British Avios Trickeration: No Online S7 Booking, No Cathay, No Dragon

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British is turning into the Wells Fargo of airlines for its tricky ways. It started last month when they ducked me on my flight to the South of France. Now, I’m trying to book a flight from St. Petersburg to Amman and the website shows that the routing is invalid. This means the only way to book the award ticket is to call that terrible company and be put on hold indefinitely. From there, I’ll have to do the math to see if it is worth using points or paying the $270 outright.

That inconvenience is not a big deal. The big deal is the discovery I made while searching for ways to redeem Avios on S7. I learned from LoyaltyLobby that BA no longer shows availability on Cathay or Dragon online for flights within four days of departure. Executive Club members have to call in to inquire as to availability.

Why is this a big deal?

Glad you asked.

Last May when I had my visa issue in Shanghai, I was told by the friendly immigration man that I could go to Hong Kong to rectify the situation. Instinctively, I searched for flights from PVG-HKG on BA.com and came up with nothing. With no alternative, I paid for the worst flight on earth aboard Spring Airlines. It cost $650 RT for two passengers. One way the cost would’ve been $13 and 7500 Avios.

Obviously, I was unaware that a call in was required since last time I had the same issue (I don’t learn from my visa mistakes) I lucked out and booked a flight using Avios on Dragon.

What the duck British! What the duck!

Capture
no availability…jerks
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Oh look a flight every hour…jerks

8 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve noticed this a lot .. specific airports are required (NYC won’t work, but JFK will) and there are tons of ‘missing’ routes on American, and others. Have had decent luck calling Hong Kong via Skype to book/inquire about ticketing. Not the best way to do it, but always a perfectly polite, well-spoken agent able to help after just a couple rings. I’ve not spent more than 5-10 mins overall on the phone, versus the 1-2+ hours on any of the US/European lines (only to get hungup on due to max hold time). Good luck!

    • I’m mostly with you but I can’t give them the benefit of the doubt after the South of France experience where I was told I would get a refund for my 60k points + $1500 and got zero. See you in small claims BA.

  2. I called BA to book an Alaska Air flight that can not be done on line. They answered the phone in five minutes, Really! A very polite lady took care of everything, no charge. After everything I had read about calling them, I was very surprised. And , no, I do not work for them or own stock in the company. LOL

  3. I just checked on BA.com for Cathay availability from LAX-HKG for flights 1,2, and 3 days out. It’s showing a lot of availability still. The earlier blog reports were that BA was only restricting this for flights from HKG t0 Taipei and China within 4 days. Your comment that “BA no longer shows availability on Cathay or Dragon online for flights within four days of departure.” appears to be an incorrect overstatement/exaggeration of what is happening.

    • Youre comment is also broad. I cited a source, used a specific example, and screenshot for today. The message is still the same even if my examples are not the same for all the flights: if BA doesn’t show availability, call.

  4. @thepointsoflife
    interesting post. ive noticed the same with S7 on BA.com. any idea where to search S7 award availability online?
    thanks!

    p.s. when are you going to be in LED?

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