Reply To: BA Miles Redemption – Help

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AMDGlobal: I don’t think that there’s any kind of conspiracy for BA to have to explain here, having had a play around with availability myself.

Firstly, the best way to check BA Miles availability is always as a series of one-way journeys. If you do this, you’ll see that availability going down to Cape Town is actually quite good in February, but look carefully:

The direct flight from London to Cape Town is only available on certain days; on other days the miles availability is via Johannesburg with the final leg on Comair. This immediately (as posted above) precludes the use of your 2-4-1 voucher.

Hence it’s quite correct that you will see different availability when you check the ‘2-4-1’ box than you’ll see if you look for ‘miles only’ seats. This exact scenario applies to Binman’s search; availability is only ‘good’ via Johannesburg – which is not allowed with a 2-4-1 as the domestic sectors are on Comair.

There’s another characteristic of the search process at play here though too; namely that when the system is asked to check availability for both an outbound and an inbound as a return itinerary, then when no availability (yet) exists for the inbound, the outbound won’t show up either in some circumstances. Specifically, this occurs when the latest available inbound seats are available only *before* the date range of the outbound seats requested.

It’s a logic argument – and a practical example would be: you search for a return itinerary flying out on the 11th February, returning on the 18th February. Whilst there may indeed be outbound availability on the 11th, the latest available/remaining inbound seats are on the 30th January. Since this is clearly an impossible itinerary, and the sales horizon has not yet extended beyond a date when further inbound inventory after the 12th February exists, the query fails completely and you get a total ‘no availability’ message.

In your case then, your situation could well be being frustrated by your searching for return availability in the first instance, but also because it is additionally the case that, currently, direct (2-4-1 relevant) inventory inbound from Cape Town is almost non-existent. It’s not blocked and it’s not somehow different because a 2-4-1 is involved beyond any other condition than a 2-4-1 is not valid on Comair.

Specifically, you do need to call because your best chance of being able to leverage the super value of the 2-4-1 is to fly direct from London to Cape Town, but back from Johannesburg where the direct availability is relatively plentiful. Such an open jaw is perfectly possible with a 2-4-1, but it’s not yet bookable online.

You’ll then simply have to purchase a one-way itinerary CPT-JNB to begin your journey home, at a fare which should be reasonable this far out and which your telephone agent should be able to arrange for you once the miles booking is confirmed.

I do hope that I’ve not missed something else and that I’ve managed to explain myself reasonably clearly; I appreciate that there are nuances to every programme and that describing them can be somewhat blinding to those more used to the detail of other programmes, or new to the genre as a whole!

Good luck though and do let us know how you get on.

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