FlyerTalk Forums - View Single Post - Clinic Thread Why is BAs award availability so bad? And why are the fees so high?
Old Mar 29, 11, 2:07 pm
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Swanhunter
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Clinic Thread Why is BAs award availability so bad? And why are the fees so high?

Ahh, that old chestnut. This thread is intended for advice, help and guidance on spending BA miles when you are struggling to find what you want. It may also be a holding place for intemperate rants on the same subject. There is no answer to this as it depends on a whole raft of variables e.g. destination, season, fare class, time of booking, sale or not, special events. Some tips:

The most challenging flights are SYD, SIN, BKK, MLE and certain Caribbean destinations in season. For these you need to book a long, long way out, often as far as 350 days when seats become available.

It is a common misconception that seats are released on all flights on all days. They arent so dont be surprised if your preferred Friday night the week before Christmas to SYD in F is never available

Equally, once seats have gone does not mean nothing else will show up. Revenue management often release more space, even days before departure

MFU and Award space are one and the same

Remember than award seats are not a substitute for paying for a ticket. They part of a deal you enter into with the airline. In return for your loyalty we will give you access to premium seats for very little cash outlay. But the deal is you may have to plan ahead, and seats may be limited

If you arent using a 241 voucher or GUV2, consider partners airlines. You may be surprised by availability (Iberia to Central and Southern America for example) and may even fly on a better airline than BA.

The fees. Sadly BA charge you all the airport and passenger service fees, on top of the fuel surcharge. In addition you also pay the UK Air Passenger Duty for UK originating/stopping over itineraries. These can be substantial. Check them via a dummy booking on ba.com

If you approach this with flexibility and sensible expectations, you can do very, very well. Ive flown Concorde to NYC and F to every continent BA serves more than once using BA miles. It can be done!

So, questions are welcome as are any pearls of wisdom to add above.
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