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Old Jun 27, 11, 10:22 am   #1
 
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Unhappy BA miles = AA Miles? Help .... my 416 mile Dilemma.

Hi guys. So a bit of a novice question, nevertheless...

I accumulated 416K points with AMEX.
Now .... programs I collect miles with are, AA, BA and CO.

Unfortunately AMEX does not transfer into AA, so my other option is BA with the current 50% bonus.

Question ... when redeeming miles. Is BA very similar to AA? So, whatever AA has available, BA would have the same at same number of miles??? Or will BA ask for more miles on the same flights AA might have?

When I called about CX first class to BKK, AA asked for I believe 150K miles while BA asked for a bit more I believe.

what's your take on this?
thanks.

P.S. ..... in near future want to fly to Tanzania (Africa) and Thailand. Which alliances will have better deals? those with CO (UA?) or AA/BA ?
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Old Jun 27, 11, 10:29 am   #2
mia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor718 View Post
... when redeeming miles. Is BA very similar to AA? So, whatever AA has available, BA would have the same at same number of miles???
You can look at aa.com to find availability of AA operated flights. Look only at sAAver availability. However, to find the number of BA miles required you must use BA's partner award charts which are published here:

https://www.britishairways.com/trave...club/_gf/en_us

Note that there are three charts, based on the number of partner airlines used. Read carefully to understand which chart applies to your trip.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 10:48 am   #3
 
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AA and BA are very different. Check out thepointsguy's thorough write up on BA miles:
http://thepointsguy.com/2011/03/tips...airways-miles/
http://thepointsguy.com/2011/04/how-...-miles-post-1/
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Old Jun 27, 11, 10:53 am   #4
 
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The Points Guy has a good tutorial on using AA miles on BA:

http://thepointsguy.com/2011/06/amaz...int-transfers/
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Old Jun 27, 11, 10:58 am   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mia
Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor718 View Post
... when redeeming miles. Is BA very similar to AA? So, whatever AA has available, BA would have the same at same number of miles???
You can look at aa.com to find availability of AA operated flights. Look only at sAAver availability. However, to find the number of BA miles required you must use BA's partner award charts which are published here:

https://www.britishairways.com/trave...club/_gf/en_us

Note that there are three charts, based on the number of partner airlines used. Read carefully to understand which chart applies to your trip.
BA actually has four different redemption schemes: one for travel on BA only; one for travel on BA plus just one partner; one for travel on just one partner without any BA flights; and one for travel on two or more partners -- with or without BA flights. Redemptions using two or more partners are distance based; the other three types of redemptions are zone based.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 11:13 am   #6
 
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As pointed out above, BA does not equal AA when it come to redemption.
For example - on a travel from NA to Europe, BA has 3 zones in Europe, each costing different amount of miles; with AA it's all the same.
Also, if you get a J reward on BA from SA to NA, you will travel J only to your NA entry point (MIA, NYC); if you need to go to ORD or DTW, etc, it will be in Y as there is only Y or F and BA will give you only Y for the domestic segment (unlike with AA where it would be in F domestically).
There are many other differences as well - usually (but not always) worse than AA.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 11:19 am   #7
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"Also, if you get a J reward on BA from SA to NA, you will travel J only to your NA entry point (MIA, NYC); if you need to go to ORD or DTW, etc, it will be in Y as there is only Y or F and BA will give you only Y for the domestic segment."

There is an important exception to this rule: if the international segment is longer than the longest domestic segment on the award itinerary, BA will then permit you to fly in two-class F on the domestic segment(s).
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Old Jun 27, 11, 11:39 am   #8
 
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As always BA website is bugging out.

So I know that to fly to Buenos Aires in First class on AA will be about 120K miles and $86 a person. or about 100K in Business class.

What would BA charge if I call them up and ask to be booked on same AA flight?
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Old Jun 27, 11, 11:45 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Igor718
As always BA website is bugging out.

So I know that to fly to Buenos Aires in First class on AA will be about 120K miles and $86 a person. or about 100K in Business class.

What would BA charge if I call them up and ask to be booked on same AA flight?
BA does not assess a fuel surcharge on AA redemptions between the U.S. and South America, so I would expect the cash outlay to be similar to what AA charges.

In terms of required number of miles, consult the BA redemption charts, for which mia has already provided a link upthread.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 11:51 am   #10
 
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I'm not sure if you are going on a vacation or business trip, but keep in mind that if you fly LAN you can add stop overs on that trip and explore some cities (eg: Lima, Santiago, Easter Island, etc) without paying extra. Just my $.02
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Old Jun 27, 11, 12:00 pm   #11
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Originally Posted by Igor718 View Post
Unfortunately AMEX does not transfer into AA, so my other option is BA with the current 50% bonus.

Question ... when redeeming miles. Is BA very similar to AA? So, whatever AA has available, BA would have the same at same number of miles??? Or will BA ask for more miles on the same flights AA might have?
IMHO that's one of the reason there a endless 50% bonuses for transfering to BA, while never that high (that I remember seeing anywhere) for transfering to AA. If you were able to earn/transfer them equally, in many (but not all) situations BA might average a bit higher. Though usually not 50% higher in miles alone, but the other quesiton is whether they charge YQ (fuel surcharges) still in situations where AA wouldn't, or more YQ still in situations where AA would charge less.

It used to be that BA charged much more YQ, but in recent months (since BA and AA became closer partners) my understaniding is that this has leveled out (by AA charging what BA charged in most cases, not by BA lowering its YQ charges).

And that can make comparisions between BA, AA, and other domestic airlines all the more complex: Because of each specific destination, you have to look at not only miles (which you can from an official chart) but also YQ charges (which you can't, and which change much more often than the miles requirement does).

It's particularly bad if you try to redeem for BA longhaul in economy. The fees you get charged can make it not worth it to use miles (because you're being charged almost as much in fees as you would be for buying the flight outright, and yet you still have to spend lots of miles). In the case of premium seats, it's never quite that bad AFAIK, but it can really hurt still.

And that's the problem with "parking" AMEX MR miles somewhere (because you want to cancel the cards) but not knowing who's going to charge what exact fees on which flight in the future. It's one thing if you're very flexible (you can always use BA miles for only those cases where they don't charge big fees, if you have plenty of miles at other carriers to use when BA's fees are too high on a specific flight where you have options to use several carrier's miles).

But that's why I don't redeem as soon as I earn. Because that doesn't offer me enough flexibility. I like to wait until I've got enough miles for any given flight at all 3 alliances, then see who can get me the best miles+fees+availability deal on the day of booking. I then may give a bit more weight to the airline I have the most miles with (so that I'll still have the miles in all 3 the next time I have to do such an evaluation) but if the difference is too big I'll use another alliance.

Just how much vacation time a year do you have? In the "near future" you want to fly to two places at opposite ends of the earth (both of which need an unusually high number of miles)? Most people would choose one, put the other off a year or two, and then not be too "rushed" at each location. Plus would interperse that travel with "closer" travel which earns them miles rather than using miles up.

Keep in mind that you won't likely be able to keep earning miles at this rate for long. So while you got a fast leap into many miles right now, the rate of adding to those miles will slow down over time. So why rush to do all your travel in the "near future", what will you do after that? Die, stop traveling, or suddenly be able to afford buying those tickets outright? (Because you won't be able to keep earning miles endlessly at this rate. Amex won't let you churn much, Chase won't let you churn 100k offers, if AA lets you churn
it's very slowly like 75k+75k maybe ever couple years?, etc.)

Also, have you calculated on-the-ground expenses for each location. Some travel destinations can involve on-the-ground expenses which cost many $$$$ for just a week or 10 days, to the point where you have to figure out way to manage those costs or you can't afford to "fly free". In some places you could use hotel points, but some of the places you mention there might not be any chain hotels at all, plus the main expense may not be just hotels even. (For example, have you researched which destinations you can get around with cheap public transport and which absolutely need a car to see what you want to see? In some locaitons, you have to rent a car to see what you want to see, but car rentals + insurance + fuel prices overseas can make that cost just as much as the hotels in many places!)
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Old Jun 27, 11, 12:56 pm   #12
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
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There is an important exception to this rule: if the international segment is longer than the longest domestic segment on the award itinerary, BA will then permit you to fly in two-class F on the domestic segment(s).
That is good to know - thanks.
However, when I tried to help a friend to get a J award from EZE to DTW, the BA agent insisted that the domestic segment had to be in Y. Clearly the international segment EZE to either MIA or JFK is longer than either domestic one.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 2:00 pm   #13
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"However, when I tried to help a friend to get a J award from EZE to DTW, the BA agent insisted that the domestic segment had to be in Y."

In the future, I would recommend pointing out to the BAEC agent that the international leg is longer than the domestic leg. If that doesn't work, hang up and call again. The rule I mentioned was posted in the BA forum a few months ago by a BA reservations agent. And there was a recent post indicating that someone was able to get PHL-DFW-MIA-BGI-MIA-DFW-PHL itinerary (including stopovers) with the domestic segments in F, on a 70,000-mile BA J award.

Last edited by guv1976; Jun 27, 11 at 11:40 pm.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 2:02 pm   #14
 
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3 BA advantages over AA I know

BA allows pretty much unlimited stopovers even in COUS on AA flights.

BA charges AA "off-peak" rates to Hawaii year round.

BA fees are very low, example: re-deposit fee is just $70.
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Old Jun 27, 11, 6:39 pm   #15
 
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how many miles is it to hawaii?
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