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BA/Comair award availability

Mattg

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Has anyone been able to redeem Qantas points for British Airways flights operated by Comair (BA's South African franchise)?

I wanted to book a seat recently but couldn't find any award availability on the Qantas website. Thought it may have been a problem with the QF website as I could see plenty of seats on AA.com, so called Qantas. But even the Hobart-based call centre couldn't see a single Comair award seat available on any flight!

Am I missing something?
 

Daver6

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Have previously booked Comair at part of a 280k J OWA. That was a couple of years ago. Being BA, I used the BA availability tool as it was very handy for looking for availability for a wide range of dates. Perhaps check what that shows you, but something sounds fishy if QF see nothing.
 

madrooster

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QF needs to do a long sell on BA when it's Comair. The availability is definitely there and matches what is on the BA site.

Edit: watch out for the fuel fines. You may find a revenue fare to be a better idea...
 

jamescara

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Depending what flights you're looking at, it might be worth paying for them, especially if you book Club seats. I picked up 80 QF status credits for under $300 on some return flights between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth with them recently. Great bang for your buck.
 

Mattg

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Indeed, this probably would be better value as a paid fare if I was booking it as a standalone ticket. But I was looking at JNB-WDH as part of a 280k Oneworld Award, so I would have effectively just paid the taxes and fuel surcharges.

@madrooster how would one ask for this when calling QF? I had no luck with booking this over the phone - the agent could see the flight I wanted but said there was no award inventory.
 

madrooster

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Indeed, this probably would be better value as a paid fare if I was booking it as a standalone ticket. But I was looking at JNB-WDH as part of a 280k Oneworld Award, so I would have effectively just paid the taxes and fuel surcharges.

@madrooster how would one ask for this when calling QF? I had no luck with booking this over the phone - the agent could see the flight I wanted but said there was no award inventory.
It depends on whether you have spare mileage. Generally it's better to just buy the flight outright in southern Africa unless you have plenty of spare mileage in your 280k.

Just ask for a long sell. Long sells are an industry wide term and if they've been around long enough they should know what it means.
 

Cool Cat Phil

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Depending what flights you're looking at, it might be worth paying for them, especially if you book Club seats. I picked up 80 QF status credits for under $300 on some return flights between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth with them recently. Great bang for your buck.
I would tend to agree that BA (Comair) J seats are usually fairly good value in comparison to paying for the Taxes or even a paid Y seat. - considering they are not too effected by the "fairer & simplier" SC changes a few years ago.

I too am looking for a few BA J seat next year - and so far have found no Award seats either - so may have to rivert to cashing in my Flybys dollars on the flybys travel portal.
 

travellerqff

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I added a BA J JNB CPT sector to a SYD JNB award. Three times qantas agents told me there was no availability but on the fourth phone call the agent was able to see the seat and lock it in for me :)
 

craven morehead

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Well I nailed it !!! :D:D:D after being told by Qantas agent it wasn't possible I am now the proud owner of 2 x J award tickets on BA (Comair) JNB - DUR return. Quoted $680 pp cash end result 36k points & $188 pp. I asked the lady about the "long sell" she had no idea but was willing to ask around the office. In the interim I found some info on FT but in the end she didn't need it as someone in the office knew what is was :cool::cool::cool:
Did I mention how much I love this forum :):)
 
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ozflier

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Well, I've come up against this problem and despite the mention of using a "long sell" to the apparently competent agent , she was unable to get seats from Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth and return in South Africa.
This is part of a OWA itinerary.
Award seats are listed for the flights I want on the BA site but not on the QFF one.
This was the identical situation in 2017 and a really good agent found a way to do it - not sure whether she did a long sell or not.
The agent today told me that to do a "long sell" , she needed a code to put in and she could not find a code for those flights .
She also read out a document that said that flights on BA's subsidiary airlines like Comair are not allowed for award flights.
Is there any other way I can explain the situation to the agent or any other thoughts
 

ozflier

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QF uses a proprietary system (AQIRE) so that isn't the correct format.
Well,third go and no luck still.
The agent , again very helpful, could find no seats .
She thought the reason was because Comair is a BA subsidiary and thus ineligible for award bookings.
I told her of a 2017 OWA where I did get award seats on Comair and she checked that pnr.
She was then able to see Comair flights using the the BA number and it actually showed award availability.
ie she could access award seat availability on that sector using the BA codeshare number.
but there was no availability on the dates I wanted - ie next June.
Maybe BA do not release award seats that far out ?
Oh well, I'll try again in a months or so time.
 

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