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coopspa Sep 13th, 2005 03:10 PM

BA WT+ question
DH and I are flying LAX to SVQ, then BIO to LAX on return home next spring. We want to fly WT+ for the LA to london leg (partner airline within spain). So, here's the question... On the BA website you can't book flights that leave from different airports (we're arriving in Sevilla leaving from Bilbao). I called BA to book over the phone and its about $250 more per ticket over the phone than online. Expedia and other sites will let me book the differnt airports but not the WT+. If it comes down to it I'll pay the extra $$, but would rather spend that money in Spain. Any suggestions?

KT Sep 13th, 2005 04:17 PM

BA lets you book open jaw, which I think is what you're talking about (you said BA LAX to London, but I'm assuming you mean BA all the way to Sevilla, and also all the way back from Bilbao to LAX). Click on "book one-way and multiple-city." Does that help?

coopspa Sep 13th, 2005 04:30 PM

It would actually be a partner airline inside Spain, but it doesn't make a difference. The website will allow you to choose a different airport to go home to (like SFO or JFK instead of LAX for example) but not arrive to one and leave from another. For that I have to book over the phone, which means no internet "deals". I need to know where to go to still get the online deals but book WT+.

KT Sep 13th, 2005 05:23 PM

Sorry, I checked and you're quite right about their open-jaw booking working only in one direction (original departure different than final destination). How odd...I know other airlines let you book the kind of open jaw you want. Sorry I was no help.

Gardyloo Sep 13th, 2005 05:40 PM

BA's website doesn't allow open jaws at destination, only at origin. Incredibly clunky, but then the whole website is, to use a technical term, a kluge.

However I looked up a WT+ fare using ITA (which you could use to phone BA and read off the fare construction so they would end up with the same price) - using imaginary dates in October - and it came out to $200 more than buying a round trip in WT+ to LHR from LAX, then a separate openjaw ticket on Iberia or BA (or codeshares thereof). Reason being, when you book the through itinerary in WT+ (booking class "T" or "W") that same fare "bucket" is used for the non-WT+ coach seats to/from Spain, so you're overpaying for the short segments.

Remember that given coach seats on any plane can and will carry different prices depending on advance purchase, etc. factors, and by linking the higher cost class of WT+ on the same ticket as the European flights where WT+ isn't offered, you're getting punished.

So book the RT on BA, then a separate ticket with a London origin/termination and you'll work around their silly website and save money in the process.

One practical note, though - be sure you show the connecting flight info at checkin both in LA and Spain, so that your bags will go all the way rather than forcing the gawdawful Heathrow shuffle.

coopspa Sep 13th, 2005 07:00 PM

Am I just dumb to not know what ITA is? And what would be the least expensive airline within Spain?

Gardyloo Sep 13th, 2005 07:16 PM

Sorry - ITA is a fare search engine, but not a booking engine -

Use Expedia or Travelocity or some such to book the Spain flights. I'd recommend BA or Iberia as they're partners and you will have an easier time with bags, etc.

coopspa Sep 13th, 2005 09:14 PM

thanks for the info. I checked out ITA but can't figure out how to specify WT+. It jumps from economy to business. It looks like, from your post, that you did. Can you walk a novice through?

Gardyloo Sep 14th, 2005 05:49 AM

Unfortunately ITA uses its own syntax (there's a link on it to a primer on how to specify routes etc.,) which, while very powerful, is also pretty complicated.

For example, you need to know that the booking class for WT+ on BA is "T" for the most restricted seats (longer advance purchase, higher change fees etc.) and "W" for the more flexible, i.e., pricier seats. For some reason, ITA can't access "T" fares on some routes, but LAX/LHR is not a problem.

That said, here's what I used. Note that two colons (::) and spaces must be observed.

From: LAX:: BA /F BC=T [or BC=W if you want the higher price]
To: LHR:: BA /F BC=T

...with your dates. The "BC" (booking code or class) overrides the "economy/business" dropdown at the bottom.

Then use the "Multi-Segment" option to look at choices on your openjaw flights to/from Spain.

For what it's worth, yesterday or the day before BA announced their winter sale, which apparently includes some good WT+ fares, especially from the east coast. If you're traveling in March you might want to phone BA and see if the previous numbers you got are still the case.

Gardyloo Sep 14th, 2005 05:52 AM

Arrgh. Fodors smileys.

Two colons ::

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