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BA American Express 2-4-1 Voucher Discussion

BA American Express 2-4-1 Voucher Discussion

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Old Sep 27, 18, 9:24 pm   -   Wikipost
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British Airways American Express Companion Voucher (2-4-1) Discussion and Wiki Thread



Summary

The British Airways American Express Companion Voucher entitles you to receive a second seat for a companion on the same flight as you and in the same cabin when you make a reward booking on a British Airways mainline flight with a BA prefixed flight number (but not on flights operated by franchisee, codeshare or alliance airlines). All youíll have to pay is the taxes, fees and charges for you and your companionís tickets.

The voucher is easy and straightforward to use. You as the cardholder may book a redemption ticket, paid for entirely in Avios, and you take a travel companion with you at no additional Avios cost. The usual taxes, fees and surcharges apply to both passengers, which must be paid for by the card holder.

Standard Voucher Terms and Conditions
  • The voucher is valid for travel on BA operated flights with BA prefix only
  • Valid towards return flights only, with the journey originating from and returning to your country of membership (with the exception of vouchers issued in the UK which may also be used for one-way travel)
  • Taxes, fees and surcharges apply to both the companion and the travelling Cardmember. The card holder will pay the cash supplement assessed for themselves and all others in the booking, using the credit card associated with the voucher
  • For Premium Plus Cardmembers who have two or more valid vouchers in their account, combining two vouchers within a single booking is permitted, subject to redemption availability. This allows the travelling Cardmember to take three travel companions, paying the Avios price for two passengers. Taxes, fees and charges must be paid for all four passengers. A maximum of two vouchers can be used towards any single booking
  • The Cardmember can travel without the companion, however the companion cannot travel without the Cardmember
  • The Cardmember cannot cancel the companionís ticket to get the companion voucher back and still fly. In order to get the voucher back, the whole booking must be cancelled and re-booked for yourself, provided there is redemption availability
  • Cancelling a redemption booking does not guarantee the seat(s) will be released back into the award inventory
  • If the booking is cancelled at least 24 hours before the first flight, the Avios, taxes and fees will be refunded, plus the companion voucher. Generally the voucher and Avios will be refunded quite quickly, with the monetary components taking a few days longer. A cancellation fee will apply unless you are a BAEC GGL card holder
  • Tickets booked by phone need to be booked at least 48 hours in advance
  • Cardmembers must have accrued the Target within a 12-month period ending each year on the anniversary of their Promotion Commencement Date. Spend from the previous anniversary year will not be carried over
  • Spend towards the Voucher must be charged to the account before the anniversary date. Any spend on the Card made before the anniversary date but not charged to the account until after the anniversary date will not be counted
  • Companion Vouchers cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion (This is the formal line, but in reality it can be used with GUF2 and Jokers)
  • If you (as the Cardmember who earned the Companion Voucher) are part of a BA Household Account, then both you and your companion must be members of the Household Account, or be on the 'Friends and Family' list that is attached to it
  • One Companion Voucher per main Cardmember per year

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the British Airways American Express Companion Voucher?
A: The British Airways American Express Companion Voucher entitles you to receive a second seat for a companion on the same flight as you and in the same cabin when you make a reward booking on a British Airways mainline flight with a BA prefixed flight number (but not on flights operated by franchisee, codeshare or alliance airlines). All youíll have to pay is the taxes, fees and charges for you and your companionís tickets.

Q: How do I qualify for the British Airways American Express Companion Voucher?
A: To qualify for your British Airways American Express Companion Voucher, you must reach the required spend threshold for your card, as shown below, within a 12-month period ending on the anniversary of the date of issue of your BA/AMEX Card. Please note that required spend does not include cash withdrawals, interest, balance transfers and fees.
  • Classic: £20,000
  • Premium Plus: £10,000
Once you have reached the required spend threshold for your Card, you will automatically be sent your British Airways American Express Companion Voucher. Please note you are only entitled to one Companion Voucher per 12-month period, and required spend collected in one 12-month period cannot be carried over into the next 12-month period.

Q: Iíve hit my spend. When will the voucher show up?
A: Once you hit the target, you will receive an email congratulating you on the award of your voucher. It will show up quite prominently on your BAEC account home page after logging in. American Express directly states once a Card Member qualifies, we compile a list of eligible Card Members (monthly) and send it to British Airways (can take 3-5 days). British Airways advises the Card Member of their e-voucher / Companion Ticket via mail within 10-15 days.

The e-voucher / Companion Ticket shows online for a period of time to redeem, when the Card Member logs onto their Executive Club (Avios) account at ba.com.




Q: How long is the voucher valid for?
A: When the voucher is earned following a £10,000 spend on the BA Premium Plus American Express card, the voucher is valid for 24 months. When the voucher is earned following a £20,000 spend on the BA Classic American Express card, it is valid for 12 months. You must have booked and completed the whole of your outbound travel by the date the voucherís validity expires, and it cannot be extended under any circumstances. The longer validity of the Premium Plus voucher is often cited as a very good reason to pay the £195 card fee.

Q:How do I get the most value from my voucher?
A: There is potential for you to save a substantial amount of Avios using the voucher, but its value to you is something only you can define. But in short, using the voucher for redemptions in First or Club World will maximise its value, as these naturally incur the highest redemption spend and will therefore save you the most Avios.

Q: Can I use the voucher and part-pay with Avios?
A: The ticket itself must be paid for entirely with Avios. Taxes, surcharges and fees (the "cash component" of the ticket composed of these fees, which are charged on standard redemptions in any event) must be paid for using an American Express card, although not necessarily a British Airways one (this is stated in the Terms and Conditions, but any Amex works)

Q: How do I pay the taxes, surcharges and fees?
A: An American Express card must be used to settle the taxes, surcharges and fees for both passengers. The Terms and Conditions state you must use the same American Express card that the voucher was earned on to settle this payment, but in practice any American Express card can be used. You may not use a Visa, MasterCard or other payment form to settle these fees.

Q: Can I book an open-jaw trip using the voucher?
A: You can, but you will need to call BA. For the trip to be valid, the length of the surface sector must be shorter than either of the flown journeys. If you want to fly from LHR to AAA and from BBB back to LHR, then the LHR-AAA and BBB-LHR distances must both be greater than the distance between AAA and BBB.

Q: Can I book my outbound flight at 355 days and call back to add the return booking?
A: Yes, but you will need to call BA. Once availability shows, you can call to add the return leg Ė the BA policy is to waive the £35 change fee per passenger if the return was beyond the booking window when you booked the outbound, i.e. that you booked your outbound leg when seats became available at T-355.

For example: If you booked your outbound at T-355 and called later to add the return leg the change fee would be waived. If you booked your outbound at T-50 and then booked the return for T-60 a few days later, the fee will not be waived.
Important update, posted by cbagent on 12 Feb 2018:

If adding the return sector to an existing one-way Amex 241 where the inbound dates were out of range at time of booking, it is now possible to book the flights online as a new one way Avios booking then call BA UK office when open.

Half of the Avios on this new booking will then be refunded to reflect Amex voucher use. The benefit of this is that there is no need to try calling open BA office in the early hours of the morning and the downside is the itinerary will be ticketed as two one way bookings. In addition the Avios balance must be high enough to take a debit of double the required Avios albeit for a relatively short time. May be of use for some people.
Note: you are strongly advised not to use this new method of booking two separate one ways if going to the US/Canada. When booking as two separate bookings and having the 2-4-1 applied across both is that taxes/charges/fees are not recalculated when the voucher is applied across to the second booking. Sometimes this will work out well for you (bookings exHKG for example), but for exUS or exCA bookings it is not recommended at all since exUS/CA taxes/fees/charges are very high. As an example, using the two separate bookings method on a LHR-JFK booking in J or F for two people would cost you about £480 more that the old method of calling and adding the inbound to an existing booking. Please see post 965 here for more information.
Q: As redemption seats are released at midnight GMT, what is the best way to secure them? There is no guarantee they will be available when the BA office opens in the morning!
A: A common practice on the forum is to use this tool and call a BA office that is open at midnight GMT. You will then be able to make the booking without waiting for your local office to open. Depending on timezone, Japan, Hong Kong and even the USA are frequently contacted for this purpose.

Q: I made a one-way booking using a voucher and have already completed the travel on that booking. Can I now add an inbound flight to the booking to make use of the voucher?
A: No.

Q: Does cancelling my BA American Express card mean I will lose the voucher? Does downgrading my BA American Express Premium Plus card to the Classic card mean I will lose my voucher?
A: No. Contrary to what American Express will tell you, you will keep the voucher if you cancel the card entirely, and similarly your voucher will retain its two year validity if you downgrade from the Premium Plus card to the Classic Card. Remember though that you will need to pay the taxes and fees on an American Express card, so it may be worth asking to downgrade the Premium Plus to the Classic card for this purpose if you donít hold another Amex.

Q: If I cancel my 2-4-1 booking, will I get the voucher back?
A: Yes, the voucher will appear in your BAEC some time after cancellation along with your Avios. The voucher will retain the same expiry date.

Q: If I cancel my BA Amex after making a 2-4-1 booking, and later cancel the booking, will I get the voucher back?
A: Collective forum experience would lend us to believe that in this situation you would receive the voucher back, as the voucher is credited to your BAEC account and there would be no way for it to know that you had subsequently cancelled your card. The expiry date of the voucher will remain the same.

Q: There is one redemption seat available on the route I want. If I use the voucher, will it book a second seat for me automatically?
A: No. The voucher makes use of existing availability, so to book travel for two passengers there must be a minimum of two redemption seats available on the flight.

Q: Availability on BA is really poor. Can I book a codeshare flight?
A: No. The terms of the voucher state that the booking is restricted to BA metal. You should be able to secure availability at T-355 days, as BA release two Club World seats for all flights at this point.

Q: Can I use a Gold Upgrade for Two voucher in conjunction with my voucher?
A: Yes. You will need to call BA to make the booking.

Q: Can I use a Joker in conjunction with my voucher?
A: Yes. You will need to call BA to make the booking.

Q: Can I fly mixed class bookings using the voucher?
A: Yes, however all companions on the booking must fly the same cabin. This means you could fly First outbound and Club World inbound together using the voucher, but you cannot have one passenger in Club World and another in World Traveller Plus on the same leg of the booking.

Q: Can I book myself on one flight and my companion on the next flight?
A: No. You must fly on the same flights, in the same cabin. This also applies to all four passengers if the booking has been made by a Premium Plus Cardmember using two vouchers in the same booking.

Q: Iíve booked in Club World and seats in First have opened up. Can I rebook in First?
A: Yes. You will need to call BA to do this, and the standard BA change fee of £35 will apply along with the Avios difference between cabins.

Q: I booked two regular redemption seats in Club World. Can I retrospectively apply the voucher to my booking and get half the Avios back?
A: No. You will need to cancel and rebook, as you need to apply the voucher at the time of booking. As per standard redemption procedures, there is no guarantee the seats will be re-released for you to book, so cancellation is at your own risk.

Q: Iíve read lots of stories that those travelling on 2-4-1 vouchers are prioritised for downgrades. Should I be worried?
A: Downgrades are very infrequent and while there are stories of this happening, you shouldnít worry that this will happen to you. BA have a number of strategies for overbooking situations and the likelihood of your flight being overbooked, let alone you receiving a downgrade or being denied boarding, is very low.

Q: Can I use a Lloyds Upgrade Voucher in conjunction with my 2-4-1?
A: No. The two vouchers are mutually exclusive.

Q: What is the best strategy to use the voucher and get the flights I want?
A: Flexibility. Being open to arrival airport, dates, and booking as far in advance as possible will all help your chances of booking the trip you want. Travelling midweek and during school term time will also lend itself to more availability.

Q: Can I make a 2-4-1 booking before the voucher expires, but actually fly after the voucher's expiry date?
A: Sort of. In short, you must book and fly the outbound leg before the expiry date. Your return leg(s) can take place after the voucher's expiry date passes.

Q: Do I have to return during the lifetime of the voucher?
A: Although your outbound journey must be completed before the voucher expires, you are free to return any time afterwards (within the limit of the validity of the ticket, which is normally one year from the date of outbound travel).

Q: I have a joint card with someone else, but the voucher has been issued in their name instead of mine, even though I did most of the spending on the card.
A: The voucher is issued in the name of the main Cardmember, regardless of who spends the most on the card.

Q: My Companion can no longer travel with me. Can I amend the name of my Companion on my 2-4-1 booking?
A: No. You will need to cancel the booking in its entirety, wait for the voucher and Avios to re-appear in your account, and create a new booking using the new Companion's details. There is no guarantee that the previous redemption seats you were booked into will reappear in the inventory, so this is at your own risk.

Q: I am a member of a Household Account. What are the rules around my companion travelling with me when this is the case?
A: The voucher terms state that, where you (as the Cardmember who earned the 2-4-1 voucher) are already part of a BA Household Account, the cardmember who travels with you must also be a member of the same Household Account. This is because Members of a Household Account cannot redeem their Avios for anyone outside the Household Account (members of the Family and Friends List are within the Household Account for these purposes). If this is problematic, there are a few ways to resolve this issue:
  • Add your companion to your Household Account. It should be noted that Household Accounts can have a maximum of seven members at any one time, and can only be changed every six months. Your companion must also live at the same address as you for this to be an option.
  • Add your companion to your Household Account's Family and Friends List. Once you have a Household Account, you can create a list of family and friends, so you can spend your Avios on people outside the group and, most importantly, on people who do not share the same address as you. You can nominate up to five people on your Family and Friends List, and you can access your Family and Friends list after you have logged into your online Executive Club account at ba.com. From here you can easily add individuals to your list Ė simply follow the on-screen instructions.
  • You withdraw from your Household Account. You may wish to note that Household Accounts can only be changed every six months.

Q: If I upgrade my Amex from the Classic to the Premium Plus card before earning the voucher, does my spend count towards a £10,000 target or the old £20,000 target?
A: Your spend will count towards the Premium Plus target of £10,000.

Q: I've earned my voucher on the Premium Plus card. If I subsequently downgrade the card, does it retain its two-year validity?
A: Yes. At the point the voucher appears in your BAEC account, the validity and expiry date will not change.


Questions?

This Wiki answers most commonly asked questions about the Voucher, but is not by any means an exhaustive list. Do post in the thread if you have any other questions or queries.



Related topics
Community experiences using companion vouchers

ENDS
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Old Jun 15, 17, 5:48 am
  #151  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 26
Originally Posted by pauldb View Post
I would agree with your position, specifically that BA have not reimbursed you all the costs of the return leg. They aren't going to give you half a 241 voucher, so I would push for the equivalent avios: another 20k or go to CEDR for the equivalent money value. (I don't think the Asia value is relevant: you are entitled to reimbursement of what you paid for the KLX trip).

Do you mean you aren't pursuing EU261 cancellation compensation for this? Ä400 x 4 would surely be a better priority.
I have pursued EU261 and BA have confirmed that they will be paying this at Ä400 x 4 (though I haven't received the cash yet). As I understand it, this is compensation but I should also be entitled to a refund of the cancelled return flight. I haven't (and don't intend) to claim for Thomas
Cook Airlines flight I had to buy on my own as I would prefer Avios / equivalent cash back / return of Amex 241 voucher.
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Old Jun 15, 17, 5:52 am
  #152  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Programs: BA, IHG, 5C
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Originally Posted by Mergetrip View Post
I have pursued EU261 and BA have confirmed that they will be paying this at Ä400 x 4 (though I haven't received the cash yet). As I understand it, this is compensation but I should also be entitled to a refund of the cancelled return flight. I haven't (and don't intend) to claim for Thomas
Cook Airlines flight I had to buy on my own as I would prefer Avios / equivalent cash back / return of Amex 241 voucher.
Yes I would agree you are entitled to both - just checking you weren't missing the bigger element!

Interesting question as to whether travel insurance would pick up your replacement flight cost - perhaps not if, in the end, it was your choice to cancel rather than accept BA's rerouting but you could argue it was no a suitable option.
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Old Jun 15, 17, 6:03 am
  #153  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Originally Posted by LSunbury View Post
Yes, thanks - mea culpa.

I just re-ran it and selected the correct JER flight to ensure an under 24 hour connection and it came back at £787.
Remember that on the return you don't need to go back to JER (and you'll save a small amount if you don't).
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Old Jun 16, 17, 8:35 pm
  #154  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: LHR
Programs: QF WP / LTG & BAEC Gold
Posts: 660
I thought I read in another thread that non UK offices will no longer add a return leg to an outbound booking that was made 355 days out. I was planning to call Japan / USA at 01:00 BST to ensure I get the seats. Does anyone know if this can still be done?
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Old Jun 17, 17, 12:12 am
  #155  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ipswich
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I did it about a month ago without any problems.
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Old Jun 17, 17, 2:05 am
  #156  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: BAEC Silver, Hilton Honors Gold
Posts: 613
Originally Posted by Jase76 View Post
I thought I read in another thread that non UK offices will no longer add a return leg to an outbound booking that was made 355 days out. I was planning to call Japan / USA at 01:00 BST to ensure I get the seats. Does anyone know if this can still be done?
I read something similar (on HFP blog mostly not FT) but I had no problems a couple of weeks ago. I called the toll free US line via Skype and got put through to India I believe. The agent I got was very helpful and friendly and knew what they were doing. Remember no change fees should be charged.
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Old Jun 22, 17, 5:04 am
  #157  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by wheatbeer View Post
I read something similar (on HFP blog mostly not FT) but I had no problems a couple of weeks ago. I called the toll free US line via Skype and got put through to India I believe. The agent I got was very helpful and friendly and knew what they were doing. Remember no change fees should be charged.
Called the Japan office at 01:00 BST and all went smoothly. Was able to add the return Avios seats without any issues - very efficient service. Japan could not do the taxes or deduct the Avios and was advised to contact the UK call centre to have this done. Again, all worked fine and it was pointed out that no change fee applies, so I didn't even need to raise that point.
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Old Jun 30, 17, 12:11 pm
  #158  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 90
My country of residence is US, and I have earned three 241's. One expired, one is about to expire, and one expires in 14 months. My problem is that I live in Romania, and I have no desire to book reward travel from the US.

If I change my country of residence, will I be able to use the 241's earned while under the US country of residence? When I click on "Terms and Conditions" next to each 241 voucher, one condition is, "All travel must originate in and return to the US." Is the country hard-coded to the particular voucher, or is it just a pointer to my current country of residence?

Last edited by mhaines94108; Jun 30, 17 at 12:20 pm
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Old Jun 30, 17, 1:54 pm
  #159  
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Originally Posted by mhaines94108 View Post
My country of residence is US, and I have earned three 241's. One expired, one is about to expire, and one expires in 14 months. My problem is that I live in Romania, and I have no desire to book reward travel from the US.

If I change my country of residence, will I be able to use the 241's earned while under the US country of residence? When I click on "Terms and Conditions" next to each 241 voucher, one condition is, "All travel must originate in and return to the US." Is the country hard-coded to the particular voucher, or is it just a pointer to my current country of residence?
If they are Chase vouchers then travel must begin in the US. If they are Chase vouchers and you change countries you will find that the vouchers will be grayed out and not selectable.
See also:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...l#post28429780
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...-accounts.html
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Old Jul 2, 17, 1:39 am
  #160  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver, Hilton HHonors Diamond
Posts: 28
Quick question regarding open jaws...

I want to use a 241 voucher flying in to Las Vegas but fly out of another west coast city.

Do I read the FAQ rightly by saying that if I was to fly in to Vegas I would have to fly out of somewhere closer to London than Vegas, so Seattle or Vancouver would be ok but San Fran or LA would not?
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Old Jul 2, 17, 2:47 am
  #161  
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Originally Posted by dalbyl View Post
Quick question regarding open jaws...

I want to use a 241 voucher flying in to Las Vegas but fly out of another west coast city.

Do I read the FAQ rightly by saying that if I was to fly in to Vegas I would have to fly out of somewhere closer to London than Vegas, so Seattle or Vancouver would be ok but San Fran or LA would not?
For an open jaw with an amex voucher the restriction is that the jaw cannot be longer than any of the flights, so for example for LHR-XXX/YYY-LHR the distance for XXX to YYY must be shorter than each of LHR-XXX and YYY-LHR.
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Old Jul 2, 17, 3:08 am
  #162  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver, Hilton HHonors Diamond
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
For an open jaw with an amex voucher the restriction is that the jaw cannot be longer than any of the flights, so for example for LHR-XXX/YYY-LHR the distance for XXX to YYY must be shorter than each of LHR-XXX and YYY-LHR.
Ahh! Got you, wonderful news! Thanks.
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Old Jul 3, 17, 3:41 am
  #163  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 225
Another random question -- I have read previously that, if you are Avios-rich, you can:
  • Book the outbound at T-355 at midnight online, using the 2-4-1 voucher
  • Book return leg tickets at T-355 at midnight online as a separate booking (note: this uses twice as much Avios as booking the outbound, as at this stage there is no 2-4-1 applied to the booking)
  • Call up BA later in the day once the UK call centre is open to have the two return tickets 'moved' to the 2-4-1 booking. This results in a partial Avios refund and a recalculation of the taxes payable (since there is now a return booking, rather than two one-way bookings).
Does anyone have any experience of having made this work?

Thanks in advance
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Old Jul 3, 17, 3:43 am
  #164  
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Originally Posted by hearingdouble View Post
Another random question -- I have read previously that, if you are Avios-rich, you can:
  • Book the outbound at T-355 at midnight online, using the 2-4-1 voucher
  • Book return leg tickets at T-355 at midnight online as a separate booking (note: this uses twice as much Avios as booking the outbound, as at this stage there is no 2-4-1 applied to the booking)
  • Call up BA later in the day once the UK call centre is open to have the two return tickets 'moved' to the 2-4-1 booking. This results in a partial Avios refund and a recalculation of the taxes payable (since there is now a return booking, rather than two one-way bookings).
Does anyone have any experience of having made this work?

Thanks in advance
In your second step why not just add them in to the 2-4-1 at that stage? This is what most people do.
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Old Jul 3, 17, 3:51 am
  #165  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 225
Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
In your second step why not just add them in to the 2-4-1 at that stage? This is what most people do.
The logic here is that you aren't a hostage to fortune of getting a good telephone agent at midnight. You can bag the return seats online yourself by 12:01. You can then speak to the agent to sort it out later in the day, when there's no urgency.
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