Avios bookings

Old Aug 28, 13, 8:12 am
  #1  
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Avios bookings

Hi All, in seven years never had an issue booking Avios long haul in the summer from Manchester, going through Heathrow. Currently looking summer 2014 and whilst I can get flights from Heathrow it's impossible to get flights from Manchester, the only flights on Avios seem to be last at night and first return in the morning. Now as the first flight win the morning leaves Heathrow before the long hauls arrive that's not helpful. BA know no reason for this and suggest I pay for the domestic flights, however they state my luggage allowance will be a case each, as I plan to fly club that means I may have extra luggage charges. Anyone any advice or know why BA are not releasing more Avios domestic flights as traditionally they have done?
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Old Aug 28, 13, 8:17 am
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This has been a problem for as long as i can remember. Its clearly discriminatory against those in the regions

One option is to book on the phone and ask for them to release domestic seats - I've never done so but have seen it mentioned here relatively often.
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Old Aug 28, 13, 8:25 am
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With regional routes, particularly MAN and LBA, they seem initially to release seats on very few flights at T-355, but then release much more availability a few weeks later. Just look for example at early/mid July 2014 to/from LHR.

Assuming BA won't free up connections on request as suggested above, your only option is probably to book the long haul segments as soon as they are available (now?) and then add on the MAN connections in a few weeks time as and when they become available. You'll have to pay the change fee, but it looks like you've no option.

Worst case outcome, you finish up driving MAN to LHR.....
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Old Aug 28, 13, 10:37 am
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As mentioned above, these days you are better to secure the long haul part of the trip and then wait for redemption flights to open up on domestic, or pay separately. If you are booking nearly a year ahead, I would have thought the domestic flights would be pretty cheap.
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Old Aug 29, 13, 2:54 am
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Originally Posted by nobbyclark View Post
As mentioned above, these days you are better to secure the long haul part of the trip and then wait for redemption flights to open up on domestic, or pay separately. If you are booking nearly a year ahead, I would have thought the domestic flights would be pretty cheap.
Paying separately does mean that BA has no liability to you if you miss your long haul, though. For security you want it all on one ticket.
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Old Aug 29, 13, 4:55 am
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I had exactly this issue for a 2014 US - LHR flight but no suitable availability on a flight to Leeds/Bradford.

I adopted the approach of book the long haul as that is hardest to secure and goes the quickest with the intention of adding the domestic sector as it opened up.

One thing that did catch me out was that I booked with Avios and Cash (not UUA) and I didn't realise that you do lose some flexibility over an all avios booking and 'can't' add a sector and have to book it separately. That concerned me from a luggage allowance side of things as the long haul sector was biz.

I say 'can't' as the BA agent was really helpful and eventually just added the sector for the price of the change fee so it's obviously not a system imposed limitation. It put my mind at rest so kudos to BA for this.

Slightly OT -being a refugee from Diamond Club I've found dealing with the BA call centre a quantum leap in understanding and helpfullness above the (in)famous BMI Pune call centre!
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