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Update on upgrading travel agent tickets with Avios

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Here is a quick update on my post from two weeks ago explaining how BA will now allow you to upgrade travel agent fares using Avios.

An interesting tweak has emerged since the soft launch.  This is the relevant rule:

Upgrading using Avios Points for Upgrade can only be applied to bookings which are made in the member’s Executive Club membership country.

What this means, for a lot of corporate travellers, is a problem.  It is very possible that your company travel agent is not based in the UK, or that you may be working abroad for a company which does ticket its travel here.  In either case, you will not be able to upgrade your tickets even if you meet all of the other qualifying criteria.


Some people will find this easier to get around than others.  If you are working abroad for a UK company on assignment, simply change your British Airways Executive Club account back to a UK address and all will be well.  What happens, though, when your employer has outsourced your travel booking to a group which uses a booking centre based in India?  You could change your BAEC account to a made-up address in India, but that is hardly practical!

There will be more to come on this, I’m sure.  In general, though, the new system seems to work OK.  My wife has a trip next week and instead of getting the message ‘You cannot upgrade this ticket’, she now sees ‘You cannot upgrade this ticket because it is in the wrong ticket category’ (which it is).  I suppose that is progress of sorts.

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Comments (1)

  • The limitations stemming from people’s membership country really need to be sorted out and removed.

    I’m not talking about just this, but also the need to use your home membership country call centres for many things, etc.

    BA are, afterall, a company in the business of transporting people around the world!