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Does british airways prioritise avios tickets for downgrades?

Does british airways prioritise avios tickets for downgrades?

Old Jan 19, 17, 3:59 am
  #46  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
When there is a statutory statement of what is due in a situation, I think it unlikely that a court is going to come up with a rewrite.



The passengers would be entitled to cancel and would expect that taking a voluntary change to another flight would be something that I would expect an airline to agree to
Cool well hopefully this isn't a situation I'll find myself in but good to have an idea of how to handle if so. I guess I'd dig my heels in and request changing to another flight...
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:00 am
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by stewaran View Post
I have no idea weather this represents good value, but they do attach the following monetary value when buying a sandwich at least

Smoked British bacon roll - served hot £4.75 / 600 Avios.

So a one way to NYC in F is 68K Avios, which based on a sandwich is worth £538.33
It is indeed a reference point, but is it a good way to value avios?

The point of compensation is to return the passenger to the position that would have prevailed had the failing not happened. If 100% compensation were due for a cancellation, could a passenger buy a flexible F ticket to NYC for £538.33? A one way flexible ticket to NYC is £8,285 in two weeks' time. £360 of that are taxes etc so the base fare is £7,615. On that basis one avios has the purchasing power of 11p. However, if used for a sandwich, that comes down to 8p. Sandwiches are therefore not good value, but not exceptionally poor value either.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:04 am
  #48  
 
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Originally Posted by FrancisA View Post
It is indeed a reference point, but is it a good way to value avios?

The point of compensation is to return the passenger to the position that would have prevailed had the failing not happened. If 100% compensation were due for a cancellation, could a passenger buy a flexible F ticket to NYC for £538.33? A one way flexible ticket to NYC is £8,285 in two weeks' time. £360 of that are taxes etc so the base fare is £7,615. On that basis one avios has the purchasing power of 11p. However, if used for a sandwich, that comes down to 8p. Sandwiches are therefore not good value, but not exceptionally poor value either.
It's 0.8p per avios on a sandwich, vs. 0.67p on cars, hotels, and flights with no avios availability... 11p/avios certainly is possible on one-way flexible transatlantics but is far from the norm!
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:05 am
  #49  
 
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Originally Posted by bernardh View Post
I was in this position and BA insisted that the companion ticket was not due a reimbursement as nothing had been paid. I contacted the CAA and it disagreed and recommended using small claims for recovery. BA initially indicated that it intended to defend, but folded at the last possible moment. I calculated the monetary value of the claim (I don't think MCOL allows anything other than a claim expressed in sterling) by working out how much it would cost to buy the Avios from BA.

As I've said here and on Raffles' blog, regardless of who is chosen for downgrade and why, I do think it's BA policy to deny and delay to test the claimant's patience. Many would not have gone through the rigmarole for a relatively small claim - that only serves to remind them of the crap that was endured in the first place. I'm more tenacious!
It looks as if BA don't want this tested in court - which will only add to my determination to pursue a claim should I ever find myself in this position! I did wonder about how a MCOL would be quantified as it has to be a cash value - it is interesting to hear that you were successful in claiming the purchase price of avios. I have a 241 flight coming up later in the year - your post has been bookmarked!
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:16 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by SilverSkier View Post
It looks as if BA don't want this tested in court - which will only add to my determination to pursue a claim should I ever find myself in this position! I did wonder about how a MCOL would be quantified as it has to be a cash value - it is interesting to hear that you were successful in claiming the purchase price of avios. I have a 241 flight coming up later in the year - your post has been bookmarked!
It might be worth saying that before going down the MCOL route, I had extensive 'discussions' [in writing] with BA about settlement I would accept: returning the voucher or paying-up in Avios, but to no avail. (Actually BA would only respond when I called - clearly not wanting anything in writing, but I noted those conversations in detail.)

I believe adding this detail to the claim only made me look more reasonable and BA less so, so I don't doubt that I would have prevailed had it gone before the Court. QED on the court test!
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:17 am
  #51  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingGirl79 View Post
So as a "Tesco Tourist" as Swanhunter so charmingly referred to me and my ilk, what rights do I have should I be told my companion is downgraded on a 2-4-1 booking?

I have a 2-4-1 to Singapore later this year which I've paid 210000 avios and £800 odd for on the assumption my companion and I will have flat beds in CW. If my companion was the be downgraded what are our options?

Could we refuse and ask to go on a later flight/flight the next day?

Or no choice, accept that he has to fly in WTP for 14 hours rather than CW and that there is only £200 offered as compensation (Which seems no way to be adequate for the loss of a flat bed etc for 14 hours, I'm guessing BA doesn't offer upgrades on this route for £200!)
BA, rather helpfully, publish prices for the purchasing of Avios. If your travelling companion was downgraded involuntarily you would sue BA in Small Claims Court for the effective cost of that ticket; which is around £1900 for 105k Avios. Plus your taxes and fees and your time in dealing with their antics. If you can get the CAA to agree they are incorrect in their insistence you are due no compensation as a poster above has done, then all the better.

There's an argument for deducting the cost of the WTP Avios cost from the amount claimed but personally given that both my wife and I would suffer physical pain from being upright for that amount of time, I wouldn't do so.

You can then choose to enter into negotiations to settle with BA if they choose to do open negotiations, if you wish, but again I likely wouldn't do so unless they offered the full amount of the claim.

Until EVERYONE who BA target in this way goes down the MCOL path and hits them in the only thing they care about, their coffers, they will continue this procedure. Whilst it's still cheaper to target these pax rather than paying EU261, they'll keep doing it. However once it starts costing them a few grand every time they do it, they'll soon change direction.

Spare the rod, spoil the child.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:22 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingGirl79 View Post
So as a "Tesco Tourist" as Swanhunter so charmingly referred to me and my ilk, what rights do I have should I be told my companion is downgraded on a 2-4-1 booking?
A good question. What does it mean to be a 'Tesco Tourist'? The lowest of the low?

Originally Posted by Scrudgy View Post
...My avios source is BA, Amex, Lloyds, Tesco, Shell, Portal shopping - anything really, but I must admit my focus has changed from banking avios to save and spend as I go.
As for many of us. Mine are about 50% from flying, 50% from Tesco.

Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
I don't think so actually. You'll notice that on everything you copied, flying comes first. The fact that you can also earn avios from other sources is an important aspect of all FFPs, but it does not mean that they are no longer 'FFPs'.

In fact, if you want to refer to what BA are saying, you will note that when you book a ticket on the BA website (you have to do it without logging in to see it), the website asks you if you are 'Member of a frequent flyer programme', the choice of which starts with BAEC.

Then on your file, your BAEC number (regardless of status) comes under the heading 'FQTV' which stands for 'frequent traveller'.

And of course, as amply described by BA, you climb the steps of BAEC by 'flying more' and/or flying in more premium classes. Those are, in effect, the only hierarchical bases of BAEC for a reason and they are perfectly transparent about it including in the bits you quote about 'fly more to unlock more benefits'.



'Equitable'? Gosh, that is so normative. If BA decided that BAEC privileges came with more Tesco spending or more Avis car rentals or whatever, that would be entirely their right. There is absolutely no commitment to some supposed equity between different activities. As it happens, its entire hierarchical system is based in how much and how you fly, that is how the 'privileges get unlocked' as they say.

It is quite possible, by the way, that the source of avios accrual has an impact on how people perceive the value of the programme. I have an (untested) feeling that those who accrue less through flying may be more lenient towards both BA and BAEC than those who do. Again, though, this is untested and may well be wrong.

Incidentally, I think that this thread confuses two very separate questions:

1) who gets access to F not-fully-cash-paid inventory and
2) who gets priority protection from possible downgrade if a cabin is overbooked.

In my view, the two need not be directly related, and as mentioned, possible changes such as limiting access to F awards to status members, regardless of whether it is good or bad, 'equitable' or not, would merely bring BA in line with its three main European F competitors.
Reading the page I linked to, the lead page for the programme on the BA website, it is clear the emphasis is inclusive and diverse. Of course flying is part of the programme, but it is by far the only part. The generic term 'frequent flyer programme' is used across all FFPs, and doesn't take into account how BAEC has diversified - all for the better imo.

Even on FT the forum title was changed from 'British Airways Executive Club' to 'British Airways l Executive Club' to better describe a forum for not just frequent flyers, but also those who love to travel, which mirrors the sentence of the page I refer to on BA website:

http://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club

The Executive Club is our reward programme for anyone who loves to travel.

I would wonder why it is so important to you to maintain the definition of the programme for frequent flyers? Let's not forget, on most flights on average there are more Blue members than members of other tiers. Some of them will be highly profitable, for instance paying £800 return for return Y flights to MCO, where a knowledgeable FT-er may pay double that for a multi-sector TP run in J making silver or gold.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:36 am
  #53  
 
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Originally Posted by Wozza2404 View Post

Until EVERYONE who BA target in this way goes down the MCOL path and hits them in the only thing they care about, their coffers, they will continue this procedure. Whilst it's still cheaper to target these pax rather than paying EU261, they'll keep doing it. However once it starts costing them a few grand every time they do it, they'll soon change direction.

Spare the rod, spoil the child.
^
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:40 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
A good question. What does it mean to be a 'Tesco Tourist'? The lowest of the low?
Personally I'm baffled that people use Tesco points to generate Avios.

I believe I'm correct that £2.50 of Tesco vouchers gets you 600 Avios? Well valuing an Avios at 0.6p that's £3.60 of 'value'. Even if you value an Avios as highly as 1p each (and I don't), it's only £6 of 'value'.

Given I can get 4x value out of Tesco vouchers for days out (for which we would have paid cash without them) and restaurants, I'd be out of pocket using them for anything else.

Now granted I've got a few hundred £ of Tesco vouchers expiring next month so I could see me throwing them to Avios as a very last resort if it came to it, but definitely not as a regular use of them.

Especially given how easy it is to generate points on credit cards at the moment.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 4:41 am
  #55  
 
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Originally Posted by Wozza2404 View Post

There's an argument for deducting the cost of the WTP Avios cost from the amount claimed but personally given that both my wife and I would suffer physical pain from being upright for that amount of time, I wouldn't do so.
Where EU261 applies, I don't think there is any such argument. If the EU261 position is that as a result of a downgrade, you are entitled to 75% of the fare, then the question is one of calculating the value of the fare and applying the compensatory percentage. Note that the regulation is not framed to refund the difference in fare cost between cabins, as your argument would have it. On that basis in an extreme case an airline might argue that the cost of a last minute ticket in a lower cabin was more than the fare paid and therefore no compensation were due.

In my view, (I am not a legal expert), it is best to apply the provisions of the regulations to the facts of the case and once it is demonstrated that they apply, determine cost of fare and compensation due. If you are happy that that is the price BA would sell that number of avios to you, then so be it. However, for many claims the quantum of avios will be more than BA would allow to be purchased (implying that BA view the sale of avios to be at a discount to their intrinsic value). That being so, I personally think a valuation closer to that intrinsic value is more appropriare, with the cash cost of the equivalent base fare being an obvious method of valuation.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 5:35 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
I would wonder why it is so important to you to maintain the definition of the programme for frequent flyers?
Ah, yes, you had not made things personal for a while, I was sort of missing it!

You always do the same thing, it's sort of funny:

step 1: someone makes a point ('BAEC is a frequent flyer programme') which many people might intuitively agree with;

step 2: for reasons that belong to you (unlike you, I won't try to double guess them), you do not agree with that. You think that because BAEC members can also accrue based on shopping, hotel stays, car rental, credit cards, banking, etc, it does not qualify as a Frequent Flyer Programme. Fine, totally your right to disagree. You include bits of BA prose that explain every way in which you can accrue avios as supporting your argument, which is again perfectly fine, and make two odd accusations: 1) that seeing BAEC as an FFP is 'outdated' (not sure why really, the exact same argument that you are making now could have been made in the exact same way 15 years ago when the same earning opportunities existed, so if seeing BAEC as an FFP is wrong, then it is entirely wrong and has been for a long time, not just outdated), and that 2) seeing BAEC as a Frequent Flyer Programme is, in some bizarre way, 'inequitable'.

step 3: person says that they disagree with you. Yes of course, all FFPs allow a variety of sources of accrual, but it does not mean that they are not Frequent Flyer Programmes. In answer to your point that there are plenty of ways to accrue, person answers: 'sure, but then in terms of status, it is only based of flying, ergo, 'flying' and 'shopping' are not considered equal by the airline (note, for example, that some other FFPs count credit card use and purchases towards status, BAEC does not), and in response to your quoting bits where BA does not mention BAEC as a frequent flyer programme, person says that BA do in other places such as their own booking system (not to mention others') as well as their own booking records. Again, you are free to disagree but I'm afraid I don't 'have' to be convinced by your argument to play fair.

step 4: you not-so-subtly distort what the other person is saying (I said 'BAEC is a Frequent Flyer Programme', you claim that I said 'BA is a programme for frequent flyers' which is entirely different).

step 5: you hint at a dirty suspicion of necessary bias from those who do not agree with you and personalise things ('I wonder why it is so important for you...'). Well, it is not, I just don't agree with you that BAEC is not a Frequent Flyer Programme. I couldn't care less if it were a frequent embroidering programme, a frequent soup making programme or a frequent marathon running programme. I just substantively disagree with you that the fact that there are plenty of ways to accrue means that it is not a Frequent Flyer Programme, and in fact, its logical conclusion which would be that there are hardly any Frequent Flyer Programmes left on this planet since virtually all allow for plenty of non-flight accruing options. And as a consequence, it does not seem illogical to me that the amount of flying ones does will have an impact on how people will be treated by the airline which owns the FFP. My point is not normative (it is not 'good' or 'bad' - you are the one talking of equity and the likes), it is descriptive. Perhaps you could consider the possibility that even if you are absolutely persuaded that you are always right and those who disagree with you are always wrong, which is perfectly fine by me, those annoying people who have different opinions from you might do so without necessary being motivated by some dark and dodgy motive.

So by all means, continue thinking that BA Executive club is not a Frequent Flyer Programme, but kindly leave me out of it.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 5:39 am
  #57  
 
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Originally Posted by Wozza2404 View Post
Personally I'm baffled that people use Tesco points to generate Avios.
I believe I'm correct that £2.50 of Tesco vouchers gets you 600 Avios? Well valuing an Avios at 0.6p that's £3.60 of 'value'. Even if you value an Avios as highly as 1p each (and I don't), it's only £6 of 'value'.
Given I can get 4x value out of Tesco vouchers for days out (for which we would have paid cash without them) and restaurants, I'd be out of pocket using them for anything else.
Now granted I've got a few hundred £ of Tesco vouchers expiring next month so I could see me throwing them to Avios as a very last resort if it came to it, but definitely not as a regular use of them.
Especially given how easy it is to generate points on credit cards at the moment.
I get 800 from being on the previous deal. Don't want days out. Regard it as getting a LCY to TXL retrun for about £28 (+£35 of course). It's what works for me.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 5:44 am
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by dougzz View Post
I get 800 from being on the previous deal. Don't want days out. Regard it as getting a LCY to TXL retrun for about £28 (+£35 of course). It's what works for me.
If I had kids it'd be different, but I take the same view. Flying is what I do with my days off when I'm not at home, with only occasional business travel. I could save more money with restaurants, but I don't eat out that much and tend to do so when I'm travelling, rather than on big occasions, certainly at places where I know they accept the vouchers.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 5:46 am
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by orbitmic View Post
Ah, yes, you had not made things personal for a while, I was sort of missing it!

You always do the same thing, it's sort of funny:

step 1: someone makes a point ('BAEC is a frequent flyer programme') which many people might intuitively agree with;

step 2: for reasons that belong to you (unlike you, I won't try to double guess them), you do not agree with that. You think that because BAEC members can also accrue based on shopping, hotel stays, car rental, credit cards, banking, etc, it does not qualify as a Frequent Flyer Programme. Fine, totally your right to disagree. You include bits of BA prose that explain every way in which you can accrue avios as supporting your argument, which is again perfectly fine, and make two odd accusations: 1) that seeing BAEC as an FFP is 'outdated' (not sure why really, the exact same argument that you are making now could have been made in the exact same way 15 years ago when the same earning opportunities existed, so if seeing BAEC as an FFP is wrong, then it is entirely wrong and has been for a long time, not just outdated), and that 2) seeing BAEC as a Frequent Flyer Programme is, in some bizarre way, 'inequitable'.

step 3: person says that they disagree with you. Yes of course, all FFPs allow a variety of sources of accrual, but it does not mean that they are not Frequent Flyer Programmes. In answer to your point that there are plenty of ways to accrue, person answers: 'sure, but then in terms of status, it is only based of flying, ergo, 'flying' and 'shopping' are not considered equal by the airline (note, for example, that some other FFPs count credit card use and purchases towards status, BAEC does not), and in response to your quoting bits where BA does not mention BAEC as a frequent flyer programme, person says that BA do in other places such as their own booking system (not to mention others') as well as their own booking records. Again, you are free to disagree but I'm afraid I don't 'have' to be convinced by your argument to play fair.

step 4: you not-so-subtly distort what the other person is saying (I said 'BAEC is a Frequent Flyer Programme', you claim that I said 'BA is a programme for frequent flyers' which is entirely different).

step 5: you hint at a dirty suspicion of necessary bias from those who do not agree with you and personalise things ('I wonder why it is so important for you...'). Well, it is not, I just don't agree with you that BAEC is not a Frequent Flyer Programme. I couldn't care less if it were a frequent embroidering programme, a frequent soup making programme or a frequent marathon running programme. I just substantively disagree with you that the fact that there are plenty of ways to accrue means that it is not a Frequent Flyer Programme, and in fact, its logical conclusion which would be that there are hardly any Frequent Flyer Programmes left on this planet since virtually all allow for plenty of non-flight accruing options. And as a consequence, it does not seem illogical to me that the amount of flying ones does will have an impact on how people will be treated by the airline which owns the FFP. My point is not normative (it is not 'good' or 'bad' - you are the one talking of equity and the likes), it is descriptive. Perhaps you could consider the possibility that even if you are absolutely persuaded that you are always right and those who disagree with you are always wrong, which is perfectly fine by me, those annoying people who have different opinions from you might do so without necessary being motivated by some dark and dodgy motive.

So by all means, continue thinking that BA Executive club is not a Frequent Flyer Programme, but kindly leave me out of it.
You've put a great deal of words in my mouth there, which I think was unfair and over the top, and I don't agree with them. You also quoted entirely out of context which harshened my words.

Well it is a shame you've closed down the debate, which I think was a healthy one, but I respect your right to do so. It was veering OT anyway, so maybe not a bad thing.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 6:32 am
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by dougzz View Post
I get 800 from being on the previous deal. Don't want days out. Regard it as getting a LCY to TXL retrun for about £28 (+£35 of course). It's what works for me.
Yup, and it it works for you then that's great.

For me, I don't think I've ever got less than double value for Tesco vouchers, and I'd be on the 600 rate, so the cost would be at least £75 (as I can always cash out for minimum 2x value) plus the £35, plus getting to LCY; at which point it's cheaper to pay cash for a LCC out of BHX or EMA.
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