Beware BA Sales deception

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  • Kaitai

    Back in Early October I needed to book PY tickets from London to New York Return, as a BA Gold Member my preference is BA on this route, I checked the price which was £646 return (a good price I have to say) however I decided to take a gamble and wait until their Black Friday Sale.

    On Black Friday I checked again but there was no change in price, I therefore figured that two months before departure this would only go UP in price so booked the tickets anyway.

    Then out of the blue BA put another Sale on literately a few weeks later before Christmas, I checked again and you guessed it the tickets went DOWN to £546

    I have today spent a lot of time on to BA customer services trying to get some understanding of why they can get away with doing what is clearly a FAKE sale on Black Friday to have the main sale just weeks later.

    Nobody could help me and the only quote I kept hearing was “everyone knows ticket prices go up and down all the time”

    This is great advice BA thank you !

    So beware the Black Friday Sale, better to wait for their main sale literally a few weeks later.


    Black Friday sale = marketing opportunity (nothing says cheaper prices….)

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    Prices are based on predicted sales forecasts and are adjusted accordingly. Having a ‘sale’ will skim off excess capacity at fares lower than previously offered for a particular flight. There is no guarantee, explicit or implicit, that subsequent adjustments won’t allow lower fares to be offered on the same flight.

    It’s a gamble for both buyer and seller. One will ‘win’, and the other will ‘lose’. There are one or two airlines that may offer a refund of the difference under certain circumstances, easyJet for example, but they will exclude ‘sale’ fares.

    Unfortunately Kaitai, on this occasion, by working on the assumption “that two months before departure this would only go UP in price”, you lost the gamble. Next time you might win.

    You may argue that the die is weighted in favour of the airline, or that the house always wins.


    And the behaviour is by no means limited to BA. Does anyone really still fall for the “Black Friday” sales pitch?


    Buyer beware. There are no guarantees here. Just like there are no guarantees buying a TV set.

    The choice of whether to buy is yours.


    Nothing to see here. Move on.


    It also sometimes luck. I always check fares LON-GIB as route fly often. I saw great fare Monarch LGW-GIb and was going to book it. I left it a week. In that week Monarch went bust and that EasyJet fare quadrupled. I booked the EasyJet flight as I was worried it go up further. A few weeks later BA launched LGW -GIB at the same fare I looked at originally on Monarch . It was just bad timing and luck on my side.

    So now when I


    I have actually gained great savings for a few years with various Airlines offering “Black Friday sales.

    Clearly it pays to know what the prices were beforehand, and are with other Airlines.
    These have generally included 10, 25-50% off long haul flights .
    I do not think there is really much to reduce European flights or even Medium Haul, but long haul can be quite amazing.
    These can be also reflected in New year sales fr 2020 which will be launching in a few days.
    It does tend to be the same Airlines that offer genuine discounts, and the others that like BA, use it as a ploy.

    It is always good to take a general scan of flights such as Skyscanner, but these do not always reflect the Airlines own website fares!

    This year ALL Live Limitless / Accor also had several days with their now Huge Portfolio of hotel brands they own, with a genuine 40% off, in Europe, and Worldwide.
    Staying at hotels regularly, these were genuine savings, the general year round rates i knew.
    Cashback websites, also offer 10-15% off after the stay if logged on, and the Company such as Accor, for eg, this remains a year long saving either way.

    So for me, with Trusted Airlines and hotel groups, yes they do work, and i know the Companies where i simply do not trust them. BA, along with their ongoing promises of “What the Airline will not be doing” then does, and not one i trust at all.
    Their reputations seems to have slipped to an all time low on 2019 from many who used to use them around me , finishing their custom and flying other Airlines. Yjhe European “Clib” service has taken a real battering, as well as selling products on board to eat and drink, as other Low cost Airlines do.


    For this to be ‘Sales deception’ BA would have had to advertise something along the lines of ‘This will be our lowest fare on this route on this date GUARANTEED’. This didn’t happen. They – like almost every other entity that sells anything – had a ‘Black Friday sale’. Fact is, BA and other airlines and other businesses have multiple sales throughout a given year.

    I brought a top of the range electric toothbrush touted as 50% off in Boots during the Black Friday sales.

    I was passing through yesterday and it was £5 cheaper than what I paid back in November.

    You are better to adapt the approach I did long ago in the Shanghai or Bangkok markets where you have to barter for everything: if the ‘best price’ quoted is one that you feel you are getting a good deal and is within the range you are happy to pay don’t walk away sulking that if you had bargained harder/longer/walked away and went back the next day you might have saved more.

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    I’d also add that BA (as a UK based company) is heavily regulated by various different watchdogs including CAP/ASA to ensure they don’t mislead the consumer. For example a “sale price” must have had the exact equivalent being offered at a higher price elsewhere for a period of time to allow you to either purchase at the higher price or more importantly choose to decline the purchase

    So I’m afraid KaiTai , although you might feel as if you’ve been ripped off, in reality you haven’t .

    And a piece of advice for the future, once you’ve paid for something don’t keep checking on that price, otherwise you’ll continually feel ripped off. That’s the price of living in a democratic capitalist world. And a lesson I learnt ages ago, whether it be flight, TV’s , package holidays , washing machines or even a loaf of bread.

    Think of it, a little like the warning when you invest in shares, the value of your stocks can go up as well as down

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