Does BA block the first week in January for Avios?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by jmail1, Dec 22, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. jmail1

    jmail1 Silver Member

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    I use Avios all the time to book domestic legs but this is my first time using them to upgrade a BA flight. I have a friend that's flying to London over the Christmas break and has purchased for Club World tickets. The outbound segment opened up for upgrade about two weeks ahead of their departure, first three seats, then the next day the fourth opened up. On the return there seems to be wide open availability until Jan 1st, then everything just goes blank for the entire month. I show F9 on many of the flights the first few days on January.
     
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  2. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    BA, AY, AA, etc...
     
  3. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    What do mean by "block" ?? Most airlines will release awards and upgrades based on their projection as to whether they are able to sell seats. That's a completely different concept as opposed to "blocking"....there is no rule that says upgradable seats must be available on any or every flight.

    Your last sentence appears to contradict itself and how are you determining that there is availability anyway?
     
  4. jmail1

    jmail1 Silver Member

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    Sorry, I was typing faster than thinking. I meant some sort of blackout date range. I couldn't find any blackouts on Avios upgrades. I understand that there are only a few airlines that make their upgrade/award process seem like clockwork. For example, you can fairly accurately predict Lufthansa, Singapore and few others based on the number of F class seats for sale. The flights I'm looking at for the first week of January are WIDE open in F, moreso than some flights the last few days on December have up to 4 seats available for Avios upgrades. Everything comes to a screeching halt on January 1st with BA.

    Again, I understand that upgrades are a very fluid situation, but something looked odd to me with Jan 1st onwards.
     
  5. jmail1

    jmail1 Silver Member

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    And now everything disappeared, for the entire rest of the month. There were 3 award seats available for at least 7 different days, I've been checking all week long. Virtually no change from day to day. Now I do the same search and there is zero availability?
     
  6. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I would give it a little time and check back tomorrow. Sounds like they are making some changes or having issues. You could also try searching for space with AAsaver space, etc. and then call them (which I personally hate).
     
  7. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Still not sure where you are looking for BA upgrades?
    Are you looking at AA.com??? I have no idea what Lufthansa does but you cannot predict OW awards based on the seats shown on ba.com.

    Seems to me that you are looking at aa.com but it known that currently AA is not releasing or posting a great deal (or any) award of upgrade inventory more than a few weeks out.
     
  8. jmail1

    jmail1 Silver Member

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    BA upgrade inventory using Avios mirrors that of standard Avios award inventory for that class. They are booked in paid Club World looking to upgrade to First, so I am searching Avios F awards on BA.com. I am not a FF newbie, I have booked multiple awards on OW and Star Alliance, just never using BA.com for upgrade awards flying on British Airways metal using Avios. I was posting on the BA forum to see if others searching for awards had noticed any type of difference in what BA NORMALLY displays and what has been displaying the last week or so, particularly when it comes to availability in early January.
     
  9. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    No, there are no specific blackout dates on BA.

    However, I'm not surprised that there are no award seats available at one of the busiest travel times of the year as people return home after Christmas breaks. Availability in cash booking classes is no guide to whether or not there will be any availability in award booking classes. There's no alternative to continually checking, and being prepared to fly in the cabin paid for.
     
  10. jmail1

    jmail1 Silver Member

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    The reason for my question was because the oddities of the appearance and the disappearance of awards. There were approximately 20 award F award seats spanning a period of a few weeks that just disappeared within a few hours of me checking. This in addition to the Jan 1st hard stop of ANY awards. There have been notes in the past of BA having system issues. I was hoping this was the case. And I wouldn't say cash booking classes is NO guide to whether there will be award availablity. I can assure you that if there is F1 vs. F9 there is a much higher likelihood on most carriers that the F9 flight is going to end up having some award seats eventually. British is noted as an airline that releases some close to booking space, vs. carriers like Qantas that release virtually none regardless of the F cabin status.
     
  11. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Some what you are saying here is not at all correct. I did a quick check on ba.com for the month of January and found an appreciable amount of both coach and J awards from LHR to JFK (since you haven't mentioned where the route you are seeking) so I am not sure where or what you are looking at.
    I did not notice any F awards in the period I checked....however the above flies in the face of your apparent conclusion regarding award blocking.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
  12. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    I can assure you that I have routinely failed to get award seats on BA flights that have 9 in every cash booking class, and I have also sometimes found award space for upgrades on BA flights which were zeroed in most cash booking classes.

    It's not clear whether you have ever used Avios for BA flights before, but some of us are checking BA for award availability almost every day of every year, usually several times a day - so we do get some regular personal experience of whether there is any correlation between cash booking classes and award space.

    As for releasing more award space shortly before the flight, that does sometimes happen but you will no doubt also have seen it noted to be much less frequent and/or reliable now than it used to be.
     
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  13. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    Wise words. I have a case in point returning from JFK next week. F9, one seat allocated, but no Avios availability. Now a year ago, I'd have laid odds that about 5 days out, it would open up. Used pretty much to work like clockwork. Not anymore. Fear RevMan realised that the semi-automatic nature of this was harming revenues. So it abruptly stopped. Now impossible to predict.
     
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  14. jmail1

    jmail1 Silver Member

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    Are there such things as Avios upgrades at the time of check-in similar to what is offered by Emirates. I know they do cash upgrade offers. Is there any rhyme or reason to their cash upgrade system? I've seen the threads that post the typical cost.
     
  15. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    No.

    There are some reports of BA sending targeted Avios upgrade options at rates higher than the usual cost. Data is sparse and it may have been a trial. No official info about it.
     
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  16. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Although (as The Saint says) you can't upgrade using Avios at check-in or at the airport (in the technical sense), if there is award availability that you can use for your upgrade then you can in practice often still do an upgrade using Avios (either online or via a service centre) until close to the time of the flight. The T&C say that there's a 24-hour cutoff before the time of the flight, but there are plenty of reports of people successfully doing this much closer.

    If you have already checked-in, this also involves offloading yourself (ie reversing the check-in), doing the upgrade, getting the ticket re-issued (which should be done immediately) and then checking-in again for the upgraded cabin. This is all best done on the phone.
     
  17. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I use AviosSSSS frequently. Because, I'm the shark.

    [​IMG]

    I often find availability opening at short notice for EU and intra-Asia flights. Just booked a CX itn for a few days ahead, for example, yet for several months beforehand, checking each day, I did not see any seat available on that day and route. Then four choices appeared that day, at T-7 or so. All in J, but that's OK.

    The point about award inventory on BA failing to correspond with revenue availability is interesting and I've noticed that too. All airlines have apparent mismatches between award and revenue inventory but usually it's in one direction - revenue wide open, award zeroed out. For example, everyone knows that Jeff Robbo likes to work in this way. But BA does sometimes show Avios availaiblity at the last moment on flights that don't have much revenue inventory. I saw this last on LHR-BRU a couple months ago. Who can explain any of this? It's just as imponderable as BA operationally upgrading the Shark on Avios flights.... but that's another observed fact.
     
  18. The Saint
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    The Saint Silver Member

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    Let me assist. BA offering redemption space on busy flights is done to incentivise upgrades using Avios. If there are going to be OpUps, much better to get pax to pay for them with Avios. Short term availability is largely used for UuAs.
     
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