Explain those pesky Avios, please...

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by clscholes, Sep 16, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    I see everyone talk about BA Avios being great for short run domestics in U.S., etc. Are you redeeming BA through OW alliance on American? If so, are they just significantly cheaper in rewards terms to regular AA miles? Wanting to know so I can go through with a chance for some bonus Avios.
     
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  2. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    You redeem them through BA for travel on their partner AA. For short haul flights they're much cheaper because AA requires a flat 25K miles for a domestic round trip, or 12.5K for a one-way. BA awards, which are distance based, start at 4.5K miles for a one-way ticket.
     
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  3. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    there are also some mid distance gems with ba, use avios to fly lax-hnl/koa/lih/ogg (Los Angeles to Hawaii) RT on AA for 25k Avios in Coach, Same ticket on AA costs 45k AAmiles
     
  4. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Domestic non-stops are either the same as using AA miles or less - often much less. We had First Class NYC to Toronto for 18,000 RT! Would have been 50K w/ AA miles.
     
  5. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Could the reason for why Avios are cheaper be that they are capacity-controlled and are thus less available, whereas AA miles are not capacity-controlled? This would be like the difference between UA standard awards and saver awards. UA saver awards and *A awards cost about 50% less than UA standard awards but are capacity-controlled and generally less available. On the other hand, UA standard awards, while more expensive, are no different than using cash: if a seat is available, one can get it as a UA standard award, whereas that is not necessarily true with saver or *A awards.
     
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  6. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    That was why I asked the question. If the Avios are not too bad to redeem, then I will use them for short haul trips I might make that I would pay more than I am comfortable paying normally. Otherwise, it wouldn't be that wise for me to use. Although I have noticed that award availability out of MCI seems pretty high.
     
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  7. Menashe

    Menashe Silver Member

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    The mileage numbers quoted above (AA 25K domestic RT vs. BA starting at 9K RT) are both for the same "Saver" capacity controlled seats. AA charges 50K RT for "anytime" awards.
     
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  8. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I'm pretty sure that if you can get the 25K AA award you can always get the corresponding BA award, so I don't think there's any difference in capacity control. BA is not always better, just for short haul domestic trips.
     
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  9. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Weird. If the case is that AA "saver" awards have the same availability as Avios but are considerably more expensive, why would anyone want to use AA award miles, at least for short-haul trips?
     
  10. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    The number of people who collected both AA and BA points is probably fairly limited -- to hobbyists like us. I imagine most people have one or the other.

    In addition, many people don't realize you can use miles to book on partners and might not think of using BA miles to book an AA ticket.

    Finally, it's only in some cases that Avios are that much better.

    However, that said, if you have both currencies available and are booking short haul travel in the US you absolutely should use the Avios.
     
  11. Singapore Flyer

    Singapore Flyer Silver Member

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    Maybe, If you didn't have avios that would be one reason. :)

    The other is that probably very few people outside of this community and BA elite that travel to/within the US would know.

    Again, it is basically only for short haul as Avios is a distance based program with very high fuel surcharges on international flights. It must also be direct flights. Every segment is another award.

    Some have made the comparison to Hilton. Great at certain awards but can become prohibitive for some especially at the more aspirational awards. It isn't as bad if you know where to find the sweet spots.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  12. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    I first learned about this "arbitrage" with my first partner booking, about 10 years ago. Flew BA First Class from NYC to Paris. Seats were 150,000 miles each through BA. But booking through their partner, Cathay Pacific, those SAME SEATS went for 90,000 miles! Alas, the CP schedule changed but there are sweet spots all over the place. Those who try to accumulate miles through programs like the Starwood AMEX (or regular AMEX or Sapphire card) have the luxury of transferring points/miles to the airline that gives them the best rate, irrespective of which airline they might be traveling! And BTW, my total cost in Starwood points for that Cathay trip (with the Starwood 25% bonus for transfers) was 145,000 for two tickets!

    So yes, while it seems nuts, these discrepancies do exist. As for Avios, it was a small payback for how they hurt the long-haul, premium travel part of the program.
     
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  13. Sagegal

    Sagegal Silver Member

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    I used 15K avios for two 1-way tickets from Hong Long to Bangkok in July, cost me 7500 Avios for each ticket and $45 each in fees. I just got the Chase BA Visa and plan to spend the 50K avios for inter continent flights in Africa, each flight will cost me 4500 avios and $44, a bargain since I need 9 legs in all for 3 travelers.
     
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  14. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    That is what I am curious about. Our church has partnerships with refugee camps in Ethiopia...it would be worth it not only for short hauls (MCI-DFW, MCI-ORD, etc.), but if I could do the same overseas...makes it tempting to apply for the BA card with 50,000 bonus Avios.
     
  15. Steven Schwartz
    Original Member

    Steven Schwartz Gold Member

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    Just do it!
     
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  16. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    overseas flights tend to have really high taxes/fuel surcharges if booked through BA, when i say high its like 700+ per ticket in added fees plus the miles, this can be a good deal if flying in premium cabin since with the high fees the availability is also high since most dont want to spend that much money for a free flight.
     
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  17. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    My wife and I got the BA cards with the 100,000 point bonus. Unfortunately we used the points before we knew the value of avios and traveled internationally on them. We avoided BA because of the fuel surcharges but didn't get the same value we could have for using these for domestic travel.

    The challenge in Africa will be finding carriers that you can spend avios on. I'd recommend a little bit of search on BAs website.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  18. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    Thanks for the advice, and definitely keep contributing and giving more if you find new information! I realize that I have reached some level of geekdom when I am considering a credit card that gives me British airline miles, but I'm okay with that...;)
     
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  19. clscholes

    clscholes Silver Member

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    When it comes to routes, I am counting on BA's relationship with QR as far as Africa goes. QR flies into ADD, so hopefully I can burn some Avios on the short(ish) route from DOH-ADD if they will allow.
     
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  20. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

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    we are not geeks, we are the cool kids... oh wait no we are the geeks sorry bout that
     
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  21. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    When Qatar officially becomes a one world member later this year, things will be much easier in terms of redemption. The bigger issue is lack of point-to-point options in Africa.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  22. Sagegal

    Sagegal Silver Member

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    I'm using BA in Africa to go from Port St Elizabeth to Johannesburg, the RT Johannesburg to Vic Falls there is only 1 flight a day here but it works.
     
  23. MDDCFlyer

    MDDCFlyer Silver Member

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    I believe the effects of the BA redemption changes on the AA flights are ancillary. It is probably was geared much more into the domestic market of BA (i.e., the UK). As after the change they've made each segment counts, somehow it had to be counterbalanced by lower redemption rates for shorter segments. The fact that the US market gain for it on AA flights is just unintended consequence. Of course if only works if you have a direct flight (because you pay for each segment) as if you have to use a connection (i.e., none-hub to none-hub) it might be more expensive than using the AA redemption.
     
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  24. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Don't forget my faves: intra-Oz on QF and intra-Lat Am on LA. These short sector tickets e.g. LIM to CUS, can be very expensive when purchased but great redemption bargains and to mix the metaphor AAvios are...AAwesome for such use.
     
  25. servo

    servo Silver Member

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    Great example!
     

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