Trying to upgrade with AVIOS

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This topic contains 13 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  kmcottrell 22 Nov 2012
at 13:10

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  • Anonymous


    I booked a flight to Las Vegas from LHR travelling out on Nov 30th. I optimistically booked WTP thinking [naively] that I could upgrade with AVIOS.

    I now find that the only way to upgrade is via a £1,400 fee. Each way. There are no AVIOS upgrades available – so far.

    Does anyone know what the loads are like on:
    BA0275 30th Nov
    BA0274 7th Dec

    And can anyone offer any advice on whether or not they think there is any likelihood that BA will release any seats in Club for AVIOS upgrades?



    Hi nigelbrinklow,

    Not all fares (booking classes) are eligible for an AVIOS Upgrade. Thenbest way to use them is thrpught your membership account and then the Book&Upgrade with Avios tool. Generally if you booked a discounted fare in WorldTraveller or WTPlus then you cant upgrade with Avios after you made the booking. I think thats right and thats how most carriers work it, but I happily stand corrected.
    Las Vegas flights are generally busy in Premium Cabins as we,, so it would not be easy to get reward seats. I have checked the loads and Club is rather busy with a few seats still remaining but not plenty.
    The best option may be that nearer the time of the flight or even on the day a discounted Upgrade fee may become available through Manage my bokking or when actually checking in online or simply asking at the desk in LHR, which then would generate full Club World Avios and Tier Points, extra baggage allowance and lounge access (if you havent got that already by mans of a Silver or Gold Card). So keep checking your booking now and then and you may get lucky. Hope this helps


    My understanding is that all WT+ fares are eligible for upgrades whereas only more full-fare WT fares are. However, all upgrades are dependent on Avios redemption class availability in the cabin you want to upgrade to.


    It’s not an uncommon scenario.

    For WTP any fare type can be upgraded (W, E or T) assuming there is a ail ability,

    LAS is a popular route and a profitable one, therefore there is little incentive for BA to offer redemption availability when they know they can fill the seats with fare paying passengers(I’m not saying I agree with that fully however that’s just the way it is)

    Availability is controlled by software (I believe) based upon complex algorithms and you stand a far greater chance of getting redemption availability just before the flight (as early as 3 days prior on some many times just the day before). Therefore just keep checking to see if any opens up. You can do this by trying to make a dummy booking via your exec club account and select “book with Aviois” as opposed to cash. If you can book an Avios seat, you should be able to upgrade your booking from WTP to Club. If you can’t do it on line for any reason, call the exec club and they will normally do it for you,

    Remember that you will get charged the difference in the taxes when gong from WTP to Club – so it’s not completely free.


    Loyal-BA has explained how this may work 🙂 I took a quick look at the inventory using Expert Flyer:

    BA 275
    F8 A7 J9 C6 D0 R0 I0 W8 E7 T5 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S5 N0 Q0 O9 G5

    There are currently nine seats in Club World for sale, but most cheaper fares are fully booked.

    BA 274
    F7 A6 J9 C9 D9 R8 I5 W9 E9 T7 Y9 B9 H9 K9 M9 L9 V9 S6 N0 Q0 O9 G9

    Return shows better availability in lower booking classes.

    Check every day is my advice. Too bad BA availability for redemption is not displayed in Expert Flyer. If it was, you could set an “alarm” if a seat becomes available. This works on American and across all Star carriers. Actually one of the features making this service worth 10 USD a month.


    Have looked at the loads and business is OK as is First – interestingly WTP looks very busy therefore reasonably high probability that either offers will be made available via MMB to upgrade or Op Ups at the airport.


    9 doesn’t mean there are 9 seats available. It means they are selling at least 9 seats.

    Whilst BA are saying 8 in WTP, there are not 8 free seats

    And even as such, this in no indication of award availability (unfortunately) – just the likelihood of it opening up nearer the time.

    Flights are finalised T-48 hours prior to departure so check then especially



    You are right, and that is why I carefully stated there are nine seats FOR SALE.

    This is always a lottery, but I’ve had more success scoring last minute awards and upgrades on flights with a decent amount of availability in the cheaper booking classes.

    So, it should not be taken as a sign that upgrade seats will become available but indicative of how full the flight is currently across all cabins.


    @ nigelbrinklow – 20/11/2012 13:51 GMT

    In my experience of WTP, the “Manage my booking” section gives the option of upgrading for whatever figure. That upgrade fee can drop considerably as the date of departure approaches, depending of course upon demand for the CW cabin. It is a risk you take. Otherwise, barring the lack of a sleeper seat, WTP is a massive improvement on steerage in terms of leg room, ease of access, catering and all round comfort – but at a fraction of the CW price. It compares favourably with quite a few business classes on airlines such as Aeroflot, Air China, MIAT Mongolian that Snr Management and I have taken this year.


    Is the easiest way to check availability on BA to try and book a group of seats, say 8, and see if it is possible? If not, just lower the number until it is.


    I have a little trouble understanding how this works on the BA site. If i really wanted to travel in First, and I booked Club World upgrade with Avios would I get a first class seat. I have tried a couple of times and taken it through to the payment page and the seats are still showing as Club World. So what exactly am i booking… any polite explanation will be extremely welcome.


    Senator – 9 equals at. Least 9 seats, not exactly 9 seats which was the point I was trying to make (I.e. there could be 20 in reality)

    Blend69 – if you’re booking through the BA site whilst logged into your EC account and select book and upgrade with Avios, when you confirm the booking before payment, it should say your class of travel, which should be First. Are you selecting upgrade with Avois and then upgrade from club world? When there is availability, I’ve never had any problems getting it to work. It’s one of the more reliable bits on the BA website such as trying to upgrade a TA booking 🙂


    It is important that you log in to your account first, and then click the EC page. If you go any other way about it, it can end up as you say, even when there is availabilty, or so I have found to US

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