There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t learn something about miles/points, and today is no exception.
One frustrating aspect of British Airways’ Executive Club program is that they don’t allow any changes to award tickets within 24 hours of departure, so if you have to make a change you forfeit the value of your ticket. It’s a stupid policy, but I’ve known it.
That being said, I’ve on many occasions made bookings within 24 hours of departure and had no issues. This is especially practical for domestic American flights when you need a last minute ticket. For example, through British Airways’ website I can book a ticket for tonight from Los Angeles to Dallas using Avios.
I was supposed to fly from Vancouver to New York tonight on Cathay Pacific, and had been planning on using 4,500 Avios for a one-way ticket on Alaska Airlines from Seattle to Vancouver. They had plenty of award space and I had held off on booking the short leg up the coast since I wasn’t sure how much time I wanted to spend in Vancouver before continuing onwards.
So I rang up Executive Club to make a booking this morning, given that Alaska Airlines awards can’t be booked online. However, I was informed award bookings can’t be made within 24 hours of departure.
This is one of those tough lessons I learned the hard way. No Cathay Pacific for me tonight, I guess!
It’s a bit ironic because one of the huge benefits of Avios is that they don’t charge close-in ticketing fees, so they’re great for last minute ticketing… just not within 24 hours.