Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

Interesting experience booking a BA Holiday (flight+car) over the phone last night

Interesting experience booking a BA Holiday (flight+car) over the phone last night

Reply

Old May 18, 18, 3:19 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,484
Interesting experience booking a BA Holiday (flight+car) over the phone last night

Last night I called the gold line to book a CW flight+car package for a short ski holiday in Colorado next winter. The reason for wanting to book it as a holiday was so that I could pay only a £350 deposit now and the balance in the new year. The reason for wanting to book over the phone was due to the ability of having a 24 hours cooling off period, which is not granted for holiday bookings on the website.

Just to make sure the representative and I were on the same page, I asked him to confirm a few things.
  • That there was would be no service fee for booking a holiday over the phone. He had to double check that and asked me if I was based in the UK or in the US. I inferred that the answer may be different based on your country of residence or POS.
  • That there would be a 24 hour cooling off period. Initially he said no, but when I mentioned that I was pretty sure that I had read it on the website, he went away to double check with his team and he confirmed that I was right.
  • That I could upgrade with Avios at the time of booking. Once again, initially he said no, but after checking with his team, he confirmed that he would be able to do it.
I have to say that I wished the representative had been better informed, but kudos to him for not being stubborn and taking seriously that fact that it sounded like I knew what I was talking about.

He then took the flight and car detail, but when he tried to price it, he obtained a quote for a total cost of £20,000. Clearly very different from what the website was quoting. I didn't give up and suggested that perhaps something was being done incorrectly, as I could not see why he wasn't able to quote the same price. Initially he suggested that he could try to sort it out offline and call me back, but it was midnight already and I was afraid that the Avios seats would disappear. Eventually he said that he would get his supervisor involved.

To cut the long story short, they had to make the booking "manually" in order to force the flights in I, as his system was automatically booking both legs in J.

He also managed to process the upgrade with Avios of the inbound contextually to the booking.

All in all, it was a successful experience and I appreciated the willingness of the representative to get it sorted rather than just saying "computer says no". On the other hand, I wish he hadn't taken so long to do something that simple; it would've been incredibly frustrating if the Avios seats had gone by the time he was ready to book them.

I was cheekily hoping the the Avios for the upgrade were not going to be debited, but they were!

P.S. Final price for two people for LHR(J)-DEN-(F)LHR was £3,020 + 50,000 Avios. The car is W class SUV. Not bad!
kingcole974 likes this.

Last edited by ringingup; May 18, 18 at 3:56 am
ringingup is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 3:26 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: UK
Programs: BAEC Silver
Posts: 4,830
There you go living up to your user name again!

To be honest, this experience sounds like quite a pain and you were very understanding.
sgm, ringingup and tynmar like this.
Flexible preferences is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 3:30 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,484
Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
There you go living up to your user name again!
Haha!

Originally Posted by Flexible preferences View Post
To be honest, this experience sounds like quite a pain and you were very understanding.
It's very unlike me to be patient!

I also forgot to mention that at some point the line cut off... thank god the guy called me back within five minutes! He had taken my phone number just in case.
ringingup is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 3:35 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: BA Gold, EK Skywards (recently 'enhanced' to Blue !)
Posts: 4,175
Good that there was expert, knowledgeable assistance available - in the shape of yourself !

And yes, credit to the staff for sorting it in the end, to your eventual satisfaction.
subject2load is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 3:41 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,484
Originally Posted by subject2load View Post
Good that there was expert, knowledgeable assistance available - in the shape of yourself !

And yes, credit to the staff for sorting it in the end, to your eventual satisfaction.
From my point of view, as you said, I got what I wanted. However, someone not as experienced or not as resilient would've given up, making them an unhappy customer and leaving BA short of some revenue.

By the way, in the end the price he quoted me was around £60 cheaper than the online quote. I don't know why it would be the case, if it was a mistake in calculating the tax or if flying back in First made it cheaper.
subject2load likes this.
ringingup is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 3:46 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,484
What is REALLY annoying though, is that the whole row 62 is booked on the upper deck for the outbound!!! I had to go for 64J and 64K which, I don't love because of the galley and the proximity to potentially screaming babies in 64A (controversial, I know!)
ringingup is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 7:45 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: UK
Programs: British Airways Executive Club Gold, Global Entry
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
Last night I called the gold line to book a CW flight+car package for a short ski holiday in Colorado next winter. The reason for wanting to book it as a holiday was so that I could pay only a £350 deposit now and the balance in the new year. The reason for wanting to book over the phone was due to the ability of having a 24 hours cooling off period, which is not granted for holiday bookings on the website.

Just to make sure the representative and I were on the same page, I asked him to confirm a few things.
  • That there was would be no service fee for booking a holiday over the phone. He had to double check that and asked me if I was based in the UK or in the US. I inferred that the answer may be different based on your country of residence or POS.
  • That there would be a 24 hour cooling off period. Initially he said no, but when I mentioned that I was pretty sure that I had read it on the website, he went away to double check with his team and he confirmed that I was right.
  • That I could upgrade with Avios at the time of booking. Once again, initially he said no, but after checking with his team, he confirmed that he would be able to do it.
I have to say that I wished the representative had been better informed, but kudos to him for not being stubborn and taking seriously that fact that it sounded like I knew what I was talking about.

He then took the flight and car detail, but when he tried to price it, he obtained a quote for a total cost of £20,000. Clearly very different from what the website was quoting. I didn't give up and suggested that perhaps something was being done incorrectly, as I could not see why he wasn't able to quote the same price. Initially he suggested that he could try to sort it out offline and call me back, but it was midnight already and I was afraid that the Avios seats would disappear. Eventually he said that he would get his supervisor involved.

To cut the long story short, they had to make the booking "manually" in order to force the flights in I, as his system was automatically booking both legs in J.

He also managed to process the upgrade with Avios of the inbound contextually to the booking.

All in all, it was a successful experience and I appreciated the willingness of the representative to get it sorted rather than just saying "computer says no". On the other hand, I wish he hadn't taken so long to do something that simple; it would've been incredibly frustrating if the Avios seats had gone by the time he was ready to book them.

I was cheekily hoping the the Avios for the upgrade were not going to be debited, but they were!

P.S. Final price for two people for LHR(J)-DEN-(F)LHR was £3,020 + 50,000 Avios. The car is W class SUV. Not bad!

I had a very similar experience when combining two Amex 2-4-1s for a family of four. An inexperienced agent who initially thought it couldn't be done. In the end the booking was made manually with the supervisor's help. The vouchers were manually taken from the account and the Avios debit shows as a 'miscellaneous' transaction, so I assume they were taken manually and not linked to the booking. One result of this is that despite it being a reward booking, the booking is currently showing as earning the full TPs and Avios, although the selling classes are redemptions (Z & U). I wonder what the chances are of being credited the TPs and Avios?
FeedbirdNiner is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 7:51 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,484
Originally Posted by FeedbirdNiner View Post
One result of this is that despite it being a reward booking, the booking is currently showing as earning the full TPs and Avios, although the selling classes are redemptions (Z & U). I wonder what the chances are of being credited the TPs and Avios?
As far as I understand, you might get lucky but it's unlikely.
ringingup is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 8:11 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,011
That sounds like a great trip! There really are some excellent holidays to be had and some knowledgeable staff.
richardwft is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 8:15 am
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,484
Originally Posted by richardwft View Post
That sounds like a great trip! There really are some excellent holidays to be had and some knowledgeable staff.
I've never been to Colorado and last time I went skiing I was 3... I'm pretty excited!
ringingup is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 9:47 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Oxford (&Western Isles )
Programs: BAEC Gold; RyanAir MillionMiler :( ;
Posts: 293
Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
I've never been to Colorado and last time I went skiing I was 3... I'm pretty excited!
Are you driving up to Steamboat? Great place for new/intermediate - and where my kids learned to ski.

PS I recognise the "combining two 241s from different accounts" problem above - as I had very similar problem a few weeks ago.

Enjoy CO.
wanderingjock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 18, 18, 11:02 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1,326
Originally Posted by ringingup View Post
Last night I called the gold line to book a CW flight+car package for a short ski holiday in Colorado next winter. The reason for wanting to book it as a holiday was so that I could pay only a £350 deposit now and the balance in the new year. The reason for wanting to book over the phone was due to the ability of having a 24 hours cooling off period, which is not granted for holiday bookings on the website.

Just to make sure the representative and I were on the same page, I asked him to confirm a few things.
  • That there was would be no service fee for booking a holiday over the phone. He had to double check that and asked me if I was based in the UK or in the US. I inferred that the answer may be different based on your country of residence or POS.
  • That there would be a 24 hour cooling off period. Initially he said no, but when I mentioned that I was pretty sure that I had read it on the website, he went away to double check with his team and he confirmed that I was right.
  • That I could upgrade with Avios at the time of booking. Once again, initially he said no, but after checking with his team, he confirmed that he would be able to do it.
I have to say that I wished the representative had been better informed, but kudos to him for not being stubborn and taking seriously that fact that it sounded like I knew what I was talking about.

He then took the flight and car detail, but when he tried to price it, he obtained a quote for a total cost of £20,000. Clearly very different from what the website was quoting. I didn't give up and suggested that perhaps something was being done incorrectly, as I could not see why he wasn't able to quote the same price. Initially he suggested that he could try to sort it out offline and call me back, but it was midnight already and I was afraid that the Avios seats would disappear. Eventually he said that he would get his supervisor involved.

To cut the long story short, they had to make the booking "manually" in order to force the flights in I, as his system was automatically booking both legs in J.

He also managed to process the upgrade with Avios of the inbound contextually to the booking.

All in all, it was a successful experience and I appreciated the willingness of the representative to get it sorted rather than just saying "computer says no". On the other hand, I wish he hadn't taken so long to do something that simple; it would've been incredibly frustrating if the Avios seats had gone by the time he was ready to book them.

I was cheekily hoping the the Avios for the upgrade were not going to be debited, but they were!

P.S. Final price for two people for LHR(J)-DEN-(F)LHR was £3,020 + 50,000 Avios. The car is W class SUV. Not bad!
***** note that you dont get a cooling off period on holiday bookings made online only those UK bookings made over the phone. The booking itself also needs to be more than 14 days ahead to be eligible for cooling off. Its useful to know!!!

Also UK BA holiday booking have no service fee over the phone but a US holiday booking does.

Last edited by Anonba; May 18, 18 at 11:12 am
Anonba is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old May 20, 18, 12:58 am
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC Gold, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,484
Originally Posted by Anonba View Post


***** note that you dont get a cooling off period on holiday bookings made online only those UK bookings made over the phone. The booking itself also needs to be more than 14 days ahead to be eligible for cooling off. Its useful to know!!!

Also UK BA holiday booking have no service fee over the phone but a US holiday booking does.
Yep. You’re right on all those points. I kind of implied here in my post, but thanks for spelling them out for future readers.
ringingup is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: