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The Key is FinnAir
I recently got an alert from Expertflyer that an upcoming British Airways flight of mine was available to upgrade. BYAH! Here’s the thing…I was crediting that flight to Alaska so when I called into to upgrade, the rep changed my loyalty number and added my Alaska number. Bummer, right? What it did was provide me with an opportunity to explore what I thought to be possible, but hadn’t actually tried out.
- I’d booked a discount ticket in British Airways Club World
- I was originally crediting the flight to Alaska
- I had set an alert with Expertflyer to notify me when a First Class upgrade was available
- I wanted to Upgrade to First with Avios
- I wanted to secure 1A or 1K which are reserved seats for BA Gold or One World Emerald
- I wanted to credit the flight to Alaska after all was said and done.
While all of this can be done over the phone – it never works out quite how I’d like it, and I’ve found doing it myself creates the results I want.
The First step was receiving an email alert from Expertflyer notifying me that the seat I wanted was available.
You don’t need to do this, but it makes the process easier. If you don’t have ExpertFlyer you can check the AA website as upgrades are coded as award seats, so if you find an award seat, then you’ve found an upgrade as well ( assuming you’re ticketed into an upgradeable fare bucket).
I then called to upgrade the ticket from Business to First.
While you are technically capable of upgrading online, this feature has never worked for me. Going through the phone process resulted in my upgrade being secured, BUT my Alaska number was stripped from the reservation and replaced with my Executive Club. Not a big deal, but kind of annoying.
This created an opportunity to test a theory I’d wanted to try out: Could I switch in my AA number to get access to 1A and 1K, switch it back to Alaska, and still keep the seats?
The BA website doesn’t accommodate loyalty changes online after one has been selected. So I went to FinnAir.
The Finnair website streamlines changes and allows you to use your BA or AA record locator. In fact, I’m fairly certain that you can change any partners Record Locator ( help me out if you’ve one that doesn’t work ) —–>
Here’s the 1,2,3 Steps.
Since I’m AA Executive Platinum I should be able to access other seats in BA’s cabin. BA’s website showed the change instantaneously.
Sure enough…I could.
I then repeated the steps with FinnAir —-> changing it to Alaska.
Sure Enough…It worked and my loyalty is credited to Alaska and I still have seat 1A
Why did I want to be sure I credited this flight to Alaska?
- I’m going to Top Tier Status with Alaska
- Look at how many points you earn
Interested in seeing what it’s like to fly on BA First Class? Check out my last experience with Miles aboard the A380