BEWARE: BA will *not* redeposit Avios for reward flights not canceled 24 hours prior to departure

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by Max M, Nov 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    I had booked an Avios award on American Airlines which I forgot to cancel. I frantically called BA when I realized that I had forgotten to cancel the award reservation.

    The only problem was that the flight started boarding at 5:50AM Central Time, and BA's U.S.A. call center doesn't open until 7AM Eastern/6AM Central Time.

    I called American Airlines directly, but they could not some reason cancel my BA award that was on AA metal. I was able to cancel the reservation online on BA's site prior to departure.

    I recently tried to get the miles reinstated, and called BA. The agent said he had spoken to his supervisor, but because the award trip wasn't canceled 24 hours prior to departure, BA could not reinstate the Avios for the AA trip. :(

    Obviously my fault for forgetting--- I was actually flying AA that morning out of an alternate airport when I remembered the Avios award.

    Just wanted to make others aware of this "policy" so that they may not have the same thing happen to them...
     
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  2. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    That stinks, but thanks for sharing the reminder for others.
     
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  3. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    It's not just cancel at T-24 - also no changes thru BA on Avios tickets at all at T-24. You can however still SDC or standby on AA on day of travel. Same for AS metal - you can SDC on DoD.

    Also recently they allow you to call other call centers then USA so you can work on Avios tickets 24 hrs a day or pretty close using Skype.
     
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  4. LETTERBOY
    Original Member

    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    You need to make any changes prior to travel through the airline that issued the ticket, in this case BA. That's standard throughout the industry. It's no surprise that AA couldn't do anything.
     
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  5. The Saint
    Original Member

    The Saint Silver Member

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    The cancellation policy is clear, but you didn't need to wait until the US call centres opened. You can now ring any BA office. The UK would have been open.
     
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  6. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    For future reference, the time zone differences:

    PST: 8 hours behind GMT
    MST: 7 hours behind GMT
    CST: 6 hours behind GMT
    EST: 5 hours behind GMT

    Add the time difference for your time zone and you can see if the BA offices in England are open instead of waiting for the US locations to open.

    At 5:50AM CST it was 11:50AM in England, so they would have been open. If you can't call overseas on your cell, call your provider. Most providers, such as Verizon, will add an overseas call package for as little as $3.99 per month with calls billed at a discounted rate.
     
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  7. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    To sound like a Dilbertian apologist, you knew the rules, they were published...at least BA stuck to its own policies and didn't make it up as it went along this time.

    Recent intra-EU BA Avios flying has worked well for me - on-time or ahead of schedule arrivals, seat selections that stuck, no lost luggage and no Dilbertian mishandling of irop - of course, because there weren't any this time.
     
  8. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    As a U.S. citizen that was naive about BA's policies, no I did not know the rules.

    Hence the purpose of my post about alerting others in the U.S that might be as unaware of the policy as I was. :rolleyes:

    AA allows one to cancel an award as long as it's before departure with the ability to have the miles reinstated--- AAdvantage awards do not have the T-24 shenanigans cancelation policy. Again, I was unaware of such a policy existing with their partner airlines, and as posted in my first post, this was my fault.

    I've been very satisfied with BA overall despite the award policy, especially BA FIRST--- and I've clearly shown ownership for my error.
     
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  9. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    The cancellation policy may be clear to people that frequent BA, but not for someone that doesn't redeem BA awards that often. Again, the purpose of my post is to make fellow Americans aware of a policy that is completely different when redeeming Avios versus AAdvantage Miles for an AA award.


    Having been to the U.K. 2 different times in 2013, with one time actually being on BA metal, I'm very aware of the time zone difference, but thanks for the info. :)

    Also I know that eating an international phone charge would have well been worth the Avios, had I chosen to call when the U.S. call center was closed.
     
  10. evanderm

    evanderm Silver Member

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    Doesn't delta have a 72hr no changes/cancellation policy?
     
  11. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Yes they also have an even more customer unfriendly policy of t-72 before each segment vs t-24 at BA. With DL you can change return after outbound as long as return is at least 72 hrs in the future.
     
  12. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Heh! Relax, I get it... I'm a USC too..but I'm not naive about BA's program, policies, or indeed, their ideology.

    I concur that AAdvantage is a vastly superior program in almost every respect, except perhaps for intra-EU positioning on BA when AA whacks customers with a surchAAAArr-G-h.

    And there are many things at BA to be critical of, but in fairness to them, they do disclose the T&C of the Avios system to customers, and so far at least, they haven't followed DL SM's lead in terms of imposing no-notice swingeing devaluations the same hour that DwayneSkyMiles posts on FT with a title like "Award Chart Revisions".... everyone knows, that whole empire is mejor en su clase. BA actually did provide some notice of the EC-Avios transition.

    DL SM's T-72 no-changey, no-touchey policy is far worse than BA's.

    Avios is - gasp - slightly less unfriendly than DL SM. The surcharges on TATL on BA are vile, I agree, but it's even possible to work around this as long as you don't want BA metal and are prepared to engage in some minor positioning activities.

    Please don't mistake what I mean - you will see, I am hardly a defender of BA. In fact, I was censored from the FT board for what apologists considered overuse of the Dilbertian concept - which explains most everything at BA - and my icon provokes rage among those apologists. IconaPop have the correct response to all that. I think though

    It amazes me how many people post complaints about aspects of FFP that are clearly published - midstream no-notice changes are a different matter - but in terms of cxlation policies, surcharges and award rules, surely everyone should be aware of them before investing time/effort/money in an airline with the expectation of value in the FFP.
     
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  13. eddie

    eddie Silver Member

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    What if you book last minute, can you still cancel last minute too? I was under the impression that bookings (even award bookings) are allowed to be canceled within 24 hours of their booking. If I booked Thursday at 12pm for a flight Friday at 9pm, would I still be able to cancel until Friday at 12pm?

    This scenario matters to me tomorrow since I'm needing to create a booking to justify my expedited passport, and I'd like to persuade the office to produce it same day (but may not want to actually transit internationally immediately afterwards).
     
  14. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Unless you get a 100% definitive answer to your question about Avios bookings made at short notice, you're probably much better off buying a fully-refundable cash ticket. With the possible exception of any admin fees for cancelling, which would be small, you'd have no time limits for cancelling one of those. You could even cancel after the flight on which you booked (for which you no-showed), and still get the refund.
     
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  15. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Agree 100% on refundable paid ticket vs Avios.

    Canceling Avios tickets is a pita unless you have elite status.

    And the agents now warn at booking close in Avios tickets that they are fully non-refundable/change/cancel able.
     
  16. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    As I recall, BA would redeposit Avios without a fee if you cancelled online and were willing to walk away from the $5.60 or whatever other taxes/fees. Is that still the case?
     
  17. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    More accurate to say that the fee that you're charged is the $5.60 or whatever, but you pay nothing more.
     

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