Avios Frustration

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by BuRadley, Oct 17, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. BuRadley

    BuRadley Active Member

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    Just thought I would vent in this forum to see if others have had similar experiences.

    I took advantage of the BA credit card promotion a couple years ago and got 100,000 avios. Add that to a few other things i did and had a balance to get two round trips to europe.

    I went to BA, and cashed in the needed 110,000 miles for 2 roundtrips boston to lisbon. Sounds like a great day doesn't it?

    Instead I have to pay additional taxes/fees of $1360. (How's that for a free flight???)
    After booking - i went to reserve my seats - most important on those trans-atlantic overnight flights - only to find out that to reserve seats now, they will charge me a fee per flight segment - all totaled for the 4 flight segments, time two for the 2 tickets - an additional $220! My alternative is to reserve the seats in the 24 hour window before flight time at no charge.

    Not feeling the love - and certainly not the benefit of Avios.

    Am I missing something?????
     
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  2. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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  3. BuRadley

    BuRadley Active Member

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  4. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    .... really bad value in terms of costs (2 RT is $2400)

    Can you cancel??? Otherwise I guess is a BOGO just expensive in terms of relative cost.
     
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  5. LETTERBOY
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Using any program which charges in YQ for Y is terrible value. For F/J, I think it's still a pretty good deal (if you think of it as getting a massive discount instead of a free flight), but for Y, you're probably better off just buying a ticket in most cases.
     
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  6. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Avios have their uses...but the one you describe - TATL on BA metal (it must be with those YQ charges) - is at the absolute rock bottom of the pile.

    What you should have done instead: laundered the BA Avios into IB Avios and redeemed using the IB engine, avoiding BA and their breathtaking brassnecked taxes/fees...or better yet, in addition to BA Avios, amass UA MP miles or AS MP miles and use them for the big TATL sectors, THEN use Avios for fun intra-EU positioning.

    It seems as if some customers expect their first experience with FFP - usually a US-based one - to carry over to all other FFP without doing any research.

    A general observation. It amazes me how many people commit to accumulating miles, requiring years of patience and a certainly amount of effort, without, just once, going to the relevant website and performing a test redemption. BA certainly doesn't hide this fact and even when you perform a redemption, for example using AS MP, just look at the whacking fees BA charges for such flights, everyone can see it clearly....hey, a world first, did I just sound like a BA apologist??!! :p Regulars will know, I'm not. But I feel it coming on...

    Now let's take this a step further and channel The Saint... "But you can't blame BA for your error here. The fare was not in any way "misfiled" and taxes and fees were disclosed. Having see these, you opted to purchase. Your bad."
     
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  7. evanderm

    evanderm Silver Member

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    Yes the YQ is really a sting and you had to learn the hard way that Avios are not good value for economy travel and it's not nor do avios pretend to offer you a free flight.

    That being said, everyone who isn't elite or doesn't fly on a full fare ticket has to pay for seat selection and this can easily be found. As long as you check in at T-24 on the dot, there are still some good seats to be had. If you are an elite member of another one world airline just give BA a call and you can have seats assigned from 7 days out if you have Ruby status or anytime from booking if you have sapphire or emerald status.


    IMO the best use of Avios is on upgrades from WT+ to Club (10,000 + $60-80 each way), and redemptions on AA. In my case, from YYZ it only costs 9,000 Avios + $50 to fly to NYC or ORD for example.

    Another good use is redeeming on flights with Cathay Pacific, taxes and charges are low there too.

    If you want to get to Europe, Aer Lingus and Air Berlin don't charge high fees and the latter has some really good deals and availability of miles seats in business class.

    Avios tickets are flexible so you can always call BA and for a small fee have them cancel and redeposit or change your booking.
     
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  8. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    +1 for domestic redemptions with AA...
     
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  9. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    Why don't you cancel the award tickets and then rebook to something else? Personally, since you are in Boston, I would book BOS -DUB on Aer Lingus for 25k + $150 round trip. I would then buy a connecting flight to Lisbon on Aer Lingus. It looks like the flight probably leaves around 3:00 pm.

    This way, you have saved money and still have points for a 2nd trip.

    You cannot book these online, you have to call BA, but there is usually decent availability in Economy.

    If you wanted to spring for business class, it would only be 50,000 per person. However, it is about a 5 hour flight, so economy worked fine for us.

    When you get to Boston, the agent should be able to check you in for the connecting flight as well. If you are checking baggage, the agent should be able to check the luggage through to LIS.

    It looks like the LIS flight would leave about 3 pm. You should have time when you arrive in DUB to take a taxi/bus into town and wander for a few hours. Make sure that you leave back for the airport early, because DUB can take some time getting through.
     
  10. BuRadley

    BuRadley Active Member

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    Great suggestion - I looked into it and learned that in - europe flights on Aer Lingus are quite cheap - about $70 each way dublin to lisbon,. Also found a site called wegolo.com that seemed like a good resource. Unfortunately the flight times though don't mesh well with the BOS to Dublin flights (especially the return) - at least based on the days I need. Better for me to blindly accept the BA mess, get rid of these Avios, and avoid doing business with them again.
     
  11. BuRadley

    BuRadley Active Member

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    I accept that - and I deserve that. Usually I am much more savy and not real proud of the way BA got the better of me this time. The only thing for me is that in the future - i will avoid doing business with them. I know it won;t impact their profitability in any great way, but it will make me feel better!
     
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  12. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    That's a bit like jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

    There is at least one excellent way of using Avios for long-haul travel, which is to buy a World Traveller Plus (premium economy) ticket and use the Avios to upgrade to Club World (business class). The upgrade is at half the Avios cost of an economy redemption ticket.

    But when you fly you also earn Avios on the underlying WT+ ticket, so the net Avios cost is rather lower than the headline upgrade Avios cost. (In fact, there are routes on which a higher tier member of the BA scheme will earn more Avios for the underlying WT+ ticket than they spend upgrading to CW.)

    This is one of the sweetest spots of the scheme, and refusing to have anything more to do with BA would deprive you of the chance to use your Avios in this way.
     
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  13. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

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    I think his whole point is that he's already booked and spent the Avios, so "live and learn"

    :)
     
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  14. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    First, I would not give up finding an alternative yet. You know that the outbound will work, so you are just trying to find something on the inbound. First, do you have any miles besides Avios? Second, is there any flexibility in the dates (i.e. you could go into Dublin the night before?) Would you be willing to route LIS-MAD-ORD-BOS? It looks like Iberia has decent availability to Chicago, so that might be an option.

    I also think that you should not give up on Avios - you are right at one of the sweet spot in Avios! Where else could you get a 25,000 point RT ticket to Europe?
     
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  15. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    But the Avios booking is flexible. It can be cancelled until 24 hours before departure for a refund of all the Avios and almost all of the cash, as evanderm has already mentioned.
     
  16. evanderm

    evanderm Silver Member

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    Although, if going on this route, keep in mind that it may take time to process a redeposit. Unless you're sitting on enough miles to make the new booking before cancelling the old one, you risk losing availability for both sets of flights.
     
  17. EZEIZA
    Original Member

    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    Like hundreds before you.......you made a mistake by not doing enough research. That's clearly your fault so you can only blame yourself and not the BAEC I'm afraid.
     
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  18. BuRadley

    BuRadley Active Member

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    You are right -0 and I raised my hand before on this - it is my fault - "things" happen!
     
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