BA’s Booking systemBack to Forum
Anonymous8 Jul 2010
I tried to book an oneway ticket from EDi to ATH and i’ve noticed some changes,
I didn’t get only the usual route as EDI-LHR-ATH but they offered me also different routes,
as EDI-LHR and then via Bucharest or Zurich or Copenhagen or Madrid to Athens. Also i can understand that the route via Madrid is obvious as the merge between IBERIA and BA is almost official but why they offer tickets with Swiss air, Olympic airlines or Tarom?
Note that the flights aren’t codeshare with BA. Also Olympic Air is about to merge with Aegean Airlines which is the newest member of *A.
Potakas8 Jul 2010
Apparently, BA have been upgrading ba.com as part of an ongoing process of development.
Ultimately, the site will offer far more ticketing/routing options – many of which, as you say, will be made possible by the impending BA/IB/AA association.
In the meantime, what we’re seeing now, for the first time, is routings that have always been available options if you’d called British Airways now being offered on ba.com too.
The flights being shown are not necessarily codeshares, nor will the airlines involved necessarily be part of OneWorld, but for the first time ba.com is showing some of the many more bipartite interline ticket agreements than those operating under codeshare or alliance terms.
I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the coming months, you see even more routing options available on ba.com as the AA/IB situation matures. Personally, the one I’m waiting for is being able to book LHR-SAN via LAX, rather than via ORD or DFW.
As it stands, the BA codeshares with AA are from the latter airports to SAN, necessitating a 4hr ride in AA domestic service. It’s not ideal if you’re travelling World Traveller, but those booking World Traveller Plus, Club World or First across the Atlantic are subject to a significant product downgrade for a significant part of their journey.
Routing via LAX gives longhaul service for the greatest proportion of the journey possible, with just a 45 minute final domestic hop. Travel agents can book this; Expedia, Opodo and Orbitz can book via LAX but, for the moment, ba.com can’t.
Neither is it currently possible to book the BA codeshare LAX-OGG on ba.com, even as part of an international itinerary.
However, according to ba.com Support, these situations will be addressed once the new business agreements are in place.
Here’s hoping!8 Jul 2010
Another thing i noticed is that every time the booking system shows you another airline option, is always on Business or CE fare, no matter i am searching for economy class.
If you book from BA.com a trip EDI-LHR-Zurich-ATH and the last segment is with swiss air and you book it as LX1842 there is no way to be credited the miles to your BA Executive, correct?
Potakas8 Jul 2010
I am surprised to read that your LHR – SAN inquires have been routed via ORD or DFW.
I have flown this leg many times a year for a decade and those times I have used BA (with the exception when BA had a direct route and the one via Phoenix) I have always been routed over LAX and the American Eagle to SAN.
Having said this, I have stopped using the commuter flight, as I need a car anyway when I am in SAN, I have opted to stop in LA, it is slightly cheaper and including transfer time, using the commuter plane takes a total of closer to 2 hrs. Picking up the rental car and driving from LA to SAN, I am already at the hotel by then.
Obviously, you have to be careful with your arrival, if you arrive LAX in time to catch the rush hour, driving is a bad choice.
The one issue I have with driving out and in from LAX, is that I chose to leave SAN reasonably early in case there is trouble on the roads. But then, the lounge at LAX is superb, so why not.8 Jul 2010
RoadKing: it depends how you make your booking; if you use ba.com to book LHR-SAN, the only two routings offered are those via Chicago or Dallas.
It’s also not possible to force a LAX-routing using the ‘Multi-City’ option. Accordingly, this is one of the improved pieces of functionality that’s promised with the planned/forthcoming relationship between AA and BA.8 Jul 2010
I have never understood BA’s online booking system. Being based in Mexico, I`d much rather fly direct to London and not connect in the USA with immigration lines taking up to 2 hours!
British Airways website does´t offer any flights other than from Mexico City or Cancun. Even though Mexicana is now a one world member, you cannot book flights from any major Mexican city to london on ba.com
Let’s just remember that Mexico is the world’s 14th largest economy, so there are plenty of opportunities to be had by working on this booking glitch.
Add in the fact that lots of Mexicans would prefer to travel to Europe and conect through a European gateway to avoid the hassles of them having to get American visas, and it becomes clear that BA are missing an opportunity here.
Use Mexicana conecting flights and get more passengers into LHR!8 Jul 2010
Mexicana don’t fly to Heathrow, I’m afraid; they fly to Gatwick.
Indeed, Mexicana’s own website will route Heathrow-bound passengers through the USA and onto an AA codeshare to West London. I don’t know what the bilateral agreements between Mexicana and BA are but, even with the former’s recent joining of OneWorld, I would imagine that the priority would be to develop the functionality to cover existing codeshares and agreements on ba.com, before the inclusion of every single alliance member’s complete route network.
It has to be remembered that, although ba.com may be a website, if it starts offering a significantly greater portfolio of products then it must have the physical manpower back-up to be able to service those products, especially during times of irregular operations.
If ba.com has sold the ticket that takes you between Campeche and Cuidad del Carmen, and that flight is delayed or cancelled, then BA needs to be ready to take the calls from stranded passengers.
Where some other airlines do try to behave like a travel agent, things can go spectacularly wrong from a customer service point of view, as they simply don’t have the strength in depth to support these kind of bookings – and the operating carrier may not have the compatibility of systems for the selling airline to be able to amend the booking once ticketed. In short, it’s a bit of a minefield and that’s when a specialist agent can be worth their weight in (Mayan) gold.8 Jul 2010
I understand the point. However, BA could be missing a trick on a flight from Morelia to Munich.
Mexicana codeshare to Mexico City, BA to LHR and then onwards to Munich! Of course this may mean acting like a travel agent. I really don’t know how travel systems work, but the point being that I think BA is a great airline, but it seems to focus on old traditional markets – such as the USA or India which can now be characterised by the intense competition.
An emerging market such as Mexico can be very lucrative as many Mexicans, and other latinos, do not want to travel to the USA. They must wait months for an appointment to get a USA travel visa and this adds a lot of cost to tickets.
Yes, Mexicana flies to London Gatwick (which surely shows the growth potential of the route), but I hope that BA can use their Mexico City flights… with Mexico City based cabin crew onboard (an excellent idea!) to bring people into the fantastic terminal 5 to let them connect on to the rest of Europe.
Plenty of options here… without the huge competition and therefore need to reduce ticket prices.8 Jul 2010
You’re quite right about the potential that exists within emerging markets, and you’ll note that frequency and capacity has been moderated recently between the UK and, say, New York. However India has huge potential in the coming years and there are probably still about half a dozen US cities that could support non-stop BA services to London with strong yields and efficient aircraft utilisation.
Back to Mexico and Mexicana though, and this isn’t really in BA’s sole gift. Mexicana would have to agree to the codeshares that you suggest, when there’s not necessarily any commercial benefit in them doing so.
Take the Munich example; Mexicana offer direct longhaul service MEX-MAD, connecting to IB MAD-MUC. Why would Mexicana necessarily agree to a codeshare on a domestic service into MEX, to facilitate an easier connection to a BA flight to London, thereby reducing its own longhaul revenue potential?
This would only work if the greater revenue potential was seen to be London-originating – ie codeshares on Mexicana domestics would encourage more existing BA Mexico-bound passengers to interline onto Mexicana connections.
If Mexicana perceives the greater potential to be from Mexico-originating passengers, then it will assuredly seek to channel them onto its own Gatwick and Barajas longhaul services, not lose them before they’ve even left Mexican airspace.
That’s not to say that Mexico isn’t on BA’s radar though; direct service to Cancun commences from Gatwick on 3 November with a 3-class B777 operating on the route.8 Jul 2010
Is there a secret that needs to be learnt about booking LCY flights to USA through JFK, using a through ticket?
I cant seem to get any options without phoning BA.12 Jan 2013
The problem arises from the way the website inputs are translated into the booking engine (by a package known as an API).
In order to keep the process as simple as possible for the consumer, the options to select, or eliminate, specific carriers are generally suppressed, whereas with a direct input into the booking engine (GDS) they are allowed.
For example, an Amadeus GDS user could enter AN26JANEDIATH/A+BA/XLHR, meaning ‘availability 26 January, Edinburgh to Athens, Airline BA excluding codeshares, connecting via Heathrow, a website user cannot exercise these options.
The carrier will therefore try to display and book its most favourable availability, that being the option that gives it the best revenue.13 Jan 2013