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Forums Payment cards Barclaycard Avios Change in use of Barclaycard ‘upgrade voucher?’

  • Peggerz 106 posts

    I had understood from an old HfP article that using the Barclaycard voucher when applied to a trip requiring a connecting flight could only be booked through the BA call centre.
    I phoned BA to organise flights for two pax from EDI to ATH via LHR before the voucher expired. There was a problem with the details of my fellow passenger so was advised to huaca after fixing this on the BA website. But I was also advised that it was possible to do the through booking on the BA website, no need to call the call centre. So this is what I then did. And it worked fine.
    Was I wrong believing the connecting flights had still to be booked through the call centre as the HfP article advised or had I missed this change?

    Froggee 986 posts

    The issue is WT+ upgrading to J (in long haul).

    Y to WT+ is fine and Y to J (on short haul) is fine.

    The problem is because there is no WT+ on the connecting flight, BA’s online system can’t handle it.

    Peggerz 106 posts

    Thanks @Froggee

    So there is a change from this previous advice on HfP unless you are upgrading from WTP to J.

    “Flights with a domestic connection cannot be booked online due to ba.com restrictions. You need to call.”

    You now can book online.

    Froggee 986 posts

    I think they fixed the domestic connection for short haul a while back but I wouldn’t bet much more than tuppence on this.

    In my head I remember others have reported booking short haul domestic connections before but I do sometimes have difficulty telling the difference between reality and make-believe.

    The issue with short haul flights is that to use the upgrade voucher you end up paying maximum Avios on the economy flight redemption price which, if you compare to the best priced option in business without using a voucher, results in a fairly poor saving. So most people tend not to use them for short haul. I looked at a random date for Athens and valuing Avios at 1p results in a saving of something like £120. Whereas long haul can be several hundred pounds or indeed £1,100 for Singapore which is my plan. But that can’t be done online sadly.

    Having said this it is categorically better to use it for short haul then to not use it at all!

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    Yes, on short haul, if you have plenty of time between flights and are HBO, book the domestic leg separately so you don’t get fleeced with the “highest avios” option!

    zapato1060 720 posts

    Are all of these niggles of the Barclays upgrade voucher stipulated by the contract between AMEX and BA? Not being able to choose lower Avios/cash options seems unnecessary.

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    I think they’re IT niggles, not contractual! BA doesn’t care and nobody at Barclays knows much about what avios and upgrade vouchers even are.

    aq.1988 481 posts

    I don’t mind having to use the max avios/min cash option, as for long haul, that is usually the best value. However, I really wish you could start a journey from outside the UK, it would be an absolute game-changer if that was possible.

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    You can use the voucher on a return leg, as long as the outbound originated in the U.K.

    JDB 4,643 posts

    Are all of these niggles of the Barclays upgrade voucher stipulated by the contract between AMEX and BA? Not being able to choose lower Avios/cash options seems unnecessary.

    It’s not an IT issue and nor is it a contractual stipulation by Amex, although the voucher did need to look as different as possible to the BAPP 241. BA/IAG had to offer up using the 241 on EI and IB after the betrayal was announced.

    Even if the people in Barclaycard call centres don’t understand the issues of Avios vs cash any more than Amex staff understand how 241s and RFS work, those that need to know at Barclays and BA understand the issue; it’s not an oversight or mistake. The average Barclaycard customer isn’t quite like an Amex cardholder and isn’t as au fait with the niceties of efficient Avios usage as the well informed HfP reader. The wish was to have a product that looks as ‘free’ as possible whereas, even with RFS, the cash co-payment scares potential users. Whether that will change in the future, who knows. The change to allow a 241 booking to start outside the UK took about twenty years from launch!

    NorthernLass 8,262 posts

    If it’s not an IT issue, then what causes the problem with adding a domestic connection to CW?
    People could still choose the max avios/min cash option even if there were other options offered. I think this has actually deterred some people from taking out or keeping the card.

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