I’m Furious! British Airways Just Took 13,500 Of My Avios!


Did you know that if you book a return flight on Avios and then cancel the return leg, British Airways keeps your Avios? I had no idea! I don’t read the terms and conditions in detail (they are just too long) when I book my flights.

The deal is: book 2x one-way flights to your destination and back and you can cancel your outward or return leg and you will be refunded your Avios in full but not your taxes and fees. I almost always book BA on Avios because of this flexibility.

If you book a return flight with your Avios (I don’t usually do this but must have had a momentary blip) and then cancel your return leg, British Airways keeps the Avios AND the taxes and fees from your return leg.

Until now, I considered myself pretty expert at spending my Avios, but this blip took me by surprise. They would say that the Avios weren’t taken and were kept perfectly legally. Of course, legally they would be right, I stupidly didn’t read all the ts and cs. I don’t have time to do this on everything I buy.

So BA has kept my miles and the taxes for 3 Economy seats one way from Nice to Gatwick following my cancellation and BA can now resell the seats.

My Advice

Make sure that you don’t get caught out. When booking Avios flights on British Airways, never ever book return tickets. If you need to cancel your flight for any reason, you will not be refunded your Avios on your return leg if you have already flown your outward leg.

Usefully British Airways don’t tell you that you will not be refunded your Avios until after you make the cancellation. I should have read their ts and cs…

Fly For Free On Avios

If you are UK based and want to fly on British Airways for free on Avios your best bet is to use credit cards. I have outlined the three best British Airways Avios air mile credit cards with a referral bonus to enable you to collect miles and to get you into that lounge and onto that plane, in style, as quickly as possible.

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