Is it actually worth using avios for long haul economy?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by emeraldflyer, Apr 3, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. emeraldflyer

    emeraldflyer Active Member

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    I don't see it right now. It's cheaper to buy a ticket in economy.

    I can only see value for WTP and upwards or using them for upgrades.

    Not really rewarding. Reward Saver seems ok though for short haul
     
  2. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    With the fuel surcharges, I don't think it would ever make sense to use Avios for long-haul economy. For F and/or CW, it's worth it, but not for economy.
     
  3. RestlessLocationSyndrome
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    RestlessLocationSyndrome Silver Member

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    Guess it depends on what you consider long haul. I would say a close to 6 hr flight would be pretty long haul and if so, the LAX-Hawaii options using Avios are well known to be some of the best values out there.

    Of course, if your definition of long haul is only international flights of 10+ hrs, yes, I would agree that I would not use Avios for those.
     
  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    There are lots of routes which are long-haul and which don't have fuel surcharges.
     
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  5. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Most of which don't include flying on BA right?
     
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  6. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Not actually on BA metal, nor from BA's Dilbertian lair at LHR. Especially in Y. I've redeemed them for WT+ out of BRU for IAD - via LHR, saving $200 in ripoff even after paying for a positioning flight.

    But I will say Avois are valuable for other things...far more so than the

    [​IMG]BEST IN CLASS[​IMG]

    DL SM which are just a pain.

    F. Yeah! It works! Over to the DL board, quick, with this great news! Muahaha!
     
  7. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Air Berlin is a viable alternative.
     
  8. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    I'm not sure that there's really that much value in a WT+ redemption either.

    But to be honest, I'm not sure why you would really want to redeem frequent flyer miles in any scheme for long-haul economy flights unless you were in a tight spot (eg you really need to get somewhere on a one-way ticket which would be prohibitively expensive if booked for cash).
     
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  9. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    All, not most. ;)
     
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  10. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I disagree. WT+ has been the sweet spot on Avios TATL for me. Both times I booked WT+ during one of BA's EC sale periods. 25k Avios/EC for a one-way ticket. In one case, I flew as ticketed from BRU which at the time (late July) I felt really was quite a good deal despite the $280-odd in taxes/charges. I was able to use the free LHR stopover to advantage also. On another occasion I redeemed the same, ex-DEN, and was operationally upgraded to J. Obviously I have no explanation for this and neither did the BA apologists...but the point is, if they'll op-up their enemy the Shark on a WT+ award, then they can do it for anyone.

    Because of their four-class cabins (and a certain Dilbertian operating anti-logic), flying with BA is subject to lots of seat-shuffling within cabins and it often triggers op-ups and even op-downs. That means, buy into a lower cabin - where it can't get worse - and you might get lucky. Conversely, fool you, to buy F or J and then be subjected to op-down....a topic about which the BA board users periodically berate BA.

    Tangent: I have to say, it's classless of BA to demand money for an advance seat assignment in the J cabin...anyway, we know about that.

    As for redeeming in Y long-haul, there are plenty of people who live continents away from family for whom the saved mileage makes it feasible for families to see more of one another. Those who operate on paid-J travel are overly-represented on FT and here, but there are many more people who must make the best of limited resources and for them, low-fee Y redemptions make a huge difference.

    I'm not here however to say that Avois is best in class, far from it. I find them so useful that I just churned another BA card for more. I need more FCO and SOF positioning flights among other things. Intra Lat-Am and intra-Australasia positioning is another sweet spot for Avios.

    As part of a balanced portfolio, I recommend Avios. I don't recommend actually flying on BA to accumulate them except intra-EU, but anyway....
     
  11. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    Doesn't pertain to Avios; but
    tickets in Y WITH stopovers from US to Asia can be astronomically high (~$4000) in the near-peak season. Redeeming 80K miles for that is sweet. If you want flexible return dates you are either stuck with $250 change fee+fare difference (maybe multiple times) or redeeming 40K one-ways which would cost ~$3000 one way.

    My experience is only with upgraded domestic J but I am yet to see the point in spending 20K or more miles each way to reach in the same time as Y passengers. What do I actually gain by spending the extra miles? Some relative comfort for 10 or so hours? Personally, I would not go on a vacation if all I wanted was comfort; I can have that at home. The 20K miles saved on the other hand can be used for one-way in Y to South America/Europe (off peak season on AA)
     
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  12. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I find that Y tickets to Lat Am are great deals both on AA and MP and the one-way capacity strengthens their value even more. I've used them numerous times for this purpose. The only problem is the lack of comfort, finding yourself in crowded CM Y cabins for two consecutive seven-hour sectors on 738s (e.g. LAX-PTY-SCL). Better on the LA763 using AA.
     
  13. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    If cash tickets are that expensive but you can still get award seats, then that would be a sensible time to use them.
    It can basically reclaim you a whole day in each direction. For example, if you fly LHR-HKG on a Friday night, spend 36 hours there and then fly HKG-LHR on Sunday night to arrive in time to start work on Monday morning, having a good night's sleep in J in both directions makes the time spent at the destination worthwhile and means you can do a full day's work on Monday.

    I can do that if I'm in WT+, but I'm frequently told that I'm unusual like that; and even I can see how doing the flights in J makes it easier.
     
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  14. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    Probably I am an anomaly on these forums but I can sleep pretty well in Y. And yes, I come back from a 36 hr circuitous trip from India to US and then attend office the next day. But, I agree if you can't do that, 20K may be miles well spent to regain one day of work.
     
  15. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Why not? If the value proposition is there, the points can still be a useful spend. Even for something as silly as a quick European vacation from NYC a couple weeks back they made sense for me.
     
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  16. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    But surely the value is rarely there? I've hardly ever seen it, which is one reason why I have stashes of miles in a number of different airline schemes.
     
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  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I guess it depends on where you draw the line on what value is worth redeeming. At a penny/point it isn't such a great deal, but $500 tickets to Europe from North America aren't all that common these days either.
     
  18. Globaliser
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    Globaliser Silver Member

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    It probably depends on what one means by "value", too. It's not really quite the same as price, which is what is measured by cents per mile.
     
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  19. akcae
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    akcae Silver Member

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    Depends on your earning power and redemption goals. For someone who doesn't travel a crap-ton for work, doesn't have a huge income or ability to otherwise generate a large spend on point/mile-earning cards, but has a family of four to get to another continent for family visits, it makes a LOT of sense to redeem in coach. I can ferry myself over to EU at 100K or so per ticket, or I can take my entire family for 240K. Between travel, spend and sign-up bonuses, I probably generate around 500K miles/points per year. So 240K in Y for us four to be able to visit faraway family once or twice per year is a pretty damn good deal and I'm happy sacrificing sitting/sleeping in J for 7hrs for it.
     

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