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A most frustrating experience

Regular readers of this blog might notice that I like to complain. I’m a complainer. Get over it.

Now that we have that covered, let’s get on to my new complaint: British Airways. To summarize my feelings, in a most English way: wankers. Absolute wankers.

No, this isn’t a complaint about their ridiculous hold times (actually, if you call their Gold Line, for which you don’t need to be a Gold member, their hold time is quite reasonable), or the fact that their lounge at Pearson doesn’t comply with One World access rules. I’m not complaining about their crappy in-flight experience, or even their rather stuck-up attitude.

What I’m complaining about is their poorly trained and incompetent telephone staff.

Here’s the story: I’m trying to book a flight from England to Ireland on Aer Lingus for one of my award booking clients. I find the award inventory, and it should price out max around $50. What does the first telephone agent tell me? $160. The second? $180. This is an award ticket between London and Dublin. How can an award ticket carry $160-$180 in fees (what amount is it!?) when the purchase price of the ticket is $60. That doesn’t make sense. What also doesn’t make sense is the fact that the quote is different every single time I call.

Am I missing something here? Perhaps. Maybe, unbeknownst to me, the United Kingdom has an unheard-of surcharge only applicable to award tickets (the Crazy Rich Award Price). Does it?

I’m guessing that the agents were incompetent and didn’t know how to price the award, or their computer system really had a problem with me. In the end, I just told the client it was probably best just to purchase the ticket for their onward connection.

Oh, did you know that an Avios account only qualifies for flat-rate pricing only if that account has earned Avios in the previous year? How petty…


  1. Sad to hear about the way things are being done by Avios award bookings.
    May I know what were you referring to as ‘flat-rate pricing’ in the last line?

    1. For Ex-UK to Europe, Avios grants flat-rate pricing (LHR-DUB $27.50 CAD) instead of charging APD and other fees.

  2. I always call the Singapore call centre. They are a joy to deal with compared with their US counterparts.

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