Category Archive for 'BA'

The BA Glitch Fix Has Made Even More Flights And Routes Available To Book With Avios Online Than Before!

Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

Related post (Read this first!): Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios

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Yesterday I broke the news that American flights were back on BA.com after a few week hiatus.

Turns out that things are even better than before!

Previously, when there were a lot of available award flights BA.com would only display the earlier flights and not the flights later in the day.
Booking the later flights required a phone call to a competent agent (such as those at the Singapore desk).

Well the good news here is that this glitch appears to have been fixed!

LGA-Chicago on BA.com now matches up exactly to what AA.com shows:

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LGA-Miami on BA.com also matches up exactly to what AA.com shows:

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Except of course BA charges 7.5K for those flights instead of the 12.5K that AA charges. AA has a $75 close-in fee while BA has none. AA charges a $150 cancellation fee while BA allows you to cancel for $5.60.

As per this post, always search for NYC, LGA, EWR, and JFK as each can give different results.

 

In the past LAN flights have typically had to be booked over the phone, but I’m now seeing LAN routes that have never showed up on BA.com before.

For example Buenos Aires/AEP to Iguazu Falls/IGR can now be booked online:

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Santiago, Chile-Easter Island:

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And Easter Island-Papeete, just a 45 minute flight from Bora Bora:

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Alas, Alaska and Aer Lingus flights are still not available online.

Find anything else that has changed? Hit the comments!

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A Sight For Sore Eyes On BA.com

Monday, July 13th, 2015

Related: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios

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Despite the numerous naysayers calling me “complicit in the coverup” for advising people not to panic. Despite some mileage brokers “confirming” that BA Avios would never be the same. No the sky is not falling. My brazen prediction goes on to live another day.

American flights are once again bookable on BA.com with Avios.

Which is a good thing because using 4.5K Avios+$5.60…

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…Is far preferable to paying $538.10:

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No close-in fee and only a $5.60 fee to redeposit the ticket and get back the miles make it that much sweeter.

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Can Everyone Please Stop Panicking About Their Avios…

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Update: This issue is still ongoing and I’ll be sure to update when it’s been fixed.

When calling BA using the US 1-800 number some people have reported issues with hold times as well as with the (typically incompetent) agents finding the nonstop saver flights that show up on AA.com.

I just called the BA call center in Singapore and they had no hold time and were able to quickly find the exact nonstop saver award flights that AA.com shows. 

They weren’t sure when BA.com will be fixed to show AA flights, but they proactively offered to waive the phone booking fee, making the cost of a CLE-LGA round-trip flight just 9,000 Avios+$11.20. The flight would otherwise have cost $1,141.

It costs just 2 cents per minute to make a call to the BA call center in Singapore via the Google Hangouts app. Their phone number and hours of operation can be found in the original post below.

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Originally posted on 07/05:

Related: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios

I’ve gotten quite a few emails from people panicking about not being able to find Avios flights like they used to on American Airlines.

Some mileage brokers have spread rumors “confirming” that you won’t be able to use Avios on American anymore :roll:

That’s nonsense, what’s going on is nothing more than an IT bug that is being worked on.

A couple of weeks ago American’s saver award availability disappeared from their website for several days.  That space has returned, but it just hasn’t returned to BA.com for Avios bookings.

However BA is more than happy to book those seats over the phone. Their agents are aware of the bug and will be happy to waive the phone booking fee.

Just to confirm I found saver award space on AA.com for a flight tomorrow from Chicago to Cleveland.  AA.com wanted 12.5K miles plus $80.60 to book it.  I called BA and they were identified the same flights that AA.com was showing and correctly quoted a fare of 4.5K Avios plus $5.60 to book it.

It’s important to note that you aren’t limited to booking with the US based phone number for BA. You can use any of their offices to book, including:
US: 800-452-1201 (7:30am-8pm EDT)
Singapore +65-6823-2095 (9pm-5:30am EDT)
Israel: +972-3-606-1515 (2am-9am EDT)
UK: +44-191-490-7901 (2:30am-3pm EDT)

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British Airways Avios Can Now Book Qantas Flights From Australia Without Fuel Surcharges

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Related: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios

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British Airways Avios are an awesome points currency as long as you understand their Achilles heel, the fuel surcharge.

When you use United miles you never pay a fuel surcharge.  When you use Delta miles you generally won’t pay a fuel surcharge (exceptions include flights originating from Europe and flights on select partners). When you use American miles you generally won’t pay a fuel surcharge (except if you want to fly on British Airways, the only way to fly on BA without paying a fuel surcharge is by using LAN Kilometers which can be obtained via Starwood Starpoints).

However when you use British Airways Avios you will normally pay a fuel surcharge, though there are lots of exceptions that make up the bulk of the value of the Avios program.
Namely:
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on Aer Lingus. A flight from Boston to Dublin or Shannon is just 12.5K Avios in coach or 37.5K in business. From there you can fly elsewhere within Europe without paying fuel surcharges. Plus you can fly to Boston from cities like Buffalo, NYC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or Washington DC for just 4.5K Avios. Aer Lingus flights can only be booked over the phone.
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on Air Berlin, making them a potential way to fly to Israel without fuel surcharges.
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on Alaska. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on LAN. Many of these flights can only be booked over the phone.
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on Niki. They fly from Israel to Vienna for 10K Avios.
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on TAM. Many of these flights can only be booked over the phone.
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on American within the Western Hemisphere
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on USAirways within the Western Hemisphere
There are no fuel surcharges for Qantas flights within Australia.
-There are no fuel surcharges for JAL flights within Japan.
Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are relatively low and you don’t even need to fly all the way to Hong Kong (though you should-great city with awesome kosher food, airport lounges with kosher food, and a business or first class flight you’ll never forget!) to get a taste of their awesome service, seat, pajamas, and amenities. They fly a daily 777 nonstop between JFK and Vancouver.
You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios
British Airways 5th Freedom Flights (flights that don’t depart from or arrive to the UK) have significantly lower fees. For example even though Singapore-Sydney is a longer flight than NYC-London the fees in first class on Singapore-Sydney are less than half of those from NYC-London.
As long as you have earned a single Avios within the past 12 months then fuel surcharges for intra-Europe and intra-Africa flights will be very low. You can transfer points from AMEX, Chase, or Starwood to activate that benefit.

Until last week Qantas charged a heavy fuel surcharge for paid flights to and from Australia.  British Airways passes along the same fuel surcharge that applies to paid flights on partner airlines.  That made long-haul flights to Australia an exceptionally poor value for your Avios.

Now Qantas has dropped that fuel surcharge for flights that originate in Australia (which caused this $444 price mistake that was honored)

That means you can book a one-way or round-trip ticket on Qantas from Australia without fuel surcharges.

A round-trip coach ticket on Qantas from Sydney to JFK is now 100K Avios plus about $116 in taxes.

A one-way coach ticket on Qantas from Sydney to JFK is now 50K Avios plus about $87 in taxes.

However a round-trip ticket from NYC to Sydney will still be slammed with $861 in fuel surcharges and taxes.

Of course you can also use 75K AA miles plus $116 tax for a round-trip ticket for a Qantas flight regardless of origination and American doesn’t pass on the fuel surcharge if you use AA miles.  You can even transfer 60K Starpoints into 90K AA miles right now.

However it’s easier to earn BA Avios than AA miles, so if you’re not flush with AA miles or Starpoints, then this is a welcome development.

If you’re short on AA miles for example you can even use 37.5K AA miles+$28 to fly from JFK to Sydney and then use 50K Avios+$87 for the return flight.

 

 

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The easiest way to search for award space for 50K Avios each way for a flight between Sydney and JFK is to use AA.com and search for a flight between Sydney and Los Angeles:

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On the calendar page, toggle the number of stops option to nonstop only:

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Generally speaking if there is nonstop availability from Sydney-Los Angeles there will also be nonstop availability from Los Angeles to JFK on Qantas’ special LAX-JFK tag-on flight that can only be booked together with the flight from Sydney.

Once you find a date that has nonstop space to Los Angeles you can confirm that there’s space to NYC on that date as well.

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The advantage of routing via Los Angeles (and not Dallas) is that since the Qantas flight retains the same flight number all the way from Sydney to JFK via Los Angeles, British Airways only charges you the mileage required for a single leg as it’s marketed as a “direct” flight.

Once you’ve identified valid dates on AA.com, you can logon to BA.com and book the flight that you found on AA.com.

If BA.com isn’t finding it or is giving you an error just give BA a call and don’t forget that you may need to HUCA to find a competent rep. You can use any of their offices to book, including:
US: 800-452-1201 (7:30am-8pm EDT)
Singapore +65-6823-2095 (9pm-5:30am EDT)
Israel: +972-3-606-1515 (2am-9am EDT)
UK: +44-191-490-7901 (2:30am-3pm EDT)

Once again, there is still a fuel surcharge for flights originating from the US.  Hopefully though Qantas (and other airlines) will continue to pare those back as well…

The same story appears to apply to other countries.  There are no fuel surcharges from Sydney to London one-way or round-trip but there are fuel surcharges from London to Sydney.

HT: bmw, via DDF

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102 Direct Flights From NYC That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

American announced that they are launching nonstop service from LGA to Akron/Canton and Memphis on 11/05 and from LGA to Jacksonville as of 12/17. The chart has been updated with the new flights and the new rates for flying in business and first class.

Currently BA Avios flights on American Airlines can only be booked over the phone.

Akron/Canton (part of Cleveland CSA), has picked up 2 daily United flights to Newark and a daily American flight to LGA since Southwest announced they would be cutting flights from Akron/Canton to LGA (among other airports) in late October.
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Originally posted on 08/12/13.
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios

Rates in the following charts are currently only accurate for travel in coach:
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Montreal, Toronto, Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, S. Francisco, And 6 Ohio Airports
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 29 Direct Avios Flights From Boston
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 196 Direct Avios Flights From Dallas
-Click to view 12 Direct Avios Flights From Johannesburg
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view 102 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
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Did you know that there are 102 places you can fly direct to from NYC with your BA Avios?

British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and dirt cheap award cancellations.  Below are all of the direct flights from NYC that can be booked with Avios.

Be sure to read this post for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards.  If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights. Generally speaking it’s a good idea to book BA flights as one-ways to give you maximum flexibility.

2. Rates are always given in Avios.  There is always a 25% bonus for transferring increments of 20K Starwood Starpoints into Avios.  That just means that if a route requires 25K Avios for example you will only need 20K Starpoints.

3. Routes that are displayed in bold are subject to fuel surcharges, which can vary from $25 (JFK-Vancouver on Cathay Pacific) to several hundred dollars each way.

4. There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, and TAM. There are also no fuel surcharges for American and USAirways flights within the western hemisphere, for JAL flights within Japan, and for Qantas flights within Australia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways border on the criminal.
You can save on the fuel surcharges imposed on Iberia flights by transferring British Airways Avios into Iberia Avios.

5. In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment. 

For example Tel Aviv isn’t on the chart as BA does not have any partners that fly nonstop from NYC to Tel Aviv.  Though you can always fly to Tel Aviv via Berlin or Dusseldorf for 20K for the overseas segment and 10K for the Berlin/Dusseldorf-Tel Aviv segment with no fuel surcharges. It can help to search for NYC-Berlin or Dusseldorf and Berlin or Dusseldorf-Tel Aviv separately.

Maui isn’t on the chart as no airlines fly nonstop from NYC-Maui.  Though you can always fly to Maui from Los Angeles, S. Diego, or Seattle, for 12.5K for the NYC-west coast segment and 12.5K for the West coast-Maui segment with no fuel surcharges. Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want.

6. BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it. You can search Aer Lingus availability on United.com before calling BA to book it.

7. In rare cases connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstop flights when using Avios and I’ve noted that in the chart.

8. Cities in the chart may only have seasonal nonstop service.

9. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.

10. While the Qantas flight from JFK to Sydney stops in Los Angeles it is considered a direct flight by BA as the flight number remains the same. Therefore they do charge Avios as if it is just 1 flight segment.
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American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom. They can also be earned on business cards like the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K. Until 08/31/15 the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year as well.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest Consumer Card and the Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card awards 25K signup points with the annual fee waived for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus, however point transfers can take a couple of days.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card.

The Everyday Preferred card earns more points per dollar for everyday purchases than any other card in its class. The Everyday card is the only no annual fee card that allows point transfers into airline miles.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from consumer charge cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.  Business charge cards include the Business Platinum Card and the Business Gold Rewards Card

Until 09/30 AMEX MR points normally transfer instantly at 1:1 to Avios but effective 10/01 the ratio from AMEX to Avios will become 250:200.  AMEX has run transfer bonuses from 20%-50% at least annually since the launch of Avios in 2011.

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View the complete 102 route chart after the jump:

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Membership Rewards Canada: 25% Bonus For Transfers Into British Airways Avios; Thoughts On The Future Of Avios Transfers From US Based Programs

Thursday, June 25th, 2015

Related post (Read this first!): -Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios
Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
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Membership Rewards Canada: 25% Bonus For Transfers Into British Airways Avios

This promotion applies for Canadian cards only.  Through 09/30, transfers from Membership Rewards Canada to British Airways will be at a 1K:1.25K ratio.

This promotion does not apply for transfers from US based AMEX Membership Rewards cards.

Destination charts for nonstop flights from Montreal and Toronto that can be booked with Avios can be found in this post.  With flights starting at just 4.5K Avios in coach and 9K Avios for a lie-flat business seat there are some real bargains.  With the 25% bonus that means that a coach award will start at just 3.6K AMEX points and a business award will start at 7.2K AMEX points.

It’s interesting to note that it appears that Membership Rewards Canada will continue to transfer to British Airways at a 1K:1K ratio even after 10/01 when Membership Rewards US drops to a 1K:800 ratio.

That leads me to believe that the ratio decrease was due to pressure from Chase, which doesn’t compete in the Canadian market.  We’ve seen this play out before when Chase arranged with Continental and United to have their transfer ratios from Starwood drop from 20:25K to 20K:12.5K.  And Continental/United dropped out of the Membership Rewards program to become exclusive with Chase, though those airlines have always had more exclusivity with Chase than British Airways.

True, Chase also decreased the British Airways Avios earning on the Chase BA card from 1.25/dollar to 1/dollar.  But moving the US AMEX transfer ratio down keeps their own US based card look better.  Of course the truth is for spending that their other cards like Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, and Ink are better for Avios earnings due to their superior bonus spending categories.  All Chase transfers are at a 1K:1K ratio and I don’t envision that changing anytime soon.  Chase also doesn’t believe in offering transfer bonus promotions.

In fact the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card can still do better than any of the Chase cards, even with the upcoming decreased ratio.  With 30 purchases in a month it earns 1.5 Membership Rewards points per dollar everywhere, 3 points per dollar on gas and Uber, and 4.5 points per dollar on groceries.  If you want Avios that means it effectively earns 1.2 Avios per dollar everywhere, 2.4 Avios per dollar on gas and Uber, and 3.6 Avios per dollar on groceries after the upcoming devaluation.  Those numbers are still higher than on Chase cards.

If you don’t want to deal with getting to 30 transactions per month you can use the Starwood Consumer AMEX or the Starwood Business AMEX which will effectively earn 1.25 Avos per dollar everywhere thanks to the 20K:25K transfer ratio.

The AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Charge Card and the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Charge Card offer 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on airfare from all airlines, not just British Airways. And they offer a plethora of other lucrative bonus categories on top of a $100 annual airline fee credit for the personal gold card.

Some bloggers have predicted that the devaluation of the Membership Rewards US to Avios transfer ratio means that we won’t see any more transfer bonuses to British Airways.  I’m not that pessimistic. There have been transfer bonuses at least annually from the US program to British Airways ever since Avios launched 4 years ago. My guess is that those bonuses continue, though a 25% bonus will only bring the transfer rate back up to parity.  A 50% bonus will make the ratio 1:1.2.  Those numbers aren’t great, but if you do have a card like Everyday Preferred earning 1.5-4.5 points per dollar everywhere it still means that transfers can be quite lucrative.

Avios have changed the way that many people travel on short-haul flights.  It’s no big deal for me to fly from Cleveland to Chicago or NYC for a day trip when it only costs 9,000 Avios instead of a same-day $1,200 flight.  Though with these changes I’m quite happy that I mistakenly (story here) transferred half a million AMEX points to British Airways during the US 40% promo earlier this year that they refused to reverse…

HT: zer0k1, via DDF

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Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.

Update, 06/11: This post has been updated with the current information on the Avios program including Avios new award charts and why some flights like Philadelphia-Toronto in business class now cost fewer Avios than they did before.

Originally posted on 01/14/15:

British Airways Avios are awesome.  They effectively fill the gap that is left by the major programs like American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus.  The major programs provide a fantastic value for long-haul flights, but most programs are not great for short flights.

In 2011 BA launched the Avios program and since then it has continued to provide an incredible value for short-haul flights.  A last-minute one-way flight that would otherwise cost $600 can be had for just 4,500 Avios plus $5.60.

Everything you need to know about the program can be found after the jump:

(more…)

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American Express Membership Rewards To British Airways Avios Transfer Devaluation Effective 10/01

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Related:
Membership Rewards Airline Transfer Partners
Membership Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners

Grant reports that in his latest AMEX Platinum card statement it states that the transfer ratio from American Express Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios will be devalued.

I jumped onto AMEX chat to confirm the news and unfortunately the rep confirmed that information to me,

“Effective October 1, 2015, for every 250 Membership Rewards points that Card Members transfer to the British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus programs, they will receive 200 Avios. Card Members must transfer points to these loyalty programs in increments of 250. Refer to Changes to the Card Member Agreement – June 2015.”

Ouch.

It’s an odd change. After all, transfers to Avios have been bonused relatively frequently.

Unlike Grant, I do still think we’ll see bonus promotions in the future, but a 25% bonus will only bring the transfer back to parity. A 40% bonus will mean that 1,000 AMEX points will net 1,120 Avios instead of 1,400.

This comes on the heels on the Chase British Airways card dropping the earn per spend on the BA Avios card from 1.25 Avios per dollar to just 1 per dollar.

Transfers from Starwood Starpoints to British Airways Avios remains 20K to 25K, so purchases on the Starwood card can continue to earn 1.25 Avios per dollar spent.
Transfers from Chase to British Airways Avios remain 1K to 1K.
But in 4 months from now (barring any bonuses or further changes), 1K AMEX points will only yield 800 Avios.

How will this change what credit card you use? Will you spend more on your Starwood or Chase Sapphire Preferred/Freedom/Ink card? Will you still take advantage of 1.5 points per dollar everywhere on Everyday Preferred and keep holding off for transfer bonuses? Will you transfer lots of points from AMEX to British Airways before October? Sound off in the comments!

HT: Yosef, via DDF

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British Airways Avios Award Chart Devaluation For Business And First Class Flights

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Update: Tomorrow is the final day to book business and first class awards before the devaluation.

The new rates go into affect at midnight London time on 04/28, so book before 6:59pm EDT on Monday, 04/27.

Economy awards and short-haul business awards are not being devalued but you’ll want to book those JFK-Vancouver Cathay first and Boston-Dublin business class awards now!

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Originally posted on 01/28:

BA Avios were introduced in November 2011 and brought in a new era of ridiculously cheap award rates for short-haul nonstop flights.

Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about BA Avios can be found in this post.

Effective 04/28/15 they will be devaluing their award chart, but fortunately they are leaving economy class redemptions unscathed!

Until 04/27 you can continue to redeem using the current award levels, regardless of when the flight is.

On 04/28 there will be several award charts to choose from.
-There will be a new award chart for off-peak travel dates for flights on British Airways only. Here is a list of off-peak travel dates.
Again, that chart does not apply to travel on partner airlines.
-There will be a new chart for travel on partner airlines.
-There will be a new chart for travel on Iberia, but that hasn’t been released yet. Iberia flights between London and Madrid will be priced as a regular partner award.

I’ve compiled 3 charts where you can compare the old rates with the new rates.  All rates are for one-way flights.

Economy awards on partner flights are unchanged.

Economy awards on BA flights get cheaper. That’s good as intra-Europe and intra-Africa flights on BA can be a good deal if you have earned at least 1 Avios in the past 12 months as part of their Reward Saver program which has very low fuel surcharges. Other BA economy awards are usually a terrible deal as they are subject to heavy fuel surcharges.

A flight from Miami-Cancun or NYC-Toronto remains a 4.5K award. A flight from London to Paris or from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls off-peak goes down to 4K.

BA Avios Economy Class Award Chart

ZoneFlight DistanceCoachBusinessFirst
11-6504.5K4K18K
2651-1,1517.5K6.5K30K
31,152-2,00010K8.5K40K
42,001-3,00012.5K10K50K
53,001-4,00020K13K80K
64,001-5,50025K16.25K100K
75,501-6,50030K19.5K120K
86,501-7,00035K22.75K140K
97,001+50K32.5K200K

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Business awards in the first 3 zones get cheaper on BA and remain the same on partners. The pain sets in at zone 4.

-A flight from Miami to Nassau or NYC to Montreal remains a 9K award.
-A flight from JFK to Bermuda remains a 15K award.
-A flight from JFK to Cancun remains a 20K award.
-However a flight from JFK to Costa Rica or Los Angeles on American, from Boston to Dublin on Aer Lingus, or from JFK to Vancouver on Cathay Pacific in lie-flat reverse herringbone suites jumps from 25K to 37.5K.
-A flight from NYC to Berlin on Air Berlin, from Chicago to Dublin on Aer Lingus goes from 40K to 60K. NYC to London on BA goes from 40K year-round to 50K off-peak or 60K peak.
-JFK to Buenos Aires goes from 50K to 75K.
-A flight from JFK to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific goes from 70K up to 105K.
-Los Angeles to Sydney jumps from 100K to 150K.

BA Avios Business Class Award Chart

ZoneFlight DistanceCurrent RateNew BA Off-Peak RateNew Partner Award And BA Peak Rate
11-6509K7.75K9K
2651-1,15115K12.75K15K
31,152-2,00020K17K20K
42,001-3,00025K31.25K37.5K
53,001-4,00040K50K60K
64,001-5,50050K62.5K75K
75,501-6,50060K75K90K
86,501-7,00070K87.5K105K
97,001+100K125K150K

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First class awards go way up in every zone.  This especially hurts within the US as 2 cabin flights are priced as coach and first class.
-A flight from NYC to Detroit goes up from 13.5K to 18K.
-A flight from NYC to Miami goes up from 22.5K to 30K.
-A flight from Los Angeles to Chicago or Columbus goes up from 30K to 40K.
-A flight from Los Angeles to JFK, Pittsburgh, or Maui on American or from JFK to Vancouver in the most comfortable seat and bed in the sky on Cathay Pacific goes from 37.5K to 50K.
-A flight from Dallas to Maui goes from 60K to 80K. JFK to London goes from 60K year-round to 68K off-peak and 80K peak.
-JFK to Rio de Janeiro goes from 75K to 100K.
-A flight from JFK to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific goes from 105K up to 140K.
-Los Angeles to Sydney goes from 150K to 200K.

BA Avios First Class Award Chart

ZoneFlight DistanceCurrent RateNew BA Off-Peak RateNew Partner Award And BA Peak Rate
11-65013.5K15.5K18K
2651-1,15122.5K25.5K30K
31,152-2,00030K34K40K
42,001-3,00037.5K42.5K50K
53,001-4,00060K68K80K
64,001-5,50075K85K100K
75,501-6,50090K102K120K
86,501-7,000105K119K140K
97,001+150K170K200K

There are other changes to how many miles are earned on paid flights and the full details can be found here.
Free add-on flights within the UK (such as London-Manchester) will only apply to long-haul redemptions and not on intra-Europe awards.

The silver lining in all of this?  Those beloved cheap 4.5K, 7.5K, and 10K coach awards that everyone has fretted are unsustainable have been given the green light!  I wouldn’t expect another award chart overhaul anytime soon.

HT: chuchem and Drago, via DDF

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BA Avios Hacked, Are Your Points Still In Your Account?

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Update: Several people are reporting that their Avios are back. Check your account and post if your Avios are still missing or if they have been returned.  You may need to do a password reset to login to your account.

The Guardian covered the hack yesterday, but BA never even informed most people about what happened.

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Originally posted on 03/27:

Several DDF members are reporting that their BA Avios accounts that should have points in them, are reflecting 0 Avios.

Apparently several BA accounts have been hacked and points have been used, so BA has preemptively drained the Avios out of many BA Avios accounts before more damage could be done.

If you do have trouble logging into your account if your account shows an incorrect 0 balance you can call British Airways at 800-452-1201 to re-verify your identity and regain full access to your Avios. It may take a day for online access to be restored, but if you do need to make a booking now they should be able to do it over the phone and waive the phone booking fee.  Or you can just wait for BA to sort this all out within the coming weeks and they should send you an email to reset your password once they are done.

These attacks have been happening more and more often as of late. Hilton and United among other loyalty programs both have had their troubles with mass account hacking.

While the loyalty programs will always make good for points used by hackers, it’s always important to check your balances frequently for discrepancies and to maintain a strong password.

HT: sruly, via DDF

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Excellent Business Class Availability To Europe On The Most Lucrative Transatlantic British Airways Avios Route

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Related post (Read this first!): Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios
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British Airways Avios are awesome for short-haul domestic flights which have no fuel surcharges.  Flights that cross the Atlantic usually have fuel surcharges, but notable exceptions are flights on Air Berlin and Aer Lingus.

The Boston to Dublin and Boston to Shannon routes on Aer Lingus fall into the same zone as a flight from NYC to LA and therefore cost just 12.5K Avios each way in coach or 25K Avios each way in business class.  Those are incredible bargains, especially as they aren’t slammed with heavy fuel surcharges.

The JFK to Dublin route on Aer Lingus is 20K Avios each way in coach or 40K Avios each way in business class.

You can also use 4.5K Avios to fly from JFK or LGA to Boston, saving 3K Avios each way on a coach ticket or 10.5K Avios each way on a business class ticket versus flying nonstop from JFK.

Of course you can also use Avios to get to Boston or NYC:

Click here to view 29 Direct Avios Flights From Boston

Click here to view 102 Direct Avios Flights From NYC

It’s precisely these flights that British Airways is attacking in their upcoming devaluation on 04/28.  The Boston to Dublin route will increase to 37.5K Avios each way and the JFK to Dublin route will increase to 60K Avios each way.  Coach rates aren’t changing next month and neither are short-haul business class rates on popular routes like NYC-Toronto.

Aer Lingus flights don’t show up on BA.com, however Aer Lingus does partner with United and the availability generally matches what most BA agents have access to.  When calling BA to book travel on Aer Lingus be sure to have them waive the phone booking fee as you can’t book Aer Lingus flights online.

United charges 30K each way in coach and 70K each way in business, making this a great use of 12.5K or 25K Avios.

I searched for 4 seats on United.com from Boston to Dublin and from JFK to Dublin and availability was incredible.  In order to force the United.com award calendar to only display Aer Lingus flights just check the “nonstop flights only” button.

Note that the “nonstop flights only” button only works if there is nonstop availability on the date that you are searching, so just search for any of the dates in blue or green in the calendar below and then scroll to an earlier or later month as needed.

Dates in blue means business class only, while dates in green mean that both coach and business is available.

 

Boston-Dublin 4 passenger nonstop award calendar:

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JFK-Dublin 4 passenger nonstop award calendar:

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Of course you can fly from Dublin to elsewhere in Europe or to Israel with Avios on the cheap as well. Just remember that the Aer Lingus options won’t show up on BA.com.  In order to save on fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights on carriers besides Aer Lingus and Air Berlin you have to have earned at least 1 Avios in the previous 12 months.  A transfer of at least 1 Avios into your account will unlock those savings.

You can also use just 25,000 Singapore miles (transferable from all of the major currencies) to fly in business class between Europe and Israel.  You’ll have to call Singapore to book, but you can search award space on United.com for that as well. A routing via Zurich will yield lie-flat business class between Zurich and Tel Aviv.

HT: zow and EJB, via DDF

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Get A 40% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways Avios!

Saturday, January 31st, 2015

Update: Today is the final day for this transfer bonus.

Yes, as announced 2 days ago there will be a BA devaluation coming in 3 months.  But perhaps that just might be a good thing?

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Related post: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios
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Originally posted on 12/15/14:

BA/MR Promo Offer Linky

-Through 01/31/15 you will get 1,400 Avios for every 1,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points transferred to BA.

This is only valid for US cardholders.

Previous MR->Avios bonus offers:
11/27/11=30%
03/15/12=50%
08/28/12=40%
12/03/12=30%
04/22/13=35%
10/15/13=20%

About British Airways Avios:

-BA Avios are awesome.  They effectively fill the gap that is left by the major programs like American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus.  The major programs provide a fantastic value for long-haul flights, especially for one-way flights, last-minute flights, stopover flights, or flights in business or first class.  But most programs are not great for short flights.

In 2011 BA launched the Avios program and for the past 3 years it has continued to provide an incredible value for short-haul flights.  I’ve booked dozens of short-haul tickets using Avios for travel on American.  A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days or if you book last-minute.  But BA allows me to use just 9,000 Avios for that same flight, a whopping value of over 13 cents per mile.  I can hop over to Chicago or NYC on a whim without any kind of mileage regret like I used to have in the pre-Avios days.

-Avoiding fuel surcharges:
-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American or USAirways within the Western Hemisphere. Flights start at 4,500 Avios plus $5.60.
-Air Berlin flights still have no fuel surcharges systemwide and remain the cheapest way to get to Israel. They have flights to Israel from Berlin, Dusseldorf, or Munich for 10K Avios. Flights to several US cities cost just 20K Avios.

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-Niki flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. They fly from Israel to Vienna for 10K Avios.
-Aer Lingus flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide, though they can only be booked over the phone.. A flight from Boston to Dublin or Shannon is just 12,500 Avios in coach or 25,000 Avios in business. From there you can fly elsewhere within Europe without paying fuel surcharges.  Plus you can fly to Boston from cities like Buffalo, NYC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or Washington DC for just 4.5K Avios. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Alaska flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide with flight starting at just 4,500 Avios. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
-LAN and TAM flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. Some of their flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Flights within Australia, Europe, Japan, and many other countries and regions have little to no fuel surcharges.
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Qantas within Australia.
-Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are also pretty low and you don’t even need to fly all the way to Hong Kong (though you should-great city with awesome kosher food, airport lounges with kosher food, and a business or first class flight you’ll never forget!) to get a taste of their awesome service, seat, pajamas, and amenities. They fly a daily 777 nonstop between JFK and Vancouver which I reviewed in this trip report.
-You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios
-British Airways 5th Freedom Flights (flights that don’t depart from or arrive to the UK) have significantly lower fees. For example even though Singapore-Sydney is a longer flight than NYC-London the fees in first class on Singapore-Sydney are less than half of those from NYC-London.

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.  That saves you $75 compared to other programs.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles listed below!

-Earning or redeeming any amount of Avios extends your entire account validity for another 36 months.

-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lessor of $55 or the taxes you paid.  That means you pay just $5.60 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and you always should book domestic flights as one-ways). That saves you $200 compared to opther programs when you need to cancel.

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.

-Points transfer instantly from MR to BA and there are no fees or taxes for transferring points to British Airways.

-You can search American, Alaska, and USAirways award availability on AA.com and looking for sAAver awards. BA can’t book AAnytime awards, but you should be able to find all AA sAAver awards on BA.com. BA.com does not display all available awards on all airlines, airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN have to be booked over the phone.  Additionally you will have to call BA to make a booking if you see a sAAver award on AA.com that’s not showing on BA.com.

Sample uses:

-7,000 MR points will transfer into 9,800 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip short-haul ticket between New York and places like Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, Pittsbugh, or Toronto or between Miami and the Bahamas or Cancun, on OneWorld partner American. It’s also enough to fly from Melbourne to Sydney, or to many cities within Europe.

-11,000 MR points becomes 15,400 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between New York and Chicago or Florida, from LA to Cabo, or from JFK to Bermuda.

-15,000 MR points becomes 21,000 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between Germany or Austria and Tel Aviv, Chicago and LA, Hong Kong to Singapore, or JFK to Cancun, S. Maarten, or S. Juan,

-18,000 MR points becomes 25,200 Avios, more than enough for a 25K round-trip flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands, New York and the west coast, or New York and Costa Rica. It’s even enough for a round-trip flight between Boston and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus! You’ll have to call to book trips on airlines like Aer Lingus or Alaska.

-25,000 MR points becomes 35,000 Avios, more than enough for a 34K round-trip flight from NYC-Boston-Ireland on Aer Lingus with no fuel surcharges. You must call BA to book Aer Lingus flights.  Fly from Ireland to elsewhere in Europe for 9K Avios round-trip without fuel surcharges by booking over the phone as well.

-29,000 MR points becomes 40,600 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between Dallas and Hawaii or New York and London (though you’ll be hit with fuel surcharges for crossing the Atlantic on most airlines). It’s also enough for a round-trip flight nonstop flight between NYC or Chicago and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus.

-36,000 MR points becomes 50,400 Avios, more than enough for a round-trip flight between New York and Brazil or Argentina.  It’s also more than enough for a round-trip in a lie-flat business class seat between JFK and Vancouver on Cathay Pacific or on business class between Boston and Ireland.

-43,000 MR points becomes 60,200 Avios, enough for a 60K round-trip flight between New York and Tel Aviv on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges.

-50,000 MR points becomes 70,000 Avios, enough for a round-trip flight between the US and Hong Kong in coach. Or fly round-trip in Cathay Pacific lie-flat business class for 100,000 MR points (140,000 Avios).
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American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Need some Membership Rewards points?

-American Express Membership Rewards points transfer instantly at a 1K:1K ratio to Flying Blue and can be earned from credit cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from charge cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

-Key perks of The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express:
-Signup bonus: 15K Membership Rewards points (21K Avios with a 40% bonus) for spending $1,000 within 3 months. There is a $95 annual fee.
-One of the best cards that exist for everyday spending thanks to a 50% point bonus for making 30 transactions per billing period. That’s 1.5 points per dollar everywhere you shop. At a conservative 1.6 cents per point valuation that’s a minimum of 2.4% back.
-4.5 points per dollar on up to $6,000 per year at grocery stores if you make 30 transactions that month (3 points if you don’t). At a conservative 1.6 cents per point valuation that’s 7.2% back.
-3 points per dollar on gas and Uber if you make 30 transactions that month (2 points if you don’t). At a conservative 1.6 cents per point valuation that’s 4.8% back.
-Up to 99 fee-free additional cards that each qualify for AMEX promotions.
-Transfer points to all Membership Rewards airline and hotel partners.
You can easily track how many transactions you have on the AMEX site and at the end of the month you can just buy $0.50 Amazon gift cards in as many transactions as you need to get up to 30 for that month. Or just swipe to add a quarter to people’s parking meters. Note that even if you return an item it doesn’t subtract the original transaction.
Signup bonus:
The EveryDay Preferred card has a $95 annual fee, but that’s low considering it’s one of the only card that gives 1.5 real airline miles (not fake bank miles) per dollar everywhere. The only other card that does that is the United Club card which costs $395 per year.

-Key perks of The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express:
-Signup bonus: 10K Membership Rewards points (14K Avios with a 40% bonus) for spending $1,000 within 3 months. There is no annual fee.
-The only no-annual fee card that can transfer points into real airline miles.
-20% point bonus for making 20 transactions per billing period. That’s 1.2 points per dollar everywhere you shop.
-2.4 points per dollar on up to $6,000 per year at grocery stores if you make 30 transactions that month (2 points if you don’t).
-3 points per dollar on Uber if you make 30 transactions that month (2 points if you don’t).
-Up to 99 fee-free additional cards that each qualify for AMEX promotions.
-Transfer points to all Membership Rewards airline and hotel partners.

-Key perks of the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card
-Signup bonus: 25K Membership Rewards points (35K Avios with a 40% bonus) for spending $2,000 within 3 months. The $175 annual fee is waived for the first year.
-3 points per dollar on airfare.
-2 points per dollar on gas and groceries.

-Key perks of The Platinum Card® from American Express.
-Signup bonus: 40K Membership Rewards points (56K Avios with a 40% bonus) for spending $3,000 within 3 months. $450 annual fee.

-Every calendar year you can get a $200 airline fee refunds.  That means in your first cardmembership year you can get a $600 refund thanks to a $200 credit in 2014, a $200 credit in 2015, and a $200 credit in 2016 if you get the card right now…

-Centurion lounge access: Bring your entire family or you and 2 guests into lounges in Dallas, Las Vegas LaGuardia, San Francisco, and more to come. Miami will be the next to open.  There are also lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico.
-Airspace lounge access: Bring your entire family or you and 2 guests into lounges in Baltimore, Cleveland, JFK (JetBlue terminal), San Diego, and more to come.  These are modern lounges with free premium coffee, bottled water, and self service soft drinks.  Additionally you and every guest also gets a gift card valid towards purchasing premium alcohol, local craft beers, cocktails, and meals.
-Priority Pass lounge access.  There are over 600 lounges worldwide that accept Priority Pass and you can access all of them for free.  In Newark you can access the Art & Lounge.  That’s the same lounge that El Al provides for their business and first class passengers. It has exclusively kosher food and Israeli art.  In Tel Aviv you can access the Dan lounge.  See the Priority Pass site for their complete list of lounges. Note that you can’t access United lounges with the Priority Pass membership that you get from the Platinum card.  You don’t get any free guests, but secondary Platinum cardholders can get their own free Priority pass membership.
-Delta SkyClub access:  Platinum cardholders can also access Delta Skyclubs, though they can no longer bring in free guests there.  However you can add 3 additional users onto a personal Platinum card for $175 (That’s just $58.33 per additional cardholder per year).  Secondary users do get full lounge access so they will have access to Delta and Priority Pass lounges for themselves and they will be able to guest others into Airspace and Centurion lounges.
-TSA Pre-Check makes flying pleasant again. Shorter lines, no need to remove your shoes, belt, jacket, or hat. You can keep your laptop and freedom baggie with liquids in your carry-on. And you go through a good old fashioned metal detector instead of assuming the position in a nude-o-scope.  It costs $85 for 5 years but you’ll get an $85 statement credit when you pay with a Platinum card. Additional cardholders get it free as well.
-Or you can get Global Entry which includes TSA Pre-Check for free.  Normally Global Entry costs $100 and it also lets you bypass the customs line when returning from abroad. If you charge it on your Platinum card the fee will be refunded.  Additional cardholders qualify for a Global Entry fee refund as well.
-Platinum cardholders get Starwood Gold elite status for free.  That gets you free Wi-Fi or you can get a 250 point rebate every time you stay at a Starwood hotel-even if you are on an award stay!  It also gets you free upgrades and 4pm late checkout.
-The card also comes with free checked baggage insurance and it has no foreign exchange fees.  And of course it comes with all of the amazing purchase protections that other American Express cards have as well.
-Lost item protection: If you buy something on your Platinum card up to $10,000 and lose it within 90 days of purchase it will be fully covered.  No other card I’m aware of offers lost item protection.  Many cards offer stolen item protection, but that requires a police report to be filed and often it has a cap of just $1,000.

HT: Meir613, via DDF

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Is The British Airways Devaluation Actually A Good Thing?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Related post: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted To Know About British Airways Avios: Tips, Tricks, And Advice You Need To Know To Maximize Your Avios
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A couple days ago I wrote about the upcoming BA devaluation and created award charts showing the exact changes. Many commenters were angry at BA for announcing a devaluation after making a 40% AMEX transfer bonus.

However I’m not distraught over it like I was with other devaluations (see also: Hilton, Hyatt, United, El Al).

Ironically people were also angry at BA when they launched Avios in 2011 after making an AMEX transfer bonus and their 100K card signup offers from days of yore.

The thing is that people didn’t realize the value in the Avios program.  Sure it was no longer good for long-haul redemptions, but there are plenty of other programs that excel at that.  BA Avios created a niche where you can redeem miles for a short-haul at an excellent value, something that was previously very tough to do.

And so in an odd sort of way, I’m actually sort of happy with this devaluation.

The most valuable aspect of the BA program are the short haul awards that go for 4.5K, 7.5K, 10K, or 12.5K Avios for an award flight.  Everyone thought that when BA Avios devalued their award chart (which was unchanged since 2011) that those would get slammed. 50% increases would not have been a shock.

However BA has left those awards completely unscathed. In fact they have lowered the cost of those awards when you fly on actual BA flights off-peak. While generally redeeming BA Avios for BA flights is not a good deal due to fuel surcharges, it can make sense within Europe and Africa with their Reward Saver plan that lowers fuel surcharges to nominal amounts.

The most painful part of the devaluation are on business class flights like JFK to Vancouver, JFK to Los Angeles, and Boston to Dublin, where a one-way jumps from 25K to 37.5K.  First class awards on Cathay from JFK to Vancouver or Hong Kong were also a good value.

So yes, that stings.

But the fact they they have reaffirmed their commitment to the ultra-cheap short-haul awards is a great thing.

I flew for 4.5K Avios from Miami to Cancun this week, I mean how can you top that?  The 7.5K and 10K awards also have tons of hidden gems and even the 12.5K awards have gems like flights to Europe or Hawaii without fuel surcharges.

Those are the most unique feature of the Avios program and where awesome values can be found.

Programs rarely devalue their award charts more often than once every few years, so these changes make me confident enough to hold onto a stash of Avios for my short-haul needs for quite a while.

Agree or disagree? Sound off in the comments!

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Chase British Airways Visa Now Free For The First Year For A Limited Time Only!

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Update: The annual fee waiver for the BA card now has a 03/31 end date:

 

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Originally posted on 10/30/14:

Chase British Airways Visa Signature Linky

Signup bonus:
-50,000 British Airways (BA) Avios for spending $2,000 within 3 months.

-With this limited time offer the annual fee is waived on this card for the first year. It is $95 thereafter.  This is the first time this year that the fee has been waived for the first year on this card.

-You will earn 1.25 Avios per dollar spent everywhere and 2.5 Avios per dollar spent on BA tickets. There are no foreign transaction fees and the card includes a chip to use when abroad.

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Related posts:

-Want to learn more about the BA Avios program? Read this article for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips and tricks! If you have a question about Avios it’s probably already been answered there!
-Get A 40% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways Avios!
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Montreal, Toronto, Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, S. Francisco, And 6 Ohio Airports
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 29 Direct Avios Flights From Boston
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 196 Direct Avios Flights From Dallas
-Click to view 12 Direct Avios Flights From Johannesburg
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 120 Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view 102 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
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-BA Avios are awesome.  They effectively fill the gap that is left by the major programs like American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus.  The major programs provide a fantastic value for long-haul flights, especially for one-way flights, last-minute flights, stopover flights, or flights in business or first class.  But most programs are not great for short flights.

In 2011 BA launched the Avios program and for the past 3 years it has continued to provide an incredible value for short-haul flights.  I’ve booked dozens of short-haul tickets using Avios for travel on American.  A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days or if you book last-minute.  But BA allows me to use just 9,000 Avios for that same flight, a whopping value of over 13 cents per mile.  I can hop over to Chicago or NYC on a whim without any kind of mileage regret like I used to have in the pre-Avios days.
-50,000 Avios has gotten me flights that would have otherwise cost over $6,500. Or those same exact flights would run some 140K American miles not even accounting for the $75 expedite fees and $150 cancellation fees that American would charge with their own miles compared to $0 expedite and $5.60 cancellation when booking an American flight with Avios!

And how many other programs can say that they offer a flight to the Caribbean in coach for just 4,500 miles or in first class with 3 free checked bags for 9,000 miles?   A flight from the west coast to Hawaii on American, Alaska, or USAirways is just 12.5K Avios each way.

-Cardholders get 10% off paid BA tickets with promo code: CARDOFFERU

-You can earn a free companion award ticket every year that you spend $30K though it’s only valid for travel on BA or Open Skies.  The companion travels in the same class of service, so if you redeem Avios for a first class ticket your companion flies in first as well for 0 Avios but taxes and fees will be owed.

-Avoiding fuel surcharges:
-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American or USAirways within the Western Hemisphere. Flights start at 4,500 Avios plus $5.60.
-Air Berlin flights still have no fuel surcharges systemwide and remain the cheapest way to get to Israel. They have flights to Israel from Berlin, Dusseldorf, or Munich for 10K Avios. Flights to several US cities cost just 20K Avios.

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-Niki flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. They fly from Israel to Vienna for 10K Avios.
-Aer Lingus flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. A flight from Boston to Dublin or Shannon is just 12,500 Avios. From there you can fly elsewhere within Europe without paying fuel surcharges.  Plus you can fly to Boston from cities like Buffalo, NYC, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, or Washington DC for just 4.5K Avios. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Alaska flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide with flight starting at just 4,500 Avios. These flights can only be booked over the phone.
-LAN and TAM flights have no fuel surcharges systemwide. Some of their flights can only be booked over the phone.
-Flights within Australia, Europe, Japan, and many other countries and regions have little to no fuel surcharges.
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Qantas within Australia.
-Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are also pretty low and you don’t even need to fly all the way to Hong Kong (though you should-great city with awesome kosher food, airport lounges with kosher food, and a business or first class flight you’ll never forget!) to get a taste of their awesome service, seat, pajamas, and amenities. They fly a daily 777 nonstop between JFK and Vancouver which I reviewed in this trip report.
-You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios
-British Airways 5th Freedom Flights (flights that don’t depart from or arrive to the UK) have significantly lower fees. For example even though Singapore-Sydney is a longer flight than NYC-London the fees in first class on Singapore-Sydney are less than half of those from NYC-London.

Advantages of BA Avios over most traditional mileage programs:

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles of a round-trip!

-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lessor of $40 or the taxes you paid.  That means you pay just $5.60 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and it’s part of the reason why I always book domestic flights as one-ways).

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.  When flying domestic you should just add the infant at the airport for free.

-It’s easy to top-off your BA Avios account thanks to their partnerships with all of the transferable points programs. You can transfer Starpoints to BA at a 20K:25K ratio with the built-in 25% transfer bonus or American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to BA at a 1:1 ratio:

-With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a lot of free travel from your Avios.

Award bands include:
Band 1: Flights that are 1-650 miles cost 4,500 Avios.
Sample routes: LGA-Cleveland, LGA-Detroit, LGA-Montreal, LGA-Toronto, Miami-Cancun, Miami-Key West, Miami-Nassau, London-Paris, Melbourne-Sydney, Los Angeles-Las Vegas
Band 2: Flights that are 651-1,151 miles cost 7,500 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-Bermuda, Los Angeles-Cabo San Lucas, LGA-Chicago, LGA-Miami, LGA-West Palm Beach, Philadelphia-Miami.
Band 3: Flights that are 1,151-2,000 miles cost 10,000 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-S. Maarten, JFK-Cancun, JFK-S. Juan, Los Angeles-Chicago, Berlin-Tel Aviv, Hong Kong-Singapore
Band 4: Flights that are 2,001-3,000 miles cost 12,500 Avios.
Sample routes: Boston-Dublin, JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-Vancouver, Los Angeles-Maui, JFK-Costa Rica, Pittsburgh-Los Angeles
Band 5: Flights that are 3,001-4,000 miles cost 20,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-London, NYC-Berlin, Chicago-Dublin, Dallas-Maui
Band 6: Flights that are 4,001-5,500 miles cost 25,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-Buenos Aires, NYC-Rio de Janeiro, London-Johannesburg
Band 7: Flights that are 5,501-6,500 miles cost 30,000 Avios.
Sample route: NYC-Amman
Band 8: Flights that are 6,501-7,000 miles cost 35,000 Avios.
Sample route: S. Francisco-Hong Kong, JFK-Hong Kong
Band 9: Flights that are 7,001 miles or more cost 50,000 Avios.
Sample route: Los Angeles-Sydney, JFK-Sydney

Be sure to read the BA knowledgebase for tips and tricks to make some flights cheaper.

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Other Chase cards you can apply for at the same time include the Chase Southwest Premier(50K signup bonus points for up to $960 of free flights with free award cancellations), the Chase Freedom (which has no annual fee, gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories, and 10% bonus points in 2015 if you have a Chase checking account), the Chase United Explorer (30K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, and it gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more), the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points plus another 5K points for adding a free additional user, no fee the first year, free primary car rental insurance including in the US and Israel, plus 2-2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), the Chase Marriott (with 50K signup points plus a free night upon signup and a free night every subsequent year upon renewal),the Chase Ink Plus (50K signup points, 5 points per dollar on telecom/office supplies, 2 points per dollar on hotels and gas) and the Chase Ink Cash (which has no annual fee and gives 5 points per dollar on telecom/office supplies and 2 points per dollar on dining and gas).

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Avios Destination Charts For Montreal, Toronto, Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, S. Francisco, And 6 Ohio Airports

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Related posts:
-Chase British Airways Visa: Earn 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000, that’s enough for 11 one-way flights! For a limited time only this card’s annual fee is waived for the first year.

-Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 120 Direct Avios Flights From Boston
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 196 Direct Avios Flights From Dallas
-Click to view 12 Direct Avios Flights From Johannesburg
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view 102 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
-Flying Round-Trip To Israel On Air Berlin For 50K American Express Membership Rewards Plus $81 Tax: A Tutorial
-Flying With An Infant With Miles In Business Or First Class? Start Collecting Air Canada Miles Or British Airways Avios
Fly From JFK To Toronto For 4.5K Avios Or $94…And Get 141 Pounds Of Free Luggage! Also: When Redeeming Avios For Business Pays For Itself
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In honor of the thrilling Ohio State championship win last night I’ve compiled Avios lists for all 6 OH airports (yes I’m aware that CVG is not technically in OH) as well as 6 other airports that people have asked for in the past. Feel free to request a list for other airports and I’ll try to cover those as well!

British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and dirt cheap award cancellations. Below are all of the direct flights from several cities that can be booked with Avios.

Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards. If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights. Generally speaking it’s a good idea to book BA flights as one-ways to give you maximum flexibility.

2. Rates are always given in Avios. Currently there is a 40% bonus for transferring AMEX MR points into Avios and there is always a 25% bonus for transferring increments of 20K Starwood Starpoints into Avios. That just means that if a route requires 25K Avios for example you will only need 20K Starpoints and if a route requires 35K Avios for example you will only need 25K AMEX MR points with the current promotion.

3. Routes that are displayed in bold are subject to fuel surcharges, which can add up to to several hundred dollars each way.

4. There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, and TAM. There are also no fuel surcharges for American and USAirways flights within the western hemisphere, for JAL flights within Japan, and for Qantas flights within Australia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways border on the criminal.
You can save on the fuel surcharges imposed on Iberia flights by transferring British Airways Avios into Iberia Avios.

5. In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment.

For example Kauai isn’t on the chart as BA does not have any partners that fly nonstop from any of these 11 airports to Kauai. Though you can always fly to Kauai via Los Angeles or Phoenix for example, just add 12.5K Avios to make a separate booking to Kauai segment with no fuel surcharges on American or Alaska.  Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want.

You can figure out the cost to go to hundreds of other cities by just looking at the related chart links above.  For example a flight from Pittsburgh to Dublin can be had via Boston, so the chart below shows that a flight from Pittsburgh to Boston is 4.5K Avios and the Boston chart linked to above shows that a flight from Boston to Dublin is 12.5K Avios with no fuel surcharges.

6. BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it.

8. Cities in the chart may only have seasonal nonstop service.

9. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
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American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K. Until 12/31/14 the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year as well. This card earns 1.25 Avios per dollar spent. You also get 10% off British Airways flights and can earn a companion pass that is good for a free companion on a coach, business, or first class award ticket if you spend $30K in a calendar year.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express awards 25K signup points with the $65 annual fee waived or the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express.

Those cards both offer a year of Amazon Prime for a limited time only. The Everyday Preferred card earns more points per dollar for everyday purchases than any other card in its class. The Everyday card is the only no annual fee card that allos points transfers into airline miles.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from charge cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

AMEX MR points normally transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios but until 01/31/15 you’ll get 1,400 Avios for every 1K AMEX MR points transferred to British Airways.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom. They can also be earned on business cards like the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.
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View charts of Avios flights from 6 Ohio airports, Montreal, Toronto, Denver, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and S. Francisco after the jump:

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Fly From JFK To Toronto For 4.5K Avios Or $94…And Get 141 Pounds Of Free Luggage! Also: When Redeeming Avios For Business Pays For Itself

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Brazilian carrier TAM has announced that they will start flying nonstop between JFK and Toronto. The flight will operate once daily on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday effective 03/29/15.

It’s a tag-on flight from Sao Paulo and operated so that the 767 doesn’t just sit parked at JFK all day.  It’s a 5th freedom route that allows a foreign carrier to sell tickets on select routes between 2 other countries.  Similar to the JFK-Vancouver 777 route that is sold by Cathay Pacific.

When a foreign carrier operates a route within 1 other country, like Qantas’ JFK-Los Angeles route, it can only be booked when continuing onto Australia.   However the TAM and Cathay routes can be booked by themselves and offer some of the most comfortable seats you’ll find between the US and Canada.

It’s a route that used to be flown by TAM’s merger partner LAN, but that ended a few years ago.

TAM allows 2 free 32KG (70.5 pound) bags on all tickets from the US and Canada, so you’ll get 141 pounds of free checked luggage.

Introductory pricing on the route can be had from JFK to Toronto one-way for $94 and from Toronto to JFK for $128.  If you have 2×50 pound checked bags on other airlines that can set you back $60 each way. 2×70 pound checked bags on American would set you back $260 each way.

Those fares are bookable now on Orbitz.

TAM is a OneWorld airline, so you can use Avios for this route.  The rates are the same as for flights on American, 4.5K Avios in coach and 9K Avios in business each way.

However TAM is currently only releasing 1 coach award seat per flight.  I do expect them to release more award seats as we get closer to the start of these flights.

Want to travel with lots of bags on an award without waiting for that to happen?

You can redeem 9K Avios for a one-way business class flight on American and get 3 free 70 pound bags for a total of 210 pounds of free checked luggage.  That’s an awesome business class redemption, just 4.5K extra miles to go to a business class and from no free bags to 3 free bags!

3×50 pound bags on a coach ticket would set you back $210 each way. 3×70 pound bags on a coach ticket would set you back $510 each way!  Or use a business award to get that for free.

You can earn 50K Avios on the Chase British Airways Visa which has the annual fee waived for a limited time only.

Currently there is a 40% bonus for transferring AMEX MR points into Avios. That means that a round-trip business class redemption with 3 free bags each way will take just 13K AMEX points!

On domestic flights BA charges triple the Avios for business class.

However on international flights it’s just double the Avios, so it’s worth bearing in mind that flying in American business class comes with 3 free bags as it will often make sense to splurge for the extra 4.5K or 7.5K Avios just to get the free bags.

So the next time you use Avios to fly on a short flight to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Central America do it in business if you will have several checked bags.

If you’re a family consider flying 1 or 2 members in business to get 3 free bags each.  If you just want to sit together they’ll be happy to seat you all in coach and you’ll just have used the extra Avios for the free bags 😀

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12 Nonstop Flights From Johannesburg That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

-Chase British Airways Visa: Earn 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000, that’s enough for 11 one-way flights! Until 12/31/14 this card’s annual fee is waived for the first year.
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 29 Direct Avios Flights From Boston
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 196 Direct Avios Flights From Dallas
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 120 Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view 103 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
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A special international edition of the Avios Route Roundup in honor of today’s fare glitch on Etihad 😀
Dirt cheap flights to Joburg are still available as of the time of this posting!

Feel free to use this post to comment on the best trip ideas and tips for people flying to Joburg. More info can also be found on DDF.

British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and dirt cheap award cancellations.

Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards. If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights.

2. Rates are always given in Avios. Currently there is a 40% bonus for transferring AMEX MR points into Avios and there is always a 25% bonus for transferring increments of 20K Starwood Starpoints into Avios. That just means that if a route requires 25K Avios for example you will only need 20K Starpoints and if a route requires 35K Avios for example you will only need 25K AMEX MR points with the current promotion.

3. There are fuel surcharges on all flights from Johannesburg. Therefore I’ve included the total fees owed on each one-way flight.

4. In the charts below I’ve only included nonstop flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment.

5. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
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American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K. Until 12/31/14 the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year as well. This card earns 1.25 Avios per dollar spent. You also get 10% off British Airways flights and can earn a companion pass that is good for a free companion on a coach, business, or first class award ticket if you spend $30K in a calendar year.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express awards 25K signup points with the $65 annual fee waived or the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express.

Those cards both offer a year of Amazon Prime for a limited time only. The Everyday Preferred card earns more points per dollar for everyday purchases than any other card in its class. The Everyday card is the only no annual fee card that allos points transfers into airline miles.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from charge cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

AMEX MR points normally transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios but until 01/31/15 you’ll get 1,400 Avios for every 1K AMEX MR points transferred to British Airways.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom. They can also be earned on business cards like the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

One way rates from Johannesburg:

DestinationAirlineCoachBusinessFirst
Cape Town, SABritish Airways7.5K+$4415K+$50-
Doha, QatarQatar20K+$15440K+$180-
Durban, SABritish Airways4.5K+$449K+$50-
Harare, ZimbabweBritish Airways4.5K+$449K+$50-
Hong KongCathay Pacific35K+$13070K+$130-
Livingstone, ZambiaBritish Airways4.5K+$449K+$50-
LondonBritish Airways25K+$20750K+$34275K+$342
MauritiusBritish Airways10K+$4420K+$50-
Port Elizabeth, SABritish Airways4.5K+$449K+$50-
SydneyQantas35K+$23270K+$237-
Victoria FallsBritish Airways4.5K+$449K+$50-
Windhoek, NamibiaBritish Airways7.5K+$4415K+$50-

Find a mistake? Post a comment!

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196 Direct Flights From Dallas That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

8th in a series.

-Chase British Airways Visa: Earn 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000, that’s enough for 11 one-way flights! Until 12/31/14 this card’s annual fee is waived for the first year.
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 29 Direct Avios Flights From Boston
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 120 Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view 103 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
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Did you know that there are 196 places you can fly direct to from Dallas with your BA Avios?

British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and dirt cheap award cancellations. Below are all of the direct flights from Dallas that can be booked with Avios.

Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards. If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights. Generally speaking it’s a good idea to book BA flights as one-ways to give you maximum flexibility.

2. Rates are always given in Avios. Currently there is a 40% bonus for transferring AMEX MR points into Avios and there is always a 25% bonus for transferring increments of 20K Starwood Starpoints into Avios. That just means that if a route requires 25K Avios for example you will only need 20K Starpoints and if a route requires 35K Avios for example you will only need 25K AMEX MR points with the current promotion.

3. Routes that are displayed in bold are subject to fuel surcharges, which can add up to to several hundred dollars each way.

4. There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, and TAM. There are also no fuel surcharges for American and USAirways flights within the western hemisphere, for JAL flights within Japan, and for Qantas flights within Australia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways border on the criminal.
You can save on the fuel surcharges imposed on Iberia flights by transferring British Airways Avios into Iberia Avios.

5. In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment.

For example Kauai isn’t on the chart as BA does not have any partners that fly nonstop from Dallas-Kauai.  Though you can always fly to Kauai via Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, or Seattle for 10K for the Dallas-west coast segment and 12.5K for the West coast-Kauai segment with no fuel surcharges on American or Alaska. Or fly to Phoenix for 7.5K and from Phoenix to Kauai on USAirways for 12.5K. Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want.

6. BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it.

7. In rare cases connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstop flights when using Avios and I’ve noted that in the chart.

8. Cities in the chart may only have seasonal nonstop service.

9. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
————————————————————————

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K. Until 12/31/14 the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year as well.  This card earns 1.25 Avios per dollar spent.  You also get 10% off British Airways flights and can earn a companion pass that is good for a free companion on a coach, business, or first class award ticket if you spend $30K in a calendar year.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express awards 25K signup points with the $65 annual fee waived or the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express and The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express.

Those cards both offer a year of Amazon Prime for a limited time only.  The Everyday Preferred card earns more points per dollar for everyday purchases than any other card in its class. The Everyday card is the only no annual fee card that allos points transfers into airline miles.

You can also earn Membership Rewards points from charge cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express.

AMEX MR points normally transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios but until 01/31/15 you’ll get 1,400 Avios for every 1K AMEX MR points transferred to British Airways.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred or Chase Freedom. They can also be earned on business cards like the Chase Ink Plus or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

—————————————————————-
View the complete 196 route chart after the jump:

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133 Direct Flights From Miami That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Friday, November 7th, 2014

This chart has been updated with lots of new destinations from Miami!

Related:
-Chase British Airways Visa: Earn 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000, that’s enough for 11 one-way flights to the Caribbean! For a limited time only this card’s annual fee is waived for the first year.
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 120 Direct Avios Flights From Boston
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 102 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
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Did you know that there are 133 places you can fly direct to from Miami with your BA Avios?

British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and dirt cheap award cancellations.  Below are all of the direct flights from Boston that can be booked with Avios.

Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards.  If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights. Generally speaking it’s a good idea to book BA flights as one-ways to give you maximum flexibility.

2. Routes that are displayed in bold are subject to fuel surcharges.

3. There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, and TAM. There are also no fuel surcharges for American and USAirways flights within the western hemisphere, for JAL flights within Japan, and for Qantas flights within Australia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways border on the criminal.
You can save on the fuel surcharges imposed on Iberia flights by transferring British Airways Avios into Iberia Avios.

4. In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment. For example Maui isn’t on the chart as no airlines fly nonstop from Miami-Maui.  Though you can always fly to Maui Los Angeles, S. Diego, or Seattle, for 12.5K for the Miami-west coast segment and 12.5K for the West coast-Maui segment with no fuel surcharges. Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want.

Tel Aviv isn’t on the chart as there are no airlines that fly nonstop from Miami to Tel Aviv.  Though you can always fly to Tel Aviv via Berlin for 25K for the Miami-Berlin segment and 10K for the Berlin-Tel Aviv segment with no fuel surcharges.

You can’t fly to Dublin or Shannon nonstop. But if you look at the nonstop flights from Boston you’ll notice you can fly from there to Ireland for just 12.5K Avios in coach or 25K in business. Just book a separate flight to Boston for 10K Avios and you can be in Europe for just 22.5K Avios with no fuel surcharges.

5. BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it.

6. In rare cases connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstop flights when using Avios and I’ve noted that in the chart.

7. Cities in the chart may only have seasonal nonstop service.

8. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
————————————————————————

Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K. For a limited time only the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express awards 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from consumer cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card , the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express , and The Platinum Card® from American Express.
These points can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Non-Preferred, Chase Freedom and business cards like Chase Ink Plus or the Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

—————————————————————-
View the complete chart after the jump:

(more…)

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Breathe Easy Folks, The Reports Of The Death Of British Airways Avios Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Earlier today I took the blogosphere to task for at least half a dozen sensationalist headlines and blog posts about the sky falling for the British Airways Avios program, my favorite mileage currencies for short-haul flights.

I outlined my rationale for why the supposed Iberia Avios changes didn’t have to mean anything for the British Airways program.

Gary commented on that post that the Iberia changes signaled a real risk for British Airways Avios as the Iberia changes were huge.

Only problem is that there were no changes.

Turns out that Iberia’s little explored Avios program has never allowed the cheap short-haul rates that we love so much on partner airlines, except for travel Iberia, British Airways, and Vueling.  So nothing has changed at all.  You can still use Iberia Avios to fly on Iberia with low fuel surcharges and you still cannot use Iberia for cheap OneWorld tickets as you were never able to.

Google Cache only takes us back to July 28, but even then you can see the same overpriced OneWorld award chart when using Iberia Avios.

FT member Travellair also sent me this link to the Iberia chart from before the Avios program launched in November 2011.  Turns out all they did when Avios launched was multiply all of the awards by 15.  They never did have the 4.5K awards on most OneWorld partner airlines, those were only offered systemwide via British Airways Avios and Avios.com.

The only thing that I can see that might have changed is that you can now book partner awards on airlines like American on Iberia.com instead of having to call them up. Not that you would want to considering that a LGA-MIA flight would cost 36K Iberia Avios round-trip (as it always has) versus 15K British Airways Avios round-trip.

And so after a bizarre day of blog posts about changes to the Iberia Avios program that never actually happened, British Airways Avios goes on to live another day.

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Do Iberia Changes Forebode British Airways Changes Or Is It Much Ado About Nothing?

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Iberia has changed their partner award chart, significantly raising the miles required to fly on partner airlines. Gary thinks that means that British Airways changes are about to be announced as well.

He says,

“Of course, it makes no sense for Iberia to have this chart and not British Airways. Otherwise, you just transfer your Iberia points over to British Airways Avios and redeem on partners from there. In order to effectively charge so much for partners, you’d expect that both programs would have to more or less move in tandem.”

Since the launch of Avios in November of 2011 it’s been ridiculously cheap to fly on short-haul flights thanks to British Airways Avios. Just 4,500 Avios is enough to fly on partner airlines like American and USAirways without fuel surcharges. It’s quickly become the best way to book domestic flights thanks to the ridiculously low rates, the lack of last-minute booking fees, and the dirt cheap cancellation rates.

There’s always been the feeling that it’s too good to be true even though partner airlines are known to pay very small amounts of cash for partner mileage awards.

But I’m not convinced that the Iberia change means that a devaluation is imminent.

-The Iberia partner award chart has been the same for at least 2 weeks. If British Airways was going to devalue imminently or in tandem, wouldn’t we have heard something by now?

-Iberia eliminated reward saver flights within Europe over a year ago. British Airways still has the program which heavily reduces fuel surcharges when you fly within Europe.

-Iberia Avios have never been the same as British Airways Avios for partner flights. You can’t change or refund a OneWorld ticket booked via Iberia while you can refund a British Airways booked ticket for just the forfeiture of taxes paid ($5.60 for a domestic ticket).

-Iberia has always tried to push their own flights over partner flights. They offer a huge discount on fuel surcharges for booking Iberia flights with Iberia Avios. British Airways charges much higher fuel surcharges for Iberia flights.

Those differences have meant that there have always been arbitrage opportunities and plenty of reasons to convert Iberia Avios to British Airways Avios and vice versa. Saying that the allowance of conversion of Avios in both directions means that they have to move in tandem with this devaluation is dubious logic at best. It’s never been applied until now after all.

The British Airways and Iberia programs have many unique nuances and have different non-alliance partner airlines to earn and redeem miles with.

Additionally British Airways Avios program is run as an independent profit center from the Iberia Avios program and British Airways continues to partner with more American banks and credit cards than Iberia.
Those credit card companies will likely push back against a British Airways devaluation. At the very least they would have to announce that a devaluation is coming or else face the wrath of the banks and the people accumulating their miles. And risk losing the millions of dollars those partner provide.

Gary notes that the Avios program was launched in November 2011 without providing details in advance and that means they have a poor track record. Technically that’s true but they did announce in advance that major changes were coming and when they were coming, well in advance of the Avios launch. I wouldn’t consider that to mean that they have a track record of making unannounced changes.

Even if significant amounts of people start converting their Iberia Avios to British Airways (unlikely as it’s not a very well known feature) they can always turn off the conversion process with more ease than aligning the programs.

Might we see an upcoming British Airways devaluation? Sure. After all as flights get more expensive and the value of a dollar goes down there is mileage inflation as well. Airline consolidation also gives even more ability to devalue miles. That doesn’t mean airlines will kill the golden goose that has provided billions of dollars in income from selling miles to the banks and other partners, but they do have more flexibility to devalue up to a point.

However I don’t think that the Iberia changes prove that imminent changes are inevitable, nor am I running to burn my stash of 500K British Airways Avios for flights I don’t need. If you have flights you want to book anyway, then there’s no reason not to book those now. But otherwise, I’m not panicking at all.

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29 Direct Flights From Boston That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

7th in a series.
Related:
-Chase British Airways Visa: Earn 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000, that’s enough for 11 one-way flights to NYC or 4 one-way flights to Europe with no fuel surcharges.
-Click to view 94 Direct Avios Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC
-Click to view 126 Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view 77 Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view 120 Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view 102 Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view 123 Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
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British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and dirt cheap award cancellations.  Below are all of the direct flights from Boston that can be booked with Avios.

Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards.  If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights. Generally speaking it’s a good idea to book BA flights as one-ways to give you maximum flexibility.
2. Routes that are displayed in bold are subject to fuel surcharges.
3. There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, and TAM. There are also no fuel surcharges for American and USAirways flights within the western hemisphere, for JAL flights within Japan, and for Qantas flights within Australia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways border on the criminal.
You can save on the fuel surcharges imposed on Iberia flights by transferring British Airways Avios into Iberia Avios.
4. In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment. For example Maui isn’t on the chart as BA does not have any partners that fly nonstop from Boston-Maui.  Though you can always fly to Maui via Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, or Seattle, for 12.5K for the Boston-west coast segment and 12.5K for the West coast-Maui segment with no fuel surcharges. Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want.
5. BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it.
6. In rare cases connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstop flights when using Avios and I’ve noted that in the chart.
7. Cities in the chart may only have seasonal nonstop service.
8. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
9. If you are originating in NYC and don’t want to drive to BOS to pickup a flight you’ll probably be better off searching for and booking the NYC-BOS leg for 4.5K separately from the BOS-XYZ leg. First of all that will pull up more flight results. Second, that will stop you from being priced into the much more expensive multi-partner chart. For example a flight from NYC-Boston on American and from Boston-Ireland on Aer Lingus would price out a 35K Avios when booked as 1 ticket or 17K Avios when the Boston-NYC flight is booked separately (for 4.5K Avios) from the Boston-Ireland flight (for 12.5K Avios with no fuel surcharges).
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Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K, 1.25 Avios per dollar spent, and a companion ticket for spending $30K in a year.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Non-Preferred, Chase Freedom and business cards like Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX each award 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus. Note that Starwood point transfers are not instant.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold. These points can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

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View the complete 29 route chart after the jump:

Click here to keep reading this post!

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94 Direct Flights From Baltimore/Washington DC That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Monday, May 26th, 2014

6th in a series.
Related:
-Chase British Airways Visa:
Earn 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000.
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
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British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and practically free award cancellations.  Below are all of the direct flights from Philadelphia that can be booked with Avios.

Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase and the 22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards.  If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights.
2. Routes that are displayed in bold are subject to fuel surcharges.
3. There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, and TAM. There are also no fuel surcharges for American and USAirways flights within the western hemisphere, for JAL flights within Japan, and for Qantas flights within Australia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways border on the criminal.
4. In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment. For example Maui isn’t on the chart as BA does not have any partners that fly nonstop from Washington DC-Maui.  Though you can always fly to Maui via Los Angeles, Portland, or Seattle, for 12.5K for the Washington DC-west coast segment and 12.5K for the West coast-Maui segment with no fuel surcharges. Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want.
5. BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it.
6. In rare cases connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstop flights when using Avios and I’ve noted that in the chart.
7. Cities in the chart may only have seasonal nonstop service.
8. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
9. If you are originating in NYC and don’t want to drive to WAS to pickup a flight you’ll probably be better off searching for and booking the NYC-WAS leg for 4.5K separately from the WAS-XYZ leg.
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Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Non-Preferred, Chase Freedom and business cards like Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.
Through 06/01 the Ink cards receive 10K more signup points than usual.

-The Starwood Consumer AMEX and the Starwood Business AMEX each award 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold. These points can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

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View the complete 94 route chart after the jump:

Click here to keep reading this post!

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22 Things To Keep In Mind When Using Avios

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Related:
-Chase British Airways Visa:
Earn 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000.
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Chicago
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Los Angeles
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Miami
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From NYC
-Click to view Direct Avios Flights From Philadelphia
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BA has an excellent mileage program with their Avios thanks to award flights from just 4.5K Avios each way with no last-minute booking fees and practically no cancellation fees.  Booking a last-minute flight that would otherwise cost $1,500 or require 150,000 Capital One points feels great, but it helps to know some of the program’s quirks though.

Read the BA knowledgebase for program basics, then come back and read this.

1. If you’re flexible with availability, use AA.com to help find award availability. 

By limiting the AA.com calendar to nonstop flights only you can quickly figure out exactly what BA.com will find.  Remember that BA.com will only book MileSAAver awards.

Also remember that AA.com does not search all partner airlines.  It can search for flights on AA, Air Berlin, Alaska, BA, Finnair, Open Skies, Qantas, Royal Jordanian Airlines, and USAirways. AA.com does not search Aer Lingus, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, JAL, LAN, Malaysia, TAM, Qatar, S7.

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2. Search BA.com segment by segment.

The BA site is downright terrible at finding any flight that requires a connection.  That means if you want to fly from Vancouver to Boston you’re going to have to search for 2 separate tickets.  As BA charges a flat rate for each flight segment you’ll pay the same amount of Avios whether you book 2 flights on 1 ticket or on 2 tickets.

Search for a paid flight on Orbitz to find possible connection cities to know which segments to search for.

Searching from Vancouver to JFK:

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Searching from Vancouver to Boston:

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Searching from JFK to Boston:

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3. Call BA to book airlines not bookable on BA.com and ask for a fee waiver.

BA.com can’t book awards on Aer Lingus, Alaska, or LAN.  There are lots of Avios bargains with those airlines (Boston-Dublin for 12.5K, Seattle-Kauai for 12.5K, Buenos Aires-Iguassu Falls for 7.5K, etc) but you need to call to book.  Be sure to get them to waive the phone booking fee.

You can also call to piece together a flight from JFK to Berlin to Tel Aviv onto 1 ticket.  If you’re willing to take a long connection or an overnight stopover BA.com won’t find that when you search for JFK-Tel Aviv but you may find JFK-Berlin and Berlin-Tel Aviv award space when searched separately.  Either way you’ll pay the same 15K Avios for each segment, but when booked together you’ll save on German taxes that only apply to non-connecting flights.  Call and BA will be able to book both segments on one ticket to avoid those taxes.

4. Book one-way tickets.

When you book one way tickets you’ll have more flexibility to make changes if you only want to change or cancel one-way and not the other.
You may also find better award availability and better award pricing with one-way tickets.

5. Avoid booking 2 partner airlines on 1 ticket.
Booking at least 2 partner airlines will generally cause much higher award pricing. Book the segments on each airline separately to avoid that situation. Bonus perk is that BA.com will find more flight options when searching each segment separately.

6. Know when to book a lap child and when not to.
-DO NOT book a lap child on a domestic flight. Just have the child added by American or USAirways at the counter, free of charge. Be sure to have a passport or birth certificate to prove your child is under 2.

-DO NOT book a lap child on a flight to Canada. You can add a lap child at the airport or on the phone with American or USAirways either for free or for just a few dollars.

-DO book a lap child at the time of booking for international travel. BA is very generous in only charging 10% of the Avios instead of 10% of the full fare ticket.
When we flew with Rafi to Buenos Aires in first class in 2012, American wanted $1,000 just to bring him on as a lap child. BA charged just 15,000 Avios. Just be sure to book the domestic portion separate from the international portion so that you don’t pay 10% for the domestic legs where the child shouldn’t need to pay anything.

7. Use Finnair to add your American mileage number onto a BA ticket booked from your account.

If you have elite status or just a credit card with AA you may deserve benefits like better seating, free bags, priority checkin, priority boarding, etc.
However if you booked the BA ticket out of your account then the AA website won’t let you switch your BA mileage number to your AA number to get those benefits.

I wrote about the workaround over a year ago and it continues to work like a charm for me.

8. Get your American/USAirways record locator and select seats.
Your BA record locator will be different that your American/USAirways record locator. Just go to manage your booking and click on “View or change seats for this flight.” You’ll be sent over to the partner airline site to choose seats and view your record locator.

9. Have lots of bags? Look into business.
-Flying in coach with 3 bags from Chicago or NYC to Toronto: 4,500 Avios plus $2.50 tax plus $210 in bag fees.
-Flying in business with 3 bags from Chicago or NYC to Toronto: 9,000 Avios plus $2.50 tax plus no bag fees.

10. Business can be twice or three times as much as coach.
-Within the US, business class costs three times what coach costs except on flights like JFK to/from Los Angeles and S. Francisco which have 3 classes of service. On those flights business class is twice coach and first class costs 3 times coach.
-Internationally business class generally costs twice what coach costs.
-Alaska business class always costs triple coach. So Los Angeles-Cabo in business is 15K on AA or 22.5K on Alaska.
-USAirways business class within North America and northern Latin America is triple coach, otherwise its double coach. So JFK-Toronto in business is 9K on American but Philadelphia-Toronto in business is 13.5K on USAirways.

11. Don’t change flights, cancel them. And do it online.
The fee to cancel or change a BA Avios ticket is $55 online or $80 over the phone.
However online you can cancel an award for just the lower of $55 or the taxes paid.
For a domestic ticket that means a cancellation fee of just $2.50 (nonstop one-way), $5 (connecting one-way or nonstop round-trip), or $10 (connecting round-trip).

That’s another reason I like one-ways, I can cancel and rebook the return flight for just $2.50 and I won’t lose my outbound flight. That’s a $55 savings.

Flight cancellations must be done more than 24 hours before the time of departure or else you will not get your Avios back.

After cancelling a flight just logout of your BA account, and then log back in and the points should be back in your account.

Note that you have to call to cancel a flight within 24 hours of when you booked it.  There is no fee for award cancellations done over the phone if they were booked within the past 24 hours.

12. Search multiple airports.
Searching NYC can pull up different results than searching EWR, JFK, or LGA, so search all 4 of those.

13. Be cognizant of nearby airports.
Fort Lauderdale to West Palm Beach may be only 42 miles away, but a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Chicago is 10K Avios in coach or 30K in first. A flight from West Palm Beach to Chicago is 7.5K Avios in coach or 22.5K in first.
That’s because the former is band 3 award and the latter is a band 2 award. More on award bands in the knowledgebase.

Award space from Philadelphia to Miami will often be much better than from NYC, it may be the same rate, but searching surrounding airports can open up more flight options.

14. BA.com glitches.
No, when you see BA doesn’t have the rights to fly this route” that’s not a glitch, that just means you search for a cash ticket instead of switching to an Avios ticket.

But there are lots of other glitches. Sometimes those work out in your favor (though that entails several other great stories that I’ll be saving for another time 😉 ) while other times it will mean that searching for the same flight with the same date will give different results, definitely an annoyance.

Or if you click change when you’re searching for an award without going back to the home page but it gives unexpected results:

ba18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s because the change calendar during the booking process spits out the international version of the date with May 7th being 07/05/14 but when you search it then gives you the results for July 5th.

That’s an easy fix, just manually type in 05/07/14 instead of clicking May 7th on the calendar before searching.

Another glitch is the tax display when you click on a flight on the search results page.  That rate can be off by hundreds of dollars in either direction and it fools lots of people.  Always continue onto the next page to view the true tax rate.

15. Transfer times.
You can transfer points from AMEX Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards instantly into British Airways, so keep them by AMEX or Chase until you need to book a flight.
There are 3 Chase cards that can transfer points into miles: Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Ink Plus , and Chase Ink Bold. (The Ink cards currently earn 60K points for a limited time only).  Cards like Chase Freedom and Chase Ink Cash can’t directly transfer points into miles, you’ll have to transfer those points to a card that belongs to you or your spouse that can transfer points into miles.

Just make a transfer, logout of your BA account, and then log back in and the points should be waiting for you.

Starwood Starpoints transfer at a 20K:25K ratio, though transfers can take 2-12 days.

16. Be aware of when fuel surcharges apply.
There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, TAM, and USAirways. There are also no fuel surcharges for American flights within the western hemisphere and for Qantas flights within Austrlia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways are just criminal.

If you want to fly on British Airways you should be using USAirways miles for those flights, as they currently don’t charge fuel surcharges.

17. Mileage expiration

As long as you have activity every 36 months your Avios don’t expire. You don’t lose Avios by closing their credit card.

Need to extend your Avios quickly? Just book a domestic 4.5K award, wait a day, cancel it for the $2.50 fee, and your Avios are good for another 36 months.

Lost Avios due to expiration? Call them up and they’ll often reactivate them for free!

18. The Iberia Shuffle
If you want to fly on Iberia you can save hundreds of dollars per ticket by transferring BA Avios into Iberia Avios.
To do so you’ll need to have an Iberia account open for 90 days and you’ll have to activate it by transferring 1,000 points from AMEX to Iberia before you can transfer BA Avios into Iberia Avios.

19. Family Pooling
You can pool a households Avios together.
Frankly I’ve never looked into this option too much as Avios award start at just 4.5K anyway and becoming a household creates rules on who you are allowed to redeem for and how points are pulled out of each account that it seems like more of a headache than it’s worth.

If you use a household account and disagree though I’d love to hear about it.

20. Award Bands make for interesting results based on the connecting city.

In general nonstop flights are going to be cheaper than connecting flights with Avios.  You can see the “related articles” in the beginning of this post with links to lists of all nonstop flight options from 5 major cities in the US.

However there are exceptions:
-Los Angeles to Sydney nonstop is a band 9 award, or 100,000 Avios round-trip.
-Los Angeles to Honolulu is a band 4 award, or 25,000 Avios round-trip. Honolulu to Sydney is a band 6 award, or 50,000 Avios round-trip. That’s a total of just 75,000 Avios round-trip when booked separately…

-Los Angeles to Dublin via JFK=65,000 Avios round-trip.
-Los Angeles to Dublin via Chicago=60,000 Avios round-trip.
-Los Angeles to Dublin via Boston=50,000 Avios round-trip.

 

21. Award availability is fluid.
This has nothing to do with Avios specifically, but some folks seem to think that if they check award space and see nothing then that’s it.

Award space is always very fluid and can open up as the flight gets closer. You just have to keep checking a few times a day to make sure you can grab it when it opens.

22. Be willing to stopover.
Again, not unique to Avios, but something that applies to it in particular.

There might not be availability JFK to Hawaii on the day you need it, but there may be if you stopoff in Los Angeles for a night.
There might not be availability JFK to Tel Aviv on the day you need it, but there may be if you stopoff in Berlin for a night.

As BA charges by the segment you can take as many “stopovers” as you want without paying extra by just booking separate tickets for each flight. Creating your own adventure can be a blast and it can help you find award space when it might not otherwise exist.

Have more tips? Let’s hear about them in the comments!

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Why Is BA.com Mispricing Some Round-Trip Avios Awards?

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Update: As commenters point out, this pricing is intentional.  After booking dozens of BA flights you’d think I’d realize this by now, but if you book at least 2 BA partner airlines on the same ticket then the pricing will be based on the multi-carrier award chart which is completely different than the low per-segment Avios pricing we’re used to.

At any rate, the lesson remains the same, book one-way (or one-segment tickets) if needed to avoid that situation.

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Related: The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K. Points are also transferable to BA from Chase UR, AMEX MR, and Starwood.
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DDF techie wiz BAHayman asked me why the following round-trip itinerary is pricing out at 90K Avios and frankly I’m stumped:

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When booked as 2 one-ways the price is correct at 64,500 Avios total.

Tel Aviv-Berlin is 10K, Berlin-JFK is 20K as it should be:

 

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LGA-Philadelphia is 4.5K and Philadelphia-Tel Aviv is 30K, as it should be:

 

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I was able to replicate this for several dates.  Anyone have any idea as to what the BA.com pricing logic might be?

In the meantime as I wrote in the BA knowledgebase (albeit for other reasons), book one-ways when using Avios.  Sometimes you’ll even have to book the ticket above as 4 separate tickets to get BA.com to show the flights, but the price will still be 64.5K Avios.

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USAirways Not Collecting Fuel Surcharges For Travel On British Airways

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

I’ve flown on tons of airlines, but never on British Airways.  They may be a great airline with some of the best kosher meals in the sky and in the lounges, but they impose such heavy fuel surcharges that I’ve never had much of a desire to fly on them.

Don’t get me wrong, British Airways runs a good mileage program as long as you stick to airlines without fuel surcharges.  That includes flights on Alaska, Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, LAN, USAirways, American flights within the Western Hemisphere, Qantas flights within Australia, etc. Flights within Europe and on Cathay Pacific also have low surcharges.

But flights on British Airways are just ridiculous.  JFK-London-Tel Aviv and back in first class is 195,000 Avios plus $1,054.

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I’ve heard through the grapevine about USAirways not collecting fuel surcharges for BA flights but posting something like that is sure to get it killed.  I think it could have lasted a while had it stayed within the grapevine and talked about at seminars and the like. However lots of major websites and blogs are covering this story now, so I’m posting it now as well as it will surely die soon anyway.

BA forces airlines like Alaska and American to collect fuel surcharges for their flights, something that other airlines don’t do.  You can use LAN kilometers to book BA flights without fuel surcharges, but that got much less attractive after Starwood slashed the overly generous transfer ratio to them.

I called USAirways to hold the first class itinerary pictured above and was quoted 180,000 miles plus $158.70 in tax and $50 award processing.  In business class it would have been 120,000 miles.

The easiest way to search for availability for BA flights is on AA.com. Once you find what you want just call USAirways to book.  You can’t book BA flights on USAirways.com. Be aware that USAirways has lots of incompetent agents, so it may take a few calls to find a rep who knows how to book BA flights.

You can transfer Starpoints to USAirways miles at a 20K:25K ratio.

You can transfer AMEX MR points at a 1:1 ratio into Air Canada Aeroplan and then from Air Canada to USAirways via Points.com. Up to 100,000 miles can be transferred out of one Aeroplan account per year and 100,000 miles would yield 84,011 USAirways miles.

It’s a great deal, enjoy it while it lasts as it won’t last long.  And bear in mind that while you can hold tickets with USAirways for 3 days, they can add fuel surcharges into the quote until you actually confirm your ticket.

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123 Direct Flights From Philadelphia That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

-Click here to view Direct Flights From NYC That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Chicago That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Los Angeles That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Miami That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
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British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to ultra-low award rates, no expedite/close-in fees, and practically free award cancellations.  Below are all of the direct flights from Philadelphia that can be booked with Avios.

Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase for everything you NEED to know about the BA program and how to best search for BA award availability with tips like always booking one-way awards.  If you have a question it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:
1. Rates in the chart are for one-way flights.
2. Routes that display the airline in bold are subject to fuel surcharges.
3. There are no fuel surcharges for flights on: Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, LAN, and USAirways. There are also no fuel surcharges for American flights within the western hemisphere and for Qantas flights within Austrlia. Fuel surcharges for intra-Europe flights are also typically quite low. Fuel surcharges for travel on Cathay Pacific aren’t too bad while fuel surcharges to fly on British Airways borders on the criminal.
4. In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment. For example Maui isn’t on the chart as BA does not have any partners that fly nonstop from Philadelphia-Maui.  Though you can always fly to Maui via Los Angeles, S. Diego, or Seattle, for 12.5K for the PHL-west coast segment and 12.5K for the West coast-Maui segment with no fuel surcharges. Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want.
5. BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it.
6. In rare cases connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstop flights when using Avios and I’ve noted that in the chart.
7. Cities in the chart may only have seasonal nonstop service.
8. A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
9. If you are originating in NYC and don’t want to drive to PHL to pickup a flight you’ll probably be better off searching for and booking the NYC-PHL leg for 4.5K separately from the PHL-XYZ leg.
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Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express awards 25K signup pointswith no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and the and The Platinum Card® from American Express.
These points can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios and typically several times per year there are bonuses that range from 20%-50% to transfer points to BA.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Non-Preferred, Chase Freedom and business cards like Chase Ink Plus, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

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View the complete 123 route chart after the jump:

(more…)

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A Sad, Sad Day For ATL, CLE, DCA, And MSP Flyers

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Within hours of British Airways launching the Avios program in November of 2011 I noted how the 4.5K short-haul flights like from LaGuardia-Cleveland were real bargains.

There are currently 4 daily round-trip flights between Cleveland and LaGuardia but they will soon kill the route thanks to the USAirways merger.

No word on the status of the 1 daily flight between Cleveland and JFK, but that’s typically tough to get on an award and if the flight stays on it will likely become near impossible.  Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll see CLE-JFK gain a daily frequency but it seems unlikely.  There’s just too much competition on the route with 3 daily Delta flights from CLE-LGA, 8 United flights from CLE-LGA, 1 Delta flight from CLE-JFK, and 6 United flights from CLE-EWR. There are 2 daily Airtran/Southwest flights from nearby CAK-LGA. And Frontier also starts CLE-Trenton, NJ twice a week starting next month.

Even worse off are folks from Atlanta and Minneapolis.  They don’t even have service to JFK and their LGA flights are being axed as well.

Routes that will soon be killed as per today’s announcement:
Atlanta-LaGuardia
Cleveland-LaGuardia
Minneapolis-LaGuardia
Augusta, Ga.-Washington DCA
Detroit-Washington DCA
Fayetteville, N.C.-Washington DCA
Fort Myers-Washington DCA will become seasonal only
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-Washington DCA
Islip, N.Y.-Washington DCA
Jacksonville, N.C.-Washington DCA
Little Rock-Washington DCA
Minneapolis-Washington DCA
Montreal-Washington DCA
Myrtle Beach-Washington DCA
Nassau, Bahamas-Washington DCA
Omaha, Neb.-Washington DCA
Pensacola, Fla-Washington DCA
San Diego-Washington DCA
Savannah-Washington DCA
Tallahassee-Washington DCA
Wilmington, N.C.-Washington DCA

New additions:
Los Angeles-Washington DCA goes from 1 flight to 2.
Charlottesville, Va.-LGA
Dayton, Ohio-LGA
Greensboro, N.C.-LGA
Knoxville, Tenn.-LGA
Little Rock, Ark.-LGA
Louisville, Ky.-LGA
Norfolk, Va.-LGA
Richmond, Va.-LGA
Roanoke, Va.-LGA
Wilmington, N.C.-LGA

HT: kracked dude, via DDF

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Get A 20% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways Avios

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Update: This offer ends 12/31.

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Related posts:
-Chase British Airways Visa

-Want to learn more about the BA Avios program. I’ve written up an entire knowledgebase of facts that you can peruse. Read it and you’ll probably find an answer to your question!
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Chicago That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Los Angeles That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Miami That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From NYC That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Flying Round-Trip To Israel On Air Berlin For 50K American Express Membership Rewards Plus $81 Tax: A Tutorial
-More BA.com Improvements: Choose Your Seat On Partner Flights
-Flying With An Infant With Miles In Business Or First Class? Start Collecting Air Canada Miles Or British Airways Avios
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BA/MR Promo Offer Linky

-Through 12/31/13 you will get 1,200 Avios for every 1,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points transferred to BA.

This isn’t as good as part transfer bonuses that we’ve seen in the past.  If you anticipate the need for Avios in the near-term then go ahead and transfer but there should be a better offer available in the first half of 2014.
Previous MR->Avios bonus offers:
11/27/11=30%
03/15/12=50%
08/28/12=40%
12/03/12=30%
04/22/13=35%
10/15/13=20%

-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American Airlines within the Western Hemisphere,  There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, or LAN worldwide.

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles listed below!

-Earning or redeeming any amount of Avios extends your entire account validity for another 36 months.

-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lessor of $40 or the taxes you paid.  That means you pay just $2.50 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and it’s why I always book cheap domestic flights as one-ways)

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.

-You can transfer points from an American Express Membership Rewards account to anyone’s British Airways account, names don’t have to match.

-Points transfer instantly from MR to BA and there are no fees or taxes for transferring points to British Airways.

-British Airways charges double miles for business class and triple miles for first class. Beware that on AA’s domestic 2 class planes they charge first class rates for what is really just a poor excuse for business class.

-You can search AA and Alaska award availability on AA.com and looking for sAAver awards. BA can’t book AAnytime awards, but you should be able to find all AA sAAver awards on BA.com. BA.com does not display all available awards on all airlines, airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN have to be booked over the phone.  Additionally you will have to call BA to make a booking if you see a sAAver award on AA.com that’s not showing on BA.com.

Sample uses:

-8,000 MR points will transfer into 9,600 Avios, more than enough for a 9K round-trip short-haul ticket between New York and places like Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, or Toronto or between Miami and the Bahamas, on OneWorld partner American.

-13,000 MR points becomes 15,600 Avios, more than enough for a 15K round-trip flight between New York and Chicago or Florida or from LA to Cabo.

-17,000 MR points becomes 20,400 Avios, more than enough for a 20K round-trip flight between Chicago and LA.

-21,000 MR points becomes 25,200 Avios, more than enough for a 25K round-trip flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands, New York and the west coast, or New York and Costa Rica. It’s even enough for a round-trip flight between Boston and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus! You’ll have to call to book trips on airlines like Aer Lingus or Alaska.

-34,000 MR points becomes 40,800 Avios, more than enough for a 40K round-trip flight between Dallas and Hawaii or New York and London (though you’ll be hit with fuel surcharges for crossing the Atlantic on most airlines). It’s also enough for a round-trip flight between NYC or Chicago and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus.

-42,000 MR points becomes 50,400 Avios, more than enough for a 50K round-trip flight between New York and Brazil or Argentina with no fuel surcharges.  It’s also more than enough for a round-trip in a lie-flat business class seat between JFK and Vancouver on Cathay Pacific.

-50,000 MR points becomes 60,000 Avios, enough for a 60K round-trip flight between New York and Tel Aviv on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges.
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Need some Membership Rewards points?

-The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card comes with 25,000 points for spending $2,000 and the first year is free.  That will net you some 30,000 Avios.

The Platinum Card® from American Express earns 25K points and you can get $400 of airline fee refunds (or airline gift cards in $100 increments) in one cardmember year. You get a free year of Amazon Prime upon signup. It also comes with a $100 global entry expedited customs (5 year membership) refund, Airspace and Delta lounge access for you and your entire family for at least 4 years, priority pass worldwide unlimited lounge membership, Starwood gold elite status with a point rebate even on award stays, car rental perks at Avis, Hertz, and National, lost item (up to $10,000/item) refund protection, checked baggage protection, 3 additional Platinum users (with 4 years of free platinum card lounge access, priority pass membership, and global entry refund) for just $58 each on the consumer card, no foreign exchange fees, and many more free benefits.  There is a $450 annual fee.  As with all annual fees they are refundable if cancelled within 60 days, they are pro-rated if cancelled after 60 days and have another American Express card (i.e. if you have the card for 3 months and then cancel you would get a $337.50 refund), and they are pro-rated if you downgrade the card even if you have no other American Express card.

The Platinum card also now gives free entry to top-of-the-line Centurion lounges worldwide including in Dallas and Las Vegas with other US airports like LaGuardia and San Francisco among other others opening soon.  There are also lounges in Argentina, Brazil, India, and Mexico.  You can even get a free spa treatment in the DFW lounge!

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Chase British Airways Visa Now Free For The First Year

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

Update: The waived annual fee limited time offer for this card was supposed to have ended almost 3 weeks ago.  This limited time offer was the first time the BA card was offered with the annual fee waived for the first year.
If you’re on the fence and don’t want to miss this offer there’s no better time to apply than right now!

-Want to learn more about the BA Avios program. I’ve written up an entire knowledgebase of facts that you can peruse. Read it and you’ll probably find an answer to your question!

-You can click to view a list of every nonstop flight from:
Chicago
Los Angeles
Miami
NYC (EWR/JFK/LGA)
that can be booked with Avios along with whether there will be a fuel surcharge for that flight.
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Chase British Airways Visa Signature Linky

Signup bonus:
-50,000 British Airways (BA) Avios for spending $2,000 within 3 months.

-With this new offer the annual fee is waived on this card for the first year. It is $95 thereafter.

-You will earn 1.25 Avios per dollar spent everywhere and 2.5 Avios per dollar spent on BA tickets. There are no foreign transaction fees and the card includes a chip to use when abroad.

-BA Avios are awesome.  They effectively fill the gap that is left by the major programs like American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus.  The major programs provide a fantastic value for long-haul flights, especially for one-way flights, last-minute flights, or flights in business or first class.  But programs like American are not great for short flights.

In 2011 BA launched the Avios program which provides an incredible value for short-haul flights.  I’ve booked probably a dozen short-haul tickets in the past year for myself using Avios for travel on their partner, American.  A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days or if you book last-minute.  But BA allows me to use just 9,000 Avios for that same flight, a whopping value of over 13 cents per mile.  Now I can hop over to Chicago or NYC on a whim without any kind of mileage regret like I used to have in the pre-Avios days.
-50,000 Avios has gotten me flights that would have otherwise cost over $6,500. Or those same exact flights would run some 140K American miles not even accounting for the $75 expedite fees and $150 cancellation fees that American would charge with their own miles compared to $0 expedite and $2.50 cancellation when booking an American flight with Avios!

-Cardholders get 10% off paid BA tickets with promo code: CARDOFFERU

-You can earn a free companion award ticket every year that you spend $30K though it’s only valid for travel on BA or Open Skies.  The companion travels in the same class of service, so if you redeem Avios for a first class ticket your companion flies in first as well for 0 Avios but taxes and fees will be owed.

-Avoiding fuel surcharges:
-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American Airlines within the Western Hemisphere
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Qantas within Australia.
-There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, or LAN worldwide. You can fly to Europe without fuel surcharges for as little as 12,500 Avios each way in coach or 25,000 Avios each way in business.
-Flights within Europe also have no fuel surcharges as long as you have earned a single Avios mile in the past 12 months.  That means you can fly to Ireland on Aer Lingus for just 12,500 Avios each way and then fly around Europe from just 4,500 Avios without any fuel surcharges.  Or fly to Israel on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges for just 30K Avios in coach or 50K in business each way.  Bear in mind that Aer Lingus and Alaska Air flights as well as many connecting flights must be booked by calling them, they can’t be booked online though because of that they are willing to waive the phone fee.
-Fuel surcharges on award-winning carrier Cathay Pacific are also pretty low and you don’t even need to fly all the way to Hong Kong (though you should-great city with awesome kosher food, airport lounges with kosher food, and a business or first class flight you’ll never forget!) to get a taste of their awesome service, seat, pajamas, and amenities. They fly a daily 777 nonstop between JFK and Vancouver which I reviewed in this trip report.
-You can significantly cut the fuel surcharges when flying on Iberia by transferring your BA Avios into Iberia Avios. Not that in order to do that you’ll first need to transfer 1,000 points from AMEX MR into Iberia to activate that account.
-British Airways 5th Freedom Flights (flights that don’t depart from or arrive to the UK) have significantly lower fees. For example even though Singapore-Sydney is a longer flight than NYC-London the fees in first class on Singapore-Sydney are less than half of those from NYC-London.

Advantages of BA Avios over most traditional mileage programs:

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles of a round-trip!

-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lessor of $40 or the taxes you paid.  That means you pay just $2.50 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and it’s why I always book cheap domestic flights as one-ways).

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.  When flying domestic you should add the infant at the airport for free.

-It’s easy to top-off your BA Avios account thanks to their partnerships with all of the transferable points programs. You can transfer Starpoints to BA at a 20K:25K ratio with the built-in 25% transfer bonus or American Express Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards to BA at a 1:1 ratio:

-With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a lot of free travel from your Avios.

Award bands include:
Band 1: Flights that are 1-650 miles cost 4,500 Avios.
Sample routes: LGA-Cleveland, LGA-Detroit, LGA-Montreal, LGA-Toronto, Miami-Cancun, Miami-Key West, Miami-Nassau, London-Paris, Melbourne-Sydney, Los Angeles-Las Vegas
Band 2: Flights that are 651-1,151 miles cost 7,500 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-Bermuda, Los Angeles-Cabo San Lucas, LGA-Chicago, LGA-Miami, LGA-West Palm Beach, Philadelphia-Miami.
Band 3: Flights that are 1,151-2,000 miles cost 10,000 Avios.
Sample routes: JFK-S. Maarten, JFK-Cancun, JFK-S. Juan, Los Angeles-Chicago, Berlin-Tel Aviv, Hong Kong-Singapore
Band 4: Flights that are 2,001-3,000 miles cost 12,500 Avios.
Sample routes: Boston-Dublin, JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-Vancouver, Los Angeles-Maui, JFK-Costa Rica, Pittsburgh-Los Angeles
Band 5: Flights that are 3,001-4,000 miles cost 20,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-London, NYC-Berlin, Chicago-Dublin, Dallas-Maui
Band 6: Flights that are 4,001-5,500 miles cost 25,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-Buenos Aires, NYC-Rio de Janeiro, London-Johannesburg
Band 7: Flights that are 5,501-6,500 miles cost 30,000 Avios.
Sample route: NYC-Amman
Band 8: Flights that are 6,501-7,000 miles cost 35,000 Avios.
Sample route: S. Francisco-Hong Kong, JFK-Hong Kong
Band 9: Flights that are 7,001 miles or more cost 50,000 Avios.
Sample route: Los Angeles-Sydney, JFK-Sydney

Be sure to read the BA knowledgebase for tips and tricks to make some flights cheaper.

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Other Chase consumer cards you can get at the time as the BA card include the Chase Sapphire Preferred (40K signup points, no fee the first year, plus 2.14 points per dollar on travel and dining with no Foreign Exchange fees), Chase Southwest Visa (through 10/30 you can get 50K signup points and potentially much more, click here to read about it), Chase Freedom (which gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account), and the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance in most countries worldwide besides Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more).

The Chase Ink Plus and Chase Ink Bold business cards both give 50,000 signup points and offer 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and office supply stores, 2 points per dollar for gas and lodging, no foreign exchange fees, free lounge visits, and a waived annual fee for the first year.

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More BA.com Improvements: Choose Your Seat On Partner Flights

Friday, October 11th, 2013

It’s great to see BA continually invest in improving the BA.com experience.  They have recently made it easier to find partner flights and to compare the cost of flying in different classes of service.

Avios are an incredible way to fly on short flights for just 4,500 or 7,500 Avios each way.  They’re also easy to accumulate thanks to Membership Rewards, Starpoints, and Ultimate Rewards points all having Avios transfer options.

And of course there is the Chase British Airways card which gives 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 with the annual fee waived for the first year.

However they are confusing for people which is why I wrote an Avios Knowledgebase and a tutorial to get American benefits when using Avios on AA flights.

When you book a flight with Avios you get a BA confirmation number that won’t work on AA.com. The big improvement that I haven’t noticed before is that BA.com can now forward you into your AA.com reservation which gives you your AA confirmation number and allows you to select seats.

When I went onto BA.com I logged in, went into “My Bookings,” and entered the BA.com confirmation number.
Then you can click on your flight number and choose “View or change seats for this flight.”

You will then get a message that you will be sent over to American’s website. Agree to that by clicking on reserve seats and you’ll be redirected into your AA.com reservation.

ba3

 

 

 

 

Once forwarded you’ll want to save your AA confirmation number. You’ll be able to use that to checkin on AA.com within 24 hours of your flight to print up your boarding pass.

Besides for choosing seats you may also be able to enter your AA AAdvantage mileage number.
While you don’t collect miles for flights booked with miles you can get a free bag for yourself and everyone on your itinerary if you have AA elite status or the Citi AA credit card. Elites can also select preferred seating once their mileage number is in the reservation.

If you are unable to enter your AA number in your reservation you can still use the Finnair workaround that I wrote about in this post.

HT: Meir W.

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77 Direct Flights From Los Angeles That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Monday, October 7th, 2013

4th in a series.
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Chicago That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From Miami That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From NYC That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
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Did you know that there are 77 places you can fly to from Los Angeles nonstop with your BA Avios?
British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to low award rates, no expedite fees, and practically free award cancellations.  Here are all of the direct flights from Los Angeles that can be booked with Avios.  Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase for everything you NEED to know about the BA program.  If you have any questions it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:

-Rates in the chart are for one-way flights.
-Routes that display the airline in bold are subject to fuel surcharges.
-In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment.
-In other words Tel Aviv isn’t on the chart as there are no BA partners that fly nonstop from Los Angeles to Tel Aviv.  Though you can always fly to Tel Aviv via Berlin or Dusseldorf for 30K for the overseas segment and 10K for the Berlin/Dusseldorf-Tel Aviv segment with no fuel surcharges.  It can help to search for Los Angeles-Berlin Dusseldorf and Berlin or Dusseldorf-Tel Aviv separately.
-BA.com does not display availability for all airlines! If you want to book travel on airlines like Alaska, Aer Lingus, and LAN you’ll need to pick up the phone and call BA! You can search Alaska award availability on AA.com before calling BA to book it.
-In rare cases connecting flights can be cheaper than nonstop flights when using Avios and I’ve noted that in the chart.
-Cities in the chart may only have seasonal service.
-A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
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Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express awards 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus. Currently there is another 25% stackable bonus which will turn every 20K Starpoints into 31,250 Avios.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express
These points can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios and several times per year there are bonuses that range from 20%-50% to transfer points to BA.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Non-Preferred, Chase Freedom and business cards like Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

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View the complete 75 city chart after the jump:

(more…)

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126 Direct Flights From Chicago That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios

Monday, September 16th, 2013

-Click here to view Direct Flights From Miami That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
-Click here to view Direct Flights From NYC That Can Be Booked With British Airways Avios
Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.
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Did you know that there are 126 places you can fly to from Chicago nonstop with your BA Avios?
British Airways Avios can’t be beat for short-haul nonstop flights thanks to low award rates, no expedite fees, and practically free award cancellations.  Here are all of the direct flights from Chicago that can be booked with Avios.  Be sure to read the British Airways knowledgebase for everything you NEED to know about the BA program.  If you have any questions it’s probably already been answered there!

Notes:

-Rates in the chart are for one-way flights.
-Routes that display the airline in bold are subject to fuel surcharges.
-In the charts below I’ve only included direct flights as BA charges Avios for each flight segment.
-In other words Tel Aviv isn’t on the chart as there are no airlines that fly nonstop from Chicago to Tel Aviv.  Though you can always fly to Tel Aviv via Berlin for 25K for the Chicago-Berlin segment and 10K for the Berlin-Tel Aviv segment with no fuel surcharges.  It can help to search for Chicago-Berlin and Berlin-Tel Aviv separately.
-Maui isn’t on the chart as there are no airlines that fly nonstop from Chicago-Maui.  Though you can always fly to Maui via Anchorage, Los Angeles, Portland, S. Diego, S. Jose, or Seattle.  It’s just 12.5K Avios for the Alaska or West coast-Maui segment with no fuel surcharges. Plus you can stopover in the connecting city for as long or short as you want. Just remember from wat you already know if you’ve read the knowledgebase, you’ll have to call BA to book travel on non-alliance airlines like Alaska.
-You can book flights on Qatar starting in October.
-Cities in the chart may only have seasonal service.
-A dash means that class of service isn’t offered on that route.
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Want to pickup Avios? You’re in luck as you can transfer points from all over the place to BA.

-The Chase British Airways Visa Signature offers 50,000 Avios for spending $2K.

-The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express awards 25K signup points with no fee for the first year. 20K Starpoints can transfer into 25K Avios with the permanent 25% transfer bonus. Currently there is another 25% stackable bonus which will turn every 20K Starpoints into 31,250 Avios.

-American Express Membership Rewards points can be earned from cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express
These points can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios and several times per year there are bonuses that range from 20%-50% to transfer points to BA.

-Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Non-Preferred, Chase Freedom and business cards like Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Cash. These points also can transfer instantly 1:1 to Avios.

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View the complete 126 city chart after the jump:

(more…)

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Convert 20,000 Starpoints Into 31,250 British Airways Avios

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

 

BA is offering a 25% bonus on hotel points transferred into Avios through 10/15/13.

20,000 Starpoints normally transfers into 25,000 airline miles. With the additional 25% bonus you’ll get a total of 31,250 Avios.

-Transfer 20,200 Starpoints and you’ll have 31,500 Avios, enough for 7 short-haul one-way award redemptions.
-Transfer 40,000 Starpoints and you have 62,500 Avios, more than enough for a 60K round-trip award to Israel on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges.  Or it’s more than enough for 8 one-way tickets between NYC and Miami or 5 one-way tickets between the west coast and Hawaii.

-Bonus Avios can take 4-6 weeks to show on your account from the date of conversion.

Of course there are dozens of airlines that you can transfer your Starpoints into and you can use them for hotel stays so don’t transfer unless you have a need for the Avios.

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BA.com Improvements!

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Related: British Airways Avios Knowledgebase, A Collection Of Tips For Using Your BA Avios
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1. BA.com now shows availability in up to 3 classes of service when you perform an award search! There’s no longer a need to start a new search to get all the info you need and you can now make mixed-class bookings without making one-way awards.

 

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60,000 Avios+$82.70 for a round-trip to Tel Aviv in coach. You can transfer Starpoints to BA at a 20K:25K ratio with the 25% bonus or MR/UR points to BA at a 1:1 ratio:

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100,000 Avios+$82.70 for a round-trip to Tel Aviv in business class over the Atlantic:

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2. BA.com now asks for the date of birth for all passengers.  I reported 4 weeks ago in the Avios Knowledgebase that BA.com was having issues with this and it was causing big problems for people arriving at the airport without a ticket.  I still highly recommend checking in online 24 hours before the flight to make sure that you do have an issued ticket.

3. Other nice features include a change flights and a back button after you select a flight so that you can change your selection without having to start the search all over again.

HT: Drago, via DDF and FT

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British Airways Avios Knowledgebase, A Collection Of Tips For Using Your BA Avios

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Find more articles like this by clicking on the “Mileage Posts” tab on top of the DansDeals banner at the top of this site.

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People seemed to appreciate my Random Travel Tips that I posted 2 weeks ago so I figured I’d continue the series with tips on BA.  Your feedback is always appreciated!

British Airways (BA) Avios are awesome.  They effectively fill the gap that is left by the major programs like American AAdvantage and United MileagePlus.  The major programs provide a fantastic value for long-haul flights, especially for one-way flights, last-minute flights, or flights in business or first class.  But they’re not great for short flights.

In 2011 BA launched the Avios program which provides an incredible value for short-haul flights.

I’ve booked probably a dozen short-haul tickets in the past year for myself using Avios.  A Cleveland-NYC ticket can cost $1,200 round-trip if you don’t stay for at least 3 days or if you book last-minute.  But BA allows me to use just 9,000 Avios for that same flight, a whopping value of over 13 cents per mile.  Now I can hop over to Chicago or NYC on a whim without any kind of mileage regret like I used to have in the pre-Avios days.

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4,500 Avios+$2.50 tax or $600. Hmmm… 😀

 

Here is what you need to know about the program:

-You can register for an Executive Club/Avios account via this link.

Searching for flights:
-Use this link to login or create a BA Avios account in order to search for flights.
-After logging into your account on the left-hand side be sure to change the search from “Book with money” to “Book with Avios” If you get an error about BA not having traffic rights to a route you probably forgot to switch it to “Book with Avios.”
-BA charges a flat rate for every leg of a flight.
-BA.com is not very effective at searching for connecting flights. You will often need to book a connecting flight on 2 separate tickets or you will need to call them to book it. Either way it will require the same amount of miles as they charge for each flight segment.
-The best way to search for availability is by using the award calendar search on AA.com. BA can only book MileSAAver awards from that calendar.
-You can limit the AA.com calendar to show nonstop flights only. If it’s showing availability with connections remember that you may have to book each flight connection as its own ticket.  Just click through the find the connection city and then search on BA.com for 2 separate tickets.
-Ignore the mileage rates on AA.com, they have nothing to do with what BA will charge you in Avios to fly on that same AA flight.
-Once you find MileSAAver award availability on AA.com you can return to BA.com and plugin those same dates to book it. Don’t forget that if AA.com showed a connecting flight you may have to book it as 2 separate tickets on BA.com. In other words if AA.com shows a flight from NYC to Honolulu via Dallas you may have to book NYC-Dallas as a separate ticket from Dallas-Honolulu if you want to use BA.com. Alternatively you can call BA to book it as 1 ticket but the Avios rate will be the same and your luggage can be checked straight through either way.

 

 

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The picture above is an award search on AA.com.  Note the number of stops box on the left that I’ve boxed in red.  By changing this to nonstop you’ll be able to quickly find nonstop availability for an entire month that you can book on BA.com.  Also note the boxed in MileSAAver award options.  These are the only options that can be booked with Avios.  You need American AAdvantage miles to book AAnytime double-mileage last seat awards.

 

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BA.com is displayed in the picture above.  Be sure to toggle from Book with Money to Book with Avios as I’ve boxed in red to search for an award flight.

 

 

 

Infant travel:
BA Avios are great for lap children. I used BA Avios to fly First class to Buenos Aires with Rafi as a lap child even though American would have been fewer miles. The reason for that was because with BA I only had to pay 15,000 Avios for Rafi whereas American wanted $1,000 to bring Rafi as a lap child!
-If you have a lap child and are flying within the US or Canada do not mention them when booking a ticket on BA.com.  You can add them for free at the airport. There may be some small fees for Canada travel but you’ll be better off dealing with it at the airport than booking it on BA.com.
-If you have a lap child and are flying outside of the US or Canada be sure to include them when making a booking on BA.com. If you do that at the time of booking you will only pay 10% of the adult mileage required. If you want to add them after the time of booking you will be subject to 10% of the full paid fare.

 

Booking flights:
-BA does not charge a last minute close-in/expedite fee.
-Taxes for domestic flights are just $2.50 per leg.
-After booking an award you can cancel it for free for 24 hours from the time of booking by calling BA at 800-452-1201.
-Once 24 hours have passed from the time of booking you can cancel an award and redeposit your miles for the lower of the taxes you paid or $40. In other words a one-way award from LGA-Detroit is 4,500 Avios plus $2.50. You can cancel it online for just $2.50 and get back the 4,500 Avios. An one-way award from Tel Aviv to NYC via Germany that costs 30,000 Avios plus $75 tax can be cancelled for a $40 fee and you will get back your Avios and taxes paid.
-It is cheaper to cancel an award that had less than $40 in taxes than to make date changes to it which will cost $40 regardless of the taxes paid.
-You can thus extend the life of your miles for another 36 months for just $2.50 by booking a short-haul domestic award for 4,500 Avios plus $2.50 and then cancelling it after 24 hours. This constitutes account activity which extends the life of your Avios.
-You can’t cancel or change an award within 24 hours of the flight time.
-You should always book domestic awards as one-ways in case you wind up wanting to switch or cancel just one-way of the ticket. That way you just lose the tax for the one-way instead of the round-trip. Plus if you want to change just one-way you won’t have to cancel the entire ticket and hope the award space for the leg you want to keep will still be there.
-If your international award isn’t subject to fuel surcharges (so the departure flight from the US costs just $2.50 in fees) then you should book that as a one-way award in case you may want to change only the outbound flight for just the $2.50 fee.
-If your international award is subject to fuel surcharges (so the departure flight from the US has heavy fees) then you should book that as a round-trip award as otherwise you will be hit with the $40 fee twice in case you need to cancel the trip. If you need to change just one segment you will be paying a $40 fee regardless as the fees you paid will have been more than $40.

Partner awards and fuel surcharges:
-BA is part of the OneWorld alliance. Alliance partners include Air Berlin, American, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, JAL, LAN, Malaysia, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, and S7. These are all bookable on BA.com
-BA also owns Open Skies which flies between NYC (JFK/Newark) and Paris Orly. This is bookable on BA.com
-Other partners include Aer Lingus and Alaska. These airlines can only be booked by calling BA at 800-452-1201.
-You can get the $25 phone fee waived if you explain that you tried booking online but were not successful. Ask for a manager or play HUCA if the rep refuses to waive the phone fee.
-Flights that are on Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, and LAN are not subject to fuel surcharges.
-Flights that are on American and are wholly within the Western Hemisphere are not subject to fuel surcharges.
-Flights that are on Qantas and are wholly within Australia are not subject to fuel surcharges.
-If you have an Iberia account with miles in it (including a transfer from AMEX or Starwood) then you can transfer BA Avios into Iberia at a 1:1 ratio and save on much lighter fuel surcharges for travel on Iberia.
-BA flights from London have a double whammy, they are subject to heavy fuel surcharges and obnoxiously high London APD fees. However there are BA flights that don’t touch London such as Singapore-Sydney, Nassua-Grand Cayman, Antigua-Punta Cana, etc. that are called 5th Freedom flights. These flight have much lighter fuel surcharges and of course don’t have the APD fees.

Problems people run into:
-If you have an AA credit card you get benefits like free bags when flying AA and using your AA mileage number. If you have AA elite status you also get benefits like preferred seating. However it can be difficult to change the mileage number from BA to AA. Read this post for the steps you can take to do so.
-BA.com often forgets to ask for the passengers date of birth, especially when you are booking a ticket for someone besides for the account holder. In this case it will seem like you have a valid ticket but you actually do not. I have heard from many people who were told at the airport that they did not have a ticket issued.
To avoid this you should always checkin on AA.com 24 hours before your flight so that you can print your boarding pass and know that you are good to go.  If there is an error you have to call BA to have your ticket properly issued.
You can read this post for info on how to get your AA record locator online so that you can look at your reservation on AA.com and make sure everything is in order.
-If BA.com is not asking for a date of birth you can try using another browser. Otherwise just book the ticket and then call them at 800-452-1201 to add the passenger’s date of birth. If you don’t give BA this info you will not have a ticket.
-People that use their account to sell tickets to several people with different last names will likely find themselves in audit and have their accounts frozen and tickets possibly canceled.
-People often just search for an origin and destination city without considering stopping over in between. For example if you are searching for a ticket to Israel without any luck you may be able to search for a ticket from the US to Berlin or Dusseldorf and then a separate ticket from Berlin or Dusseldorf to Tel Aviv. See this post for more information on properly searching for Air Berlin award tickets.

Award Bands:
-BA Avios are based on 9 award bands. The longer the flight is the more you pay.
You can calculate distances using the Great Circle Mapper. You can type in LGA-YUL to learn that the flight distance from LaGuardia to Montral is 324 miles and is therefore a band 1 award that costs 4,500 Avios each way.

-The prices below are for coach travel. You will pay double for business class and triple for first class. Note that BA considers most domestic US flights to only have first class and will thus cost triple the coach rate. So a flight from LGA to Cleveland in business class will cost 13,500 Avios each way. This does not apply to international flights so LGA to Toronto in business class will cost just 9,000 Avios each way. Either way you’ll get 3 free bags-definitely something to factor into the cost!
Exceptions to the triple business class price are on domestic routes operated by 3 class planes like between JFK or Miami and Los Angeles or S. Francisco where business class is just double the coach price as there is a real first class cabin on those planes that cost triple the coach price.

Award bands include:
Band 1: Flights that are 1-650 miles cost 4,500 Avios.
Sample routes: LGA-Cleveland, LGA-Toronto, Miami-Cancun, Miami-Key West, London-Paris, Melbourne-Sydney, Los Angeles-Las Vegas
Band 2: Flights that are 651-1,151 miles cost 7,500 Avios.
Sample routes: Los Angeles-Cabo San Lucas, LGA-Chicago, LGA-Miami
Band 3: Flights that are 1,151-2,000 miles cost 10,000 Avios.
Sample routes: Los Angeles-Chicago, Berlin-Tel Aviv, Hong Kong-Singapore
Band 4: Flights that are 2,001-3,000 miles cost 12,500 Avios.
Sample routes: Boston-Dublin, JFK-Los Angeles, Los Angeles-Maui, JFK-Costa Rica
Band 5: Flights that are 3,001-4,000 miles cost 20,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-Berlin, Dallas-Maui
Band 6: Flights that are 4,001-5,500 miles cost 25,000 Avios.
Sample routes: NYC-Buenos Aires, London-Johannsesburg
Band 7: Flights that are 5,501-6,500 miles cost 30,000 Avios.
Sample route: NYC-Amman
Band 8: Flights that are 6,501-7,000 miles cost 35,000 Avios.
Sample route: S. Francisco-Hong Kong.
Band 9: Flights that are 7,001 miles or more cost 50,000 Avios.
Sample route: Los Angeles-Sydney

Award chart anomalies:
-All flights from North America to Hong Kong are band 8 awards, even though flights like JFK-Hong Kong should really be a band 9 award.
-Due to using a band system instead of a region system it’s important to search for surrounding airports. For example a flight from Chicago to Fort Lauderdale is 1,182 miles according to the Great Circle Mapper and is therefore a band 3 award. However a flight from Chicago to West Palm Beach is just 1,144 miles and is therefore just a band 2 award, saving you 5,000 Avios round-trip per person in coach in 15,000 per person in first.
-While you may not find availability for NYC-Miami for your dates, be sure to check other airports like Philadelphia-Miami.
-Due to the band system flights with connections may be cheaper than flying nonstop so always check possible connections! A nonstop flight from Los Angeles to Sydney is 7,488 miles placing it into band 9 with a round-trip cost of 100,000 Avios in coach. However a flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu is a band 4 at 2,556 miles and a flight from Honolulu to Sydney is a band 6 at 5,066 miles. The cost of a band 4+band 6 round-trip is just 75,000 miles in coach.
-A nonstop from JFK to Dublin or Shanon on surcharge-free Aer Lingus is a band 5 award. If you fly from NYC-Boston-Dublin or Shannon you’ll save Avios as Band 1+Band 4 is less than Band 5.
-A nonstop from Miami to Tokyo is a band 9 award. However Miami to Los Angeles is a band 4 and Los Angeles to okyo is a band 6, meaning you’ll save 25,000 Avios by connecting.
-Plus when you connect using Avios you can stay in the connection city for as long or short as you desire.

Earning Avios:
There are more ways to collect Avios than any other mileage currency!

-You can earn Avios on the Chase British Airways Visa. You earn 50,000 points for spending $2,000 within 3 months plus 1.25 Avios per dollar spent everywhere and 2.5 Avios per dollar spent on BA.
-By having the BA Visa you also get 10% off paid BA flights with code: CARDOFFERU
-If you spend $30,000 in a calendar year on the BA Visa you earn a free companion ticket that is good for a free companion award in any class when you redeem your Avios but it is only good for travel on BA or Open Skies operated flights which means you’ll be paying fuel surcharges.
-You can transfer Starpoints to Avios at a 20K:25K ratio thanks to the 25% bonus for transferring Starpoints to miles. Starwood points are earned from the consumer Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express or the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN.
-You can transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to Avios at a 1K:1K ratio. There are bonuses that range from 20%-50% several times a year. Membership Rewards points can be earned from consumer cards like the American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card and The Platinum Card® from American Express. Business cards include the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN and The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN.
-You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Avios at a 1K:1K ratio. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are earned from consumer cards like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Non-Preferred, and Chase Freedom Visa. They can also be earned from business cards like Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Cash.

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Get A 35% Bonus When You Transfer American Express Membership Rewards Points Into British Airways Avios!

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Update: This promotion will end today.  We will likely see another BA transfer promotion before the end of the year which can range from 20%-50%.  If you will use the Avios within the next several months you should definitely transfer them now but otherwise it’s probably best to hold off.

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Originally posted on 04/22:

Related posts:
-Chase British Airways Visa-Get 50,000 bonus Avios for spending $1,000.
The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN-Get 50,000 bonus Membership Rewards points (plus 35% more Avios) for spending $5,000.

-Flying Round-Trip To Israel On Air Berlin For 45K American Express Membership Rewards Plus $81 Tax: A Tutorial
Getting AA Benefits On A Flight Booked Using BA Avios
-Getting To Israel On The Cheap With BA Avios And Air Berlin
-Save $400 On Fuel Surcharges To Israel By Booking Avios Rewards Via Iberia Instead Of British Airways!
-Booking With Avios? Check Those Surrounding Airports!
Breaking Down Which Miles To Use To Fly To Israel
-Using BA Miles To Fly In Business Class For An 80 Minute Flight Can Make Sense.
-Flying With An Infant With Miles In Business Or First Class? Start Collecting Air Canada Miles Or British Airways Avios
-Short-Haul Flights: BA Avios Versus LAN Lanpass.
-BA Miles Are Now Avios…For Better Or For Worse.

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BA/MR Promo Offer Linky

-Through 06/07/13 you will get 1,350 Avios for every 1,000 Membership Rewards (MR) Points transferred to BA.

-There are no fuel surcharges for travel on American Airlines within the Western Hemisphere,  There are also no fuel surcharges for flying on Aer Lingus, Air Berlin, Alaska, or LAN worldwide.

-There are no expedite or close-in fees for last minute award ticket bookings with BA Avios.

-You can book one-way tickets for half of the miles listed below!

-You can cancel tickets and redeposit miles for the lessor of $40 or the taxes you paid.  That means you pay just $2.50 for cancel a one-way domestic itinerary (and it’s why I always book cheap domestic flights as one-ways)

-British Airways only charges 10% extra miles for a lap child flying internationally, even when traveling on AA. AA and other domestic carriers charge a whopping 10% of the full fare, which can add up to be a small fortune.

-You can transfer points from an American Express Membership Rewards account to anyone’s British Airways account, names don’t have to match.

-Points transfer instantly from MR to BA and there are no fees or taxes for transferring points to British Airways.

-You can borrow points by calling up Membership Rewards (800-AXP-EARN) and asking for a points advance. You then have up to 1 year to earn those points from signup bonuses or spending or else they will charge you 2.5 cents per point.

-British Airways charges double miles for business class and triple miles for first class. Beware that on AA’s domestic 2 class planes they charge first class rates for what is really just a poor excuse for business class.

-You can search AA and Alaska award availability on AA.com and looking for sAAver awards. BA can’t book AAnytime awards, but you should be able to find all AA sAAver awards on BA.com. BA.com does not display all available awards on all airlines, airlines like Alaska and Aer Lingus can only be booked over the phone.  Additionally you will have to call BA to make a booking if you see a sAAver award on AA.com that’s not showing on BA.com.

Sample uses:

-7,000 MR points will transfer into 9,450 Avios, more than enough for a 9K round-trip short-haul ticket between New York and places like Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, Montreal, or Toronto or between Miami and the Bahamas, on OneWorld partner American.

-12,000 MR points becomes 16,200 Avios, more than enough for a 15K round-trip flight between New York and Chicago or Florida or from LA to Cabo.

-15,000 MR points becomes 20,250 Avios, more than enough for a 20K round-trip flight between Chicago and LA.

-19,000 MR points becomes 25,650 Avios, more than enough for a 25K round-trip flight between the west coast and any of the Hawaiian islands, New York and the west coast, or New York and Costa Rica. It’s even enough for a round-trip flight between Boston and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus! You’ll have to call to book trips on airlines like Aer Lingus or Alaska.

-30,000 MR points becomes 40,500 Avios, more than enough for a 40K round-trip flight between Dallas and Hawaii or New York and London (though you’ll be hit with fuel surcharges for crossing the Atlantic on most airlines). It’s also enough for a round-trip flight between NYC or Chicago and Dublin or Shannon, Ireland with no fuel surcharges on Aer Lingus.

-38,000 MR points becomes 51,300 Avios, more than enough for a 50K round-trip flight between New York and Brazil or Argentina with no fuel surcharges.  It’s also more than enough for a round-trip in a lie-flat business class seat between JFK and Vancouver on Cathay Pacific.

-45,000 MR points becomes 60,750 Avios, more than enough for a 60K round-trip flight between New York and Tel Aviv on Air Berlin with no fuel surcharges.
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Need some Membership Rewards points? You can always call American Express to borrow some if you have a charge card

-The Business Gold Rewards Card® from American Express OPEN has a limited time offer for 50,000 points for spending $5,000 and the first year is free.  That will net you some 74,000 Avios.

-The American Express® Premier Rewards Gold Card comes with 25,000 points for spending $2,000 and the first year is free.  That will net you some 36,000 Avios.

The Platinum Card® from American Express and the The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN earns 25K points as well you can get $200 of airline fee credits (or airline gift cards in $100 increments) in 2013 and another $200 in 2014. It also comes with a $100 global entry expedited customs (5 year membership) refund, platinum card airline club access (American, Delta, and USAirways) for you and your entire family for at least 4 years, priority pass worldwide unlimited lounge membership, Starwood gold elite status, car rental perks at Avis, Hertz, and National, lost item (up to $10,000/item) refund protection, checked baggage protection, Regus Office Club Membership with worldwide locations on the business card, 3 additional Platinum users (with 4 years of free platinum card lounge access, priority pass membership, and global entry refund) for just $58 each on the consumer card, no foreign exchange fees, and many more free benefits.  There is a $450 annual fee.  As with all annual fees they are refundable if cancelled within 60 days, they are pro-rated if cancelled after 60 days and have another American Express card (i.e. if you have the card for 3 months and then cancel you would get a $337.50 refund), and they are pro-rated if you downgrade the card even if you have no other American Express card.

HT: MEIR613, via DDF

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Getting AA Benefits On A Flight Booked Using BA Avios

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Related posts:
Flying Round-Trip To Israel On Air Berlin For 40K Starwood Or 47K American Express Membership Rewards Plus $81 Tax: A Tutorial
-Getting To Israel On The Cheap With BA Avios And Air Berlin
-Save $400 On Fuel Surcharges To Israel By Booking Avios Rewards Via Iberia Instead Of British Airways!
-Booking With Avios? Check Those Surrounding Airports!
-Using BA Miles To Fly In Business Class For An 80 Minute Flight Can Make Sense.
-Flying With An Infant With Miles In Business Or First Class? Start Collecting Air Canada Miles Or British Airways Avios
-Short-Haul Flights: BA Avios Versus LAN Lanpass.
-BA Miles Are Now Avios…For Better Or For Worse.
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Numerous people have asked me how they can get their AA benefits when booking their tickets with BA Avios.

If you have AA elite status and have your AA mileage number connected with your BA reservation you will be able to choose seats with extra legroom and be able to go standby on other flights for free. If you have an AA credit card you will be able to check free luggage that way (though occasionally you get free luggage anyway when booking with BA Avios).

Earlier this month I faced the ever-so-tough option of dropping $1,150 on a ticket from Cleveland to NYC (due to not staying for the required 3 night minimum stay to get a low fare) or spending 9,000 Avios for a the same flights. At a value of nearly 13 cents per Avios that’s just about the easiest “redeem or purchase” scenario you will ever have for a coach flight.

It’s also why I love real miles over proprietary points like those from Capital One. The same flight would have required 115,000 Capital One points!

BA Avios really fills the gap left by my American and United miles. I hate burning those miles on short domestic trips as they’re so valuable for international business and first class trips. Thus the combination of different types of airline miles is what really allows you to derive maximum value.

It also doesn’t hurt that you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Starpoints, and Chase Ultimate Rewards points into BA Avios. Plus BA doesn’t charge any last minute expedite/close-in fees, doesn’t collect massive fuel surcharges for flights on AA within the Western Hemisphere or on Aer Lingus, Alaska, Air Berlin, LAN worldwide, and only charges $2.50-$10 (just the 9/11 fees) to cancel a domestic award.

It’s important to remember that BA.com doesn’t search for all partners (you need to call to check for awards on Alaska, Aer Lingus and others) and that it often only searches for nonstop flights, so you may need to book 2 separate tickets to find connecting flights. For example even if NYC to Chicago or Miami comes up with zilch you can always try booking NYC to Cleveland and Cleveland to Chicago or Miami.  You’ll pay more Avios than you would for the nonstop but as BA charges for each flight segment it won’t make a difference in the Avios required if you book a connecting flight as one ticket or as 2 separate tickets plus AA will be able to check your luggage straight through to your final destination. Plus you can “stopover” for as long as you want by booking connecting flights separately. Of course BA.com also won’t search for nearby airports so you may want to search for Philadelphia to Miami before throwing in the towel.

Anyway back on topic. While there are quite a few ways to add your AA number to your reservation, here’s what I do without having to pickup the phone.

-When booking a BA Avios award I leave my BA Executive Club number in my reservation.

-After booking I go to https://www.finnair.com, go to the “My Bookings” section, enter my last name and BA record locator, and press continue.

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-On the next page I scroll down to “additional details,” select American from the drop down menu, enter my American AAdvantage number, and confirm the change.

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-Now I still need to get my American record locator to select elite seats on AA.com so next I go to https://www.checkmytrip.com and under “new trip” I once again enter my last name and BA record locator.

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-There a few places on the next page to find your American record locator, but the easiest way to find it is to click on “PDF” which will download a summary of your trip with a record locator that you will be able to use on AA.com.  The red box that I’ve made on the PDF is where you will find the AA record locator.

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-Finally just go to AA.com, click on “My Trips,” enter your name and AA record locator, and you will be able to select preferred seats if applicable, and you will be able to confirm that your AA mileage number is in your reservation so that you will receive free checked luggage if applicable.  You may need to logout of AA.com to be able to manually enter the record locator.

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-What was your favorite use of BA Avios? Hit the comments and share!

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