back to article Boolean bafflement at British Airways' Executive Club: Sneaky little Avioses - Wicked, Tricksy, False!

Welcome to another in The Register's series of public whoopsies by customer-facing IT. Today it is the turn of perennial favourite, British Airways. The Register reader who received this particular from the former World's Favourite Airline has long forgotten his account credentials. British Airways, however, has not forgotten …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    zero is often converted to "false" during some operations

    Although Boolean false is usually 0 and Boolean true is usually >0, if you are expecting an integer value ( the number of Avios) it's slightly strange to convert that to a boolean value and then display the corresponding text string.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Database query failed or returned null for the number of points for some reason and Java/Python/whatever filled in the rest?

      1. b0llchit Silver badge

        Mult[iu]ple choice Booleans

        But databases have three valued Booleans: True, False and FileNotFound(*).

        (*) sorry, four valued bools, null is also possible; maybe even five, if you count programmer's indeterminacy projected onto software and computer hardware.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mult[iu]ple choice Booleans

          I bet Sir pTerry (May he rest in peace) would have found a peppermint Boolean as well.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Although Boolean false is usually 0 and Boolean true is usually >0

      I'm sure I remember language(s) that I worked with back in the day when I got my hands dirty with coding, that used -1 for true. IIRC it's because -1 is represented as all 1's in binary, compared to False/0 which is all-bits-zero in binary

      1. Spiz

        That brought back memories for me as well of VB6. Apparently .NET does it too:

    3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

      Unless we're dealing with return codes where 0 = success and >0 indicates an error of some form.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beware the false Avios!

    Follow only the one true Avios!

    1. Francis Boyle

      Are all avios

      the one true avio. Screw that. I went (was forced to go to) a Catholic school and I'm still trying to get my head around the Trinity.

      1. heyrick Silver badge

        Holy Mary, Mother of God

        I heard that uttered at the end of The Goonies, and was holy what of what just what?!?

        Icon, because, seriously... I know some bits of religion are supposed to be taken on faith, but what?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Holy Mary, Mother of God: Hellbound

          Well now, let me explain: come and sit on my knee and have a look at this shamrock.

      2. stevebp

        Re: Are all avios

        Then you should read Edward Gibbons' "Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire" and you will understand that the "Trinity" was a way of the Catholic faith competing with multi-theism (i.e. Paganism), including the use of Saints, statues of Mary, relics, etc. No wonder Protestantism dispensed with all that other crap later on - presumably they kept the Holy Trinity because there was actually some base for that in the bible

  3. macjules

    the former World's Favourite Airline

    Nicely put.

    1. cantankerous swineherd

      Re: the former World's Favourite Airline

      are we in the next world already?

      1. Oh Matron!

        Re: the former World's Favourite Airline

        Given that our current reality is beyond even the most f****d up of dreamers, I suspect so.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: the former World's Favourite Airline

          Whoever invented that slogan must have been well versed in British satire.

          I suppose there could be a market for BA in an ironic sense; a 70s British customer-service themed experience. Like those places in East Europe where you can see Soviet era statues and visit a gulag.

          1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

            Re: the former World's Favourite Airline

            I believe at one stage it was absolutely true: BA _was_ the world's favorite airline. The "trick" was in that "favorite" is not the same as "best". So world-wide surveys asking respondents to rank their favorite airlines, BA frequently came in as a runner-up largely for a number of reasons, including that a lot of people speak English as a second language, so might rank their national carrier first, then English-speaking carriers, etc. So long-haul Brits might rank Virgin then BA, short-haul Brits might rank BA first, Scandinavians might rank SAS then BA, Hong Kong residents Cathay then BA, etc.

            All-in-all, it's like many proportional representation schemes: a candidate that's no-one's first choice may still rank highest...

  4. Mud5hark

    Transfer fail

    They closed down avios a few months ago and I was told to transfer my miles to a BA airmiles account (which I had - it had been dormant for years and had 0 miles in it.) So I transferred the 10000 odd I had in my avios account. Signed onto my BA account the next day and - 0! BA had deleted all my miles because there had been no activity on the account for 3 years. I got on the blower to them and told them in no uncertain terms that a transfer in of miles is activity. They disagreed with this but grudgingly let me have my miles back? WTF?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Better On Another Carrier

  6. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    That stretch of water...

    Looks suspiciously like a tailings pond.

    I suppose that's what you expect to get for false avios.

  7. dajames

    More borkage ...

    I wonder whether I received one of these EMails ...?

    I can't tell, because for the last few weeks whenever BA have EMailed me I have received the same EMail about a dozen times over a few hours (all with the same send date/time and message-id) and I've lost patience and deleted every one!

  8. gregoryg1

    BA has the WORST customer service ever

    My wife and I were on a long flight with a stop over in London. The fools at BA counter in Los Angeles told us we'd have to retrieve our bags in London and go through customs before boarding our connecting flight. This was 100% incorrect information and we wasted almost an hour figuring out it was crap instructions. When we returned to the BA counter to check in for our connecting flight, it was approximately 40 minutes until our flight. The BA clerk told us he didn't think we made it in time (you have to be there more than 30 minutes in advance) then proceeded to pick up a phone and sit on hold for more than 10 minutes, then hung up and told us we could not board our connecting flight because we hadn't made it in time. Douchebag! We had to wait for hours for the next flight, luckily we were at least in Business Class so the lounge was nice, but WTF? What crappy customer service. In America, the King of Customer service, that agent would not have operated as he had done, but would have gone the extra mile to make sure we made our flight, instead of wasting 10 minutes and then telling us we'd missed it. Friggin' moron! I have tons of BS Avis points, and they can stuff them, I will never fly BA ever again.

    Worst customer service in the industry!

  9. abortnow

    One way of spending Avios

    If you have them and do not want to try to use them for a flight, you can buy wine and spirits with BA Avios. Expensive, but better than wasting them.

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