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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club Unable to upgrade flight due to being in class Q

  • totestornot123 27 posts


    Got an upcoming economy flight from LHR –> JFK next week, booked it several months ago. Now I have enough avios to consider an upgrade to Premium Economy (as you can only upgrade one class) I went to look how many avios points would be needed for this:

    However I got an error to say “Sorry, it is not possible to change this booking online. Please contact your local British Airways office.”

    I then went to look at my booking reference and it said this flight is class Q. I read here ( that class O G and Q cannot be upgraded. However I didn’t get an option of picking a class when booking my tickets on BA’s website. How do i ensure next time I have a class that I could potentially upgrade to if I wanted?


    The real Swiss Tony 633 posts

    You could have called to make the booking, but that probably attracts an offline fee.

    Otherwise there’s an option to “book and upgrade with Avios” but obviously you need to have sufficient Avios when you book.

    The other thing to remember is that the cost of upgrading from economy to premium economy also means paying the extra air passenger duty plus any difference in the carrier surcharge, so you have to check that you’re not just better off booking a cash WT+ fare in the first place. I just looked at LHR-JFK and see the carrier surcharge is the same for both cabins but you pay an extra £104 in air passenger duty.

    totestornot123 27 posts

    Thanks for the info. Its just for next time really so I know what to do. So don’t just book through the normal main BA website but book via the rewards flights URL –

    Is that right? New to booking with BA but since having my Amex BA premium plus I am accumulating avios now, so trying to learn for future flights.

    MrWhite 28 posts

    You can check the booking class before purchase. Look for. “more details” or similar next to each flight.

    You can’t force a change to the booking class unless you select “flexible” when searching for a flight. The only other possible way to get a non fully flexible ticket is to do it through a booking agent.

    yonasl 923 posts

    I must admit BA makes this overly complicated. CX and others give you different options when you select “economy” making it clear only some are open to be upgraded.

    BA just gives the option with or without luggage really. (Other than flexible which would be much more expensive)

    The real Swiss Tony 633 posts

    Thanks for the info.

    You’re welcome. As noted it’s not all that easy.

    From the desktop, once you are logged in, mouse over the “Book” tab under the BA logo. That will show a drop down of “book flights with Avios”. Click on that and you’ll see two tabs. The default is Book with Avios but then you have another tab saying “book and upgrade”. There have been some reported problems with this but I believe it’s typically to do with booking WT+ then upgrading into club.

    JonathanC 97 posts

    What’s weird that booking Economy (WT / ET) is that there’s two different types of Economy booking classes for cheapest possible fare, I think there’s nine different fare codes in total (don’t ask why BA seem to think they need so many), anyway a general rule is that you’ll never want booking codes O, Q, G; these give the lowest amount of Avios when you’ve booked a cash fare, and as you’ve found out, they’re the only fare codes that don’t allow an upgrade at all, all other fare codes allow an Avios upgrade, by one class only (you can’t upgrade from say WT to CW/S or F, you can only upgrade to WTP, which isn’t really all that great when seat won’t go fully flat, and you don’t get lounge access either, despite the fare being far more expensive than the basic option

    SamG 1,624 posts

    You need to watch out as paying extra to book into N + paying the surcharges + the Avios may not be good value vs just booking WT+, especially on a route like JFK

    otherwise for WT to WT+ you can log in and use the “book and upgrade” functionality and it’ll price up correctly

    For reference though that tool often doesn’t work for WT+ to CW as it books into a more expensive WT+ fare. For that though as any WT+ fare is upgradable you can book online then call in.

    They don’t make it simple !

    totestornot123 27 posts

    Thanks all, side question. My return flight is from Miami –> LHR, premium economy. I can see it says the ‘Selling class is T’. However when I try to upgrade via avios (using the old design on BA website) I still get ‘Sorry, it is not possible to change this booking online. Please contact your local British Airways office.’

    I just wanted to see how many business would be out of curiosity.

    Could this be because my outbound LHR –> JFK is in Class Q?

    The real Swiss Tony 633 posts

    That outbound in Q might explain it, but MIA-LHR is a popular route for Avios so you might struggle to find availability anyway. And on top of that there will be a significant increase in the carrier surcharge – I think just over £300 – that you’ll have to cover.

    Michael C 637 posts

    Not sure if it’s your case as you haven’t mentioned it, but NO flights
    bought through BA Hotline can be upgraded using Avios.

    LD27 125 posts

    Not sure if it’s your case as you haven’t mentioned it, but NO flights
    bought through BA Hotline can be upgraded using Avios.

    If it is BA Hotline you can still upgrade with cash and you also get the online upgrade offers in MMB.

    SamG 1,624 posts

    usually anything remotely complex like a mixed class upgrade can’t be done online, need to call

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