How to book online so I can upgrade with miles.

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by jgrease, Dec 15, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jgrease

    jgrease Active Member

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    If I only wanted to book the air, I know how to do this. However, I want to book an Air+Hotel combo so that I can upgrade with miles (WT to WT+). How can I book so that I know I have upgradable seats? I already checked upgrade availability, and it's there. I wanted to do it online to take advantage of the additional 10% for booking with my Chase BA Visa. Anyone help?
     
  2. effseeoh

    effseeoh Gold Member

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    I believe you can upgrade flights booked with BA holidays, but if you use any other TA then you won't be able to currently. Though this is due to change in 2012
    Here's a post on it on FT: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/16573117-post7.html (hope that's ok!)
     
  3. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Although you have to phone to do this.
     
  4. jgrease

    jgrease Active Member

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    Great news! Thanks again. I assume I have to select "earning full tier points" to purchase a ticket that will be MFU capable.
     
  5. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    I think that must be right, although I haven't done this myself.
     
  6. EZEIZA
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    EZEIZA Silver Member

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    You'll probably end up paying more for your upgradable WT ticket than buying a non flexible but upgradable WT+ one.
     
    Globaliser likes this.
  7. martinfoss
    Original Member

    martinfoss Silver Member

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    I second that. Only the Y, B and H fares in WT are upgradeable. In WT+, all fares are upgradeable, and at least the T-fare is cheaper thatr YBH. And then you can upgrade to CW instead for less money, the same milage, and earn Avios/TP's for WT+ instead of WT. A MUCH better deal - even if you don't upgrade to CW.
     
  8. jgrease

    jgrease Active Member

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    Please bear with me one more time - so I will get the most of my Adios Miles if I book a holiday in WT+, then call and upgrade to CW (provided seats are available). I already paid for the trip online at that point so all they are doing is docking me 40000 miles/adios/whatever when I upgrade, correct?
     
  9. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    It is a truth universally acknowledged, that WT+ to CW upgrades are the best value use of BA Miles/Avios.

    This is in part because of the (usually large) fare difference between the lowest WT+ booking classes and the lowest CW booking classes, coupled with the fact that the latter are often inflexible, whereas all WT+ published fares are semi-flexible (but check this if you're booking flights+hotels); and in part because you still earn BA Miles/Avios and Tier Points for the underlying WT+ fare (again, check this if you're booking flights/hotels) which reduces the net mileage cost of the upgrade - in fact, for some BAEC members, you can sometimes earn more BA Miles/Avios on the underlying WT+ fare than the mileage cost of the upgrade to CW.

    If you're trying to get out of BAEC altogether, it's normally possible to upgrade using BA Miles/Avios but collect miles from the underlying fare into a different frequent flyer scheme. But, as always, it's fiddly.
    Plus any additional taxes, fees and charges, which in the case of a WT+ to CW upgrade is usually limited to the additional fuel surcharge for flying CW instead of WT+.
     
  10. jgrease

    jgrease Active Member

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    Thanks again. I am really trying to learn the system and you've been a great help.
     
  11. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    Glad to be able to help out!
     
  12. jgrease

    jgrease Active Member

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    Ok - to extend this idea further: using BA avios to book partner airlines. How do the costs work out, since I can never seem to find an available flight through BA, but I know they exist. How many avios is coach one way to Asian cities from North America? How about South America from North America? I've read about great deals on other websites, but I have yet to pull up a good one myself. Any input?
     
  13. Globaliser
    Original Member

    Globaliser Silver Member

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    If you're starting from NYC, you should be able to see plenty of availability, at least to London. What time of the year are you looking for?

    If you want to do a two-sector trip (you've mentioned VIE before), one technique is to search each sector separately, and see whether you get dates that marry up closely, perhaps building in a short stopover in London (although bear in mind the rules about when you have to pay UK APD).

    Alternatively, get an award/MFU ticket as far as London and buy a separate cheap economy cash ticket to get you to the European point. You may get lucky and be offered a cheap fixed-price upgrade to Club when you do that; but even if you don't, it's a short flight and it's not like Club Europe is a cabin full of fawning luxury.
    You need to go to the BA site and use the calculator to get the prices for each sector of the journey you're thinking about. Awards are now priced on a per-sector basis.

    Ideally, you should also see if you can dummy book the sectors concerned to get a feel for the taxes, fees and charges in addition to the BA Miles/Avios price. Redeeming in economy is very often extremely poor value because you can often get a pure cash ticket for relatively little more than the cost of the TFC on an award.

    Before the changes on 16 November 2011, there were some westbound and southbound (ex-US) awards that were very cheap compared to the general corpus of BA awards. The comments which you have seen may be references to pre-16 November 2011 award levels.
     

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