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 15, 13, 5:29 pm
  #751  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Louisville KY
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Originally Posted by stifle View Post
BOS-DUB is 25,000 Avios return (round-trip) in economy. You'll need an extra 18,000 Avios.

Right, so we will have to use avios + cash since I don't think we will be getting 18,000 more avios. I don't know if it is better to spread the points between the three tickets or get 2 "free" tickets and pay for the third.
MissChele is offline  
Old Sep 15, 13, 9:23 pm
  #752  
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Originally Posted by MissChele View Post
Right, so we will have to use avios + cash since I don't think we will be getting 18,000 more avios. I don't know if it is better to spread the points between the three tickets or get 2 "free" tickets and pay for the third.
Do this unless the price of the paid ticket is insane.
moondog is offline  
Old Sep 15, 13, 10:37 pm
  #753  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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I understand you can book a stopover using avios and I was considering

USA-LHR (AA)
*stopover*
LHR-onward (BA)

First question:
What's the advantage of doing this? I'm still spending miles based on overall flight distance.

So for a dummy like me, how does one take advantage of the rules (ala AA NA gateway stopovers)?

Second question:
J to LHR on AA metal 50k miles + $2.50
J to LHR on AA metal costs 40k avios + $425

I understand the mileage difference with the distance-based system, but why the price variation? At 4 cents a mile, hardly worth it to book with avios.

Thanks
saaveraward is offline  
Old Sep 15, 13, 11:40 pm
  #754  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MAN
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Originally Posted by dsf View Post
I've constructed a multi-partner award itinerary and found availability for every segment on the dates I want. So far, so good! It's a fairly complex redemption making as good use of oneworld J as I've so far been able to muster at the 20k flown miles/200k Avios level - 6 flights across 4 or 5 airlines: BRU-LHR-JFK-HKG-KUL-NRT-SIN on BA/AA/CX/CX (or MH)/MH (or JL)/JL.

This comes in at 19998 miles on gcmap.com. The taxes, fees and surcharges add up to just 538.

I've never booked one of these awards before and my search powers have only really brought up advice of the "multi-partner awards are expensive" kind, which definitely isn't true! So I'm trying to steel myself for potential problems before I pick up the phone. My questions are

  • is a one way itinerary legal for multi-partner awards?
  • will the mileage from gcmap.com match BA's mileage?
  • will I have trouble getting an agent to book this flight? what if I have the exact dates and flight numbers?
  • will the offline booking fee be waived because these awards aren't available online?
  • will the taxes, fees, and surcharges match the amount I get for adding up the figures from individual redemptions?
Should be legal.

No the mileage will not match. But using the "How many Avios will I get" calculator on ba.com as an indicator of the figures that BA uses, you should be ok.

The only way to find out is to go for it and phone up...
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Old Sep 16, 13, 3:26 am
  #755  
nux
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Originally Posted by asherg View Post
First question:
What's the advantage of doing this? I'm still spending miles based on overall flight distance.

So for a dummy like me, how does one take advantage of the rules (ala AA NA gateway stopovers)?

Second question:
J to LHR on AA metal 50k miles + $2.50
J to LHR on AA metal costs 40k avios + $425

I understand the mileage difference with the distance-based system, but why the price variation? At 4 cents a mile, hardly worth it to book with avios.
Using avios each flight segment is counted, so all stopovers are 'free' in that it costs the same to do one or not.

BA charges a fuel surcharge on award bookings. AA does not charge one on AA metal (it does for BA metal).
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Old Sep 16, 13, 9:59 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by nux View Post
Using avios each flight segment is counted, so all stopovers are 'free' in that it costs the same to do one or not.
Forgive me on the semantics.

If I book on one PNR JFK-LHR stopover LHR-FCO

-or-

Two one-way tickets JFK-LHR then LHR-FCO

It's the same thing, so "free" in this case is defined as you're not charging me any extra to do this, but at the same time, you're not actually giving me anything of additional value?

So it looks like the best use of avios is domestic U.S. on AA metal to zones where I would otherwise pay more miles with AAdvantage, or Club Europe hopping. I was going to use them for TATL on AA metal, but don't see the point in that now.

Thanks for the info.
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Old Sep 16, 13, 10:12 am
  #757  
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Originally Posted by asherg View Post
Forgive me on the semantics.

If I book on one PNR JFK-LHR stopover LHR-FCO

-or-

Two one-way tickets JFK-LHR then LHR-FCO

It's the same thing, so "free" in this case is defined as you're not charging me any extra to do this, but at the same time, you're not actually giving me anything of additional value?

So it looks like the best use of avios is domestic U.S. on AA metal to zones where I would otherwise pay more miles with AAdvantage, or Club Europe hopping. I was going to use them for TATL on AA metal, but don't see the point in that now.

Thanks for the info.
Connections are usually a bad idea if you want to maximize the use of your points.
moondog is offline  
Old Sep 16, 13, 10:13 am
  #758  
nux
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Originally Posted by asherg View Post
Forgive me on the semantics.

If I book on one PNR JFK-LHR stopover LHR-FCO

-or-

Two one-way tickets JFK-LHR then LHR-FCO

It's the same thing, so "free" in this case is defined as you're not charging me any extra to do this, but at the same time, you're not actually giving me anything of additional value?

So it looks like the best use of avios is domestic U.S. on AA metal to zones where I would otherwise pay more miles with AAdvantage, or Club Europe hopping. I was going to use them for TATL on AA metal, but don't see the point in that now.

Thanks for the info.
Basically yes. Direct shorter flights are usually the best value if you are otherwise considering using AAdvantage miles.
nux is offline  
Old Sep 17, 13, 2:02 pm
  #759  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MAN
Programs: BA Blue, VA, Red
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Originally Posted by IMH View Post
To add to ExpatSomchai's reply: there is availability showing on several flights that day. If you're flexible enough to consider other nearby airports you should be able to put together an itinerary that meets your needs.

AA.com has a pretty straightforward online search engine here -- just select "redeem miles". Anything that shows as "MileSAAver" can be booked using BA Avios.
I have Avios points in my BA executive account. I can see availability from MIA-mad-LHR-man on AA, but nothing shows by on BA.Com. Would BA be able to see this at their end, so I could book? I need three seats and all BA ever shows is 2. The AA flight is milesaaver one.
heatherbelle is offline  
Old Sep 17, 13, 3:46 pm
  #760  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 160
Originally Posted by zhengqiji View Post
How do I book an award ticket for someone not in the household account? Call?
Self-answered:

The mileage account holder could leave the household account. As long as one is a 'single' account, he can ticket for anyone else without household member limitation.
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Old Sep 18, 13, 2:17 am
  #761  
nux
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Originally Posted by heatherbelle View Post
I have Avios points in my BA executive account. I can see availability from MIA-mad-LHR-man on AA, but nothing shows by on BA.Com. Would BA be able to see this at their end, so I could book? I need three seats and all BA ever shows is 2. The AA flight is milesaaver one.
Do you see 3+ seats availability on BA.com when you search MIA-MAD, MAD-LHR, LHR-MAN separately? If so, you may have to call to book it as one ticket.
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Old Sep 18, 13, 4:41 am
  #762  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: MAN
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Originally Posted by zhengqiji View Post
Self-answered:

The mileage account holder could leave the household account. As long as one is a 'single' account, he can ticket for anyone else without household member limitation.
Or if you are UK based you can transfer the Avios from BAEC to a Avios.com account and book from there.
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Old Sep 18, 13, 11:52 am
  #763  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MAN
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Originally Posted by nux View Post
Do you see 3+ seats availability on BA.com when you search MIA-MAD, MAD-LHR, LHR-MAN separately? If so, you may have to call to book it as one ticket.
I do, thanks.
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Old Sep 18, 13, 1:23 pm
  #764  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 160
Originally Posted by redshift27 View Post
Or if you are UK based you can transfer the Avios from BAEC to a Avios.com account and book from there.
non UK base... anyway, thx!
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Old Sep 18, 13, 1:34 pm
  #765  
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Originally Posted by MissChele View Post
Right, so we will have to use avios + cash since I don't think we will be getting 18,000 more avios. I don't know if it is better to spread the points between the three tickets or get 2 "free" tickets and pay for the third.
Can you even book EI on Avios + Cash?
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