British Airways sticks to their story and Priority Club I(T)ncompetence

Two things I have to publicly shake my head over today:

Priority Club’s website

Priority Club’s website has more or less been down for the past three days now. For the most part it won’t load at all, though at times the main page works while other pages don’t. How the hell can the hotel chain with more hotel rooms than any other have a website that’s down for three days? I was trying to book a room at the InterContinental Dubai for next week, but instead gave my business to Hyatt because I can’t book a darn hotel room!

British Airways’ award chart changes

This is what really riles me up, though. On September 1 I wrote about British Airways’ award chart “adjustments” which will kick in on November 16. On one hand kudos to them for giving some advance notice, though they said from the beginning that they won’t release the new award chart until November 16. I think we all figured they’d back down from that, but as reported on TravelSort, they’re sticking to it. It’s un-f*&$^%-believable to me that a program would have the courtesy to announce the changes in advance, but not say what the changes will be. The worst part is they won’t give a reason.

Which makes me wonder, why don’t they reveal the new chart? Is it because it’s so atrocious that they think we’ll redeem all of our miles now (I think most of us are already redeeming all our miles)? Is it because they haven’t finalized the award chart yet? If so, did they lie to use when they promised the number of miles required wouldn’t go up in 97% of cases? Does anyone at the airline have any sort of an answer?

Comments

  1. So lame… I’m glad I redeemed all their miles on a better carrier (CX) and am glad so many FF’s are going to Bali next Sept-Oct, lol!

    Good riddance, BA!

  2. You’re right on when most(all) of us are burning our BA miles. I just used up my last 100k on a CX itinerary.

  3. Ben,

    BA’s “radio silence” is really interesting. They’ve published their zones and pricing levels for UK/LHR-based travelers. Since they’re claiming they’re using a “unified” chart of some sort, the NA-based charts can’t look that much different.

    But, the NA one can’t look pretty. You could have JFK-DPS and SFO-HKG fall into very different categories, whereas today they are all the same. This would be the difference between a Zone 9 and Zone 10 award, which requires a *huge* difference in miles. (I think J goes from 140,000 to 200,000. Ouch.)

  4. I’ve been trying to make reward bookings on the Priority Club website for the past 2 days. I have logged into their websites countless times with no avail, and even called their customer service line several times. The agents couldn’t help because even their computers were down and couldn’t get into the reservation system! I agree with you Ben that this is just unbelievable and so frustrating!!

  5. In the FT thread where the BAEC rep posted their “BA and IB Award CHart” and opened up to questions, one of her answers revealed that some connections, possibly any non-UK domestic connections, may not be free. Despite several requests to elaborate, the rep hasn’t shed any more light in the past several weeks.

    My schedule is booked up through the next 12 months so I’ll just have to wait and see what hits with the new chart, but it sure is ridiculous.

    Of course, don’t tell the BA Fanboys on FT, where everything BA does and says is perfect, and we should all be GLAD that BA is doing us this immense favor and not revealing their full chart yet! And perhaps should be asking BA to pee in our shoes in further gratitude!

  6. I think BA should read their T&Cs carefully before they move forward on November 16. From their website:

    25. Variation of mileage currency

    British Airways may, from time to time, change the mileage currency used by the Executive Club either in whole or in relation to any country or region. British Airways will use its reasonable endeavours to give at least six months notice to Members of any such changes.

  7. Like others here and everywhere, I, too, am thinking of redeeming some BA points to leverage some of the better values out there today, “just in case.” But I’m hesitant for one reason: change/cancellation policy.

    Any plans that I make for 10 or 11 months out cannot be carved in stone — I need to be able to change and/or cancel. Today, BA has a rather liberal policy. But what if one of the changes to the new program is precisely that awards can no longer be changed or re-instated or that the fee goes from $90 to $300 or something? I could live with a higher fee (I’d consider it a “hedge”), but I don’t want to get stuck with an award (or two) that I cannot use.

  8. @ A. S. — I would imagine (hope?) that if British Airways makes any changes to their fee structure it wouldn’t apply to previously booked tickets. I can’t imagine it would, as you agree to the terms at the time of booking. I’m actually kind of in the same shoes as you. I have a ton of BA miles (family has 500K+) and my schedule is filled up for the next few months. I can plan way out, though I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to travel. Still, I’ll make the booking and worse case scenario have to pay the $50 cancellation fee (which is the fee for online cancellations).

  9. Think we can expect an “Apology Bonus” from PC like Hilton did over the summer? I think it was 1000 points or something. Or am I remembering wrong?

  10. Even I have been trying to connect to PC website, but to no avail. Eventually my business ended up with marriott. PC come back soon.

  11. Now I did notice on their website that their awards from the West Coast to LHR, at least for first class, remained at 150k, whereas I was expecting them to go up. Am sure partner awards will go up drastically. Will be contacting you shortly Lucky to book me a LAN trip to Easter Island next autumn.

  12. As of about 2 hours ago, the PC site (finally) stayed operational long enough for me to complete three separate actions. YMMV.

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