jmc757
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 3:36 am

BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:48 pm

I've been looking into multi-stop trips to the USA for my parents. This will involve a few stops, something like LON-MIA-SFO-LON or similar. Thinking of ease of use etc, best sites for these type of trips seem to be Expedia/Opodo. However, the US airlines websites are also very good.

After digging around a bit, it seems it will be cheaper to just book the transatlantic legs (ie LON-MIA and SFO-LON) and then the domestic separate. Virgin's website will allow you to do this with great ease, you can enter LHR-MIA with a date, and SFO-LHR witha date, and you get a choice of flights and a fairly reasonable price.

BA's website is abysmal. When you click the "one-way, multistops" option you get a very messy form to enter your details into. And however I try to do it I can't seem to be able to book LHR-MIA then SFO-LHR. There is an option to return to another airport, but not to depart from another airport. There is then the option to "include a stopover before I reach my destination". So, thinking I was clever, put SFO as the destination, then a stop in MIA. And I got this ridiculous itinery: (dates just for example)

Tuesday 10th Jan
09:40 Depart LHR BA0207 British Airways Traveller
14:20 Arrive MIA

Tuesday 17th Jan
17:10 Depart MIA BA0206 British Airways Traveller
06:20* Arrive LHR
13:40 Depart LHR BA0287 British Airways Traveller
16:25 Arrive SFO

Tuesday 24th Jan
16:15 Depart SFO BA0284 British Airways Traveller
10:30* Arrive LHR

The other option is to book 2 one-way tickets, but the prices for that are sky high. The website just seems useless unless you want to book a one-way or round trip A-B-A. Even American Airlines website will let you book the trip on BA, but the BA website doesn't seem to have the functionality. Its a shame as BA's prices seem good, it would be nice to book direct with them.
 
geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:53 pm

It is rather pathetic. After all, the vast majority people would want an open jaw (ie returning FROM a different airport) than returning TO a different airport.

The best thing, IMHO, is just bite the bullet and pay the £5ish admin fee on Expedia or equivalent.

Have a look at the LCC websites for MIA-SFO - they won't necessarily appear on the likes of Expedia.

Geoff M.
 
MEA-707
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Joined: Mon Nov 15, 1999 4:51 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Mon Sep 26, 2005 9:56 pm

BA is aware their website is disfunctional. Last year I wanted an open jaw, arriving in LGW and departing from Manchester, impossible to book on their website but they graced me their 20 euro-ish booking fee by booking by telephone. So just call them and explain the problem and probably you'll get the attractive internet price without the normal fees.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
fbgdavidson
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Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 6:25 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:05 pm

The BA website is quite good for simple return trips, I really like the way it shows you prices for the days across a month as I tend not to need to fly on specific days.

However it does bring up some pretty comical options for anything more complex than that! I remember trying to price up LHR-JFK-IAD-JFK-LHR with the transatlantic legs on Concorde. It told me the cabin I was after was not available on the NYC-Washington legs and so booked me London-New York-London on Concorde, then London-Washington-London in First, then London-New York-London on Concorde. The fare was almost hysterical!

For more complex itineraries involving BA use aa.com. Much better for multi cities and usually cheaper. The only disadvantages are you need to call AA to get your BA Exec Club number added to the booking, and also that you cannot use Online Check-In or Self-Service check-in.
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
richardw
Posts: 3136
Joined: Tue May 08, 2001 3:17 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Mon Sep 26, 2005 10:15 pm

It is, even when the airports are very close to each other. I have been asked a few times to give my opinion on ba.com with online surveys and always commented on this point, they don't seem to be listening.
 
jmc757
Posts: 1205
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2000 3:36 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:09 am

It is a shame. How many people have been put off booking with them. Ok, yes for the £5 extra its not worth it, just book with Expedia. But surely it would benefit BA if more people were booking direct on BA.com. Think about it, you could quite happily book on BA, however the site is useless, so you go to Expedia. Who knows, when on there you may even end up booking another carrier.

It wouldn't be that hard to sort out, many other airlines do it.
 
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ZSOFN
Posts: 1379
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2005 5:20 pm

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 3:14 am

I looked into buying an internal SA flight on BA's franchise Comair from DUR to JNB and the first option that came up was DUR - CPT - LHR - JNB. Hmm...
 
Trolley Dolley
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2000 1:57 pm

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 5:25 am

Fbgdavidson. Why do you say you can't use self-service check-in? I regularly use it although I book through non-BA sources. All you need is an e-ticket.  Smile
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:00 am

Quoting Trolley Dolley (Reply 7):
Fbgdavidson. Why do you say you can't use self-service check-in? I regularly use it although I book through non-BA sources. All you need is an e-ticket.

The problem isn't due to booking through non-BA sources, it's related to the ticket being issued on AA stock and not BA stock (ticket number starts with a different sequence of numbers) if you book the ticket on aa.com. Even an all-BA itinerary will end up as an AA-issued ticket. BA's SSCI and OLCI systems will only work if the e-ticket number in the booking is a BA one.

Booking on sites such as Expedia, Opodo, etc. don't have this problem as they are basically acting as a travel agent - the actual ticket that gets issued will be a BA one.
 
BAxMAN
Posts: 654
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 7:51 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:39 am

You're right that the BA website is a little bit abysmal for multi city journeys. Whoever the hell it was that programmed it so that you can book an open jaw but only arriving at a different airport, rather than departing from, should be fired/shot.

We are expecting an update of BA.com sometime this year, according to our IT people. Apparently, it'll let you book up to 20 segments and the open-jaw thing will be sorted out.

It would be good if it was a little like AA's website which will let you purchase tickets on other carriers, although I think it should only let you do this in conjunction with the main part of the journey being on BA.

Whatever the new content turns out to be, the booking engine should be a vast improvement.
I need to get laid
 
richierich
Posts: 3289
Joined: Sat Nov 04, 2000 5:49 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:40 am

I tried a similar thing once JFK-LHR then MAN-JFK. No dice on ba.com. I was, however, easily able to price this on VS/bmi (although this meant changing planes in LHR on my return leg).
I ended up booking this on expedia and got a good deal, although I strangely ended up flying VS to LHR and BA from MAN. Go figure (but it worked!). As a side note, BA cancelled our MAN-JFK that day and we all had to scramble for connecting flights through LHR anyway! Oh well.....

I'd guess handling open jaws is very difficult for most booking websites.
None shall pass!!!!
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 6:49 am

Quoting Richierich (Reply 10):
I'd guess handling open jaws is very difficult for most booking websites.

Not really - BA is the only major airline I use regularly that can't do it... ironically though, a site like Expedia will usually price up an open jaw route on BA correctly - the underlying fare types do allow these tickets to be issued, it's just the website that can't do it.
 
zarniwoop
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 11:43 pm

RE: BA Website - Very Poor For Multi-City

Tue Sep 27, 2005 12:35 pm

I agree, I have tried to book multi city journey's on BA's website and gave up in the end and went with a different airline. Other carriers like SQ and KLM have excellent booking system on their website, it is a pity BA can't do the same. For example, I booked SIN - CDG, LHR - SIN on the SQ website and it was the same price as if I had travelled SIN-LHR-SIN.