18 June 2009 | Tanya Goodin

British Airways Domain Problem

A lesson to us all from British Airways on denying access to their site.

Trying to find out flight arrival times last night I typed in ‘BA Arrivals’ and was presented with  the following result:

https://bristishairways.com

https://bristishairways.com

At this stage I didnt notice the weird URL and clicked through and got this:

#FAIL!

#FAIL!

Note the misspelt  URL: https://bristishairways.com/travel/arrdep/public/en_gb

OK, no access, so I checked the URL, stripped out the https and typed in http://bristishairways.com.

Still no joy, so I had a look at the domain and yes it is owned by British Airways but it is on a 302 redirect to  http://www.britishairways.com which is no good for the user as I still couldn’t get to the site.

So is this part of a load balance? Or is it trying to mop up typos? Either way, access is denied so I had to look elsewhere.

I am not 100% sure what is going on but either way it is not the best way to handle domain typos (fair play for thinking about but execution is poor) or if this is a load balance thing (doubtful) why do it on a misspell. And why not just robots .txt the whole domian out?

So the lesson is be aware of what domains you have and their ‘live’ state, you could end up frustrating your customers.

Still like this just now: Check here.

On a positive note for BA the flight was bang on time!

Tanya Goodin

Tanya Goodin

Tamar Founder & Owner

  • http://www.tamar.com Adam Taylor

    Probably not load balancing. More likely trying to stop typo squatting I would have thought.

    • http://www.tamar.com Adam Taylor

      Or at least it is much more usual for load balancing to use different sub-domains than different TLDs.