How to Cancel or Refund British Airways Avios Award Tickets

(Previous Post: How to Book British Airways Avios Award Tickets)

In this how-to guide, I will show you how to cancel or refund a British Airways Avios award ticket.  In my demo, I will cancel an American Airlines flight, but the steps below will work with US Airways, British Airways, and most OneWorld Alliance airlines.  Most Avios award tickets should be cancellable online, but there may be times when you will have to call their customer service department and speak with a representative.

Call British Airways at 1-800-452-1201 or 1-800-247-9297 (prepare yourself for long wait times and busy signals, just be patient and persistent).

Let’s say I booked an American Airlines flight, but it turns out that I won’t be able to make the trip.  Not a problem, just go back to the online booking page and scroll to the bottom of the page.

BA Award Flight Details

Click on the Cancellation Options for this Booking link under the Change Booking header.

Cancel BA Flight

Agree to the consent form and click the Continue button.

Cancel BA Consent

This is the only hard part of cancelling a British Airways Avios award ticket… finding the credit card you used to pay the taxes/fees online.  Enter the credit card number and click the Continue button.

Cancel BA Enter CC Info

British Airways will calculate your refund in terms of Avios and cash back…

Calculate BA refund

With most British Airways Avios award tickets, you will be refunded all of your Avios but you will lose any cash you paid.  In my case, I only paid $2.50 for taxes/fees, so that is my cost to cancel this British Airways Avios award ticket.  Review all the information and then click the Confirm Cancellation button.

Cancel BA Flight Info

British Airways is processing your cancellation…

Cancel BA Flight Processing

Congratulations, your British Airways Avios award ticket has been cancelled.

Cancel BA Flight Complete

Your British Airways Avios should automatically appear in your British Airways account.  You may have to log out, wait a few minutes, and log back in to see the redeposited British Airways Avios.

Updated BA Avios Balance

You will also receive a confirmation email with your details of the cancellation.

Cancel BA Award Confirmation Email

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

(Previous Post: How to Book British Airways Avios Award Tickets)

This entry was posted in Uncategorized.

About Grant

Grant is an expert in frequent flyer miles, hotel loyalty points, credit card rewards, and cash back deals. He also has a pretty cool travel blog. Find him on Twitter @travelwithgrant.

66 thoughts on “How to Cancel or Refund British Airways Avios Award Tickets

  1. Pingback: How to Cancel or Refund British Airways Avios Award Tickets | Travel with Grant

  2. Evan

    Hey Grant, the link for “cancellation options” doesn’t bring up the consent page. It simply directs me to the same manage booking page. Do you know why this is happening, thx.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      It should be free to cancel online, you just lose the taxes and fees that you paid. If you booked it with cash and miles, then there might be a fee to cancel your award ticket.

      Reply
  3. Mohan

    I had to cancel my tickets booked with avios today, so I called 1-800-452-1201. The lady said that they will charge me $55 for cancellation and $25 phone charge. She told that if I cancel online then I have to pay $55 and I lose $2.50 which was paid and avios will be credited back to my account. But then I told her that my flight schedule has changed from what I booked and asked for all the fees to be waived and she agreed and finally paid nothing :)
    I was surprised by this sudden cancellation fees now. I had cancelled my flight booked with avios in August,2014 and I had lost only $2.50 and got my avios credited to my account.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I’m glad you were able to get all your money back after the schedule change. I’m not sure why you can cancel online for free, but canceling over the phone costs money.

      Reply
  4. James

    If you are using a PC and the link for cancellation options is not showing up when you attempt to cancel, try doing the same thing through your mobile device (or use the mobile site on your PC). That is what was going on with mine, but when I looked up my booking using my mobile device, I did see that option. It is what I used to cancel the booking.

    Reply
  5. Elliot

    British Airways’ change and cancellation policy seems to have changed since the example above was posted. I learned this the hard way as I followed the above directions to cancel a flight online and did not get my Avios back for a week until I spoke with telephone agents three times.

    Here are the rules pertaining to flights booked with Avios as they were explained by an Executive Club agent today:

    Cancellations and changes made within the 24 hour “cooling off period” after making the booking can be done without charge and for a full refund of the Avios and taxes paid only by calling British Airways and speaking with an agent.

    Cancellations and changes made on the website within 24 hours of the booking will incur a $55 penalty, or the tax paid on the ticket, whichever is less. The Avios will be refunded.

    Cancellations and changes made more than the 24 hour “cooling off period” after making the booking incur a $55 penalty if made online, and an additional $25 fee if made over the phone. The Avios are refunded.

    All the above assumes the change or cancellation is made more than 24 hours before flight time. If the change or cancellation occurs within 24 hours of the flight there is no refund of currency or Avios.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The 24 hour cooling off period sounds correct, but after that, it doesn’t sound correct. If you cancel an Avios award after 24 hours, you should get all your Avios back, but lose all the taxes/fees that were paid, or you can pay a $55 cancelation/redeposit fee.

      Reply
      1. Grant

        British Airways does not have “close-in booking fees” like American and United, so you can book within the last 21 days without paying a fee :)

        Reply
    2. Paul

      I just bookmarked this excellent Blog/site. I had made a First Class booking UK to USA and return using Avios and an American Express ‘Companion’ voucher, and had to cancel. Fearing the worst I followed the instructions/advice here and was pleasantly surprised that I was immediately refunded the Avios in full, and over the next couple of days the taxes (totalling almost 900 GBP) less the admin charge, and the companion voucher. Thanks!

      Reply
      1. Jacob Cope

        Glad to hear Paul, how long after the booking did you cancel? I’m thinking of making he exact same trip and class with Companion Voucher and Avios but its for May next year and things may change.

        Reply
        1. John

          Thanks. I don’t see an option to cancel online. So if I have to call ba to cancel
          will I still only lose the taxes paid (22.40 for 4 passengers) and not have to pay the $55.

          Reply
          1. Grant

            I’m not sure, depends what the original taxes/fees were. Call BA and they will tell you what your options are for canceling and redepositing the BA Avios into your account.

  6. TravelerMSY

    Can anyone clarify what happens when you cancel an Avios and Money award? Say 100k Avios plus $2000? You definitely want a full refund minus fees? Would it be the $55 cancel plus $25 phone to do so?

    Reply
  7. joE

    Can you change bookings online? Say I book a flight but more reward times show up and I want to change the schedule. Can I do this online and is there a few associated with changes?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I think there would be a fee, but you could call British Airways and see if they can change your flight for free. You most likely would pay a $55 fee per reservation.

      Reply
  8. Mande

    I am planning to cancel a booking made using Avios. It appears that because I booked for 2 people but am only cancelling one of the bookings that I will have to do it by phone instead of online. Meaning that I will be charged a higher fee. Is that correct?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Hmm, good question. I haven’t run into that situation before, so I am not sure what the answer is. I would call British Airways and ask nicely for them to waive the cancellation fee and hope for the best. Please let me know what happened when you call them.

      Reply
  9. Ang

    I’m a little confused re: the blog post and also Elliot’s comment above. So are there new rules in regards to avios award cancellations? Hypothetically, let’s say I cancel my NYC to DC flight that is set to depart 72 hours from now (booked months ago). My understanding from the blog post is that I will get my 4,500 avios back, but I will lose out on the taxes/fees I paid (few dollars total). Then after reading Elliot’s comment above, I am confused. Do I have to pay the $55 cancellation fee even though my taxes/fees are less than $55? Thanks.

    Reply
  10. Mark O

    I was wondering if it was possible to book 1/2 of a round trip online or would I have to call in (should have done 2 1-ways). I am guessing I would have to call and pay $75 in fees.

    Reply
  11. Pippa G

    When I follow the instructions to cancel I’m told that as my booking is a trade booking or done through a travel agent I have to contact the travel agent. I haven’t been to a travel agent in decades! What happens now? Phone them, I suppose.

    Reply
  12. Vaiva

    Hello,
    do you know if it possible to cancel flight just for one person, as I have booked the flight for 4 persons

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Sure, but it depends which airline you are flying on. You might need to call British Airways and pay the fee to cancel 1 ticket, unless you can cancel online.

      Reply
  13. Alex Pemberton

    I have an Avios booking for my wife and I to go to NY with BA, unfortunately my wife cannot make it so I want to cancel her flight but keep mine. Is this possible?

    Reply
    1. Grant

      It might be possible online, or you may need to call BA. If award space is still available, you can cancel your entire reservation (lose only the $5.60 in taxes/fees for you and your wife) and then rebook the award ticket for yourself. The second one is the riskiest but cheapest option.

      Reply
  14. dfwguy

    I am trying to cancel a booking. But at the last step it says:
    Error
    There was a problem with your request, please try again later.

    I have tried multiple times and it is not working. The travel is in 8 days and is within the US (ORD-LAX) in economy.

    Reply
          1. Grant

            If you could cancel online, you would only lose the taxes and fees that you paid ($5.60), but canceling over the phone requires a ~$40 fee. You could wait until closer to your flight and hope there is a schedule change, then you might be able to cancel for free.

    1. Sam

      For anyone who comes across this in the future: I had the same thing happen today. Called and the rep said they were having trouble with the system. She was able to cancel and I did not incur any additional fees. Points were returned, just lost taxes/fees.

      If this happens to you, call and let them know you are getting an error message. It’s a pain, but they will take care of you.

      Reply
  15. Eric

    I cancelled online but did not get my avios back yet. I had two award tickets on non ba metal and saw a better flight so saw this page and thought the avios would come back immediately.. I’m worried the better award tickets will be gone by the time I get the avios back.. I have to get there in 2 weeks. Any advice?

    Reply
  16. joE

    My booking keeps showing British Pounds instead of USD for the booking fee. How do you change this? Typically when you visit the website it automatically prompts you for your country and language and that used to change the default british pounds to USD, but not anymore.

    Any idea how I can change this?

    Reply
  17. Samar

    I booked two Club World tickets for my parents from the UK. They won’t be able to take the USA to UK leg. The booking was paid by AMEX and no Avios were used. The fare was a promo offer so allows for no changes but in Manage my booking there is an option to cancel and request refund if the terms allow. I am only looking to get the taxes refunded as I know no fare would be refunded but have no idea how much they’d be as they have already taken the first leg. Can someone help? I don’t want to be penalised for cancelling but if the service/ admin charges offset the refund and I get something back, that would be better than nothing. Please advise as their flight is in 2 days time. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I doubt you will be able to cancel after the first segment was flown. Call British Airways to see if they can cancel the flight for you.

      Reply
  18. gary klein

    I have two reward tickets from LAX to Maui leaving in three weeks but may have to cancel due to health. Will my avios be redeposited without the $55 dollar fees per person since we are well within the 24 hour boarding period? I don’t care if I lose the $11.20 taxes.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      If your flight leaves in 3 weeks, you are outside the 24 hour boarding period. You can go through the cancellation process online or call BS and see what the cost to cancel would be.

      Reply
      1. vick

        So there’s a $55 charge for redeposit per passenger for AA flights cancelled on ba.com?

        Does BA auto charge the card since I’d rather lose the miles

        Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      I’m not sure how British Airways handles refunds on bookings made with the Companion Pass. Call British Airways to find out what their policy is. Good luck!

      Reply

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