Your guide to spending Avios [Beta]

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i Preface
If you are new to the British Airways Executive Club (BAEC) or a long term member but have not booked a redemption flight since the programme's relaunch in 2011, you may have realised by now that planning an Avios redemption calls for a shift in mindset, especially to those more used to redeeming miles for flights with North American frequent flyer programmes.

The purpose of this thread is to introduce you to how the BAEC works in terms of spending Avios and to share some tips will will assist you during the planning and booking stages. We'll also cover the options available to you, so you can make an informed decision on how best to maximise your Avios Points.

If you are seeking guidance on the changes to the Executive Club in relation to the programme's 2011 relaunch, the Q&A discussion serves as a very useful reference point.

ii Contents
iii Acknowledgments
This guide is a collaborative effort, and could not have been produced without the kind contributions from corporate-wage-slave, DWFI, LTN Phobia, Petrus, Prospero, and Stez.
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Old Sep 1, 12, 12:33 am
  #61  
 
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I am really hoping to try Cathay pacific first class. Perhaps NY to Hong Kong or Beijing. What is the best way to get about going on those while using avios( I am able to transfer in via amex) I am a bit new to using partneres, etc and os on so any advice would be helpful thanks!
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Old Sep 1, 12, 2:42 am
  #62  
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The best and only way is to spend Avios and book the first class straight up.
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Old Sep 2, 12, 5:22 pm
  #63  
 
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This is a great guide but I would like to point out two things:

"Since there is no online functionality, unless you are a Gold card holder, you should expect to be charged a booking fee for an open jaw redemption."

They have always waived the fee, in my experience, because one cannot be expected to make a booking online where no such facility exists.

"Bookings can be made up to 24 hours before departure."

It is possible to make bookings closer than 24 hours to departure. I had no trouble making one around 11 hours before flying recently. I do not know the exact cut-off. Also, if you need to make a booking but it appears to be too late, it may be possible to make a later booking and then change it to within 24 hours.
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Old Sep 3, 12, 11:07 am
  #64  
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Originally Posted by _nate View Post
This is a great guide but I would like to point out two things:

"Since there is no online functionality, unless you are a Gold card holder, you should expect to be charged a booking fee for an open jaw redemption."

They have always waived the fee, in my experience, because one cannot be expected to make a booking online where no such facility exists.
I understand the official policy, inconsistently applied, is that a booking that just can't be made online has the fee, but a booking that normally can be made online but isn't working at the moment because the site has fallen over, the sun is too high, or there's an R in the month does not attract the fee.
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Old Sep 3, 12, 11:24 am
  #65  
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Originally Posted by stifle View Post
I understand the official policy, inconsistently applied, is that a booking that just can't be made online has the fee, but a booking that normally can be made online but isn't working at the moment because the site has fallen over, the sun is too high, or there's an R in the month does not attract the fee.
This is, of course, infinitely cheaper than actually making ba.com fully functional.
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Old Sep 3, 12, 5:52 pm
  #66  
 
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Whatever the official policy is, the point is that one does not get charged by a sufficient number of operators, so if one is about to be charged, further discussion is worthwhile.
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Old Sep 3, 12, 6:19 pm
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Grand Union View Post
04 Ticket changes and cancellations

Date or time changes are permitted up to 24 hours prior to the departure of the first flight sector on your ticket. There is a change fee (25/25/US$40) plus an additional offline fee (15/15/US$25) which applies when the change is made via your local BAEC service centre
So I want to change my return flight (class or date), but based on the above rule, after I depart I can't make changes after I depart? What chance do I have of a later change?

I am just waiting for space to open on the sectors.

If I want to change class of service, CW up to First, can this be done without paying cancelation/change fees?
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Old Sep 4, 12, 1:35 am
  #68  
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Depends on the fare rules of your CW ticket and whether you are wanting to upgrade with cash or Avios.
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Old Sep 5, 12, 8:55 am
  #69  
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IB redemptions

When using Avios (through BAEC) on IB flights, are the T&C for cancelations etc the same as when booking on BA metal? i.e free cancelation for GCHs etc?
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Old Sep 5, 12, 6:59 pm
  #70  
 
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Using Avios for Alaska Airlines flights?

Thank you very much to the original poster on usage of Avios. I really didn't understand the new program at all until I went through this. I have heard that some shorthaul travel within the US can be a really great deal...

So my question is about using Avios to fly Alaska Airlines.
If I find A (first) availability ... will I pay a business class price or a first class price? Alaska is only a two cabin carrier. The coach awards for shorter flights are a good deal but if I had to pay a first class price to be in first when they don't even have business, it wouldn't seem to be such a good deal.

Can anyone enlighten me?
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Old Sep 5, 12, 7:04 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Lanny View Post

Can anyone enlighten me?
First Class prices I'm afraid.....3x the Y price.

Good thread here regarding Alaska redemptions.
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Old Sep 6, 12, 10:49 am
  #72  
 
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Another piece of info that might make sense to add to this thread (and info I don't have) is: how are redemptions from household accounts calculated? I can't figure out how this works - it's not like a specific person's miles get drained first. There seems to be an allocation per person's account, but it's one I don't understand.

To many, it may not matter, but in the event you'd want to later book an award for someone who isn't in your household, you have to remove the household feature, and then each former participant is left with some unusual amount of miles. If you could organize the household redemption to keep the leftover miles in one person's account, that would be most efficient.
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Old Sep 6, 12, 10:55 am
  #73  
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Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
Another piece of info that might make sense to add to this thread (and info I don't have) is: how are redemptions from household accounts calculated? I can't figure out how this works - it's not like a specific person's miles get drained first. There seems to be an allocation per person's account, but it's one I don't understand.
It's a simple system … the Avios are taken pro rata from each member's account, based on their individual account balances.

I did a TP run [subsequently proved unnecessary] so I have a few more than the OH. As that was the only time I never flew with her holding my hand, it was only a minor distortion. But that's the way it works.

As you note, you can't juggle between a HHA and being able to buy other people's tickets without a lot of complication. But that's what HHAs are for … the Household, not anyone else you suddenly feel charitable about! I may have this issue next year, with non-HHA members. It will undoubtedly cost instead of Avios, because that's the system!
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Old Sep 6, 12, 11:07 am
  #74  
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Originally Posted by josephstern View Post
Another piece of info that might make sense to add to this thread (and info I don't have) is: how are redemptions from household accounts calculated? I can't figure out how this works - it's not like a specific person's miles get drained first. There seems to be an allocation per person's account, but it's one I don't understand.

To many, it may not matter, but in the event you'd want to later book an award for someone who isn't in your household, you have to remove the household feature, and then each former participant is left with some unusual amount of miles. If you could organize the household redemption to keep the leftover miles in one person's account, that would be most efficient.
There is a mine of additional information which can be accessed quickly via the forum dashboard sticky. Look there for the existing guide on Household Accounts...

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Old Sep 6, 12, 11:14 am
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by HIDDY View Post
First Class prices I'm afraid.....3x the Y price.

Good thread here regarding Alaska redemptions.
That's jacked up to pay 3X the price when AS doesn't even have a 3 class plane... (hardly can call their First Class actually FIRST CLASS but that's for another discussion)...

Thanks for the info and I'll review that other thread as well. I still think there can be some money saving redemtions with Avios domestically.
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