Why I’m Avoiding British Airways Executive Club Right Now

The British Airways Executive Club website was supposed to be down for maintenance from the evening of November 13 through the morning of November 17 (GMT). They’re still having problems with it.

Last night people were reporting login issues, though it’s working for me now. It hasn’t been possible to move points between BA and Iberia. The BA website hasn’t been showing or letting members book award travel on American Airlines. And there have been numerous other glitches.

One of the most common uses of BA’s points for U.S. members, of course, is domestic American Airlines redemptions since they’re priced reasonably with no fuel surcharges. British Airways is a Chase, American Express, and Capital One transfer partner.

Website functionality for use of points is especially a big deal because it’s almost impossible to get help by phone. That makes it difficult to change itineraries and cancel redemptions and redeposit miles.

Hold times are generally over an hour, and the system is designed to hang up on customers after a little more than that. The airline blames their service provider but this has been an ongoing issue that isn’t duplicated at other airlines. People even finally reach the airline and then get cut off. I’ve been asking about this issue for months to no avail.

U.S. members should try BA in the U.K. and may have better luck there. At other call centers besides U.S. and U.K. agents will generally tell U.S. members they cannot be helped.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Thanks for this post. I’ve been trying to book reward flights for weeks but can’t because my points are not in my account. Even the twitter team has been useless.

    Unacceptable. Will avoid when possible like I do TAP.

  2. Well, since about August 2021 (perhaps earlier), it has been impossible to do an online Star Alliance booking on Turkish. You can go through the whole booking process, enter your credit card number – then you realize there is no “next” or other button to push after you’ve entered the credit card number, so there is no way to finalize the reservation.

    Documented here: https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/turkish-airlines-miles-smiles/1726019-everything-you-need-know-about-booking-star-alliance-awards-miles-smiles.html#:~:text=Since%20August%202021%20the%20online%20*A%20ticket%20payment%20flow%20is%20broken%20(%22continue%22%20button%20does%20not%20appear%20on%20the%20credit%20card%20entry%20page)%20so%20transactions%20cannot%20be%20completed.%20No%20known%20workarounds

  3. For 6 weeks I have been trying to combine Britisish Avios into Iberia. Site all ways says “not available”. Same message trying to combine Aaer Lingus Avios. Anyone else having this problem?

  4. BA is a hot mess, and has been for quite some time. The whole voucher process for cancelling an Avios booking is pathetic, especially considering the functionality was there prior to cancel online and reinstate your Avios. Their call centers are terrible, and love passing you on to another department for a simple transaction. What the best option to book AA awards outside of BA?

  5. “The BA website hasn’t been showing or letting members book award travel on American Airlines.”

    It’s worse than that.

    Reportedly, when you call them (if you can get through; I haven’t been able to), they tell you that this is because there is no inventory available—even though IB has inventory, SeatSpy and ExpertFlyer show inventory, and BA never has inventory on any AA flight on any route at any time.

  6. Wish we could still have the option of talking to a real person without being charged 25$ We do all the work for the airlines and we cant even get our stinkin rewards points.

  7. BA is most certainly a mess perhaps inept…. I was pleased to learn that I could cancel my FTV (over the phone) and receive my miles back less the $55 cancellation fee. I find the FTV a bad value since it expires and you must call a BA center to use it. The rep. I spoke with admitted the system is broken and they simply can’t book an AA flight and they did not have any information on when they expect a fix. My IB account is “for now” allowing me to transfer BA to IB and so I managed to book my AA domestic flights.

  8. My wife and I just burned our last BA Avios points. I’m delighted. BA has been a lousy airline in all respects for years and in most respects keeps getting worse.

    To answer Brodie’s question: Alaska might be the best non-AA option for booking AA award flights.

  9. Had to call them to use an FTV. Took 1 hr and 5 mins to get through. 3 minutes into the call I was disconnected. Fortunately the agent had my phone number and called me back. She was great once we were connected. Tweets to BA to solve another problem have gone without response after 5 days.

  10. AA would do well to cancel BA out of its One World Alliance. Their fuel surcharges are highway robbery and going through London Heathrow is an air traveler’s nightmare. I believe they are only kept around in order to allow American from having to offer their own flights for reward space. Perhaps with new leadership, American can get back on track but we’ll see. I try to avoid flying them if possible and BA, never.

  11. Plus no first class awards available nearly 100% of time for next 350 days out of and back to nearly all US points. NYC- near zero. Miami zero. Chi zero. Boston a few. Only real value with Avios nose-bleed surcharges. Calls for complete re-evaluation of BA.

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