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Forums Frequent flyer programs British Airways Executive Club US call centre not able to book Avios flights “not in my skill set”

  • David M 4 posts

    Two weeks ago I booked 2 business class flights to the Caribbean using Avios points. I was keen to get business club seats on the return journey two weeks later. So, at 1 o’clock this morning I got up and phoned the US call centre on 1-800-247-9297 (as per HfP advice) to book return flights. I got through to an pleasant lady, almost immediately, who explained that it was not in her skill set to book Avios flights. She gave me the call number for the executive club (1-800-452-1201) but explained that this closed at 8 o’clock eastern standard time (1 am our time!). I phoned it, but got voicemail.
    Anyone else had this problem? It certainly didn’t work like it suggested in the HfP university. (No blame here though)
    I’ve got the return flights booked on the web, but I couldn’t join the second booking up with the first and therefore couldn’t include the companion voucher that I used on the outward flight. I couldn’t use a second voucher (I have 3 outstanding atm) because it wouldn’t accept the companion voucher for a flight not starting in the UK, on the web.
    I expect I’ll have to try and speak to BA in the UK to try and straighten it out.

    NorthernLass 8,226 posts

    There have been a few reports recently of US call centres refusing to book return legs – I think Japan and Australia have been suggested as alternatives?

    It’s not that much of an issue for you having booked to go to the Caribbean (unlike if it was the US). You don’t pay too much more in surcharges for the return sector and you can ask BA on Twitter to refund your 50% avios which I’ve done on my last couple of 241 bookings.

    SteveJ 999 posts

    It’s always been the case AFAIK that you need to call the overseas exec club team, normal ticketing agents can’t deal with this.

    I always use the Asian lines as their day is just starting, rather than the US at the end of their day.

    marks7389 425 posts

    Yes, I did the same a few weeks ago. Tried to call the US number to see if I could add the return flights on, but they answered just after midnight (before the clocks went forward) and I was just about to hit submit on the online booking by then so dropped the call. Had I not, I would have likely lost the availability.

    At the point it was just under £50 each more expensive to pay the additional taxes (for Barbados, though that was before the most recent increases) and I figured it was better to accept that than be left having to work out alternative return arrangements or abandon the whole thing.

    As NorthernLass says, the call centre will link the bookings and refund the 50% Avios on the return leg.

    Vouchers issued prior to last September can’t be used for bookings starting outside the UK, which is maybe why you couldn’t use it for the return. It wouldn’t have gained you anything though (and would have been a waste of a voucher) given you obviously had enough Avios to initially pay the 100% for the return leg.

    David M 4 posts

    Thanks for the advice about twitter.
    I’m not a user currently.
    Perhaps I’ll sign up, might be better than hanging on the telephone (apologies to Blondie.
    I was apprehensive about losing the seats if I waited until UK was open.

    NorthernLass 8,226 posts

    They don’t actually link the bookings – you’ll be left with separate PNRs but this doesn’t cause any problems (the only thing would be that you’d need to pay 2 lots of cancellations fees if you cancelled the trip, but I’m assuming there’s only a slight chance of that).
    Definitely better than trying to phone IMO!

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