British Airways structures their Avios award chart such that business class costs twice as many points as coach, while first class costs three times as many points as coach.
What’s frustrating about this is that they determine the cabin based on how the airline markets their product, and not whether it’s actually a two cabin or three cabin aircraft. This means that business class on American’s Flagship Service between New York and Los Angeles only costs double as many miles as coach, while first class on a two cabin aircraft costs triple as many miles. That’s despite the fact that business class on a three cabin aircraft is almost always better than first class on a two cabin product, and American charges the same mileage for both.
Even more confusing is that the same first class seat on the same 737 sometimes costs double points and sometimes costs triple points. American markets the forward cabin on international flights as “business class.” So if you fly Dallas to Toronto you pay double miles for “business” class, while if you fly Dallas to New York (on the same plane) you pay triple miles for the same seat. You’ve gotta love the logic…
But that’s not really the point of this post. As of a couple of weeks ago I’ve noticed a change on the British Airways website which is rather frustrating. At first I thought it was a glitch, but I’m starting to think they have an ulterior motive. As a default, the British Airways award search tool looks like this:
But as soon as you enter a route only served by domestic, two cabin aircraft, the drop down menu looks like this:
So what does this mean? You can’t book domestic first class American flights online anymore, at least for routes only operated by two cabin aircraft. That means you have to call to book an American Airlines domestic first class award, which incurs a $25 ticketing fee.
Why is this happening?
Trusting Lucky says: “Relax guys, it’s an IT glitch and the kind folks at British Airways will fix it
in the next decade soon.”
Cynical Lucky says: “These phonies, this change didn’t occur as a result of inaction, but rather as a result of action, so someone schemed this. American domestic first class is readily available and people actually redeem Avios points for it, and it’s costing British Airways money. By not displaying first class award space online they’re convincing 90% of people that it’s not available, and the other 10% have to pay $25 to redeem for an award. No
soup clotted cream and scones for you!”
What say you, wise friends?
Update: Iain points out that after you do the initial search (just select economy or business class), the next page will let you redo the search at the bottom left and specify first class. I’m still not convinced it’s a glitch, though.