A Little Trick to Cancel British Airways Reward Flights for 50p-£1 Instead of £35

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One of the major advantages of booking reward flights from British Airways Executive Club is the flexibility to cancel later. To receive a refund of your Avios and the taxes/surcharges paid, you agree to have £35 deducted from your cash refund. If you actually paid less than £35 in taxes / fees, you merely forfeit the entire amount originally paid. Reward cancellations can helpfully be processed online, which also saves you waiting in a call centre queue…

For the last two years, however, British Airways’ “Book with Confidence” policy has been in operation. This means that change fees are waived for flights that take place BEFORE 31 August, 2022. This includes any reward flights booked via British Airways Executive Club, even those for travel on Oneworld partners…

If you wish to cancel a booking, however, you are subject to the standard cancellation fees of £35 per person. However, there is a work-around, if you have some time to spare…

Step One – Apply for a Future Travel Voucher

Instead of making a standard cancellation of your Avios reward booking, you can apply for a “Future Travel Voucher” by jumping straight to the voucher page.  (click here)

When you do this for a reward booking, British Airways will either:

  1. Decide it can’t be bothered… and issue a full refund (with no fee) of Avios and the taxes/fees originally paid
  2. Issue a Future Travel Voucher that wraps up the Avios you originally spent with the cash amount you originally paid

Step 2 – Use the Future Travel Voucher

Once you have received a Future Travel Voucher, you will then need to call British Airways Executive Club to use it. (this is what may take some time…)

Ask to use your FTV on any short-haul British Airways route with lots of award space, but crucially on a date BEFORE 31 August 2022!!!

As you are surely aware, British Airways now offers by default the much-maligned option of paying a substantial number of Avios + £0.50 each way for short-haul reward flights. Normally this should be avoided, but now we can use this to our advantage!

It doesn’t really matter how many Avios you spent originally, nor how much cash is attached to your “Future Travel Voucher”. Any excess amounts will be automatically refunded. For the cash element, this is essentially a full refund, minus 50p – £1. (depending on whether you are able to do a one-way award booking or must book a return)

Step 3 – Cancel Your New Booking

Once you have safely received your refund – Avios and cash – of the excess amounts. You are now free to cancel your new award booking.

The crucial element of this trick is that your new booking now “cost” 50p – £1. When you cancel such an award booking, you merely forfeit those 50p – £1 and get all of your Avios back.

Bottom line

British Airways Executive Club is increasingly processing full refunds instead of Future Travel Vouchers; it recognises that FTVs on award bookings take too much time to deal with.

Nonetheless, you must be aware of this little trick to avoid pressing the “Cancellation Options for this Booking” button that would cost you £35…



    • Craig Sowerby says

      Yes. Many people are wrapping up soon-to-expire 2-4-1 vouchers into a FTV.

      Of course, if you ultimately cancel, you would lose any expired 2-4-1 vouchers. But if the 2-4-1 is still valid, you would get it back with its original expiry date.

  1. Nerdy Norm says

    “If you actually paid less than £35 in taxes / fees, you merely forfeit the entire amount originally paid.”

    Unfortunately not correct. I just cancelled an Avios BA flight where the taxes were only £8.60. They deducted the remaining notional £26.40 cancellation fee from the Avios points refund (converted as 4952 Avios points).

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