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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 Mar 21, 18, 9:25 am
  #661  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 191
Originally Posted by pauldb View Post
So could you confirm - do you now continue to hold two separate booking references.

Presumably you paid about £209pp for the return and that hasn't been adjusted? If so you paid the ex-SCL YQ of £187pp instead of the ex-LON £175, but not too important a hit.
Yes, two seperate booking references for Outbound/Inbound. YQ was indeed £209.80 per passenger for the return leg. I'm happy to take the slight hit on that for the convenience of being able to snag the tickets online and them follow up by phone when it suited.

Is there any particular disadvantage/drawbacks to this trip being ticketed as two one way itineraries?
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Old Mar 21, 18, 9:43 am
  #662  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Programs: BA, IHG, 5C
Posts: 4,001
Originally Posted by Bobbie2013 View Post
Yes, two seperate booking references for Outbound/Inbound. YQ was indeed £209.80 per passenger for the return leg. I'm happy to take the slight hit on that for the convenience of being able to snag the tickets online and them follow up by phone when it suited.

Is there any particular disadvantage/drawbacks to this trip being ticketed as two one way itineraries?
Thanks. I only asked so we understand how BA are processing this policy, mechanically. I guess the downside is you have 2 bookings to keep an eye on, and potentially 4 cancellation fees (4 x £35) if you pull out, but nothing really significant.
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Old Mar 21, 18, 9:47 am
  #663  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 191
That's really useful to know as this is the first time ion a long while that I've not booked return tickets!
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Old Mar 22, 18, 10:20 am
  #664  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 441
Does anyone know how to see details of vouchers that have already been redeemed? The voucher disappears from its usual place on the 'my executive club' page when it's redeemed, but I seem to remember there is a 'secret' URL which will show details of redeemed vouchers.

I want to check the expiry date on a voucher before deciding whether to cancel a 2-4-1 booking.

Many thanks.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 10:33 am
  #665  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Programs: BA, IHG, 5C
Posts: 4,001
Originally Posted by fruitcage View Post
Does anyone know how to see details of vouchers that have already been redeemed? The voucher disappears from its usual place on the 'my executive club' page when it's redeemed, but I seem to remember there is a 'secret' URL which will show details of redeemed vouchers.

I want to check the expiry date on a voucher before deciding whether to cancel a 2-4-1 booking.

Many thanks.
Try https://www.britishairways.com/trave..._gb?eId=188010

Or go into the top page of "Manage my account" and look for "My eVouchers" (which I can see even though I have no unused vouchers).
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Old Mar 22, 18, 10:35 am
  #666  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 441
Originally Posted by pauldb View Post
Try https://www.britishairways.com/trave..._gb?eId=188010

Or go into the top page of "Manage my account" and look for "My eVouchers" (which I can see even though I have no unused vouchers).
Many thanks indeed. Not so secret apparently!
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Old Mar 22, 18, 3:03 pm
  #667  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: South East England
Programs: BA Exec Club; U2 Flight Club; Hilton Honors; IHG
Posts: 463
Originally Posted by ferndownflyer View Post
Hi - does the above from the Wiki still hold true? I just tried to cancel my BA Premium Plus card and the agent was adamant that it would be useless - I couldn't find anything in the T&C's and I'm keen to avoid another annual fee, just to be able to use the voucher I've accrued.

Thanks
I cancelled mine and Iím about to use the 2-4-1 ... and iíve done this before without issue. Perhaps one day the IT systems will actually enforce the T&Cs. If youíre feeling highly risk averse just downgrade to the free card, the Amex call centre will reassure you this is fine too.

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Old Mar 24, 18, 7:00 am
  #668  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA Gold, Hilton, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 408
A week ago I completed a 2-4-1 booking changing from the one way to grab the return flights in J. The YQ etc. difference for the tickets has been taken on my CC (BA Amex naturally) but the avios for the return hasn't been deducted. The agent said he would do a 'manual adjustment'. Does anyone have any idea / experience how long these adjustments normally take to come through ?
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Old Mar 24, 18, 8:14 am
  #669  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: living near Malaga
Programs: BA Gold & honoured with a Mucci des Zones de Tranquilitť . Coffee Drinker, Blue Sky Thinker
Posts: 596
Originally Posted by firstlight View Post
A week ago I completed a 2-4-1 booking changing from the one way to grab the return flights in J. The YQ etc. difference for the tickets has been taken on my CC (BA Amex naturally) but the avios for the return hasn't been deducted. The agent said he would do a 'manual adjustment'. Does anyone have any idea / experience how long these adjustments normally take to come through ?
I did exactly this on the 9th of March and the avios were deducted on the 22nd.
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Old Mar 28, 18, 4:30 am
  #670  
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Programs: BAEC - Silver, HHonors - Silver
Posts: 27
I've been having a look recently at what reward flights are available early next year (Jan-March) in F to use my 2-4-1 voucher. Yesterday almost every single destination disappeared with availability of reward flights (none in North America and Middle East). Is this a glitch in the system or have BA sold out every single F reward flight over the course of 3 months in 24 hours? i thought the app on my phone was broken to start with so have uninstalled and installed it a couple of times but the same issues keep happening. I've checked on the website too, plenty of J availability but none in F.... any help/advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old Mar 28, 18, 5:54 am
  #671  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: BA Gold, Hilton, IHG, Couples Romance Rewards
Posts: 408
Originally Posted by NPC View Post
I've been having a look recently at what reward flights are available early next year (Jan-March) in F to use my 2-4-1 voucher. Yesterday almost every single destination disappeared with availability of reward flights (none in North America and Middle East). Is this a glitch in the system or have BA sold out every single F reward flight over the course of 3 months in 24 hours? i thought the app on my phone was broken to start with so have uninstalled and installed it a couple of times but the same issues keep happening. I've checked on the website too, plenty of J availability but none in F.... any help/advice is greatly appreciated!
which app are you using ?
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Old Mar 28, 18, 5:59 am
  #672  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 124
Originally Posted by NPC View Post
I've been having a look recently at what reward flights are available early next year (Jan-March) in F to use my 2-4-1 voucher. Yesterday almost every single destination disappeared with availability of reward flights (none in North America and Middle East). Is this a glitch in the system or have BA sold out every single F reward flight over the course of 3 months in 24 hours? i thought the app on my phone was broken to start with so have uninstalled and installed it a couple of times but the same issues keep happening. I've checked on the website too, plenty of J availability but none in F.... any help/advice is greatly appreciated!
I've also been looking at SCL for 2019, so far there is NO J/F availability during 2019 apart from Jan 1st, is this correct?
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Old Mar 28, 18, 11:26 am
  #673  
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Join Date: Jun 2017
Programs: BAEC - Silver, HHonors - Silver
Posts: 27
Originally Posted by firstlight View Post
which app are you using ?
BA app on Android. Nothing showing on the BA website either. Even a Reward friendly F route like BOS is showing 0 from Jan all the way to March. There were at least 60+ days available on Monday 🤔
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Old Apr 10, 18, 6:20 am
  #674  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: LON
Programs: BACE gold
Posts: 76
I have a gold upgrade for two and my partner has 2-4-1.
We are looking to book LHR-NYC F.
Can we use our vouchers at the same time?
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Old Apr 10, 18, 7:21 am
  #675  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Glasgow, UK
Programs: Seigneur des Tarifs Utils First Class Mucci with Honours :) - BA Gold
Posts: 1,291
First time AMEX holder here, So excuse the Newbie questions,

If I start in INV does that stop me from paying APD x 2 people but does cost me 8000 more avios as a result?

If I wanted to GUF2 the booking to F from J would I make the booking first with Amex voucher then call to apply the GUF2 or is the recommendation to call and do all at once? Can a return leg be added to a Guf2 & Amex booking or does it need to be all done at once?

Finally ( I promise ) If I was to book thes online would it be like doing 2 people on a redemption booking so it quotes twice the avios then I hit the add voucher button and it then deducts the 2nd avios off? as in I need to have enough avios for both to start with first?
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