BA miles redemption site…….your experiencesBack to Forum
Anonymous3 Aug 2011
The mileage redemption site has been plagued with issues for some time and again tonight it fails repeatedly. No doubt the excuse will be that there is a deal on but frankly this does not wash with me any longer.
Instead of our systems are not responding the new error message reads
We’re sorry, but ba.com is very busy at the moment, and couldn’t deal with your request. Please do try again – if it still doesn’t work, it may be better to try again at another time.
I just wish BA put as much effort to getting the site working properly as it do in thinking up new ways to say they can’t do something…”3 Aug 2011
I do sometimes get an error message when using the ‘univeral booking tool’ on the Executive Club homepage – the one on the left hand side which allows every kind of booking to be made from revenue to MFU.
Slightly ironically, I seem to remember that that was the tool that was developed as a result of member feedback on Flyertalk.
However, I’ve never yet had a fail when using the original redemption-only tool, which is reached by clicking the ‘Make A Booking’ link from the ‘Spending BA Miles’ option on the left hand menu:
Clearly the universal tool should work, but the workaround may be useful in the immediate term for those who are seeking availability during the 50% promotion.
One thing that I’m really not keen on though is that the availability calendar now shows days on which there are seats for one month from the originally-searched date. It used to be that the calendar was centred on the originally-searched date, with 14 days’ visibility before and after.
I have no idea why it was changed, but it wasn’t a good idea!3 Aug 2011
Once again, another negative post evidencing the “glass half empty” school of thought.
Of course ba.com was busier than usual, as this is a terrific offer.
I had a few timeout messages, but it usually worked after a few tries.
Including testing multiple variable scenarios paid/redemption etc. on various routes I was able to book and ticket five flights last night via ba.com with very minimal disruption.4 Aug 2011
I disagree – a company of BA’s size should have anticipated the offer would be popular, and put measures in place to make sure the site could cope – we’re not talking about Glastonbury levels of demand here.
I spent four hours on and off yesterday afternoon trying to redeem, and got the same message every time, before giving up.4 Aug 2011
A few months ago when I booked reward flights I kept getting the error message but found that if you kept pressing the button it would come good after a few goes.
I don’t think that it should be like that and I am sure that when offers such as these are put together demand is anticipated. The problem probably lies in the technical side failing to deliver. Its not just BA but many other organisations that have offers or special sales etc. You hear alot about websites grinding to a halt and crashing4 Aug 2011
Oddly the only difficult I had (after the booking tool being tempremental) was trying to cancel some existing bookings – the site refused to let me do it. Was the same all through the night, through to now. Quick call to Exec Club sorted it. No problems making new bookings though …4 Aug 2011
continentalclub is correct – if you use the link above it does work. Good to know, although it’s not ideal as that forces you to choose a specific destination and dates, instead of being able to do a free search across routes and dates.4 Aug 2011
Paulthwaite……glad to know I am not alone. At time here on business traveller it is often hard to cut through some of the pro BA rubbish even when things are dire. The redemption site is not fit for purpose and unacceptable when BA are taking over £400 in fees for a redemption ticket per passenger.4 Aug 2011
I have to agree, the BA mile redemption site is dreadful under normal conditions. It is very unfriendly.
What I find strange is you can find availability sometimes, then if you try again for same flight and try and use your Amex companion voucher, it shows no availability!
I presume the only way around that is to call them, or do they do this on purpose?4 Aug 2011
Making functionality available online that is inoperable or unreliable is clearly not acceptable, and neither is apparently not responding when issues are regularly and calmly reported across many media platforms.
However, ba.com remains, and by some considerable margin, one of the most feature-enabled airline websites in existence, and one that is the platform upon which all the airline’s mobile applications are based too. In particular, no other carrier website reliably offers the sheer range of MMB options that ba.com does.
Perhaps there are slightly too many features for the available resource to support fully, and that should clearly be addressed with urgency, but the site is far, far, far from ‘dreadful’.
As far as the redemption booking tools (they don’t form a separate ‘site’) are concerned, it does seem that the site developers have progressed too far and too fast with functionality that back-end systems struggle with.
This is perhaps slightly ironic since it seems that the revenue booking tools have stayed static (notwithstanding a development which some users are reporting seeing as part of a trial) whilst that back-end system has been developed to offer myriad codeshare and partner routing and fare options that did not exist until relatively recently.
As such, we’re left with a revenue booking tool that simply cannot cope with displaying all the options in anything like a user-friendly manner and, in many cases, is also unable to show comparative prices until specific itineraries have been selected. Instead, it results in endless page-scrolling with options ranked in no obvious order (beyond direct and connecting) and, sometimes, in orders bordering on the obtuse.
This is a problem that Qantas and American oneworld partners, JB and JBA carriers respectively, addressed years ago in an easily-comprehensible manner. Wheel-reinvention is not required.
In the meantime though, whilst BAEC members are under pressure to make bookings during the short 50% off booking window, I would re-iterate the suggestion to make use of the original redemption booking tool linked to above, which is much the most reliable.
With regard to the AmEx availability issue, it was confirmed some time ago that a temporary bug had been fixed. It’s always worth double-checking against the link above to make sure that two seats do exist – but of course calling does remain an available option. Which of course is what members of many schemes have to do anyway as there’s no or limited online functionality or, as Virgin had to post on their site last year when their system went haywire, the online system just isn’t working full-stop.4 Aug 2011