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BA Avios on American metal - is this a good redemption?

BA Avios on American metal - is this a good redemption?

Old Sep 18, 23, 12:26 pm
  #1  
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BA Avios on American metal - is this a good redemption?

I was looking at flights from DFW to Cabo San Lucas for January 2024. Round trip economy on AA is $246.

I just booked the flight using 18,000 British Airways Avios + $132. Iíve been wanting to burn through BA miles that have been in my account since 2019, and the best option seems to be domestic tickets on American flights.

But does this redemption even make sense? Essentially getting less than 1cpp on the redemption when you subtract the $132 I had to pay on top of the 18,000 miles.

Is it better to just pay the $246 cash on AA directly?
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Old Sep 18, 23, 12:31 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by idkmybffjill
I was looking at flights from DFW to Cabo San Lucas for January 2024. Round trip economy on AA is $246.

I just booked the flight using 18,000 British Airways Avios + $132. Iíve been wanting to burn through BA miles that have been in my account since 2019, and the best option seems to be domestic tickets on American flights.

But does this redemption even make sense? Essentially getting less than 1cpp on the redemption when you subtract the $132 I had to pay on top of the 18,000 miles.

Is it better to just pay the $246 cash on AA directly?
That sounds really horrible. Well under 1 cent per point.

The problem with using miles for Mexico is that Mexico has huge taxes and fees. So often, a cheap flight is half taxes (or more) that you have to pay anyway.

Unless they were about to expire or something (do Avios expire?) I would save it for something else. I hear that they can be good value on domestic US single segment flights but I don't collect Avios so I've never really looked into it.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 12:32 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by idkmybffjill
I was looking at flights from DFW to Cabo San Lucas for January 2024. Round trip economy on AA is $246.

I just booked the flight using 18,000 British Airways Avios + $132. Iíve been wanting to burn through BA miles that have been in my account since 2019, and the best option seems to be domestic tickets on American flights.

But does this redemption even make sense? Essentially getting less than 1cpp on the redemption when you subtract the $132 I had to pay on top of the 18,000 miles.

Is it better to just pay the $246 cash on AA directly?
You spent 18,000 avios to save $114.

That is not a good redemption IMO. $246 seems like a decent roundtrip fare, I would have just bought it.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 12:40 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
You spent 18,000 avios to save $114.

That is not a good redemption IMO. $246 seems like a decent roundtrip fare, I would have just bought it.
I didn’t realize until after I booked it how cheap the actual cash cost on American was. Seems crazy low for what is peak season in Cabo.

I just cancelled the award redemption. NBD.

Last edited by idkmybffjill; Sep 18, 23 at 1:35 pm
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Old Sep 18, 23, 12:44 pm
  #5  
 
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Best redemptions are any ticket that does not include the ridiculous fees added by BA in addition to the true airport related taxes which cannot be avoided. That means any flight on a partner airline that operates any route not flown by BA. For example since BA flies from ORD to LHR they will charge the ridiculous BA fees even if you were to fly on AA metal, however if you were to fly LAX to SYD on AA metal they do not charge the ridiculous BA fees because they do not fly that route. Domestic U.S. routes fall into that category as do most flights from North America to/from Asia or the South Pacific.

With all that said, finding AA flight availability using Avios is becoming increasingly difficult (domestic availability on Alaska Airlines is a little easier) If you have been trying to use Avios since 2019 and have not succeeded, you should probably burn them regardless of the fact that it is not great value because you are unlikely to find anything better.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 12:46 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by idkmybffjill
I didnít realize until after I booked it how cheap the actual cash cost on American was. Seems crazy low for what is peak season in Cabo.

I just cancelled the award redemption. NBD,
If you purchase a cash ticket on AA, you can choose to earn AAdvantage miles, BA Avios, or miles in any other oneworld FFP, as long as the AA fare qualifies for earnings in the other FFP.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 1:22 pm
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You will also get some amount of AA miles by paying for it, so you are losing that as well. Direct domestic USA flights are where its at for using BA points. Can make them way in advance and if you cancel its only the tax of $5 you lose, so book a few ahead of time and cancel the ones u dont need.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 1:38 pm
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Originally Posted by Furby
Best redemptions are any ticket that does not include the ridiculous fees added by BA in addition to the true airport related taxes which cannot be avoided. That means any flight on a partner airline that operates any route not flown by BA. For example since BA flies from ORD to LHR they will charge the ridiculous BA fees even if you were to fly on AA metal, however if you were to fly LAX to SYD on AA metal they do not charge the ridiculous BA fees because they do not fly that route. Domestic U.S. routes fall into that category as do most flights from North America to/from Asia or the South Pacific.

With all that said, finding AA flight availability using Avios is becoming increasingly difficult (domestic availability on Alaska Airlines is a little easier) If you have been trying to use Avios since 2019 and have not succeeded, you should probably burn them regardless of the fact that it is not great value because you are unlikely to find anything better.
Yeah, I was able to use them once earlier this year for DFW-TUS, and one of the legs was first class. Outside of that, it has been hard, and Iím sitting on almost 200K Avios. Also, you can get a flight on Alaska metal via Avios? I did not know that. I thought it was only AA flights.

Originally Posted by VegasGambler
That sounds really horrible. Well under 1 cent per point.

The problem with using miles for Mexico is that Mexico has huge taxes and fees. So often, a cheap flight is half taxes (or more) that you have to pay anyway.

Unless they were about to expire or something (do Avios expire?) I would save it for something else. I hear that they can be good value on domestic US single segment flights but I don't collect Avios so I've never really looked into it.
Yep, this is exactly what happened. First time booking a flight to Mexico for me. The $246 AA flight, $100+ was just Mexican fees. Nuts.

Last edited by Microwave; Sep 19, 23 at 2:46 am Reason: Merged consecutive posts for readability
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Old Sep 18, 23, 1:42 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by idkmybffjill
Yeah, I was able to use them once earlier this year for DFW-TUS, and one of the legs was first class. Outside of that, it has been hard, and Iím sitting on almost 200K Avios. Also, you can get a flight on Alaska metal via Avios? I did not know that. I thought it was only AA flights.
Subject to award-seat availability, you can redeem Avios for travel on any oneworld airline. But for travel wholly within the Americas, that means AA or AS.

Edited to add: BA itself operates some intra-Caribbean routes.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by idkmybffjill
Yeah, I was able to use them once earlier this year for DFW-TUS, and one of the legs was first class. Outside of that, it has been hard, and Iím sitting on almost 200K Avios. Also, you can get a flight on Alaska metal via Avios? I did not know that. I thought it was only AA flights.
AS joined oneworld a few years ago, but they had been BA partners even before joining oneworld.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by idkmybffjill
Yeah, I was able to use them once earlier this year for DFW-TUS, and one of the legs was first class. Outside of that, it has been hard, and Iím sitting on almost 200K Avios. Also, you can get a flight on Alaska metal via Avios? I did not know that. I thought it was only AA flights.
Yes, you can use them on Alaska Airlines. They never used to come up on the BA Avios search engine, I think they do now. But, again availability is limited.

With almost 200,000 miles you should look at J transatlantic award flights. If you book far enough ahead they are easy enough to secure. Changes they made a few months ago have reduced the fees somewhat, and if you combine that with booking two one ways (so that the taxes/fees charged on the return are the UK fees, not the US ones which are a lot higher, and return from the EU to avoid the excessive LHR airport taxes then it is not too bad of a deal. I recently paid approximately $800 in taxes fees for a round trip J ticket doing this, and while not free it is massively less expensive than purchasing a round J class trip from the US and you get the benefits of fairly cheap cancellation terms. That provides very decent value for the Avios.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 2:25 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Furby
With almost 200,000 miles you should look at J transatlantic award flights.
Trans-Atlantic flights on IB metal have more reasonable surcharges. IB now flies DFW-MAD. But finding TATL award seats in J on IB is tougher than finding those seats on BA.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 3:02 pm
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Better to go the other way and use AA miles on a BA partner award but on Mostly AA metal. I saw DEN-DFW-LHR-EDI in J class for 57.5K + $20 instead of the typical $700 fuel surcharge because that's AA flight 78 from DFW-LHR leg.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by bbriscoe34
Better to go the other way and use AA miles on a BA partner award but on Mostly AA metal. I saw DEN-DFW-LHR-EDI in J class for 57.5K + $20 instead of the typical $700 fuel surcharge because that's AA flight 78 from DFW-LHR leg.
These days, finding J transatlantic award availability at less than 100K miles, let alone 57.5K miles, on AA metal is about as easy as finding a politician who is not a senior citizen in the U.S. They both exist but are rare. One of the few things Avios have in their favor is the guarantee of 4 seats in the J cabin on every flight at 57.5K AA miles, or 60K Avios from the East Coast and Midwest, 75K from the West Coast (or less at off peak times). AA award flights are too often priced in the hundreds of thousands miles now which makes the Avios fees look like a relative bargain.
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Old Sep 18, 23, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Furby
These days, finding J transatlantic award availability at less than 100K miles, let alone 57.5K miles, on AA metal is about as easy as finding a politician who is not a senior citizen in the U.S. They both exist but are rare. One of the few things Avios have in their favor is the guarantee of 4 seats in the J cabin on every flight at 57.5K AA miles, or 60K Avios from the East Coast and Midwest, 75K from the West Coast (or less at off peak times). AA award flights are too often priced in the hundreds of thousands miles now which makes the Avios fees look like a relative bargain.
TATL for 57.5k is easy if you are relatively flexible (preferably flexible with gateways, dates, and airlines) It also helps to be flying solo (AY seems to be max 2 award / flight right now). I've made it work 3 years in a row now, all in the summer (which is historically the hardest to find)
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