Companion voucher question

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Old Aug 13, 18, 12:57 am
  #1  
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Companion voucher question

Apologies newbie question

I have two companion vouchers and 420k Avios.

I want to book for a family of 5 to fly to Orlando next August.

Searching for availability seems to be a dark art ! My question is do I need to find Avios availability for 5 seats or just 3 (then use the two compion vouchers) ie to use a companion voucher does it use Avios seat allocation or general seat allocation

hope that makes sense

any my other advice or tips would be greatly recived

thanks

michael
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Old Aug 13, 18, 1:01 am
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You need to find availability for 5 people. All comes out of redemption buckets.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 13, 18, 2:56 am
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You will need a lot of luck to get 5 award seats on this route. Perhaps also consider other options like MIA, FLL and TPA

Last edited by lavajava; Aug 13, 18 at 3:03 am
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Old Aug 13, 18, 2:59 am
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Make sure you read the wiki section of this post, particularly the bit about grabbing the outbound on it's own when available (and adding the return later). BA American Express 2-4-1 Voucher Discussion

BA commit to offering 2 J seat on each flight (I assume you are looking for J - business?). Sometimes they put up bigger allocations but that's rather occasional, and looking at July/Aug so far I wouldn't be optimistic. They then often do a second flush of availability where you might see 5 seats, but that's very unpredictable.You can set up alerts on baredemptionfinder.com to check for you. I would also get alerts for TPA: I haven't done it but it gives you a second option and many say TPA is almost as good as MCO for Disney.

But also I hope you realise you are short of avios: you'll need to pay for 3xJ which is 450k avios peak. An alternative is to shorten one direction, e.g. come back from WAS and buy an internal hop up there. That would then be 225k for the outbound and 180k for the inbound. And somewhere like WAS does have regular 5J availability (and some free sights that might interest the kids; or there's NYC and others no doubt).

I do note there's 5 seats to MIA on 1Aug (7+6 infact!). You could book those now and be very confident of finding WAS or NYC to LON to add later in the month; but that will of course alter your trip significantly.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 3:01 am
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Originally Posted by MichaelJCWS View Post
I want to book for a family of 5 to fly to Orlando next August.

That's going to be very difficult to do. You may get it in World Traveller, but this is unlikely to be cost effective. You're unlikely to get that many on the same direct flight in WTP or above. By all means look at MIA, FLL, TPA, but you may get lucky with IAH midweek (dreadful arrival experience mind) or ATL. Or consider splitting between two flights initially and then paying the £35 per head change fee if more availability comes up later on. Having said that, occasionally one does here stories of large families finding seats in First to LAX on the first day of the school holidays, but I think it's somewhat the exception.

Welcome to Flyertalk MichaelJCWS, welcome to the BA forum and I hope we will see more of you here.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 2:14 pm
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Thanks all, sounds like I'm going to be in for a world of pain trying to book these!
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Old Aug 13, 18, 4:06 pm
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Sorry, another couple of questions, Iím starting to panic a bit now.

looks like I can get 4 WT tickets and then possibly have to buy one with cash. Are there opportunities to upgrade these using Avios at a later date to WTP or BC.

i know going down this route is certainly not the best value for my points, but assume itís still much cheaper than buying tickets with cold hard cash

thanks

michael
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Old Aug 13, 18, 4:13 pm
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Originally Posted by MichaelJCWS View Post
looks like I can get 4 WT tickets and then possibly have to buy one with cash. Are there opportunities to upgrade these using Avios at a later date to WTP or BC.
Yes there are. It's not strictly an upgrade for the avios tickets, more like a rebook, but it's possible subject to the £35pp change fee. You can't split the passengers on a companion voucher so you'd need 2 seats to become available at a time. For that reason it'd be best to make the 2 voucher bookings as separate bookings, so you can upgrade 2 by 2, but if both vouchers are in your name then I don't think that would be possible - in that case you'd need to do all 4 at a time.

For the cash ticket, this would only be upgradeable with avios if not booked in the cheapest booking classes - O,Q,G - you can check this by clicking on flight details in the flight booking process. It's possible you might get a cash upgrade offer though.
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Old Aug 13, 18, 5:38 pm
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Join Date: Jan 2010
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so as a previous user of AMEX and now Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) - I continue to learn about the quirks of companion vouchers. With RBC the collection is always per calendar year and so depending on how quickly you spend 30k bucks, depends on how soon you get the voucher (and usually too late for Christmas availability) This year, it took 6 weeks for the voucher to be issued from the time the 30 000th RBC earned avios was credited. It may be different with the UK AMEX card, but when I tried to book from NY a few days earlier at xmas due to no availability from YYZ, I was told that RBC companion vouchers can only be used for flights ex Canada and returning to Canada. With Calgary being dropped for the winter, and 2 dreamliners only for the winter from YYZ (and no first most days) the availability is getting worse. You learn something new every day!!
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