A lot of airlines have been facing tough cash-flow problems since the start of Covid-19, especially when it comes to cancelled flights and ticket refunds. And many of them have been very “creative” to avoid refunding cash to customers.
About two months ago, there was an interesting, yet unofficial development at British Airways. Anecdotal reports suggested that BA’s customer agents were issuing Avios refund instead of cash for cancelled flights, if the customer was happy to do so.
The rate was actually very good, so many people called and tried their luck. I know both success and failure stories though.
It appears that it’s no longer a rumour – You can see it is now an official policy on BA’s website.
To calculate how many Avios you can get in return, go to BA’s purchase Avios page, and open the dropdown list.
Find the band which is closest to your ticket price, then multiply the Avios number by two. For example, if your ticket costs £175, you can expect to be refunded 20,000 Avios.
As long as your ticket costs £500 or more, you are close to getting the optimal ratio which is ~ 123 Avios for each pound. In terms of “buying” Avios, this is a very attractive price.
Note that only revenue tickets (i.e. no Avios ticket) bought directly through BA channels are eligible. It’s not specified in the t&c, but I assume that this option is only available if your flight is cancelled. Therefore you can’t just buy a ticket, say that you no longer want to travel and get the Avios 😉