I should not have accepted a Future Travel Voucher: TPG reader mistake story

Jun 7, 2020

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We’ve been asking to hear your travel success and mistake stories to both celebrate and help our TPG U.K. community — even if you’re not travelling right now.

This week, John shared his error on a hot topic right now: British Airways Future Travel Vouchers.

“We had a British Airways flight booked with Avios and the usual fees, taxes and surcharges, departing from London City Airport (LCY) on 29 May. That flight was subsequently cancelled by British Airways. As the airline cancelled our flight, we could have chosen a full refund, but instead chose to accept a Future Travel Voucher as we didn’t want to contribute to the airline’s current financial woes — this turned out to be a big mistake!

The Avios haven’t been returned to my Executive Club account — they are held in this Future Travel Voucher, along with all the fees and taxes. Because I can’t view the details of the Voucher online, I can’t even keep track of how much the Voucher is for, and nor can I redeem it online. The Voucher expiry is also 12 months from the date of the original flight. It is possible we will be able to use the Voucher before that date but not guaranteed given how much uncertainty there is around travel right now.

I don’t know why British Airways has made the Voucher process so difficult. Hopefully soon, you will at least be able to view the details of the Future Travel Voucher online.

I wish I had just taken a full refund instead of trying to help the airline out!”

The Future Travel Voucher process has caught many British Airways travellers out, especially as their Avios, fees, taxes and surcharges for multiple bookings may be spread across multiple Vouchers that they cannot view, track or redeem online. You can go back and check the original booking via the PNR sent with the voucher to determine the initial value or the voucher but this is hardly an ideal process.

Related: You can now choose Avios as a refund option for your cancelled British Airways flight

Fortunately for John, BA has at least extended the validity of all Vouchers — they now expire on 30 April 2022, regardless of when they were issued.

As a reminder, if an airline cancels your flight, you are entitled to a full refund regardless of whether you paid cash or points and miles for the flight. You can choose to accept a Future Travel Voucher online, or you can call for a full refund. The current Future Travel Voucher process — especially for Avios redemptions — isn’t very customer-friendly, though hopefully, BA will improve this functionality soon.

Featured image by Ben Smithson / The Points Guy.

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