On October 22 I booked a long weekend for Kim, Lucas and I to Toronto using British Airways Avios. At just 4,500 Avios (points) each way from NYC this was definitely a bargain (although the cost will be going up soon to 7,500).
I searched at BA.com and found the flights I needed (out of JFK Airport) but I wasn’t able to book online due to issues with the flight home on TAM. I called in to take care of the issue which led to a 40 minute + call to get things sorted out. BA also had to call me back two times since it took so long!
This annoying booking experience was the start of possibly our most annoying and painful travel experience in many years.
A day before our trip I was checking something at BA.com and noticed my flight for the following day was missing. I plugged in my reference # and then saw in red the word cancelled! Odd since I never received any communication from BA or AA about this.
I immediately called up British Airways and soon after was told that I never called back to confirm my flight so AA cancelled it. This was definitely incorrect information as the phone rep had told me we were good to go, even giving me a reference number when I booked back in October.
The reps seemed to be making up stories about what happened and it didn’t really make much sense. I was then transferred to another person who told me not to worry.
Worry? Why wouldn’t I? We were packed and ready to go the following evening but we now had no flight there! I was then told that I’d receive a call back and it would be sorted out. I didn’t want to hang up the phone but the rep, who I assume was outsourced in India told me that I’d receive a call back within 2 hours.
A little under two hours later the phone rang and it was the friendly British woman who had originally helped me book the flights. She apologized right away and said the system made some sort of mistake since she knows she had booked it. She even mentioned that there were notes about my booking in a journal…
The flight we thought we had booked no longer had availability so she looked for alternative options. The only one was a connecting flight which would make a flight of around one hour, take close to 6, getting us in after midnight.
This was not an option we considered and I asked about just going the following week.
After a brief hold, I was told that we could go out of LaGuardia in business class at no extra charge due to the issues. This sounded like a good consolation prize which made up for the error.
The cost for our new booking came to 27,000 Avios + tax coming to $157.29. I was surprised that the taxes were actually a few dollars cheaper than our original plans.
Our new set of flights, which have since been completed were booked on November 11. To make the booking work, I was told that the full cost in Avios for the business seats would have to be deducted from my account- 54,000 Avios. I’d receive a credit back for half of the Avios, giving me business class for ony 27,000 + tax.
Now we’re close to two weeks since the booking was made and I haven’t yet seen the 27,000 Avios redeposited! I’m also still waiting on the Avios & taxes from our original flight home to be credited back to my credit card. That’s 13,500 Avios and $143.79 still owed to me!
Hopefully I see the refund soon and the Avios credited back to my account. It’s a good think I don’t need them at the moment to book another flight!
This was just the first hiccup of many to come. Check back to see the other annoying things that happened to us and how we managed to salvage our trip.