How is avios treated with vouchers

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  • KennyNLM
    Participant

    I have a number of bookings made with BA, a proportion of which were paid with avios. I’m happy to take the voucher option but just wanted to check what happens to the avios

    Are these credited back to my account or are they converted into the equivalent value of the price paid using avios at the time of the booking for the purposes of the voucher? I note the vouchers provided do not even show the monetary value so I’m concerned any avios will be lost forever if I choose to take up the voucher option


    GBAIR72
    Participant

    You just call BA and ask them for the value of each voucher

    I have used them several times and it has been easy to do. You just cannot do it online

    If you part use a voucher then the second time you can use it on line where it says enter promotion code you put 125 ticket number in

    I have kept a spreadsheet of all my flights with vouchers and refunds

    BA has been brilliant at ensuring get the voucher or refunds


    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    Hi Kenny, I have not yet had this situation with BA, but have with TAP. TAP credited miles back immediately and offered a voucher for the cash element. I imagine that BA would be similar, but as GBAIR says, you will need to telephone.


    christopheL
    Participant

    TAP has a decent IP tool. BA doesn’t 🙁

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    FaroFlyer
    Participant

    TAP has a decent IP tool. BA doesn’t 🙁

    No it doesn’t. As I said, you’ll have to phone. More than 2 months later and I am still waiting for the voucher.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    JohnnyG
    Participant

    FROM TODAY’S SUNDAY TIMES

    BA goes the extra air mile to avoid paying refunds

    David Byers
    Sunday May 24 2020, 12.01am, The Sunday Times

    British Airways passengers say they are being offered cut-price air miles instead full refunds for cancelled flights.
    Under travel regulations, all airlines must supply a refund within seven days of a trip being cancelled, while package holiday operators have 14 days to process the payments. However, many are desperate not to pay refunds where possible, and have been accused of delaying tactics or offering credit notes instead.

    BA says it has refunded the price of 921,000 tickets since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, although 47,000 passengers are still awaiting reimbursement. But the airline, which is cutting 12,000 jobs, has begun offering passengers points on its Avios air miles scheme instead of cash refunds for cancelled flights.

    The points are being offered in exchange for tickets that were paid for in cash, not in Avios, and only to customers who phone up to request a refund. Like credit notes, air miles do not offer the same consumer protections as those for travellers who book using a credit or debit card.

    Rob Burgess is the editor of Head for Points, a frequent- flyer advice site. He has calculated that someone who had paid £1,607 for cancelled flights with BA would be offered about 200,000 Avios points in lieu of a refund. This would mean that each Avios point would have effectively cost them 0.8p of their original ticket price. You can pay between 1.6p and 3.1p per Avios point if you buy them from the BA website.

    It is understood that the rates of Avios being offered in lieu of refunds vary between customers. “BA is trying as hard as it can to keep money in the company and not issue refunds,” said Burgess, adding that the offer should be approached with caution, given that most people seem unlikely to be able to travel any time soon.
    “Because they offer you this on the telephone when you call to arrange your refund, people won’t be expecting it and could make the wrong choice,” he said. Virgin Atlantic customers have also been offered air miles points in some cases, but Burgess said this is rare. He has not recommended taking Virgin points because of the company’s financial problems.

    Airlines, including BA, have been criticised for offering vouchers, which are not covered if a carrier goes bust. Also, unlike cash, vouchers expire. Vouchers from package holiday companies are protected by the Atol scheme, which guarantees that the customers will get their money back if the company goes bust between the booking of the holiday and the date of departure.

    A BA spokesman said: “We want to give our customers as much choice as possible, so if their flight is cancelled, they can now choose from a voucher, a refund, or a generous amount of Avios based on the price of their booking.”

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    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I wonder if the UK airlines had been a little more generous by offering 125% value for the alternative refund vouchers whether these would have accepted more freely. By offering to refund after a year (if voucher remains unused), Ryan are effectively demanding his customers provide interest free loans…


    PHflyer
    Participant

    I booked on-line with BA holidays (no vouchers – used my BA Amex card) and got a full refund without asking.
    On another occasion I booked flights using Avios plus an Amex companion voucher – flight was subsequently cancelled so I called BA (after waiting 25mins) to ask for return of my Avios points and companion voucher. I was offered voucher which was accepted. The voucher covers the money paid plus the Avios booked flight and companion voucher. Was told the BA voucher (125-xxx xxx xxx) is valid for two years which is double the validity of the companion voucher. I was happy the way it was handled by BA and the customer service rep. was very helpful and courteous.


    Shamsh1
    Participant

    The main issue with avios is the very limited availability on every BA-aircraft. I cannot book a business flight 6-9 months ahead, not even a leisure trip. So I ended up with more than 2 million avios which are nice to have, but unsuitable for flights, unless you are willing to spend twice the amount of avios to get hold of a commercial BA-ticket.

    Just recently I travelled to SIN, couldn‘t get a redemption ticket forehand but discovered onboard that at least 1/3 of business class seats were empty – on both trips. So BA travels rather 1/3 empty, before issuing a redemption ticket to a gold card holder. Very much customer orientated policy indeed.
    My advice: Don’t accept avios instead of cash!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    The main issue with avios is the very limited availability on every BA-aircraft. I cannot book a business flight 6-9 months ahead, not even a leisure trip. So I ended up with more than 2 million avios which are nice to have, but unsuitable for flights, unless you are willing to spend twice the amount of avios to get hold of a commercial BA-ticket.

    Longhaul agreed – shorthaul, pre pandemic, availability was generally very good, even at short notice.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    The main issue with avios is the very limited availability on every BA-aircraft. I cannot book a business flight 6-9 months ahead, not even a leisure trip. So I ended up with more than 2 million avios which are nice to have, but unsuitable for flights, unless you are willing to spend twice the amount of avios to get hold of a commercial BA-ticket.

    Just recently I travelled to SIN, couldn‘t get a redemption ticket forehand but discovered onboard that at least 1/3 of business class seats were empty – on both trips. So BA travels rather 1/3 empty, before issuing a redemption ticket to a gold card holder. Very much customer orientated policy indeed.
    My advice: Don’t accept avios instead of cash!

    I think short notice Avios redemptions depend upon the destination and the number of flights to it. For example, I was able to get Business Class flights to India for business a couple of years’ back at 6 week’s notice. I have also had the same for JFK at less than a few week’s notice. I believe that BA do release unsold for seats for Avios redemption when it looks like they will go unsold.

    In general, Avios redemption seats are limited to two Business class seats to most destinations – Singapore is a notorious route for the almost impossibility to capture these. I have purchased these with Avios three times in the past 20 years – but always within 60 seconds of them being released at midnight, 350 days before I wanted to travel.

    As far as Avios or cash – always cash. It works out as a better rate.


    Shamsh1
    Participant

    Well, 350 days in advance – what a treat for loyal customers!
    Being based in Austria, I often use Qatar Airways and enjoy a much better service and more comfort onboard. BA made it quite difficult to give them 1st priority when booking a trip. Just think of 7 across in a 787-9 compared with 4 across with QR in a nice little suit with lots of room around you.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Shamsh1:

    You wrote “Well, 350 days in advance – what a treat for loyal customers!”

    That’s exactly the point in BA’s business model. They want the business travellers to pay for business class seats for their business travel. The treat is using the loyalty to continue to travel business class when on a leisure trip. This is why Business class redemption seats to so many destinations are full for long distance travel, but not necessarily on short haul, as Martyn wrote.

    I am not an expert on business models, so I don’t know whether this is a good model or not.

    The comparison of service and comfort between BA and Qatar belongs to a different thread to this one, and has been discussed recently. Have a look back through the Forum menu to find this.

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