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WT+ to CW upgrade using Avios - which tax/charge difference?

WT+ to CW upgrade using Avios - which tax/charge difference?

Old Apr 25, 22, 5:16 pm
  #1  
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WT+ to CW upgrade using Avios - which tax/charge difference?

Hi all,

I just tried to upgrade a New York return booking from WT+ to CW and was quite shocked when I got 48k Avios plus £250 per person one-way, exactly the same for either of the legs.

Done some research and the carried-imposed surcharge does indeed go up from £200 (WT+/WT+) to £450 (WT+/CW) on a cash-only booking, which is an absolute joke but that's a different topic. On an Avios-only booking however, the carrier-imposed surcharge is £200 for WT+ (identical), but only goes up to £375 for WT+/CW.

I could swear I've only ever paid the Avios-based difference rather than the cash-based difference for upgrades using Avios. Am I wrong? Maybe I just got thrown off by these huge numbers - I think for South America flights I usually pay about £50!

Thank you!

Screenshot of a WT+/CW booking - left side is cash, right side is Avios. WT+/WT+ is £200 either way.

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Old Apr 25, 22, 5:43 pm
  #2  
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That ba.com is charging less for avios bookings has been mentioned in a couple of threads recently, including here:
Be Careful! Tax discrepancies!!!
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Old Apr 25, 22, 5:46 pm
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There has been a fairly decent hike in taxes/fees from WT+ to CW for as long as I can remember.
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Old Apr 25, 22, 5:47 pm
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Originally Posted by just_starting View Post
I could swear I've only ever paid the Avios-based difference rather than the cash-based difference for upgrades using Avios.
previously there hasnít been any difference in taxes/fees/charges when looking at cash bookings and reward bookings. This recent issue where there is a disparity between the two is the first time I can recall where there has been a difference.
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Old Apr 25, 22, 5:50 pm
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This is absolutely normal for an upgrade using Avios. You are responsible for the difference in taxes, fees and charges - which on an ex-UK booking are actually quite reasonable despite coming to £230 one way / £460 for a return. If you want a laugh, try pricing up a JFK - LHR return instead. The difference in TFCs where you upgrade both ways is $1000.

The carrier-imposed charge (YQ) does vary depending on the cabin, as does the APD. So you will pay more YQ in Club World than in World Traveller Plus. I am not sure why there's a disparity between the Carrier Imposed Charge when booking with cash and Avios. I am wondering if the cash fare is a DIF (Dual-Inventory Fare) whereas the Avios fare isn't and that explains the disparity.
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Old Apr 26, 22, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by just_starting View Post
Done some research and the carried-imposed surcharge does indeed go up from £200 (WT+/WT+) to £450 (WT+/CW) on a cash-only booking ...
Originally Posted by KARFA View Post
previously there hasn’t been any difference in taxes/fees/charges when looking at cash bookings and reward bookings. This recent issue where there is a disparity between the two is the first time I can recall where there has been a difference.
Originally Posted by Geordie405 View Post
I am not sure why there's a disparity between the Carrier Imposed Charge when booking with cash and Avios. I am wondering if the cash fare is a DIF (Dual-Inventory Fare) whereas the Avios fare isn't and that explains the disparity.
The £200 figure piqued my interest, because I could have sworn that I had seen a different figure when looking at the other thread (Be Careful! Tax discrepancies!!!).

I was right.

It seems that YQ can now vary by date as well. Try pricing a cash WT+ ticket for October. And then one for November. If you switch off ITA's availability checker, you can get DIFs in both cases, so that is not the problem here.

Although the difference between cash tickets and award tickets could in theory be a bug or an oversight, it is harder to ascribe this to a mere mistake of some kind.
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Old Apr 26, 22, 3:24 am
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
The £200 figure piqued my interest, because I could have sworn that I had seen a different figure when looking at the other thread (Be Careful! Tax discrepancies!!!).

I was right.

It seems that YQ can now vary by date as well. Try pricing a cash WT+ ticket for October. And then one for November. If you switch off ITA's availability checker, you can get DIFs in both cases, so that is not the problem here.

Although the difference between cash tickets and award tickets could in theory be a bug or an oversight, it is harder to ascribe this to a mere mistake of some kind.
So these "surcharges" can now vary by
  • booking class (the obvious one)
  • booking method (cash/Avios)
  • date (as per your example)
  • discretion (sometimes they don't charge it at all when you upgrade)
They're also arbitrary numbers, generally higher than the fare itself, and go straight to BA. Very much sounds like a fare rather than a surcharge? That's just ridiculous now isn't it...
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Old Apr 26, 22, 3:38 am
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Originally Posted by just_starting View Post
So these "surcharges" can now vary by
  • booking class (the obvious one)
Yes, but there are two refinements to this:
  • "booking class" in the sense of cabin: WT, WT+, CW etc
  • booking class in the technical sense (eg O class or Y class within the same cabin)
In addition, I think that YQ can occasionally vary by fare basis code even within the same booking class. I haven't been able to find any current examples, because it usually happens in sales. But sometimes the YQ is one figure for (say) fare basis OSALE but a different and higher figure for (say) fare basis ONORMAL.

None of this matters very much to those who are just buying cash tickets, but (for FTers in particular) it does matter when Avios come in to the equation because there are some truly arbitrary and unpredictable effects. Although BA may say that it is clear that TFC are payable on top of any Avios payable, it would seem to me to be arguable that the level of TFC should have an element of predictability, foreseeability and consistency, rather than just being arbitrary numbers that BA happens to think up for any particular scenario.
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Old May 23, 22, 4:49 pm
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I have an UUA away for pricing tonight. It’s a Lhr/ewr/jfk/jfk return 241 booking currently in club suite. 2 F reward seats opened up today and I called for a price to UUA the Lhr-ewr leg. Now, I wonder what I’ll be charged? I did say to the agent that the taxes are the same if booking F and J online with avios, but she was having none of it - saying they’ll need to price it precisely but it’s likely to be a ‘couple of hundred.’

EDIT: £166 extra per person - apparently because ‘taxes change all the time’…?

Last edited by Ruth4325; May 24, 22 at 11:20 am Reason: Updating price charged
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Old May 23, 22, 4:54 pm
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Well yes it should be the same usually in taxes/fees/charges from J to F. One caveat is if you booked before the recent carrier surcharge increase, and you upgrade after, you will end up having to pay for the increase difference.
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Old May 23, 22, 5:15 pm
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Thanks for confirming. I originally booked in Feb so guess that’s before the increase?
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