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

Upgrading a ticket bought by employer through Concur/Amex Business Travel

Upgrading a ticket bought by employer through Concur/Amex Business Travel

Old Aug 21, 19, 2:52 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Programs: BAEC Gold, IHG Platinum Ambassador, HH Gold
Posts: 208
Upgrading a ticket bought by employer through Concur/Amex Business Travel

My company travel policy requires economy travel. I have a ticket which was booked through Concur / American Express Global Business Travel to travel in economy to JFK on BA.

There is no option on the BA website to make any changes as it says I have to "contact my travel agent" to make changes.

What are my options for paying to upgrade this flight (at my own cost)? Is it best to just ask at the check-in desk on the day? If I call Amex to try to change I assume it will fire off notifications / exceptions emails to my employer and, even though I am happy to pay out of pocket at my own cost, I'd really rather not have my employer notified that I have changed it to business class.

Any tips or past experiences?
oceanscape is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 2:56 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,503
I'd tell my employer that I'm planing to upgrade at my own cost. They may think that you're bonkers, but why would they care?
SteveF is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 2:58 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 233
we use concur and have the ability to upgrade at personal cost by notifying our travel team prior to booking. it is also possible to do so at the airport, though not via the BA website or on the phone.
Yeoman5 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 2:59 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: London / Berlin
Posts: 65
Oh yes, I've had this before. My experience has been that you have to wait until check-in opens 24 hours before and may then be able to upgrade via one of the offers that frequently appear at that stage.

Lordy, I hate Concur.
bbbb and scolbath like this.
slicktony is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 3:02 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Programs: BA Exec Club - Gold
Posts: 157
I believe this is as until T-24, the booking remains under “travel agent” control. I have had the same messages too. However, upgrading at the airport is never a problem.

I also have a family family member who’s travel is booked via Concur and their corporate TA, again also requiring economy travel. He has sometimes in the past, I believe, been presented with a cash upgrade offer at OLCI. (The usual “upgrade now for a special price of xxx). I think the term is POUG, but I always get the abbreviations mixed up!
flyer_tom is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 3:20 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: On the underground
Programs: BMI Dimond club, BA Executive Club
Posts: 353
I stopped using our TA and just started claiming it back because of this as I wanted to upgrade, I spoke to my boss and HR beforehand and they were happy for me to do it.

I have been told you can ring Amex and they might be able to change it for you but will have a full fair price.

As others have said you might get lucky at 24 hours with an offer otherwise asking at the airport is an option which I have taken them up with before.
pacenotes is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 3:32 am
  #7  
V10
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Provincie Antwerpen, Vlaanderen, België
Programs: MUCCI Gold
Posts: 2,506
The best bet is probably asking at the airport. If you're booked into one of the cheaper fare buckets, calling the TA will probably only yield a straight fare recalculation for the higher cabin which could be hideously expensive especially if only the higher fare buckets are left in the cabin you want to upgrade into.

Maybe it's different on the JFK route, but when I was in the same boat any proactive upgrade offers via online check-in / the BA website were as rare as hens' teeth and asking at the airport was generally the only way forward.
V10 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 3:39 am
  #8  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 31,659
UuA should be fine subject to the booking ticking the boxes, you will have to phone to do it - see https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30609139-post6.html under Upgrading Using Avios

POUGs will pretty much never be offered for a TA booking.

AUPs may be available but you will have to wait and ask at the airport.
KARFA is online now  
Old Aug 21, 19, 3:42 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: London
Programs: BA Gold, Honors Gold
Posts: 219
Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
Is it best to just ask at the check-in desk on the day?
That's what I used to do - I'd say something about paying for an upgrade to make it clear that I wasn't just chancing my arm. I think my hit rate was nigh on 100% across various long haul routes in terms of them offering me a price to move to WTP, but the price wasn't always one I was willing to pay. The price to move to J was usually 3-4x that of to WTP which I almost never considered good value.
mattyw is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 3:59 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London N8
Programs: BA (LTG), Miles&More (whatever the lowest level is), Oyster card (zones 1-2)
Posts: 703
Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
UuA should be fine subject to the booking ticking the boxes, you will have to phone to do it - see https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/30609139-post6.html under Upgrading Using Avios

POUGs will pretty much never be offered for a TA booking.

AUPs may be available but you will have to wait and ask at the airport.
I believe UUA of a TA booking automatically brings the ticket under BA's control even if before T-24 (at least this is what I have been told when I have done it).

If that's the case then your TA would now no longer be able to do anything with the ticket, which may/may not be an issue for you/your work.
ScruttonStreet is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 4:11 am
  #11  
Ambassador, British Airways; FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Leeds, UK
Programs: BA GGL/CCR, GfL, HH Diamond
Posts: 31,659
Originally Posted by ScruttonStreet View Post
I believe UUA of a TA booking automatically brings the ticket under BA's control even if before T-24 (at least this is what I have been told when I have done it).

If that's the case then your TA would now no longer be able to do anything with the ticket, which may/may not be an issue for you/your work.
Yes I think you are right so the OP would need to think about that. Would the TA notice if it was done? Dealing with BA may well be easier than dealing with a corporate TA (has been in my experience!).
KARFA is online now  
Old Aug 21, 19, 4:29 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Programs: BAEC Gold, IHG Platinum Ambassador, HH Gold
Posts: 208
thanks for the advice, everyone! Sounds like airport may be best bet. Any idea of pricing? It is usually hideously expensive? What's so frustrating is that I have a full flexible "B" class economy ticket which cost c. £1800 whereas I could have booked a non-flex J ticket for less! These policies and ways of doing things are such a pain.
ung1 likes this.
oceanscape is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 4:31 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: London N8
Programs: BA (LTG), Miles&More (whatever the lowest level is), Oyster card (zones 1-2)
Posts: 703
Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
Yes I think you are right so the OP would need to think about that. Would the TA notice if it was done? Dealing with BA may well be easier than dealing with a corporate TA (has been in my experience!).
Yes same with me, much easier dealing with BA. And my travel agent has never noticed/cared, although my work bookings are always relatively straightforward. Other employers may raise an eyebrow however, so worth being aware of.
ScruttonStreet is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 5:07 am
  #14  
V10
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Provincie Antwerpen, Vlaanderen, België
Programs: MUCCI Gold
Posts: 2,506
Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
thanks for the advice, everyone! Sounds like airport may be best bet. Any idea of pricing? It is usually hideously expensive? What's so frustrating is that I have a full flexible "B" class economy ticket which cost c. £1800 whereas I could have booked a non-flex J ticket for less! These policies and ways of doing things are such a pain.
BA is laughing all the way to the bank at that price.

If an airport upgrade came in at 150 GBP for WT -> WTP or so I'd generally have taken it, more than that and it starts to look not so good from a value for money perspective based on what you get in premium economy compared to normal economy. Upgrades to J would be more than that, so you then need to decide if you need full business class. JFK isn't the longest of flights, maybe isn't worth the extra outlay for a day flight and so on. There was a thread with prevailing airport upgrade offers kicking around the board somewhere, but I'm not sure how up to date that is.

One other thing to consider - if you're in fully-flex economy for a reason (ie your employer might need to change your plans) be careful about whether you would still have that flexibility after any upgrade.
V10 is offline  
Old Aug 21, 19, 5:57 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: OKC
Programs: IHG Spire, National Exec, AA Plat
Posts: 1,745
Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
thanks for the advice, everyone! Sounds like airport may be best bet. Any idea of pricing? It is usually hideously expensive? What's so frustrating is that I have a full flexible "B" class economy ticket which cost c. £1800 whereas I could have booked a non-flex J ticket for less! These policies and ways of doing things are such a pain.
Does your corp travel policy not account for this?
I have a similar policy where I am required to book economy, but in the cases where PE/J are cheaper, I can call AMEX and have them book. They've told me that they have a way to note that the ticket booked was lowest cost despite not being in economy, and therefore it remains compliant. Never had an issue with this.
bchandler02 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: