May 18, 2013

The BA (British Airways) – American Express Avios Rewards Scam – BA’s “Great Value – Transparent Prices” seems not to be as transparent as BA would like us to believe.

British Airways in conjunction with American Express and other retailers/credit card issuers encourage you to earn “Avios” points to use against flights.  If you have a “BA American Express” card, using the points, you can qualify for a voucher to allow another passenger to accompany you on a flight at a reduced fare or indeed, for free.

However, all is not what it seems!  A whistle blower, who has 400,000 Avios points, all acquired through the use of the BA Amex card, has contacted us to tell us he tried to book a return business class trip to the USA, using his voucher and his Avios points.

To his surprise, despite BA’s “Great Value, Transparent Prices” strap line, it was impossible to book a flight using the voucher/points system because all flights were unavailable, presumably full. 

Ironically, the flights were unavailable beyond November 2013, yet when he booked the flights, using conventional payment, he noticed, throughout the summer and autumn, the business class cabins were virtually empty.  He calculates he has lost somewhere in the region of £1,500.

The vouchers used by the BA/Amex partnership have an expiry date and he is now reaching the point where the use of the voucher will prove, as he says, “problematical.”

We notice that BA have a first and business class sale running and we suspect the seats have been “blocked out” until the sale finishes in June 2013.  We will be speaking to both BA and American Express but we would like to hear from you if you have been subjected to this apparent scam or any other scam involving flights – please contact us as soon as possible.


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