Changing or Cancelling a flight booked with BA Avios

SherryFD

Level 2 Member
Supporter
I'm trying to either cancel and rebook a BA flight I booked with Avios (on USAir metal) and am unable to do it online or get through to BA. Hoping there's some "secret trick" to getting this done.

I have a reservation from RDU to PHL next May in first class - no coach available when I booked and because it's for my nephew's graduation wanted to at least have something. 1 coach seat is now available at an acceptable time. I understand that you can cancel an BA ticket booked with Avios for the cost of the taxes. So far, so good.

When I try to manage my booking online, I get a message that this can't be done online and I have to call.

I called the BA ph# and after holding for 20 minutes found out I needed to call a different # for the Executive Club.

I've tried calling six times and every time the phone disconnects after I choose the "change or cancel flight" option.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
BA...love...hate...years ago after getting diverted to Detroit on a BA flight from Madrid to Chicago, I swore I would never fly with them again. There was no customer service available until the next day and we got there at night. I do digress. Then there was Avios and so I learned to at least like them again. My daughter used to live in London and will not fly them after some of her experiences. All I can say is good luck. Getting them to help you can be a real PITA. I have never tried to change a reservation with Avios. You for sure have to call and best of luck!
 

ElainePDX

Level 2 Member
The BA website offers a variety of different ways to get things done so it can be confusing. I had this same problem. I believe if you scroll all the way down you'll find some links to how to do various things. There's a change reservation link (or perhaps change/cancel) and if you follow that, you can manage to do it online. At least I did so about 6 weeks ago, after following the more obvious link above which said it was not doable online.

As for calling in, don't press the button that disconnects you! Try saying "agent" or press the button for a new res. Maybe whomever you get there can do it. Good luck.
 

SherryFD

Level 2 Member
Supporter
Thanks @ElainePDX! I did try pressing the button for new reservation but got a recording that wait time was 80 minutes so I gave up yesterday. And unfortunately the ticket I wanted is now gone. But I did find the section you described so I now know for next time :).
 

Confectioneer

San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks @ElainePDX! I did try pressing the button for new reservation but got a recording that wait time was 80 minutes so I gave up yesterday. And unfortunately the ticket I wanted is now gone. But I did find the section you described so I now know for next time :).
Hi @SherryFD, one thing to remember is with most programs you don't have to use the call center based in your home country. You can use Skype or any similar service to call internationally and have a "foreign" agent help out.
 

BuddyFunJet

Level 2 Member
I can't help with the hold time (an hour is not exceptional) other than say to call from a speakerphone when you can be doing something else while on hold but the numbers to call are:

To cancel, Call 800-452-1201, 4, 2 wait 7am-8pm est

I keep this in my BA contact so I remember it. My code means call the number, wait for the conversation, press 4, wait for a bit more message, press 2 and then wait. I know this is too late for this time but keep it for next.

I have to call in for every cancellation rather than do it online since removing my BA FF# on the booking so I can easily add my AA FF# to get my AA status seats makes cancellation online impossible.
 

ElainePDX

Level 2 Member
I have to call in for every cancellation rather than do it online since removing my BA FF# on the booking so I can easily add my AA FF# to get my AA status seats makes cancellation online impossible.
Why don't you wait until closer to the departure dates to switch the FF #s? Would you lose access to the AA status seats? I recently flew with Avios but waited until a few days before to change the FF# to my Alaska one, and I was able to do it by just calling Alaska, with no wait time at all.
 

BuddyFunJet

Level 2 Member
Why don't you wait until closer to the departure dates to switch the FF #s? Would you lose access to the AA status seats? I recently flew with Avios but waited until a few days before to change the FF# to my Alaska one, and I was able to do it by just calling Alaska, with no wait time at all.
AA has real trouble changing the FF# from a BA# to an AA#, possibly since they are both One World and have tighter integration than with Alaska, so I have to remove the BA# during the booking process to make life easier down the road.

On the seat side, I find that as a Platinum, the seat selection is best the earlier you can get it. If I only have OK seats available, I grab the best I can and hope I can move to better later or at least have good trade material.

Since I know the BA hold times are bad, my process is to cancel the flights from the AA site (just frees up AA inventory, doesn't get points back), copy the reservation to an email folder titled "BA 2 Cancel MM-DD" Where MM-DD is the flight date. When the flight date is about a week out, I'll call BA when the hour hold isn't a problem and cancel all the flights that have a cancellation folder to get the Avios back.

As I write it out, my process sounds rather compulsive but it works for me.
 

Skywardbd

Level 2 Member
Try calling a BA reservation office in another country. ( I do it through Skype for pennies.) My experience has been that any reservation center can help change your reservation. Reservation centers outside the US frequently have shorter wait times to talk to an agent.

I generally try an English speaking country first. Though all the BA reservation agents will speak English, there are fewer communication errors if English is their native language. (Note: It is necessary to be cognizant of the time differences and call when that particular reservation office is open.)

>http://www.britishairways.com/travel/ctclist/public/en_us<
 
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BuddyFunJet

Level 2 Member
Try calling a BA reservation office in another country. ( I do it through Skype for pennies.) As far as I can tell, any reservation center can help you change your reservation.<
Does that also work for cancelling an award ticket? When I've called the regular reservations line in the past, they immediately transferred me to Executive Club as soon as they heard it was an award so I had the reservations wait followed by the Executive Club wait.
 

Skywardbd

Level 2 Member
Does that also work for cancelling an award ticket? When I've called the regular reservations line in the past, they immediately transferred me to Executive Club as soon as they heard it was an award so I had the reservations wait followed by the Executive Club wait.
Not sure. But perhaps worth a try.....
Don't know if they have local Executive Club offices in other countries or not.
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
AA has real trouble changing the FF# from a BA# to an AA#, possibly since they are both One World and have tighter integration than with Alaska, so I have to remove the BA# during the booking process to make life easier down the road.

On the seat side, I find that as a Platinum, the seat selection is best the earlier you can get it. If I only have OK seats available, I grab the best I can and hope I can move to better later or at least have good trade material.

Since I know the BA hold times are bad, my process is to cancel the flights from the AA site (just frees up AA inventory, doesn't get points back), copy the reservation to an email folder titled "BA 2 Cancel MM-DD" Where MM-DD is the flight date. When the flight date is about a week out, I'll call BA when the hour hold isn't a problem and cancel all the flights that have a cancellation folder to get the Avios back.

As I write it out, my process sounds rather compulsive but it works for me.
Yes, I always switch everything over to AA FF# right away. I do this for seat selection and I agree that it is worth it just for that. Besides changing it on the AA side, what a lot of people don't think about is IRROPS. I was traveling on a BA award recently and my flight was delayed from ORD to my home airport. I was in the Admirals Club and the staff there without me asking actually protected me and my husband on a later flight. I am EXP, but still I did not expect them to do this on a BA award. Had it had my BA number in there only I doubt they would have done it. I always put my AA number on everything BA or US because I just get better treatment and more benefits that way. I also had such a bad experience when I got stranded in Detroit on a BA flight to ORD that was diverted that I would never want to deal with BA in that kind of situation ever again.
 

ElainePDX

Level 2 Member
.... what a lot of people don't think about is IRROPS.
I agree. I change it for just that reason, and also because, very occasionally, an airline will give you FF miles for award flights if you have the airline's FF# in the record. Never happened to me but I have heard it does happen....

But I wait until I am sure I will be traveling to make the FF# change. I guess not having status is one advantage here, because I can easily cancel/change a res online before that!
 

smittytabb

Moderator
Staff member
I agree. I change it for just that reason, and also because, very occasionally, an airline will give you FF miles for award flights if you have the airline's FF# in the record. Never happened to me but I have heard it does happen....

But I wait until I am sure I will be traveling to make the FF# change. I guess not having status is one advantage here, because I can easily cancel/change a res online before that!
I can do the same as I just make sure to note Record Locator on both AA and BA (they will be different). Not sure not having status is an advantage as much as it is a disincentive to change the number earlier.
 

ElainePDX

Level 2 Member
I can do the same as I just make sure to note Record Locator on both AA and BA (they will be different). Not sure not having status is an advantage as much as it is a disincentive to change the number earlier.
Yeah. @Skywardbd 's posts seemed to indicate that changing the FF# made it harder to cancel on BA....? And given the stories about hold time, online access to changes/cancellation is helpful. But I have no personal experience to share other than what I wrote above.
 
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