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British Airways Extends Covid eVoucher Expiry Dates by 12 Months

Passengers who received eVouchers after their travel plans were disrupted during the Covid pandemic will have an extra year to redeem them

April 25, 2023

Photo: British Airways tails. Courtesy of Nick Fewings / Unsplash.

British Airways passengers who received an electronic voucher when their flights were disrupted in the pandemic can now redeem them for an additional year after the airline has decided to grant an extension.

During the COVID-19 crisis, British Airways launched a ‘Book with Confidence’ scheme to encourage customers to delay their travel plans instead of claiming a cash refund. With so much disruption in the aviation industry from March 2020 onwards, the possibility of bankruptcy was genuine for many airlines—British Airways included—so the policy was seen as a way to save the carrier billions of dollars in revenue.

Photo: London Heathrow Airport. Courtesy of David Parry / PA Wire

Under the policy, passengers could claim eVouchers equivalent to the price of their flight should their trip have been canceled, or they could not fly for any reason. The value of the vouchers also included any extra costs, such as seat selection or baggage fees, that were selected at the time of booking. However, the vouchers can only be used towards the cost of a new flight, either in whole or part and cannot be redeemed for any additional fees. They may also be spent on BA Holiday Packages.

The vouchers were initially set to expire in September this year. However, with over $665 million worth of unclaimed vouchers, the airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG)—which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia, LEVEL, and Vueling—has decided to extend the expiry dates to September 30, 2024.

If you’re unsure whether you have any unclaimed eVouchers with British Airways, head over to their website, log in to your account, or set up a new one, and then follow the instructions to see if you have any vouchers and how much they are worth. Alternatively, you can check your email history to see if you were sent any eVouchers.

Photo: British Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Courtesy of Arkin Si / Unsplash.

If you have unspent eVouchers but don’t want to spend them on another flight with British Airways, you could still be entitled to a cash refund if your original flight was canceled between March 9 and November 19, 2020. However, you will still need to claim this back before the new expiry date of September 30, 2024.

Unless the deadline is extended again, any unclaimed vouchers from next October onwards will become additional profit for British Airways. The airline’s proceeds will also be boosted because seats are considerably more expensive now than pre-pandemic. As a result, any seats freed up by unclaimed eVouchers may be sold at a higher price than their original value.

“If the vouchers are never used, IAG will have extra seats available to sell,” said Robert Boyle, Director of Strategy at IAG, to the BBC. “Given what has happened to ticket prices since the pandemic, the cash value of those seats will be even bigger than the reported voucher values.”