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This weekend saw two small changes occur in the miles & points world that shared two things in common. Both were a little surprising and both turned out to be especially good news for me.
A Bit Of Background
There are three key bits of background information that you need to know before I continue:
1 – Joanna and I had a British Airways Avios booking for travel between Los Angeles and London for later this summer, but with the airline in the process of cutting all the additional flights that it first added back to the schedules when it thought that transatlantic travel would open up in both direction this summer, that booking has now been cancelled by BA.
2 – American Airlines Business Class Saver Awards are (a little surprisingly) now available for travel between Los Angeles and London on select dates this summer (with a layover somewhere in the US) but we don‘t have enough American Airlines miles in our accounts to book them (I’ve been burning my AAdvantage Miles for the past few years as the currency has become harder and harder to use economically on the long-haul routes that I fly most often).
3 – Joanna and I will need a pair of Business Class awards for travel between Los Angeles and London in August 2022.
The First Small Change That Made A Difference
This past weekend, Citi’s ThankYou program added the American Airlines AAdvantage program as a limited-time transfer partner which allowed me to transfer some hard-earned ThankYou points across to the AAdvantage program and book the American Airlines Business Class saver awards that, up to this point, we couldn’t book.
The AAdvantage saver awards cost us 57,500 miles + $5.60 per person and saved us from having to pay 75,000 Avios + $750 per person to fly to London with British Airways.
Before I realized that a second small (but very useful) travel world change had come to light this weekend, I was more than happy knowing that, between us, we had just saved almost $1,500 in surcharges and I planned to request a full refund from British Airways.
Then a post on Head For Points gave me a better idea.
The Second Small Change That Made A Difference
Historically, if British Airways cancelled a person’s flight/trip, that person was entitled to:
- A full refund (whether this be cash, Avios, or a combination of the two) or
- A voucher for future travel valid through April 2023 or
- The right to rebook the same trip without any penalty on increase in cost as long as the trip is booked for travel commencing no later than 12 months from the date when the original trip was booked.
Recently, however, British Airways made a key change point #3 and it now allows customers with flights cancelled by the airline to rebook their trips (with no penalty) for travel no later than 12 months from the date when the original trip was due to commence*.
For those of us who usually book our trips well in advance, this is a huge improvement in BA’s policy and for those of us with Avios bookings cancelled by the airline, it means that we can now request that BA accommodates us on flights 12 months from our original date of travel whether those flights have Avios seats available or not.
This simple but important change means that I’m no longer going to ask BA for a refund of our cancelled flight and, instead, I’m going to ask BA to move our booking into summer 2022.
Now we won’t have to worry about trying to snap up Avios seats for our LA – London trip next year, and we still have the option to cancel this booking (with only a small fee payable) if a better (more economical) option presents itself between now and the date we’re due to travel. That’s a great situation to be in.
*I have called the airline and confirmed that this is now the case.
The addition of the AAdvantage program to the list of Citi’s transfer partners may only be a limited-time change and the small change that BA has made to its cancellation policy may not be a big deal for everyone, but the two combined have been very good news for me and its news that came at just the right time…that never normally happens to me! 🙂