Not being allowed to change avios ticket?

Old May 19, 14, 7:58 am
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Not being allowed to change avios ticket?

I booked an avios award from WAS-LHR with a return to ATL. I booked to ATL because that was the closest I could find to WAS. I am on my trip now and see that seats to EWR opened up. I called to make the change and am being told it is impossible!! BA is telling me I cannot make a change because EWR is in a different distance band. I pointed out it is actually fewer miles and I am not asking to be refunded any avios. She insisted I could only make a change in the same distance band, so places like PHX and DFW, which are even further from WAS. This seems crazy. I know I have booked a place holder destination before and paid to make a change. Is a change only within the same distance band some type of new rule? I asked the rep to speak to a supervisor and she told me no, that a supervisor couldn't do anything she couldn't do. Does anyone know how to make a change or am I stuck going to ATL?
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Old May 19, 14, 8:02 am
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Yes I think this is correct once you've flown the outbound.
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Old May 19, 14, 8:06 am
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Originally Posted by nux View Post
Yes I think this is correct once you've flown the outbound.
Ugh. It makes absolutely no sense that I can change to a further destination but not a closer one.
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Old May 19, 14, 8:17 am
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I think it is section 16.1 & 16.2 here which are applicable.

16.1. Changes to bookings for Reward travel on flights operated by British Airways or Airline Partners are permitted only in respect of date, time, class of service and (subject to Clause 16.2.) route. Such changes may only be made by the Member or an individual nominated in accordance with Clause 3.13. If more than one Avios and Money price option is available for a British Airways flight, it is not possible to change the price option chosen by a Member after a booking has been made. All permitted changes are subject to capacity limitations and may not be made after the time 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure of the first flight in the Reward travel itinerary. A fee as specified on ba.com may be payable for each permitted change. For the avoidance of doubt, name changes are not permitted.

16.2. The route applicable to an Reward travel booking may be changed provided that the new route selected would, as at the date the change is requested, require the redemption of the same amount of Avios Points as was redeemed in making the original booking. Route changes are only permitted for Reward travel bookings which (other than for the payment of taxes, fees and charges) are purchased using Avios Points only.
The change of route part is correct for what you have been told - I know that PHX and DFW are slightly further than ATL but they will all be in the same band and that is how the avios levels are set. Actually, I don't think you would be able to change it anyway as 16.1 clearly states:
All permitted changes are subject to capacity limitations and may not be made after the time 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure of the first flight in the Reward travel itinerary
This was what I thought as well, so at less than 24 hours or once you have started flying the booking you can't change it anyway. Cancellation is the same, less than 24 hours and you don't get any avios refund.
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Old May 19, 14, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by Montacute View Post
Ugh. It makes absolutely no sense that I can change to a further destination but not a closer one.
ATL-LHR is 4210mi which is in the 4000-5500mi band, as is DFW and PHX.
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Old May 19, 14, 8:22 am
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Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
I think it is section 16.1 & 16.2 here which are applicable.



The change of route part is correct for what you have been told - I know that PHX and DFW are slightly further than ATL but they will all be in the same band and that is how the avios levels are set. Actually, I don't think you would be able to change it anyway as 16.1 clearly states:
All permitted changes are subject to capacity limitations and may not be made after the time 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure of the first flight in the Reward travel itinerary
This was what I thought as well, so at less than 24 hours or once you have started flying the booking you can't change it anyway. Cancellation is the same, less than 24 hours and you don't get any avios refund.
I have made changes after departure before. I was able to change JFK to IAD last year. Also the rep just told me I could make a change now within the same band.
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Old May 19, 14, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by nux View Post
ATL-LHR is 4210mi which is in the 4000-5500mi band, as is DFW and PHX.
Yes, but it would actually make BA money to keep my original money and avios but let me fly to a closer destination. It makes no sense to prevent that. The rule should be same band or less.
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Old May 19, 14, 9:12 am
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Originally Posted by Montacute View Post
Yes, but it would actually make BA money to keep my original money and avios but let me fly to a closer destination. It makes no sense to prevent that. The rule should be same band or less.
It's the rules of the programme whether they make sense or not.
I'm sure the likes of the AA programme has some unpopular rules that BA don't and vice versa.
I remember the AF programme would not allow you to make changes to certain redemptions once booked and if you wanted to cancel one even weeks out you lost all the miles.
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Old May 19, 14, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY
Originally Posted by Montacute View Post
Yes, but it would actually make BA money to keep my original money and avios but let me fly to a closer destination. It makes no sense to prevent that. The rule should be same band or less.
It's the rules of the programme whether they make sense or not.
I'm sure the likes of the AA programme has some unpopular rules that BA don't and vice versa.
I remember the AF programme would not allow you to make changes to certain redemptions once booked and if you wanted to cancel one even weeks out you lost all the miles.
Actually the rules of the programme are that you can't make any changes after the outbound. As referenced above.

But it's widely referenced on here that changes are allowed in practice.

So it's hard not to feel some sympathy given the overall situation is as clear as mud...
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Old May 19, 14, 9:24 am
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This is why it is often a good idea to book trips as separate one-way tickets.
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Old May 19, 14, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
This is why it is often a good idea to book trips as separate one-way tickets.
Although the cash component for bookings originating from America is quite a bit higher than from the UK.

So LHR-JFK-LHR has a lower cash component than LHR-JFK, JFK-LHR.
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Old May 19, 14, 10:27 am
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Originally Posted by Kgmm77 View Post
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Actually the rules of the programme are that you can't make any changes after the outbound. As referenced above.

But it's widely referenced on here that changes are allowed in practice.

So it's hard not to feel some sympathy given the overall situation is as clear as mud...
If you want flexibility don't fly using Avios or change your plans before the outward leg. Oh, and never try to get on an earlier flight on an Avios booking, especially from Geneva.....
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Old May 19, 14, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by Montacute View Post
Yes, but it would actually make BA money to keep my original money and avios but let me fly to a closer destination. It makes no sense to prevent that. The rule should be same band or less.
It would make BA more money on this specific transaction yes. But if they allowed anyone to do this, would it prevent people paying extra for flexibility in the future?
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Old May 19, 14, 10:47 am
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I haven't even been able to change the zone before travel has started...
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Old May 19, 14, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by callum9999
Originally Posted by Montacute View Post
Yes, but it would actually make BA money to keep my original money and avios but let me fly to a closer destination. It makes no sense to prevent that. The rule should be same band or less.
It would make BA more money on this specific transaction yes. But if they allowed anyone to do this, would it prevent people paying extra for flexibility in the future?
It's a reward booking. Other than booking two one ways, how would you "pay more to get more flexibility"?
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