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Clinic Thread – Why is BA’s award availability so bad? And why are the fees so high?

Clinic Thread – Why is BA’s award availability so bad? And why are the fees so high?

Old Apr 11, 11, 8:22 am
  #61  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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Originally Posted by randomflyer View Post
Do our experts on here think AA being able to use BA metal has been a factor?
I am not an expert but I doubt AA FFs were that much of a factor. First of all, I think it may be rather hard for them to upgrade to CW (need to buy 'W' fare which is expensive). And I don't think they prefer to redeem on BA as they always moan about the fees.
I am not sure about upgrades into F. But reading AA forum I doubt many buy biz class fares to upgrade into F.
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Old Apr 11, 11, 5:33 pm
  #62  
 
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Thanks, Andriyko.

You mentioned the thing I was trying to recall--that AA members need to buy the W fare. That should preserve a FEW upgrades for us.

Although on the fees issue, after posting my previous message, decided to take a look at finally booking IAD to LHR for Crimbo to see if upgrades were to be had..

I was absolutely GOBSMACKED to find that the fees (i know i know everybody's complaining but....!) have NOW gone up to....wait for it....$831 for a premium economy ticket upgraded to CW world with 25,000!

The ticket I'm using for departure in June and return in September had fees of $670, already extortionate, for the same fare (fare for summer ticket was $1120 and fare for Crimbo they are quoting at $1110).

For those of us who've done this type of ticket for a very long time, it's simply staggering increases and no end in sight, apparently. I looked at a ticket receipt the other day from 2004 and it was $250 taxes and fees.

After the fees and taxes got to 50 percent of the ticket I thought perhaps it would eventually slack off or stabilize.

But it's gone up another $160 in one pop! (And even during the last "oil surcharge" increase period, it never went up this much.)

I know this is completely rhetorical, but how long are savvy folks going to pay these kinds of fees for a flat bed CW seat when American carriers (I know perish the thought even though I am an American) get our business simply as a matter of principle of nothing else.

$831!!! It's now approaching 100 percent of the fare base. Good gawd.

What is the push-back point for pax? I'm about there.
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Old Apr 11, 11, 6:13 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Could someone tell me what the rules are on booking as far out as possible?

Trying to go to either LAX, LAS, PHX or SFO in early April 2012. Dummy booking does not show anything for April 1 or 2 to any destination.

When will these seats become available?
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Old Apr 12, 11, 3:22 am
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by MarioRossi View Post
When will these seats become available?
There is no definite answer. There is no guarantee that any seats will be released. Check every day (or twice a day).
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Old Apr 12, 11, 5:35 am
  #65  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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i know that there might be no seats for a certain day. But neither April 1st nor 2nd show any availability, even for routes like lhr to ams or fra. They can however be selected in the calender. Would the hotline be able to book them?
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Old Apr 12, 11, 6:00 am
  #66  
 
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Originally Posted by MarioRossi View Post
i know that there might be no seats for a certain day. But neither April 1st nor 2nd show any availability, even for routes like lhr to ams or fra. They can however be selected in the calender. Would the hotline be able to book them?
Rewards only go upto 31 March, so check again tomorrow when they will cover 1 April. 354 days seems to be the rule.
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Old Apr 12, 11, 6:40 am
  #67  
 
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cheers man!
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Old Apr 12, 11, 2:52 pm
  #68  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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As above posters have said, not sure there's any one-answer to this.

I've tried on numerous occasions to look for a booking/upgrade at the 354 day period. With no results.

I've been looking at Crimbo 2012 since the 354 time period. Only this week have a few upgrades appeared when I've been online looking.

That seems pretty standard in my experience. About 6-8 months out depending on route and day, some upgrades seats begin to appear.

But that's purely anecdotal. Others have different stories based on their routes.

The flight frequency for IAD my airport has been reduced significantly over the years. And the reduced upgrade opportunities reflect that. More limited. Especially as they've put 767s and some 3-class 777s on the route, with no First cabins. That by definition limits alot of upgrades.
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Old Apr 13, 11, 1:08 am
  #69  
 
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There may have been a seat dump yesterday as ive managed to get MIA in J for my preferred days in November - Veterans Day weekend - having been checking every day since December.
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Old Apr 27, 11, 8:12 pm
  #70  
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Interesting WSJ Article

Interesting WSJ Article about fees on "free" fights paid for with miles and cash (surcharges) and the difference with US airlines just out. You can read the article here and if you are having problems try this method here
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Old Apr 28, 11, 5:41 pm
  #71  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Chase and Visa - Have a heart!

Large ad in the Los Angeles Times 4/21-
Goodbye foreign transaction fee-that doesn't make me feel too pleased as we got stuck with that in the UK last summer. Nor does the current 20 % VAT[yes, I know you citizens put up with it everyday and I think it's shameful].
Anyway, this Chase Visa card gives 100,000 BA miles-"enough for 2 roundtrip transatlantic flights" to new card members. How about more award availability for old, loyal card members??? The soup is continually being watered down. We have a 2-4-1 we must use by the end of the summer. I've been looking but am only seeing Oct. [LAX-LHR in WT]. Last year we found WT+4 days before the flight. Keep those bags packed and by the front door!
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Old Apr 29, 11, 12:22 am
  #72  
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Whilst I normally regard 'no seats' threads as whinging (!), I am genuinely shocked by London-Hamburg - a route I book a lot as the parents-in-law are there.

BA has, at least for a few months out, basically blocked redemptions on a number of key days each week. This is crazy given a) the fact they are selling Club Europe for €145 each-way out of Germany and b) Hamburg is not exactly short of flights to the UK, I doubt they are full every Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon!
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Old Apr 29, 11, 3:02 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Whilst I normally regard 'no seats' threads as whinging (!), I am genuinely shocked by London-Hamburg - a route I book a lot as the parents-in-law are there.

BA has, at least for a few months out, basically blocked redemptions on a number of key days each week. This is crazy given a) the fact they are selling Club Europe for €145 each-way out of Germany and b) Hamburg is not exactly short of flights to the UK, I doubt they are full every Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon!
I recently checked LHR to HAM/DUS/FRA/STR/ZRH/MUC/BSL/GVA.

For all of easter next year, for all of the carnival period and for the entire time between Dec 24 and Jan 9 not a single seat (unless you are a Gold member, that is).
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Old Apr 30, 11, 12:11 am
  #74  
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I was alarmed by your post. Looking just at LON-ZRH, I checked the monthly availability and sure enough, nothing available for ZRH. However, when making dummy bookings, flights were available on most dates in ET for most of December and January, with just some Saturdays out and 25.12 not available, and just 1.1 and 2.1 inbound not available. CE availability was better with just 25.12 outbound and 2.1 inbound unavailable. Results for the Easter period were similar.

If you have not done so, it may be worth making a dummy booking for specific dates.

BTW, there's a curiosity about 25.12 ZRH availability, which only shows up much closer to December. And LHR on 25.12 is almost a dream.
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Old Apr 30, 11, 6:58 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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The time to try to get upgrade availability was ANYTIME before yesterday.

It was inevitable that many of the 2 billion people watching the royal festivities yesterday will now see London as a fab place to go on holiday as of yesterday. Count on it.

Some US travellers who don't frequent the UK or have never been are going to be coming NOW. Fortunately for us BA devotees, if they are not seasoned travellers to the UK, they will probably be drawn to their usual US carriers.

As they'd not have ever heard of BA in alot of places in the US.

But after yesterday, we are going to have a year in which getting a seat, any seat, might become the holy grail if BA start selling seats like mad right and left to those suddenly won over by the wedding and desperate to visit London.

Same thing happened after the wedding in 1981. I remember it well. Everybody suddenly became frantic to get to the UK, because they thought London was actually like the pictures they saw during that Royal Wedding. Air fares skyrocketed for a year and there were bums on seats in full planes.

Biggest travel advert in the history of the world yesterday. I've already heard a few people in my building talking about going this summer--who have never been.

They are actually of the mistaken notion that London looks like the place they saw yesterday with hundreds of thousands of loyal and charming native English, Scot, Welsh and Northern Irish folks they saw everywhere. I won't spoil their fun. They'll find out when they get there. LOL

But yesterday's goings on I do believe are going to make the going rougher for those of us UK travel veterans and business folk who are looking for seats, and especially upgrades.
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