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Aye, Binman. Sad, isn’t it?
The issue of cleanliness on BA really is one that perturbs me and you are far from being alone for posting here about that problem. Mr Sepsas has shown some fairly disturbing photos of BA cabins on some other threads.
I must admit that, when it comes to mileage redemption, I have been extremely lucky. With AY I have never had a problem getting first-choice availability for redemption, whether that be in J for myself or an upgrade on the same flight as me from Y to J for my wife and child. And this hasn’t just been on a single occasion.
With SK EuroBonus I also have never had a problem getting first choice redemptions, always in Business, whether that be with SK itself or (more often) redeeming a few more points and going on LH. Also, with SK I have even changed (admittedly on their own flights) a few days beforehand with no penalty.
I haven’t been a member of BAEC since something like 1988 so clearly I am in no position to comment on their restrictions on redemption. Indeed, in my day there were no points, as far as I remember, and it was effectively a “lounge access club”. I also accept that they are a much bigger airline than SK or (even) LH. However, when I read comments like yours, Binman, it makes me understand why and how frustrated some BAEC members are.
Kindest regards, Simon