Programs: Mucci des canapes, Skywards Silver, BAEC Gold, IC Plat Amb, HH Gold
How rubbish is the BAEC / Avios programme?
I've read a lot of unhappy posts on BA / Avios in the recent past (it feels that positive ones have become rarer). I thought I would reflect on what I've got from the programme this year.
For the first time ever I hit Gold due to a mix of planned leisure travel and a (very expensive) trip to NZ for family reasons at 24 hr notice. I have a HHA pooling all the Avios for the family (Mrs PK and 3 adult kids) and other sources of Avios include Amex and Tesco.
So far this year I have been able to use my Avios for these bookings for this year and early next:
One way ticket for my son LHR-MEL on CX (F to HKG and J to MEL). Flight changed several times and one point holding 3 separate tickets as plans very unsure. All cxd for free.
Reward saver rtn LHR-IST in ET for my daughter.
2 return trips for my other daughter LHR - South America in J all booked as one way tickets and two changes of dates.
1 return ticket for first daughter in J LHR - South America (sibling bonding).
2 x F return LHR-DXB for Mrs PK and I (using 2-4-1)
2 x CW for mate and I LHR-DEN using another 2-4-1.
F LHR-GRU rebooked a couple of weeks before travel to take advantage of 25% off offer.
J GRU-SCL one way
J SCL-EZE x 2 in J for daughter 2 and I as part of our parent-child South America road trip.
Yes I have had to be flexible with some dates but not many and not much. I have not been able to book everything I wanted to (SYD or CPT were both tried unsuccessfully) but i've been quite happy with what I've found. I have paid taxes and charges but these are well below the cost of a Y fare (and particularly as many bookings were one way). All changes and cancellations were free whether or not I used the web or phone which is a perk of my GC I will miss when I return to silver.
So overall I feel very happy with what I have got from the BAEC and Avios. I have flown much more and in greater comfort that I would otherwise but most of all I have appreciated the ability to book fully flexible one way tickets for the kids to be the most valuable benefit.
My attempt at Friday pm happiness (6 days to GRU and that SA road trip...)
Last edited by pomkiwi; Nov 23, 12 at 7:40 am..
Reason: Spelling (again)
Earned (almost) enough from a paid trip to SYD to redeem two F tickets (2-4-1) to JFK for a fantastic long weekend in complete comfort. Weekend in NYC was amazing, but getting there was neither as much fun (TR on the way!)
My girlfriend and I do a lot of long haul travel in CW and F, all for leisure and mostly ex-EU to get sensible prices. The Avios we earn from those flights pay for multiple weekend trips to Europe or last minute flights LON-GLA when prices are silly. It's not always easy to get the flights we want, but with a bit of advanced planning we seem to do okay. I'm aiming for a joker this year so we can blow a couple of 2-4-1s and get 4 few seats to Oz in F. A 50% sale would go down well too...
Overall I think a bit more availability would be nice, but it's a great scheme, especially with the introduction of the Reward Flight Saver option, which makes Euro-zone flights much better value.
Seems to work for me even if it's often moaned about. I fly minimum J back and forth between LHR and HKG and putting the other half in J earns brownie points (and sets dangerous precedent! ). Availability can be dire at times so I'd like them to address that but otherwise I'm a pretty happy camper.
People have a choice of a fair few OW Schemes and must have chosen BA because it offers them the best value. If it doesnt meet their circumstances, then they can choose from many other OW schemes.
Essentially BAEC can be seen as not as good as some other schemes or better than others depending on how you fly and or collect miles. There is a load of stuff on chooding the right scheme in the OW forum so people who do a bit of research can see if it suits them or not.
However for someone based in the UK travelling Oneworld who has a credit card and uses a supermarket it is pretty good value.
It has its quirks bad points and good points. The upgrades being a good point and the cosy of Economy beinga bad point.
That's why forums like this exist to make sure people use the Avios in the best way.
That said, I do miss the easy earning, easy gold and easy availability of Diamond Club... But that did not exactly help BMI..