Use a BA Travel Together voucher for one traveler
As the name suggests, historically this voucher has been intended for companions, meaning that you could have someone travel with you when redeeming Avios. You wouldn’t have to use any Avios for the second person’s ticket, but rather would just have to pay the taxes and (high) carrier imposed surcharges.
Thanks to a recent change, the British Airways companion voucher can be used for solo travelers, so that you can get 50% off the number of Avios required for a ticket. If you have a voucher in your account, just select that you want to use the voucher, but do a search for one traveler. On the results page you’ll see a note about how you can now use this for just one person.
For example, I found a British Airways first class award seat from Chicago to London for next week, and it’s bookable for just 40,000 Avios one-way for a single person.
While this change had been made to British Airways’ co-branded Amex cards in the UK, I hadn’t yet seen any mention of this change being made to British Airways’ co-branded Chase card in the US.
Is this companion voucher change a big deal?
If you’re looking to maximize the British Airways companion voucher, you’re probably going to want to use it for two passengers. After all, that will result in the highest number of Avios saved, which is the point of the voucher.
That being said, I think one general challenge with earning the companion voucher is being able to predict what your travel will look like in the future, not to mention what award availability will be like. After all, it takes most people quite some time to spend $30,000, and then it takes some further time until the voucher actually posts to your account.
Even if you intend to use the voucher for two people, having the flexibility to redeem it for one person at a later point could come in handy. After all, it could be that you struggle to find award availability for two people, or that your plans of traveling with a companion have changed.
The way I view it, those who didn’t see value in the companion voucher before likely still won’t see value after this change. However, those who did see value in the companion voucher will likely appreciate this even more, given the added flexibility.
The companion voucher issued with the British Airways Visa Signature Card has just become more flexible, as it can now be used to reduce the cost of an award by 50% for a solo traveler. This probably isn’t a game changer, in the sense that if you weren’t interested before, you’re probably still not going to be interested. But this does add some valuable flexibility, and I’m sure some will appreciate this change.
What do you make of these changes to the BA companion voucher?
(Tip of the hat to Gareth)