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Can I cancel BA reward flights and get a refund?

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  • Sassa

    Hi, My sister has moved to the Cayman Islands and I’m looking to book for next August ’23 using Avios and my BA companion voucher. Plans are a bit loose at the moment – if I book using companion voucher and points, can I can get a refund if I change my plans and cancel?

    I’m also flying to the Caymans at Easter, but because I’m restricted to school holidays, there’s no reward seats available and it’s costing ££££ !

    Thanks for your help

    Guernsey Globetrotter

    Hi @Sassa – yes – that is one of the advantages of reward bookings, they are much more flexible than all but the most expensive cash tickets. You can cancel anytime for a cost of £35 per person. You’ll get all your avios refunded and the 2-4-1 voucher returned to your account also (unless its expiry date has passed)- see https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/spending-avios/booking-and-service-fees

    Sassa

    That’s brilliant – thanks for your help.

    NorthernLass

    @sassa – we are regular visitors to GCM the award seats do get snapped up very quickly in the school holidays due to ex-pats and their kids coming and going. We are booked to go next Easter and I was online at 1 am when the avios seats were released to get 2 x CW. Seats in the summer months are a lot easier to get than between November and April.

    Be prepared for changes and cancellations by BA, they do this a lot on this route. I don’t think we’ve ever had a year without some kind of disruption to our plans! Also consider flying via the US which can be cheaper at peak times. You could get flights from MIA to GCM for $50 US pre-pandemic.

    Also be prepared to take lots of goodies when you visit your sister like coffee and chocolate – food prices are around 5 times higher there than in the UK!

    NorthernLass

    Also – you can’t currently cancel avios seats online for travel beyond September. Hopefully this will be reinstated soon!

    Sassa

    Thank you @NorthernLass, great tips. I’ve learnt the hard way for our Easter trip 🙁 I can’t believe how expensive the tickets are for 4 of us! Will be more prepared next time for the Avios 1am wake up call. I’m considering flying to Miami and changing. Sadly there are no longer direct flights to Miami from Manchester, which would have worked well for us.

    NorthernLass

    @Sassa – we go from MAN as well. In the past we’ve combined stays in the US with GCM, one year we did a few days in MIA shopping to break up the journey. There are a few other direct routes to GCM, MIA is just the quickest and cheapest. Cayman Airways and a couple of others fly from NYC, and there are also less regular services from Tampa and Charlotte. Atlanta direct from MAN is another possibility – you could actually book the whole way through with Virgin and Delta, though I think you’d need to overnight at ATL because of the flight times. I think we’ve done most combinations over the years! The LHR-GCM flight is very long because of the stop at NAS, by the time you’ve connected from MAN you could have got the Australia in the same time!

    NorthernLass

    SeatSpy is showing decent availability in WT and WTP in April, have you checked this on BA.com? (Though you might not be able to cancel cash tickets now). WTP was fine when we came back last month. CW catering was pretty poor on the way out so we wouldn’t have missed much if we’d done the whole thing in PE!

    Sassa

    Thank you for looking. I’ve been checking daily and there’s no availability for WT or WTP for our dates sadly. We’re restricted to 31/3, 1 or 2 April and need to be back in time for school 18/4. I’ve got so many Avios and vouchers to use, but seem unable to spend them!

    Atlanta with Virgin is a good idea …I’ve got lots of Virgin points and two companion vouchers to use. If only we weren’t limited to school holidays it would be simpler! It might have been easier if my sister had moved to Australia 🙂

    NorthernLass

    Yes, you’ve got to be really on the ball to get award seats for Easter and Xmas as a lot of Cayman residents travel back to the UK then or get visits from their kids who are at school or university here. If I was booking now for next Easter and wanted to use avios and companion vouchers I’d book MAN-LHR-NYC, overnight in NYC (or as many nights as you fancy but this would obviously bump up costs), then get a flight on Cayman Airways or another carrier (possibly on AA using avios) the following morning. Flight time is about 4 hours from NYC. Then on the way back you can fly out of GCM in the morning and connect to an overnight flight from NYC back to the UK. It’s a lot of added hassle of course, and you’d need to work out if it would be worth the money you’d save.
    The upside might be that if you’ve enough avios you could do the LHR-NYC leg in CW.
    As avios seats can be cancelled for £35pp you could set up an alert of just keep checking to see if any award seats to GCM go back into the inventory in the meantime.

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