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Where best to fly with a companion voucher?

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  • UKHomeGym

    My husband has a companion voucher which was issued in 2020/21. It has been extended for use till 20 August 2022. Obviously, we need to use it and fly out before its expiry date. Any advice on where to go? If you had a voucher and had to use it relatively soon, where are the best destinations to fly to (subject to reward flight availability of course)?

    memesweeper

    Go somewhere you want to go! For me, on the BA network, that’s:

    Kenya
    South Africa
    Italy (Catania)
    Greek Islands
    Brazil
    Chile

    … however, for longish journeys on short haul planes economy & exit row may be better than Club if you are tall. It’s unlikely, but if you can, go First.

    To dare is to do

    That’s a how long is a piece of string question. Go where you want to go is my answer. I had a glut of vouchers and points I’ve used several on reward saver flights to Europe in club Europe. Might not be as flashy as Australia or Maldives etc but as in Rome CE flights on points £100 return and whatever points it was with 241. If you give people more of an idea of where you want to go people can be more specific in their advice.

    meta

    The problem is that OP needs to fly by 20 August this year. Options will be limited due to capacity restrictions and further complicated by availability of reward bookings at short notice, so really the best advice would be to go on Seatspy or BA’s own flight finder map and see where there are Avios seats available and then pick something from there.

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    UKHomeGym

    I’m looking into somewhere short/mid-haul that is family-friendly (my parents and our toddler). However, I am searching through seat availability on flights and there’s barely anything available for the 20th August or sooner.

    Froggee

    Try Lanzarote, Catania and Santorini.

    It’s all about availability.

    meta

    Yes, you’ll need to browse and pick whatever is left. Also beware that any short-haul can be cancelled at last minute, but that might be a good thing as it will give you an option to rebook for later. I also imagine that hotel/accommodation prices are going to be pretty high.

    UKHomeGym

    Seatspy points to Santorini, Catania, New Orleans and a few other US cities. Thank you for the suggestions.

    JDB

    You say the voucher was issued in 2020/21 but the voucher will have a specific issue date. Have you looked online to check that it really does expire next month? Even an old one year year, with the extensions might not be expiring quite so soon.

    NorthernLass

    Has it been extended or was that the original expiry date (many 241s were extended until Sep 23). As @JDB says, check the specific date, and also if travel has to be completed by 20/8 or just the outbound, which is the case for standard companion vouchers which weren’t extended during the pandemic.

    Also – you will struggle to find 5 seats anywhere, you may have to pay for parents. How old is the toddler? Obviously it will make things much easier if they’re under 2 and can sit on your lap.

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    NorthernLass

    Seatspy is showing 4 CE seats to TFS on August 14th. Another option would be to use your 241 plus avios on the outbound and get cash seats for the return on BA or another airline, this would get you some use out of the voucher (with 4 hours in CE with champagne etc) and extend your possible return date.

    * Also plenty to ACE – Lanzarote is a beautiful island and very family friendly without being over-developed.

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    NorthernLass

    Ok, start again! I’ve just read the post again and it says the voucher was issued in 2020/2021. Was it from the BAPP?
    If so it should have its full 2 year validity so check the expiry date carefully.

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    To dare is to do

    Ok, start again! I’ve just read the post again and it says the voucher was issued in 2020/2021. Was it from the BAPP?
    If so it should have its full 2 year validity so check the expiry date carefully.

    I wonder if it’s the old 241 you got with free card valid for 1year I think ? Maybe that’s where the confusion for us lie? But if it’s bapp one issued in 2020 valid for 2 years it wouldn’t have been extended?

    UKHomeGym

    Checked. It was issued in Feb 2000 and then extended for 6 months due to C-19. Expires 20/08/22. Thanks again for all the suggestions!

    Gavin454

    Do be sure to check what you’re paying with the voucher vs. cash prices.

    Personally I’ve never found value in using companion vouchers for my typical travel, and I let my last one expire a couple of months ago (had it in my account for 3 years!)

    However at the moment, cash prices are inflated so I suspect value can be had.

    UKHomeGym

    Oh no @Gavin454, sorry to hear that. We’re thinking that we might have to just let it expire as we have another one but I’m annoyed that we haven’t kept on top of it. Lesson learned!

    NorthernLass

    If you can find somewhere to use it just now you should get good value. I’ve always found it good value in school holiday periods, especially on RFS. You can easily get 2p per avios or more.

    AJA

    Your post made me check as I have a voucher that was extended but it still has validity until September 2023. I fear you may have left it too late, as others say even if you can find availability the price of hotels is eye-watering. If you can bear to do so book somewhere shorthaul on the basis that there is a high chance that the flight will be cancelled. That way, as meta says above, you might be able to move the booking to later in the year though you will probably have a fight on your hands as BA will probably claim incorrectly that the voucher expiry won’t let them move you.

    NorthernLass

    Honestly you peeps, I thought you were all great bargain hunters! Diamond resorts (very good properties) in Puerto del Carmen has a week in August, £1100 for a 1 bedroom apartment sleeping 4, or £1900 for a 2 bedroom villa sleeping 6. Bookable on hotels. com so you get free night stamps.

    To dare is to do

    I saw quite a lot of availability for Porto this august when I was looking earlier.

    To dare is to do

    Honestly you peeps, I thought you were all great bargain hunters! Diamond resorts (very good properties) in Puerto del Carmen has a week in August, £1100 for a 1 bedroom apartment sleeping 4, or £1900 for a 2 bedroom villa sleeping 6. Bookable on hotels. com so you get free night stamps.

    Don’t forget to book thru BA shop there’s currently bonus points on BA shop for booking .com 8 points per £1 and 12 points on hotel.com.

    BJ

    1. Regional airport to LHR before voucher expires
    2. Stopover for a while (months even) in London
    3. Continue to and return from destination of choice at a future date.

    I don’t recall if you just need to start or complete outward travel before voucher expiry so I’m not certain this would work. However, worth checking if it does because that would open up your options. Timimg is disastrous though because I doubt there is few, if any, reward seats into LHR before 20 August due to the mess playing out there at the moment.

    UKHomeGym

    BA’s site states: ‘Outbound travel must take place before the expiry date of the Companion Voucher however inbound travel can take place after the expiry date of the Companion Voucher, provided it is booked at the same time as the outbound travel’. Does anyone else know BA’s stance on this? Thanks @BJ!

    • This reply was modified 53 years, 1 month ago by .
    UKHomeGym

    Ah – I’ve just read on another BA webpage: ‘Although your outbound journey must be completed before the voucher expires, you are free to return any time afterwards. However, you must book your return flight at the same time as making your outbound reservation.’

    BJ

    I wonder if this is necessary in practice though because I doubt whoever wrote the rules thought about stopovers. Might be worth trying to work through a dummy booking to see what happens provided you can find availability.

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