Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

  • travelmonkey 31 posts

    I would say if it’s not answered within 3-4 minutes I would hang up and redial. I think there’s some luck of the draw involved here.

    I was dubious about this when I read it yesterday, but after my experience last night, I would probably suggest this is wise?

    As posted in the mammoth https://www.headforpoints.com/forums/topic/booking-return-leg-with-companion-voucher/ thread, last night jakals92 and I called the same number via skype seeking the same LHR-HND CW seats with very different results. It appears jakals92 jumped me in the queue!

    00:30 Jakals92 calls BA (1-800-452-1201 via skype)
    00:35 TravelMonkey calls BA (1-800-452-1201 via skype)
    00:40 Jakals92 reaches an agent and is told to redial
    00:45 Jakals92 calls BA again (1-800-452-1201 via skype)
    00:?? Jakals92 reaches an agent again and completes booking at midnight
    00:55 TravelMonkey is cut off after 20min on hold when the line closes

    Thankfully I then dialled the Japanese number at 01:00 and made my inbound booking about 01:10, but I suspect that was only possible because the website maintenance prevented people completing purchases online last night. Otherwise I bet the flights would have been gone by the time I made it through.

    avioz 7 posts

    Thankfully I then dialled the Japanese number at 01:00 and made my inbound booking about 01:10.

    Did you manage to book CW seats yesterday at 1:10?

    Also, I as calling since 00:38 and made several re-dial attempts until I got cut-off.

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    Thankfully I then dialled the Japanese number at 01:00 and made my inbound booking about 01:10.

    Did you manage to book CW seats yesterday at 1:10?

    Also, I as calling since 00:38 and made several re-dial attempts until I got cut-off.

    Yes, I did secure CW flights at 1:10 yesterday, dialling +81 3 3298 5209 at 01:00 (options 2 [for English] 1 2 1). There was maintenance happening on the executive club, so the agent could add the seats to my booking but couldn’t deduct the Avios or take payment, leaving that for a back office team in the “next 72 hours”. I presume that maintenance stopped people booking online, hence there was availability (choice, even!) 10min after the flights were released.

    Currently the flights show on my booking and my Avios balance has reduced, however my card has not yet been charged and the transaction isn’t showing on my Avios statement. A little confusing, but I do believe the seats are mine… Sorry to hear you got cut off last night. It’s frustrating, I know!

    avioz 7 posts

    Yes, I did secure CW flights at 1:10 yesterday

    Wow, the agent I was in the phone with (not US) at 01:00 told me they were available seats and when they tried to proceed they were gone, how did the re-appear at 01:10…

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    Yes, I did secure CW flights at 1:10 yesterday

    Wow, the agent I was in the phone with (not US) at 01:00 told me they were available seats and when they tried to proceed they were gone, how did the re-appear at 01:10…

    Are we taking about the same direction? I was looking at flights back to the UK and at 105 everything bar two CW seats were still up for grabs according to my online searches. (The search then stopped working too). I’ve no idea what happened on the flights to Japan.

    avioz 7 posts

    Are we taking about the same direction? I was looking at flights back to the UK and at 105 everything bar two CW seats were still up for grabs according to my online searches. (The search then stopped working too). I’ve no idea what happened on the flights to Japan.

    Ah, I am talking about outbound flight LHR to HND.

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    Are we taking about the same direction? I was looking at flights back to the UK and at 105 everything bar two CW seats were still up for grabs according to my online searches. (The search then stopped working too). I’ve no idea what happened on the flights to Japan.

    Ah, I am talking about outbound flight LHR to HND.

    Yup, outbound is in seriously high demand right now. The inbound flights have had some availability remaining after midnight… Friday 4th April had a pair of CW seats available for over a day!

    Joephe 13 posts

    After successfully booking a J outbound for 21 March I couldn’t book the inbound on 6 April due to BA’s IT issues two nights ago, but last night I managed to secure a J inbound for 7 April by booking online.

    I was confused by the peak pricing and selected the 4th option on the inbound after selecting the 3rd option on the outbound, but the agent I just spoke to was nice and refunded me 50% of the avios anyway even though she acknowledged that’s not usually the policy. Unfortunately it means the avois/fees combo paid wasn’t optimal but I only overpaid by £50-100 or so.

    Pretty pleased with that to secure a return to Tokyo during peak Cherry blossom season at (almost) the first attempt!

    PS. tried calling the US number both nights to book the inbound, at around 12:45-12:50. I got cut off a 12:55. So recommend calling earlier than 12:45 if calling.

    totestornot123 49 posts

    Rather then starting a new thread, thought I would ask this here. We managed to book our outbound to HND using our 241 companion voucher. I am looking to book the inbound flight HND to LHR in the coming days for t355 april 2025. Preferably the later flight (13:05). There seems to be some discrepancies on the reward flights when I search for HND->LHR compared to the general public ba.com website.

    For example, on the reward flight finder: the following days have the following flights

    Tues 1st April 08:50, 13:05
    Weds 2nd April 08:50, 13:05
    Thurs 3rd April 08:50, 13:05
    Fri 4th April 08:50
    Sat 5th APril 13:05
    Sun 6th April 08:50, 13:05
    Mon 7th April 08:50
    Tues 8th April 08:50

    However for these same days, on ba.com I Can see:

    Tues 1st April 08:50, 13:05
    Weds 2nd April 08:50, 13:05
    Thurs 3rd April 08:50, 13:05
    Fri 4th April 08:50 13:05
    Sat 5th APril 13:05 08:50
    Sun 6th April 08:50, 13:05
    Mon 7th April 08:50 13:05
    Tues 8th April 08:50 13:05

    Anyone know why this discrepancy? Are there always 2 flights from HND to LHR daily?

    Any info is appreciated, thankyou!

    travelmonkey 31 posts

    The reward flight finder mighy not be showing you fights with no reward seats remaining? (Ie. Everything in Trav, Trav plus and club gone)

    Yes, the summer schedule is two flights a day.

    Mouse 179 posts

    00:40 Jakals92 reaches an agent and is told to redial again

    Did you try stalling with some spurious requests?

    jakals92 4 posts

    Only very briefly but then gave up as I couldn’t think of anything more to ask! Starting the convo with the midnight flights also meant they kinda knew what I was after straight away.

    Aston100 1,425 posts

    Got cut off at 00:55 as expected again.
    See elsewhere for commentary regarding the USA line apparently no longer fielding calls from UK based executive club members.

    However, managed to book my inbound HND > LHR online.
    Took under a minute.

    Used a companion voucher at the full 110k Avios + £375 charges for 2 people (As this option works best IMO when I use the 2nd half of the voucher for flights to Beijing later).
    This will combine nicely with my Finnair outbound to KIX booked a couple of weeks ago due to all BA club seats getting snapped up instantly at 1am.

    Goodluck to the rest of you.
    I’m now done with the BS and shenanigans with 1am BAEC stress.

    Steve_J 3 posts

    Just booked our return flights from HND > LHR using companion voucher and in case it helps anyone else, a quick update based upon our experience:

    Tried to USA number at 12:50 AM (BST). Went through the usual numbered selections then got a recorded message saying they were closed (it was not yet 1AM).

    Tried again, now just after 1AM, and this time it went straight to a recorded message saying they were now closed.

    Tried Japan telephone number and got through to a person almost immediately. All was going well until payment with Amex. They needed our 4 digit security code and asked to type it into keyboard. They will NOT accept you telling them, you must type it in. We were using Skype (as many others here do) but it refused to recognise the keyboard strokes despite several attempts. The assistant was really nice but had no choice but to give up and recommend calling back on another phone. She said she would record the details of the flight selected and costs, but I assume was not reserving them.

    I downloaded an app onto my phone (Android) that replicates DTMF sounds – the keystroke sounds generated when you are inputting selections. We called them back and tested the app worked for the call selections by holding phone near iPAD mic and it did! Got through very quickly again to an assistant who found the details and quickly processed. This time, using the separate app on my phone, was able to enter the security code!

    In summary, USA seems to close earlier than expected (or close at 12 now we are in BST?), but Japan works absolutely fine. If you have the same problem as us with the Skype, try using your phone keyboard held next to mic (or download an app like we did). Once we gave up on USA and got past the keyboard problem, the experience was pretty painless and simple.

    NorthernLass 7,932 posts

    LOL!!! I’m glad you got your seats but that takes these shenanigans to a whole new level. I’m speechless with admiration.

    ekposh 199 posts

    It’s all getting a bit silly this. At some point, you wonder if it’s worth the hassle. I need to get some MAN-SIN / KUL-MAN flights and whilst I’m fairly confident the outbound will be OK (voucher and regional) don’t really want to be calling at 1am to add the return. Annoying

    NorthernLass 7,932 posts

    @ekposh, your voucher will still open up the extra CW availability on the inbound, you just need to call BA who can apparently “see” the extra seats. If you don’t get lucky at T-355 there’s a way of searching for these (I class?), or someone on here would probably look for you.

    ekposh 199 posts

    Thanks. Perhaps its just my perception but SIN always seems better than KUL availability wise maybe due to the A380. I’ve done a few test bookings and the KUL flights seem to be rarely available whilst SIN seems OK. Tbf, at worst id fly back from SIN too but always best to go direct as we are going to Bali on outbound but will be staying in KUL on return for a few days. I recently had a VS nightmare getting up an hour too late 🙂

    NorthernLass 7,932 posts

    There’s full CW availability from KUL from T-355 to T-351 according to SeatSpy!

    peterz 21 posts

    I managed to get 2 CW seats in the first weekend of May 2025 by 2 Barclays upgrade vouchers. Just waited 1am this morning and book online which was pretty smooth and easy.

    VinZ 144 posts

    I would book online if the bloody website worked! I keep getting error messages at every single time… so frustrating!

    yorkshireRich 197 posts

    I have to applaud everyone’s efforts.
    I tried it one night, set my alarm and really embraced the 1am drama. I felt part of a clique.
    My result – Tickets had gone by 3 minutes past and I never tried since. I have since booked Qatar tickets to Bangkok and used my companion voucher from Kuala Lumpur.

    I will go to Japan one day.

    Aston100 1,425 posts

    I will go to Japan one day.

    Would Finnair work for you?
    As above, I’m going to KIX and had no problem finding availability on the outbound.

    yorkshireRich 197 posts

    Hi Aston, yeah it worked fine. I looked at that many times and was going to go ahead with that one. I realised the itinerary for me and the wife, plus an 18 month old may have not been ideal. I would have loved to have visited Expo but sometimes in life, you have to accept defeat.

    I wish everyone luck who’s getting the tickets.

    VinZ 144 posts

    Just managed! Seats dropped on the dot at 1am. I was on the phone to the US line which in manned by chaps in Manchester anyway. He was too slow and I’m glad I was also online and managed to book them before the CS agent could do anything…

    I’m going to Japan!!!!!!

    Good luck everyone 🙂

    Going to bed now… this 1am drama is ridiculous tbh but at least it wasn’t all for nothing.

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