My Avios Balance is near Zero

Old Mar 2, 15, 4:45 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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My Avios Balance is near Zero

Since BA deserted the regions and became London Airways my Avios collection opportunities reduced to either Amex or Tesco. I've enjoyed many great flights in premium cabins thanks to BA Miles/Avios and 2-4-1 vouchers but the recent changes have led me to believe that I'll have to spend more to have any possibility of continuing with 'free' trips.

The deal with Mrs Gaza that allows me and Oscar to go skiing again next year was that we go somewhere warm at February 2016 half term. Given my Avios balance the Middle East was the only real option. In the run up to Friday 12th/Saturday 13th February 2016, availability in Club and First to Dubai was reasonable. However, when they released Friday 12th February 2016 there were only 2 Club seats on 1 flight. As I need 3 that wasn't going to work. I was also going to struggle to redeem my 2-4-1 voucher although I was prepared to book the outbound and inbound for the same day and then hope that the return gave good availability. Alas the 2 seats disappeared quickly so all hope was lost.

However, Qatar fly from Edinburgh to Doha and onwards to DXB so I thought I'd try that. Much to my surprise Qatar release their flights further ahead than BA and the return was almost opened up. I jumped in a grabbed three EDI-DOH-DXB Business Class flights (Economy on the DOH-DXB leg) on Saturday 13th Feb as a one-way. I then called BA at 8:00 the following day and managed to get the DXB-DOH-EDI Business Class return on Saturday 20th Feb. The good news is Qatar's Tax and Charges are much less than BA (BA were 1750, Qatar are 1030) but the downside is I could not use my 2-4-1 voucher so have spend almost my entire Avios balance.

Qatar fly the 787 Dreamliner from EDI and according to what I have read the Business Class cabin surpasses most other airlines First Class products.

I'm quite pleased with my deal. Return Business Class flights for 3 at 1030, 5 free nights at the Hilton Jumeriah using HHonors Points and a further 2 nights paid at c. 360.
Gaza is offline  
Old Mar 2, 15, 4:52 am
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
I'm quite pleased with my deal
Hope you enjoy the QR J 787 (we certainly did).

I've found accumulating a heap of Avios fairly easy. Accumulating a heap of cash, slightly less so

Anything that keeps the cash component down, even if it means no BA metal, no 241, and so means spending more Avios, looks good to me.
shorthauldad is offline  
Old Mar 2, 15, 4:57 am
  #3  
 
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No Avios? I recommend dressing poor, going into the street and holding a sign with the text "Will work for Avios" in big, friendly letters.

1030 for a business class return on QR? Wow!
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:28 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Internaut View Post
1030 for a business class return on QR? Wow!
That was just the taxes and charges for 3 or us. There was still the Avios on top of that. As it was a partner it had to be done as 4 legs so the overall Avios was higher.
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:36 am
  #5  
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I also meant to add that it was nice not to be made to pay ridiculous sums of money for pre-selecting seating.
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Old Mar 2, 15, 5:53 am
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Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
I also meant to add that it was nice not to be made to pay ridiculous sums of money for pre-selecting seating.
This is the point at which some BA "elite" or other will chime in to say BA's paid seating policy is wonderful because it means they're able to book last-minute and still get good seats for free.

I failed to spot any bad seats on the QR 787 in J, unlike some other airlines' flying dorms we could mention
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Old Mar 2, 15, 6:27 am
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Originally Posted by Gaza View Post
That was just the taxes and charges for 3 or us. There was still the Avios on top of that. As it was a partner it had to be done as 4 legs so the overall Avios was higher.
Oh, I'd misunderstood. Yep, when I booked MAN to HKH (J out, F back), with Avios, the taxes and charges were just short of 400*.

* And BA would love for you to think it's all the government's fault !
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Old Mar 2, 15, 12:24 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Internaut View Post
Oh, I'd misunderstood. Yep, when I booked MAN to HKH (J out, F back), with Avios, the taxes and charges were just short of 400*.

* And BA would love for you to think it's all the government's fault !
What BA say/do is tantamount to misrepresentation. They are making money out of Avios bookings by whacking up the fees and other charges and dressing it up as unavoidable costs. Granted there are charges they have to pay (all part of doing business in my opinion) but they then scoop the biggest amount with the 'not-a-fuel-surcharge-but we'll-call-it-something-else-instead' charge.
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Old Mar 2, 15, 12:54 pm
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So is mine

Very infrequent flyer here and the April 28th changes have caused me to reconsider my options for the brief holidays I can afford away from our fledgling new business (a wine shop in Suffolk!)

Suffice to say a couple of weeks ago I was sitting on 50k avios and harbouring a desire to blow what will probably be my last 241 voucher on a J class trip to the east coast US, which requires 80k.

With a new Gold Amex Charge card giving us double MR points on fuel, supermarkets etc and 20k welcome bonus I also took advantage of the recent 50% bonus on purchasing avios.

Meanwhile I was daily eyeing availability to NY in August. The small print over at Amex said the 20k bonus could take a month to post once we'd hit the required spend (thanks wife!) but in the end they appeared immediately.

However, it took a nail-biting weekend for those MR points to convert and post into my BA account.

So this morning, with trepidation we saw the flights we wanted were still there and my wife and are now booked to travel LHR-JFK in F and returning on CWLCY. It feels like something of a last hurrah or once in a lifetime opportunity nowadays.

And my current balance post booking: 10 Avioses!
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Old Mar 2, 15, 12:59 pm
  #10  
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I'm down to my last 180K, which I want to use for an F return to DXB in September/October (with a 2-4-1). Nothing much available.

I've now got an EK credit card which I use instead of the BA AMEX.

Once I've used all these Avios up, that will be that.
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