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Standard or enhanced availability on return leg of companion voucher booking?

  • tblank19

    Hello – quick question with regards to booking the return leg of a companion voucher.

    I have booked the outbound leg of a London to Cape Town trip for 2 in Club World online using a companion voucher 355 days out from release. We will look to call up BA in a few weeks once the return flight becomes available. However, doing some searching for return flights on different dates has made it clear that availability to Cape Town is much better when using a voucher, as opposed to when doing a standard (non voucher) booking. It seems that when doing a non-voucher booking, even 355 days out it can be difficult to find 2x club world seats on the CPT to LHR route.

    I am wondering whether when we call the BA office 355 days out to book the return leg and merge with the companion voucher, will it show availability for a standard booking or the enhanced availability from a companion voucher booking? Note we may not be able to call at Midnight/1am on release so a chance we have to call around 8am instead.

    Additionally, if it does not show companion voucher availability and no seats are available 355 days out, would it make sense to use another, seperate companion voucher to book the return leg (if seats available when using a voucher) and then call BA to see if they will merge the bookings and refund one of the companion vouchers?

    Many thanks for any help in advance!

    HfP Staff

    The four seats are there in CW – they may get taken at midnight but are there.

    You raise interesting points and I don’t know the answers. However, I would say that it is unusual for I-class seats to be made available 355 days out (you don’t see cheap long haul flights 355 days out for cash) so it may not be an issue.


    I have a feeling this was asked the other day and someone possibly posted that when they called to add their return, the agent could indeed somehow search for the I-class extra availability for the new-style 241.
    It will be very, very risky waiting until 8 am to call though. You’d be better booking the inbound seats online and requesting the return of half the avios later. If you did use a separate voucher, I suspect an agent would have to cancel the ticket and rebook, and the seats would not be guaranteed to go back into the inventory. Bookings aren’t actually “merged” when you do this, you retain 2 separate PNRs so you wouldn’t gain a great deal from it anyway.
    Don’t forget as well, WTP is a pretty acceptable alternative to CW and there are currently plenty of avios seats showing on SeatSpy inbound from CPT. It’s certainly preferable to not being able to get a return flight at all!


    Thank you very much for the replies. I think we may try and book online once seats become available as you suggest and then call after. Is it correct that seats would likely show online at midnight UK time on the day of release?


    At the moment, yes. It’s always GMT so during BST they are one hour ahead, i.e. released at 1 am. However, historically they have not all appeared on the dot of midnight and can sometimes take up to 30 minutes to appear, so if you don’t see them straight away keep refreshing your search for a bit.


    Great, thank you for letting me know

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