Just how good is availability for US domestic travel on Avios?

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by nonstopski, Nov 25, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. nonstopski

    nonstopski Silver Member

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    101
    Status Points:
    375
    Just wondering if there are some "data points" from folks on using avios for booking award travel in the states.

    I've seen a few blogs mention the advantages of using Avios to book travel in North America. And was curious how it worked out for folks. Have you found decent availability? How'd you book it?
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Varies wildly based on route and how far in advance you start looking. The couple times I've needed it last minute it was not available but there are many times it has been for other searches when I've looked.
     
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  3. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

    Messages:
    774
    Likes Received:
    912
    Status Points:
    795
    Likewise, wide variation in availability. I searched availability on US's or AA's websites, then booked online every time - calling BA is a horrible experience. End result: some very good redemption values, especially on last-minute redemptions.

    Trying to get US or AA frequent flier number into the reservations proved difficult unless done online before check-in or as part of check-in - US was particularly useless at changing the numbers at the airport.
     
  4. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    4,728
    Status Points:
    2,570
    The advantage lies not in the availability which mirrors to a great some extent that of AA (in other words if its not available on AA. you aint gonna find it on BA) but in the cost in terms of total miles spent and then again that is only relative if you value AA miles as 1:1 with Avios.

    The primary value is in (shortish) single hop itineraries.
    For example I just booked two R/T tickets MIA/SJO using Avios in coach outbound and in C return the total cost was 45k Avios + $94.
    Using AA miles that would have cost 90k miles plus about the same in taxes.

    However if I was flying LAX/SJO while the cost in AA miles would be exactly the same, the Avios cost would be over 100K Avios or much more depending on how many legs you are required to fly to get there. Avios being a distance and segment based program.

    All bookings need to made with BA. (ba.com works well enough)
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  5. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    3,000
    Status Points:
    1,910
    After trying several times to check availability on the BA website using Avios for AA fights YYZ-ORD-(or DFW)-LAS and back, I gave up. All they were able to show were YYZ-LHR-LGW-LAS, and reverse return routing on the way back, all on BA metal. How or where on the BAEC website can I find availability just for the AA crossborder flights from Canada?
     
  6. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    4,728
    Status Points:
    2,570
    Not sure what you are doing wrong. After your post I was able to put in YYZ/ORD and YYZ/DFW and got direct flights showing up on ba.com
    One thing I did was put F in my request to ensure something came up plus most of the flights shown were on US..
    It should be noted that there is a lot of odd things going on with the loading of AA award inventory currently.
    Its been reported that it is supposed to sort itself out in a few days.
     
    iolaire and blackjack-21 like this.
  7. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    3,000
    Status Points:
    1,910
    Belated thank you. I had tried entering YYZ-LAS, thinking that BA would recognize that as available on AA without having to fly to the UK first, then to LAS. Trying to see reward space via either ORD or DFW, and then flying from either of them with a separate reward search to LAS, wouldn't that then bring about two separate ticketing needs on AA and require another 25,000 miles for the segments from ORD or DFW to LAS and back? If so, how would I be able to then combine the segments into one ticket/PNR to avoid doubling the 25,000 miles needed per total RT?
     
    traveltoomuch likes this.
  8. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,676
    Likes Received:
    4,728
    Status Points:
    2,570
    Let me get this right you want to fly YYZ/LAS with the logical assumption that you have to connect in either DFW or ORD correct?

    Avios is a distance and segment based program forget what AA charges in miles to get there.
    I did a quick check and here's a few examples (one-way only)
    1) If you fly YYZ/LAS connecting in ORD will cost 14.5K Avios + $55.00
    2) If you fly YYZ/DFW direct it will cost 10K Avios + $50
    3) If you fly YYZ/DFW and connect in ORD it will cost 12K Avios +$55
    4) Flying from DFW on to LAS will cost 7.5 K miles + $5 but this would be booked as a separate itinerary
    I have been unable to price an award YYZ/LAS with a DFW connection but I would expect it be in the range of 1)
    Confused?:D

    Because Avios awards are distance based one-way awards but the more connections you make between points of travel will increase the total cost.
     
  9. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    blackjack-21 likes this.
  10. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    3,000
    Status Points:
    1,910
    Thanks again. So it would appear from your chart above, which is indeed segment based, that the only RT rewards keeping it to 25,000 Avios miles (in this case 24,000 miles RT) would be via DCA on the now US Airways, soon to be AA. In our case as my wife would be with me, the 48,000 is still good for a total RT for us both. And the extra dollar costs on BA/AA really beats the fees charged by AC for the trip.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    AC doesn't charge the fees if you fly on UA metal, right? That might be another option depending on what inventory is available.
     
    blackjack-21 likes this.
  12. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,437
    Likes Received:
    3,000
    Status Points:
    1,910
    Correct, much lower fees but not none at all, but sometimes more miles for the UA options, and frequently there are less shown, and sometimes with an additional stop (then two connections), then the AC now ''rouged" nonstops.
     

Share This Page