BA devaluation. Now what?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by gmarchetti, Jan 28, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. gmarchetti

    gmarchetti Silver Member

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    I collect BA avios and / or Alaska miles to take my family of 4 to Europe from Seattle once every 12-18 months. Given the huge surcharges, we try to fly business class with miles. If we have not got enough miles and we can afford it that year, we just pay for economy.
    After April 28th, 4 round-trip tickets in business will cost 600,000 miles + $4000 total of taxes and fees.
    In theory, Delta may cost less. In practice, there is never availability at saver level, so it is always 640,000 miles. The difference is that delta only charges about $600 in taxes and fees.
    Alaska only sees saver availability, so we're never able to use Alaska miles to book delta.
    So now what do I do:
    - do I switch to Delta and forego Alaska and BA?
    - or do I keep collecting Alaska miles in the hope of using them on either?
    Advise please...
     
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  2. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    Tough choices. Everyone's situation is different. My wife and I go to Europe every 18 months'ish but we have been using US Air or AA miles. This works for us from Kansas City or St. Louis. I have a ton of BA miles and we both have travel together awards but the taxes and fee's are hardly worth it over the Atlantic sadly.

    From Seattle I would most likely keep earning an Alaska and do one of the following:

    • You could just pay for economy and earn miles for the Europe trips. That way you can use the miles to go to other place as well during the year.
    • Book the trips on American in F for 500k, Business for 400k or Econ for (160-240k depending on time of year)
    • Take my chances with Delta availability
    I'm not sure if KLM/AF, Emirates or other partners have flights that work from Seattle to Europe. AA might charge some fee's but they will be way less than BA. Like in the $300 range just guessing.
     
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  3. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    BA just gave us 40% for swapping AMEX points, and opened up more seats.

    Sometimes there's a little sunshine out there,

    Nothing Like a day trip up to Chicago or DC, from the greater Indy area.
     
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  4. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Sorry, I don't get it. I mean I hear you, I understand, but I don't get it.

    So many of us have acquired a bunch of BA miles. We've done it with full knowledge of their extremely high taxes and fees. We didn't like it but we did it. Seems like we just have to get over it. And to keep using the card enough to get the Companion Passes and still complain - come one.

    I've come to peace with it. I tell myself it's like paying a bit more than Coach and getting upgraded to First. My bigger issue is that those First Class seats have gotten harder to get. But the fees? It is what it is.
     
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  5. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I agree. I hope I didn't come off as too negative. I gathered Avios with flights on BA and CC's to use mostly for domestic trips. I just feel bad that I can't justify using them across the Atlantic.
    I did stumble upon a chart that shows fees for booking BA Avios with one or more partner airlines. I would assume the BA metal only fees are close to these. Interesting how 1501-4000 seems to be the pain point. I assume due to this being the most common of mileage redemption.
    Executive Club   About reward flights and upgrades   British Airways.jpeg
     
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  6. gmarchetti

    gmarchetti Silver Member

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    Perhaps I was not clear enough. I know about the fees: they are what they are and I've used BA miles fully understanding that I was basically paying for economy (sometimes even less than economy) and getting an upgrade to business. I am just trying to find the most efficient way with miles to take my family of 4 from Seattle to Europe after BA's devaluation. In summary, here's the situation for a roundtrip SEA-Europe direct flight in business for 4 people:
    - BA to LHR: 600,000 miles + about $4,800 in fees
    - Delta to LHR, CDG or AMS: 640,000 miles + about $1200 in fees (not the saver award - those are almost impossible to find on these routes)
    - Lufthansa to FRA: 420,000 miles + about $4,000 in fees
    I collect Alaska miles, which can be used on Delta or BA but only at saver level.
    As the amount of miles required by Delta and BA is now similar, it may make sense to go with Delta. In that case, I will have to start collecting Skymiles directly because Alaska does not "see" award availability above the "saver" level.
    I am also considering Lufthansa: they require less miles and have more availability in general than either BA or Delta, but their miles are difficult to accumulate here in Seattle, as they have but 1 flight and they partner with United, which has got few routes to/from here.
    Opinions?
     
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  7. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    My observation is that DL may just be your best option.
    Let me preface this by saying I have been/still am primarily a AA/OW flyer however IHMO DL gets a bad rap in term of awards ( its apparent that you haven't looked at AAs recent availability:))
    I did a test for SEA/LHR for Oct 2015 (simply because its a time-frame I am interested in) and was able to find multiple days where there were at lest 2 low level J class awards.

    Your problem would be to find four J seats all on one flight on a R/T nigh impossible .Since you did not state the ages of your family I can only suggest either spitting the class or travelling in pairs on different days.

    An alternative would be to use your BA miles on one leg by flying IB or AA to Spain. There is usually fairly good J class awards availability on IB.
    From my perspective Avios is only useful from short-hop intra NA and SA and similarly intra Europe.
     

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