BAEC membership location

Old Mar 25, 18, 2:35 am
  #1  
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BAEC membership location

My BAEC account currently has a Singapore address but whenever I call GGL, it checks inventory available to members in Hong Kong and quotes me prices in HKD.

I recently called the GGL line to book a WTP return SIN-SYD-SIN. The person said she couldnít find inventory in T/T so could only quote me W/T instead which was about SGD400 higher than T/T that I could book online. So I booked online and called back to upgrade both legs to CW using Avios.

My original T/T was charged in SGD but with the Avios upgrade I was told there was an additional amount in HKD to pay, but the person couldnít charge it as my original fare was in SGD. She took a while checking and only subsequently said she could process it in SGD.

Questions:
- I told the person that T/T are widely sold on BA.com so why canít the GGL desk access this inventory? Do they have to change their sales location to do so?
- Why should there be a further amount to pay when upgrading a paid WTP ticket to CW using Avios, since airport tax ex SIN or SYD are the same whether one flies WTP or CW? Is this the exchange rate difference just because my BAEC account is based in HK (despite having a Singapore address) whereas my original WTP fare was purchased in SGD? Or does BA charge higher surcharges or fees when travelling CW vs WTP?

This is all a mystery to me while the GGL person couldnít shed any more light other than ďthatís how our system has calculated the fare differenceĒ. If anyone can, would be interested to know.
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Old Mar 25, 18, 6:14 am
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I can only specifically answer the second of your questions, but one reason why UuA can have a non-trivial amount of the additional cash component is that the airline also charges a carrier surcharge, and the amount of this can vary by cabin. Usually F and CW is the same however. From the WTP start point you will typically pay a fairly big wadge for the surcharge, and that is remitted against the CW equivalent, but still there will often a wadge more to pay for CW. I'm more familiar with the LHR-SIN-LHR fares in this area, which incidentally can't be read over to SIN-LHR-SIN, but a UuA from WTP-CW in that combination generally involves paying about £120 more, give or take, on top of the original WTP fare and Avios, whereas CW to First UuA could refund you some money if exchange rates have moved. In addition to the airline surcharge, there may be Point of Sale differences (though I'd need more specifics to be sure on that).

HKG is a special case due to no carrier surcharges on flights leaving HKG on redemptions. If HKG isn't a feature of your travels, and HKD unhelpful currency wise, I wonder if you would be better off returning to the UK, at least for BAEC purposes.
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Old Mar 25, 18, 8:09 am
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I am actually sort of in the same situation as you - SG account - but I live in HKG. Seems like the SG account always reverts to HKG pricing for some reason if you use the UK GGL line and I don't have a clue why.

But, have you tried
(i) calling the SG GGL line (never tried this - but this goes to India).
(ii) calling the HKG GGL line (this is a HKG local team and I find them quite helpful, and I have succeeding in getting an ex-AU booking processed through this desk, charged in AUD, and seemingly through AUS POS), so they may have been able to help you with a ex-SIN booking.
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Old Mar 25, 18, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I can only specifically answer the second of your questions, but one reason why UuA can have a non-trivial amount of the additional cash component is that the airline also charges a carrier surcharge, and the amount of this can vary by cabin. Usually F and CW is the same however. From the WTP start point you will typically pay a fairly big wadge for the surcharge, and that is remitted against the CW equivalent, but still there will often a wadge more to pay for CW. I'm more familiar with the LHR-SIN-LHR fares in this area, which incidentally can't be read over to SIN-LHR-SIN, but a UuA from WTP-CW in that combination generally involves paying about £120 more, give or take, on top of the original WTP fare and Avios, whereas CW to First UuA could refund you some money if exchange rates have moved. In addition to the airline surcharge, there may be Point of Sale differences (though I'd need more specifics to be sure on that).
The non trivial surcharge for any flight that originmates from LHR I understand is due to UK APD. But for other airports without such tax, and the fuel surcharge is the same for CW and WTP - what justifies this incremental charge for UUA from WTP to CW? Care to elaborate a bit more about the POS differences?
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Old Mar 25, 18, 6:02 pm
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I spoke to GGL again to chase up on my booking... apparently the UK GGL line faces the same ďno availabilityĒ problem with US based members who call and say they can see certain fares on ba.com but the GGL agents canít. Seems the agents need to hop to a different country POS to see the said fares, but appears not every agent knows how to do that (and this needs to be demanded by the caller). Seems like a basic thing that agents should be trained for...
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Old Mar 25, 18, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by ermen View Post
I am actually sort of in the same situation as you - SG account - but I live in HKG. Seems like the SG account always reverts to HKG pricing for some reason if you use the UK GGL line and I don't have a clue why.
Am told HK is the ďonlyĒ BA office that handles redemption bookings for Asia - so all Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, etc. members get ticketed from there.

Incidentally when the UK GGL couldnít take the HKD additional surcharge for my UUA (because my original WTP fare was bought on ba.com in SGD), the agent did something in the background after checking with someone, and converted to SGD but this has to be manually forwarded to INDIA to charge my credit card - and they donít work weekends apparently.

Yes, itís all too confusing!
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Old Mar 25, 18, 6:15 pm
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My account is also SG based. Iíve often upgraded a T/T to Sydney using Avios and thereís always an additional charge for WTP to CW but shouldnít be for CW to F - as one of the other members mentioned, this is due to different BA surcharges. Sometimes it is a bit cheaper to do by phone (gold line for me as Iím not GGL) but at the moment it seems the same regardless. Eg. The T/T fare in the current SG sale is about 1400 SGD, but youíll find that rises by about 150 SGD if you upgrade both legs to Club World - or a bit more than half that amount if you only upgrade only the outbound.

Iím also always charged HKD when phoning the gold line but itís usually a small amount so the FX aspect doesnít bother me.

As to your our first question, Iíve noticed similar issues with London gold line when booking complex itineraries due to the impact of a Singapore base and more recently when trying to redeem a GUF2 voucher for a simple itinerary. Ie. Different fare inventory available to what shows on some search engines. So far Iíve found using Propeller Travel the best route for GUFs - particularly since they donít need award inventory in the target class.
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Old Mar 25, 18, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by carrotjuice View Post
The non trivial surcharge for any flight that originmates from LHR I understand is due to UK APD. But for other airports without such tax, and the fuel surcharge is the same for CW and WTP - what justifies this incremental charge for UUA from WTP to CW? Care to elaborate a bit more about the POS differences?

On the point of the cash charge for a UuA, the carrier surcharge is definitely not the same for WTP and CW. Where APD is due you are already paying the higher rate in WTP, the APD is the same for any cabin from WTP upwards so a UuA for WTP->CW or CW->F does not incur additional tax. As you noted APD is irrelevant for your SIN-SYD-SIN itinerary anyway

I wrote this a while ago but it still applies and may help you understand where the additional cash cost comes from for a UuA:

There is an extra cash charge going from WT+ to CW and also WT to WT+, but no charge from CW to F. In all cases there is no change fee to pay.

For a UuA from WT+ to CW you should be paying the difference in carrier surcharge - it isn't a tax difference. The carrier surcharge applicable is route specific, generally though the longer the route the more the surcharge. For example starting from the UK the additional surcharge for CW over WT+ for a return to NYC is around £106 so the cost of doing a UuA for a return should be 20k avios and £106, and 10k avios and £53 for a one way UuA.

For a UuA from CW to F there is no difference in carrier surchage or APD, so it will just cost you the avios required.

Y to WT+ UuA isn't very common, but it is worth mentioning from Y to WT+ there isn't any additional carrier surchage. There may be additional APD in some cases though. For example, the APD for a Y class return from LON-NYC is £69, whereas the APD for a WT+ class return on the same flights is £138. As the APD is payable for leaving the UK and not arriving, the extra APD would only be charged if you did a UuA from Y to WT+ on the outbound from the UK. If you just UuA the inbound from abroad back to the UK there is no extra APD to pay.

Also, in all cases any changes in taxes, charges for customs, immigration, YQ, airport service fee, passenger service charge which have happened since the original booking was made will be taken in to account.

So, one way UuA from WT+ to CW for LHR-HKG should be avios and additional carrier surcharge (around £65 from memory for that route), give or take a few pounds for possible other fee/taxes changes.
As for your specific route SIN-SYD-SIN here are the figures for taxes/fees/charges:

SIN-SYD-SIN in WTP
Passenger Security Service Charge - Singapore SGD 8.00
Aviation Tax - Singapore SGD 6.10
Passenger Service Charge - Singapore SGD 19.90
Passenger Service Charge (International) - Australia SGD 63.60
Passenger Movement Charge - Australia SGD 61.00
Carrier imposed charge SGD 336.60
-----------------------------------------------
Total SGD 495.20

SIN-SYD-SIN in CW
Passenger Security Service Charge - Singapore SGD 8.00
Aviation Tax - Singapore SGD 6.10
Passenger Service Charge - Singapore SGD 19.90
Passenger Service Charge (International) - Australia SGD 63.60
Passenger Movement Charge - Australia SGD 61.00
Carrier imposed charge SGD 476.00
-----------------------------------------------
Total SGD 634.60


The difference is purely carrier surcharge, and if doing a UuA (or applying a GUF) for both outbound and inbound sectors I would expect to be charged around SGD 140 (~£75) per person.
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Old Mar 25, 18, 8:08 pm
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Enlightening! What justifies this carrier surcharge increase from WTP to CW? I thought the surcharge is to account for fuel but itís the same distance, same route, hence same quantity of fuel. Or would this account for the larger checkin luggage capacity for CW ba WTP whether or not the passenger uses it?
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Old Mar 25, 18, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by carrotjuice View Post
Enlightening! What justifies this carrier surcharge increase from WTP to CW? I thought the surcharge is to account for fuel but itís the same distance, same route, hence same quantity of fuel. Or would this account for the larger checkin luggage capacity for CW ba WTP whether or not the passenger uses it?
The charge is one of BAís own choosing so I guess they can justify however they wish. It is not purely related to fuel these days apparently.
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Old Mar 26, 18, 8:28 am
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Originally Posted by carrotjuice View Post
What justifies this carrier surcharge increase from WTP to CW? I thought the surcharge is to account for fuel but itís the same distance, same route, hence same quantity of fuel.
Because Club World is a less dense cabin than WT+, the total mass moved per Club World passenger is higher than the total mass moved per WT+ passenger. To take a hypothetical example, if a 350-ton aircraft carries 350 WT+ passengers from SIN to LHR, each passenger is paying to move 1 ton over that distance, but if the aircraft has 175 Club passengers, then each passenger has to pay to move two tons and therefore uses twice as much fuel.

So there is a logic to charging a higher fuel surcharge for premium cabins, and this was the foundation of what you've seen, even though the strict connection between the amount of surcharge in any individual case and the original logic behind the surcharge has evaporated over the years.
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