Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Extra availability for ‘new’ BA 2:4:1’s NOT !

Extra availability for ‘new’ BA 2:4:1’s NOT !

Reply
  • spiceke

    I had been led to beleive, and I know this may be my misunderstanding, that the premium plus vouchers opened additional avios seats. I thought they sourced them from I Class?
    I wanted 6 Club seats to MCO.
    I had 2 new 2:4:1’s
    Mrs S had a new 2:4:1
    So, 3 in total.
    So, I assumed I could get 6 Avios seats.
    Phoned US at midnight to get the outbound 355 days in advance.
    Agent was adamant that there were only 4 released and no additional seats are available for the new Premium Plus card.
    Had to get 4 and 2 in p/e
    Was I wrong in my assumptions and a year’s worth of planning doing extra spending to trigger the vouchers wasted?
    Or was the agent wrong?
    If nothing else, I have never experienced such a rude and aggressive customer facing agent before, and I will be making a complaint about them.
    Thanks in advance

    Froggee

    You have misunderstood.

    Yes there is additional availability with the new vouchers.

    But you are highly unlikely to encounter it at T-355 as, like you say, it is drawn from I class inventory when there is lots of I class availability for sale (although no one has cracked BA’s algorithm for when and how much to release).

    You would be able to see this additional availability by searching for space without the voucher (E.g. using upgrade using Avios) and then with your vouchers for a 241. The most likely time to see it is several months out although it can appear in droves on lightly loaded flights whenever.

    So – what you could do is ask nicely here in a few months time if someone with a new voucher could look for you on the flight you have 4x J seats on if there is additional availability in J. If there is you could cancel the existing WT+ booking and rebook. There is a chance when you do this your voucher goes astray, or someone else nabs the seats first though so it is not without risk. Also you would be on the hook for £35 per person for the cancellation.

    BA call centre staff are under pressure just now, often facing hostile customers without enough training on the more complex parts of their jobs. I’m sure this one didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.

    Peter K

    You didn’t waste your spend…you got the 6 seats you needed for less avios…and the agent was also correct.

    There is no guaranteed extra reward availability on any flight, especially 355 days out, but if you have a 2-4-1 then you’re more likely to see extra availability going forward.

    NorthernLass

    There have been several posts recently by readers labouring under the same misconception, even though there’s been plenty of discussion since the changes and Rob’s article made this clear. There’s no guarantee of availability, especially on very popular routes like MCO where cash seats are likely to sell (especially at peak periods – I’m guessing you were after seats for half term next October?) You’ve done really well getting 4 + 2, there’s nothing to stop you moving round seats during the flight to give everyone a go in CW. PE is actually pretty decent as well with a lot more personal space than WT and the small cabin also enhances this.

    MattB

    Yes you were wrong and owe the agent an apology.

    slidey

    Does seapspy (or any search) have access to display the available I seats or is checking BA the only way to know?

    NorthernLass

    Seatspy doesn’t have it (as yet).

    AJA

    I can understand the frustration especially as the blurb states the following

    Enhanced availability in Club World
    Cardmembers who have earned a Premium Plus Companion Voucher can access tens of thousands of extra Reward seats in Club World (long haul Business Class) when booking a Reward Flight with their Companion Voucher. So whether you’re choosing to treat yourself or take a lucky companion with you, you’ll be travelling in style.

    https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/executive-club/collecting-avios/credit-cards/uk/companion-voucher#LNA

    The trouble is that this does not mean that the extra availability will all be released 355 days out. The reality is that BA and Amex assumes that you will only require a maximum of 4 seats using two vouchers at the same time.

    I suggest that you keep an eye out and keep checking for further seats in Club which may be released closer to the date and then you can upgrade the two PE seats for a change fee. At least you have 6 seats on the flights you want.

    BJ

    A while since I looked but with the exception of SFO, I was generally happy with the results for the places I checked. This even included searches for SIN availability in August and September 23 last month which surprised me as tgere are frequent suggestions it’s impossible to get.

    NorthernLass

    @AJA, it’s well known here that unless something is specified, it’s not guaranteed. So all those extra seats could be to JFK (for example), BA doesn’t promise where or when they’re going to be made available! I don’t think either BA or Amex assume anything – that’s all they are prepared to offer.

    1958

    Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong?
    I found two “I” seats in Club World, LON to SIN in August 2023 (per the ITA Matrix). I then tried to book, using the “new” AmEx voucher – but BA.COM shows no availability.

    yorkieflyer

    Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong?
    I found two “I” seats in Club World, LON to SIN in August 2023 (per the ITA Matrix). I then tried to book, using the “new” AmEx voucher – but BA.COM shows no availability.

    It seems there has to be quite a lot of I availability, not a handful, essentially it’s when sales are slow on a particular flight and a way of shifting tickets whether revenue or reward

    Peter K

    Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong?
    I found two “I” seats in Club World, LON to SIN in August 2023 (per the ITA Matrix). I then tried to book, using the “new” AmEx voucher – but BA.COM shows no availability.

    Having ‘I’ cash availability does not automatically mean it’s available for redemption. It’s just that, if opened up for reward bookings, the extra 2-4-1 availability will be booked into the ‘I’ class so reduce the number of cash ‘I’ class seats remaining.

    ed_fly

    I believe the suggestion was around 10 ‘I’ class seats was the threshold for extra 2-4-1 inventory, but AFAIK no-one as get yet has a definitive figure on it.

    spiceke

    Yes you were wrong and owe the agent an apology.

    Wow.

    Were you on the call?

    Did you hear me just ask polite questions and then hear the agent shout at me?

    Did you hear them go on a 5 minute rant at the end of the call?

    Did you hear them shout at Mrs S when she joined the call to verify her account details?

    I certainly do not owe the agent an apology.

    BuildBackBetter

    I can confirm there is additional availability using new vouchers. Twice I have been able to book after selecting the voucher when the seats were not available without the voucher and Seatspy couldn’t access it either.
    But BA have made it difficult to find that availability and there is no way other than keep checking everyday.

    spiceke

    I’m guessing you were after seats for half term next October?

    Luckily the kids are all grown up so this is as half term ends

    AJA

    @AJA, it’s well known here that unless something is specified, it’s not guaranteed. So all those extra seats could be to JFK (for example), BA doesn’t promise where or when they’re going to be made available! I don’t think either BA or Amex assume anything – that’s all they are prepared to offer.

    I agree with you. I’m not saying BA promises to release a specific number of extra seats on any particular route over and above the 4 Club per flight at 355 days out. All they say is that the new voucher supposedly has extra availability without specifying which routes that may apply to.

    From a customer perspective however that promotional blurb that you can access tens of thousands of extra seats has lead to an expectation that it is widespread on all the longhaul routes that BA operates when in reality it may be anything but and depends on any number of factors including revenue generation and demand for seats. Which is why I said OP should keep an eye out as future reward seats in Club may well come up.

    As for my claim that BA and Amex expect you to require a maximum of 4 seats I say this is because any individual BAPP card holder can only use a maximum of two vouchers at the same time.

    BA does not consider the possibility that any family might have two or more BAPP cards and therefore may potentially want 8 or more seats with both card holders buying as many seats as they are each entitled to.

    In my case I and my OH each have a BAPP card and therefore earn 2 vouchers per year but we’ve only ever redeemed one voucher at a time as there are only 2 of us. So the guaranteed 4 club seats per flight is not really an issue except of course we are competing against multiple card holders all wishing to redeem our vouchers for the same flights hence the potential need to book on the phone in the middle of the night.

    NorthernLass

    I can confirm there is additional availability using new vouchers. Twice I have been able to book after selecting the voucher when the seats were not available without the voucher and Seatspy couldn’t access it either.
    But BA have made it difficult to find that availability and there is no way other than keep checking everyday.

    Are you referring to MCO or just generally?


    @AJA
    – I think HFP readers are more likely to realise that what BA appears to be suggesting may actually not be the case! But yes, inexperienced avios users may well get the wrong impression – like the guy who bought the amount of avios he would need to go CW to Tokyo and couldn’t get seats. I’m always reminded of him in these scenarios!

    BJ

    @Anna, late last year and early this year whilst I was plannibg our sumner USA trip evidence of greater availability was clear every city I tried except SFO. This included MIA, MCO, IAD, PHL, NYC, ORD, DEN and LAX. However, travel has obviously took off since then so no surprise if picture is very different today.

    JDB

    @Anna, late last year and early this year whilst I was plannibg our sumner USA trip evidence of greater availability was clear every city I tried except SFO. This included MIA, MCO, IAD, PHL, NYC, ORD, DEN and LAX. However, travel has obviously took off since then so no surprise if picture is very different today.

    Don’t forget that everyone here seems to support the fact that Amex gives the vouchers to the serial upgraders/downgraders for say £25 and the cancellers also get to keep their vouchers. That’s quite a few thousand of the ‘extra’ seats nicked by people who haven’t even paid for the privilege.

    Joe G

    To add a datapoint, I managed to book Business class flights to Tokyo in June using one of the new style companion vouchers today when there hasn’t been availability showing on seatspy for Business at all for months (makes me wish I’d tried using the new style voucher sooner as I’ve been keeping my eye out for ages).

    I was happy with the outcome but agree it’s slightly inconvenient you have to go through the BA booking system each time you want to check availability. Was also bit annoying I had to use to the new style voucher when I still have an old style one that expires sooner.

    spiceke

    Many thanks for the replies and the helpful guidance,

    Now I am back home from a few days away I thought I would dig around the site to see how I got the impression that I Class were available for additional seats using Avios

    1/1/21
    BAD NEWS (2): Your BA Premium Plus Amex fee is going up – but more Club seats opened
    Premium Plus cardholders get access to additional award availability. This is in addition to the new minimum number of seats guaranteed by BA, although it will vary by route and demand. British Airways will open up ‘I Class’ discounted Club World tickets for voucher redemptions (new vouchers from 1st September only) which should increase availability considerably off peak.

    1/8/21
    What are the benefits of the British Airways American Express Premium Plus credit card?
    5. You will be offered Avios seats which are not available to other collectors
    If you choose to redeem in Business Class, either short haul or long haul, you will be offered a wider range of seats than are offered for standard Avios redemptions.
    The technical details are complex, but in simple terms, on days when Business Class seats are being sold cheaply, these seats will also show for Avios redemptions when you search.
    This is a unique benefit of 2-4-1 vouchers on the Premium Plus card issued from 1st September 2021.

    6/9/21
    Is it easier to find Avios seats with the NEW British Airways American Express 2-4-1 voucher?
    Conclusion
    OK …. this isn’t quite as simple as we anticipated. We are also working off a small sample here so my conclusions are still a work in progress.
    It is NOT the case that “if any I-class seats are available for cash, they are bookable for Avios”.
    Based on these examples, it seems that you need at least eight, and possibly more than 10, I-class seats to be available for cash before you can book them with a ‘new style’ 2-4-1 voucher from the Premium Plus card.
    This will hopefully not be a major restriction on most routes when booked months in advance.
    What IS impressive is the number of seats that are being released. In our example, once the trigger for the required number of I-class tickets had been hit (at whatever level that is) we saw at least 8 and often 10+ Club World seats bookable for Avios. These are on flights where there is NO Club World Avios availability for the general public, remember.
    If I had to summarise …. it’s not quite as good as we thought, but it’s not bad. It looks like the 2-4-1 companion voucher on the British Airways American Express Premium Plus card is now genuinely easier to use.

    I am wondering if, in my haste to see only positive things (!), I missed the post on 6/9/21.

    Also, I have probably ‘assumed’ that cheap I Class seats would be available at the outset, but it looks like that is not the case.

    So, I will just check on a daily basis for the next 355 days if upgrades are available.

    SteveJ

    @Anna, late last year and early this year whilst I was plannibg our sumner USA trip evidence of greater availability was clear every city I tried except SFO. This included MIA, MCO, IAD, PHL, NYC, ORD, DEN and LAX. However, travel has obviously took off since then so no surprise if picture is very different today.

    Don’t forget that everyone here seems to support the fact that Amex gives the vouchers to the serial upgraders/downgraders for say £25 and the cancellers also get to keep their vouchers. That’s quite a few thousand of the ‘extra’ seats nicked by people who haven’t even paid for the privilege.

    🥱

    NorthernLass

    @spiceke, it would probably be a lot less stressful just to set up a SeatSpy alert!

  • 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.