BA Surcharges on AAdvantage Awards vs. Executive Club

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by MX, Jan 13, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I was long under the impression that BA defines their surcharges and imposes them (where allowed) equally on all partner programs. Now I'm looking at short haul intra-Europe flights, and discovering that the surcharges for the same award flight are much higher when booked with the AAdvantage miles compared to BA's Executive Club. Here's one example with rates in (Econ/Biz):
    LHR-TXL BA0986 with EC: (4.5K avios + USD 27.50 / 9K Avios + USD 40.00)
    LHR-TXL BA0986 with AA: (10K mi + USD 65.70 / 20K mi + USD 85.50).

    Is this discrepancy in surcharges a known feature that I wasn't aware of, or something new?
    Is AAdvantage justified in blaming the entire surcharge on BA?
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    BA has a fixed rate on short-haul/regional flights within Europe(ish). It is not tied to the YQ/YR; it is just a fixed rate. That's what you're seeing.

    Also, technically you're booking with Avios. ;)
     
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  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Indeed it appears fixed for all flights in that tier. Is that due to BA's self restraint or regulation?
    Are you saying that by going through AAdvantage I'm buying Avios with greater number of miles plus extra surcharges? That doesn't make it more reasonable.
     
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  4. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    It's not regulation. It is part of the business proposition for short haul redemptions. It is called Reward Flight Saver.
     
  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    No, I'm saying that you're booking with Avios, not with Executive Club. Just a bit of pedantry.
     
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  6. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    So is it BA then applying different surcharges to Avios and AAdvantage?
     
  7. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Sigh ... no... Avios is the term used for BA miles. When you book on the BA site you use Avios .. when you book on aa.com you use AA miles.

    In the BA program awards are determined by distance and the number of segments flown (plus a surcharge) when you book with AA there is set amount of miles for an award within the region plus a surcharge.

    For example: MIA/TPA is 4500 Avios OW ....but 12.5 AA miles.
    However: MIA/SFO are both 12.5 Avios/Miles in each program but if you had to change planes in the LAX the cost in Avios goes up to 17.5K Avios ( while it quite obviously remains the same when booking on aa.com)

    In short the two programs really have little in common and as said above BA discounts its short-hop charges (as does AA in turn for some Caribbean and SA awards)
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
  8. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    We are discussing surcharges in this thread. Let's limit input to that subject.
     
  9. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    You will note that I had added the last sentence which addresses the above shortly before your last post.:)
    BTW I was only trying to help you understand a program you seems to know little about so thats pretty much it for me:).
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
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  10. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Sorry, I really do appreciate much of your helpful input. It's just the one above came across like flooding the thread (e.g. with North American examples that have no surcharges). Also, phrases like "sigh" and "you know little" made it sound like a whose is bigger contest. If you're in that mood, why not start your own thread in an appropriate section.
     
  11. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Ok lets start over :) A good way to see what the charges are for any redemption (for all airlines/tickets) is to check the ITA website (for a paid ticket)
    Most of the charges listed and passed on by AA in the example you gave are LHR airport and UK taxes.

    The difference you see between an AA and a Avios redemption is a result of BA partially "absorbing" some of those charges.
    An indication of such is more clearly seen when you input the awards as individual one-ways (as you actually indicated in your initial post) the taxes outbound LHR being that much higher.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2015
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  12. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I suspected that could be the most likely explanation. I'm still surprised it's even allowed under the OW Agreement.
     
  13. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Well it apparently is allowed..AA does it for at least for some of its Caribbean/CA (and SA??) awards
     
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  14. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    The OW agreement requires the redemption availability to be equal across the participating airlines not the relative cost.
     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I've seen several instances where inventory does not match across various programs. How certain are you that it must be the same?
     
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  16. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    I know because I am familiar with the arrangement. I am talking about the base level redemption level not any enhanced level a carrier may offer. E.g. the double Avios option in the BAEC available to Gold cardholders.
     
  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    So if AA makes a seat available to its members at the "saver" rate then BA and QF and all the other OW partners necessarily have access to that same seat?

    Because I've definitely seen instances where that is not the case.
     
  18. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    Correct. If you have seen instances of this not being the case I can only venture that it is the product of an IT foul up. The principle is clear.
     
  19. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    BA short-haul intra-EU Avios redemptions are one of the best deals offered by any FFP. It's even better if you can make use of the "free" intra-UK sector on these awards, although BA's network has shrunk to the point that there are only three or four of these cities available.

    These intra-EU awards are the absolute inverse of the Avios TATL BA-metal giant ripoff with YQ charges often approaching outright revenue ticket purchase costs. This paradox illustrates how the same program can offer value among the very best and very worst at the same time. Interestingly, AA offers exactly the opposite...yes, AA gouges you unreasonably for short-haul BA metal on intra-EU itins. But AA is great for TATL. I just used AA to book AY one-wayTATL summer tix in J with zero YQ and very low taxes, at 50k miles each - actually, 45k after the 10k Citi AAdvantage card redemption bonus. To reach HEL from LHR, yes use those AAAAAAviossss.....

    OP, if you want to avoid scamcharges for TATL and only have Avios, launder your BA Avios into IB Avios and then use on non-YQ partners.
     
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  20. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Those are great ideas!!! Thanks, redtailshark.
     
  21. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    Also noticed that once you have a flight credited to your Avios account (each year) the additional charges reduce considerably (excluding the intra-Europe noted above). I did a JNB-CPT redemption last summer and saved about $50 in fees having credited an AA flight to my account earlier in the year. (Had checked the "cost" prior to crediting the AA flight but didn't need to book until well after that flight posted.)

    So how does one "launder" BA Avios into IB Avios?
     
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  22. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Ah yes the power of stating a half truth:) Those non YQ partners now cost double (or more) the amount of IB Avios required to redeem an award compared to BA.
     
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