbound.

    OK, yes that makes sense – I thought they might enforce that, as it would be if you booked a return in one hit.


    @Rob
    , might be worth an article to warn people of this?

    If you book online and then get them combined later do they also get merged into one booking reference?

    They certainly didn’t used to – we have two separate bookings for a return next month which were booked in this way in March 2022.

    However I did see someone more recently say that they’d called for a 50% Avios refund on a return and the agent had refunded and then recharged the return cash payment. I wonder if that relates to the fact that there is no longer any cash saving from booking a return redemption vs two one-ways, but in a few cases its still cheaper to book one-ways. So there’s no longer any upside to BA in not adjusting the charges but possible downside in some cases. However I don’t know if the bookings were also merged in the case of that report.


    @Biki
    did they do that on yours?

    marks7389 425 posts

    Ignore the last question – not relevant as they added the new return seats to the original booking. But I’d be interested to know from anyone else who’s called for a 50% Avios refund what the current policy is.

    Olly 250 posts

    You don’t actually need to call to get the 50% avios back, most chat agents will do this for you.

    How do you get in touch with a chat agent? I can only see links to the call centre on the ‘contact us’ page. Or did you mean via twitter?

    NorthernLass 8,490 posts

    You can do it very slowly via Twitter or go to the help and contacts page in your BAEC account and the chat bot usually pops up in the bottom right hand corner. As an example, I went onto it at 6 am today and was 48th in the queue but only waited about 10 minutes before I was connected. Make sure you have all your booking details to hand as you get the option to fill these in first.

    Olly 250 posts

    On a PC I presume? Can’t see any pop ups on mobile which is probably why I’ve never seen this before

    NorthernLass 8,490 posts

    I’ve always done it on a laptop as I can’t cope without having a proper keyboard for these things. Twitter is ok though if you don’t mind it taking literally days to get sorted!

    kcg 16 posts

    Ignore the last question – not relevant as they added the new return seats to the original booking. But I’d be interested to know from anyone else who’s called for a 50% Avios refund what the current policy is.

    I just grabbed an inbound flight today and contacted BA via online chat to get half of the Avios refunded. For both outbound and inbound, I chose the original Avios pricing option (90k per person on peak date to/from HK), so I’m not sure whether the refund would be possible if the pricing options were different.

    On the first attempt using the chat, I used the wording “linking the two bookings”, and the agent just insisted that the Avios refund could not be done. I then quit the chat, started a new one and hoped for the best. The second time I just said I booked the outbound when the inbound date was not released and asked half of the inbound Avios to be refunded as if both flights were booked at the same time using the Companion Voucher. The agent had to spend a few minutes to check whether this is possible after some recent policies change. But in the end, 90k Avios were refunded successfully. 🙂

    lastcall 12 posts

    I’ve booked my outward flights in economy using the companion voucher for the first time and will be booking the inbound flights when they are released soon. I was hoping to book premium economy, is it possible to book different classes using the companion voucher?

    marks7389 425 posts

    Yes – assuming its a voucher from a Premium Plus card, not the free card.

    If its a new style voucher you may need to be careful though to pick the same combination ‘level’ if you are going to call afterwards for the Avios refund. It will obviously be different amounts in a different class so may not be immediately clear. If you call to add the return then you won’t have that challenge as they will tell you.

    marks7389 425 posts

    I just grabbed an inbound flight today and contacted BA via online chat to get half of the Avios refunded. For both outbound and inbound, I chose the original Avios pricing option (90k per person on peak date to/from HK)

    So the key question is… when you called for the Avios refund did they make any adjustment to the charges?

    If not, you will have saved money in this case by not calling to add the return onto the original booking, as a one-way from HK requires less cash than it would if booked as part of a UK originating return booking.

    lastcall 12 posts

    Yes – assuming its a voucher from a Premium Plus card, not the free card.

    If its a new style voucher you may need to be careful though to pick the same combination ‘level’ if you are going to call afterwards for the Avios refund. It will obviously be different amounts in a different class so may not be immediately clear. If you call to add the return then you won’t have that challenge as they will tell you.

    Thanks, that answers my question! It is a premium card, so I will give them a call to book as it seems easier.

    kcg 16 posts

    I just grabbed an inbound flight today and contacted BA via online chat to get half of the Avios refunded. For both outbound and inbound, I chose the original Avios pricing option (90k per person on peak date to/from HK)

    So the key question is… when you called for the Avios refund did they make any adjustment to the charges?

    If not, you will have saved money in this case by not calling to add the return onto the original booking, as a one-way from HK requires less cash than it would if booked as part of a UK originating return booking.

    No, just the Avios were refunded. Yeah I booked the return online as I knew there’s less cash needed to book the return as one way, in addition to avoiding the hassel of desperately trying to speak to someone at midnight.

    NorthernLass 8,490 posts

    I thought the fees from HK had been levelled up when BA introduced RFS pricing on long haul recently?

    marks7389 425 posts

    Not completely, though the savings are not what they were. They’re still not allowed to charge more than £38 one-way on the base redemption package.

    What they’ve done is apply that to the new baseline. So peak is now 110,000 Avios +£38 whereas it was 75,000 +£38.

    If you look at Tokyo for example of what it would otherwise be, it’s 110,000 Avios +£275. Outbound flights to Hong Kong are also 110,000 Avios +£275 and a return starting in the UK will set you back 220,000 Avios +£550.

    That £237 saving is reflected up the various pricing options. So you can pay 75,000 Avios +£273 from Hong Kong, whereas from Tokyo it is 75,000 Avios +£510.

    marks7389 425 posts

    Looking at Rob’s Stuffed#3 article (which says 100,000 Avios + £38) I wonder if the base Avios pricing for that band has increased since mid December….

    lastcall 12 posts

    I’m looking to book the return leg using the 2-4-1 voucher after midnight when the PE seats become available. I don’t have enough points to book it online and then call to refund. So I’m planning to call after midnight and have just noticed the UK call centre closes at 8pm. Does anyone have the number for the call centre that’s open at midnight? Thanks

    ringingup 187 posts

    Bumping this up as I would also like some advice on which number I can call at midnight.

    NorthernLass 8,490 posts

    I’ve never done it but there are other threads with various numbers in the posts, or just google it, I bet something comes up!

    lastcall 12 posts

    Bumping this up as I would also like some advice on which number I can call at midnight.

    I called the US number and got through straight away at 11.30pm and spoke to someone, then got cut off within 5 minutes. Called back at 11.40pm and never got to speak to anyone, stayed on the phone until 12.10am. By that time all the Business and Premium Economy seats had gone. So I booked economy online and then spent most of today on the phone to get the Avios refunded. I was given the silver member number to call from a chat operator and that seemed to be better. But it was still more than 30 mins before I spoke to anyone!

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