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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Combining Companion and Upgrade Vouchers

  • stanley467 13 posts

    We’re a family of 3 (daughter will be 2 when we next fly) looking to book prem economy flights to Tokyo from London next Dec (2024).

    I read on the Upgrade Voucher explanation website that you could in theory use both the Amex Companion voucher and Barclays upgrade voucher for the same trip if you did in two bookings.

    Since BA states that children need to be accompanied by an adult I assume they won’t let us book separately only for her, so I was planning on doing:

    1) Booking myself and daughter using Companion Voucher
    2) Booking wife using upgrade voucher (after adding her to family and friends list).

    Has anyone done anything similar? Thanks in advance

    NorthernLass 8,270 posts

    That’s absolutely fine in theory but if you’re travelling at peak time be aware that BA only guarantees to release 2 PE seats per flight and Tokyo is a very popular route. It might be easier for you to open a household account as well.

    stanley467 13 posts

    Thanks for this!

    I’ll actually have 2 upgrade vouchers by Nov, so best option may instead be to just first book wife and daughter using both upgrade vouchers (once they’re on household account), then myself getting a 50% discount with the companion voucher.

    If companion voucher PE seat allowance is higher this may be possible.

    I read that best way to guarantee seats is to book outbound as soon as they’re available then modify return flight after?

    NorthernLass 8,270 posts

    The companion voucher doesn’t unlock extra PE seats, only CW. For Tokyo I would definitely book as soon as the seats are released – do as much research as you can on booking at T-355, there is loads of info here.

    Don’t use one upgrade voucher to book 2 seats outbound, as you won’t be able to use the 2nd voucher just for the inbound.

    Have you got a SeatSpy subscription? This will give you an idea of how many seats are being released in each cabin between now and your booking date. I had a quick look and only 2 PE seats seem to be showing for next year’s summer holiday period, although Xmas Eve is showing as having 6, but only for the return. It would be advisable to have a Plan B for your trip!

    NorthernLass 8,270 posts

    *Another point – you wouldn’t be able to book your daughter a standalone flight with a Barclays voucher as she’s too young, so your best option is what you initially suggested, you and daughter with the 241 and wife with the upgrade voucher. Do you have enough avios for mixed cabins if you need to do that?

    stanley467 13 posts

    Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated.

    I was planning on using two upgrade vouchers (as I’ll get another one in Nov) for full return tickets for wife and daughter, in one booking if that makes sense.

    However if I have to wait for her to turn 2 to actually book the flight this’ll make your suggestion best one.

    Will have around 200k Avios this Dec, will check the links you mentioned as if CW is possible that would be amazing. Thanks very much for this!

    NorthernLass 8,270 posts

    @stanley, apologies, I didn’t make this clear – you can’t make a separate booking for a child until they are 14!

    Bear in mind that with the 241 booking you will have various avios plus cash options, but with the upgrade voucher you MUST pay max avios, minimum cash.

    It would probably be helpful to write down a list of “rules” pertaining to each card and plan your booking strategy with it to hand as you don’t want to get caught out just as you’re on the verge of bagging your seats.

    stanley467 13 posts

    Thanks for this. I wasn’t planning on making a separate booking for our child, I would be making one booking for my wife and child with them both using an upgrade voucher each (as I’ll have two). I take it this isn’t possible? Only one upgrade voucher per booking…?

    Your second point is very helpful as I assumed max Avios required for companion voucher also.

    As you point out worth checking the conditions of each voucher on the BA website. Thanks again for your help.

    NorthernLass 8,270 posts

    You can’t use 2 upgrade vouchers for one booking online – possibly BA can do this over the phone, someone might have posted about it on one of the Barclays voucher threads.

    Rob’s articles on the 2 vouchers will be a lot more helpful than what’s on the BA website, as the latter doesn’t really explain the ins, outs, and complications pertaining to them, such as the max avios, min cash requirement!

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2023/01/16/how-do-british-airways-american-express-2-4-1-vouchers-work/

    https://www.headforpoints.com/2022/01/21/upgrade-voucher-barclays-avios-rewards-2/

    stanley467 13 posts

    From article on upgrade vouchers (second link)

    “You CAN use two Barclays Avios Rewards vouchers on the same booking if you have two in your account.”

    Doesn’t say “upgrade” but when I read I assumed he meant. Will dig on forums and see if I can find the post. Thanks

    stanley467 13 posts

    I’ve found the posts and as you say looks like not possible.

    In T&C’s it says:

    “18. A Member can use up to two (2) Cabin Upgrade Vouchers issued under their Barclays Avios Rewards or Card for any one booking.

    19. Cabin Upgrade Vouchers cannot be pooled across British Airways Executive Club Household Accounts and must be redeemed personally by the Member who earned the Cabin Upgrade Voucher. Household Account members who earn a Cabin Upgrade Voucher are subject to the applicable Household Account redemption rules detailed in the British Airways Executive Club Terms and Conditions. Please visit ba.com for more information.”

    If by “redeemed personally” it means booked via via own Executive Club login then it should be possible, but if it means used for my own flight then probably not possible.

    I think in Rob’s guide to T-355 booking it mentions calling up the Japanese BA call centre’s anyway which is what we’ll try and see what’s available.

    Thanks for all your quick responses and helpful answers @NothernLass!

    Angelamc11 195 posts

    I booked Tokyo with 2 of my Barclays upgrade vouchers on one booking for 2 of my teenage children aged 14 and 15, easily done over the phone. I also used a companion voucher on a separate booking for same flights for me and another child.

    zapato1060 717 posts

    I booked Tokyo with 2 of my Barclays upgrade vouchers on one booking for 2 of my teenage children aged 14 and 15, easily done over the phone. I also used a companion voucher on a separate booking for same flights for me and another child.

    Impressive. Were you a juggler in a past life?

    NPWharf 23 posts

    I’ve just booked the same combo to Japan in business. Companion for me and my daughter and upgrade voucher for my wife. Because of availability issues to Japan I booked the outward leg first then rang BA when the return became available

    stanley467 13 posts

    I booked Tokyo with 2 of my Barclays upgrade vouchers on one booking for 2 of my teenage children aged 14 and 15, easily done over the phone. I also used a companion voucher on a separate booking for same flights for me and another child.

    awesome, thank you for this! Did you book the outbound flight only via phone and return flight separately?

    stanley467 13 posts

    I’ve just booked the same combo to Japan in business. Companion for me and my daughter and upgrade voucher for my wife. Because of availability issues to Japan I booked the outward leg first then rang BA when the return became available

    was planning on doing the same but wondered how easy this is to do? Do you only use 50% of the avios for the outbound booking? Isn’t there a risk the return flight seats won’t be available?

    Angelamc11 195 posts

    I booked Tokyo with 2 of my Barclays upgrade vouchers on one booking for 2 of my teenage children aged 14 and 15, easily done over the phone. I also used a companion voucher on a separate booking for same flights for me and another child.

    awesome, thank you for this! Did you book the outbound flight only via phone and return flight separately?

    Outbound and return were booked together. Kids are in PE on the Barclay vouchers and I have fingers crossed to get them upgraded further into Business if it becomes available.

    stanley467 13 posts

    I booked Tokyo with 2 of my Barclays upgrade vouchers on one booking for 2 of my teenage children aged 14 and 15, easily done over the phone. I also used a companion voucher on a separate booking for same flights for me and another child.

    awesome, thank you for this! Did you book the outbound flight only via phone and return flight separately?

    Outbound and return were booked together. Kids are in PE on the Barclay vouchers and I have fingers crossed to get them upgraded further into Business if it becomes available.

    Do you mind my asking the Avios cost? Just looking online I found 80k avios + £300~ for one person in June for PE, but surprisingly 100k Avios + £500~ business for the same dates.

    Angelamc11 195 posts

    I booked Tokyo with 2 of my Barclays upgrade vouchers on one booking for 2 of my teenage children aged 14 and 15, easily done over the phone. I also used a companion voucher on a separate booking for same flights for me and another child.

    awesome, thank you for this! Did you book the outbound flight only via phone and return flight separately?

    Outbound and return were booked together. Kids are in PE on the Barclay vouchers and I have fingers crossed to get them upgraded further into Business if it becomes available.

    Do you mind my asking the Avios cost? Just looking online I found 80k avios + £300~ for one person in June for PE, but surprisingly 100k Avios + £500~ business for the same dates.

    We are travelling on off peak dates. Cost was 70k avios each return for the teenagers plus a total of £480 in taxes.

    Companion voucher was 190k avios and £1100 in business that’s total for me and the younger child (12).

    NPWharf 23 posts

    I’ve just booked the same combo to Japan in business. Companion for me and my daughter and upgrade voucher for my wife. Because of availability issues to Japan I booked the outward leg first then rang BA when the return became available

    was planning on doing the same but wondered how easy this is to do? Do you only use 50% of the avios for the outbound booking? Isn’t there a risk the return flight seats won’t be available?

    Yes, 50% of the avios and half the taxes as only booking one way.

    Re availability, I set up a Seatspy alert so when the returns became available I phoned first thing in the morning to book them. Seatspy alert came through normally about 1230 am ish and I phoned about 8am. I did notice a couple of times though that by the time I’d woken up the availability had gone. Always a risk you won’t get the return but I was flexible – we’re going for 2 weeks and 2 days – plus worst case I’d have flown back in PE or cancel and take the £35 hit

    stanley467 13 posts

    I’ve just booked the same combo to Japan in business. Companion for me and my daughter and upgrade voucher for my wife. Because of availability issues to Japan I booked the outward leg first then rang BA when the return became available

    was planning on doing the same but wondered how easy this is to do? Do you only use 50% of the avios for the outbound booking? Isn’t there a risk the return flight seats won’t be available?

    Yes, 50% of the avios and half the taxes as only booking one way.

    Re availability, I set up a Seatspy alert so when the returns became available I phoned first thing in the morning to book them. Seatspy alert came through normally about 1230 am ish and I phoned about 8am. I did notice a couple of times though that by the time I’d woken up the availability had gone. Always a risk you won’t get the return but I was flexible – we’re going for 2 weeks and 2 days – plus worst case I’d have flown back in PE or cancel and take the £35 hit

    Just to confirm, given the companion voucher or upgrade voucher both show as unavailable once you book the outbound journey, how do you use them for the return leg? Apologies for confusion

    e14 278 posts

    You have to ring up

    stanley467 13 posts

    I booked Tokyo with 2 of my Barclays upgrade vouchers on one booking for 2 of my teenage children aged 14 and 15, easily done over the phone. I also used a companion voucher on a separate booking for same flights for me and another child.

    awesome, thank you for this! Did you book the outbound flight only via phone and return flight separately?

    Outbound and return were booked together. Kids are in PE on the Barclay vouchers and I have fingers crossed to get them upgraded further into Business if it becomes available.

    Do you mind my asking the Avios cost? Just looking online I found 80k avios + £300~ for one person in June for PE, but surprisingly 100k Avios + £500~ business for the same dates.

    We are travelling on off peak dates. Cost was 70k avios each return for the teenagers plus a total of £480 in taxes.

    Companion voucher was 190k avios and £1100 in business that’s total for me and the younger child (12).

    Just to double check, although you used the Companion Voucher for the first leg only, this was still showing as available and usable for the return journey also?

    stanley467 13 posts

    Thanks for all your help everyone. Managed to book outbound online for all 3 of us, then called up today to book the return flights.

    Had to do 2 separate bookings:

    One for myself and daughter in business, initially booked online using companion voucher and 100,000 Avios + taxes. Called Japanese BA call centre today to book return flights for additional 100,000 Avios + taxes.

    Another for my wife using Barclays upgrade voucher, outbound online using 50,000 Avios + taxes. Annoyingly the Japanese call centre could only reserve (not finalise) the return flight because they have “nothing to do with Barclays Upgrade voucher”, so I had to call the UK call centre at 6am to finalise booking and payment.

    Now just waiting for back office to complete payment and issue e-tickets. But they were able to add the return flights onto the same booking refs which I didn’t expect.

    Got today this is an unbelievably complicated process, it took around 2.5h this morning on the phone, but thanks again for your help navigating this.

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