How to redeem the British Airways companion certificate (issued with the British Airways Signature Visa Card)

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One of the perks of the British Airways Visa Signature® Card is an award companion ticket (officially called the British Airways Travel Together ticket) when you spend $30,000 on the card in a calendar year. Even without the British Airways companion certificate, the card offers an extremely lucrative sign-up bonus of 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 within three months.

As much as I ragged on British Airways when they devalued their award chart a couple of years ago, I find myself redeeming BA Avios more than just about any other points currency. The distance based award chart makes Avios quite practical, and they’re incredibly valuable for:

  • Domestic travel on American Airlines and Alaska Airlines
  • Travel on Aer Lingus and Air Berlin on transatlantic flights, which allows you to avoid the BA fuel surcharges (Boston to Dublin is just 12,500 Avios one-way in economy class or 25,000 Avios one-way in business class)
  • Travel to and within South America on LAN, given that they don’t impose fuel surcharges (Miami to Lima is just 12,500 Avios one-way in economy class or 25,000 Avios one-way in business class)
  • Travel of short distances within Asia on Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines

The ironic part is arguably that redeeming British Airways Avios for travel on British Airways isn’t worthwhile due to the high fuel surcharges they impose on award redemptions. So is it worth pursuing the BA Travel Together certificate that comes with the British Airways Visa Signature® Card?

First lets cover a few of the basics:

Earning the British Airways Companion Certificate:

You earn the companion certificate based on spending $30,000 on the British Airways Visa Signature® Card in a calendar year. Cardholders earn a maximum of one travel together certificate per calendar year. The travel together certificate will show up in your British Airways Executive Club account within four to six weeks after completion of the required spend, though usually sooner. Once earned the companion certificate is valid for 24 months (and it just has to be redeemed by then, and can be for travel on a subsequent date).

Redeeming the British Airways Companion Certificate:

Assuming you earned the certificate through spend on a British Airways Visa Signature® Card issued in the US, you have to redeem it for travel originating in the US. The certificate is only valid for roundtrip travel, though both stopovers and open jaws are allowed. So in practice that means you can stop in a third city enroute to your final destination, or have a ground segment between your destination and your return departure city, but you do have to originate and ultimately terminate in the US.

As the companion ticket is designed for “Travel Together” on British Airways, it can only be used for for flights operated by British Airways and OpenSkies (British Airways’ subsidiary flying between New York and Paris), and can’t include any partner airlines on the companion ticket award. The person who earned the companion certificate has to be one of the two travelers on the itinerary. If you have two companion certificates you can redeem them for a group of four, though, assuming everyone is traveling on the same flight.

When you redeem the companion ticket the second passenger doesn’t have to pay any miles, but is still responsible for paying all taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges.

Basics of booking with the British Airways Companion Certificate:

In order to redeem the companion certificate there have to be at least two award seats for the cabin you’re looking to fly. If you’re looking to redeem the companion certificate for a simple roundtrip itinerary you can book it on ba.com, and the website will even let you book a stopover in London. If you want to book a more complicated itinerary you’ll have to call up British Airways’ Executive Club to redeem the certificate, as it can’t be done online.

Maximizing the British Airways Companion Certificate:

The issue with redeeming Avios for travel on British Airways is that they impose fuel surcharges on all of their longhaul flights. As a result it typically doesn’t make sense to redeem British Airways Avios for longhaul coach travel on British Airways, given that fuel surcharges could be almost as expensive as a paid coach ticket.

While British Airways doesn’t technically publish their distance based award chart, in practice it looks very similar to the one published by Iberia, which looks as follows:

IberiaAwardChart

First class would cost an additional 50% over the business class cost.

So for a first class ticket you’re looking at 60,000 miles one-way for a segment of up to 4,000 miles, and 75,000 miles one-way for a segment of up to 5,500 miles.

Practically speaking that means roundtrip you’re looking at paying 120,000 miles for first class travel from the east coast/midwest of the US to London in first class, while you’re paying 150,000 miles for first class travel from the west coast of the US to London.

Then intra-Europe segments will run 9,000 Avios one-way in business class for a distance of up to 650 miles, and 15,000 Avios one-way in business class for a distance of up to 1,150 miles.

So to give a few examples of award costs, British Airways charges 120,000 Avios for a roundtrip first class award between New York and London, plus $1,170.98 in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges (which the second passenger would have to pay as well).

British_Airways_Companion_Certificate3

Meanwhile if you were to do the same award but instead connect to Brussels, you’d pay 138,000 Avios (accounting for the 9,000 Avios each way for business class between London and Brussels), but you’d also save ~$140 per person in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges, given that you wouldn’t be subject to the UK Air Passenger Duty (which I’ll discuss in more detail below).

British_Airways_Companion_Certificate4

So generally speaking connecting to elsewhere in Europe will save you a bit of money in terms of taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges, though it’ll cost you a bit more in Avios.

Minimizing the UK Air Passenger Duty:

Since a vast majority of British Airways’ longhaul flights route through London, you’ll often be hit with the hefty UK Air Passenger Duty (APD). The Air Passenger Duty is levied on flights departing the United Kingdom, and applies if you’ve stopped in the UK for more than 24 hours. The amount of the Air Passenger Duty varies based on the distance between the UK and the capital of the country you’re departing to.

In other words, if you’re connecting in London for less than 24 hours you won’t be hit with the Air Passenger Duty, while if you’re staying for more than 24 hours you’ll be hit with an Air Passenger Duty based on where your flight is departing from, and looks roughly as follows:

0-2,000 miles: £12 for economy or £24 for premium
2,000-4,000 miles: £60 for economy or £120 for premium
4,000-6,000 miles: £75 for economy or £150 for premium
6,000+ miles: £85 for economy or £170 for premium

As a result, if you plan on staying in London for more than 24 hours it makes sense to do so before your shorter flight as opposed to before your longer flight, since the Air Passenger Duty will be lower.

Take, for example, an itinerary between New York and Brussels via London in both directions. If you stopped in London the way out you’d pay $1,087.83 in taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges, since you’re being charged the APD based on the London to Brussels flight.

British_Airways_Companion_Certificate1

Meanwhile if you flew exactly the same itinerary but had a stopover on the way back before the London to New York flight, on the other hand, you’d pay $1,271.40. That’s because you’d be paying the APD for the London to New York flight, which is substantially higher

British_Airways_Companion_Certificate2

So the key to minimizing the APD is to always have a stopover in the UK be before a shorter flight rather than before a longer flight.

The real thing that (potentially) makes the companion certificate worth it…

There are only four major European airlines with a first class cabin — Air France, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Swiss. Air France has exorbitant award redemption rates for first class and imposes fuel surcharges. Lufthansa only makes their first class award space available to partner airlines at most 15 days out. And Swiss doesn’t release any first class award space to partner airlines, and as of January 1, 2014, will only release first class award space to elite members in their own programs.

As a result that means in practice British Airways first class is the only European airline with a readily available first class product for awards.

The way I look at using the companion certificate is that it’s like purchasing a discounted coach ticket and getting a triple upgrade to first class (though admittedly you don’t earn miles).

Figuring that other US airlines charge 125,000-135,000 miles plus $150-200 in taxes for a first class award to Europe. British Airways is charging you a similar number of miles, but you’re essentially paying an additional $800-900 in fuel surcharges on the ticket. Using a companion certificate that means you’re basically paying an additional $1,600-1,800 in order to save 125,000-135,000 miles. In most cases I’d say that’s worthwhile, and it doesn’t even factor in that there aren’t actually any other European airlines where first class award tickets are feasible without fuel surcharges.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Correction: FOUR major European carriers with F – forgot LX, which similarly to AF is hard to redeem for. 🙁

  2. the problem is that flights from the east coast to LHR are just too short to really enjoy the first class so those are not really worth the obscene surcharges.

  3. I believe the statement about only two people per flight is incorrect.

    If you have two certificates in your account, which is easy to do because you can earn up to one per year but they are good for two years, then 4 people can all travel together so long as the cardholder is one of them.

  4. Whenever bloggers talk about the BA companion ticket, they mostly use a BA flight from North America-Europe as an example (and often to prove it’s not such a great deal because of the high taxes).

    But the real value lies in maximizing the the distance flown on BA metal. An intra-Europe flight on BA (even in J) isn’t much to write home about!

    So, I’m using the companion ticket to fly in F from YUL-LHR-PEK/NRT-LHR-YUL.

    Retail cost: over $20,000
    Actual price paid: $3,500 + 249,000 miles

    Since you have 2 years to use the certificate, the ideal strategy is to save up miles for that special vacation and then spend them to fly F as far as possible!

  5. @ Neos — And this is going to be where everyone values it differently. You’re spending ~125,000 miles plus ~$1,750 per person for first class to Asia via Europe. Meanwhile for 140,000 miles in first class United (or for similar costs Aeroplan or US Airways) will let you book the same thing on another airline with no fuel surcharges, so you’d save ~$1,500 cash.

  6. Correction-the certificate can be used on a one way flight. I used it last year on a one way from BOS-LHR-DEL.

  7. Fwiw, my wife and I used one of these back in May and used IAH as our gateway, which seemed easier to get than the west coast gateways and was just the right amount of flying time. Really enjoyed the seat and onboard service, Concorde Room was fine but nothing really special, actually really enjoyed the BA F lounge in Houston. Overall, a solid F product in my view.

  8. Can the BA certificate only be used once? Or does this work like the southwest companion pass where it can be used unlimited time until it expires?

  9. West Coast availability is horrible. Just booked SFO-LHR for next Sep/Oct but was only able to get Y+ and C. Total fees $1026 each. Nothing from LAX for the whole year. Seems like they’re not releasing seats until closer to departure, so hoping to upgrade closer to the date. Not sure if it’s worth putting $30k on BA Visa again to get the certificate.

  10. It looks like I am going to wind up with one of these. I signed up for the BA 100k for 20K card. Then as I was nearing 20K I got a double mile promo for 5K. At that point I’d be at 25K, so I am going for it. I am hoping in December they re-offer the 100K sign on for 20K and my wife will sign up. Then we can fly the family of four.

  11. @ AK – I’ve done so as well in the past, though it was never technically allowed, and I believe they’ve closed that loophole.

  12. Murtuza- No you don’t. The certificate stays in your BA account separate from Chase.

    >Lantean said, “the problem is that flights from the east coast to LHR are just too short to really enjoy the first class so those are not really worth the obscene surcharges.”

    Not only that, I remember checking the YQ a few times and found BOS-LHR was often higher or equal to the YQ for LHR-EZE. Go figure.

  13. Another issue is the “opportunity credit cost”.If I only charge $100,000 a year on credit cards and if I spend $30 grand on this card its $30 grand less on Chase SP which I find more usable.

  14. I take both yours and Neos’ point and see both sides of the argument. In terms of absolute value, the longer redemption makes less sense in light of other FF programs. But if you’re comparing just usage of the BA TTT, I think that the delta between the USA-LHR YQ and USA-LHR-ASIA YQ makes the shorter redemption seem like a waste of money.

    Sure, you’re burning double the Avios, but they’re easier to come by (20% bonus from MR, 1.25x on the Chase BA card) than UA or AA miles. Throw in an infant-in-arms, and then it’s a slam dunk.

  15. Steve is correct is correcting your error in that if you have 2 certs four can fly on the 2 certs with two free and two charged the appropriate miles…………

  16. So I hate to ask a dumb question but are there any other non-LHR routes from the US on BA metal? I am nearing the companion cert this year almost by spending accident and was just trying to figure out all my options.
    Thanks

  17. @ DaninSTL — Only the OpenSkies flights, but nothing else to destinations other than LHR, LGW, or LCY.

  18. @ Colleen — Yes, the UK Air Passenger Duty is the same regardless of which airport in the UK you fly from.

  19. BA should be *ashamed* at the limited number of seats they release to award tickets. It’s about as close to a bait and switch as you can get without being thrown in jail. You can look for months and not see even one. How can that possibly be? Companion certs are nearly worthless. Value is definitely on North America for Avios miles.

  20. Hi Lucky and Readers !

    I picked up one of the Canadian Companion tickets with my RBC British Airways Visa.

    http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/credit-cards/travel-credit-cards/british-airways-credit-card.html

    It has the same rules as the USA except you have to leave from Canada and Return to Canada.

    I was wondering how many legs you can actually do with the Companion ticket?

    Question 1:
    Could we perhaps go :
    YVR-LHR-JNB-LHR-YVR
    or
    YVR-LHR-SIN-SYD-SIN-LHR-YVR

    To really maximize the value?

    Question 2:
    What are the StopOver or Connection Rules for these type of flights?

    Thanks Lucky and Team !

    I.T.

  21. @InsaneTravel Those 2 options would work, since SIN is a stopover on the way to SYD. But you should know that availability on that route is not very good, so make sure to book way in advance, especially if you want to fly in F!

  22. Thanks Neos,

    I’m used to the Aeroplan Stopovers/Layovers (Up to 16 legs per redemption)

    As long as I have the points, can I push the limits of the companion ticket and hop around Europe before going to South America or Australia?

    Thanks again,

    I.T.

  23. I’m currently just about to start the return portion of a 2 for 1. East coast availability tends to be a lot easier, given that there are multiple departure points. I’ve used JFK in the past; this trip we are using PHL. The fuel surcharges are a bit steep but for 65K miles each it’s a relatively good value. BA F is like C+; definitely not in the same league as the other European carriers and a far cry from the Asian ones. One huge thing is the cabins are big. We were in a 14F cabin outbound, 17F on the return. But, that does tend to work in the favor of availbility… Flexibility and way advance booking is the key; I’ve never had a problem using a cert (and it’s my preferred method for European trips). For an Asian trip, though, UA/US miles are much much better for F travel…

    FDW

  24. Is there any way to avoid fuel surcharges when using the BA companion pass? If not, then I personally wouldn’t think it’s worth it to hit the $30,000 threshold to earn the companion pass.

  25. @ FirstClassFlyer — It certainly depends on the route you’re looking at and there’s no doubt availability is worse than it was before, but from the east coast I still find it to be pretty readily available.

  26. @ InsaneTravel — As Neos said either of those routings is fine, and you can stop as many times along the way as you’d like. Just keep in mind award pricing is on a per segment basis, so you’re going to be paying a lot in fuel surcharges and Avios.

  27. @ InsaneTravel — You can absolutely route from North America to Australia via Europe, though I don’t believe you could route to South America on a companion certificate.

  28. I think you should make stronger mention the problems with the companion certificate.

    Biggest problem, there is very poor availability for first class redemptions. From most cities there is very few dates with 2 first class seats. Just look at SFO, LAX, DEN, LAS, DFW for example. Poor!

    Secondly, although there is availability from New York area, the flight is so darn short its hardly worth paying for the taxes. $1000 tax for a seven hour flight.

  29. How long after meeting 30k does it usually take for cert to show up? The statement that I crossed 30k posted about a week ago without any message, and option doesn’t yet appear in my avios account.

  30. Here is the rule for using two certificates at the same time…

    A Member who has two valid vouchers on their account has the option to redeem both of them simultaneously on one flight booking, the Avios flight price must be paid for the Member and an additional individual in order than 2 Companions can travel on that booking.

    Note that travel must originate in the US. Too bad because BA has much better availability out of YVR with two flights daily during the summer.

  31. But I may have made an error regarding YVR.

    The companion requires travel to original in the US but since AS is a partner so one can fly from PDX-YVR. What I’m not clear on is that Avios requires a separate award for each segment, do that consider the entire itinerary as one entity with one PNR but with separate awards for each leg?

    In other words, when it is required for you to pull two awards to get to your destination, say, SEA-LHR-JNB would you need have two companion certs or only one?

  32. @ Steve — You can’t include segments on other airlines on the same award, so you couldn’t do something like PDX-YVR-LHR on a companion certificate.

    SEA-LHR-JNB can be booked using one certificate, though, since it’s all on British Airways.

  33. Bummer as there is much better availability out of YVR if you need four seats.

    Much appreciate your help.

  34. @lucky: “Once earned the companion certificate is valid for 24 months (and it just has to be redeemed by then, and can be for travel on a subsequent date).”

    I thought the terms stated that outbound travel must begin by the expiry date? Are exceptions/mistakes made with this?

  35. Is there an easy way to suss out which BA flights are on BA metal?
    I want to do a huge in effect world wide trip.
    Thanks for your help,

  36. Do you know if the calendar year is based on date of purchase or date of statement. I made a huge purchase (less than 30k) in middle of december, not realizing that the 30k spending requirement is based on calendar year, but the statement is not due to close until january.

  37. A couple questions @lucky:

    “Once earned the companion certificate is valid for 24 months (and it just has to be redeemed by then, and can be for travel on a subsequent date).”

    The T&Cs state that outbound travel must begin by the expiry date? I have a companion certificate that expires 8/2015 but I want to redeem it for travel in 4/2016, will that work?

    Also, does BA have a set date when award seats open (like +330 days in advance)? Am looking to get 4 seats in CW for SFO-LHR RT and also 2 seats in CW LGW-MLE….

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  38. Yet another companion ticket down the drain. I cancelled the useless card for the useless program. The tickets are NEVER available, they will not extend them and if you can use them…it costs more than a coach ticket just to redeem. Flying using AA points costs under $100 round trip and 135000 miles to Singapore….BA costs almost double the miles and thousands of dollars. So earn the points elsewhere and stop letting BA rip you off. I have two certificates that are likely going to expire because of their pathetic program.

  39. What other cc are available (apart from Virgin )in UK give companion flights?
    I have 2 points per £1.00 on gold amex and 1.5 points on BA Amex as set up on really good rates.Have had great long haul flights to far east but availablility on business is getting very difficult.

  40. I have to agree that the lack of availability in F class (nothing available from looking at availability starting 04/2014 to 04/2015 from LAX to LHR), I think I found maybe four dates in the same time frame out of SFO makes this whole companion pass a complete joke. I have two of these sitting on my account, will probably not wait for a third one to show up. How many days out are award tickets available on BA?

  41. Not sure if I got “lucky” — fyi as a data point, I was able to book 4 F class SFO-BOM R/T using 2 companion vouchers for 8/14. I called as soon as BA opened award ticketing last year sometime in early Sep, but I remember having to call up almost everyday for a week or 2 before I was able to snag the F tickets!

  42. I have 2 companion tickets from collection Avios but I seem to be unable to redeem them in Business or First class to BCN. I can only fly Business or a First due to 3 failed back surgeries. On long haul (longer than a couple of hours) my back and legs are in so much pain I need to over medicate myself too very dangerous levels. I have tried to explain this to BA but they have the worst costumer service bar none. Last year I had to fly to ZRH from LAX due to my fathers very bad health condition with addition to being hospitalized with broken femur. I barely made it to ZRH in a First using Avios points and still see my father while he was still able to recognize me but it took almost 10 calls to BA and over 6 hrs on the phone to get this done. Unfortunately my father died of complications of pneumonia 1day before my scheduled return flight. I literally begged BA to let me stay a few days longer so I could attend my fathers funeral. BA did not let me stay longer and I missed my fathers funeral, which is simply evil on the side of BA.
    Now I want to meet my sister in Spain in September using my companion ticket but there have been zero availability and I have been checking almost ever day . Actually if you try too book anything on from West Coast to Europe you will find Zero availability or some random return flight in November. A couple of weeks ago I found 1ticket and using a companion ticket on Economy Plus. I have to leave on Sept. 4 and return October 9 which is too long but there was no other availability. I tried to upgrade with money no-go, with Avios – no-go despite my weekly calls.
    I am so frustrated that I am absolutely ready to never fly BA again. The most infuriating part is that half of business or first class is always half empty, they rather fly with an empty plane than make their customers happy. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

  43. I have a scenario where the Companion tickets seem to make sense – am I thinking about this correctly?

    I have a family of 5 that wants to go to Scotland. If I get the BA Chase credit card, I get 50,000 points for sign-up. In Year 1 and Year 2, I spend $30,000 and get 37,500 Avios plus a Companion ticket. That will give me more than 120,000 points (enough for 3 tickets) and 2 Companion tickets for the rest of my family. Based on current gas surcharges, that would be about 5 * $750 surcharge or $3750 for the trip.

    Our desired travel month is August, and when I checked a couple of months ago, flights in August were about $1400+. What that means was that I would save $650 per ticket ($1400-$750) or $3250 total for my family.

    Therefore, I would have saved $3250 by spending $60,000 on the BA Chase credit card, or almost 5.5 cents per credit card dollar spent. That feels to me like a good return for my rewards card.

    Doesn’t that scenario sound like the card is worth it (assuming I can find the 5 seats on the same flight), or am I thinking about this incorrectly?

  44. You may have a better chance of winning the lottery. You also will want to check with BA as I believe the companion voucher is only valid when it accompanies the purchase of a ticket in the cardholder’s name. If you have a joint card and joint mileage account and the vouchers are issued to the account rather than just your name it may work but I am not sure and you will want to check in advance.
    I have two vouchers that are likely both going to expire and be wasted because when i tried to usecit over 9 monthd in advance BA had zero availability from any gateway in business over an extended period of time. I instead bought my ticket on another airline and cancelledv he card to stop the graveyard collection of companion certificates and points. I did not check coach because the surcharges are so high to make the free ticket illusory but you are looking in August and I would not bank on being able to use one certificate nevertheless two.

  45. I like JR’s plan but I can’t see that much reward space opening up on a single flight any time of year but in the Summer it seems very unlikely. Maybe if you could spread it out over a couple flights. Like one parent and 2 kids one day and the other parent and other child the next day. That way you are only looking for 3 seats in a single flight in each direction. Still seems unlikely in August but possible. If family members are older you could even spread it out more.

  46. I have he same problem with is really starting to pis me off. I now have 3 companion Tickets but BA never givers flights in Business/First out of LAX. I can only fly these classes due to 3 failed back surgeries and unless you want me to constantly interrupt service I need a flat bed. Thank god other airlines now have flat-bed service and if I find a way I will swith to them in heart-beat.

  47. I am pondering using the certificate for ORD/LHR/Tokyo and return starting June 2015 and finishing in late August 2015. I have some flexibility on actual dates for each leg. I am afraid if I wait until award space is at last posted for the last leg of my trip (LHR-ORD)that earlier award space (that was at first available) will be long gone. Anyway around this? For example, can I book each segment as it first becomes available? Book an entire (phony dates) journey then change each segment to a correct date as award seats are first posted? I realize there may be change fees, but how much/many? Suggestions welcome!

  48. @ Barry B — Tickets are valid for one year from the date they’re issued, so under no circumstances do you want to lock anything in more than a year from the date you plan on returning, since you wouldn’t be able to complete your ticket.

    The certificate also isn’t valid for one-ways. So what you could do is lock in your outbound and some random return at a later date, and then when the schedule opens up for the return you could lock that in. British Airways opens award space 355 days out, so at most you’d be gaining a 10 day advantage by doing that.

  49. For the past three years I’ve seen F seats from ORD available at around 8 months out.

  50. Hi – Thought your information was very helpful on BA. I am trying to find out if I purchase the RBC Canadian Bank’s BA Visa card, and earn the two for one ticket, will the flights only be able to originate from Canada? or from North America? I cannot find any small print to explain this before I go through the process and cost of applying for the card.
    Thx Deborah

  51. Another point- no F availability will show if one leg has no availability.

    This summer for a trip to Turkey my friend and I flew ORD-LHR-IST, but spent two days in London on the way home, since IST-LHR was available on our return date but LHR-ORD wasn’t available until a few days later. Lesson learned: it’s helpful if you are flexible and check each leg independently.

    And FWIW, I just used a Companion Certificate for ORD-LHR-MAD rt in f. Again, a stopover in MAD, but that was intentional. Flights in March, the seats opened up the last week of August, so 7 months out.

  52. Hi, I got myself a RBC Avios card and want to know if it’s better for me to spend 30k on the card to get a companion ticket. Or to spend 30k on my RBC avion and then convert those to Avios using there 50% promotion. I want to travel from Montreal to Maldives

  53. I see that BA is now releasing FC 380 out of SFO about 2 weeks out……..I presently have 2 FC on a companion pass out of IAD……..if I call up (and wait an hour for an agent) and change that ticket what will my cost be? Since I am changing zones will it require a redeposit and reissue? And then I lose my return to IAD which I want to keep?

  54. @ JustSaying — I believe you should just be able to pay the $55 per person change fee and difference in Avios and make the change over the phone. Shouldn’t be too complicated.

  55. I’m Cautiously optimistic. I’ll let you know the results of my next hour long call with BA

  56. It has been said previously in this thread that one way travel is not allowed while using the companion pass. However, the BA system will allow me to book a one way trip using it. Here’s why I bring this up: I would like to ensure that I can get a SAN-LHR-VIE trip in Business which departs 355 days from now and is available now. If I book this one way trip today, would I later be able to (in 30 days or so) book a return once it opens up, realizing I’d have to call to do so? Or, would my companion pass be deemed at that time to have been already used up on the one way?

  57. @ billmcg — They do actually now allow one-way awards with the companion certificate, which wasn’t the case before. Tickets are only valid for a year from the date of issue, so there’s no way you can book a flight 355 days out and then 30 days later add a return on the companion certificate, unfortunately.

  58. Thanks. I didn’t quite get this earlier. So if a booking is made and a ticket issued on May 29, 2015, then no flights on that booking can be changed later to take off after May 28, 2016.

  59. Lucky, do you know if BA will allow a class change on the ticket? For example, First is available on the departing ticket, but only Business on the return. If First space opens up on the return, would I be able to change that to First?

  60. I’m pretty sure you can change anything on BA when using miles and/or the companion pass so long as you’re OK with the $55 change fee. I just changed an entire itinerary. Would think a change in class would be no problem.

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