Upgrade with Avios more expensive

Old Jan 12, 12, 4:02 am
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Upgrade with Avios more expensive

...to say the least, for a trip to IST from LHR in August. If you pay cash for CE outbound and ET back it costs 444. If you 'pay with cash and upgrade with Avios, it costs 522 and 10,000 Avios.

Shome mishtake, shurely?
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Old Jan 12, 12, 4:07 am
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Nope...

Probably, the cheap CE fare is in a fare bucks that you would not be able to upgrade with Avios, where as the fare that you are able to upgrade with Avios is in a different fare bucket, which is similar in other cabins, say on Long Haul, it tends to be the more expensive WT and WT+ tickets that can be upgraded, where as the bargain bucket ones can't be.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 4:45 am
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Thanks BBB - but I can't help wondering if this doesn't go against the intention of reward. I have used upgrades on LH many times but this is never more expensive. Last year, for example, a return CW from LHR to Phoenix was about 3,500, but the upgrade I got with Airmiles, as was, instead cost 1,000 and 25,000 miles.
Do you think then, that upgrading is really only worthwhile LH?
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Old Jan 12, 12, 4:54 am
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I was looking at upgrading from WT to WTP yesterday to IAD, and it was much more expensive as well. I guess I knew it, I was just trying all kinds of possibilities to alleviate my cash poor, miles rich position. But BBB is right - from economy to WTP or CE you need to book in a high fare bucket. Your upgrade to CW was done off a cheapish WTP fare.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 5:02 am
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Originally Posted by nwmgc View Post
...to say the least, for a trip to IST from LHR in August. If you pay cash for CE outbound and ET back it costs 444. If you 'pay with cash and upgrade with Avios, it costs 522 and 10,000 Avios.

Shome mishtake, shurely?
This is exactly would I would expect to happen. Upgrading from ET or WT to CE or WT+ respectively is simply not worth it. For both you need to have a ticket in a higher fare bucket (which normally means more flexible); however, the upgraded CE or WT+ ticket will be restricted in terms of changes (more so than the original high cost economy ticket).

On this basis, why do it?

Either buy CE outright or do a redemption for a CE ticket outright. If you do the latter, it will actually be fully flexible (and so worth more than an MFUed CE ticket).

It is worth bearing in mind that the structure of Avios rewards is designed to make it unattractive to anyone who would normally buy discounted economy tickets: for straight economy redemptions, the taxes and fees will probably be more than a revenue fare or for MFUs from economy, where the need for a high fare class base revenue ticket will often make this dearer than buying a revenue fare in the higher cabin.

However for premium cabins, the value is very good, particularly WT+ to CW MFUs, where you can easily get the Avios used back so effective making the cost virtually nothing.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 5:04 am
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Originally Posted by nwmgc View Post
Thanks BBB - but I can't help wondering if this doesn't go against the intention of reward. I have used upgrades on LH many times but this is never more expensive. Last year, for example, a return CW from LHR to Phoenix was about 3,500, but the upgrade I got with Airmiles, as was, instead cost 1,000 and 25,000 miles.
Do you think then, that upgrading is really only worthwhile LH?
But also, take into account that the difference in fares on LH is usually quite substantial between cabins to begin with. If you compare like for like, a full price WT+ ticket compared to a full priced CW ticket is going to be considerable in the first place. Still, the difference between "cheap" WT+ and CW tickets can still be rather considerable.

I don't think it goes against the intention of reward, as it is still represents exceptional value on many occasions.

Long Haul and Short Haul are completely different animals when it comes to fares and miles, and the perceived value of those will differ because of distance and cabin/service.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 5:31 am
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Two words

Reward Saver

Never upgrade ET to CE not if you want the best value.

The Reward Saver is a wonderful little newbie for short trips. Book one-ways or return if you want 'cheap(er)' CE.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 5:33 am
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Thank you all for replying - very helpful! I think pay for short haul and use the Avios for long is the best thing. Istanbul is just that length in time at 4 hrs to make CE more attractive but categorised as short haul. I'll pay...
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Old Jan 12, 12, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by nwmgc View Post
I have used upgrades on LH many times but this is never more expensive. Last year, for example, a return CW from LHR to Phoenix was about 3,500, but the upgrade I got with Airmiles, as was, instead cost 1,000 and 25,000 miles.
The key difference is that if you're MFUing on longhaul, you're buying a cash WT+ ticket and upgrading with miles/Avios from that. All WT+ cash tickets qualify, even the cheapest sale fares.

However, if you MFU on shorthaul, you're buying a cash Y ticket and upgrading with miles/Avios. And only the most expensive Y booking classes can be MFUd: Y, B and H.

So the value in upgrading from Y to J on shorthaul is very different from the value in upgrading from W to J on longhaul. In many ways, you're not comparing like with like even though in both cases you end up in the J cabin.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 7:20 am
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Straying slightly off topic..... I too was looking at flights to Istanbul yesterday (and the upgrade with Avios option was even more ridiculously expensive). My one and only time in CE was to Amsterdam last year and I concluded it was a complete waste of money. Would it (it mainly being the seat as I get lounge access through Marco Polo) be much different to Istanbul? Something more comfortable than economy would be nice, but I am not sure that it's worth either double Avios or 4ish x ET price.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 7:27 am
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On the same subject, if you try and book/upgrade an ex-EUR booking on-line (WTP to CW or CW to F) , you don't get the cheapest available fare. You have to call up - hope you get an experienced agent -and they can do it for you.

(Only works when you make the booking - you can't book an ex-EUR trip and upgrade with Avios later).
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Old Jan 12, 12, 8:57 am
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Originally Posted by irmster View Post
On the same subject, if you try and book/upgrade an ex-EUR booking on-line (WTP to CW or CW to F) , you don't get the cheapest available fare. You have to call up - hope you get an experienced agent -and they can do it for you.

(Only works when you make the booking - you can't book an ex-EUR trip and upgrade with Avios later).
This is quite different. You can only MFU a ticket issued in the country of your BAEC membership. If you book a revenue ticket ex-EU, it will price up (in euros) and ticket in the EU country where the trip begins. If your BAEC membership is not in that country then in theory you cannot subsequently MFU the ticket. [I say in theory as you can get agents who do not know or ignore this rule.]

If you use "book and upgrade with Avios", it will use the cheapest fare for the route available for sale in your membership country. Thus if you try LIN-JFK, for a WT+ to CW MFU, the euro priced ticket is likely to be much cheaper than the cheapest LIN-JFK ticket offered for sale in the UK.

I don't think it is a case of finding an experienced agent, more find one who does not know or follow the ticketing rules.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 10:08 am
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Originally Posted by FrancisA View Post
This is quite different. You can only MFU a ticket issued in the country of your BAEC membership. If you book a revenue ticket ex-EU, it will price up (in euros) and ticket in the EU country where the trip begins. If your BAEC membership is not in that country then in theory you cannot subsequently MFU the ticket. [I say in theory as you can get agents who do not know or ignore this rule.]

If you use "book and upgrade with Avios", it will use the cheapest fare for the route available for sale in your membership country. Thus if you try LIN-JFK, for a WT+ to CW MFU, the euro priced ticket is likely to be much cheaper than the cheapest LIN-JFK ticket offered for sale in the UK.

I don't think it is a case of finding an experienced agent, more find one who does not know or follow the ticketing rules.
I'm not sure that is correct. I am happy to be corrected on this, but I don't think the fare rules prevent the ticket from being issued in the UK at the ex-eur price.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by irmster View Post
... I don't think the fare rules prevent the ticket from being issued in the UK at the ex-eur price.
This sounds right, otherwise the MFU couldn't be done at the lower price in any event because the ticket must be issued in the UK (for a UK member). If an ex-Italy fare has fare rules that prevent it being ticketed in the UK, that restriction must surely apply even if an MFU is being sought.
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Old Jan 12, 12, 2:08 pm
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Originally Posted by irmster View Post
I'm not sure that is correct. I am happy to be corrected on this, but I don't think the fare rules prevent the ticket from being issued in the UK at the ex-eur price.
I am not sure if it is the fare rules per se, but I suspect it is. UK availability of ex-EU originating LH flights is likely to be more restricted and I do not think that it covers the cheapest fare buckets, as I imagine that they are only available for sale from the EU country. So it could be not available in that market, rather than forbidden by a fare rule.

Whichever way round it is, ba.com will not book you into comparably priced ex-EU fares if you select upgrade using Avios. The UK-issued ticket will cost considerably more than the ex-EU issued ticket. If an agent can get round this, I would be interested in whether it is because they can actually issue the tickets in the UK at the EU price or whether this is some work around which is outside the either the fare rules or the BAEC rules.

It would be nice to have an official BA view on this. If this is legitimate, I would happily pay for my ex-EU CW tickets to be issued in the UK and MFU them to F. As far as I know, this is not possible at the ex-EU discounted CW price.
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