In part one, I explained some process failures related to ticket locator, e-ticket and communications with British Airways. In this part I talk about failures associated with the BA.com website.
I am a BA Executive Club member. As such I can theoretically do many things on the site: book and manage flights, check my tier and Avios points, look at baggage allowances and so on. All standard fare. Except that in BA's case it doesn't always work. Check the image below that covers the last 10 transactions:
Spot any problems? They've decided the inbound from Houston to London is ineligible for any points allocation. It turns out that if you upgrade - which I did and paid for the pleasure - the system doesn't know what to do. That's what the BA call centre told me. Moving on. Notice that the outbound from London to Sydney doesn't appear? Entering the e-ticket number doesn't provide a resolution. Perhaps in this case I had the wrong e-ticket number. At this stage, who can know? A polite email from BA says:
Thank you for requesting Avios and Tier Points for the following ticket number:
Ticket Number: 125 xxxxxxxxxx
Unfortunately we have been unable to confirm that you travelled on the above ticket. The name on the ticket must match the name on your account to be automatically credited. Please check the details and submit a new claim online. You can find your ticket number on your e-ticket itinerary. Ticket numbers are usually listed in the same order as the names of passengers.
But when I submit a fresh claim, the system tells me that all flight segments have been handled. It's a dead end. I call up BA and go through the confusing ticket locator/e-ticket number issue pointing out that I am looking at an itinerary receipt issued by BA with the e-ticket number for which I am trying to make a claim. The person at the other end confirms the information but now says that sometimes it doesn't recognise the person flying if a middle name is recorded in the system. That doesn't make sense because at least one segment has been awarded points and the claim section of the website does not require me to enter my full name. It only wants my surname.
As a separate issue, the BA site says that it takes up to three days to automatically award points but in this case, the rep says it will take 7-10 working days to update my account. Are we done? Not quite.
BA also has a mobile application. It can generate a QR code which serves as your boarding pass. It only works at certain airports and that is fair enough. However, when I tried to obtain the QR code for the outbound London>Sydney section it insisted that I provide details of my passport, place of birth etc. I am used to this because all trips to the US require the same information. It seems the Australian government needs the same information. Which would all be fine but I had already entered that data prior to departure on this booking. It seems that when the mobile application is fired up, it doesn't necessarily pick up that data from the back end systems. It is also incredibly clumsy to use on an Android device.
It is clear to me that BA has some major issues around the website integration to the back end systems. What should be a simple set of processes ends up as an end user problem requiring calls to a call centre that is already overloaded.