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 9, 12, 6:23 pm
  #76  
 
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Thanks all, a very useful thread!
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Old Sep 11, 12, 3:31 pm
  #77  
 
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This is a great sticky - well done all!

I've spotted a minor typo: JHB rather than JNB in the Reward Flight Saver post (#4).
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Old Sep 13, 12, 1:39 am
  #78  
 
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I'm a bit confused about combining companion vouchers (see related sticky info in bold below) -- apologies if my Qs have been addressed elsewhere.

[*]Combining two vouchers with a single booking is permitted. This allows the travelling card holder to take three travel companions. A maximum of two vouchers can be used towards any single booking.

We are a family of four and my wife will soon get a BA companion voucher based on 2012 spending (i.e., $30K on Chase BA Visa CC). If she spends another $30K in the first quarter of 2013 and gets another companion voucher, can she use both of these vouchers for our kids and travel together in late 2013? Also, when she uses the voucher, can she travel on an award ticket or does she need to purchase a ticket?

Lastly, what is the max number of companion vouchers that a person can use for same travel, i.e., how many companions can a single person sponsor on the same ticket.
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Old Sep 13, 12, 6:32 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by snehalpatil View Post
We are a family of four and my wife will soon get a BA companion voucher based on 2012 spending (i.e., $30K on Chase BA Visa CC). If she spends another $30K in the first quarter of 2013 and gets another companion voucher, can she use both of these vouchers for our kids and travel together in late 2013? Also, when she uses the voucher, can she travel on an award ticket or does she need to purchase a ticket?
If your card's vouchers' T&Cs permit it, she could use two vouchers so that four people, including her, can travel together on award tickets. Obviously, that means that she and her three companions will be restricted to flights on which there are simultaneously at least four award seats available to be booked.
Originally Posted by snehalpatil View Post
Lastly, what is the max number of companion vouchers that a person can use for same travel, i.e., how many companions can a single person sponsor on the same ticket.
As the text that you quoted says, two vouchers to be used at once for a total of four people travelling together - if your card's vouchers' T&C permit two to be used at the same time.

I can't see what's unclear about the words "This allows the travelling card holder to take three travel companions. A maximum of two vouchers can be used towards any single booking."

Last edited by Globaliser; Sep 13, 12 at 6:34 am Reason: _
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Old Sep 13, 12, 6:36 am
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Grand Union View Post
01 Standard conditions:

  • Combining two vouchers with a single booking is permitted. This allows the travelling card holder to take three travel companions. A maximum of two vouchers can be used towards any single booking.
I'm not sure that this is "standard" across all cards. For example, the UK BA Amex Premium Plus allows this, but the standard UK BA Amex does not. See http://www.britishairways.com/travel...blic/_gf/en_gb, in particular clause 8 compared to clauses 12 and 14.
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Old Sep 13, 12, 9:05 am
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Excellent guide. Thank you very much. Just a couple of things which may be worth adding to the RFS section re domestic connections.

1. Domestic add-ons are free, but only at one end of the journey. If you want, for example, NCL-LHR-MAD-XRY, you pay a higher rate. Eg:

LHR-MAD 7,500 Avios + 13
NCL-LHR-MAD 7,500 Avios + 13
LHR-MAD-XRY 7,500 Avios + 13
NCL-LHR-MAD-XRY 12,000 Avios + 27

2. The domestic connection can be a stopover if you want. This means that any time you London-based folks book a RFS in to LHR, you should think about adding a stopover and a domestic to NCL/MAN/EDI/GLA if you can think of a likely date when you will use it. It will be at zero cost.
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Old Sep 13, 12, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by mad_rich View Post
2. The domestic connection can be a stopover if you want. This means that any time you London-based folks book a RFS in to LHR, you should think about adding a stopover and a domestic to NCL/MAN/EDI/GLA if you can think of a likely date when you will use it. It will be at zero cost.
I also noticed the other day that IOM falls in to this bracket which could be a new destination for a weekend break for plenty of people. For example, I could to AMS-LCY-IOM with a 2 month 'stopover' in London for 4500 Avios + 13.50. I could then do IOM-LCY-NCE leaving IOM a few days later with another 2 month 'stopover' in London for the same again.

= 2 European city breaks spread 6 months apart with a free weekend break in the IOM! (or EDI/GLA/NCL etc sould you please). **

I don't suppose JER falls in to the 'Domestic' category?

**Edited to add you will need to purchase 2 one-ways ie. LCY-AMS at the beginning and NCE-LCY at the end. If done in advance though I reckon you could get 3 weekend breaks for approx 150 in total + 9000 Avios per person.

Last edited by AllTheNines; Sep 13, 12 at 9:42 am Reason: See above
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Old Sep 13, 12, 4:53 pm
  #83  
 
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Are all online bookings made at https://www.britishairways.com/trave...lub/_gf/en_gb?

I'm having trouble getting it to show me direct BRU-JFK flights. It always wants to route me via LHR, although I can see availability on AA for a direct MileSAAver flight.

I was trying to figure out if I need a different BA page to find and book the direct flight.

Thx

EDIT: A night's rest helped me track this down, so sorted.

Last edited by EsherFlyer; Sep 14, 12 at 7:27 am
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Old Sep 14, 12, 3:48 am
  #84  
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Originally Posted by AllTheNines View Post
I also noticed the other day that IOM falls in to this bracket which could be a new destination for a weekend break for plenty of people. For example, I could to AMS-LCY-IOM with a 2 month 'stopover' in London for 4500 Avios + 13.50. I could then do IOM-LCY-NCE leaving IOM a few days later with another 2 month 'stopover' in London for the same again.

I don't suppose JER falls in to the 'Domestic' category?
In the context you envisage, yes it does even though ticketed as CE/ET.
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Old Sep 14, 12, 4:31 am
  #85  
 
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That map doesn't show all Comair routes, this one is from
the Sept. issue of High Life South Africa

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Old Sep 16, 12, 8:31 am
  #86  
 
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I fare to Z w/ Avios after ticket issue - considered a 'change'?

Originally Posted by Tobias-UK View Post
I bookings are upgradable to F (Z) on BA.
Just a quick clarification please:

Do I need to book the Avios u/g at the same time via BA.com?

Thanks!
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Old Sep 16, 12, 8:43 am
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Capricorn70 View Post
Do I need to book the Avios u/g at the same time via BA.com?
You can MFU/UuA subsequently if you want (eg if there's no award availability when you book the cash ticket but it opens up later), and you can do it on ba.com if it lets you, or you can always do it on the phone (but subject to a possible phone fee for non-Golds).
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Old Sep 16, 12, 8:47 am
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
You can MFU/UuA subsequently if you want (eg if there's no award availability when you book the cash ticket but it opens up later), and you can do it on ba.com if it lets you, or you can always do it on the phone (but subject to a possible phone fee for non-Golds).
Thanks - if I do what you suggest, via BA.com, will it be considered a 'change' under I fare rules, and incur a fee?
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Old Sep 16, 12, 8:52 am
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Capricorn70 View Post
Thanks - if I do what you suggest, via BA.com, will it be considered a 'change' under I fare rules, and incur a fee?
I've never had this treated as a "change" when MFUing a T class ticket into CW, including during the last week.

Others have reported that they've been charged a change fee according to the fare rules when doing this. I don't think that can be correct, although in some cases it has turned out that the passenger has wanted to change to a different flight in order to MFU - and in that case, there is clearly a change involved with a change fee due.
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Old Sep 16, 12, 10:19 am
  #90  
 
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Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
I've never had this treated as a "change" when MFUing a T class ticket into CW, including during the last week.

Others have reported that they've been charged a change fee according to the fare rules when doing this. I don't think that can be correct, although in some cases it has turned out that the passenger has wanted to change to a different flight in order to MFU - and in that case, there is clearly a change involved with a change fee due.
Ah ok - I just experimented with a dummy booking with "booking with money and upgrading with Avios" and it worked.

Had read the fare rules before on an I ticket and saw that 'change' condition, hence the query.

Did do something very similar before the change over to Avios - just wanted to cover my bases to avoid nasty surprises! Cheers
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