Avios: transferring, etc.

Old Aug 10, 12, 10:12 am
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Avios: transferring, etc.

We'd like to fly Iberia business JFK-MAD-FCO using Avios points. Our points are currently in BA. We'd each transfer enough for the flights to Iberia. Each of our accounts has been open 90 days.

If we have to cancel or change, I understand there is a 25 fee. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/iberi...ange-fees.html

How long would it take to transfer the points?

Would there be a problem transferring the points back to BA if we have to cancel?

BTW, we'd fly book through IB because fees and surcharges are hundreds of euros lower than booking through BA.
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Old Aug 12, 12, 8:28 pm
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Transfer is immediate. No problem to transfer back to BAEC, if you don't have a household account. If you do have a HHA, you need to open avios.com account (former Airmiles) with a UK address (can be fake), and transfer through it.
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Old Aug 13, 12, 3:29 pm
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Sounds good. Thanks
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Old Aug 20, 12, 4:33 pm
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Originally Posted by richarddd View Post
Sounds good. Thanks
And why not book with BA directly? They can also book you the Iberai flights.
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Old Aug 20, 12, 7:31 pm
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Originally Posted by TallestHotelInJapan View Post
And why not book with BA directly? They can also book you the Iberai flights.
As I mentioned above, "BTW, we'd fly book through IB because fees and surcharges are hundreds of euros lower than booking through BA."
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Old Aug 23, 12, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by TallestHotelInJapan View Post
And why not book with BA directly? They can also book you the Iberai flights.
I would also add a strange glitch that I've noticed lately -- BA does not appear to have access to the same award inventory that IB has.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 12:39 pm
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Originally Posted by lkar View Post
I would also add a strange glitch that I've noticed lately -- BA does not appear to have access to the same award inventory that IB has.
I'm not saying that is not the case, but keep in mind the following:

They may update their systems (in terms of showing availability vs clearing cached results at the server end at different times of the day).

IB+ and BAEC are different schemes, with different parters, as such some flights will not be bookable in one but will be in the other.

They also may have different rules regarding combining different partners in redemption award flight bookings.

Additionally if you have status in one scheme but not the other, and it is one of their own flights, they may be making additional seats available to top tier status members.

Finally, yes, they may be getting simply different availability access, it is possible.

What was the route?
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Old Aug 23, 12, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by David-A View Post
Finally, yes, they may be getting simply different availability access, it is possible.

What was the route?
I've done a fair amount of experimenting, and I feel fairly confident it's the latter, but I might be missing something significant.

Routes and dates too numerous to mention. Here's one I tried the other day: MAD to ORD, 5/25 in C. Bookable on IB.com. Not on BA.com. Not available using AA miles.

As a practical matter, does it make a difference? Usually not. There is no real reason to book using BA miles instead of IB miles. I suppose if you're elite on BA and have access to free change fees (not sure about the program) it might make more sense. But IB change and cancel fees are not that high.

There is, though, one area where it's a bit annoying. You can't book one-way itineraries on IB using IB miles that involve partner metal. So, you might want to book the journey on BA or AA, in order to have it all on one PNR (and, with AA, save some miles) in case of IRROPS.
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Old Aug 23, 12, 3:01 pm
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Originally Posted by lkar View Post
I've done a fair amount of experimenting, and I feel fairly confident it's the latter,
It could easily be that!

but I might be missing something significant.

Routes and dates too numerous to mention. Here's one I tried the other day: MAD to ORD, 5/25 in C. Bookable on IB.com. Not on BA.com. Not available using AA miles.
So that is a IB flight which is onlly bookable on IB.com?

That is much less surprising/of an issue. Plenty of airlines don't release everything, or everything at the same time, to their partners.

Assume you don't have IB status?

As a practical matter, does it make a difference? Usually not. There is no real reason to book using BA miles instead of IB miles. I suppose if you're elite on BA and have access to free change fees (not sure about the program) it might make more sense. But IB change and cancel fees are not that high.

There is, though, one area where it's a bit annoying. You can't book one-way itineraries on IB using IB miles that involve partner metal. So, you might want to book the journey on BA or AA, in order to have it all on one PNR (and, with AA, save some miles) in case of IRROPS.
There is also the *terrible* refund policy for OW redemption cancellations on IB. Everyone check this if not familiar with it. Other than IB flights, or stuff I would be happy to loose if not used, I would not book there.

[Yes, on BA I also don't have fees as a Gold.]
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Old Aug 23, 12, 4:11 pm
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Originally Posted by David-A View Post
So that is a IB flight which is only bookable on IB.com?

That is much less surprising/of an issue. Plenty of airlines don't release everything, or everything at the same time, to their partners.
Also appears to be bookable on QF.com, which has availability almost coextensively with IB.com, but not completely coextensively. But QF.com shows availability that BA and AA do not appear to see. Also, interestingly, one can use QF miles to book partners further out than 330 days, if the partner makes the award available. IB only goes 330 days out on its own website, but is bookable with QF miles further out on QF.com. So, you can actually find and book IB using QF miles before you can even check for the availability on IB.com. (I'm not sure if you can book more than 330 days out by calling IB, though.)

But, yes, in general, I agree it could simply be that IB is only making a portion of its inventory available to partners (other than QF for whatever reason). In another thread on the QF board, one poster has indicated that IB has put point of sale restrictions on IB awards, so that US and UK frequent flier programs don't have access to the same award inventory that is available to those in AUS and Spain.

IB is a bit different from other alliance airlines in that they seem only to have one level of C award availability, whereas others have tiers. With virtually all programs, unless there is blocking (like LH does with F class, etc.), if you can find "saver" (or equivalent) availability using that airline's miles, that inventory is usually bookable by partners. Even for BA, which similarly has only one level of award mileage required for C and F, if you can book it with BA you can usually book it with partner miles (barring some mini-issues, such as release timing) like AA. It does not seem that IB is set up the same way.
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Old Nov 10, 12, 7:07 am
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Originally Posted by lkar View Post
I've done a fair amount of experimenting, and I feel fairly confident it's the latter, but I might be missing something significant.

Routes and dates too numerous to mention. Here's one I tried the other day: MAD to ORD, 5/25 in C. Bookable on IB.com. Not on BA.com. .
I'm having the same problem only in reverse.

Plenty of IB biz class award seats bookable on ba.com but not showing on the IB site.
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Old Nov 10, 12, 10:00 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
I'm having the same problem only in reverse.

Plenty of IB biz class award seats bookable on ba.com but not showing on the IB site.
It may well be "bookable" on ba.com, but I booked a BCN-ORD with IB on BAEC several weeks ago, mainly to try to reserve an award seat until my trip was guaranteed. (BA Gold so free to cancel there and theoretically rebook on IB+...)

When I tried to cancel there was a bit of a mess getting my miles and taxes back... turns out that the e-ticket was never actually issued for my itinerary... Wouldn't be surprised if this is a general issue, given the lack of C availability on IB+...
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Old Nov 10, 12, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by craigthemif View Post
It may well be "bookable" on ba.com, but I booked a BCN-ORD with IB on BAEC several weeks ago, mainly to try to reserve an award seat until my trip was guaranteed. (BA Gold so free to cancel there and theoretically rebook on IB+...)

When I tried to cancel there was a bit of a mess getting my miles and taxes back... turns out that the e-ticket was never actually issued for my itinerary... Wouldn't be surprised if this is a general issue, given the lack of C availability on IB+...
Interesting.

I might just phone IB up to see if there really is availability and for some it's just not showing up on the IB site. Or to see if it's ba.com playing silly buggers.
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Old Nov 11, 12, 6:34 pm
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Well after more online searching I've found that if I do EZE-MAD no Biz class shows up on the day I want despite BA still showing 6 IB seats. However if I do EZE-LCG plenty of seats for the EZE-MAD sector show.

Definitely a phone job.
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Old Nov 12, 12, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
Well after more online searching I've found that if I do EZE-MAD no Biz class shows up on the day I want despite BA still showing 6 IB seats. However if I do EZE-LCG plenty of seats for the EZE-MAD sector show.

Definitely a phone job.
Well the above anomaly has been solved. After giving Iberia a call the excellent agent I spoke to was as perplexed as me. He reckons that the EZE-MAD-LCG routing was a married segment itinerary hence why it showed availability on the EZE-MAD sector when coupled with MAD-LCG yet didn't show EZE-MAD when searching separately.
He tried to force the computer to allow EZE-MAD only but to no avail. I could have booked the addon at extra cost and no showed for the MAD-LCG flight but have decided just to fly a day earlier where there is plenty of Biz availability.
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