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last minute AS using Ultimate Rewards -> BA - doable?

last minute AS using Ultimate Rewards -> BA - doable?

Old Jun 7, 17, 12:57 pm
  #1  
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last minute AS using Ultimate Rewards -> BA - doable?

Hello,

I know almost nothing about BA but need to take a last minute (June 10) one way flight on AS of 343 miles (entirely in the US). I have no BA miles or even a BA account.

I have AA miles and they want 12,500 miles, which is reasonable, but AA charges a last minute $75 booking fee. I read that I could avoid that by using 7500 BA miles to buy this flight since BA does not charge a last minute booking fee and AS has saver availability demonstrated on the AA website.

I understand also that I can transfer Chase UR points to BA "almost immediately" at a 1:1 ratio and I do have lots of Chase UR points.

My question is one of feasibility, mechanics, and timing. Is it viable to:

1. Open a BA Avios account online;
2. Almost immediately transfer 7500 UR points to my new BA account;
3. use those points to book a one-way flight on AS for 7500 Avios points, plus fees?

Do I have the process right?
What fees does BA charge for this last minute booking?
Do I have enough time to do this?

Thanks for any suggestion/tips.

Last edited by psychtobe; Jun 7, 17 at 1:12 pm
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Old Jun 7, 17, 1:04 pm
  #2  
 
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I'm happy to help if there's partner availibility on the flight. PM sent.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:29 pm
  #3  
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From memory, I think the fees will be similar or higher booking through BA although as you rightly state, the number of points required will be lower. There's also the charge for booking over the phone as I don't think you can book AS rewards using Avios online.

All in all, if it's a last minute booking I'd just use your AA miles for now.

See this thread for a lot of info:

Booking Alaska Airlines with Avios

Last edited by golfmad; Jun 7, 17 at 2:35 pm
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:35 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by golfmad View Post
From memory, I think the fees will be similar or higher booking through BA although as you rightly state, the number of points required will be lower. There's also the charge for booking over the phone as I don't think you can book AS rewards using Avios online.

All in all, if it's a last minute booking I'd just use your AA miles for now.
Bad advice. BA doesn't charge a last-minute booking fee. For some reason, BA does charge a few extra dollars on an AS redemption than AA does, but it is literally just a few dollars (~$5).

Even if BA does not waive the phone booking fee -- which some agents will do for AS award bookings -- the OP will still pay fewer miles and less cash by booking through BA. As long as the UR => BA transfer goes through today, the OP should not have a problem.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:39 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Bad advice. BA doesn't charge a last-minute booking fee. For some reason, BA does charge a few extra dollars on an AS redemption than AA does, but it is literally just a few dollars (~$5).

Even if BA does not waive the phone booking fee -- which some agents will do for AS award bookings -- the OP will still pay fewer miles and less cash by booking through BA. As long as the UR => BA transfer goes through today, the OP should not have a problem.
This post by our esteemed Community Director was the source of my information:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/17475802-post7.html

Perhaps it's out of date?

Setting aside the question of fees, given that the OP wants to fly in less than three days it might be prudent on this occasion to swallow the fees and take the simpler route?
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:44 pm
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The taxes are around $5.60, so in line with what AS/AA charge. BA doesn't charge offline fee for the flights that cannot be booked through the website.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:48 pm
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Last time I booked AS flights I was charged 5 pp by BA plus the 7.5k avios
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:48 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by wmaciej View Post
The taxes are around $5.60, so in line with what AS/AA charge. BA doesn't charge offline fee for the flights that cannot be booked through the website.
Ok, happy to be proved wrong on this one. I thought BA's policy was to waive the call centre fee for actions that could not be completed online due to a technical problem. I thought the waiver did not extend to actions that were not possible online in the first place. However, I suspect this is subject to discretion from individual agents.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 2:56 pm
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Originally Posted by golfmad View Post
Ok, happy to be proved wrong on this one. I thought BA's policy was to waive the call centre fee for actions that could not be completed online due to a technical problem. I thought the waiver did not extend to actions that were not possible online in the first place. However, I suspect this is subject to discretion from individual agents.
Both times I've booked AS over the phone, the booking fee has been waived without me asking.

I did ask BA's FT techies whether an integration to AS would ever happen and apparently it's in the too hard bucket.
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Old Jun 7, 17, 3:29 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Tiger_lily View Post
Both times I've booked AS over the phone, the booking fee has been waived without me asking.
There are differing views on this. See this thread. I'm not doubting that a lot of people are not charged the fee but I do think there's a little inconsistency.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...phone-fee.html
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Old Jun 7, 17, 4:29 pm
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Originally Posted by golfmad View Post
There are differing views on this. See this thread. I'm not doubting that a lot of people are not charged the fee but I do think there's a little inconsistency.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/briti...phone-fee.html
Oh I totally agree on this. The good agents are proactive and just say there's no fee, it's been waived.

I do admit that on my second booking I HUACA'd because the booking fee was mentioned when I asked about the monetary costs. It's not the only issue where there's inconsistency though
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Old Jun 7, 17, 11:36 pm
  #12  
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thanks all, maybe for next time eh?
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Old Jun 7, 17, 11:39 pm
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The fight itself can't be that expensive. Why not save trouble and buy the ticket?
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