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LHR to LAX Econ out, business return - advice for a newbie

LHR to LAX Econ out, business return - advice for a newbie

Old Oct 21, 19, 11:57 am
  #1  
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Smile LHR to LAX Econ out, business return - advice for a newbie

Hi all! First post, so I hope I'm doing this correctly!

I'm planning a big trip (we are not frequent long haul travellers) from Heathrow to LAX in May or June 2021 for a big birthday I have coming up. I currently have 102,000 Avios and a BA premium card, which I will trigger a 2 for 1 on in the next couple of months. I expect to have around 130,000 points by the time I come to book 355 days out next year. I don't have Status with BA as I don't regularly fly - points come from spend and business expenses etc.

I'm travelling with my wife and daughter who will be 10 at the time of travel.

We've never done business class and probably will never get another chance - we have saved quite hard to get the points. I'm considering doing the following Economy Out and Business Back, making use of the flat bed for the overnight. If we travel off peak I think I have worked it out as 157,500 points. With fees and buying the remaining points I think it will be around £1600 for our group, using the 2 for 1.

I'd really appreciate any advice from frequent fliers. We could go Premium both ways for less by the looks for it and have more spending money. Is Business really a treat that's worth it? Also, are we making best use of our points and buying power here? Any advice appreciated really,

Many, many thanks for any help to this newbie!
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Old Oct 21, 19, 12:04 pm
  #2  
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Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA forum. It's good to see you here, and with any luck we can give you the tools so that this isn't such an unusual piece of travel. Such as looking at starting from somewhere other than london, for example. But welcome on board RobBal.

There isn't a correct answer to your question, different people will have different views. My suggestion is to perhaps look at getting a really good cash fare for the route and use the Avios for upgrading at least one way into Club World. And again perhaps not starting in London, so check the fares from Inverness and Dublin for example. You may think that a bit of a hassle, but planned properly a night in Dublin would add to the experience.

If you are really looking for a full Avios approach, then I think I'd suggest WTP each way, so long as it is on an A380 or B787 in particular or perhaps some of the B747s. Then that would give you time to save up for an AUP or POUG upgrade - more details in the BA Forum Dashboard on these upgrade mechanisms.

And don't forget to check out BA Holidays for an inclusive hotel and flight, or car and flight, price - you can still use Avios to upgrade on these bookings.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 12:19 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
Welcome to Flyertalk and welcome to the BA forum. It's good to see you here, and with any luck we can give you the tools so that this isn't such an unusual piece of travel. Such as looking at starting from somewhere other than london, for example. But welcome on board RobBal.

There isn't a correct answer to your question, different people will have different views. My suggestion is to perhaps look at getting a really good cash fare for the route and use the Avios for upgrading at least one way into Club World. And again perhaps not starting in London, so check the fares from Inverness and Dublin for example. You may think that a bit of a hassle, but planned properly a night in Dublin would add to the experience.

If you are really looking for a full Avios approach, then I think I'd suggest WTP each way, so long as it is on an A380 or B787 in particular or perhaps some of the B747s. Then that would give you time to save up for an AUP or POUG upgrade - more details in the BA Forum Dashboard on these upgrade mechanisms.

And don't forget to check out BA Holidays for an inclusive hotel and flight, or car and flight, price - you can still use Avios to upgrade on these bookings.
Thank you for your brilliant post and ideas.

I really like the Dublin idea, and I've already read up that can save you fees. However I thought it wasn't possible to use the 2 for 1 voucher from there. Also I do live in East Yorkshire, so like the idea of flying from somewhere other than London but again I thought that my options where non-existent if I want to use Avios and 2 for 1 companion voucher??

I'd also not considered upgrading after booking. Can you upgrade with points after booking on an Avios only booking? I might look at upgrading from WT to WTP that route. Do you just pay the points and the difference in fees with that?

Again, thanks.

Last edited by RobBal; Oct 21, 19 at 1:13 pm
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:31 pm
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The problem with buying a cash fare (which would also be my recommendation) and using Avios to upgrade, would be the guaranteed two Club a World seats on every route may be gone by the time you book. However, if you’re flexible and can fly midweek, I’d look for a great World Traveller Plus return, often around £800 for LAX and try and use those Avios to upgrade both ways. Avios availability can be good off peak; I’ve got four on the same flights to LAX in March
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:50 pm
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Personally, I’d much rather fly World Traveller to LAX and Club World back than World Traveller Plus both ways. I find WTP to CW to be a much bigger jump than WT to WTP. For me, the big advantage of CW is the flat bed. When I fly WT or WTP on an overnight flight, I arrive exhausted and struggle to stay awake until the evening. When I fly CW overnight, I arrive feeling fresh and relaxed and able to function normally during the day.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by mikeyfly View Post
The problem with buying a cash fare (which would also be my recommendation) and using Avios to upgrade, would be the guaranteed two Club a World seats on every route may be gone by the time you book. However, if youíre flexible and can fly midweek, Iíd look for a great World Traveller Plus return, often around £800 for LAX and try and use those Avios to upgrade both ways. Avios availability can be good off peak; Iíve got four on the same flights to LAX in March
Thanks Mike, really appreciate the advice. The upgrade points is a really interesting one actually! However I have 2 for 1 companion voucher.

Originally Posted by dewidaniels View Post
Personally, Iíd much rather fly World Traveller to LAX and Club World back than World Traveller Plus both ways. I find WTP to CW to be a much bigger jump than WT to WTP. For me, the big advantage of CW is the flat bed. When I fly WT or WTP on an overnight flight, I arrive exhausted and struggle to stay awake until the evening. When I fly CW overnight, I arrive feeling fresh and relaxed and able to function normally during the day.
I must admit, that's exactly my train of thought. I have travelled BA WT economy and actually thought it was pretty good. Plus I might look to pay a little extra and book extra leg room (I'm 6'4"). But the thought of the flat bed really appeals to me on the way back.

I'm starting to think book WT out and CW back, but keep saving the point (it will still be 11 months until we travel at booking) and then see if I can bag an upgrade by points to WTP for the outward flight.... Not sure! :-)

Last edited by Prospero; Oct 21, 19 at 2:08 pm Reason: Merge consecutive posts
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Old Oct 21, 19, 2:00 pm
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By flying LHR-LAX in Economy, and LAX-LHR in Business, the OP will avoid the higher U.K. APD on premium-cabin departures from the U.K.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 2:02 pm
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Originally Posted by dewidaniels View Post
I find WTP to CW to be a much bigger jump than WT to WTP.
Let me put it this way: I don't think World Traveller Plus is something one should save up for, whether that's points or cash. I think you're likely to be disappointed if you do.

I'll leave others however to advise OP as to best cash/points strategy here.
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Old Oct 21, 19, 2:06 pm
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Originally Posted by RobBal View Post
Thanks Mike, really appreciate the advice. The upgrade points is a really interesting one actually! However I have 2 for 1 companion voucher.
At £700 taxes fees and surcharges nowadays, the 241 doesnít often hold good value for North America

Especially as thereís three of you....
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Old Oct 21, 19, 2:09 pm
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To add more to the equation by June 2021 thereís a real chance of having more Club Suites in the air and possibly on that route, which would be worth experiencing. So the option of buying a WTP fare and then upgrading the inbound would be very attractive if you find the right financial outcome (cash vs points/voucher etc which others will no doubt offer knowledge on)
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Old Oct 22, 19, 1:37 am
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If youíre saving points (or cash) for a once in a lifetime slice of business, Iím not so sure I would do it on the return leg; it seems like a very expensive bed...
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Old Oct 22, 19, 1:59 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
By flying LHR-LAX in Economy, and LAX-LHR in Business, the OP will avoid the higher U.K. APD on premium-cabin departures from the U.K.
Thatís a really good point. Thank you.
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Old Oct 22, 19, 2:46 am
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Going back a stage, the OP has a 2-4-1 and a goodly stack of Avios. So whilst I too am in a place where a cash fare trumps an avios deal (because of the taxes) as a one off, using the 241 does save some cash.

Doing the sums in semi long hand..
Out WT 16,250 + tax. A total of 32,500
Back CW 62,500 + tax . A total of 125,000
Taxis are roughly £500 ish each [sorry, not got the time to look this up in detail]
All in and allowing for a little rounding £1500 + 157,000 Avios or £500 + 62000 each

A cash fare in May 2020 return WT/CW is looking at about £1050 (per adult). BA prices it as a total of £2915 (2 adults at £1050 and one child at £813), assuming a checked bag or two.

So I would be looking to use the 2-4-1 on the 2 adults and buy a cash fare for the 10 yr old.

A total of:
2 adults for 78750 Avios plus £500x2 or so in tax - £1000.
1 child for £800 in cash

Total is £1800, so a saving of £1000+ on the cash fare using 78,500 avios. [Not a great return on the avois but still reasonable, assuming no other use!]

This MAY also get you more options on flights as you are looking for two Avios seats not three. And you have enough avios to book it at 355 days out (noting that LAX is relatively decent for avios seat availability).

I'm sure there are more permutations (eg PE out as you say you already have 100000 avios) than that but I'm an amateur on how the taxes are calculated; but those taxes do bite!

Hope that helps with the £££ side.
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Old Oct 22, 19, 4:21 am
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Originally Posted by VictorSierra View Post
If youíre saving points (or cash) for a once in a lifetime slice of business, Iím not so sure I would do it on the return leg; it seems like a very expensive bed...
I would absolutely second this. You'll be paying £xxxx more for a couple of extra hours sleep. Flat beds are absolutely brilliant if you are a business traveller, going into a meeting etc. But if it's your first time, you'll miss most of the benefits snoozing.

Personally, i'd use the upgrade on a day flight - either on the way out, or coming back via BOS/NYC to use the day flight options (don't think there are others?).

My first (and only) SQ Suites experience, despite the (at the time) bling factor of a double bed, I was keen to use the day flight so I could have 13 hours of lunch, dinner, Krug, Dom, blue mountain coffee, cheese dishes, being absolutely spoiled solidly, and would never have swapped for a night flight and a sleep... you can sleep every day if you want, do something different!

Although I appreciate for many on this board, Business is about the flat bed & maximising sleep!
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Old Oct 22, 19, 4:34 am
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Tricky one this!
We find WT+ hard to make work. Taxes are the same as CW, more or less, the difference in miles isn't huge either.

One option would be to book CW return for the Adults (125k Avios + voucher + 1540 tax) and then cash fare £1749.02 the child?
The middle ground would be WT+ both ways, but finding 3 seats could be difficult. (100k Avios + 2-4-1 + £1410 tax) As CW seats and Avios become available you could upgrade to CW, if you wished. Keep in mind that both travellers on the 2-4-1 have to be in the same cabin. For this reason, I think I would book your daughter with the 2-4-1 and an adult on their own if you are doing an all-avios booking.
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