What logic do BA use to price cash upgrades?

Old Sep 30, 17, 9:42 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 163
What logic do BA use to price cash upgrades?

I pretty much only fly economy, since I donít have the joys of a globe-trotting job and Iíd rather have more holidays a year sat at the back than fewer sat up front! However, having just completed the return KUL journey my partner has (not so) subtly pointed out that itís worth paying a bit extra for the long ones!

So, with a quick break in December to New York, I headed straight for the app to see what upgrade options were available. Somehow Iíve booked a fare class not allowing use of Avios, so I checked out the cash options. However the choices presented for us both left me almost speechless. Ignoring Premium Economy, BA wanted just shy of £10k for business and over £42k for First!!!

What logic do they use to come up with these prices?!

Booking a new business ticket is around £5k, and First just over £6k. I know you shouldnít take risks and should book the type of ticket you want at the outset. Sure, pay a bit more after booking for not having taken the higher class at the offset, but surely no one would pay this uplift? Especially for First?

Or is the First experience really worth almost £40 per minute, assuming you get four hours use of the lounge?! Alas, itíll be another 11,000km somewhere well behind the engines for me!
stevebintley is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 10:29 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Glos
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 5,612
Business to JFK for £5k is crazy!! Are you looking at fully flexible, or not staying a Saturday night?
mikeyfly is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 10:30 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 163
Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
Business to JFK for £5k is crazy!! Are you looking at fully flexible, or not staying a Saturday night?
It's a Thursday to Monday, and you might already have guessed that I look for the cheapest option rather than flexible!

And all these figures are total return for two people.
stevebintley is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 10:56 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Near Edinburgh
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 9,034
It may sound facetious, and BA has all sort of complex algorithms to work out what prices to charge, but the when you boil things down to the simplest terms, the logic BA use is to charge the highest price they think someone will be willing to pay for the ticket at that point in time.

So, there really is no "logic" as such.
Paralytic is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 11:07 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: BAEC Gold, EK Skywards (enhanced Blue !), Oman Air Sindbad Gold
Posts: 4,981
NYC, when all said & done, is amongst the shortest of longhauls.

If you're relatively 'happy' - as you imply - to maximise the number of leisure trips rather than splashing out on a bigger seat (but with the compromise of fewer holidays), then perhaps stay down the back of the bus ; and treat yourselves instead to some nice goodies* and/or an upgraded hotel room for your stay in the Big Apple.

Maybe save biz class for a future, much longer flight.....?

(* and for the sort of money you're being quoted ...... you could get yourselves a LOT of goodies )
subject2load is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 11:12 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 163
Originally Posted by Paralytic View Post
It may sound facetious, and BA has all sort of complex algorithms to work out what prices to charge, but the when you boil things down to the simplest terms, the logic BA use is to charge the highest price they think someone will be willing to pay for the ticket at that point in time.

So, there really is no "logic" as such.
I thought as much!

Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
NYC, when all said & done, is amongst the shortest of longhauls.

If you're relatively 'happy' - as you imply - to maximise the number of leisure trips rather than splashing out on a bigger seat (but with the compromise of fewer holidays), then perhaps stay down the back of the bus ; and treat yourselves instead to some nice goodies and/or an upgraded hotel room for your stay in the Big Apple.

Maybe save biz class for a future, much longer flight.....?
I completely agree and I have indeed got my perfectly desired hotel instead

I was more just surprised that BA could potentially have got some extra money from me but instead choses to price an upgrade SO high that it could, for some, put them off even looking in the future.
stevebintley is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 11:12 am
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2007
Programs: BA Gold
Posts: 12,048
GBP 42k for First is clearly an IT failure - calling BA would yield the true figure

GBP 10k for Club World is not outside the realms of possibility (assuming it is for 2x pax 2x flights) for flights that are heavily booked already or expected to be constrained at the time of departure, but at this stage in the booking window I would be surprised if they were not an IT failure too - again, calling BA would yield a much more affordable amount.

You should be able to upgrade for a ticket reissue fee of a couple of hundred quid plus the fare difference.
Sixth Freedom is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 11:16 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 163
Originally Posted by Sixth Freedom View Post
GBP 42k for First is clearly an IT failure - calling BA would yield the true figure

GBP 10k for Club World is not outside the realms of possibility (assuming it is for 2x pax 2x flights) for flights that are heavily booked already or expected to be constrained at the time of departure, but at this stage in the booking window I would be surprised if they were not an IT failure too - again, calling BA would yield a much more affordable amount.
Would they still expect the telephone admin fee

Perhaps I'll wait until closer the time and take another look, but I'm hoping to be silver by then and as subject2load says it's pretty short anyway. The fact my original ticket was only around £400 per person puts it all in perspective...!
stevebintley is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 11:20 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: BAEC Gold, EK Skywards (enhanced Blue !), Oman Air Sindbad Gold
Posts: 4,981
Originally Posted by stevebintley View Post


...................

I completely agree and I have indeed got my perfectly desired hotel instead

..................
Enjoy

(as already mentioned, the F class quote will be an error, but the CW price could possibly be genuine, with December a popular month for NYC shopping trips)
subject2load is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 11:42 am
  #10  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 39,990
You're looking here at the Fare Difference and any change fee on your flights as booked, I would guess there will be cheaper options if you are prepared to look at other flights on the same day. This is different from POUG and AUP pricing (for which you'll get indicative prices in their respective threads in the Dashboard), and they show up when they really want to make a bit of money out of you. (And I agree that First isn't going to be the right fare there). At the moment I don't think they want you to move, so pricing it accordingly.

Note that even with POUGs/AUPs, these are priced above the cheapest CW (or whatever) fare available on the route, and deliberately so, if you intend to travel in a better cabin the logic is to encourage you to book this in the first instance.

And the late Thursday flights have a few weekly/fortnightly commuters. Add in a American expat families returning home for Christmas then there may be a bit of a CW price spike in evidence in that more seats are taken than expected (not knowing the actual date, so I haven't checked).
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Old Sep 30, 17, 11:49 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 163
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
You're looking here at the Fare Difference and any change fee on your flights as booked, I would guess there will be cheaper options if you are prepared to look at other flights on the same day. This is different from POUG and AUP pricing (for which you'll get indicative prices in their respective threads in the Dashboard), and they show up when they really want to make a bit of money out of you. (And I agree that First isn't going to be the right fare there). At the moment I don't think they want you to move, so pricing it accordingly.

Note that even with POUGs/AUPs, these are priced above the cheapest CW (or whatever) fare available on the route, and deliberately so, if you intend to travel in a better cabin the logic is to encourage you to book this in the first instance.

And the late Thursday flights have a few weekly/fortnightly commuters. Add in a American expat families returning home for Christmas then there may be a bit of a CW price spike in evidence in that more seats are taken than expected (not knowing the actual date, so I haven't checked).
Insightful, thanks cws. FYI this is all about BA115 on the 14th and BA172 on the 18th. I'm more convinced that CW is probably 'fair' now but either way I'll be enjoying another chicken and rice in foil tray
stevebintley is offline  
Old Sep 30, 17, 12:24 pm
  #12  
Moderator, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges, and Ambassador, British Airways Executive Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Programs: BA Lifetime Gold; Flying Blue Life Platinum; LH Sen.; Hilton Diamond; Kemal Kebabs Prized Customer
Posts: 39,990
Originally Posted by stevebintley View Post
Insightful, thanks cws. FYI this is all about BA115 on the 14th and BA172 on the 18th. I'm more convinced that CW is probably 'fair' now but either way I'll be enjoying another chicken and rice in foil tray
Maybe I shouldn't say this, but BRU-LHR-JFK on those services in CW is looking around £1350 per person return. And that's just my 20 second ITA speed check. It's not a full flight, looking at the numbers, so I would expect a POUG or AUP option for you for the usual prices, assuming you've got a simple BA.com ticket.
corporate-wage-slave is online now  
Old Sep 30, 17, 1:19 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Milton Keynes, UK
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 163
Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Maybe I shouldn't say this, but BRU-LHR-JFK on those services in CW is looking around £1350 per person return. And that's just my 20 second ITA speed check. It's not a full flight, looking at the numbers, so I would expect a POUG or AUP option for you for the usual prices, assuming you've got a simple BA.com ticket.
That's really good to know. Don't think I'd ever persuade the other half to handle a connection but fingers crossed for something sensible being released later! Thank you.
stevebintley is offline  
Old Oct 1, 17, 3:06 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Northern Ireland
Programs: BA Silver, A3
Posts: 648
From memory of my last booking, there's a date in December where prices went up for the Christmas demand. In my case I think it was 10th. Booking before then to BKK was significantly cheaper for both legs of the journey. Would this be generally true for many destinations?
Stormbel is offline  
Old Oct 1, 17, 3:27 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The World ;-)
Programs: OneWorld, Star Alliance, SkyTeam, AMEX
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by stevebintley View Post
I pretty much only fly economy, since I don’t have the joys of a globe-trotting job and I’d rather have more holidays a year sat at the back than fewer sat up front!
That's what I decided upon a few years ago.

But then I realised I could fly J with other airlines for not much more than BA economy or premium economy if I simply search for cheapest option irrespective of airline (plenty of way to do that using flight comparison sites ). I remember how BA quoted me and the Mrs £8500 to fly J to New Zealand (cheapest on the dates) when I could fly with other airlines for less than half of that with not much more inconvenient routing. Just do the math, if you use my approach and travel at least 1-2 in long haul J per year, you can save over £100,000 over your travelling life (depending on your age).

This is more common than not, so I think mostly independently wealthy folks on here stick to BA for most of their travels (or high earners or folks whose company pays for travel).

The only time I now fly BA is if I want to use miles earned via AMEX/Tesco. Barring the occasional decent deals to Hawaii/LAX.
johnspenceruk is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread