Cheapest BA Award Ticket Redemption Option - SFO-London

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by slotownmomma, Apr 17, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. slotownmomma
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    slotownmomma Silver Member

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    Just trying to figure out how I can combine my AA miles and BA miles to book 4 award seat SFO-London as cheap as possible. What suggestions might you have for me to combine these miles and go as FREE as possible on these award tickets. I currently have 210,000 AA and 200,000 BA miles coming (thank you BA Visa offer). How can I make this work the cheapest. Is there cheaper European destinations then London?
    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    You have a major problem as BA has a fuel surcharge on FF award tickets.
    BA - SFO-London $538 + 60,000 miles coach peak season
    AA - SFo_London $448 + 60,000 miles coach peak season

    I would fly into Brussels or Madrid on AA to save money. You can use BA miles on AA and pay no additional fuel surcharges. Confirm this with AA not positive.
    Ryan Air offers cheap flights within Europe between most countries.

    And, flying business class at 100,000 would be a better deal than coach at 60,000 in my opinion.

    Flying into London is one of the highest countries in Europe. Every country you fly into charges a foreign entry fee.
    Madrid is only $148 on AA.

    If you fly business class 100,000 miles the cost increases on BA to almost $800.

    Any routing through London on AA or BA for FF mile awards is costly compared to other countries.

     
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  3. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    If you are flying in a premium cabin you will be faced with the UK premium cabin ("luxury") departure tax. You can avoid that by beginning your journey outside the UK, even if you connect back through London. So returning from Paris, for instance, is less expensive than returning from London when flying business or first.

    Meanwhile, you'll pay fuel surcharges with British Airways awards. You will not pay fuel surcharges using Ameircan miles if you fly American or Iberia across the pond. But if you fly BA you will pay fuel surcharges with your AA miles.

    The fuel surcharges make it uneconomical to redeem BA miles for coach transatlantic (since you're still paying about half the cost of a transatlantic ticket even after spending your miles). I find it still worthwhile when redeeming for business or first.

    BA is great for having lots of award availability in premium cabins. You may not find SFO-LHR non-stop for four passengers, but if not try IAH-LHR, PHX-LHR, LAS-LHR, SAN-LHR, ORD-LHR, PHL-LHR, JFK-LHR and flying AA to the transatlantic gateway city.
     
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  4. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Does using BA award miles on AA result in fuel surcharges? I did not think this was valid.
    Can you clarify, please?

     
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  5. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    It didn't used to, but AA has been filing fuel surcharges on international fares and those have been getting passed onto BA Executive Club members. (Recent development past few weeks)
     
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  6. Lyssa
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    Lyssa Silver Member

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    I am wondering about this as well. So, you don't pay fees using AA miles, but using BA miles even on AA flights, you will pay fees? I was thinking of trying for the BA card, but now don't know if it's worth it with all of the high fees I keep hearing about.
     
  7. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    It's worth it. It's 100k miles. Do a business class roundtrip on Cathay Pacific to much of Asia, 100k roundtrip. Fees are modest, all-in you'll pay less than $300. Or do LAN to South America even as far as Easter Island for 80k in business, fees are miniscule. Or apply, join my family account and give me the miles :D and I'd be happy to swap you a lesser # of miles in a program that doesn't add fuel surcharges.. :p
     
  8. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    Also YYZ-LHR and YVR-LHR (using AA codeshare on AS to reach YVR)
     
  9. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Well sure, but I was just flagging some routes with uniquely good award space, not all possible. ;)
     
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  10. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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    Understood - on that note, there have been occcasions (pre-fuel surcharges and pre-ATI) when I was "forced" to do the "Toronto Shuffle" (MIA-YYZ-LHR) when there was no space on AA going MIA-LHR.
     
  11. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Thanks, AAdvantage told me NO. But I suspected it was happening.

    SO BA miles to Asia is the best way to use BA miles now?

     
  12. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    And South America but yes
     
  13. slotownmomma
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    slotownmomma Silver Member

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    Thanks everyone for all the info. This is really helpful!
     
  14. slotownmomma
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    slotownmomma Silver Member

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    I am re-think my miles plan with this SFO-LHR fam trip. I think I need to say the BA miles for domestic redemption because from reading all of your wonderful blogs that seems like a great option for these miles. You get them basically FREE that way. I think I should switch directions in my miles earning and go building up my UA account to fly business class for the fam. I have just barely 200,000 right now in my account and 40,000 in hubby's account. I really want to show him that I can get our entire family of 4 to Europe in real style. I have almost enough to go Saver tickets 55,000 but I would really like to shoot for business class. My husband has never flown anything but economy and he will be blown away.
     
  15. slotownmomma
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    slotownmomma Silver Member

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    I am planning way in advance. This is a trip I'm hoping to take at the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013, so I have plenty of time to accrue some miles. I need to just find all the great bonuses and keep my eyes peeled and my credit excellent. The miles/point world is really for the savvy business minded person which I use to be before I became aka Momma. I'm alittle behind the game but not out of it.
     
  16. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Also, I believe AA only flies to NRT, PVG, and PEK in Asia, but has several destinations in SA. For people originating in the US, AA's the only oneworld airline with a consistent presence. If you're not in a gateway city of one of the oneworld Asian carriers and want to use the 1-partner award chart, you've got a lot more choice available for South American destinations, absent making arrangements to get to one of those gateways (or continue onward from one of AA's asian destinations), of course.
     

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