Jamie's Blog

Lessons from a life of startups, coding, countryside, and kids

Useless Miles

Airline miles, that is. Myself and Hilary are planning a holiday to Tobago and since she’s been racking up the BA airmiles (57,000 at the last count) we thought we’d treat ourselves to an upgrade. Except that…

  • you can’t upgrade a ticket booked through an agent
  • you can’t upgrade at check-in
  • you can’t get through on the phone to upgrade
  • you can only upgrade flexible tickets
This last point leads to the bizarre situation where it’s actually cheaper for us to book the upgraded ticket ourselves than use Hilary’s points. For example, flights on 5th-16th September, Cork to Tobago:
  • €2472.62 economy premium fixed
  • €2528.62 economy flexible + upgrade to economy premium with 50,000 points
  • €1764.62 economy fixed
When she pointed this out to the BA representative, he said that you just needed to know how to play the game to your advantage, which sounds a lot like the croupier at a casino tell a lousy gambler that they just need to know how to play roulette. But in the end, the house always wins.