British Airways reward availabilityBack to Forum
Anonymous20 Jun 2011
Many of you have noticed that my only problem or the times that I write something negative with/for BA is when I enter on a dirty aircraft.
Many of you have said here that you cannot find reward availability on certain routes. Well, it seems that I am lucky enough not to experience any problems with reward availability every time I want to use my miles.
My latest success was this week when I managed to book two trips on CW and F.
Both bookings are for high season period.
My CW return to GIG is for the carnival and my F return to SFO is for the Easter. Some of you could tell me that you cannot plan so far ahead, but is there a real problem with planning ahead? You can cancel it and take your miles/money back. I know that i would like to go to both destinations on that periods and if my scedule fits I will do it, at least I have the seats 😉
Happy and safe traveling to all !!
P.S. If someone is planning ahead to SFO during the Easter, it seems that every day on both flights, BA has 7+7=14 seats available for redemption in F 😉20 Jun 2011
I’ve posted before about availability.
First Class redemption never seems to be a problem & fortunately that is my preferred class of travel.
Let’s hope BA does not change the refund policy on air miles tickets.20 Jun 2011
Reward seat availability also depends on where you want to go. I liked the idea of CW or F to Vietnam/Cambodia next Feb (anytime in Feb or March in fact) which would require BA flight to Bangkok. Nothing in either class! Then looked at going to Kerala which meant flights to Bangalore – plenty of availability in either class. I believe that Bangkok and Hong Kong are 2 of the most popular routes. Forget trying to get Reward flights around Christmas & New Year. By the time the return flights become ‘bookable’ the outward flights have already gone. I know, I’ve tried 2 years running. NYC is also tricky for Reward flights. Sometimes, if you’re lucky you can pay and upgrade with miles. BA please note though, it would be great if you were allowed to upgrade more than 1 class level i.e. WT+ up to F. Virgin let you upgrade from Economy to Upper (although you have to pay for a ‘flexible’ economy fare).
I agree with P.Sepsas – it is reassuring that you don’t have to worry about losing miles if you need to change/cancel your booking.
Bullfrog – when you say ‘airmiles’ do you mean BA Miles? They are 2 quite different things. If you book with Airmiles and cancel you WILL lose Airmiles.
Ciao all.23 Jun 2011
P.Sepsas…You are right, advance booking sometimes helps and for a route like SFO, a single F 8 months in advance should not be a problem. The issue is trying to get two and use the 2-4-1 vouchers but even here advance bookig helps. the picture changes however when trying t book just 3-4 months in advance. It has been commented on by many that advance booking and last minute availability is generaly where it is best.
Last year trying to book USA west coast in Sep for travel in April and get 2 seats in F was impossible and in the end we went to PHX. SFO and LAX all came available closer to the travel date which says nothing for BA’s ability to managed its inventory.
There is no doubt, from personal experince, comments in another places and comments here, that redemption availabiltiy has become harder on BA and that choice is much more limited than before.
The real problem today however is BA.com. You post prompted me to look again at my own plans and I get this
Unfortunately our systems are not responding, so we are unable to process your request at the moment. We apologise for this inconvenience and suggest you try again later.
This is now a daily occurrence and one that plagues the redemtption search engine. In another place, there is as you know, a great many posts on the state of the search engine and this very typical response.
If this problem could be fixed then it the frustration that many feel about availabilty might go away as they could at least look be able to see where seats were.23 Jun 2011
I don’t know if that is good for you but I checked on ba.com availability about Vietnam. I done a random check on F for 1 or 2 Feb out and 15 or 16 back. You can go via NRT (Tokyo) which is the same flight time as HKG and then on JAL in Business. Then availability is also wide open for flights between Vietnam and Cambodia with Cathay.
OK you are right, the reward system is not the best but sometimes (many times) you can do your job. I have never tried to use a 241 or something like this which can be more complicated.23 Jun 2011
P.Sepsas – thanks for the info. Although it is a bit of a long way round compared with going via BKK. Travelling in F will help though!
Binman62 – yep same problems as you with the ‘our systems are not responding please try later’. Eventually got some results 4 goes later. Maybe BA computer geeks should “please try harder”! I will do research online then book over phone. I know it costs extra £15 but at least I will be sure that I get what I ask for. The only downside is having to wait for someone to answer the call. The recording “Club World may be more affordable than you think….” is etched on my mind since booking F to Hawaii via LAX last year. Took 15 minutes for someone to answer.
Ciao.23 Jun 2011
Does anyone know when BA are releasing reward sets for the summer of 2012. I’m trying to book upgrades from WTP to CW in august and september from Hong Kong to London and have been told that BA haven’t released anything by their agents in HK as waiting to see demand due to the Olympics. This seems to be a pretty poor reward for loyal passengers trying to use miles…29 Sep 2011
I am looking to book two award First tickets from Berlin (TXL) to Seattle (SEA) within the next year. Does anyone know why it is next to impossible to find First award seats to/out of Seattle? I have checked BA’s home page multiple times [very many multiple times, in fact], and have yet to find only a minimal amount of seats available on only limited travel dates. As an alternative route, there seems to be no trouble booking First travel via Chicago (TXL – ORD – SEA on AA). There are two daily flights to ORD via LHR; however, it still does not explain why the Seattle gateway award options are almont non-existant for First. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.8 Nov 2011
Its worth giving BA a call directly.
Naturally supply and demand dictates availability however I was fortunate enough after checking on almost a daily basis for a week and a few calls to BA to get flights close to Christmas direct from London to Canada in a premium cabin when I was originally having to route via Boston and worry about weather issues and flight connections.
Give them a call….they were particularly helpful.8 Nov 2011
Thank you for the positive response as to calling BA directly to secure award booking to SEA. I too am concerned about weather issues using ORD in winter months. An ORD gateway stop to SEA is an option, but I would like to snag a direct flight from LHR to home, if at all possible. [Although, I believe I have a better chance at NF via ORD.] Kind regards.8 Nov 2011
BoardTurn Left, for what it is worth, I used ORD a lot transferring back form HNL to LHR all year round. ORD does suffer bad weather with cold and snow blizzards in th winter months. However it is in my experience one of the best prepared airports in the world for bad weather. Local flights are prone to delay and cancellation but international flights are normally got out if slightly delayed. Other US and European airports which have much better weather often suffer worse delays in bad weather due to lack of equipment and preparation. Also ORD has a lot of flights One World and others so in a cancelleation situation you are likely to get out very quickly as opposed to places like Seattle or Denver where the fligths are far fewer.9 Nov 2011
BoardTurnLeft – try and avoid AA as much as possible. I flew LAX to HNL on AA First (connecting after BA First LHR to LAX) and would rather have flown easyjet! Easyjet crew are certainly a lot more friendly and cheerful. Although seattle might be busy have you tried Vancouver? I agree with RichHI1 that ORD will be your best bet in the event of bad weather.
Good Luck!9 Nov 2011
Ricardo with respect, I would completely disagree. I have flown on average 200,000 miles a year on AA for the last 10 years and find them the best of the US carriers. I also prefer their offering transatlantic to BA (but I can understand that many British passengers feel more at home with BA and its offering.). Maybe as a frequent flyer and someonee equally at home in both countries, I get a different experience. Either way I would always recommend AA however if you connect through ORD the leg to SEA wil eb a 738. These are likely to be new planes and reasonably comfortable with wifi etc. They are narrow bodies and my preference would be to try and get the direct routing non stop to reduce fatigue. Also ORD is an airport where immigration is common across carriers so if you are unlucky and a lot of European fligths arrive at same time, immigration can be very slow. SEA gets much less international traffic and may be much quicker for immigration.
I find the BA issue of redemption difficulties odd as when I book (through AA) redemption in First transtalantic there is always BA availability as BA charged fuel and other surcharges whereas AA flights only incur the actual govet taxations and are still essentially free.9 Nov 2011