TPG reader question: Will a British Airways Future Travel Voucher change the validity of my Companion Voucher?
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British Airways Future Travel Vouchers (FTVs) were met with plenty of criticism when they were first introduced at the start of the pandemic last year.
They allowed passengers to easily cancel travel bookings online amid lockdowns and border closures.
For starters, many passengers accepted these vouchers believing it was their only option when British Airways had cancelled their flight. It was not made clear to them that they were entitled to a full cash refund from BA. Another issue was that these FTVs could not be redeemed online, leading to long wait times to redeem by phone as British Airways asked only those with urgent travel plans to contact its call centres.
To its credit, the airline has made some improvements to the process, such as now issuing vouchers that can be redeemed online.
If you’re like me, you probably have a stack of FTVs issued in 2020 you are now looking to use as destinations reopen to tourists.
That brings us to this week’s TPG reader question.
If I cancel a flight booked using Avios and a Companion Voucher in return for a Future Travel Voucher, and the Companion Voucher I used is due to expire in January 2022, will BA include the Companion Voucher within the FTV and also extend its validity to the current deadline of 30 April 2023 for FTVs?Mark, TPG Reader
One of the few benefits of the Future Travel Vouchers is if you have a Companion Voucher. Where you accept an FTV for a booking made using a Companion Voucher, then the Companion Voucher, Avios used and fees and taxes are all “held” in the FTV rather than being returned to your Executive Club account.
While this might seem less than ideal, there is a neat benefit to this arrangement. The expiry date of the Companion Voucher changes from its original expiration date, which may have been in 2020 or 2021, to 30 April 2023 when all FTVs expire.
As long as the Companion Voucher stays held in that FTV, it keeps the generous FTV expiry date.
This means Mark could extend the validity of his Companion Voucher simply by accepting an FTV for the booking he made using his FTV.
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