frustration with redeeming BA Miles

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This topic contains 63 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  MartynSinclair 3 Jan 2012
at 04:52
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 64 total)

  • Anonymous

    Sunshine
    Participant

    Is anyone else getting frustrated with redeeming miles for premium cabins via BA’s executive club?

    I have tried 6 times to redeem miles for a business or first seat to Australia with no success. I was once told by a BA call centre person that to get a premium sseat to Australia you need to book 12 months in advance. I actually did that – phoned up at 08h00 12 months to the day before I wanted to fly and was told there were no seats available.

    I am now trying to fly to Buenos Aires – the earliest BA can get me out there on a business seat is the middle of August 2012!

    I personally find it almost impossible to conceive what I’m doing in the next 12 days let alone the next 12 months; is there any reason BA for BA being so restrictive on their allocation of miles redemption seats. I’m collecting thousands of miles but with no hope of redeeming them; destination miles are ceasing to be come an incentive or benefit.

    I have, I’d like to point out, managed to get a trip to Buenos Aires with star alliance form my preferred days (leaving Dec 26th and retunring early January. Not so hard with the right mileage programme 🙂


    Travelon
    Participant

    Had a similar issue. Foolishly thought I could book with BA Miles for my wife and I to Australia, in April 2012, using an upgrade voucher to travel First. Yes, really, I thought it could be done. Naive? Moi….

    After much helpful too-ing and fro-ing over a 6 week period, with a very good BA person in the Exec Club, we finally got a flight. Now looking forward to the trip to Cape Town….


    NTarrant
    Participant

    Sunshine you might like to try searching using First rather than Club or Business. Also look for Oneworld partners, if you don’t mind where you change then it is possible to get reward flights in J via various places.

    I booked to SYD out late December returning late January and our flights are with QF via MEL out and QF and BA via FRA on return. Other options offered, although not on our dates, via BKK, HKG, NRT.


    TiredOldHack
    Participant

    I keep getting messages on the screen saying that the system is FUBAR’d. What, all the time? And only for using BA miles?


    Binman62
    Participant

    The OZ run gets booked up very quickly and it is rare to find seats on the route in any premium cabin. Certainly 2 seats on usable dates out and back are non existent for normal human beings. I have to say however that they can be gotten. They also come up at very short notice which suits mfu but useless to any one else.

    What is outrageous is the blanket lack of availability from around July 15 in or out of London allegedly due to the Olympics. Despite every host city since time began seeing dramatic reductions in tourist in the year they host the games, BA are being very silly and in my view, their unrealistic fares, inconsistent service and greedy approach will see them get their fingers burned this year.

    The latest sale suggest things are bad and I would suggest the Christmas sale will be earlier and bigger and redemption availability will improve post Christmas. After all their fuel surcharges mean even redemption customers provide substantial revenue. Be patient would be my advice.


    Binman62
    Participant

    The OZ run gets booked up very quickly and it is rare to find seats on the route in any premium cabin. Certainly 2 seats on usable dates out and back are non existent for normal human beings. I have to say however that they can be gotten. They also come up at very short notice which suits mfu but useless to any one else.

    What is outrageous is the blanket lack of availability from around July 15 in or out of London allegedly due to the Olympics. Despite every host city since time began seeing dramatic reductions in tourist in the year they host the games, BA are being very silly and in my view, their unrealistic fares, inconsistent service and greedy approach will see them get their fingers burned this year.

    The latest sale suggest things are bad and I would suggest the Christmas sale will be earlier and bigger and redemption availability will improve post Christmas. After all their fuel surcharges mean even redemption customers provide substantial revenue. Be patient would be my advice.


    Sunshine
    Participant

    NTarrant – thanks for this, and yes, I have done exactly that. I have tried roting via every port I can think of that a One World parntner flies through. for my trip to Buenos Aires, I tried Madrid, NYC, SF, LA, and a host of others… all with no success. Actually the flight out in August was via Iberia.

    Also, I always try First as my first option and then migrate down to Business. I just find the whole process so frustrating. I am a loyal BA customer and I just want to redeem my miles… is it really so hard to provide a decent experience for this? Star Alliance seem to do it.


    MartinJ
    Participant

    Executive Club has poorest availability compared to Miles&More, Flying Blue and Diamond Club

    Over the last 12 months I tried to book award flights to Amman, Los Angeles, Seoul, Bangalore and Buenos Aires. None of them were during peak periods but BA had absolutely no award availability within 3 days of my preferred dates (in some cases partner airlines with very inconvenient flight times or extended layovers did). And I tried everything from booking 300 to 3 days ahead. Absolutely nothing. I ended up booking through Diamond Club, Miles&More or Flying Blue and in most cases was able to chose which programme I wanted to use. So much for BA’s availability. I love flying BA but my points are almost useless.


    RHMAngel
    Participant

    I read with interest…

    I’d like to add on a positive note to MartinJ, that spending airmiles with Virgina Atlantic, when buying a whole flight, not upgrade – has never been a problem for me, like others, lucky to have 1000s miles and want to use them on vacays…

    My only gripe with any airmiles, is trying to Upgrade, it seems you must have “a qualifying” fare ticket (ie. higher price) to SPEND your airmiles on upgrades. Many a time I’ve tried to upgrade after check-in staff tell me to upgrade “you’ve got plenty of airmiles” (yes Maam I have)… OK I say, only to be met with, ah but you’ll have to PAY, to change the ticket to another letter (of the SAME class), then we’ll change it again to upgrade you, because the “Computer says No”.

    Now does this sound like sense to a rationale passenger ?!

    ANA another airline miles card I have, also has no problems me upgrading on personal trips… so I’m beginning to wonder, if its worth me building up a tranche of BA Miles (and that’s coming from a Shareholder of theirs !!) or using other airlines.

    Bonus as someone said, no the reason to chose an airline… Seat availability is very much the airline wanting paying passengers, and BA seems to go the wrong way too much, and as someone says, greed will burn their fingers.

    Virgin seems to have a policy of a few seats for airmiles, then no more left, until very close to the date, then they release more miles seats again. I accept this rationale as a business need. Admittedly the big personal summer vacation I am booking 10-12 months in advance, and there’s been the (airmiles) seats available…


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I tried redeeming some Miles and More points this week. Economy class to Business. The Upgrade portion is on request only, no gurantees.

    They are all at it one way or another.


    VintageKrug
    Participant

    Well, I’ve explained ad nauseam on here how best to go about redeeming your miles.

    Last year I redeemed 750,000 miles and managed every flight within a day of the one I wanted.

    For 2012 I’m back buying most of my leisure flights, but managed to get a trip to California in F over the August Bank Hols and a CWLCY weekend as well (now reduced from 100k to 80k rtn since the changes); the scheme certainly works for me!


    EdTraveller
    Participant

    just booked four first class return flights this evening to Barbados using Avios miles and Amex companion seat, travelling next October school break…….no problem…..excellent service !


    KeaneJohn
    Participant

    I keep forgetting the Olympics is on in July with virtually no availability for a CE redemption to Sofia however, once everybody is in London at the beginning I would have thought that they would have opened a few (more) seats LEAVING London during the Olympics.


    TiredOldHack
    Participant

    @VintageKrug – at the risk of trying your patience, could you explain how best to redeem them just once more? I’ve been trying to book a couple of CW flights to Santiago and getting nowhere.

    Edit: Oh, and that reminds me. We splurged a lot of our Air Miles before the ‘taxes payable’ deadline for booking came in, and we still had about 1800 left, so Number One Child was invited to take a friend of choice to Paris (750 Air Miles per head) and is as pleased as punch.

    Shortly after that NOC’s motorcycle blew up rather comprehensively, and as my beloved Ducati (bought new in 1997) has seen such little use since my job was relocated closer to home, a gift was made of that. It’s definitely been NOC’s year.

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