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Your guide to spending Avios | 2017 edition

Your guide to spending Avios | 2017 edition

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Old Oct 14, 17, 10:47 am
  #451  
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Originally Posted by jediwho View Post
Is (are) there a thumb rule for best use of companion certs?
They're best used when you can use them to get you somewhere that you want to go, at a time that you want to go there. Conversely, it makes no sense to use them to go somewhere you don't want to go at a time, or to do so at an impossible or inconvenient time.

The reasons for the varying figures are very often discussed here. Notably:-
  1. A ticket originating in the US, whether one-way or round-trip, is likely to incur a rather higher cash element than a ticket originating in the UK or Europe - that's simply the way that BA imposes its surcharges.
  2. If you start a journey in the UK (whether it's the outbound or inbound half of a ticket, and wherever the ticket starts from), including after stopping over in the UK, you will have to pay the UK government's Air Passenger Duty - but you do not have to pay APD if you are only connecting in the UK (normally defined as <24 hours, subject to exceptions).
These two factors account for everything you've seen.

If you start in the US, it is possible that your companion certificate can't be used for one-way travel - I can't remember the rules for these. If they can't, then your idea of buying a one-way ticket from the US using the companion certificate and then buying another one-way ticket from Europe back to the US won't work.

Even if you can do this, you'll end up paying Avios for two people on the one-way ticket from Europe back to the US, even though there's a saving on the cash element. So you'll want to work out whether that is actually good value for you. For example, if a round-trip ticket is 100,000 Avios per person + $1,000, then the companion certificate gets you travel for two for 100,000 Avios + $2,000. But if one-way tickets are 50,000 Avios + $500 outbound and 50,000 Avios + $250 inbound, then splitting the travel into two one-way tickets costs you 150,000 Avios + $1500 in total. You have to work out which is better value for you.
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Old Oct 14, 17, 12:49 pm
  #452  
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In addition to Globaliser's comments, if using a 241 I don't see the savings by only using it for a one way and buying or using avios (and paying the ex-eu surcharges) for the return. Also see these threads:
Taxes and Fees on 2 x 1 way vs 1 rtn
RT Fuel Surcharge Greater than Sum of OWs
Carrier imposed charges 2x if buying round trip from US
Chase BA Companion Ticket $30,000 Spend
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Old Oct 14, 17, 2:58 pm
  #453  
 
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Thanks! The numbers I am working on and why this makes it tricky are: RT LAX to VCE with companion pass are 150,000 Avios and just around $2250 in tax. One way LAX to VCE is 75K avios and around $1,000 and VCE to LAX the taxes are around $500. So, by just the VCE-LAX route, I am saving $1750 in taxes. Now, the only way this works is that for inbound, I fly Star Alliance, SKyteam or some other mileage program. The companion ticket works both ways if for inbound I value Avios at 2 cents a mile.

Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
They're best used when you can use them to get you somewhere that you want to go, at a time that you want to go there. Conversely, it makes no sense to use them to go somewhere you don't want to go at a time, or to do so at an impossible or inconvenient time.

The reasons for the varying figures are very often discussed here. Notably:-
  1. A ticket originating in the US, whether one-way or round-trip, is likely to incur a rather higher cash element than a ticket originating in the UK or Europe - that's simply the way that BA imposes its surcharges.
  2. If you start a journey in the UK (whether it's the outbound or inbound half of a ticket, and wherever the ticket starts from), including after stopping over in the UK, you will have to pay the UK government's Air Passenger Duty - but you do not have to pay APD if you are only connecting in the UK (normally defined as <24 hours, subject to exceptions).
These two factors account for everything you've seen.

If you start in the US, it is possible that your companion certificate can't be used for one-way travel - I can't remember the rules for these. If they can't, then your idea of buying a one-way ticket from the US using the companion certificate and then buying another one-way ticket from Europe back to the US won't work.

Even if you can do this, you'll end up paying Avios for two people on the one-way ticket from Europe back to the US, even though there's a saving on the cash element. So you'll want to work out whether that is actually good value for you. For example, if a round-trip ticket is 100,000 Avios per person + $1,000, then the companion certificate gets you travel for two for 100,000 Avios + $2,000. But if one-way tickets are 50,000 Avios + $500 outbound and 50,000 Avios + $250 inbound, then splitting the travel into two one-way tickets costs you 150,000 Avios + $1500 in total. You have to work out which is better value for you.
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Old Oct 14, 17, 3:11 pm
  #454  
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Originally Posted by jediwho View Post
RT LAX to VCE with companion pass are 150,000 Avios and just around $2250 in tax. One way LAX to VCE is 75K avios and around $1,000 and VCE to LAX the taxes are around $500. So, by just the VCE-LAX route, I am saving $1750 in taxes. ... The companion ticket works both ways if for inbound I value Avios at 2 cents a mile.
Sorry, I don't get to the same saving as you do.

Buying the LAX-VCE-LAX round-trip would cost you 150,000 + $2,250.

Buying LAX-VCE one-way would cost you 75,000 + $1,000.
Buying VCE-LAX one-way (without the companion voucher) would cost you 150,000 + $500.
So the total for the LAX-VCE-LAX trip like this would be 225,000 + $1,500.

The cash saving if you split the trip like this is $750, but the extra Avios cost is 75,000. So if you split the trip into two tickets, you are saving 1 cent for every additional Avios spent.
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Old Oct 14, 17, 5:09 pm
  #455  
 
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That's because I made a mistake. I calculated 2 cents based on the assumption that I could use the voucher for one way. It looks like I will need to purchase RT, so the point is moot. And it goes back to your original suggestion on valuing the voucher. Thanks!!

Originally Posted by Globaliser View Post
Sorry, I don't get to the same saving as you do.

Buying the LAX-VCE-LAX round-trip would cost you 150,000 + $2,250.

Buying LAX-VCE one-way would cost you 75,000 + $1,000.
Buying VCE-LAX one-way (without the companion voucher) would cost you 150,000 + $500.
So the total for the LAX-VCE-LAX trip like this would be 225,000 + $1,500.

The cash saving if you split the trip like this is $750, but the extra Avios cost is 75,000. So if you split the trip into two tickets, you are saving 1 cent for every additional Avios spent.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 10:35 am
  #456  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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OK so I'm looking to book the following using avios and a companion voucher:

2x return flights from LHR to [US airport redacted] in J (or F if available), departing 26/10/18, returning 03/11/18

My understanding is that the best thing to do will be to book the first leg online at 1am UK time on 5/11/17, and then ring the call centre to add the return leg on 13/11/17 (either phone an overseas call centre at 1am or the UK one when it opens).

If anyone could confirm that this is the best way to do it and my dates/times are correct it'd be very reassuring - first time using a companion voucher and my dates aren't very flexible so hoping to grab what I'm after.
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Old Oct 16, 17, 10:40 am
  #457  
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Originally Posted by Godot View Post
OK so I'm looking to book the following using avios and a companion voucher:

2x return flights from LHR to [US airport redacted] in J (or F if available), departing 26/10/18, returning 03/11/18

My understanding is that the best thing to do will be to book the first leg online at 1am UK time on 5/11/17, and then ring the call centre to add the return leg on 13/11/17 (either phone an overseas call centre at 1am or the UK one when it opens).

If anyone could confirm that this is the best way to do it and my dates/times are correct it'd be very reassuring - first time using a companion voucher and my dates aren't very flexible so hoping to grab what I'm after.
Yes, you seem to have it all sorted already. Have a look at the guide here too BA American Express 2-4-1 Voucher Discussion
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Old Oct 16, 17, 8:54 pm
  #458  
 
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I booked my first BA reward flight a couple weeks ago for a flight between Fukuoka and Tokyo on JAL for my fiancée and I on her account. I was just looking st her account to remind myself of the departure time and I can't find the booking in the account anywhere. I see the transaction where I spent 9000 avois but not what it was spent on. The my bookings page is blank. Do partner award flights not show? I'm going to check her email when I get home but I'm freaking out a little right now, there's only two seats left for that flight! I'd hate to lose it to some glitch

Update: Got Home and it in her email and I can view it on the Ba site. Weird that it’s not in her bookings though

Last edited by layoverdan; Oct 16, 17 at 10:29 pm
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Old Oct 17, 17, 12:11 am
  #459  
 
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Originally Posted by layoverdan View Post
Weird that it’s not in her bookings though
Very common glitch on the BA website - bookings appear and disappear randomly.
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Old Oct 17, 17, 3:48 am
  #460  
 
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Originally Posted by Godot View Post
OK so I'm looking to book the following using avios and a companion voucher:

2x return flights from LHR to [US airport redacted] in J (or F if available), departing 26/10/18, returning 03/11/18

My understanding is that the best thing to do will be to book the first leg online at 1am UK time on 5/11/17, and then ring the call centre to add the return leg on 13/11/17 (either phone an overseas call centre at 1am or the UK one when it opens).

If anyone could confirm that this is the best way to do it and my dates/times are correct it'd be very reassuring - first time using a companion voucher and my dates aren't very flexible so hoping to grab what I'm after.
Nearly right!

Firstly it will be the 6th Nov for your first flight and the 14th for your inbound. As of today you can book the 6th Oct, so you need to tick forward 20 days, taking you to 6th Nov.

Secondly the key time is 12am GMT. Currently on BST that's 1am UK time, but the clocks change shortly to GMT+0 so in November you'll have to book at 12am UK time. For the avoidance of doubt that means staying up late on 5/11, not staying up late on 6/11!

Last edited by pauldb; Oct 17, 17 at 4:33 am
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Old Oct 18, 17, 2:59 pm
  #461  
 
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Hi all. Total Avios newbie here...so please be kind...or at least gentle.

I have a HKG->BKK flight booked on Cathay using miles from my BA account. No status with BA of any kind. I no longer need the flight. Is there any way to retain any value/Avios?

Longer story:
I wanted to get to BKK for New Years, but was not finding any availability using United miles. Finally found something workable, but only to HKG. So I booked a separate leg on Cathay, which I have always wanted to try anyway.

So last week a MUCH better itinerary opened up using United Miles, and all the way to BKK. So now I have an orphan BA award ticket.

Not a huge deal if it is just sunk, but I thought I would check to see if there is any way to retain anything with it.

Many thanks.
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Old Oct 18, 17, 10:58 pm
  #462  
 
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Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Hi all. Total Avios newbie here...so please be kind...or at least gentle.

I have a HKG->BKK flight booked on Cathay using miles from my BA account. No status with BA of any kind. I no longer need the flight. Is there any way to retain any value/Avios?

Longer story:
I wanted to get to BKK for New Years, but was not finding any availability using United miles. Finally found something workable, but only to HKG. So I booked a separate leg on Cathay, which I have always wanted to try anyway.

So last week a MUCH better itinerary opened up using United Miles, and all the way to BKK. So now I have an orphan BA award ticket.

Not a huge deal if it is just sunk, but I thought I would check to see if there is any way to retain anything with it.

Many thanks.
All Avios redemptions are cancellae, at least 24hrs in advance. You have to pay £35 but get your avios and fees back, less the £35.

In reality if your booking had fees fees of less than £35 you just forfeit the cash paid, so the cancellation fee is effectively less.
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Old Oct 19, 17, 6:14 am
  #463  
 
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Originally Posted by pauldb View Post
All Avios redemptions are cancellae, at least 24hrs in advance. You have to pay £35 but get your avios and fees back, less the £35.

In reality if your booking had fees fees of less than £35 you just forfeit the cash paid, so the cancellation fee is effectively less.
Many thanks for this. Much better than I anticipated.
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Old Oct 20, 17, 4:44 am
  #464  
 
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Originally Posted by pauldb View Post
Nearly right!

Firstly it will be the 6th Nov for your first flight and the 14th for your inbound. As of today you can book the 6th Oct, so you need to tick forward 20 days, taking you to 6th Nov.

Secondly the key time is 12am GMT. Currently on BST that's 1am UK time, but the clocks change shortly to GMT+0 so in November you'll have to book at 12am UK time. For the avoidance of doubt that means staying up late on 5/11, not staying up late on 6/11!
excellent, thanks a lot!
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Old Oct 20, 17, 5:13 am
  #465  
 
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Originally Posted by pauldb View Post
All Avios redemptions are cancellae, at least 24hrs in advance. You have to pay £35 but get your avios and fees back, less the £35.

In reality if your booking had fees fees of less than £35 you just forfeit the cash paid, so the cancellation fee is effectively less.
Originally Posted by goodeats21 View Post
Many thanks for this. Much better than I anticipated.
To close it out, I was able to cancel on-line with no issue, and just forfeited the ~$40 i had paid for fee/taxes. Great benefit, at least compared to plans I am familiar with....

Happy camper today!
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