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Airline Mismanagement

This follows on from our article British Airways Fare Sale :  Lazy Website Programming?  Or Bait and Switch?, which was published on 15 March 2011.  At that time, BA was promising a $288 fare from Seattle to London (this being an each way fare requiring roundtrip purchase, and exclusive of taxes and fees), but when I tried to book it, the lowest fare I could find was $801, which when taxes/fees were added, ended up as being almost exactly $1000.

A series of screen shots, starting from this page, document the contrast between BA's promised fare(s) and the reality of the actual fares available, as of 15 March.

I then followed up on 11 April 2011 to see what BA was offering for roundtrip travel in May.

This time, according to their website, the lowest fare would be $366 (each way, plus taxes/fees - in other words, $732 plus taxes/fees).  Do you think that was available, any time in May?  No, of course not.

When I went through their site one way, the lowest I could find was $897 plus taxes/fees, but strangely, when I clicked on the $366 link, I was then offered a lower $758 fare (plus, of course, taxes and fees), but this was only available on three travel days to London and one travel day back to Seattle.

This raises two questions.  First, why was the $366 each way not available on any dates when one simply scrolled through the entire month of availability?  And, second, why - after clicking on the link for the $366 promised fare, was one instead offered a $379 each way fare?  What happened to the $366?

Whether it be bad programming or bait and switch, the problems of a month ago remain a reality in April.

The Screen shots were all taken on Monday 11 April, late morning Pacific time.

This is the first of two pages of screen shots, following through the steps I took to check every date in May for the low fares as advertised/promised.  Page 1  Page 2

1.  My initial booking request.


2.  Here is the first screen of results.  Note, in the top right hand side, the promise of fares in May as low as $366.
  None visible on this first page of results, though, so let's go forward another week.


3.  No $366 fares in either direction here either.  Let's move forward another week.


4.  Still nothing.  But - don't panic yet.  We're only half way through the month.
Let's click on to another week and hope for better things.


5.  Hmmm - starting to get a bad feeling about this.  One more week to go.


6.  And here we are, showing the last week of May, still with no $366 fares available,
on any of the 31 days of May, in either direction.  What gives?  Keep reading down....


Maybe there's another way to do this?  Next I tried clicking on this tantalizing link to the $366 fare
to see if that would take me straight to the so far apparently non-existent $366 fares.
Please click, yourself, on to the second page of this process.

View the second page of screen shots here.

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