Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Avios not taken – do I have a problem?

  • ffwd 58 posts

    Booked an avios reward flight a couple of weeks ago and although I have the flight confirmed and have booked my seats etc the Avios have not been taken from my account.

    Is their an IT problem or have they forgotten them?

    SteveJ 1,017 posts

    Do you definitely have a confirmed booking? I.e. Do you have an email that quotes ticket numbers starting 125? If you don’t then this is an issue and you should call ASAP if travelling soon.

    The only time I’ve seen this is when redeeming a FTV voucher and they take some time to issue the ticket, and points not taken until ticket is formally issued.

    Derpdev 9 posts

    I have had this same problem @ffwd. Booked a return reward flight using my FTV and 241 voucher and have had an email confirming my ticket and seats however I haven’t been able to access the booking on MMB.

    Called BA to check on whether the tickets were confirmed and they said the tickets are confirmed but could see avios hadn’t been taken – they mentioned they would take these however its been 2 weeks since then and the points are still in my account.

    So not sure what to make of it but if it helps I would assume that if payment has been taken for taxes etc the seats will have been confirmed.

    Eric the Half a Bee 2 posts

    I had this issue a couple of years ago with 2 x F redemption tickets. Cash element taken but no Avios removed from my account. Ticketed immediately and all flights taken with no problems. Make of this what you will but I was a very happy camper!

    opcacioppo 6 posts

    BEWARE!!!! WE HAD TO CANCEL TICKETS FOR THREE TO SINGAPORE. WHEN I CALLED TO CANCEL USING BOOKING REFERENCE ETC I WAS INFORMED THAT HAD I ARRIVED AT THE AIRPORT (AS I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CHECKIN ONLINE) I WOULD HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT I NEEDED ANOTHER AMOUNT TO PAY THE BALANCE OF THE AVIOS AS THEY HAD NOT BEEN TOTALLY PAID WHEN BOOKED. NOW THESE WERE FIRST CLASS TICKETS AND I OWED AROUND 200K AVIOS. HAD I NOT HAD THIS MANY, TO PAY….. I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ALLOWED TO FLY !!!! SHOCK HORROR!!!!!!

    tiberius 42 posts

    Hi – ressurecting this thread in the hope there is more/more recent experience of this issue.

    I have booked onto a new BA route which launched later this year, tax has been charged to my card, email confirmation of voucher being used, a ‘125’ ticket number is on the receipt and I phoned BA yesterday and asked them to look over my booking for issues and they confirmed all was OK. But no avios has been taken and it has been two weeks now.

    I may be very lucky but having experienced a “you have no ticket booked just an itinerary as you were not charged correctly” at a checkin desk and having to run through security once before on an avios booking I am risk averse…

    slidey 316 posts

    Where does this sort of thing sit from a legal protection perspective?

    If you have booked the flight and received confirmation emails, but then the airline forgets to take either points or fees, then youre told at the gate/checkin theres a problem, if you missed the flight or had to arrange an alternate as the planes full or something, is the airline liable to pay costs/denial of boarding because it was their error or would it be deemed that the airline has no liability because the ticket wasnt fully paid for?

    masaccio 807 posts

    I had this once and it happened when I called to get a credit on a 241 return. The agent somehow recredited all the miles and the voucher which I subsequently used for another redemption a few months later.

    Reminds me of all the people who got tier points for reward flights shortly after the pandemic. Think it happened to me at least twice.

    How much you try and correct it is down to your conscience or your paranoia about getting screwed when you try and board.

    JDB 4,849 posts

    Where does this sort of thing sit from a legal protection perspective?

    If you have booked the flight and received confirmation emails, but then the airline forgets to take either points or fees, then youre told at the gate/checkin theres a problem, if you missed the flight or had to arrange an alternate as the planes full or something, is the airline liable to pay costs/denial of boarding because it was their error or would it be deemed that the airline has no liability because the ticket wasnt fully paid for?

    In the case of air tickets it’s a bit messy because of the interaction of other legislation with 261, and whether any contract has been created, but the bottom line is that you need to pay for goods and services you purchase. It’s clearer with goods as opposed to services as many firms will have a retention of title clause. These contracts have two sides to them – it’s not just the company that has responsibilities. If you buy something in a shop for £120, but the assistant puts £1.20 into the credit card machine, that doesn’t entitle you to have the goods for that price.

    If a restaurant accidentally leaves a bottle of wine off your bill, you have a duty to tell them. Using tickets you know you haven’t paid for carries risks and if you were stopped at the airport, you are probably the one going to suffer inconvenience. This type of question has been raised in many different guises, like whether it’s OK to reuse a voucher an airline or hotel has forgotten to take.

    The basic definition of theft in the Theft Acts is dishonestly appropriating property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

    Guernsey Globetrotter 650 posts

    I blame Monopoly for having deviated our moral compasses in such situations from an early age – ‘Bank error in your favour – collect £200’! Never any suggestion from my parents that this was not how it happened in the real world 😀

    Indy500 140 posts

    2 years ago we booked World traveller + flights on BA.com and ‘phoned to upgrade to CW. 120,000 points. Points never taken and flights flown. Sweating bullets at check-in mind you………

    slidey 316 posts

    In the case of air tickets it’s a bit messy because of the interaction of other legislation with 261, and whether any contract has been created, but the bottom line is that you need to pay for goods and services you purchase. It’s clearer with goods as opposed to services as many firms will have a retention of title clause. These contracts have two sides to them – it’s not just the company that has responsibilities. If you buy something in a shop for £120, but the assistant puts £1.20 into the credit card machine, that doesn’t entitle you to have the goods for that price.

    If a restaurant accidentally leaves a bottle of wine off your bill, you have a duty to tell them. Using tickets you know you haven’t paid for carries risks and if you were stopped at the airport, you are probably the one going to suffer inconvenience. This type of question has been raised in many different guises, like whether it’s OK to reuse a voucher an airline or hotel has forgotten to take.

    The basic definition of theft in the Theft Acts is dishonestly appropriating property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

    But if someone doesnt know there been an error, theyre not acting dishonestly. Theyre turning up for a flight they think theyve paid for only to find the airline didnt process it. If theres enough time (and someones able to contact the airline) while at the check in desk, then it could be resolved and money taken, but if it cant, does the liability just fall on the passenger even tho its not their fault?

    JDB 4,849 posts

    @slidey – the person who resurrected this thread said they did know, so the intent is there in that case. If the pax claims to be totally unaware, they won’t mind if BA prevent them checking in while they collect the payment. These things more commonly get picked up when changing a booking, on rerouting following disruption or when someone claims compensation.

    Quite a lot of Avios collectors seem fairly obsessive and are going to struggle to maintain the pretence of ignorance. How many people don’t notice 50k or 100k more Avios than expected in their account? Most people are honest and these situations also often require two people be be dishonest. If I told my wife that BA hadn’t taken payment but I thought we should blag it, she would rightly go nuts.

    When you refer to ‘fault’ that fault doesn’t lie entirely with BA. They may have made the error but it’s partly your fault if you don’t try to correct it. If you get given too much change, do you just take it?

    slidey 316 posts

    @slidey – the person who resurrected this thread said they did know, so the intent is there in that case. If the pax claims to be totally unaware, they won’t mind if BA prevent them checking in while they collect the payment. These things more commonly get picked up when changing a booking, on rerouting following disruption or when someone claims compensation.

    Quite a lot of Avios collectors seem fairly obsessive and are going to struggle to maintain the pretence of ignorance. How many people don’t notice 50k or 100k more Avios than expected in their account? Most people are honest and these situations also often require two people be be dishonest. If I told my wife that BA hadn’t taken payment but I thought we should blag it, she would rightly go nuts.

    When you refer to ‘fault’ that fault doesn’t lie entirely with BA. They may have made the error but it’s partly your fault if you don’t try to correct it. If you get given too much change, do you just take it?

    I’m not talking about if someone does know tho, I’m talking about if someone doesnt know. If they were to miss a flight because there was a problem with their ticket due to the airline failing to have taken payment, does that then leave the passenger stranded even tho they had a booking they could access, pick a seat etc or does it basically become a denial of boarding for with the airline is responsible?

    It happened to a friend recently, they couldnt check in, their booking seemed fine and they couldnt contact BA as their phoneline were doing the usual thing of not even letting them join a queue. They eventually managed to get it sorted but I’m trying to establish what happens if they had not prior to the plane departing.

    Ihar 234 posts

    IANAL, but this relates to contract law rather than 261. If you have been issued a ticket, you should be allowed to fly – albeit that the airline has a right to subsequently charge you appropriately. The contract is agreed by the airline on issuance of the ticket. Failure to collect payment lies with the airline.

    That said, if you know the Avios aren’t collected and you “wing it” – that is probably breach of contract (and possibly theft). You can’t knowingly “not pay” for good/services. Be nice, and do the right thing.

    JDB 4,849 posts

    @slidey – I’m not sure I would believe the not knowing for any Avios earner/burner, a European cash ticket maybe, a long haul premium ticket no.

    In respect of whether the pax would win a denied boarding claim, it would depend on the evidence provided by the parties which an adjudicator or judge would assess. An airline’s failure to take the payment is clearly the company’s error, but isn’t the whole story.

    The Savage Squirrel 610 posts

    One angle not discussed with “failure to pay” above.

    The Avios are held in an account by BA – you have deposited them with the company and they have free access to them to deduct as they choose. “Failure to pay” then is not really the correct description – the passenger has handed over the required amount of payment both in cash and Avios.

    HfP readers are not typical. An inexperienced flyer might quite reasonably assume that Avios would be deducted from their account balance at the time of flying.

    If a utility company tried to claim a customer had failed to pay when the customer account with them is in credit and the company had failed to deduct a payment out of that credit balance to cover the costs of electricity due to an admin error then they would be laughed out of court. Can’t see this going much differently. So, to me, if it ever did reach truly neutral 3rd party adjudication, the airline wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.

    Now if you spent those untaken Avios on something else before flying, then your position gets a whole lot weaker.

    I had a hotel chain fail to take points for a stay once. I Emailed the hotel once to inform them of this as I thought reservation may not have gone through and didn’t want to be turned away on the night, specifically pointing out the non-deduction of points. They assured me the room was confirmed and the booking was all correct and still didn’t deduct points. At that point I see my moral and legal obligation to rectify any error as complete (and evidenced!) and I enjoyed my free stay with a clear conscience.

    Ihar 234 posts

    I think Avios is a separate company. Regardless, you’ve entered into a contract. Easily solved by paying the Avios and getting on the plane,

    JDB 4,849 posts

    I think Avios is a separate company. Regardless, you’ve entered into a contract. Easily solved by paying the Avios and getting on the plane,

    It’s actually not that easily resolved as even at T5 BA has no landside ticketing capability, although there’s sometimes a ticketing agent airside who mainly deals with disruption. No other BA station has any ticketing facility and agents have to call the same number as the public to fix ticketing problems.

    Those who experience ticketing issues do miss flights and while BA would usually put you on the next flight, if you are on the last flight of the day or a one daily flight route, that’s not much consolation. As you say, there’s a question both of contract and 261, but one is left clearing up the mess after the event, and it’s far from certain that the pax would win a denied boarding compensation claim on the basis of not knowing payment hadn’t been taken. For a regular redeemer, that’s not going to be very credible.

    executiveclubber 361 posts

    “I phoned BA yesterday and asked them to look over my booking for issues and they confirmed all was OK” — with a recording of this I can’t see BA refusing a denied boarding claim on the basis they’ve redeemed flights previously

    davefl 1,452 posts

    I think Avios is a separate company. Regardless, you’ve entered into a contract. Easily solved by paying the Avios and getting on the plane,

    It’s impossible for a customer to pay BA with Avios. BA have to deduct them from the account. It’s not like a bank account where you can make a payment to an organisation. If BA fail to take payment it’s their problem emtirely.

    JDB 4,849 posts

    I think Avios is a separate company. Regardless, you’ve entered into a contract. Easily solved by paying the Avios and getting on the plane,

    It’s impossible for a customer to pay BA with Avios. BA have to deduct them from the account. It’s not like a bank account where you can make a payment to an organisation. If BA fail to take payment it’s their problem emtirely.

    It’s not exactly BA’s problem entirely as it’s the passenger that risks suffering the interruption to their journey. All sorts of suppliers occasionally forget to take payment. That doesn’t entitle you not to pay nor guarantee that, as a customer, you will not suffer from the oversight.

    JDB 4,849 posts

    “I phoned BA yesterday and asked them to look over my booking for issues and they confirmed all was OK” — with a recording of this I can’t see BA refusing a denied boarding claim on the basis they’ve redeemed flights previously

    Good luck with that!

    JDB 4,849 posts

    “I phoned BA yesterday and asked them to look over my booking for issues and they confirmed all was OK” — with a recording of this I can’t see BA refusing a denied boarding claim on the basis they’ve redeemed flights previously

    I’m not sure if you are trying to play devil’s advocate or genuinely believe that not only is it OK for the OP not to pay, but that they should also be compensated for inconvenience resulting from their failure to pay by taking advantage of an error of which they are fully aware.

    The intriguing thing is that you see the telephone call referenced as being the silver bullet defence when for anyone experienced in analysing these situations (from either side) the call would very likely be the thing that kills any defence. What was the purpose of the call other than to case the joint to check the prospects of getting away without paying without inconvenience? Why didn’t the OP say the Avios hadn’t been taken and offer to pay? It would simply add to the evidence that, on the balance of probabilities, the OP knew what they were doing and had the intent not to pay.

    Ihar 234 posts

    “I phoned BA yesterday and asked them to look over my booking for issues and they confirmed all was OK” — with a recording of this I can’t see BA refusing a denied boarding claim on the basis they’ve redeemed flights previously

    Good luck with that!

    😁 Of course it will be sorted, and relevant compensation paid (taking into account you know the Avios hasn’t been collected) . But quite possibly not before the flight has taken off!

    Most companies record all calls and auto-scribe them, so the call won’t be disputed. Doesn’t help you at check-in 😔 I guess you may need to call and ask the back office to take the Avios

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.